EDIT : We're in our last few days of the project, and our stretch goals have included magnets and coloring book pages (backer-only!). The details are in the Project Updates. Toss in a dollar to join us on our last few days of fun! :D
My six-year-old daughter and I are both in agreement: what's not to love about dragons? Every book is improved by them! And since Mommy loves to paint, I thought: what better notion than to write and paint a book to share with her? But then my friends wanted to know when they could have copies too. I guess we're not the only ones who love tiny dragons... in this case, tiny dragons who live in your hampers and sneak out while you're sleeping to play in your laundry room! Argyle Dragon, Paisley Dragon, Stripey and Chevron, they're all waiting for you to share the magic of reading with someone special.
There are some challenges involved in self-publishing a children's picture book, but with some number-crunching I concluded that I could do a small (5.5" by 8.5") 24-page (that's 12 pictures of adorable dragons, plus their facing rhymes) paperback and still keep the price affordable. But before the Laundry Dragons hit retailers, they need your help! We need to pay the book designer and cover the cost of painting and scanning and writing the book.
The Good News
...is that a lot of it is already done! All of the paintings are complete and some are already scanned. The cover's been painted and is in post-production now. The only thing left to do is finish the writing and then I get to pass it to the designer. You won't have long to wait before the Laundry Dragons hit the stands! We're estimating summer 2014 by the latest.
As you can see, we are going trim on prizes--that's to keep me from overrunning my budget by trying to offer too many adorable dragon tzotchkes. So if you donate some hot cocoa money, you get a wallpaper for your phone, tablet or computer. Most of the other prize levels involve copies of the book. Original art will be available for 12 backers, and for one very lucky person, $250 will get you a hand-crocheted Laundry Dragon of your own to go with the book!
If he proves too popular, I'll see if I can't get another made. I almost want to keep him myself. *grin*
E-Book Stretch Goal
A lot of you have asked for an e-book edition, which I haven't planned for because the children's book market is still dominated by print. This once, it's got to go in reverse order: the print edition has to get out, and the e-book is my luxury item! But for those of you who prefer to share your picture books on tablets (or keep them for yourself), I'm planning for an e-book stretch goal.
While I've published a lot of e-books, and even some with illustrations, I've never done a book this dependent on its illustrations. As such, I'm going to hand it off to an e-book designer who's more familiar with the standards for picture books, who might be able to take advantage of some of the format tricks to keep them looking awesome.
The stretch goal for the e-book edition is an additional $1500 (so a total of $3000). If we reach that, we'll unlock a $15 e-book edition prize level, and everyone who pledges at $15 or more will receive a copy (that includes all of you pledging for print editions).
Other Stretch Goals and Prizes
...are certainly possible, if the money mounts. And I'm always open to suggestions! Leave them in the comments and I'll investigate their feasibility! Keeping in mind that I have a Day Job while writing four novels a year (while also making sure the Daughter referenced above isn't reduced to wondering if she has a mother for how often she glimpses her).
So that's my pitch: adorable, tiny dragon picture book. Hop on board and I'll keep you updated as we head toward our retail launch!
Risks and challenges
To date, I have run seven successful Kickstarters, five of which were for books... so I've been around the block with this process, and I understand it fairly well. In fact, I even wrote a book about using Kickstarter (I recommend the audiobook edition, people seem to like the narration)! While I always learn something new about how to put on a better campaign, I feel comfortable with the process by now. Additionally, most of the work is already done. I just need the capital to finish the job.
At this point my only concerns are that I'll let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I don't want to over-do the painting, over-do the color-correction of the scans, over-do the scanning of the rhymes--this is a kid's book, not a literary magazine--or I'll get so caught up in making it exactly right that I won't actually make it at all.
So my vow here: to remember that my daughter will find it delightful even if I am obsessed with how I didn't stay perfectly in the lines and didn't catch it so I could clean it up with a white pen. She won't care (because tiny dragons!); I should learn from her. :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)