TALES FROM THE DRY SIDE: THE PERSONAL STORIES BEHIND THE AUTOIMMUNE ILLNESS SJÖGREN'S SYNDROME
Imagine for a second what life would be like if for years, you searched for answers to mysterious physical symptoms that were so severe, you could no longer participate in the daily activities of your life. What your life would be like if not only did the medical community doubt your sanity, but you begin to question it yourself. For approximately four million people in the United States, including tennis superstar Venus Williams, this is often a reality because they have Sjögren’s syndrome; an autoimmune illness that severely affects the moisture producing glands in the body. It is difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to effectively treat as there is no cure.
Over the past decade, there has been a sharp rise in the rate of autoimmune diseases in the United States and the rest of the world. The National Institute of Health estimates that there are 23.5 million Americans who are affected by autoimmune disease, with Sjögren’s being the second most common of these diseases. According to the National Women’s Health Center, autoimmune disease is the fourth largest cause of disability among women in the United States. As the autoimmune rates rise, more and more women and men are looking to connect with other patients in similar situations. In my interactions with other Sjögren’s sufferers, as I have this illness as well, the common theme that emerges is the desire to hear other people’s stories and about how others deal with their illness.
In December 2011 Tales From The Dry Side: The Personal Stories Behind The Autoimmune Illness Sjögren’s Syndrome was born. The 42,000 word book is a compilation of thirteen unique stories written by Sjögren’s sufferers from various regions of the United States and Canada. The book also includes information describing what Sjögren’s syndrome is, and how this book project came to be. In their own words, each contributor discusses their journey with this illness including diagnosis, symptoms and treatment, as well as how Sjögren’s has affected their families, careers, and personal lives. Their stories are a blend of fact and emotion describing the navigation of what can often be a frustrating and hostile health care system in their quest for wellness. The goal of this book is to bring forward information and hope to the millions suffering from Sjögren’s syndrome, as well as to those who suffer from the over eighty other autoimmune illnesses that exist today. This is a book that I wish was available to me when I was going through the hell of figuring out what was wrong with me and how to cope with it.
The book is complete and it includes a foreword by Steven Taylor, the CEO of The Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation. I have been approaching literary agents and publishers to pitch the idea for the book since October 2012. I kid you not when I say that I have written to well over twenty-five agents regarding this book. Unfortunately, it appears that there is not an interest in this type of book in traditional mainstream publishing. Meanwhile, these thirteen stories remain silent on my computer when they could be making a difference to the millions of Sjögren's sufferers around the world. It is my mission in life to get this book published as I am passionate about this cause.
I have decided to self publish the book through the company Outskirts Press. I am looking to do a well put together book that looks professional and polished. The money raised will be used towards the following: publishing of the book including copyediting, ISBN and copyright registration, Amazon Kindle edition, Secure Ebook edition, cover design, formatting, publicity assistance, and marketing assistance as well as several other features. The list of services involved in this package is extensive. Funds raised will cover the 5% fee charged by Kickstarter and the 3-5% payment processing charges that are required by Amazon. Money has also been allocated into the budget to purchase reward books and to pay for shipping to contributors. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you so much for reading and for your consideration of this important project!
If you need to contact me with any questions, my e-mail is: email@example.com
Risks and challenges
The book is complete and I am waiting for the funds to proceed towards the publishing stage. I need to make this absolutely clear: THIS IS AN ALL OR NOTHING VENTURE!! IF I DO NOT RAISE THE ENTIRE AMOUNT OF $7000, THE PROJECT GETS NO MONEY AT ALL and these stories remain in my computer. I see this as the biggest risk.
Let me mention this one more time: THE FUNDRAISING IS AN ALL OR NOTHING VENTURE!!
There I always a chance of a contributor backing out of the project however I have worked very hard at remaining in contact with all of them. Also, there are thirteen stories so the book is not dependent on one or two people.
Since I also have Sjögren's and complications from the illness, there is a chance that there may be a delay in fulfilling the obligations towards my backers. However I have family and friend support with this and I have given myself a reasonable amount of time in which to fulfill my commitments.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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