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A guy who designs prop computer interfaces meets a girl who doesn't own a cellphone. A story about the human side of technology.
A guy who designs prop computer interfaces meets a girl who doesn't own a cellphone. A story about the human side of technology.
A guy who designs prop computer interfaces meets a girl who doesn't own a cellphone. A story about the human side of technology.
961 backers pledged $23,810 to help bring this project to life.

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My new novel, and a podcast about its making.

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Hello friends, it’s been a while. I have some big news: I have a new novel coming out at the end of February. It’s called See You in the Cosmos, and it’s about an eleven-year-old boy trying to launch his iPod into space. You can pre-order it here: http://jackcheng.com/see-you-in-the-cosmos

You’ll notice that the book’s coming out through Dial Books and Puffin, which are both part of the Penguin Random House company. How did this happen? The short story is that I met a literary agent as a result of this Kickstarter campaign, we shopped around my new manuscript, and it got picked up by publishers.

The longer story is one I’m telling through my new podcast, called See You on the Bookshelf. I’ve attached the 3-minute preview, and the first few episodes are already up iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/see-you-on-the-bookshelf/id1192838597

Much like I did with the Kickstarter updates for These Days, I wanted to answer the question, What’s it like to publish a novel? Only this time, I wanted to lift the veil on a somewhat different process, one that involved (spoiler alert) a staggering number of people. I wanted to introduce you to some of those people, and present their voices instead of just my own. And audio felt like the appropriate medium.

Have a listen, and thanks for your continued support.

Jack

p.s. If you’re interested in my musings on the decision to go with a traditional publisher instead of independently publishing my second book, I wrote a bit about the subject in my weekly newsletter: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Onward

Here we are, my friends, at the end of a nine-month correspondence. This will be my last Kickstarter update for These Days.

Thursday night I went to Kickstarter's fourth-birthday party, in an old warehouse in Bushwick, Brooklyn, with a narrow entry tunnel opening into a small brick courtyard that cleared out later in the night when the rain started coming down in sheets. By then everyone was inside anyway, crowded around the stage where Rusty Lazer, Katey Red, and a group of dancers put on a show of New Orleans bounce. Zach Braff made a brief appearance, or so I was told: he was wearing a baseball cap.

When I wrote in the acknowledgments that my book would not exist without Kickstarter, it wasn't hyperbole. My relationship with Kickstarter goes back to the very beginning, to 2009, when I first started working on my book, before it was even a book—when it was just a series of loosely-related journal entries. It was around that time that Kickstarter first launched, and upon discovering the site, I immediately saw that no matter what happened, there was a clear path available to me. There was a way for me to share this story, to put this object into the hands of my friends and their friends. The very existence of the site kept me serious about the book.

Here is the great gift of Kickstarter: it's not sudden fame or zero risk or million-dollar success; it's the idea of Kickstarter, it's Kickstarter as metaphor, as a framework for thinking about how to, step by step, execute on a creative project. Just having the thought of Kickstarter gets you to ask the questions you should be asking: What do I need in order to make this happen? Who do I expect will support me? How much is it going to cost? What can I give in return?

As, over the last four years, I saw my friends succeed with their projects, I came up with more questions to ask about mine. And even once my own project had been funded, further questions arose: What progress am I making this week? How am doing against my expected deadline? What can I tell everyone about in the next update?

It's been so helpful for me that I'll keep asking myself these questions and, as I mentioned, I'll continue this habit of doing weekly updates about what I'm going through as a writer of novels. I've already set up the email list for those who've expressed interest via the survey, and if you've changed your mind either way, you can manage your subscription here.

Before I sign off, I have one small request of you guys: See that button at the top of the page, the one that says "Start your project"? Click it. If the thought has crossed your mind even once: click it. If you are nowhere near ready to start your project: click it. If you need a dare: I dare you to click it. Once you click it, you'll start asking yourself questions too, and you'll start thinking about their answers, and then you'll be on your way.

To some of you, this is goodbye for now. And to the rest, I'll say:

Until next week,
Jack

Spreading the Word, Part Two

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Spreading the Word

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Details for May 1 Book Launch Party in NYC

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