Self Publish A Kids Book? Am I Crazy?

Last week I talked about my desire to self publish a fully illustrated 32-page (standard) kids book.

What the hell was I thinking? So, I went over to Kickstarter and searched around though all of the projects similar to this in scope and came to the conclusion that I can’t do it.

All of the projects were asking for $4,000-$8,000. That alone I can’t do. I’ve run three crowd funding projects for modest amounts, the largest almost reaching $1,200. If I had a social media savvy artist on board and if I turned out everyone I knew who wanted to spend, say, $35 on a book co-written by my awesome 5yr old son, maybe, maybe, I would try for $3,000. But that wouldn’t be enough.

New plan. Ah, hmmm. Well, the story is about 5k words. Let’s say that we write two more stories about the same length following the continuing adventures of these cats. Ah! That could be a modest little reader with some cool art. That seems like a thing.

Let me see what I can do about that.

Parsec Awards spot – Aaron’s World

Darkcargopants, 9 Sept 2011

One of the things that particularly struck me while attending the 2011 Parsec awards is how much emphasis the awards places on fostering new podcasts. In addition to awarding for the category of “Best New Speculative Fiction Podcaster” (Cobalt City Adventures Unlimited) the Judges also award for the category of “Best Youth Driven Speculative Fiction Podcast“. The best youth driven podcast has the requirement that the participants be 16 years or less at the time of ‘cast.

This year’s winner Aaron’s World blew that particular  requirement out of the water. The artist in question is actually  7 years old (pants’ note: Aaron wanted me to know that he would be 8 in November) I snagged a few minutes of time with Aaron and Dad at the conclusion of the Parsec ceremonies and asked a few general interest questions. Aaron apparently spends roughly an hour of studio time to get the podcast recorded, but extensive research is required for each episode since Aaron is the creative genius behind this pop-science  podcast. The series is planned as a 50 episode run spanning 3 seasons, episode 24 is getting ready to drop so stay tuned. I stopped by and sampled a few episodes (Episode 1: Allosaurus) and (Episode 16: Time). Dinosaurs are a recurring theme…not surprising given the target audience. I thought the episodes I listened to were well researched and factually interesting, even to my trivia muddled brain. Episode 16 was a cool little cast-driven episode talking about the scale of time and general human inability to understand large timescales. It also included the recurring character “Princess Scientist”. Dad and Aaron’s acceptance comments credited and thanked Princess Scientist for her contributions.

I’ve been trying to think, and I can’t remember anything from when I was 7-8 years old. Too many blows to the head probably. Perhaps I’ll just grab onto a little reflected starlight and pretend I was a national award winning science podcaster in my youth. ‘Cause that’s pretty freaking awesome.


I know Darkcargo needs a new camera (this is actually the trusty iPhone) but if you can’t find the 7 year old in this photo you need your eyes checked. That’s Dad beside aaron with the other attending Parsec Winners. Official Parsec Link.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

– nrlymrtl, 05/27/2010

Robert O’Brien’s Newberry award-winning book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH had been on my To-Be-Read List for some time and I finally squeezed it in between larger books. I was fascinated by the cartoon movie as a kid and I quite enjoyed the book as an adult. Of course, it was a little darker than the movie in some regards. the science experiments and Evil Jenner Rat were way exaggerated in the movie. But at the end of the book, we don’t see the rats again; the reader doesn’t know their final fate. The particular book I read had drawings by the author, which was cool to see how he pictured these characters.

For those of you who don’t know the story, Mrs. Frisby and her children live in a garden (they are field mice) and spring is nearly upon them, which means they must move because the tractor will break up their house. However, the youngest child is too ill to move. Mrs. Frisby must find another solution and her quest for it leads her to visit an old friend of her late husband, an owl, and eventually the rats under the rosebush. The rats turn out to be old friends of her late husband too and she must unravel the mystery of his past. All this while avoiding the farm cat, Dragon.