Having a new baby is an exciting time, full of unlimited possibilities. But what happens to those parents or expectant parents who are faced with raising a child with special needs; specifically Down Syndrome? You might feel as though suddenly the future is full of limitations and enormous challenges you do not feel equipped to handle.
I know because I’ve been there. The moment I learned our youngest daughter was born with Down Syndrome, I felt the world closing in around me. As the doctor spoke, I could hear nothing but my heart beating and felt a whirlwind of emotions; panic for her immediate health issues, fear over what this diagnosis meant for her future, and grief over losing the vision I had of what she was going to be.
Years have now passed, and when I look back, I wish I had known what a remarkable person our daughter would become. I want all new and expectant parents of Down Syndrome children to know that it is going to be alright. Your child wants you to know this too. I wrote this book to try to convey some of the most basic lessons my daughter has taught me, in the hopes that it calms the fears and offers parents moment of heart-warming perspective. It’s going to be alright.
The planned book will be 5" x 8", available through amazon.com and other online sources, as well as for sale at indy bookstores throughout the region I live in. I would like to use the funds raised here through kickstarter to help me promote the book, throughout the U.S. by reaching out to the many Down Syndrome support and advocacy groups. The money will help me purchase final copies of the book, and pay for shipping costs to these groups.
The book will be 66 pages, with a full color, glossy cover, and the inside will feature B&W illustrations on every spread. I am using createspace.com to publish the book, and will also use a small portion of the funds raised here to purchase my ISBN and set up distribution. All the work of writing and illustration will be done by me. The writing portion is complete (and I have some talented friends who are professional editors helping with this pro bono) and the illustration portion is nearing completion. All files are expected to be completed and ready for press at the end of January 2013. This should allow me to have a shipable product in-hand by early Spring.
Should this project exceed funding needs, the distribution to Down Syndrome non-profit organizations will be expanded and could reach out to clinics and medical specialists offices as well.
I remember the many books we received as new parents of a special needs child being depressing and lacking sensitivity and comforting hope for our child's future. I hope to change that by using my skills and knowledge to offer a vision of hope.
My background and a designer and illustrator (for 20+ years) has given me the skill-set to create this book, and my experience as a parent has given me the desire and passion for this project.
Risks and challenges
Since I'm going at this alone, I guess if this fails to happen, it's because I fail. I won't fail. I have wanted to be an illustrator and make a book since I was a child. It's time!
Why do print?
Why not just make an electronic book and be done?
Well, I don't believe print is dead. I believe a book is a piece of art, like a painting or sculpture. I want to create something tangible; not a computer file. This will also be available as an e-book, but I would just prefer to do a hardcopy, "traditional" book to begin with, as this is how I envision sharing the illustrations. And often times this book would be shared in a hospital or clinic setting, where the availability to access e-books may very well be limited.
What if there's no audience?
Sure. Maybe this is a niche title, and doesn't have the wide audience of other books for new parents, but I believe with all of my heart that there is a place and need for this book. Searching for the audience is what I intend to do with your help...and hopefully I will find them.
- (30 days)