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Monday, August 5, 2013
The Kickstarter Campaign
Some of you regulars might have noticed a link under the "Writing, the Media, and Life" blogroll to 365 Jobs, where independent contractor/carpenter/plumber/electrician (and very fine writer) Joe Cottonwood has been telling his stories for the last couple of years. Joe has been writing for decades, with several books under his belt (at least one of which I've read, called "Clear Heart," a very good read), and just completed a new book based on his blog.
365 Jobs was recommended to me by a friend of Joe's who also reads this blog, and I remain grateful for that tip. It's a great blog. Joe writes with precision and feeling, in a spare, no-nonsense style that I really like.
As you can see, the new book is called "99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat & Houses" -- and before anyone raises an eyebrow at the title, Joe made sure to clear it with me before the book was locked. He didn't have to, but he did, giving me a chance to cast a veto. I'll admit it took a little while to wrap my brain around the notion. That title hit a bit close to the bone, since I want to retain the option of using the title of this blog for my own blog-based book... but that book is a long way off. I've made some progress, but not nearly as much as I'd hoped by now, and it's clear that it won't be anywhere near ready for publication (whether in E-book or print form) anytime soon. Offhand, I'd say late next year at the very earliest -- and even that is probably wildly optimistic -- so there's not much chance any potential readers would confuse Joe's book with mine.
And if my book turns out to be half as well-written as Joe's, I'll be one very happy guy. At any rate, he's got my blessing and best wishes for the success of his book.
As it happens, Joe just began a Kickstarter campaign hoping to raise enough to help fund the publication of "99 Jobs." Publishing books outside the mainstream isn't cheap, and he's trying to do it right. Yes, he could go the publishing-on-demand route, but those books end up costing the customer $25 or more by the time shipping and handling are added up -- and that for a five-by-nine inch paperback that shouldn't sell for more than $12 to $15 in the real world -- so he's going to publish it himself, controlling every aspect of the process. Given that I want a print copy of my own -- and maybe some of those custom-made wooden bookmarks (made of lumber from Ken Kesey's cabin in La Honda, California), I'll be kicking in my share. If you appreciate good, thoughtful writing from someone who knows what it's like to come home from work tired and bearing the scars of an honest day's work, I urge you to support him. Hell, this isn't a multi-millionaire like Zach Braff asking for five million bucks, it's a hard working carpenter hoping to raise just four thousand dollars -- a guy who happens to be a very gifted writer.
If you'd like to be part of making this book possible, check out Joe's Kickstarter page, and do it soon -- he's only got one month to raise the money. If the campaign fails, we might only see this book in e-book form -- and I don't know about you, but I like to hold a real book in my hands when I read it.
Besides, I really want one of those wooden bookmarks...
Check it out, and if you can, lend a hand. Any amount will help.