About this project
Dobby the Capybara has written his autobiography! This is the first book ever written by a capybara about pet capybaras. Actually, he doesn’t know any other capybaras, so it's really just about one capybara: Dobby. He is very proud to have finished this book; it has been illustrated, edited, and it's all ready to be published. Though having squandered his savings on corn-on-the-cob and banana chips, he's in a bit of a bind to come up with setup costs.
You do know Dobby, don't you? I don't mean personally, I mean from his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/dobbywinnick), his YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/hippopotatomus), or his website (https://petcapybara.com). Or perhaps his popular videos “Capybara Training: Olympic Diving” or “I Don’t Like Snow.” Does any of this sound familiar? Dobby has been telling stories to his fans through his website since 2009. He has fans all over the world, and they are all waiting for this book to be published.
Capybaras are the world's largest rodent. Bigger than beavers and porcupines. Much bigger. They come from South America. Dobby came from Texas, third generation American. He lives in the suburbs where he has heated accommodations, room service, free health care, and nonstop attention. He scoffs at the suggestion that he would be happier in the wilds of Brazil, fending off jaguars and anacondas. He can't imagine the annoyance of explaining his sudden presence to the indigenous capybaras who have already claimed the territory for their own herd. No thank you, this is the story of a capybara who was raised in the suburbs.
There are precious few books about capybaras. There are a couple of scientific tomes, a few scattered academic papers, a website or two, some of very dubious utility. There are a few kiddie picture books. There are a few stories with capybaras in supporting roles. There is one dodgy book about caring for capybaras that contains almost an hour's worth of Internet search results. You will not find a book about pet capybaras as comprehensive as Dobby's book anywhere else. His somewhat self-centered vision of capybaras enhances the telling and personalizes his story, though it does compromise the usefulness of the material for professional use.
Indeed, this book, Dobby's story, was selected by his fans as their first choice for publication. The Farm Manager, who provides for all of Dobby's meals, accommodations, medical attention, and everything else you can think of, has several books in various stages of processing. As the Vice President of the ROUS Foundation for Capybara Veterinary Medicine, Stacy Winnick is a well known consultant for pet capybara health and care. Even as a manual for pet capybara care is a sorely needed reference for the community, everyone is far more interested in hearing Dobby's story first. The reason for this is not clear, though I suspect that most readers are more interested in hilarious Bad Boy stories than the protocol for worming your household capybara.
I Can Explain Everything: Confessions of a Pet Capybara is getting great peer reviews!
“This book would be easier to digest if the pages were made out of kale.” – JoeJoe the Capybara, reddit
“Ridiculous book about capybaras. All lies. The part about Caplin is okay.” - Mudskipper Rous, ROUS Foundation Advocate
“Dobby isn’t my type. What a grubber! I’ll take a litter of puppies any day.” - Cheesecake, Capybara Nanny; Rocky Ridge Rescue, Arkansas
"Dobby is a little bit country; Romeo & Tuff'n are a little bit Rock and Roll!” - Romeo and Tuff’n, Headliner Capybaras, Las Vegas, Nevada
Because alarmingly few people know capybaras exist, it is safe to assume that fewer know what they look like. Dobby's colorful descriptions are quite useless, so we diplomatically suggested to him that an illustrator would be helpful. Fortunately, one of Dobby's many fans is an enthusiastic and talented artist. Sonya Reasor has provided the drawings and in addition has formatted the book and provided priceless input throughout the writing process. Every detail that makes this look like a book (rather than a stack of paper) is her handiwork. We will create a bona-fide hard-copy 200-page paperback book. Dobby’s book will have a full color cover with black & white drawings throughout, suitable for coloring. No mustaches, please. Like all important non-fiction books, it has appendices. No index, those are boring. It does have a quiz, so read carefully and take notes! If you fail the quiz, we have thoughtfully included a list of zoos where you can continue your capybara studies. Wait! There’s more! We will also have an eBook available in pdf format. It will be harder to color the pictures, but it’s a lot cheaper.
Formal publishing is generally beyond the reach of first time authors, and we have always assumed we would self-publish. There are many perils and pitfalls among the millions of self-publishing companies that have popped up to take advantage of the glut of newbie authors. We are navigating carefully, but there is no way to completely circumvent basic start-up costs. By offering our books at a pre-sale discount, we can offset some of our out-of-pocket costs with these early sales. We can also begin to assess demand and fine tune our marketing plan. I'm pretty sure that people who own pet capybaras will buy the book, so that's about 85 books right there! Those folks already know what a capybara is, so that's in the category of Preaching to the Choir. We’re hoping to introduce (and warn) many more people to the joys (and perils) of pet capybaras. Plus, we really do want to sell more than 85 books, so we had to get creative. That’s what this Kickstarter is all about.
Risks and challenges
We are ready to publish, and though the manuscript has not yet been submitted for publishing, we are confident that we have a “camera ready” project. That is for the hard copy printing. As soon as we start printing the paperbacks, we will format the eBook, with its own requirements for publication. No one can stop us now!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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