I began writing this post the afternoon of my first face-to-face meeting with Little Steps, a partnership publisher who I’d later collaborate with to produce my first kid’s book, Who’s Got a Normal Family?
I didn’t tell many people I was taking the plunge and investing my own cash into the project and I’m glad I didn’t because it is nerve-racking enough without the looks of astonishment and not so helpful suggestions I crowd fund instead. Let me tell you, if I had a dollar for everyone who suggested I crowdfund my book, it would have been financed and printed yesterday.
So why didn’t I crowdfund? (My husband, bank manager and mother ask). Because sometimes you just have to back yourself.
The first time I left secure work to “write TV shows” was January 2007. I discovered in February 2007 that, unless you have a development deal or an actual job writing for an actual TV show, you’re probably not going to able to pay your rent .
Cut to 2009 and, once again, I attempted to break away from the warm womb of advertising production to “be in TV.” Notice I downsized the goal just a little. All was going well and I was starting to carve a small, ant like path in the industry when I fell pregnant. A surprise. A very happy surprise but still a surprise to a freelancing associate producer with no option of maternity leave.
Now that was the real shove. I’ve always been a writer, from the time I started writing a novel (handwritten, I still have it) in high school. But maybe, just maybe it was time to start SHOWING people my work - a radical idea, I know. I registered my business name Boabel in 2011 with that goal in mind.
Collaborations followed, but nothing ever really came off. Ideas were developed to the point of activation but were never launched. Who here remembers my sequined maternity leggings endeavour? Fear was probably a road block, confusion about direction another but I believe the main problem was I wasn’t ready to stand up and say “hey, I’m actually ok at this” because let’s face it, as scared little poppies, we don’t say that much here in Australia.
Fast forward five years and here’s the good news. I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is and put Who’s Got a Normal Family? out into the world where it may find it’s way to families looking for a new bedtime story.
This is not possible for everyone, I consider myself to be lucky (and crazy) enough to take the risk and finance the book myself. No crowdfunding. And as for the support crowdfunding is famous for? I already know my community, family and friends are behind me. I just needed to get my biggest supporter over the line. Me.