Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Past Medical History II

It’s time for an update.

2013 started off with every indication of being a banner year for art here at the DS Art Studio. In 2012 I was only able to scratch out 3 – count ’em, three – new drawings, and I wanted the New Year to be different. And so it was; by the end of February I had already doubled last year’s tally, polishing off six new medical pieces that would edge me closer to finishing a long-delayed picture book, and laying out two new larger designs that would be great money-makers for the winter holiday season.

Then I got tangled up in a bunch of short stories. An earlier post tells the gritty details. For now, let’s just say I have written enough stories to fill a book, and decided to try and get that book published.

Turns out, it’s not so easy. And after learning as much as I can about this confusing, capricious, multifaceted and multilayered industry, we’ve decided that if Past Medical History is going to get published at all, we’re going to have to do it ourselves.
We’ve been down this road before. 

Several years ago we crowd-sourced the funding for a coffee table book, a collection of drawings from my first twenty years in the studio. That project allowed us to take an idea that we pasted together from Word documents and Scotch tape, and turn it into a reality.

It also gave us the experience of trusting our art customers to support us in a risky undertaking – and that trust paid off. We were able to take our book to press, and our supporters received the first copies of what became a very successful commercial effort.

(Strangely enough, publishers and book dealers actually told us not to do it. They said we were wasting our time, and we would never sell enough of the books to cover our expenses. But we didn't listen – and when the picture book sold out, we reissued it last year in a new paperback edition.)

Well we’re not listening this time, either.  We figure if this process worked so well for a book of pictures, it will work for a book of stories, too – especially when the stories tell where the pictures came from. Only now, we’re not expecting our art customers to do all the heavy lifting. We’re going to tell everybody we know, and a whole bunch of people we never even met.

This time around, we’re planning to partner with Indiegogo to raise the money we’ll need to publish our book.

We’re not quite ready to pull the trigger on our fundraising campaign yet, but everything should come together in another week or two. 

Right now we’re putting the finishing touches on the video we will use to introduce the book project to potential donors. We've collected all the footage, gathered all the images, and even have a terrific musical soundtrack, courtesy of our friends from the band Stegosaurus.

Once the video is complete, we’ll kick off our crowdsourcing campaign, giving everyone the chance to get an advance, first-edition copy of the book – and even have their name included in the Acknowledgements.

For now, though, it’s back to the drawing board, er, editing room. Don't worry, I will start drawing pictures again one of these days. One day real soon. I’m sure of it.

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