Augusten Burroughs meets Alison Bechdel with some Jake Gyllenhaal on the side.
Sunny has written the book. Now we need YOUR help to print paperbacks and distribute it on cross-country tour of indie bookstores.
Beauty Tips for the Bereaved is the hilarious coming-of-age story of a young woman born to generations of poverty, who overcomes depression, a cutthroat custody battle, and her father's decline from hepatitis C to emerge triumphant.
Part postmodern fiction, part survival guide for those who find themselves possessing a life that just won't obey the laws of gravity. For the girl who has worried about her beauty regimen in a mental hospital or the dude who has been pooped on by a hobo. For survivalist new agers, online daters, fans of circus mice, and anyone who has ever driven past a trailer park and thought, "... but for the grace of God..."
You'll laugh out loud on every page and be charmed by Sunny's gorgeous illustrations throughout.
Sunny is a new voice in American fiction. Read the Preview Copy, and you will agree. Already well-known as the creator of RubyPearl dresses and as the designer of the original red dress that inspired the Traveling Red Dress, the women's empowerment movement created by author/blogger Jenny Lawson, a.k.a., the Bloggess.
She has hidden the depth of her gifts as a storyteller and illustrator until now. Avid followers of her blog already enjoy her rich and fevered prose, swept by flights of fancy and wrenched by the sort of stories that grow in the rich loam of a truly colorful background.
We will print the paperbacks, then drive to independent bookstores from Austin to Denver, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Madison, Chicago, Nashville, and finally back home! We'll be stocking bookstores and giving readings all along the way. Ride along with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, podcasts, Vine, and whatever else the young people are doing these days.
Funders will receive, of course, the book, but we are also offering a variety of Sunny's wares...
the POSTER (see above),
signed & numbered PRINTS of Sunny's illustrations for the book,
STUFFED ANIMALS handmade by Sunny, and,
Ruby Pearl children's DRESSES
At the higher funding levels, you can also purchase...
original ART by Sunny, and
original ART by her father, Max Haralson
Her book is fiction, not memoir, but Max was such a powerful character that he inhabits its pages with his name and larger-than-life personality intact.
There are also some fun, silly things you can get with your funding dollars:
Sunny will write your OKCupid profile for you, or,
your very own walk-on scene in the book, for a mere $10,000.**********************************************
DON'T FORGET TO GO READ THE PREVIEW COPY. IT'S FREE!
------------Here is the BUDGET------------
Print the books: 8000
Art Prints: 2000
Time & materials for dresses & stuffed animals: 500
Gas money, driving 5 hours/day for 20 days: 1000
Hotels for 10 nights @ $80/night inc. tax: 800
Food @ $200/week for three weeks: 600
Rental car @ $275/week for 4 weeks: 1100
Gussy up budget: 400
Gifts for people we stay with = $20 x 5: 100
FEES & MISC
Kickstarter's Fee = 5%: 775
Amazon's Fee = 5%: 775
Just-in-case money: 450
TOTAL = $17,500
JUNE 25 KINDLE DEBUT of the complete text of the book
JULY 12 Our BOOK TOUR launches west from Austin to NM, CO, UT, NV, CA, OR. What bookstores and libraries should we drop into for readings and book signings? Let us know!
JULY 15 The book is printed! Keep an eye on your mailbox!
JULY 22 PORTLAND, HO! We'll be visiting independent bookstores and libraries in Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest for two weeks.
AUG 6 Our BOOK TOUR heads back home through WA, MT, ND, MN, WI, IL, IN, KY, TN, AR, and, finally, the Lone Star State once again.
AUG 15 AUSTIN HOMECOMING PARTY! Details TBD.
THEN WHAT? Well, it kind of depends on you. We'd like to print a hardcover and go on an east coast tour also. The more funding we get, the closer we can get to those goals.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
There is no risk that the book won't be finished because it already is. There is no risk that the artwork won't be finished because it is already made.
The dresses and stuffed animals will have to be made and we have given a realistic timeline for getting those items sent. Sunny is very experienced in making dresses and stuffed animals and knows how long each will take, even en masse. Of course, if we die before the end of the year, there is a possibility that some of these items will not be produced.
All in all, this is an extremely low-risk opportunity for you and
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! WE LOVE YOU!
The money is for printing about 1000 books and going on a book tour. You can look at all the details in the "BUDGET" section of the page.
Well, printing the books will cost about $8000, give or take. Mostly give... it's expensive. The tour will be in a mid-sized sedan that we're renting and we'll be staying with friends and camping some along the way, but we need the funds to stay in hotels sometimes too. Again, check out the "BUDGET" section for a breakdown. You'll see that it's not very extravagant at all.
And, last but not least, Kickstarter and Amazon shave 10% off the top, so we have to budget for that too.
Hi there. Kayte here. People seem a little confused about what my role in the book is. So, here's the story: about two years ago, my friend of 15 years, Paula J. Smith, sent me the manuscript of a book by her childhood friend, Sunny Haralson. "This is really good," Paula said, adding, "I think you could do something with it." I promptly did... nothing with it. Which is what I always do with other-people's work, because I am self-centered and ungrateful, I guess.
Anyway, in October, around my birthday, I was trying to clear files off my inadequate and bitchy hard drive and I came across this enormous Word document called "Beauty Tips." Hunh? What the hell is THAT? I opened it up and started reading, totally confused. It was... wow. It was really good. I kept reading, and reading. At some point in the middle of the night I was like, OH YEAH. This is that manuscript that Paula sent me. I was up until 7am finishing it----laughing, crying, I couldn't stop.
The book was about her crazy family, and her divorce, and, especially, about her dad, who was in the very long process of dying from hepatitis C. The book was gory, grueling in parts, so difficult, but I was laughing out loud into the 3am quiet the whole time. Sunny's writing is so funny.
I didn't want to lose a minute because I knew THIS BOOK was THE ANSWER to my dream of becoming a real publisher of real books. Old school. Like Ben Franklin. Right away, I emailed Sunny, who I'd never spoken to because she's so glamorous and fashiony. I remembered Paula mentioning that Sunny might already have a publisher or something like that, so I was really reluctant to make myself look like a jackass to this woman who was famous for being gorgeous and who probably had a million more famous friends who could do a better job with it.
Delightfully and quite to the contrary, a gracious Sunny emailed me and agreed to get together as soon as we could. A day later, we sat down together at Upper Crust Bakery and hit it off like gangbusters. Nothing had been happening with the book recently, she told me. She looked a little wan, but still very glamorous, in a pretty dress and giant sunglasses, carrying a big, flashy bag. She was so funny, and smart, and so incredibly not stuck up. She was interested in getting the book published and was interested in moving forward. With me.
We got so excited, we talked for hours and hours, until the bakery closed and the sun was going down. Our phones died and we sat there without even picking them up, talking and talking and just one more thing-ing into the evening.
When she got home, Sunny finally checked her phone. It turns out that, while we were sitting there talking, her father had passed away. She sent me a one-line email to let me know, saying that she was still interested, but she'd be off the grid for a while.
We stayed in touch, hanging out as friends, chatting about the book for months, but it wasn't until she one day sent me another huge Word document that I realized that she'd actually been rewriting the entire book, including telling the story of what was going on in her life the day that I contacted her, the day before her father died, and what she had been living through ever since.
The draft I first read was good, but this new book is a home run. It's deep, honestly. It's stylistically brave. It's smart and plays with form and structure so deftly. I'm so proud to be publishing it.
So, what is it that I'm doing for the book? Well, I'm giving Sunny moral support, including moving her into my house to make sure the project would happen. I'm editing the book, which is something that any editors out there will understand. The book is about 400 pages, so this is no small task. It was my idea to embrace the fictional elements that she was nervous about and move away from her concern with getting the "real" story right, because not only is that not ever possible, it's also not better than Sunny's bright imagination. Because I am in love with semi-illustrated books and graphic novels, I begged her to illustrate the book, after finding out, casually one day after she moved in, that she is a world-class artist. I'm laying out and designing the book and doing the stuff that involves "file formats" and "cloud computing." And I'm running the business end----the PR, the Kickstarter, Kindle, ISBN numbers and bar codes, and book trim sizes, and paper stock, and so on.
You should really read the book. Wait till you hear what was happening to Sunny at the moment she got my first email. And what happened next.
Sunny has written, rewritten, won awards for, rewritten again, set aside, given up on, and finally rewritten again this book for the past six years. The book is fiction, although inspired by Sunny's life. It tells the story of a family through three generations. It is the coming-of-age story of a girl growing up in poverty, a teenager struggling with mental illness, and a woman finally finding her place in the world.