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Project: BACON – Finally, You Can Pre-Order a Copy – And More Bacon Boxes

In a frenetic spurt of activity, I was overjoyed when I succeeded in crowd funding my next book – a book about bacon and bacon only, curing your own, brilliant brunches, afternoon tea (yes! salted caramel bacon eclair grab you?), home curing, cocktails, suppers and sweets – and I have been working on it since.

The initial publication date was scheduled for February, but as long term readers may know, my Dad passed away last Autumn just after the funding run finished, and so I had to put everything on hold for a short while. Now, I am close to completing and sending my manuscript to my ever patient editor. We will start photography once my photographer has finished working on a cookbook by a very-famous-baker-that-you-all-know-and-love. AHEM. My photographer, Georgia Glynn Smith is wonderful, and very much in demand. She shot my first cookbook, Comfort & Spice too.

Project: BACON on Kickstarter

Project: BACON on Kickstarter

Lots of you missed the Kickstarter and were disappointed. The money raised covered a first limited edition print run that is available only to the Kickstarter supporters. Most of the funds were diverted to book production, printing and postage, but also to the bacon boxes which were far more popular than I could have imagined (and I am thrilled that they have been well received too). These have also eaten into the timeline somewhat as they take so much time. I am learning lessons all the time.

I have been trying to figure out how I could raise funds for a second print run before the book was published and on sale. I had a complex new business idea that I really wanted to roll out, but I don’t have the time to right now (I will, though). The answer in the end was simple. Another brilliant start up that supports the start up and Kickstarter community – Shopstarter –  allows pre-orders for successful Kickstarter projects. I set it up immediately, and now you can get involved too.

Pre-order Project: BACON wit or without a bacon box on Shopstarter

Pre-order Project: BACON wit or without a bacon box on Shopstarter

The second print run will be printed one month after the first Kickstarter print run, currently scheduled for June 2014. Here are your options:[Read more]

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Project: BACON on Kickstarter. Liftoff and Lessons Learned.

Project: BACON Overview

Project: BACON Overview

Project: BACON is go. I am so excited & relieved. It takes 2 weeks for the Kickstarter project to mature and funds to transfer (minus taxes and all that jazz), so I am using that time to plan, sketch budgets and figure out exactly what I can do. It has been quite an experience, good and bad (mainly good and very positive), and I thought that I would share with you some thoughts and some things that I learned as I know that you are curious and some of you are considering this as a route for your own publishing (and other) projects.

Firstly, do use Kickstarter. I took a risk, I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I knew I wanted to be independent. For that to happen, I had to be prepared to fail. It was worth it. I have lots of plans for this project and this is only the start. I had sleepless nights, it didn’t help that I got really bad sunburn (the worst that I have ever had) and couldn’t sleep for about 4 days anyway, but that gave me plenty of time to think and plan. Naturally, to worry too. That is only normal. If you are not worried, you are doing it wrong.

I submitted my project to Kickstarter and tweaked it over several weeks before hitting publish. I asked people I trusted and respected for feedback. I told friends, some thought it was exciting, others were aghast and thought it was too high risk and questioned why I was rejecting the traditional route. Some thought that I was asking for too much, others not enough. I decided to stop asking people and just focus on what I thought was right, what I thought it needed and also what might work.

I studied successful food (and other) Kickstarter projects, how they communicated their message, the reward levels they offered. I looked at projects that hadn’t succeeded to see the other side. I planned out my reward levels saving the products for the last week and a final push (they were always going to be in there, I could see that successful projects add exciting incentives later so I decided to do this).

Project: BACON funding overview

Project: BACON funding overview

I still made several mistakes however. Here is what I learned, and I hope that this helps you.

Be realistic and don’t be greedy. I only ever aimed for enough to cover the costs of production (this does not include my personal or living costs). I hope to make my money from this book by selling the ebook when it comes out next year. Anything over would have been a bonus, and while I did get £4K over, this is going directly into Bacon Box design and production as more than I imagined wanted those. But that opens other doors – which I was hoping might open – so I am very excited about this.

Offer something tangible and real. Lots of projects offer links and shout outs for early reward levels, personally I don’t see the value of these. If I commit to a project, I want to be part of it, I want something real and I want updates. This is why I offered The Bacon Post at the £3 level. It wasn’t heavily subscribed but I wanted everyone to feel part of it if they wanted to, no matter what their financial situation. Offering 10 new recipes as part of this process allows people to see progress and feel part of it, and everyone who kicked in will get it. So that is 740 people. Which is great.

Do make a video. Don’t make that video in your back garden on the hottest day of the year and in the middle of it, with watering itchy eyes and hay fever with your friend standing on a chair videoing it while you are both drinking wine (although thank you Denise, I am very grateful, and I owe you one). Give everyone an insight on you, your project and your story through the video. Mine should have involved some cooking and some tasting. I had planned two further videos but life compressed and didn’t allow it. This is otherwise known as bad planning.

Update your project very regularly. Add more videos and imagery. I didn’t do this. I should have.

Clear your diary for your funding period and give it all of your energy. I wanted to do this but other things came up. This couldn’t be helped but it wasn’t ideal. I still gave it everything I had. Even if at times it didn’t look like it, I was always planning and sketching.

Do some design work up front so that people can relate to your product and more importantly, want to have it. I should have designed the cover before launching the project so that people could visualise the book. I didn’t.

Do create infographics. Successful projects look great and are very well put together (generally). Lots of them have infographics. Again, I didn’t but I think you should.

Start a PR campaign early. I didn’t, I didn’t have one at all. This was a mistake. I had always planned to start pushing it in the second half of the project as I didn’t want to tire people, bore people or wear people out. This was a bad attitude. I now know that people want you to succeed and really get behind you to help make it happen. I should have been contacting the media in the UK from the day I launched to get the word out there and reach lots of different people. I should have written a press release. Successful projects do, some even have PR representation.

Regular pledges keep your project active so figure out ways to keep bringing people in. Busy projects sit on the popular projects page and attract attention from people on Kickstarter who otherwise wouldn’t see your project at all. This ties into PR activity and is especially important in that tumbleweed infested wasteland in the middle.

THE GOOD STUFF

Independence. I succeeded and I feel like a door has opened. I feel very good about the world and all that is in it. Thank you.

Restored faith in human nature. I work in a very isolated way, which isn’t terribly healthy, at least for me. I had such immense positive and supportive contact from people that really wanted this project to succeed that it reminded me about all of the good things about what I do, and why I love it. Again, thank you.

I am excited that you will be following the journey from the beginning to the end and I will be asking for your input too at points, of course only if you want to give it.

GETTING INVOLVED

Now, some of you are still trying to pledge on Kickstarter. You can’t. But if you want to subscribe to any level still, please email me and we can work something out.

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Project:BACON Update

Project:BACON 22 days to go and 27% funded!

Project:BACON 22 days to go and 27% funded! – play won’t work here, but it will on Kickstarter :)

So, I did it, and I put it out there. It was scary. What if people didn’t want my bacon book as much as me? It is a very public and nerve wracking way of exploring interest in your work, and the good news is that you and others support it (20% of the funding so far has been direct from the Kickstarter community who discovered it on there, amazingly).

PHEW.

It is exactly one week since I put Project:BACON on Kickstarter and it is funded by 27% as I type. This is fantastic, but I am still a fair way off with just 3 weeks to go.

So, I need you to jump on board. Here is another low down, briefly, as my last post was (well) wordy. Go figure.

Project:BACON on the Kickstarter Popular list! SQUEEEE!

Project:BACON on the Kickstarter Popular list! SQUEEEE!

So –

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform. I am basically asking you to buy my next book in advance to allow me to write and publish it myself.

WHY?

I am a prince certified project manager (I never thought I would type that here) and previously worked in scientific publishing as a project manager. I want to apply these skills to my own book and to publish my next book myself.

I have met some amazing and inspiring self published authors in the last few years who have proven to me that through self publishing, you can write your book exactly as you want to write it and do a great job, and with high production values. It is a lot more work, but I have never been afraid of that.

I want to write a book that is in essence a bacon wonderland. I want to write recipes that take you from breakfast to brunch to supper to a bonkers bacon party where you can serve your guests – or just yourself – bourbon bacon and vanilla ice cream, bacon fudge, bacon marshmallow, bacon cocktails and lots of other delicious things.

HOW?

Raising £20,000 on Kickstarter will allow me to put these plans in motion. This sum (minus taxes) will allow me to pay an editor, a photographer and a book designer.  Together we can put together an ace bacon book with 80 recipes with a great cover and lots of photographs. There will be a limited print run for the people who supported the Kickstarter project. This doesn’t include anything for me, simply the production of the book. I hope to make money later on from the ebook.

This amount will pay only for the hardback books that are bought on Kickstarter, so this is exclusive to Kickstarter. You will be able to purchase a Project: BACON ebook after it launches in February but I will not be selling the hardcover book on Amazon, as Amazon fees mean it will actually cost me money to sell it there. I am many things, but I am not rich or stupid. (If it does really well, I will consider a paperback, but that is not factored into the costs here, and it would have to do really well to fund it).

If I raise more than £20,000 I can expand the book concept, increasing the amount of design time and including some illustration and more photographs. More pledges for books means I need to print more books. If I print a lot, my print run is cheaper, and I can produce magical bacon videos to go with the book and work on some bacon merchandise. I can consider a paperback version to sell on Amazon (it would have to do extremely well to consider this). I have so many ideas.

HOW CAN YOU BE INVOLVED?

Support the Kickstarter project by:

subscribing to the Bacon Post for £3 which gets you weekly electronic updates and 12 new and exclusive bacon recipes from the Project:BACON book

buying the ebook for £8 early bird or £10 when that runs out (incl The Bacon Post)

buying the hardback signed print Project:BACON book for £17 early bird (almost gone) or £20 incl UK postage (incl The Bacon Post). I will post anywhere for a £5 fee. Don’t hold out for Amazon discounts as they will simply never exist.

buying the hardback signed print Project:BACON book along with a signed copy of my first cookbook, Comfort & Spice for £35 incl UK postage (incl The Bacon Post). I will post anywhere for a £10 fee (the books will be quite heavy).

buy a 3 hour bacon masterclass for you and five friends for £540 incl a copy of the book each. I can travel to you, within reason. Email me first. As it stands I am talking to people about Bacon Masterclasses in France and in Dublin. Possibly even Hong Kong! I can be flexible on numbers too with some adjustments. This includes The Bacon Post for everyone at the class.

There are just 22 days left with 219 backers so far. Which is wonderful, and I appreciate every single one, but there are many, many more of you reading this here!

Leave me a comment with your thoughts, I would love to hear from you and to hear what you think about this.

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Announcing! Project: BACON. A New Book. With Your Help.

Bourbon, Bacon & Vanilla Ice Cream - so delicious and one of my recipes from Project: Bacon

Bourbon, Bacon & Vanilla Ice Cream – so delicious and one of my recipes from Project: Bacon

I have been asked many times about my next book. I have been thinking about it quite intensely for some time but never quite had the answer (until now).

I have been speaking to many authors about their experiences over the last two years. I have met some really inspiring people that have self published their own books and have produced something that is entirely theirs and that they are proud of.  And not because they have failed in the traditional route, but for them, this was a much better option, giving them more control over the output and the book that hit the shelves.

Making bacon fudge - a bacon masterclass recipe, also in Project: Bacon

Making bacon fudge – a bacon masterclass recipe, also in Project: Bacon

Once I decide to self publish, I decided not to pitch this book to a publisher at all. So it is not that I have pitched it and failed, I want to be very clear about that. Combined with the very positive & enthusing experiences that I have had with meeting brilliant self published authors, I know the people that I want to work with to produce my book.

I am quite entrepreneurial by nature, and have experience as a project manager in the publishing industry and also as an author. Writing a book is an obsession, heart and soul and agonising and fantastic all at once. The one that I want to write now is about BACON. I want it to be fabulous and tasty and fun. I am hoping that you will help me do this by supporting and investing in my Kickstarter project.

Project: BACON will include recipes that I have developed over the last three years and taught in my bacon masterclasses. Those recipes, that energy, all of that fun and deliciousness in one book, that I put together myself (with the help of that great team that I will hire). The decision was made, next question. With limited resources how do I do this? I thought that I would look to you and see if you would take the risk and invest in me from the start.

The details are laid out explicitly in my Kickstarter project. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform, that enables independents like me to get projects done. I am asking you to invest in me, and not donate money, but to buy the book in advance, invest in a masterclass, or subscribe to The Bacon Post for just £3 (which will give you 12 new great bacon recipes and weekly updates as I go). These will only be available to Bacon Post subscribers, and won’t be available on the blog.

You can buy the book up front, signed of course in print. £10 for the ebook and £20 for the hardcover print book, both include a subscription to The Bacon Post. The book sent to kickstarter supporters will be limited edition, so getting in early not only guarantees you get a book, it guarantees that you get a special one. There are also some early bird specials, if you get in there first you can get the hardcover book with The Bacon Post for £17, or you can get the ebook and The Bacon Post for £8.

Candied bacon chocolate truffles - from Project: Bacon Candied bacon chocolate truffles – from Project: Bacon[/caption]

What if it is successful and I manage to raise more than my goal of £20,000?

I can only hope, but if this happens, simply, I will hire an illustrator to make it even better, I will add more recipes as I will be able to hire kitchen support, and I will print more books, maybe we will even see it in bookshops. My print run will be small, so it will be expensive. Publishers save money by printing batches of books at once. Should there be anything left, I will professionally shoot recipe videos to go along with the book. I would love to do that and I am hoping that you would like that too.

Over to you.

I am nervous, I am worried, I am excited, I am terrified. I hope that you will support this endeavour, and join me on my crazy little journey, stretched out over the 7 months ahead.

READ MORE AND SUPPORT PROJECT: BACON ON KICKSTARTER HERE.

(shouting because that is what it is like in my head right now, possibly a bit shrieky too)

and here is the video (also on Kickstarter) – a wobbly bacon party political broadcast from me, to you – filmed on a very hot day in my back garden. We are amateurs and also I am not good with heat so please be kind :)