Note: This post was originally written on Sunday, January 20, 2013, then updated for a previous Kickstarter Campaign. Because there are new backers for the current project [June 4 – July 4, 2013], I’m once again posting this information to reflect further questions and answers, as well as to clarify those already posted.
I call it
The Kickstarter pre-order (and RE-order) Campaign!
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 more copies of THE UNEMPLOYMENT COOKBOOK COLLECTION.
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 here.
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 some 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 most 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) Did you really come up with these recipes yourself, and do you really cook them in your own kitchen?
(A) Yes and Yes! Actually I can take credit for only some of the original recipes. The rest are what I call “heritage” recipes from my mother’s kitchen. She taught me how to eat well on a budget. I cook regularly for my family and friends, and most often I use these recipes because they are so delicious and hearty.
(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 22 new recipes, different 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. There are also two identical pages of measurement conversions: one to keep in the book, another to tear out for easy reference.
(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) I don’t have any copies at this time, but if this Kickstarter Campaign succeeds, then I will have as many as are ordered, plus extras to be available for local book fairs and craft shows.
(Q) I already have my Cookbook. Why order another?
(A) I’ve heard from many people who have given their copies away to college-aged children moving out for the first time, or loaning it to a friend. This is your chance to only get the Edition you don’t yet have, but to order a set for those around you as well.
(Q) Will you offer a digital (eBook) copy of either Cookbook?
(A) Not for a while. The formatting for cookbooks is far different than a regular book when it comes to digital books. And since I’m definitely not that talented in the computer coding department, it’s best for me to stick to the regular old-fashioned hard-copy renditions.
(Q) What other Projects are you working on, and how are they affected by this Project?
(A) Thanks for asking! I always have several writing projects in the works. If this Kickstarter Campaign succeeds, I will have enough funds to not only order and ship each Pledge Reward within a month of receiving the funds from Amazon, but I’ll also have inventory for local events, as well as funds for a starter set of my next Project. My “Big Project” is a series of fantasy-based novels I’m writing with my very talented cowriter, Megan Holbrook. Those books are not affected by this Project in any manner.
(Q) How can I stay informed with this and other Projects?
(A) Simply subscribe to both my Blog and the monthly email newsletter. To subscribe to the Blog (receive emails each day there’s a new post or other new content), simply add your email address in the SUBSCRIPTION box in the column to the top right of this post. To subscribe to the monthly email, CLICK HERE and you’ll be taken to the sign up link. All you need is an email address, but I hope you’ll also leave your name. I love knowing who my peeps are!
Q) I know you’re trying hard to get funded by July 4th. 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 July 4th, I’ll still have a small inventory of the Second Edition, but there are no more First Editions in print. So this is sort of a now-or-never venture. Without getting fully funded through Kickstarter, there won’t be any more Cookbooks for a 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 for a smaller donation, but your help is nonetheless appreciated. With THE UNEMPLOYMENT COOKBOOK COLLECTION tangible rewards begin at the $15 level and increase up to $30. 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 Collection photo at the bottom of this post) and click “BACK THIS PROJECT”. You can pledge $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 COLLECTION is $2,000 and ends at 7:15 p.m. PST on Thursday, July 4th. It’s a “pledge now – pay later” gig. So if you pledge any amount now, you won’t actually be charged unless I reach $2,000 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 copies of the First Edition Cookbook. That Reward is for pledges of $15 or more. Just pledge $75 and send me a note that you want five copies.
(Q) What if I want to “mix and match” my order? Say, five First Editions and three Second Editions?
(A) Simply message me through Kickstarter before you make your pledge, and I’ll let you know the total and which Pledge Reward to select when Backing the Project.
(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 very own copy of the Cookbook including production costs, shipping supplies, and handling 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?
(A) First, 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 to 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.
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 $2,000, that’s approximately $160.
There are standard business expenses to take care of and the aforementioned production costs. My goal is to have some inventory available to sell at local Flea Markets and Book Fair. Finally, this will also help me run a small production of my next project.
(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 getting my name out there as a Writer.
(Q) Why does this Cookbook Project mean so much to you?
(A) Because I’ve lived in poverty yet still 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 order your own copy through my Kickstarter campaign (the link is at the bottom of this post). 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. Please and thank you.
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!
Help me to reach my funding goal before July 4th!
Just click on the photo below and click “BACK THIS PROJECT” to pre-order
The Unemployment Cookbook Collection!