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There is one woman who inspires Tesa Brand, a community volunteer and aspiring publicist from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Washington, the star of ABC’s Scandal, is an education advocate and avid reader. For her birthday last January, Washington started a campaign to provide books for kids in need by raising money through First Book. So when Tesa decided that she wanted to celebrate the woman who “inspires her every day,” starting a campaign through First Book in her honor was the obvious choice.
Not so obvious was the amazing response Tesa’s campaign would receive. In just two weeks the campaign exceeded its goal and received donations from all over the world.
Using her network of fellow Kerry Washington fans, or “Kerracters” as they call themselves, Tesa took to Twitter and promoted the campaign. From there, the campaign took off and Tesa could hardly believe the amount of support it received.
In total, Tesa’s campaign raised $4,000 to help spread the joy of reading. Through First Book campaigns, Tesa was able to identify and direct the funds raised to help specific schools and programs. To further honor her hero, Tesa chose three schools and programs that are near and dear to Kerry’s heart, including the Boys and Girls Club that Kerry attended as a child.
For Tesa, it is all about paying it forward and ensuring that kids have the same resources and opportunities she had.
“I loved going to the library. The days we got to go to the library in school were my favorite days,” she says. “Books really are the key to everything in life.”
Whether you’re an aspiring publicist with a love for libraries or a movie star with a passion for storytelling, you can make a huge impact in your community or across the country by starting a First Book campaign today.
You’ve got a great fundraising idea. You have a goal. You’re excited to provide books and resources for kids in need.
First Book Campaigns makes starting an individual or group campaign easier than ever. Follow these four steps and become a champion for children in need today!
Create Your Campaign – Start by going to firstbook.fundly.com and signing up using your personal email or Facebook account. Give your campaign a name and a goal then follow the easy to use campaign creation wizard.
Customize Your Page – Make your campaign stand out! Tell your story and encourage potential donors to give to your campaign. Present facts and statistics about the need for books and resources for kids. Ask directly for donations in specific amounts. Share photos and images. And of course, don’t forget to thank your donors.
Designate Your Funds – Your campaign can support any eligible school or program serving kids in need. All you need to do is verify that the school or program is eligible, be sure the school or program signs up with First Book and then complete the online designation form. The funds raised can also provide books and resources to wherever the need is greatest.
Promote Your Campaign – Spread the word about your campaign. Reach out to friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances using social media, email, flyers and even good old-fashioned word of mouth.
It’s a rare occasion that you can use words like sweet, thoughtful, and gentle to describe a science fiction superhero story taking place in a brutal, dystopian urban battleground, but thanks to Sophie Campbell’s Shadoweyes from Iron Circus Comics, that day has arrived. Set in a cluttered and decaying city of the future, Dranac, Campbell introduces […]
You have the power to change a child’s life by doing what you love.
By hosting First Book campaigns, hundreds of people have provided books and resources to children in need.
They’ve asked friend and family to make donations to their campaign instead of purchasing birthday gifts. Others have thrown block parties or hosted reading celebrations in their local libraries to raise funds. Two mighty champions are tackling over 2,000 miles of hiking trails, hoping to put a book in a child’s hand for each mile they complete.
And when they reach their fundraising goals, great things happen. Schools are able to stock their libraries. Summer programs have books for their students to read while school is out. Kids are introduced to stories that will stay with them for a lifetime.
Comics publishing has hit a bit of a slowdown, as I've noted a few times, and Kickstarter seems to be picking up the slack for a lot of publishers. Comicker's Dave Acampo wrote a piece looking at this is mostly about his own Kickstarter for Comicker, but has some general observations and a pie chart of where the money goes prepared by Comicker publisher Sean Williams:
When Vanessa Cadena entered the library at Bret Harte Middle School this school year, she knew she had a big job ahead of her.
It was Vanessa’s first year at the school and the library had not been updated in almost twenty years. Full of damaged and outdated books, Vanessa saw the reluctance on the kids’ faces when they left the library with books they didn’t want to read.
“It was a space that was defined by a vast collection of outdated and tattered books, technology and furniture. It begged to be pumped with vitality again,” said Vanessa, the Library Media Specialist for the school.
To create the library her students needed, Vanessa needed some help. She started a First Book Fundly campaign with the goal to raise $1,000 to invigorate the shelves. She reached out to the PTA at both her school and the elementary schools whose students would be attending Bret Harte in the future. She spread the word via social media, faculty, friends, the local public library and the closest books hop. She even enlisted the help of an intern to pass out flyers promoting the campaign.
When she not only met, but exceeded her goal, Vanessa was ecstatic – and so were her 7th and 8th graders. With the money raised, Vanessa was able to add 350 books to her library. This year alone she has purchased 1,000 brand-new books from First Book to revitalize the collection.
It’s made an immense difference in the reading habits of her middle schoolers.
Now, Vanessa has “regulars.” She can’t keep fiction and graphic novels in stock and students race to library to see her new arrival section. When the kids take home a book, they usually finish it by the next day.
“Kids are excited to read,” Vanessa explains. “The teachers have told me this is the first year they could send their students to the library and every single student comes out with a book – and it’s a book they are reading and excited about.”
I received a nice note asking me to promote this Kickstarter for aComic Book Convention Survival Guide by Kyle Rose and Matthew Bernard. The Comic Book Convention Survival Guide combines years of convention expertise into one convenient location where it can be shared with the world. It will ensure that our readers become well informed […]
Crowdfunding isn’t a new idea, but we haven’t spent much time discussing it here at Pub Crawl– and I think it’s becoming increasingly relevant to writers today who have more options than ever to publish their work.
Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have been around for more than seven years, and by far have become the best known way to finance projects and products by appealing directly to the consumers who want them. In comparison to the old standby of PayPal donations, and its many limitations and hassles, if enough people are interested in your Kickstarter project, you will raise enough money to hopefully deliver on your promises. But if you don’t have enough support, your proposed project usually goes away quietly.
Many authors have successfully used Kickstarter to self-publish books, using the funding to hire editors, proofreaders and artists; distribute them in print and electronic forms, and even market them. Considering one of the largest hurdles for self-published writers is spending the money to make their books as polished and professional as traditionally published books (or perhaps even more so), this is a fascinating and exciting way to get work out to readers, as well as promote books before they’re released.
Slightly newer to the scene is Patreon, which has quickly become “the world’s largest crowdfunding site for artists and creators” since it was established in 2013. In a nutshell, Patreon allows people to provide ongoing support to an individual–not necessarily for a particular project–through a monthly commitment of as little as $1. As implied by its name, it’s evoking the old patron model of enabling creative work, while offering supporters incentives like exclusive content, early access, and sometimes even a voice in what work gets produced.
(Another site that has recently appeared is called ko-fi, basically an online tip jar that lets fans buy you a cup of coffee with the click of a button, perhaps more as a sign of appreciation than a viable, continuous income stream.)
Essentially, what all these crowdfunding services offer is a way for fans to buy time for creators to make more of the thing they enjoy, and let them know their work is valued and in demand. As a writer with a job and a toddler, a sink full of dishes and piles of dirty laundry, I often must be picky about what projects I sign up for and prioritize the paying work — contracted books and stories — over the shiny ideas I want to play with, or the unpaid blogging I might want to do. So getting “paid” by patrons to write a fun short story that I may not be able to sell (or the novel I may not be able to sell, yikes) has a certain appeal. My friend N.K. Jemisin recently launched a Patreon that will allow her to quit her day job, the dream of many a writer, so far attracting more than $3800 in less than a week as of this writing.
The simple fact is most writers can probably produce more if they only had more time, and 40+ hours a week is a lot of time.
If I ever did a Patreon or something similar, I suspect it would be to raise funds for a babysitter so I can write more and do more events.
As more writers I know create Patreons with a wide range of success, I’ve been thinking more about this phenomenon. (Interestingly, as far as I can tell, not many YA writers have embraced Patreon, but it seems to be gaining popularity in the science fiction and fantasy community, of which I am also a part.) The truth is, I personally have a difficult time separating the idea of crowdfunding from charity, even though intellectually I know that people are buying something they want or rewarding you for something only you can provide. Part of me also imagines this as creating yet another array of deadlines and expectations and obligation to your supporters, who are basically making an investment in you and your work. You have more time, but on some level you’re also more accountable, potentially to dozens if not hundreds of people. How much do you ultimately owe them for helping make it possible?
But I am also aware that one of my hangups is the fear that I won’t get much support, or that I’ll be “competing” with all the other Patreon creators out there for the same dollars. Who needs an additional metric for comparing their own success to that of others? And before you remind me that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, and that writing and publishing isn’t really a competition, allow me to suggest that this isn’t an entirely irrational consideration. I think a solid fan base is essential to a successful Kickstarter and Patreon, so your newer writers, less published writers, and debut writers probably won’t benefit from them as much — or at all.
What do you think about crowdfunding creative efforts? Have you supported any Kickstarter or Patreon campaigns? What would get you to donate your money to support a writer beyond buying their published work?
Podcorn Podcast co-host Brandon Montclare was an early adopter of the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. Through it, he and artist Amy Reeder successfully funded two books, Halloween Eve and Rocket Girl! This week, Brandon and I sit down to talk about the platform and discuss how to market your campaign, how to engage with your audience, […]
We lost another one yesterday. David Harper of the oft-linked to and discussed Sktchd sitecalled it quits after a year of think pieces, surveys, podcasts and charts. He'll continue doing his podcast after a break for the warm Alaskan summer, but those long investigations are a thing of the past. The reasons were the usual: burnout from writing about what you love.
But if you need some convincing, please read on...
“Mesmerizing . . . a true portrait of an artist as a young Black man . . . already visible in these pages are the wit, sensitivity, penetration, playfulness and the incandescent intelligence that will characterize Delany and his extraordinary work.”
—Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
“This is a tremendously significant and vital addition to the oeuvre of Samuel Delany; it clarifies questions not only of the writer’s process, but also his development—to see, in his juvenilia, traces that take full form in his novels—is literally breathtaking.”
—Matthew Cheney, author of Blood: Stories
“These journals give us the very rare experience of being able to watch genius escaping from the chrysalis.”
—Jo Walton, author of Among Others
As my blurb in the publicity materials shows, I've read volume 1, which covers the years 1957-1969. It's great. It shows us the very young Delany, it offers juvenilia and drafts that have never been public before, it shows his reading and writing and thinking during the period where he went from being a precocious kid to a professional writer. It's thoughtfully, sensitively edited, and is being published by the academic press that has been most devoted to Delany for a few decades now. It's a revelatory book.
Volume 2 will be even more exciting, I expect. Ken plans for it to begin with Dhalgren material and then to continue through the 1970s, which would mean it includes material related to Trouble on Triton, Tales of Nevèrÿon, and, depending on how he edits it, Hogg, Neveryóna, Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, and others. It will also show how deeply connected Delany's nonfiction is to his fiction, and will show the development of his engagement with critical theory. Additionally, there's lots of material in the 1970s journals about his first experiences as a university teacher.
I'm just back from spending a few days at the Delany archive at Boston University, and I've looked through a few of the 1970s journals. They're truly thrilling for anybody interested not only in Delany the writer, but in the writing and thinking process in general. They're especially interesting for those of us who think that after 1969, Delany's work only got more brilliant. They are working journals, not really diaries as we generally think of them, and they clarify a lot of questions of when particular things were written, and why, and how. That makes them, if nothing else, of immense scholarly value. But they've also got material in them that just flat-out makes for good reading.
The work of editing them is ... daunting. This is why Kenneth James deserves your donations. (Wesleyan University Press is great, but they've got limited funding themselves. These books are not going to sell millions of copies, not because people don't love Delany's work, but because there's a small market for this sort of publication.) Ken probably knows Delany's work as well as anybody on the planet other than (perhaps) SRD himself. As a Cornell undergraduate, he interviewed Delany in 1986 — an interview deemed substantial enough to be included in Silent Interviews. Later, he wrote the introductions to Longer Views and 1984: Selected Letters. He organized the SUNY Buffalo conference on Delany, the first international conference on SRD's work, and guest-edited the volume of Annals of Scholarship that preserved some of the papers from that conference. He's written on various of Delany's books. He knows his stuff better than perhaps anybody else knows that stuff.
Ken is an independent scholar without a permanent university affiliation, which in this economic/academic structure means he has hardly any source of financial support for a project like this. He needs our support. Editing these journals is a full-time job if it's going to get done before the end of the century. The journals are handwritten, mostly in spiral ring notebooks. They're in various states of organization and disorganization. (The BU archivists are magnificent, and have done a great job of indexing and preserving the journals to the best of their ability, but these were working journals, not documents immediately designed for eternal preservation) And they are copious. In six hours of reading and notetaking yesterday, I made it through only a few months' worth of journals. Transcribing, editing, and annotating them will be a gargantuan task. Ken has already proved it is a task he is prepared for, a task he is capable of completing. I don't think I could do it. I know he can.
I could go on and on. Delany is one of the most important writers and thinkers of our time. The more I read, the more I delve into his archive, the more I believe this to be true. I've spent a decade studying his work and feel I'm only now beginning to move beyond a superficial appreciation of it.
If you liked Coraline, you'll probably like Calliope, a proposed stop motion film that's a collaborations bwteen the world of designer toys (Circus Posterus’ toy designers Kathie Olivas and Brandt Peters), stop-motion innovator and Annie Awards Special Achievement recipient Martin Meunier (Coraline) and filmmaker Jon Schnepp (The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened). It's currently being Kickstarted, and if it isn't quite a Halloween thing, it certainly fits in with the mood of the season.
A team of six creatives have launched an indiegogo campaign for a 96-page graphic novel entitled Beyond Lovecraft. They aim to raise $8,000.
The book will feature horror stories inspired by the fiction of H. P Lovecraft. Artist Rob Moran has signed on create the illustrations. Writer Jasper Bark has been enlisted to pen the story. We’ve embedded a video about the project above.
Here’s more from the campaign page: “The linking story is set in the apocalyptic aftermath of the return of the great god Cthulhu. The scattered band of humans that survive this catastrophe scratch a bare living, hiding in the shadows of what’s left of their civilisation. A tiny group of scientist from Miskatonic university find a way to access the fabled Library of the Yith. This is an alien archive that contains the entire history of the universe and was first mentioned in Lovecraft’s novella: ‘The Shadow Out of Time.'”
Well speak of the devil, here’s a new Kickstarter from the Locust Moon folks that plans to reprint some long lost early work by Will Eisner. The story of how it came to light is one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard: A collector outside Philly discovered 104 zinc plates engraved with work that […]
Irish cartoonist NHOJ (John Cullen) has been posting his Daily Comics for over 650 days at this point. They are often funny, sometimes poignant and always beautiful and entertaining. Here’s a look at his process. Fascinated by the kind of dedication such an effort takes, I asked NHOJ some questions about such topics as his […]
There's been a lot of tweeting and tumblring about the need for more diversity in comics. And now you can make comics more diverse! Here is a chance to actually support a project by African-American creators that deals frankly with racial issues from a non-white perspective. BLACK is a new kickstarter for a graphic novel written by Kwanza Osajyefo (aka Kwanza Johnson)and Tim Smith III with art by Jamal Igle with additional art by Khary Randolph. Former Vertigo editor Sarah Litt will oversee the production. The story is high concept: what if only black people could become superheroes? Let your mind wander over that.
The other day we mentioned that the hugely popular team behind Harley Quinn of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti had imposed a sensible signing limit for shows, which makes sense because they are two of the busiest people we know. For instance, Palmiotti is currently running Kickstarter — his ninth—for a standalone graphic novel in […]
There’s a lot of news about comics out there, so this is going to be a lot of column. • Faith #1 continues to be a huge hit for Valiant and is now in its FOURTH printing! The new printing hits on March 30th along with Faith #3. Here’s a cover gallery and some interiors. […]
Retrofit Comics has been putting out some of the finest small press comics of recent years and they’ve announced their Spring/Summer 2016 line with Leela Corman, Alabaster Pizzo, Kaeleigh Forsyth, James Kochalka, Paloma Dawkins, Eleanor Davis and Luke Howard so this season should be just as fantastic. They’re running a Kickstarter to pay for printing and artist […]