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An illustrated version of "Yesterday was Weird..." Benny's viral post about his own death, and the love that conquered it.
An illustrated version of "Yesterday was Weird..." Benny's viral post about his own death, and the love that conquered it.
An illustrated version of "Yesterday was Weird..." Benny's viral post about his own death, and the love that conquered it.
577 backers pledged $34,317 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Yesterday Was Weird: The Death & Life of a Dog Named Benny.

$34,317

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WHAT IT IS:
"Yesterday Was Weird…" is an illustrated hardcover book about the complex and often devastating emotions experienced with the loss of a pet.  The book is based upon blog post I wrote, told through the voice of Benny, on the day of his passing.  The post, which went viral within 24 hours, has been read more than 100 million times and shared via major news outlets including the Today show, Good Housekeeping and many others.  The last three months have been an astounding journey.  From the outset, people asked me to write a book, and now, with your help, we will be able to do just that.  We'll be able to continue to share Benny’s story with world and help everyone who has loved and lost a pet understand that beyond the grief, there is everlasting love and companionship.

The goal of this campaign is to create the First Edition of a beautiful, full-color, illustrated hardcover version of "Yesterday Was Weird..."

A BIT ABOUT BENNY:
My Name is John, I'm a professional musician based in Austin, TX... but You Probably Know Me as "Benny's Person."

Happy Together
Happy Together

He was born on January 29th, 2007. I met him when he was 5 days old. He came home with me when he was 8 weeks old. We went through everything together - relationships came and went, we nearly lost the house to foreclosure, my father passed away, and Benny never lost his basic, boundless happiness.

Strut
Strut

He collapsed in the park in early November, 2015, and through extensive (and expensive) vet diagnosis, he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, and cancer.  We were managing his heart condition, but the cancer wore down his kidneys.  On January 28th, 2016, just one day shy of his ninth birthday, I had to give him the ultimate help, to deliver him from his bodily struggles, and put him to sleep.  It crushed me.  I couldn't imagine my life without him, but there I was.  Alone.I sat down and started writing.  "Yesterday was weird.  I couldn't get myself out of bed..."  It was all I could do to fight back the pain, and the rest of the story just flowed out.  If you haven't read it yet, here it is:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/benny-pointer/yesterday-was-weird/766375600160863

I love you so much...
I love you so much...

The next day, on what would have been his birthday, it had already been shared over 10,000 times. It reached 100,000 shares by the 5th day. In the first two weeks, it had been read by around 20 million people.  Good Housekeeping shared it.  Then Ashton Kutcher, George Takei, and Young Money.  The Today Show wrote a piece about it.  Fox news sent out a reporter (click here to watch).

Right from the outset, people started asking me to turn it into a book.  Several artists have already sent ideas on how to illustrate it.  Take a look:

Andrea Gianchiglia
Andrea Gianchiglia
Cheryl Manon
Cheryl Manon
Ann Cook
Ann Cook

We've got the story, we've got the printer lined up, and we've got illustrators interested.  I even made a rubber cast of Benny's paw print to use as a stamp so he could "sign" some of the books for you.  The last step is the funding.  That's all it'll take to make this happen.  We can pull this first printing out of the ether, and into the world!  We can make a version of the story to have and to hold, and to share with friends when they need it most.  
Like any kickstarter, you can choose the best reward for you. Whether you just want to preorder your copies, have your name printed in the book, get a poster-sized version of the cover art, or even come to Austin and get a guided tour of some of Benny's favorite places, I've tried to offer enough options for you to find something that's the perfect fit for you.

I am so glad that his story resonates with so many people.  I'm really amazed, and I truly hope it continues to connect us.  I love it, and I'm sure Benny would, too.

Thanks again.  I really appreciate your support, can't wait to hold one of these in my hand, and really look forward to sending yours, too!

PROJECT DETAILS:
The campaign will run from April 28th, 2016 through May 28th, 2016.  During that time, I'll select the artist who will illustrate the story, and focus on creating the approximately 60 images I believe the story requires.  We'll send the files to the printer in June, and should have the books back in July.  I will ship them to you in August.  The electronic versions of the book will be emailed as soon as the files are sent to print in June.  The books will be hardcover, full-color storybooks that measure 8 1/5" wide by 11" high - basically the exact same size and quality as Shel Silverstein's, "The Giving Tree."

This budget will cover printing the first 1000 books, plus the kickstarter fees, plus other miscellaneous expenses, possibly including the hiring of help to pack and ship the rewards.

The early birds can get the hand-stamped copies, with Benny's pawprint in them, as well as my signature.  If the artist who does the illustrations lives nearby, they will sign some of the books as well.

The shirts will be high quality cotton tees, with Benny's Super B image on the chest.  He is everyone's inner superhero, and you should feel empowered to go out into the world and love fearlessly!

B is for Badass!
B is for Badass!

The posters will be high-quality prints with an approximate dimension of 12" by 17", an enlargement of the book's cover.  The limited edition screen prints will be larger, up to 24" tall.

FAQ:

  • All of the books will be hardcover, full-color throughout, illustrated storybooks.  My wording was ambiguous in some of the rewards.  There is basically only one book, the only difference being whether it's signed or not.
  • Regarding signing:  Any book above the "Pay It Forward Preorder" which is labeled as hand-stamped with Benny's pawprint, will also be signed by his person upon request.  I can see the value of each way - Only the pawprint of the "narrator" or both the narrator and the author signing it.  It's up to you.
  • When the Campaign ends, I will reach out to get your shipping information and your preference as to whether I sign, Benny stamps, or both, if applicable.  

Risks and challenges

The text os done, and I've selected the printers for the book, tee shirt, poster, and screen print. I budgeted for packaging, postage, transaction fees, and even the 10% of pledges that will bounce when Kickstarter tries to charge them. I'll keep a close eye on these to make sure everyone who wants a book, gets a book.

All that's left is to work with an illustrator to create the images, and lay out the pages. That's just a final decision and a question of time, more than a risk.

Now that we've funded, that risk is gone. At this point, the only other question is how big will this campaign get? And *that* is a really exciting question to ask!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    "I gotcha, buddy. I gotcha..."

    Help cover the not-so-sexy things like copyrighting and trademarking, hiring an illustrator, building a website, serving Benny's community on Facebook, etc.

    Get my eternal gratitude, and a shout-out on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook page.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    "I will never leave your side. You know that."

    Help cover the not-so-sexy things like copyrighting and trademarking, hiring an illustrator, building a website, serving Benny's community on Facebook, etc.

    Get my eternal gratitude, a shout-out on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook page, and a copy of the e-book in pdf format.

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    11 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Get on the B-Team with your very own tee shirt!

    Benny is everyone's inner superhero, the soothing kindness, the unshakeable faith, the root of all things good.

    With the Super B emblazoned on your chest, you have the power to go out into the world, and love in a boundless, fearless way.

    And you'll get a shout-out on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, and a copy of the e-book in pdf format! The e-book will get to you before the tee shirt does...

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    "Posted proof..."

    Help cover the not-so-sexy things like copyrighting and trademarking, hiring an illustrator, building a website, serving Benny's community on Facebook, etc.

    Get my eternal gratitude, a shout-out on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook page, a copy of the e-book in pdf format, and a high-quality poster print of the cover art, suitable for framing.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    "To have and to hold..."

    Pre-order a copy of the hardcover storybook, with a color cover, and about 60 original color illustrations.

    And you'll get a shout-out on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, and a copy of the e-book in pdf format! The e-book will get to you before the physical book...

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    "Pawprints on your heart..."

    Pre-order a copy of the hardcover storybook, with a color cover, and about 60 original color illustrations, hand-stamped with Benny's paw print.

    Plus a shout-out on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, and a copy of the e-book in pdf format!

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    Limited 81 backers
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    "Pawprints Plus..."

    Pre-order a copy of the hardcover storybook, with a color cover, and about 60 original color illustrations, hand-stamped with Benny's paw print, and signed by his person.

    Plus a shout-out on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, and a copy of the e-book in pdf format, and a copy of the e-book in pdf format!

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    "Two-fer..."

    Pre-order a copy of the hardcover storybook, with a color cover, and about 60 original color illustrations, hand-stamped with Benny's paw print, and a Super B shirt.

    Plus a shout-out on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, and a copy of the e-book in pdf format!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    "Pay it Forward pre-order..."

    Two copies of the book with color hardcover, and color illustrations. One hand-stamped with Benny's paw print, and one extra to give to a friend, or leave somewhere as a random act of kindness - in a coffee shop, or anywhere you think people would stumble across it.

    These spares are meant to float from one place to another, like dandelion seeds, landing wherever they're needed, whenever they're needed most. Let us know at bennypointer.com where you leave yours, write your name in the back, and we'll watch where they go over time!

    Plus the e-shoutouts and e-book!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    "Triple Crown 1..."

    Three copies of the hardcover book, all hand-stamped with Benny's pawprint, and your name on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, and a copy of the e-book.

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    28 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    "Triple Crown 2..."

    Two copies of the hardcover book, hand-stamped with Benny's pawprint, a Super B shirt, your name on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, and a copy of the e-book!

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    "Triple Crown 3..."

    One copy of the hardcover book, hand-stamped with Benny's pawprint, a Super B shirt, a poster, your name on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, and a copy of the e-book!

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    11 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    "Pay it Forward Package..."

    Your name on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, plus four (4) hardcover copies of the book with color cover, and color illustrations!

    One (1) hand-stamped with Benny's paw print, three (3) to leave somewhere as a random act of kindness, or a gift.

    These spares are ideally meant to float from one place to another, like dandelion seeds, landing wherever they're needed, whenever they're needed most. Let us know on BennyPointer.com where you leave them, write your name in the back, and we'll watch where they go over time!

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Your name on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, four copies of the hardcover book, all hand-stamped with Benny's pawprint, a Super B shirt, a poster, and a copy of the e-book!

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    "Screen Print Package..."

    Your name on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, and...

    Three hardcover, full-color copies of the book, with Benny's paw print, as well as a limited-edition, screen-printed poster of the cover art, also with Benny's paw print!

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    "Big love 1..."

    Your name on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, along with ten copies of the hardcover book, all hand-stamped with Benny's pawprint.

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    4 backers
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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    "Big love 2..."

    Your name on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, along with eight copies of the hardcover book, one hand-stamped with Benny's pawprint, with a Super B shirt, a poster, and a copy of the e-book!

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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    "Be a Genuine Jay..."

    Jay was one of Benny's favorite people (and still is one of mine). Get five copies of the hardcover book, stamped with Benny's paw print, a Super B shirt, a poster, and get your name (or your favorite pet's name) listed in the book on a special recognitions page, as well as your name on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page, and a copy of the e-book.

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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    "Become one of Benny's Better Angels..."

    Get your name on BennyPointer.com as one of Benny's Better Angels, as well as ten copies of the hardcover book, stamped with Benny's paw print, and get your name (or your favorite pet's name) printed in the book on a special recognitions page, as well as a copy of the e-book!

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    NEW REWARD!!! "Andrea is Awesome!!!"

    Andrea Gianchiglia (http://agillustration.com), who did the stunningly realistic and beautiful pencil drawing of Benny, has volunteered a 9x12 color pastel painting of your favorite pet photo, for the **one person** who claims this reward!

    You'll also get 10 copies of the book, signed and stamped with Benny's paw print, a Super B shirt, and get your name (or your favorite pet's name) printed in the book on a special recognitions page, as well as a copy of the e-book!

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  21. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Get all of the Bennyfits:

    - Your name on BennyPointer.com and his Facebook Page
    - Your name (or your favorite person or pet) listed individually in the credits
    - Ten copies of the hardcover, color book, with Benny's paw print
    - One of the limited edition screen printed posters
    - A Super B shirt and...

    Come join me in Austin for a day and night of visiting some of Benny's favorite places. We'll have lunch at Opa's, happy hour at Curra's, dinner at Botticelli's, and wrap it all up at One 2 One Bar for some live music, where they held the Bennyfit on December 14th. We'll have a great time, and you'll get to meet a lot of the people who knew and loved Benny.

    This will have to work around our respective schedules. Travel and lodging are not included, but I will cover your meals and entertainment during the visit! We can schedule it as early as September!

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Funding period

- (30 days)