Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 3, 2012.

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I, Kyle Scheele, have written a book. It's pretty good. You should buy it.

********************************UPDATES*****************************

5/21/12 - The first draft of the cover has been designed! Check it out and leave your feedback by clicking the "Updates" tab above!

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5/18/12 - Wow! 250% funded in the first two weeks. Two weeks left to go! Don't forget to check out the updates tab to stay informed on the cover design and other cool stuff! Oh, and if I haven't said it enough... THANK YOU GUYS!

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5/11/12 - Just over a week since I launched the project and we're already over 222% funded. Every time I think it's going to slow down, you guys keep blowing me away. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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5/9/12 - My two year old son Wesley put together a few graphics to help the project. Check out the updates section to see them!

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5/7/12 - You guys keep blowing me away! 155% funded in three and a half days! I love you guys. Can't wait to see where this thing ends up by the end!

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5/6/12 - BONUS! As a way of saying THANKS for your amazing help this far, I went ahead and uploaded the first SIX CHAPTERS of the book. Check it out below!

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5/4/12 - WOW! 110% funded in the first 24 hours. You guys are amazing. I have no words. Let's keep this crazy train rolling! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey Kickstarter!

A few years ago I read this book by Donald Miller, one of my all-time favorite authors. The book was called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and it's basically about how Don learned the principles of what make good stories good, and then he applied those to his life, to make his LIFE tell a better story.

I fell in love with this book, but also with the idea of life as story. And the thing  I began to realize, as someone who works with teenagers, is that this idea goes against everything we normally use to try and motivate young people.

We spend so much time talking about things like making positive choices and avoiding destructive decisions. And those are good things, I guess, but they don't guarantee a meaningful life. And a part of me worries that by spending so much time saying “Don't do this, Don't do this, Don't do this”, we are going to end up with a generation of young people who have been taught to define their lives by what they DON'T do.

I don't do drugs.

I don't drink alcohol.

I don't have sex.

Okay, great! But what DO you do? What value or meaning have you added to the world by being here? Whose life have you changed? What's your STORY?

I started filtering my thoughts through the idea of story, and I started encouraging teenagers to live better ones. I began to say all of the things I had WANTED to say all along, about how money isn't going to make you happy, how there is more to life than what college you went to or what job you got afterwards. I began to tell students that staying away from drugs and alcohol is a great STARTING POINT, but it's what they DO that will define them, not what they DON'T do.

I started traveling around the country encouraging students not to think of their lives as a series of good or bad choices that lead to success or failure, but to think of their lives as stories, and to consider what kind of stories they want their lives to tell.. I encouraged students to stop defining themselves by what they haven't done, by what pitfalls they've miraculously managed to avoid... but rather to live lives that are defined by action, by adventure and accomplishment and meaning.

I've given this talk to thousands of teenagers across the country, and the response has been incredible. But every time I leave an event, I feel like, “Man, I just gave an hour-long speech, but I could talk about this for days.” I just never leave feeling like I've said all that I wished I could say.

So I decided to write a book. It's called We Put a Man on the Moon, and it's basically an expanded version of the talk I've been giving, but with all of the other things I wanted to say added in.

On a broad scale, it's about the idea that life is more than what we've been told it is, that so many of the things we've been told about success and good choices aren't true, that so many of the limits that have been placed in our lives are not real, they don't exist. It's a book about goals, about hard work and sacrifice. It's about living a full life, a life at capacity. It's about all of the things I wish someone would've told me when I was in high school. Ultimately, it's about living a great story.

Throughout the book I've sprinkled a TON of my own stories, stories about prank-calling the white house, about the time I convinced someone that I was color blind for three days, about getting kicked out of a Taco Bell for wearing a toga. All sorts of true things that have happened to me.

But in order for me to get these stories out there, to get this thing out into the world, I need your help. I need to pay an editor and a designer, I need to have someone format the book for print, I need to get the initial copies printed and mailed. And all of that costs a lot of money. I've put a ton of my own time and money into it, but I'm here to ask you to help me raise the last bit.

There are a couple different ways you can help. You can get a digital copy of the book for $5, an actual copy made from dead trees for $15, or multiple copies of the book at varying prices with special bonuses listed on the side over there.

If you pledge anything at all, as a way of saying thanks for your help we're actually going to put your name IN the book.There's going to be a special place in the book where I thank all of the people who contributed to help get this thing off the ground. So you can show all your friends how much cooler you are than they are because your name is in this book and theirs isn't. Unless they contributed too, in which case you’ll have to go show someone else.

The more books you buy, the better the bonuses get. So if you buy five copies I will call you and tell you a joke. If you buy ten copies I will hand write a portion of the book on some special paper, put it in a frame, and send it to you. If you buy twenty-five copies I will write you a letter every week for a year. If you buy one hundred copies I will call you and read the whole book out loud to you over the course of several evenings. And if you buy 250 copies of the book I will fly to your house and do a reading and then make pancakes for everyone.

You can read an excerpt from the book here, so you can have confidence that I am not illiterate or a terrible writer or making this whole thing up. Thank you guys so much for helping me, for being a part of this story.

I couldn't do it without you.

Email me: kyle@kylescheele.com

Hit me up on twitter: twitter.com/kylescheele

FAQ

  • The title comes from a passage at the end of chapter 3 which talks about the fact that people used to do cool stuff and live great stories, but now we just watch stuff on television.

    We used to send people to the moon, now we send satellites into space so we can get better cell phone coverage.

    That one passage sort of sums up the message of the whole book, which is that you can either DO great things or you can WATCH great things on TV, but you probably won't have enough time for both.

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  • That's totally cool! Just pledge whatever the number of books is x $15, and then select the highest reward that you qualify for. So if you want 12 books, pledge $180 and select the $150 reward. That way you'll get that reward, but I'll also put the extra books in when I ship everything out.

    Make sense?

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  • The $1000 goal was put in place because it was honestly about as much as I thought I could raise in 30 days. The actual cost of getting the book out there is higher than that, but I figured I would just have to find a way to cover the rest myself. You guys completely blew my expectations out of the water in the first 24 hours of the project and showed me that I never should have underestimated you!

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  • Like I said, the actual cost of producing the initial print run is more than $1000. That was the lowest amount I could put where I could still fulfill the rewards (even though it would take chipping in my own cash). The extra money coming in now will be used to increase the quality of the final product, to produce a bigger initial print run, and to help with a few extra bonuses for supporters. Don't stop now, guys!

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    12 backers

    ONES AND ZEROS! Five bucks or more gets you a digital pdf copy of the final book and a high-five the next time I see you, unless I am carrying something, in which case it will be the next time I see you when I am not carrying something.

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    90 backers

    DEAD TREES! The digital copy, plus a physical copy of the book, which I will sign. Unless you want it unsigned, you weirdo. (Add $5 for international shipping)

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    2 backers

    CINCO DE LIBRO! Five copies of the book, plus I will call you up and tell you a joke. And if you want, I'll answer any questions you have about the book. (Add $10 for international shipping)

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    4 backers

    TWO SHORT OF A DOZEN! Ten copies of the book, plus the phone call, plus I will hand-write your favorite portion of the book on some fancy sort of paper, then I'll sign it and send it to you in a nifty frame. (Add $15 for international shipping)

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  • Pledge $375 or more
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    1 backer Limited (6 left of 7)

    PEN PALS! 25 copies of the book, plus the phone call and the handwritten passage, PLUS I will write you a letter every week for a year. Unless you get all stalkerish on me, in which case I will write you a restraining order and then cease contact indefinitely. (Add $25 for international shipping)

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  • Pledge $1,500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    NOBODY WILL BUY THIS ONE! 100 copies of the book, so you can give one out every week for almost two years. Because it's that good, people. Plus the phone call and the handwritten passage and the pen pal thing, PLUS I will call you and read the whole book to you over the phone over the course of several evenings, and we can chat in between chapters. (Contact me about international shipping)

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  • Pledge $3,750 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    250 copies of the book, plus the phone call/handwritten passage/pen pal/book display, PLUS I will come to your house (continental US only) and do a reading for you and your friends, and your 250 copies of the book will have a special limited-edition cover with a picture of us at the reading.

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Funding period

- (29 days)