Note: The Cookbook Project is still in development. Accordingly, reader feedback is also fluent. Originally posted on Sunday, January 20, 2013, this post has
been updated to reflect further questions and answers, as well as
to clarify those already posted.
Whether you’re a long-time friend or an infrequent visitor to Frankly, My Dear… you’re probably aware that I’m trying to raise funds to publish THE UNEMPLOYMENT COOKBOOK, SECOND EDITION.
With less than
two one week s left for this Project to fund, I’m trying hard to not spam every inbox, every Facebook and twitter post, and every social media friend I have. But since New Inklings Press (my home-based company) doesn’t have a marketing budget, the only advertising I have is Word of Mouth… and it starts with me.
I’ve also taken to direct marketing: I’ve asked many of my family and friends to share this post and the Kickstarter link with their family, friends, coworkers, and garbage-picker-uppers. I’ve noticed an increase in views during those sprees and my faith in a mass media blitz is solid! [*Feel free to join the fun… share this Link, support the Project, spread the Word!]
I’ve been able to respond to a few questions, but I realized that most of you may not know what this entire project is and how it works. So I’d like to take this Post and tell you all about it.
(Q) What is THE UNEMPLOYMENT COOKBOOK?
(A) THE UNEMPLOYMENT COOKBOOK is a collection of recipes for eating abundantly on a frugal income. These recipes were either created in my own kitchen, or handed down from my Mother’s. I wanted to feed my family healthy and hearty dishes, or sometimes just a fun snack, that didn’t cost much and would allow us to change it up.
(Q) Who is the primary audience for this Cookbook?
(A) Anyone! College students. Children moving away from home for the first time. Large families on a frugal food budget. People who live alone. They’re great for travelers and campers. They make great gifts for clients of realtors, house-sitters, Grandparents and Grandchildren. Don’t know how to cook? These recipes are easy. Love being in the kitchen? Change them up and make them your own.
Let me put it another way… Who’s this Cookbook for? You. And everyone you know.
(Q) What kind of recipes are they?
(A) These are quick and easy recipes, made with everyday ingredients. There’s no hard-to-find or expensive touches… unless you choose to change them up. These recipes are also not “one size fits all”. Not every household has the same tastes, or the same food budget. You’ll find that some of these recipes can be altered significantly (for instance, substitute tuna for chicken in my Potato Chip Casserole), or served in various forms (my Slow Cooker Ratatouille also makes a great veggie pizza topping). There’s even a “Notes” section with each recipe, so you can turn it into your own family favorite.
(Q) What makes the Second Edition different from the First?
(A) After producing the First Edition, typos and minor mistakes were discovered (Hey, I’m a one-person company, and by the time I was done proofreading it for the umpteenth time, I couldn’t even tell you my own name). These have been corrected. Additions include more recipes, new food quotes (including one from Casey Reinhardt, owner of Casey’s Cupcakes), and more pages in the back for you to add your own family favorites.
(Q) What are some of the new recipes?
(A) Well, I don’t want to give anything away, but each of the five categories (Soups & Slow Cooker Recipes, Casseroles & Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Desserts & Drinks, and That Extra Touch) will have at least two new additions. Adobo, Tuna Burgers, Cup o’ Tea, and Potatoes with Egg Gravy are just a few on the list!
(Q) If this is the Second Edition, is the First Edition still available?
(A) Thankfully, no. After working diligently on the recipes and formatting the Cookbook, only 100 copies of the First Edition were printed. Within the first week, nearly half were sold. Some were given away to family and friends. And of course, I kept the first one myself. The last in-stock item was sold last week. Now I’m trying to raise funds to print 500 or more copies of the Second Edition. This is where Kickstarter comes in.
(Q) I know you’re trying hard to get funded by February 1st. Can’t I just wait until after then and order my copy at New Inklings Press?
(A) As much as I’d love to say yes, if this Project doesn’t fund by February 1st, I won’t be able to publish any Second Editions. This is sort of a now-or-never venture. Without getting fully funded through Kickstarter, there won’t be any more Cookbooks… at least not for a very long while.
This is the video I made for the Kickstarter campaign… please remember, I’m a much better writer than I am a videographer. Just sayin’….
(Q) What is Kickstarter?
(A) Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform. That’s a fancy way of saying fundraiser. Remember those school kids from down the street that knock on your door each autumn selling chocolates and wrapping paper? It’s like that. You choose the product you want, you pay for it, and part of the proceeds help the school. In this case, the “school” is New Inklings Press and the product is based on the amount you pledge.
(Q) What are the basics of any Kickstarter project?
(A) Simple. Kickstarter is an easy way for any creative project to receive the funding it needs to be completed. The artist/writer/creator (“Project Creator”) first comes up with an idea and a reasonable budget. The Project Creator then starts up a Kickstarter Campaign with that goal, and a time frame. Different projects offer Backers (supporters) different “rewards”. For instance, anyone can pledge as little as $1 to any project. Depending on the Project, you may not receive any tangible reward, but your help is nonetheless appreciated. With THE UNEMPLOYMENT COOKBOOK, tangible rewards begin at the $8 level and increase up to $125. You can pledge more than the Reward amount, too.
(Q) How do I “back” this Project, and how does pledging work?
(A) Just go to the Kickstarter campaign (the link is through the Cookbook Cover photo at the bottom of this post) and click “BACK THIS PROJECT”. You can pledge any amount, $1 or more. Choose your Reward and pledge accordingly. Whatever you pledge, the amount won’t be processed unless the Project is fully funded at the end of the Campaign. If it doesn’t fund by the end, your pledge is null and void. If the Project funds with several days left, your pledge still won’t be processed until the end. PLEDGE NOW. PAY LATER.
(Q) If I pledge $15 for a Cookbook, but you don’t reach your goal, what happens?
(A) Nothing. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing campaign. The goal for THE UNEMPLOYMENT COOKBOOK, SECOND EDITION, is $5,000 and ends at 5:00 p.m. PST on Friday, February 1st. It’s a “pledge now – pay later” gig. So if you pledge any amount now, you won’t actually be charged unless I reach $5,000 or more in total pledges before the end of the Campaign. Even then, you won’t be charged until it’s over.
(Q) I pledged a certain amount, but now I need to change it. Is that allowed?
(A) Certainly. For various reasons, people opt to increase or decrease their pledge. That’s okay! And hey, things happen. If you need to cancel your pledge, it’s understandable.
(Q) How can I order more than one Cookbook through Kickstarter without making more than one pledge?
(A) That’s the fun part! Because pledges can be any amount over the Reward level, Backers can contribute more than the minimum. Let’s say you want five autographed copies of the Cookbook. That Reward is for pledges of $25 or more. Just pledge $125 for “The Hearty Helping” Reward, and send me a note that you want five copies.
[A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO MANIFEE REALTOR PAUL WILKINSON FOR THIS! HE PRE-ORDERED TEN COPIES TO GIVE OUT AS HOUSEWARMING GIFTS TO HIS NEW HOME BUYERS!]
(Q) Okay. So now I get it. You’re trying to get us to pay for the printing for you. Why can’t you do it yourself?
(A) That’s true, but it’s not true. The cost of producing the Cookbook is expensive. Even though the only color photos are the front and back cover, printing itself is a little pricey. When you pledge $15 or more, you’re pre-ordering your own copy of the Cookbook, including shipping charges. Don’t think of it as paying my business expenses. Think of it as ordering a great tool to help you stretch your food budget while still allowing you to be creative in your own kitchen.
(Q) If you’re fully funded or overfunded, what will you do with all that money? $5,000 is a lot of money for selling the Cookbook at only $15 each.
(A) Yes, $5,000 is a lot of money. First up, I’m fully committed to giving back to my community. I know what it’s like to be unemployed and not able to make ends meet. I will donate at least 10% to local funds that help families in need. People need more than good wishes. They need food, shelter, clothing, medicines, as well as needs I can’t even comprehend. I want to pay it forward and help those who could use a helping hand (At least $500).
Next, Kickstarter charges a processing fee for using their platform, and Amazon collects a small amount, too. These amount to just about 8% of the total funding. If this Project funds at exactly $5,000, that’s approximately $400.
There are production costs to consider. The Second Edition requires its own ISBN and bar code. For each Cookbook sold, I need to allow for publishing and shipping costs. Shipping costs include not only postage but shipping envelopes, labels, and postage as well.
There are standard business expenses to take care of. My goal is to have some inventory available to sell at local Flea Markets and Book Fairs. Finally, this will also help me run a small production of my next project as well.
(Q) When you spell it out that way, it doesn’t seem too profitable. So why do it?
(A) Because this is about more than a Cookbook. This is about helping families in the kitchen, and being proactive as a Writer.
(Q) Why does this Cookbook Project mean so much to you?
(A) Because I’ve lived in, and still struggle with, poverty. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy life. My wallet size has minimal effect on the joy I find in the world around me. I want to share this foundation with anyone who wants it. I find such joy while being creative in the kitchen and cooking for others. I love sharing my Meal Plans and Cooking Tips.
I’ve also poured my heart and soul into this Project. As a writer, an editor, a cook. It’s so important to me that others will see in it what I do: more than recipes. A means to help themselves have a more enjoyable eating experience, regardless of how big their family or how small their wallet.
It’s not just about getting published, it’s about helping other people feed their families. It’s about helping people who I know are struggling. I’ve been there done that, and this is a really big deal for me.
(Q) You’ve convinced me. How can I help?
(A) I’m so glad you asked! First, you can pre-order your own copy through my Kickstarter campaign (the link is at the bottom of this post). This is the only marketing I’m doing for the Second Edition. Second, share this post! Since the only advertising I have is Word of Mouth, I need your help in getting the word out! Tell your family, friends, co-workers. Share it on your own social media sites. Email it to your long lost cousins. Just help me get the word out.
And thank you. Thank you for asking the hard questions. Thank you for sharing this post. And thank you for supporting this Project.
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!