Apr 02

My book is here! On sale NOW

It’s been a long time coming but I now have copies of  Still. A Bedtime Book for Adults in my hands and ready for selling.

Written by me and illustrated by Nebraska folk artist Deborah Gregg (who happens to be my mom!) this is a short book of poetry, essays, and stories for the inner child in all of us, meant to help us wind down as we go to bed each night. 60 pages with 24 full-page illustrations. Hardcover with linen cloth finish and foil stamp title.

I have a limited number of copies that are now available for sale.

The book is also available on Amazon. Warning -  it’s a bit more expensive there since selling on Amazon takes quite a hefty chunk in fees. So if you have a Paypal account (or if you have any credit card you can use it to safely pay through Paypal), then your best deal is to buy from me directly while I have the inventory here to sell.

If you’re interested in buying a copy from me they are $15.99 plus $5.05 shipping to anywhere in the U.S. (Priority Mail with Tracking/Insurance) Just send me an email at brigdale@gmail.com letting me know you’d like a book and I can send you a PayPal invoice and I will get it right out to you!

A huge thanks to everyone who participated in my Indiegogo fundraiser to help make this book happen. You should have all received your books and perks by now, if anyone has not, please contact me and we’ll track down your package or replace it for you.

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Feb 28

Make Art from Vintage Book Pages

(oh dear, i’m totally in the reflection, whoops.)

 

 

This art made from the pages of an old book was another of the perks for my Indiegogo fundraising campaign.  I’d never made one myself before, only admired the work of other people. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this is a fun fast and easy project.

 

Step 1: Gather your supplies.

You will need

A glue pen (or your choice of paper-friendly glue), paper, scissors, pages from an old book (the older and more yellowed, the better) and a frame. It’s so hard to cut up a book and I’m a big believer that you should never waste a perfectly good book ever! I found an old middle-school paperback that was badly water damaged to the point that it was not acceptable to give away.

 

 

Step 2. Plan your art. 

It can be anything! Simple works best though. It needs to be something you can cut out cleanly, and something that will be easily recognizable even with words printed across it.

 

Step 3: Cut out pieces.

For me, it worked best to just decide how big my general pieces were going to be, and to cut them out freehand. Trying to sketch them out on the page and then cut them out exactly felt like it was making the process harder than it is. The most important thing is that you cut really smooth edges and very rounded curves — once you paste these pieces on bright white paper, every little cutting mistake will show up.

Before you cut, look at the page and think about how the direction of the words or the spaces on the page may look best with your shape. Or if there are any drawings in your book like there were in mine, think how it’s best to use them! (I decided on using a drawing for big impact on one larger piece.) It also helps to read the text on the page before you cut into it. You don’t want a sex scene in the middle of your picture. Or maybe you do. I’m just saying to make an informed decision.

 

It feels so naughty to cut a book!

 

Step 4: Arrange them to see how they will look.

I generally arranged my pieces in the shape of my picture on top of the frame, inside the matted area, to get an idea of what it would look like. I decided it was going to be a little boring so I cut out a little bee that wasn’t in my original plan.

 

Step 5: Glue them down.

Start with gluing down anything that will be in the background and work your way forward. Flower stems go behind flowers, tree trunks go behind leaves, and houses go behind their windows, etc. Use a VERY small amount of glue on each piece. It should be barely smudged on there, just enough to make the piece sticky with no excess glue that will squish out the sides when you push it against the paper.

Step 6: Allow to dry.

The glue needs to be 100% dry before hanging it. I recommend drying the picture under something heavy and flat like a a big book, to keep all the pieces flat and firmly against the paper as they dry.

Step 6: Frame and hang! 

You’ll definitely want this framed behind glass to keep the papers from ever curling up or coming off. Plus it makes it look *super* classy.

 

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Feb 20

5 Crowd-funding Tips that Nobody Tells You

Donations on my Indiegogo campaign for my book Still.

 

Last January I ran a successful Indiegogo campaign to crowd-fund a book that I wrote and my mom illustrated. Before launching my campaign, I did extensive research about the crowd-funding process by

1. Googling lots of search terms like “How to run a successful crowd-funding campaign”

2. Talking with friends and colleagues who had run successful campaigns themselves, and

3. I was also lucky enough to have a long phone conversation with the head of marketing at Indiegogo, who allowed me to pick his brain and geek out on crowd-funding stats and charts with him.

There are some really helpful resources out there to get you started including these tips from the CEO of Indiegogo. But here are 5 things about crowd-funding that I had to learn myself.

1. Be realistic about what kind of project you have: viral or non-viral.

Viral projects are selling a product that the public may want to buy or representing a cause that the public may want to support, regardless of whether or not they know anything about you. These are the campaigns that are pre-selling an invention or spreading the word about a buzz-worthy cause.

Non-viral projects are not going to be appealing to people who don’t know you. These are the campaigns funding things like first novels, trips to Europe, music videos for your up-and-coming band, etc.

You may have 50,000 Twitter followers and still have a non-viral campaign, if it’s the kind of thing that only your 50,000 Twitter followers are going to care about.

Be brutally honest with yourself about which of these two categories your project falls into, and know that IT’S OKAY if your project falls into the non-viral category. But you do need to adjust your marketing and expectations accordingly.

For a potentially viral campaign, you’ll want to blast your pitch link out to as many people as possible in whatever way you can. Friends and family are a great starting point, but you want strangers finding and sharing your campaign on a mass scale. It’s all about getting as many eyes as possible on your campaign, where your pitch should speak for itself.

For a non-viral campaign it’s more personal. Don’t waste lots of energy on looking for press or blasting out your campaign to complete strangers. For a non-viral type campaign, even if you were able to get a million  strangers to see your pitch page, there’s a good chance that nearly zero percent of those views would convert into a donation. Instead of focusing on massive numbers of strangers seeing your campaign, you need to focus on being genuine, appealing and persistent with the people who know you or are in your direct networks, to convert as many of those people into donators as possible, with the highest donation amount possible.

2. Set a very forgiving delivery date range for non-time sensitive products/ideas.

And be prepared to refund donations for missing deadlines on tech/gadget products.

I learned the hard way that there were many more delays in the world of self-publishing than I had allowed for, and ended up delivering my product well past my expected delivery date.*  People were mostly understanding, but I did receive a few concerned or even nasty emails from disappointed supporters. I felt horrible to disappoint people and the whole thing got a little stressful in the final weeks as I waited for my books to arrive so I could send them out.  So leave yourself much more room for delays and hiccups than you think you’ll need.

However, if your campaign is about funding any kind of technology, gadget, or any item or service that’s time sensitive, you better do plenty of research about when you can guarantee your product will be delivered and stick to it. No matter what, even if that means losing money.  Many of the most exciting tech campaigns are exciting because they are groundbreaking in some way and people are supporting you in order to be the first to have your product. If you deliver a late product after the market has been flooded with similar items, you’ll (sadly) deserve the grumblings and bad press that you’ll  get, and ultimately you may be better off refunding contributions rather than burning permanent bridges with investors.

3. Get a realistic idea of how much you can expect to raise.

This is a rule of thumb that I came up with by combining several other rules of thumbs:  Figure an average donation of $70 per supporter, with a participation rate of 50% percent of your personal friends/family, 10% of your acquaintances, and 1% of your outside networks (Twitter followers and Facebook friends who you don’t know, etc) This is just a rough guide but should help you get an idea of the ballpark range you can hope to raise.

4. Don’t be shy about promoting, but also don’t be entitled.

Even though I felt like I totally saturated my networks with asking for donations, there were still several friends who approached me after the campaign was over saying they had not seen it and felt left out. Think about the different avenues that people may prefer to be contacted: of course there’s Facebook and Twitter but also don’t discount direct personal emails and even phone calls. It’s more work to contact people that way, and it hurts more to get rejected directly, but crowd-funding is just not a place to be shy and fearful.

However, and this is really important – do a gut check before you send out any plea for donations. Do you expect this person to donate? Do you feel you deserve it, or that people should donate to you automatically?

You are not entitled to anybody’s money.

The number of successful crowd-funding campaigns we see all around us has made it seem easy. Seems like all we need to do is make a pitch page and tell people about it, and the dollars will come rolling in. But that’s not how it is. Your friends and family are getting hit up for money ten times a day and money is tight for many people. If the answer to your plea for money, among all the other pleas for money,  is no:  be gracious. If the answer is yes: be incredibly grateful, no matter how small the amount.

5. Prepare your loved ones for the fact that you WILL become obsessed with your campaign for the duration of it, no matter what you do.

Running a crowd-funding campaign is exciting and fun and addictive.  Every other part of your life will get less attention until the campaign is over, no matter how much you swear it won’t be that way.

 

Enjoy it!  :  )

 

*at the time of publishing this blog I am waiting for my books to come in the mail from the publisher so I can ship them out to my patient donators. Any. day. now. 

 

 

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