The Cumulation of a Year’s Work: 26 pictures for 26 letters
This weekend, John will finish “z” for Zigzag, Oregon. Now, what can we do with this collection of art? Both of us want to see it turned into a board book for children. The only other ABC book about Oregon is “B is for Beaver,” which is a full-sized book about the origins of the Oregon flag. So we are still breaking new ground.
There are a couple plans. Talk to Department of Fish and Wildlife, Travel Oregon, and Made in Oregon to ask them what form they think it would sell in. And would they pick up that line if we made it? Would they license the images from John?
Self-publishing does not look like an option because the industry is, delicately put, not what it was. But there are other considerations. John has gotten pre-orders on the book. He has gotten pre-orders for T-shirts. We made six images into cards, and they are selling well in the two shops that bought a batch each: Atomic Boys in West Seattle and Broadway Books in Portland. Both shops say they are doing actually better than expected. Not ready to re-order yet, but sometime.
This is where Kickstarter comes in. We are going to put the Oregon picture series on Kickstarter in two parts. One proposal will be for the book. Self-publishing a die-cut book is prohibitively EXpensive, but are some self-publishing options that might work for us. Die-cut would do this book such justice: the covers in the shape of Oregon, and if we could get really fancy, each page cut out, at least for two sides, of each image. The tactlessness of it would be appealing to children.
The other Kickstarter proposal would be to continue making note cards, prints, calendars, and T-shirts. We would like to know what else people would like from this series? Should we print all the images? Or just half of them? What other forms would you like to see the art in? That will help us with the backer rewards.
That is the upshot of Kickstarer and other crowdfunding platforms. People can shop for art, swag, stories, movies, theater and music. It is the next eBay and Etsy. And those of us who won’t get a loan from the bank or get an angel investor (not sure if I would want that anyway), this gives us a chance to have folks who just like what we do help us – and they get something sweet out of it. It is more egalitarian. It let a broad base of people decide what art and entertainment they want, not just a few from the upper echelons.
The downside is promotion. Sure, the products should sell themselves, but still have to get the word out. Working on that. Follow me on Twitter! @WalchyOne