a few zillion ways in which we can use our little site for good and here’s what I’ve come up with… I want to create limited edition children’s/picture books using our drawings and contributors. What I hope will separate us from the already crowded world of blogs to books is this… an ungodly variety of styles, experience, talent, imagination, points of view and a little bit of profit sharing!
This is just at concept phase and it’s possible that some of my ideas will have to be modified but hear me out. I figure a decent sized book is around 30-40 pages so let’s work with 35. If we give everyone who creates an accepted submission a whopping 2% of the profit, that should ideally leave 30% or so to grow and continue towards world domination. I know 2% seems meager, but come on, if we sold a million bucks worth, that’s 20k a pop ; ). Of course this model assumes that we’ll sell a couple books and I know that may take some time and work and possibly never happen. But it’s fun to dream.
To be honest I am at best a hyper realist. I can shoot holes in almost all of my ideas but for some reason this one keeps coming through the machine somewhat unscathed. Partially because Threadless already does quite well with something similar but with shirts, partially because I know how enormous the children’s book market is in comparison to say a Doom Metal compilation’s audience, and partially because this just feels right.
First off, picture books were incredibly important to me growing up. They stretched my imagination and oddly shaped my worldview to the point that I can’t see a construction vehicle without thinking of the Pollutants from Wump World. My freaking wedding arrangements were Wild Thing topiaries (the Sendak kind not the boobs on a boat kind). And God knows given the opportunity I will choose a rhyming line over a non-rhyming one (thanks doctor, only wish i had a rhyme for -tunity for you!) So if I can play, just a teeny part, in expanding imaginations by sharing stories and pictures of beasts, I’ll have done my part. I’m an experienced graphic artist, I’m lightly trained in children’s book illustration, so it’s not even a stretch to know we can make a good product.
Secondly, I just came from a long stint doing adult marketing. Yes there is money to be had in that world, but it’s sad money. Many folks don’t care, but in my opinion I’ve done my damage on the internet, and it’s time to see if i can do some good for a change. There will always be room for comical ween in the weekly “Wars”. I already grabbed MythicalBeastBooks in case we need to draw a hard line between the entities.
Cost of production is the main hurdle I see. E-books will be easy as the only real cost will be my time. For the hard copies there are multiple print your own book solutions like lulu, if we go that route the books will undoubtedly be pricey, but I know lots of you will pay inordinate amounts for records, prints and toys. If we have to charge a bit for limited edition pieces that could ideally express your point of view to the young’ns down the line, I would hope that same pattern would apply. If you’re a publisher or distributor with other ideas, I’m all ears, but know creative freedom trumps all.
My largest secondary concern is this: Part of the joy of this site is the lack of true competition. Sure I’ve brought cheap prizes in and on occasion we have the one time contributor I imagine leaves in a huff for spending hours on a piece and not placing. But as a whole this community is about entertaining each other and rediscovering something we knew was fun in 7th grade. By no means do i wish to tarnish that. My hope is that given the nature of the participants we can negotiate those waters together and deal with the outstretched tentacles as we happen upon them.
Finally, there will have to be some legal involvement eventually or there will be no way to make sure participants are willing and understanding the deal. Hopefully that won’t bog down the works, I’m checking into that currently.
That’s the most liquid part of this plan, I’m not entirely sure. The easiest method would be for me to just pick through existing submissions to try and assemble book number 1. But I’d almost rather start with a bang, entirely from scratch, with a rough idea of what we want and let our community guide it the rest of the way. Hopefully the voting functionality will be up soon and we will be able to vote for our picks in individual “contests” which will be entirely separate from our “weekly battles”. I’ll probably have to reserve veto rights as this is the internet and F’ing up good things is always fun for some… hell… really for all. But really that’s it so far. I have ideas, but I’m keeping storylines and themes nebulous for now. Your feedback is important to this, if you have no interest, there is no need to pursue it further. So let me know your initial take and if you see a hole or opportunity I am blindly missing or if you’d be game for trying.
you’ll have to have entered at least 4 weekly battles to be considered as a participant in the book project so get to drawing!