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A book that teaches children how to interact with dogs the proper way so they can avoid getting hurt or becoming disappointed.
A book that teaches children how to interact with dogs the proper way so they can avoid getting hurt or becoming disappointed.
15 backers pledged $4,400 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Many children are in love with dogs and claim that the dog is their favorite animal.  My niece is one of them.  However, when I watched her meet a dog in person, she seemed hesitant and even a little scared.  It makes me sad when a child is scared to meet and interact with one of the most beloved creatures of all time!  It also worries me when I see children do things they shouldn't when near a dog.

So I had the idea to take advantage of my experience with the publishing industry and create a children's book that teaches children how to properly approach and interact with dogs of all kinds.  I have completed the manuscript, which has been edited, and plan on using a professional illustrator for the pictures.  I created the illustration above of the book's main character, Carter, and his best friend, Snickers the mutt (of course the actual illustrations will look much better and will not be done in colored pencil). Together, along with Mom, they go to the dog park and give the reader a crash course in different dog breeds and the best way to go about making new friends.  There is also advice on what NOT to do.

I have worked for the self-publishing company, Outskirts Press Inc., for almost two years as an Author Representative.  I know all about the inner-workings of the company and trust that they will do a fantastic job in helping my big idea become a reality!  Here is a link to the Outskirts website if you would like to look around:  www.outskirtspress.com 

My funding goal is $4,000 (plus $400 for Kickstarter fees and Amazon credit card processing fees) which will cover my publishing package, a professionally designed custom cover, and professional illustrations.  Anything raised over this amount will go towards marketing the book. 

It appears that there are no other full-color dog books out there quite like this one, and it could easily become your child's favorite book of the bunch!  So please pledge an amount and help this book come into existence! 

Book Overview – Here is a brief overview of my book and what children will be reading inside of it, including some excerpts.

Page 1 excerpt:

Hi! My name is Carter, and this is my dog, Snickers.

We are going to the dog park today with my mom. I am so excited! I love dogs, and Snickers loves to play with other dogs.

I am really smart when it comes to different types of dogs and how to play with them. I would be happy to share some of my smarts with you!

Carter goes on to explain that there are lots of different types of dogs and he goes through a 6 step method for meeting a new dog. Here is a simplified version of the six steps:

1. Pick the dog you want to meet

2. Walk over to the dog nice and slow

3. Try to get the dog’s attention

4. Consider the size of the dog

5. Show the dog you mean no harm

6. And finally, pet the dog

Each step is explained in an easy-to-understand way and goes into more detail as well. Carter also shares some basic rules to keep in mind throughout the six steps: always be nice, gentle, slow moving, and try very hard not to be scared.

Last page Excerpt:

What a great day at the dog park! I made a few new friends and so did Snickers! There were some dogs that didn’t want to play, but maybe some other day they will be in a better mood! I hope you enjoyed the dog park as much as I did and learned some new things.

When you know the right way to play with dogs, it can be a lot of fun!

The book then ends with a small glossary describing a few of the dog breeds that are shown in the book, such as a Labrador, Beagle, and Yorkie.

Publishing Details - Now I will explain some of the details of self-publishing my book with Outskirts Press and how the money I raise will help me with this. 

First of all, I will need to purchase my publishing package. I will need to go with their "Pearl" package, which is the only one that allows for a full color interior, and I have to have color in my book because it just wouldn't be as fun without it! The Pearl package costs $1099 (I'm hoping to get a 10-15% discount on this since I am an employee). The package includes an ISBN for my book, a paperback edition, standard book formatting, 5 free author copies, a standard author webpage, and distribution through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, and Spring Arbor Christian among many others. See the full details of the Pearl package here:

http://outskirtspress.com/options/16608_store_pearl_package.html 

The Pearl package also comes with a standard cover design, but I don't want a standard design that other books may also have. I want an awesome cover that is unique to my book, so I am going to upgrade to the Professionally Designed Custom Cover, which will cost $299. A cover designer will create two different cover concepts for me to choose from using whatever input I give them, and I will be able to choose the one I like best (with help from my backers!) and request any changes to it. This will ensure that I get a truly unique and fantastic cover for my book. Watch this video to see some examples of Custom Covers: 

http://selfpublishingnews.com/2009/01/23/custom-cover-design-for-self-publishing-writers/ 

And then, of course, there are the illustrations, which are a pretty large extra cost for my book. For 15 illustrations I expect it will cost me about $1499. See Update #1 for more information about this process. 

That leaves just about $1000 left over from the funds I am raising. I am planning on using this to purchase a few other options such as a Standard Press Release for my book, which will announce its publication to the world, and the e-book edition, which is of course important because it is one of the rewards for those of you who back my project! The left over funds will also go towards the fulfillment of rewards. And if there is anything left after that, I can use it towards marketing options for my book, but my main goal right now is to just get my book published. 

I have considered using some of the funds on editing, but I feel confident that I won't need it. I am almost always skeptical when an author tells me they don't need editing, because they almost always do. In my case, I feel confident for a few reasons: 

1. I am a perfectionist. I can't stand putting something into the world that is not perfect, because I see it as a bad reflection of myself. So when I create something that others are going to see, I double check my work, and triple check, and quadruple check, etc. I think I checked my work on this manuscript at least 20 times before I let another person look at it.  

2. I am good at spelling. In second grade, I was one of two kids in my class who got all 50 spelling words correct on the big test. My teacher made me go around and help other kids correct their tests. 

3. My sister read my manuscript and suggested some really good changes. My sister is a mother of 3 young children, so I'm pretty sure she knows a thing or two about what they can and cannot comprehend when it comes to books. She is also very smart in general. After consulting with her, I finally felt like my manuscript was ready. 

I hope this gives you confidence in my abilities as an author and my ability to publish a really great book. Please spread the word about my project to as many people as possible! Thank you!

Risks and challenges

The publishing process could potentially take a long time, and if issues arise they could cause delay or require additional fees to solve. I don't foresee this happening with my book though. I plan on having everything ready to go before I even purchase my publishing package. And since I work for the company, I know the kinds of things I need to have prepared and what problems to expect. My fundraising goal has some room in case additional fees pop up, and I'm willing to dip into my personal account a little if absolutely needed.

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    A thank you note, a vote on the cover design, PDF file of the book, your name included in the acknowledgments, two free copies of the book in paperback signed by me, and a handmade bracelet with dog charm for the dog lover in your family.

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    A thank you note, a vote on the cover design, PDF file of the book, your name included in the acknowledgments, two free copies of the book in paperback signed by me, a handmade bracelet with dog charm for the dog lover in your family, and a framed print of an illustration of your choice from the book.

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    Everything that is included with the $200 reward, and an impressionist drawing of you with your pet done by me (will need to provide pictures for reference).

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Funding period

- (30 days)