Now, I want to start by saying I am not a drug user. I've seen what drugs can do. Friends have told me about life changing ideas and levels of understanding reached through drug use. I have also unfortunately seen the worst of what they can do to people and families, everything from apathy to death.
I hate drugs. Kickstarter is a drug. I love Kickstarter.
This love/hate relation with Kickstarter has been my greatest joy (family aside) and largest stressor (family included) in my life. Depending on the day, the word "Kickstarter" makes me swell with pride or hang my head and moan.
Is it my fault? Yes. Many drug users blame the drug; I will not.
On October 20, 2013 my 30-day Kickstarter campaign ended with just over $16,000 raised for a $5,000 goal. I was ecstatic! Friends and family were telling me how proud they were. At parties everyone had questions and wanted to chat.
At this point the book was "done." I had written and revised many times. I joined a writing group and slowly vetted it through biweekly meeting. After about a year with the group my manuscript had been torn apart and sewn back together with a gentle hand. I felt like I was ready.
After my campaign was funded, but before it ended, I was approached via email by Naren Aryal and Josh Patrick from Mascot Books. Their business is what I've now come to know as "partner publishing." For a fee they would help edit, add illustration, provide guidance, and ultimately publish. The price was fair and I was excited to work with people who had experience and expertise in the publishing field. I also knew this would allow me to give my backers a far superior product than originally intended.
When this editing process brought us to the third act of my story, I knew something had to change. My original manuscript had a passive action-less ending where Dewey stood at a neighboring building watching everything (he set up) happen. On May 7, about a month after my daughter was born, I posted an update saying that I would be taking extra time to rewrite the third act. This was my most liked update, but it was probably because of the picture of my daughter. She's a cutie!
Unknown to me at the time, but a few days earlier my cousin was arrested in Honduras on false charges of gun smuggling for 5 weapons that were properly permitted and declared. My life was on pause trying to ring every bell to get him free again and it worked. Another day I'll tell this story, but for now I'll post some links in the comments.
Between a newborn, a tough year teaching, a Kickstarter campaign, and a family member held captive in one of the most corrupt counties, I was going crazy.
By October of 2014 the updated draft was submitted. The time since then has been focused on editing, artwork, and layout. This was a SLOW process that included highlights of seeing my cover artwork and final layouts, but was also full of long periods of waiting on updates from Mascot Books. Similarly, my backers were waiting for updates.
I try and always look at issues through as many different lenses as possible. Everyone at Mascot Books has been pleasant, excited, skilled, and very helpful. I think the main reason that these edits took so long was because I took so long. This was a year after my Kickstarter was funded and I started working with Mascot Books. I learned a valuable lesson. In business, but also in life, exhibit what you need others to exhibit. Don't expect kindness if you're mean, punctuality if you're late, or attentiveness if a full year has past. I know this, now.
This has been a long process, but has yielded an AWESOME book! My Kickstarter backers were given a PDF version as a preview and the response has been exhilarating. I wrote this story for others, for others to become fluent readers through an action-packed page-turner. For others to explore learning in a curiosity-based, hands-on way never knowing the outcome and learning along the journey. For others to see that anything is possible (If this idiot can do it, I can do it.)
Just because the book is at the printer, it doesn't mean my campaign is done, far from it. I'm still on the clock and there is still a lot of work to be completed. I wanted to write this as my first blog post so others can have a more full idea of what my Kickstarter journey has been. There have been highs and lows, just like any drug. In the butchered words of Hunter S. Thompson, "I hate to advocate drugs, but they've always worked for me."