I need your help – to make a comic book.
I have been blogging for almost two years, and in that time, a lot has changed. I graduated college, I moved to Japan, I realized the career path I thought I wanted didn’t actually suit my skill set, an article I wrote got published in a magazine, I was on TV twice (Tokyo TV and NHK World), and in the newspaper (Asahi Shinbun) once.
But some things haven’t changed.
Most importantly, I still love drawing.
Which is why I am pleased to announce the upcoming release of “My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book” on kickstarter.com
Which brings us back to the “I need your help” thing. As many of you might know, I don’t make money off this blog. I host ads that make just enough money to cover my monthly hosting fees ($15 per month)… and nothing else.
My blog is my hobby. I’m at a place right now, where I’m not making or losing any money.
Which was fine when I was a student, blogging to productively waste time. But now I’m an “adult” and I either need to find a way to make a bit of money off this blog, or scale back to 1-2 posts a week and get a “real job.”
I don’t want to scale back. I like blogging. So I need to find a way to make money off this thing.
Ryosuke was the one who planted the idea of creating a comic book.
“Why don’t you sell a comic book?” he asked one evening, while we sat on the balcony eating ice cream. I had been uploading webcomics on my blog for the last six months, mostly so I can get a break from writing new content every day. But as time progressed, I realized I liked drawing comics more than writing blog posts… so I was unsure of where to go from there.
I gave a sort of half-hearted excuse to his question, a mix of “no one will buy it” and “I don’t have time…” but I couldn’t get that idea out of my mind.
I should create a comic book.
A couple of years ago, the book “My Darling is a Foreigner” rocked Japan. It was an auto-biographical story of the author (a Japanese woman) and her husband (an American man). It even had a (kind of awkward) movie adaptation to the normal book, My Darling is a Foreigner (Darling ha Gaikokujin)
I could do that. I could create a hit comic book.
It’s rare to see a white girl married to a Japanese man. A lot of our Japanese friends expressed interest in our daily life. My husband’s friends often ask him questions like “Does she make you kiss her in public?” while I get things like “Are you really ok with a Japanese man?”
Deciding to publish a comic book (aside from the re-occurring anxiety attacks) was easy. Finding someone to publish said book was much harder.
In the end, I decided to go the route of self-publishing a print-on-demand book. It is much less risky, I get to retain all the rights, and I can promote as much as I want.
But my husband and I are still broke recent college graduates. Since I couldn’t find a publisher that was willing to run my comic book (and sell on Amazon), I decided to fund this project using the famous crowd-funding site, Kickstarter.com
For those of you who aren’t familiar with crowd-funding, Kickstarter.com is a “all or nothing” funding campaign. I set my price (in this case, $6725) and ask people to fund it in increments (ranging from $5 to $500).
Each “price point” has an accompanying “reward.” For instance, for $5 I will send you a PDF of the book. At $25 you get a signed copy of the book. At $50, you send me your photo and I will draw you as a comic book character in the back of your book. Etc.
If enough people pledge to fund my project, everyone’s credit card gets charged, I can print the book, ship it out, and become an official author.
If it doesn’t get funded, no one gets charged, and I retreat to the back of the blogosphere in shame (which, you know, sucks).
The official Kickstarter.com crowd-funding campaign for my book “My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book” will launch on July 27th (the day before my birthday) and run until August 30th.
It will be a 110 page, perfect bound comic book with black and white pages and a colored cover.
It will cover Ryosuke and my life in Japan, as well as dealing with loneliness (and mild schizophrenia, personified into “Marvin” an imaginary rabbit I talk to) as a Freelancer in Tokyo.
Of course, I need as much help as I can get
I will be posting my kickstarter updates on this blog as well as my “Texan in Tokyo” Facebook page. If you’re interested in helping out, I really need people who can:
A. Share on social media.
Crowd funding depends on social media – and I’m only one person. If you can, please, please, please share this post (and accompanying updates) on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and any other social networks you use.
B. Buy the book.
I know, money is precious… and with so much free content online, why pay? The only “real” incentive (aside from you helping my dream become a reality) is the fact that half of the comics will be exclusively printed in this book (I won’t end up posting them online).
C. Review the book.
I want to do a “quotes” page (or post articles of people raving all about this book) on my blog. I need people who can read and review this comic book.
D. Let me guest post on your blog (for bloggers).
The easiest way to spread the word of this campaign in through guest posts. I have about 11 guest posts lines up so far, I’m trying to shoot for 15 – 20 guest posts. If you have a blog with an open guest post policy, please let me know!
Thank you for reading! I can’t believe how far I’ve made it as a blogger – and can’t wait for this next step into “Author-ship.”