Crowdfunding your Writing Project

Last October, I launched a crowd funding campaign for my chapter book B in the World, the story of a gender nonconforming child and the challenges he faces exploring his female side.

Crowd funding can be a great tool for publishing your writing project. On the author side, it’s the equivalent of getting an advance from a traditional publisher. On the publisher side, it’s a way to get pre-orders and acquire funds for paying service providers up front.

But what does it take it make it work? Is it right for all book projects? And what are the downsides? If you’re thinking of crowd funding a book, I’m going to be posting some thoughts on my experience with the process from the perspective of one-year later, as well as general guidelines to keep in mind before you launch, and best practices if you proceed. Perhaps you’ll find something useful to help you decide if it’s the right move for your writing project.

Welcome B into the World!

B_COVER_websiteI’m thrilled to announce the publication of my chapter book,
“B in the World,”
the story of a boy who one day feels like wearing overalls and a flannel shirt and the next day wakes up wishing he could dress like his sister Patti-Anne.

The book has over a dozen full-color illustrations by Seattle designer Stephen Schlott and is available at selected independent bookstores, or online at Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

You can also order an autographed copy through B’s website, where I’ll also be posting about upcoming readings and progress that we make on our goal to partner with anti-bullying and gender diversity organizations nationwide.

A huge thank you to early supporters of this book and everyone who has been part of making it a reality!

“B in the World is a great book for the middle primary reader. It explores themes of inclusion and difference in a fun and readable way about a gender fluid child exploring his female side and struggling with what it means.” ~Tracy Flynn, Welcoming Schools, Human Rights Campaign Foundation

“As the parent of a gender non-conforming son, I am delighted to welcome B into our library and our family. B is a sweet, happy boy with a brave heart and the determination to live his truth. I give B an A!!”Pamela Privett, Parent

More Stories!

“Can I share a simple story about how B in the World has already had a positive impact? My middle son who is struggling at school was telling me how kids give him a hard time at lunch because he drinks water out of a Mario water bottle. He then shared that another student gets teased for having a pink water bottle just because he is a boy. He told the kid how it’s okay to like pink if he wants to. He was very upset that other kids were teasing him for that.”

“[Your book] sparked some nice conversation [at our book group]. One of our members has a now 14-year old son who loved wearing pink – and still does when he feels like it. He loves to dance and is quite talented as a dancer. He has been questioning his gender identity for years (actually, it might be his parents that have been questioning and it has been hard for them to not know where his predilections may take him.) Your story provides an important contribution in sharing a character who is simply himself and wishes to have this affirmed without rushing into categorizing.”

Gender Non-Conformity: Resources

The following is just a partial list of some resources for parents of gender nonconforming children. You might also want to download my list of fiction and nonfiction books for children that touch on gender diversity.

Gender Spectrum
(510) 788-4412
email: info@genderspectrum.org
genderspectrum.org

Gender Spectrum provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for all children and teens.

Welcoming Schools
Human Rights Campaign Foundation
(202) 628-4160
email: welcomingschools@hrc.org
welcomingschools.org

Welcoming Schools, a program of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Children, Youth and Families Program, is an LGBT-inclusive approach to addressing family diversity, gender stereotyping and bullying and name-calling in K-5 learning environments.

Gender Diversity
1-855-4GENDER
email: info@genderdiversity.org
genderdiversity.org

Gender Diversity increases the awareness and understanding of the wide range of gender variations in children, adolescents, and adults by providing family support, building community, increasing societal awareness, and improving the well-being for people of all gender identities and expressions.

Camp Ten Trees
(206) 288-9568
email: info@camptentrees.org

Camp Ten Trees is a loving and engaging youth camp environment for LGBTQ communities and their allies in Washington State. In addition to typical camp activities, campers engage in age-appropriate workshops exploring identity, issues of oppression/privilege, youth coalition building, social justice, and more.

STOMP Out Bullying
(877) 602-8559
stompoutbullying.org

STOMP Out Bullying is the leading national anti-bullying and cyberbullying organization for kids and teens in the
U.S. They focus on reducing and preventing bullying, cyberbullying, and other digital abuse, and educating against homophobia, racism in schools, online and in communities across the country.

PACER’s National Bullying
Prevention Center
(888) 248-0822
email: bullying411@pacer.org
pacer.org/bullying

PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center actively leads social change so that bullying is no longer considered an accepted childhood rite of passage. They provide innovative resources for students, parents, educators and
recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students.

B in the World

B with birdToday marks the beginning of my 30-day Kickstarter campaign to fund printing and distribution of “B in the World,” a chapter book for early elementary students and their parents about a gender non-conforming boy and the challenges he faces with bullying and acceptance.

Here’s a little bit of background about how B was born.

When we meet a new baby, most of us automatically ask the same question: is it a boy or a girl? Easy to answer, right?

Then someone like B walks into the room—a “boy” with long, curly red hair, wearing pink sneakers and yellow sweatpants, talking excitedly about the cupcakes he just baked for his teacher—and everything we thought we knew about gender flies out the window.

For most children, birth sex and gender identity match. But sometimes, how children feel about themselves differs from their biology. Some, like my friend’s child, feel the mismatch almost as soon as they begin to talk. Others know somehow that simply talking about how they feel falls far outside the cultural norm.

Many children, especially once they start school, struggle with being somehow perceived as “different”—either because of how they like to dress, or how they look, or simply because of what they like to do. Some of the challenges B faces in this story are gender-connected, some are just kid-related.

B IN THE WORLD was inspired by my experience as a member of a non-traditional family and I’ve written the story in a fun, engaging voice. It’s a story about being yourself and being proud of it. It is a story for kids who are different, about kids who are different with the ultimate message that it’s okay to be different.

For more about B, including a peek at some of the illustrations and to read an excerpt, visit his website or his Kickstarter site.

 

How B Was Born

When we meet a new baby, most of us automatically ask the same question: is it a boy or a girl? Easy to answer, right?

Then someone like B walks into the room—a “boy” with long, curly red hair, wearing pink sneakers and yellow sweatpants, talking excitedly about the cupcakes he just baked for his teacher—and everything we thought we knew about gender flies out the window.

For most children, birth sex and gender identity match. But sometimes, how children feel about themselves differs from their biology. Some, like my friend’s child, feel the mismatch almost as soon as they begin to talk. Others know somehow that simply talking about how they feel falls far outside the cultural norm.

Many children, especially once they start school, struggle with being somehow perceived as “different”—either because of how they like to dress, or how they look, or simply because of what they like to do. Some of the challenges B faces in this story are gender-connected, some are just kid-related.

Written in a fun, engaging voice, B IN THE WORLD was inspired by my experience as a member of a non-traditional family. It is a story about being yourself and being proud of it. It is a story for kids who are different, about kids who are different with the ultimate message that it’s okay to be different.

The Appeal of Chapter Books

Chapter books are a great way to reach children AND parents. A child’s first experience with a chapter book may occur when parents or other adults read these books to their kids, but many children keep these books and return to them again and again when they become independent readers. They’re also a great way to jump start conversations in a family about all sorts of topics.

Here’s a great story from NPR about Mary Pope Osborn, the author of “The Magic Tree House” series, who found her own unique calling as a chapter book writer for children, some of whom are reluctant readers and others who may never have owned a book of their very own.