Three Paths to Take Here (and two of them are really dumb)

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So, I’m sitting in my dining room, sipping my coffee, smiling as I look over the long and growing list of supporters who, thus far, have backed this project. With about a dozen days yet to go, we are creeping up on 50% raised toward our goal. And while I’m flattered and excited just about this level of support, the all-or-nothing conditions of the campaign require that we reach the finish line in a Rocky-like climb to the top of the proverbial steps.

Except that we don’t have to drink raw eggs or punch slabs of meat along the way. What a relief.

It occurred to me that we can probably take one of three approaches to finishing successfully, so I figured I’d see what you think about the prospects:

The “Deus ex Machina” -  This is the Hail Mary of approaches, much like how some people figure all they have to do is pray for what they want and the Easter Bunny/Santa/God to whom they pray will magically grant their wishes. This time, of course, it would be in the form of a Daddy Warbucks-style benefactor to sweep in and drop the balance we need on us in one lump sum. And while this is appealing and would be kinda awesome, I’m not sure it’s something we should count on.

The “Shakedown” - Since those who already have backed the project are definitely bought in, I could just beg, plead and harass you to double your commitment amount to get us there. But after a little more coffee, I realized that would be a pretty schmucky move. I mean…if you wanted to…(down, Christian. Bad Christian, heel).

The “It Takes a Village”This approach seems to have some real legs, if you ask me. The thing is, people expect to hear me trumpet this campaign, and after a while, they kind of stop paying attention. But if they hear it from you, it carries a lot more weight. Your vocal support of the project is kind of like the endorsements you see on books by the fancy-pants, big-name personalities on the back and inside covers.

Except in this case, you guys are the fancy-pants, big-name endorsers.

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There are two angles to this, I think. First, you can share this on your Twitter, Facebook, Linked in pages, blogs, email blasts, etc. And that way is greatly appreciated. But in my many years of fundraising for nonprofits, I’ve realized that nothing has the same punch as the DIRECT ASK. So I’d ask each of you to single out five folks you know who enjoy this kind of fiction, and/or who have a heart for independent publishing, and approach them by name. Ask them to match your support level, or if they can’t swing that, come in at whatever level they can manage.

The reality is that, if everyone who has already supported the project could bring another backer on board, we would almost certainly make our goal.  I know that it’s a lot to ask of those who already have done their part, but our collective efforts don’t bear results if we can’t reach our goal.

But most important, I want to offer my heartfelt gratitude for your generosity and confidence. The very fact that we’ve gotten this far instills confidence in me, moving forward with these kinds of experimental approaches to publishing. Oh, and in case you haven’t already seen it, here’s a fun video my kids and I did for the campaign.

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With many thanks,

Christian Piatt

About Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He co-created and co-edits the “WTF: Where’s the Faith?” young adult series with Chalice Press, and he has a memoir on faith, family and parenting being published in early 2012 called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date.


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