Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 28, 2013.

Update #12

PLEASE READ + likely last update

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Thinking that this may be my last update makes me relieved, but also a little bit sad because I've loved so much the connections and support I've not only felt but been shown in action through this project.  Thank you again for cheering me on. I would be lying if I said there weren't a few tears of frustration shed at points in the process, but I'd also be lying if I said I wasn't proud to see over 1000 packages containing my books go out into the world these last weeks.  

The whole point of The Lost Party story is to hopefully remind us that we are awesome, with good ideas, and meaning to offer and that we don't have to wait around for someone to give their approval or wait for the popular crowd to like our idea or invite us, we can just do things!  So, bless you all for being willing to take the time to to make something I had only previously dreamed about, a reality.  Let me know how and when I can support you in return. 

Also, speaking of reality, I still have about 600 books hanging out at my house (it is a small house), so please!  spread the word if you like your books. Also, because you got a very good deal on the books through your pledge (as in your pledge simply equaled the cost of books, the rewards and shipping), I'd love to make some profit so I can go on and make more books (at a certain point I realized that small businesses actually do have to make money to keep going, though it pains me to realize they don't run on rainbows, fun and happiness) Shop.ashmae.com  On Wednesday the 11th, for every two Lost Party or Animal Parade books sold, I will donate one to a Sub-4-Santa program. 

All the packages have been sent out now, and remember, some things are coming in waves because it was so much cheaper to send things out through media mail.  So if you are waiting on postcards and/or pins, they are on their way.

Portrait people, I found a stack of portraits under a pile of boxes at the end of everything, so if you haven't received yours, it is also on its way.  

As for books going to schools, I've decided that if I have to package one more round of boxes right now, I, and my children, might cry heartily, so I will get the classroom books out for the beginning of the new year.

If you don't receive your package, or something isn't right, please contact me and we'll make it right.  

And lastly, I am thinking about doing some sort of video conference or forum to talk about what I've learned through this process and to discuss running a meaningful business (what I'm trying to do).  Shoot me an email if you'd be interested in joining the conversation and I'll keep you in the know.  

Thanks again everyone.  I've loved so much seeing your photos and hearing your reactions to the books. What joy!  and bless the little hands that hold them. Keep the photos coming!!

most happy holidays,

Ashmae


Update #11

Packages on their way!

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All of the packages have been packaged up and are being shipped today, tomorrow and Wednesday.  Some of the orders I had to split between two packages/envelopes to get the much cheaper media mail rates, and they may come on different days, so wait a day or two if you don't see all of your rewards. I hope everything is right, but we did package over 700 boxes last week, so let me know if something is missing, etc...  Thank you again!  I'm beyond delighted to see my books finally go out into the world.  

Also, I still have about 700 books that I'd love to sell and move out of my living room so if you like what you see, please spread the word via social media (instagram, facebook, email, twitter) or buy more for friends and family.  Use the hashtag #ashmaebooks and link to shop.ashmae.com.  

Thank you! and I hope this isn't the last time that we are in touch. 


Update #10

Still Waiting on Book Arrival and Classroom Book Tour

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Hello All,

Just a quick message to let you know that the packages are ready to go, I am just still waiting on the arrival of all of the Lost Party books.  They were supposed to be here at the beginning of November, but I am learning that things in the book world move so slowly and this is a project in the art of patience, perhaps for all of us.  Luckily, I did get one proof copy which I have been using on my 'classroom book tour'.  I've read the book to over 200 kids so far this week and will make it to another 200 more this week while I'm in Utah. I plan on continuing in California and anywhere else I happen to travel.   This self-appointed book tour has been magical.  There's nothing like an audience of 6-year olds to make you feel clever. My favorite moment of the day was when we were talking about the book after and one boy raised his hand and said, "I think this book shows us that we can be friends with anyone we meet along the way." Yes please.   My 2-year old son, Remy, came with me dressed as a fox and made sure to tell the kids to "sit down, scoot back and listen."  I even (by coincidence) got invited back to my old kindergarten classroom complete with my kindergarten teacher.   I'll post a picture here of a bunch of kids flapping their happy wings during our reading.  

Here's to hoping that these books (they are in route still, they aren't actually lost) get here quick so I can get your packages out of my living room and to your house.  

thanks for your patience!

Kids flapping their happy wings.

 Me and my kindergarten teacher from about 24 years ago!  What a treat to read to her class. 


Update #9

ADDRESSES NEEDED. Woot!

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Hello Friends, 

You have probably asked yourself, 'Hey, why is it taking Ashmae so long to get her children's book done.' Trust me, I have asked myself the same question a thousand times.  And honestly, here are a few of the things I've figured:  

1. Pursuing the things you've always dreamed of doing is inevitably unpredictable, sometimes unwieldy, and boy is the learning curve steep.  There is simply no other way to make things happen than to make a few mistakes and learn as you go. 

2. I never imagined that I would have the support of 500 people when I started out this project on Kickstarter.  I thought I would maybe be sending out 50 books, so while the large number is so exciting to me, it also means that my tiny living room is filled to the brim with packing supplies and everything has taken just a bit longer than I anticipated in the beginning. 

3. It is always worth it to spend the extra time to get things to as perfect a state as you know how to make them, while at a certain point letting yourself be finished and okay with what you've done. There were parts of this project I ended up re-doing a dozen times, and I'm glad I did because I think the final project is much better because of it. That is not to say that the final books are perfect, they are not.  Rather, they are the very best I am capable of producing right now, and I think future books can only get better from here. 

4. Getting a book ready for press and printing it just takes a really long time. I had no idea. Getting two books was even more daunting. 

5. It is both hard and wonderful to work and be a mom at the same time. It is important to me that my two sweet babies have a mom who works hard to pursue things she loves, so even if it makes my life a little wild, I think it is worth it for our family.  The birth of sweetest Thea Harper in the middle of this project presented some logistical challenges as recovery was longer than I expected, but somehow, we made it! I know that many moms supported this project.  I'd love to be in touch to hear how you make things happen (after everything is sent out:). 

Lastly, a project like this is not singular in any way.  The printer I worked with is a sweet, very sweet, man in his late 60's.  He did things that baffled me,  like only taking cashier's checks, but as I spoke on the phone with him for the last time to confirm the shipment, he said to me, "Sweetheart, the making of a book is like the birth of a baby, it's a long and hard process, and you've made a very nice little book."  I was so teary I couldn't respond properly because I realized that there are so many good people working hard and honestly, and they rarely get credit.  So, thank you for all the people involved with making this happen. It takes the support, expertise, advice and work of dozens.  I've had the help of designers, printers, advice-givers, editors, bloggers, friends, family, in particular an extremely patient husband, and many other people who don't get nearly enough credit for the good work they do.  

Thank you all for your patience and support.  Really. I've received several kind and boosting messages as I've worked over the past months.  The books are on their way to my house and I've spent many late nights (with that very kind husband), getting packages ready to send out by the first week of November.  I've sent out a survey to get your addresses, so please respond!  I'm so excited to get things out to you. 

Thank you again and please contact me with any thoughts, questions or concerns. 

most warmly, 

Ashmae


Update #8

Book at Printer!

6 comments

Hello All,

Thank you for your patience with this project.  I'm realizing that there is a lot to writing, illustrating and self-publising a book and as with most things, it is taking longer than I had initially planned, but things are happening!  The book is with the printer and the boxes of books should arrive at my house in 6-7 weeks and I will send out all of the reward packages then. This will be just in time for schools to start, so I am in the process of contacting classrooms to come and share the book.  I will ask for addresses in the next couple of weeks.  Thank you for your support!


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