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$1,546 pledged of $3,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Cassandra Gelvin
$1,546 pledged of $3,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

 

 From the author of the blog Don't Read This to My Kids

A good part of who I am was shaped by the books my parents read to me as a child. I have fond memories of picture books, and even when I was past the age where I could read to myself, I would go into my younger sister's room to listen as my mother read to her. My world view, values, and sense of humor were all shaped both by these books and the shared experience of being together with my family.

When I had my own children, I wanted to find books that would pass along what's important to me. Some great books, like "The Monster At the End of This Book" by Jon Stone, were a part of my own childhood. Others, like "Where Is the Green Sheep?" by Mem Fox, are wonderful new discoveries. But there aren't enough good books out there. We need more funny, interesting books that engage not only the child being read to, but the adult reader as well.

"Kitties are Not Good to Eat" is a board book I originally wrote for my kids. It's a tongue-in-cheek poem about what not to do to cats. It is kid-friendly, but the engaging writing style is appealing to adults, and the humor and accompanying cat photographs make it entertaining to read to a child. The rhythm and rhyme of the text makes reading aloud easy and fun.

This book is enjoyable for parents, cat lovers, and cat-loving parents. It makes a great baby shower gift or waiting room material at the vet's office.

Parenting isn't easy. It's definitely got its perks, and some days are better than others, but most other jobs don't come with the constant stream of judgment and advice from outsiders. And that's not even counting the self-doubt. "Am I doing a good job?" "Am I doing the right thing for my kids?" For me, I always wonder, "Do I read enough to them?"

While there are some amazing children's books out there, most of the "classics" and thrift store buys gifted to parents by well-meaning relatives are bland. They are often highly repetitive and border on tedious for an adult reader (and don't get me started on the ones intended to bore little ones to sleep). There seems to be a rather low bar to entry in the genre, and quality of writing is often overlooked in favor of quality of illustration.

Since young children can't read to themselves, adults have to do the reading to them. "Kitties are Not Good to Eat" was written with this adult reader in mind. There's no agenda, and it doesn't talk down to children. It's no "War and Peace", but, then again, who wants to read that to a child 87 times? Its humor gives it broad appeal, even to those without children who have a soft spot for our feline friends.

 

Any parent of toddlers who has pet cats knows that there's a bit of a learning curve for youngsters when it comes to treating cats properly. The average cat is not interested in rough play with a creature twice as large as them, and parents find themselves repeating the same advice over and over. So this book tackles that topic with tongue in cheek, with a slight nod to enduring pop culture icons Steve Martin and Garfield. As a demonstration, the complete list of things cautioned against are: eating, drinking, licking, wearing, riding, juggling, and mailing cats.

I have been working with a book designer to improve the layout of the pages and the quality of the book beyond my own ability. The cover and two of the seven spreads are complete at this point.

The book is 14 pages long. With the exception of the couplet about juggling, all the lines are written in headless iambic tetrameter. Dr. Seuss sometimes used this meter for lines such as "Do you like green eggs and ham?" and "Would you eat them with a goat?" It will be printed as a 6 inch square board book, because cats and young children alike have a reputation for being ungentle with books.

Board books, due to their uncommon nature and varied dimensions, are not available through print-on-demand services, and printing them individually is prohibitively expensive. That means a significant initial investment is required to do a larger print run, usually a minimum of 500 copies. That's why I need your support.

If 500 copies are printed, around half of the money raised will be spent on having the books printed and shipped to my house for distribution to backers. If the project is very successful and the print run size must be increased, the cost per book will be lower, but a fulfillment service may be needed to handle the volume of orders. The primary goal of this Kickstarter is to get this book physically into the hands of people who will enjoy it.

Estimated budget:

 

"This sing-song tour of how NOT to treat a cat, complete with endearing photos of disgruntled felines, is sure to please kids, parents, and their furry overlords alike. The sage advice therein may even serve to avert injuries to toddlers who are still learning the ropes of respectful interspecies interaction." --Amanda Q.

"Adorable! I loved the rhymes!" --Brooke S.

"A clever catalogue of kitties with witty rhymes that would amuse all ages. Good for sharing with little ones." --Kate G.

"Cute and clever, with great pictures. A fun book!" --Ray P.

What a specific question! There sure is!

 

Kickstarter is the most popular crowdfunding site on the internet. It's well-established and has a history of bringing great products to reality, including the recent reboot of the children's show "Reading Rainbow". If you aren't familiar with crowdfunding, here's how it works. Usually when people have a great idea, they have to find a small group of investors willing to contribute a large sum of money on their project. Think "Shark Tank" and venture capitalists. With crowdfunding, though, a creator pitches to a large group of backers each willing to contribute a small sum of money on the project. Instead of risking their money on the potential future earnings of a company, however, these backers are often pre-ordering a product before it actually exists. Before it actually can exist. And with Kickstarter's all-or-nothing rule, there's much less risk for backers. Each product has a target amount of money. The creator promises that if that amount is reached, they will make their project and everyone will get the rewards they pledged for. If the target is not reached, backers will not be charged a penny.

To give a concrete example, say you pledge $19 (plus shipping) to the "Kitties are Not Good to Eat" project. If the project succeeds, you will be charged that $19 and once the book has printed, you will receive one copy. If it does not meet its funding goal, you will not be charged a thing. You won't get a book, and I will be sad, but no money will be collected. So if you want a copy of this book, you basically have nothing to lose by pledging.

This project has several levels of rewards available. If you aren't ready to commit to buying a book, but just want to follow along in my journey, you can pledge $1.

All backers for $1 and above will be subscribed to the project's updates via email. Once the project succeeds, my cats and I will make and send a personalized audio message to thank every backer.

All backers for $5 and above will receive a PDF copy of the digital version of the book once that is completed.

All backers for $19 and above will receive a physical copy of the board book once it is printed.

Backers at the $29 level will also receive a second physical copy of the board book.

For backers at the $99 level, I will create a custom video of myself reading the board book to you or a loved one. My cats have not signed on at this level, but they may be convinced if catnip is involved.

For backers at the $249 level, I will create a custom poster. You send me a photograph of your pet (or any other image you have the rights to reproduce) and I will write a four-line poem to go with it in the style of the ones in the book. The poem will be laid out on the photo in a manner similar to the book's pages. You will receive a digital copy of this poster, as well as a printed 11" x 17" copy of it. I am open to requests and other types of inspiration regarding the poem's content, as well as images that don't quite fit the 11x17 dimensions.

In the interest of simplifying the rewards levels, some options have been included as add-ons. To add one of these to your order, increase the total of your pledge by the indicated amount. You may either contact me with the information about your desired add-on, or enter it in the survey that will be sent to you when the Kickstarter succeeds.

For $1 more at any pledge level with physical books, you can have any or all books signed by the author.

For $9 more at any pledge level, I will donate a copy of the board book to a library or non-profit local to me in San Diego. I am open to suggestions but cannot guarantee the specific organization it will go to. These can be signed or not, at your request.

If there is any other option you are interested in, please contact me!

Distributors and resellers, please contact me personally to discuss bulk discounts.

 

You should receive anything physical by the end of November, 2018. If you're impatient to read something I wrote before then, check out my blog!

Once my Kickstarter project is funded, I will begin work with the book designer who has worked on the cover and the two spreads shown on this page. We will complete the layout for the rest of the pages in the book, and then it will be sent off to the printer. Since it will be printed internationally, there may be delays in printing based on local holidays, or in shipping to the centralized distribution hub due to any number of reasons. This the largest publishing project I have done, so I have allotted much more time than the printer estimates for this process. It is my belief that this conservative timeline is the worst case scenario and everyone will receive their rewards earlier.

Here is my projected timeline:

 

 

Thank you so much for taking a look at my project. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Also, thanks to the following people for their creations:
"Cat for Dinner" by Luca Serazzi is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
"Demonstration of power, pt. 2" by Marcin Wichary is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
"Pile o' Kittens" by jjmusgrove is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
cat sitting by Denis Sazhin from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0. Modified from original.
Doctor by UNiCORN from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0. Modified from original.
cat walking by Denis Sazhin from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0. Modified from original.
Keyboard by Llisole from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0. Modified from original.
Cat Search by Denis Sazhin from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0. Modified from original.
Cat Phone by Denis Sazhin from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0. Modified from original.
Cat calculator by Denis Sazhin from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0. Modified from original.
Cat Rolling by Denis Sazhin from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Cat Purring by Denis Sazhin from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0.
chat by Mun May Tee from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Video by iconsphere from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Book cat by Raider of Gin is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Book Mockup Free Square, Angle 2 from srvalle.com.
iPad ebook mockup from PIXEDEN.
Poster mockup is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.5.
Cat Agent by Denis Sazhin from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Gemini Cat by Denis Sazhin from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0. Modified from original.
Autograph by Royyan Wijaya from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Library by Setyo Ari Wibowo from the Noun Project is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Risks and challenges

All content for the book is already written, chosen, and edited. All that remains is finishing the book design (this is already about 1/3 complete) and printing and shipping the books. The remaining work is not complicated, and the estimated timeline is rather conservative. If any delays are encountered, this will be clearly communicated in the updates.

The majority of the images used in the book are licensed via Creative Commons and were found through Flickr or Pixabay. Since users on these sites can be anonymous, it is possible that any of these photos could be owned by someone other than the person who posted them and might be copyrighted. The internet has been searched in an attempt to rule out other claims to ownership of these photos. If someone is able to prove that they are not under Creative Commons, the owner will be contacted in an attempt to come to an agreement with them regarding compensation.

That being said, this is a learning process for me. If you have any recommendations, please message me.

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    Cat's Meow

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    I will make you a poster. Send me a high-resolution photo of your pet (or any photo you have the rights to reproduce) and I will write an original 4-line poem about your pet in the style of the book and send you the finished digital image and a printed 11"x17" poster of it.

    Includes:
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