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PUBLISHING Vigilante's Book "Vigilant Kids" Step by Step

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This first post is a placeholder as I intend to chronicle for you the steps from conception to launch of the kids book I wrote called "Vigilant Kids." This thread will be about process, not content.

I'd be remiss if I didn't give three shoutouts from the very beginning :

  • To @MJ DeMarco for your continued inspiration in pushing me towards an Unscripted life
  • To @ChickenHawk for leaving breadcrumbs for others here at the forum to follow. We knew you before you were a USA Today Best Selling author. Thanks for chronicling your journey here for those who come behind us
  • To all of the forum contributors to the Writing and Authorship channel at the Fastlane Forum. Keep writing, and keep posting. There's gold in these threads
So the progress thread on the "Vigilant Kids" book will include :
  • Inspiration
  • Writing the Story
  • Finding the Illustrator
  • Working with the Artist
  • Buying an ISBN
  • Trademarking a book title
  • Working with an Editor
  • Selecting Distribution
  • Retail price
  • Doing things Unscripted
  • Creating an event
  • Early Marketing / Social Media
  • Launch Strategy
  • Launch Results
  • Impact/Results
I wrote this bullet point list so I don't forget what I want to share with you all, although each subject will probably be done as a single post over time. After I get a lot of this done, feel free to AMA although I am no expert in this, but others will come into this thread to answer your specific questions likely better than I can.

I'll headline each post with one of the topics above in case you are following along, or find this thread years from now. Hopefully it will serve as a good analysis of the steps I took through this journey. The subject matter of the book is not important for this thread, but the process steps is what I intend to capture for you.
 

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Inspiration

I didn't set out to write a book. I set out to solve a problem.

In the course of my days, I have had a front row seat to tragedy and heard the stories of dozens and dozens of tragedies. My work has taken me close to the fire as I have had the chance to interact with organizations like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, World Vision, and others. I've received stories of personal tragedy, and talked with law enforcement officers across the country about personal safety and personal protection.

Pick up the news paper in your hometown, and read about the girl abducted by her school teacher. Turn on the television and catch the story about the pedophile arrested at your local gymnastics gym. Jump on Facebook and get an update on the search for a missing six year old from the next town over, while your cell phone alerts you to a national Amber alert. There are a lot of sick bastards out there.

So for me, writing this book was therapeutic. When you see problems in the world and have something to contribute towards solving them, you can work on things that are bigger than you. Can I erradicate child porn, or fix human trafficing issues? Nope. But can equip you to keep your child from becoming the next Madeleine McCann? Yes. I can change the world one person at a time.

And so can you.

I'm an accidental author. I didn't set out to write a book, and there are a lot of gifted writers out there that are more educated, more eloquent, and more equipped than I am. What I did though is see a problem, and wanted to help make a difference in the lives of children and families nationally.

Solving problems in an arena that I am knowledgable about.

So what about you? You're not going to write a book to help keep kids from being abducted. But what you can do... is find a void in a marketplace, in an area that you have a particular skill set in, and cast yourself out there to help become part of the solution. Some of you are gifted entertainers, and that solves a need for people. Some of you are technical writers, and that solves problems. The subject matter is not germane... because writing a book parallels anything else we talk about here at the forum. Your book has to have a WHY. It has to fill a need, solve a problem, or answer a question. It has to entertain, educate, or inform in order for people to give a shit. There are thousands of books now written per DAY in the United States, and very few push up to the front of the pack. Those that do have a reason. They have a value that people want to trade for money. That's Fastlane.

There needs to be a reason. I'm not convinced that "wanting to be an author" is a reason, but writing something either fiction or non-fiction with the goal of entertaining, educating, or otherwise enhancing people's lives through written word IS.

I found my WHY. I found my inspiration, and the book is just the medium by which I am able to reach people en masse with a message that might help them and their families. Our ability now more than 10 years ago even to put pen to paper, and get that paper in front of people means we can reach far wider, far faster than at any point in human history.

I am not sure (yet) that people want to read what I have written. Time will tell. I found a purpose, and purpose created a book. I'm an accidental author. It might surprise you to learn I don't care if I ever make a dollar from this book.
 
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Writing the Story

A kids book is simple. Simple words, simple concepts, simple language. Perfect for me. :)

If you ask 10 people about an idea, you'll get 10 different responses. You might end up in analysis paralysis, especially if you start listening to the people who might tell you that your idea is stupid. Nobody will buy it. It's been done before.

So I didn't ask. The short list of who I shared the development with was less than five people. Even people on the forum, who I count as some of my closest business advisors weren't consulted.

Why? I didn't care.

I had a story in me. I had a reason, a vision, and a desire to put it down on paper.

The few people I did share with over the year it took to turn this project into reality were consulted primarily on semantical issues, not fundamental strategy. If you need someone else to assist you in character development, plot twists, or substance... you're probably just someone who wants to write a book for the cash. If you're a writer... write.

I wrote it over time. I let the words flow from a basic outline, and had the luxury of working on it over the course of several months. I would go back to it, wordsmith it again, and let it sit for stretches at a time. I didn't have a publisher, and I didn't have a deadline.

Do you want to know what the deadline for MJ's upcoming book was? When it was finished. That was his deadline for Unscripted. The first few manuscripts hit his waste bin (and if I were a better dumpster diver I would have got them and hung on to them like an early draft from a Hemingway classic.) His timetable was Unscripted. His process was Unscripted. Even you, his readers, ultimately couldn't influence his publication deadline. When it was done, he was ready.

Write your story. Let it flow. Some might have a discipline of regular writing to keep progressing, others might be able to do what I did with this simple kids book and let it happen as it happened. There's no magic formula. Harry Potter was written in a coffee shop.

Here's an interesting article on the routines of several famous authors :
The Daily Routines of 12 Famous Writers
 
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There's definitely a market need @Vigilante - for quality children's content in general. It was something I never noticed until I had my boy.....
  • Sitting with my infant in my lap while watching South Park, I realize his little eyes are literally transfixed on the screen. I decide that I shouldn't be subjecting his little eyes/ears/mind to that and resolve to find things for him.
  • He's not old enough to read real books, so we have the choice of tv, or little books for mama to read to him. We borrow a bunch of DVDs from a friend of ours, and they are all insufferable. I cannot have that crap in my my house. So annoying.
  • On to books - It's all sentimental garbage or overtly PC. As anyone who's read my posts will know, I'm not PC. PC actually disgusts me.
  • So what does that leave? I've looked, and the first thing I've purchased for him is now officially your book. There is definitely market space, Vig.
 
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Finding the Illustrator / Working with the Artist

Even if you are not writing an illustrated book, you're going to need a great front and back cover. MS Paint or Word Art isn't going to cut it, even for your eBook.

I found my illustrator on Fiverr.

A quick Google search produces a host of ways to find an illustrator.

I have a placeholder here where you can see an example of his illustrations :
www.vigilantkids.com

1. He was a pain in the a$$ from a timing standpoint
2. He took a long time, 20 illustrations took over 6 months (plus front and back cover)
3. I paid him in increments, but was worried if he disappeared how long it would take to replace him with someone that could replicate the work in progress - if that was even possible
4. I found him on Fiverr, but each illustration was 10x that or more (still cheap for excellent work). Each page cost differently as each page has different degrees of complexity.
5. The final files were sent in a manipulatable layered fashion for future use without him
6. We bought most of the options on his Fiverr gig just to keep him happy
7. We obviously bought the rights for all commercial reproduction

I am not sure if we did this right or wrong, but now several months later I am very happy with the results.

We sent him an outline of the character development and the basic concept for each illustration, and based on the artist we selected it needed very little modification from his initial draft to each finished page.

We got lucky. His portfolio looked good and the sample page we had him do was the best of a few artists we "sampled."

In the end, I was happy with the final work product, and even the price I paid. The timing was terrible, but it's not like I wanted to rush him as I didn't want a bunch of sloppy shit thrown together to meet an (artificial) deadline.

Keys to communication? Explain every aspect of your expectations, vision, and as much creative as you can articulate. When the person you are talking with does not have your language as their primary language, avoid slang and simplify everything down to it's most basic words.

There are a variety of sites where you can find freelancers. Don't skimp, and make sure to do as much homework as possible. No newbies, nobody with multiple negative feedbacks, and they need a portfolio that matches the genre that you want illustrated.
 
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Buying an ISBN Number

Much like UPC codes, there is the authentic way to buy ISBN codes, and an aftermarket way.

If you are writing a book, and don't know what an ISBN code is, click here

All ISBN numbers originate with Bowker. See ISBN US - ISBN US

If you buy one from a reseller, they're much cheaper, but problematic. When you buy directly from Bowker, you "own" the ISBN and can fill out a bunch of permanent registration information in your name. When you buy from a third party, it can be much cheaper but you will never "own" that ISBN as the companies you care about (including Amazon, Wal-Mart and others) won't recognize you as the owner of that code.

So, we loosened the purse strings and bought a package of 10 ISBN codes directly from Bowker for $300. We used the first two already... one for the Amazon CreateSpace version of the book, and a separate one for the Ingram Spark distribution copy of the book.

For the trade show we're launching at in June, we have printed some Rack Cards from VistaPrint, and put the ISBN numbers and barcodes on the Rack Cards so a corporate book buyer or librarian can take the Rack Card home and use the ISBN later to order the books. (more on this later).

 

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There's definitely a market need @Vigilante - for quality children's content in general. It was something I never noticed until I had my boy.....
  • On to books - It's all sentimental garbage or overtly PC. As anyone who's read my posts will know, I'm not PC. PC actually disgusts me.
We blow through 30-40 picture books from the library every week.

  • 7 out of 10 are in the "never, ever, read again" category.
  • 2 out of 10 I'd read a 2nd or a 3rd time, because they had good pictures, but lame text (or vice versa)
  • And then 0.5 or 1 out of 10 are awesome and are just really well done.
These are the books that made it past the cutting room floor.

70% of the cream of the crop in kid's books is just awful.


There are literally so many untapped niches in kid's books.
 
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We blow through 30-40 picture books from the library every week.

  • 7 out of 10 are in the "never, ever, read again" category.
  • 2 out of 10 I'd read a 2nd or a 3rd time, because they had good pictures, but lame text (or vice versa)
  • And then 0.5 or 1 out of 10 are awesome and are just really well done.
These are the books that made it past the cutting room floor.

70% of the cream of the crop in kid's books is just awful.


There are literally so many untapped niches in kid's books.
My kid brought a book home from school about hamsters, and I swear to you I would bet a stack of cash on the fact that the guy was a hamster fetish guy. So weird and poorly written. And published by a reputable publisher.
 

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I was thinking how it would be nice if a book like this made it's way into schools all over the place, unfortunately I then remembered the material they gave us on the topic at school was about as PC as possible in the 80s and 90s, and I'm not going out on a limb predicting that would only have got a thousand times worse since.

I think kids often have more developed threat assessment abilities than their parents and teachers realise, unfortunately sometimes the agendas of those in the education sector and the media start interfering with that natural process. There are probably so many silent victims of the drive to teach children to ignore reality and instinct and never to offend anyone.

Good luck Vig, it's nice to see such a positive project, will follow with interest.
 

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My kid brought a book home from school about hamsters, and I swear to you I would bet a stack of cash on the fact that the guy was a hamster fetish guy. So weird and poorly written. And published by a reputable publisher.
I was going to say that's pretty out there, then I remembered reading about the "Toni The Tampon" book for kids last week.
 
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I was thinking how it would be nice if a book like this made it's way into schools all over the place, unfortunately I then remembered the material they gave us on the topic at school was about as PC as possible in the 80s and 90s, and I'm not going out on a limb predicting that would only have got a thousand times worse since.

I think kids often have more developed threat assessment abilities than their parents and teachers realise, unfortunately sometimes the agendas of those in the education sector and the media start interfering with that natural process. There are probably so many silent victims of the drive to teach children to ignore reality and instinct and never to offend anyone.

Good luck Vig, it's nice to see such a positive project, will follow with interest.
We've had a couple of connections with schools reach out already, but they haven't read it yet. Some librarians will dig it, and some will become opposition... and a lot of both will be at the book fair we're launching at in June.
 

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A quick Google search produces a host of ways to find an illustrator.
Did you ever come across the website Hire an Illustrator ?

While I didn't end up using them, I spent a good deal of time on there trying to find illustrators for my own project. One of the main reasons I didn't use anyone from this site is that many of the illustrators I looked through on this site tended to focus on children's books.

So while I cannot vouch for this site, I'm happy to point it out for others to use as a starting point since it seemed book-oriented in the portfolios I viewed.
 

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Great stuff Vigilante!
When are you gonna post about getting a trademark? Did you get one?
I'm interested in doing this for one of my series, but it looks like 1,200 is the official minimum price.
 
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I was thinking how it would be nice if a book like this made it's way into schools all over the place, unfortunately I then remembered the material they gave us on the topic at school was about as PC as possible in the 80s and 90s, and I'm not going out on a limb predicting that would only have got a thousand times worse since.

I think kids often have more developed threat assessment abilities than their parents and teachers realise, unfortunately sometimes the agendas of those in the education sector and the media start interfering with that natural process. There are probably so many silent victims of the drive to teach children to ignore reality and instinct and never to offend anyone.

Good luck Vig, it's nice to see such a positive project, will follow with interest.
Great stuff Vigilante!
When are you gonna post about getting a trademark? Did you get one?
I'm interested in doing this for one of my series, but it looks like 1,200 is the official minimum price.
Trademarking the Book Title

OK. First, I am not an attorney, and all trademark suggestions are my opinion only and I highly recommend you seek the services of a competent, licensed trademark attorney for all questions, issues, and filings related to trademarks.


There's good news and bad news about trademarking book titles.

Bad : You can't trademark a book title.

Good : You can get around the fact that you can't trademark a book title with a few tricks of the trade

In the United States, you can't trademark a book title. But you can trademark a book SERIES, like the Chicken Soup for the Soul series or the FOR DUMMIES series. The tough part about that is you can't do the trademark until book #2 is on the market:
"To file as a series, “an applicant must submit evidence that the title is used on at least two different creative works” and “evidence that the applicant intends to use the mark on a series is insufficient.”

There's another trick... a better work around. While you can't trademark a book series, you CAN trademark a "brand" that offers goods and services. For example, the Vigilant Kids book title is not trademark-able. But the ACTION FIGURES we are creating under the brand of Vigilant Kids makes Vigilant Kids a brand name that can be trademarked. Once you have the Vigilant Kids action figures under trademark, it would be easy to see how anything else that encroaches on that mark, in any context, would be actionable. Your book is then using the title of the brand you have already trademarked.

The easiest path is to trademark the brand name in classifications for offerings of goods and services that are related to the "branding" that you want to protect.

How : You can Do-It-Yourself the trademark application through the USPTO. It's really not super complicated.

1. Order this book : Trademark

2. Do an exhaustive search on Google, and on the USPTO trademark search tool
Search trademark database | USPTO

3. Register the trademark yourself on the USPTO website for $225 - their step by step registration wizard is EASY
Apply online | USPTO

Do a bunch of homework and you can do this yourself, or cough up $700-$1,000 and let a professional do it for you. We have done it both ways. I have received registered trademarks that I have done myself, but I also have screwed some up that required a trademark attorney intervention.

@biophase
@LightHouse
@AllenCrawley

If you guys have anything to add/correct/suggest, please chime in. We all did some DIY trademarks around the same time last year.
 

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My kid brought a book home from school about hamsters, and I swear to you I would bet a stack of cash on the fact that the guy was a hamster fetish guy. So weird and poorly written. And published by a reputable publisher.

One of the most read books in my house, is "Things birds eat".

Every page is an interesting photograph of a bird and a caption of "Birds eat ______".


My 2.5 year old can "read" it word for word on her own. She gets the concept, because it is SIMPLE.


So many picture books get way too wordy and complicated. The text is so complex, that you couldn't possible capture it all in a picture.

Or they try to be ironic or funny, but it falls flat. Or the stories are so contrived and forced. Or it's another F*cking book about farm animals participating in another mundane plot.


Two of my favorite series are Franklin and Arthur. They are about real life scenarios and teach good lessons. The pictures are immersive and you can almost put yourself in their world. No wonder they both became TV series. However, the illustrations are a bit dated for what kids these days are used to seeing (they aren't computer generated), not to mention the world/tech they depict is from 20 years ago.

There is an opportunity for a similar series to come out for the modern generation.
 

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But you can trademark a book SERIES
Yes, very important distinction. This is the key in trademarking a book title, when it becomes a series. ;)
 

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some will become opposition
I'm sure this will be more popular in schools than my Idea for children's books that tell the kids not to listen to their parents and teachers (insulate them from social conditioning to make them "slowlaners").

For your marketing - I noticed on the back cover it says how vigilant kids scream. Assuming this is the approach for when they get attacked, There's a lot of debate whether that's effective or not (e.g. The attacker might cover their airway to quiet then and put them in more danger).

I foresee a heated back and forth on the mainstream news between you and the martial arts instructors who havebeen quoted in saying that...only to link to their karate school at the end of the article.
:D
 
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I'm sure this will be more popular in schools than my Idea for children's books that tell the kids not to listen to their parents and teachers (insulate them from social conditioning to make them "slowlaners").

For your marketing - I noticed on the back cover it says how vigilant kids scream. Assuming this is the approach for when they get attacked, There's a lot of debate whether that's effective or not (e.g. The attacker might cover their airway to quiet then and put them in more danger).

I foresee a heated back and forth on the mainstream news between you and the martial arts instructors who havebeen quoted in saying that...only to link to their karate school at the end of the article.
:D
Technically it will be between Krav Maga instructors and karate teachers who award belts to kids for paying tuition.

I'll put my money and the life of my kid in the hands and under the instruction of of the Krav Maga instructor. The more aggressive the better. My kid doesn't get a belt or a trophy for paying tuition.

However, controversy sells. I welcome and encourage diverse opinions. It is healthy for the discussion.

And since this isn't a discussion that is taking place in mainstream America and needs to, any discussion about technique will contribute to kids being safe.
 

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Technically it will be between Krav Maga instructors and karate teachers who award belts to kids for paying tuition.

I'll put my money and the life of my kid in the hands and under the instruction of of the Krav Maga instructor. The more aggressive the better. My kid doesn't get a belt or a trophy for paying tuition.

However, controversy sells. I welcome and encourage diverse opinions. It is healthy for the discussion.

And since this isn't a discussion that is taking place in mainstream America and needs to, any discussion about technique will contribute to kids being safe.
The most important thing is teaching your kids to empathize with their attacker. They need to ask the attacker what socioeconomic circumstances led them to child abduction, in an effort to understand their pain. JK, but @Vigilante be prepared for Amazon holy warriors to accuse you of bigotry for suggesting training kids to look out for their own safety.

I'm teaching mine to kick for the groin then run away screaming. That's what I do, and it's worked every time :clench:
 
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The most important thing is teaching your kids to empathize with their attacker. They need to ask the attacker what socioeconomic circumstances led them to child abduction, in an effort to understand their pain. JK, but @Vigilante be prepared for Amazon holy warriors to accuse you of bigotry for suggesting training kids to look out for their own safety.

I'm teaching mine to kick for the groin then run away screaming. That's what I do, and it's worked every time :clench:
 

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However, controversy sells. I welcome and encourage diverse opinions.
If the SCRIPTED world hates your book and call it BS, but it in the end, it saves 1 child from trauma or tragedy, it will be damn worth it.

I'd rather have my child safe and politically incorrect, than dead and PC.
 

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Vigilante

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If the SCRIPTED world hates your book and call it BS, but it in the end, it saves 1 child from trauma or tragedy, it will be damn worth it.

I'd rather have my child safe and politically incorrect, than dead and PC.
The nice part of this project, boss, is that outcome is guaranteed. It WILL save kids. We'll never know how many, and that's OK.

Fast lane freedom is what allowed me to bring a book to the market with message guaranteed to offend some. Sorry, not sorry.

Unscripted.

Hell, the kids who get the book read to them need to learn to be UNSCRIPTED. UNSCRIPTED is what will save them.

This kids book is a manifestation of your fundamental message.
 

Supa

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Holy. Shit.

I didn't think it was possible that my sympathy towards you raises even more, but damn this thread caused exactly that.

Absolutely loving your idea, and just found myself nodding at every sentence of your post on your Inspiration.

I hope I am not hijacking your thread, but damn I just need to share some thoughts.

Actually, I didn't plan on talking about this topic until there is some real progress to talk about, but your thread just resonated with me on so many levels that, if you don't mind, I want to write about it in it. Especially about that if it saves one child's life it's worth it thought.

To me, child abuse was always one of, if not the most disgusting thing on this planet. It was always a distant thing though. Something you hear about in the news or read on the internet, or maybe see in a movie or tv show.

But this all changed for me, when I met the most wonderful person I ever got to meet.

She told me about the hell her step-dad made her go through from about age 5 to 10.
From this moment on, sexual child abuse was nothing distant anymore. Nothing out of the news or elsewhere.
No. It transcended from something out of nightmares seen on a screen, into a real monster. A monster that can destroy those who can't fight for themselves.

Children.

But like with most of the worst things in life, it is something that only people who are directly (survivors, I know some say victims, but I think the word survivor describes it better) or indirectly (family, partners, friends) affected by it.

Everyone else has that overall knowledge of it.
But without research, could you name some of the signs a kid may be abused?
Or could you think of the lifetime effects it can have on the survivors?

Without offense, but I think no. I don't blame you, I was the same before I met her. Most people research a topic when they need to know about it, or when there's a reason to do so.

Parents pick up books on child abuse, after they discover what their kid had to go through.

That's just the way it is. You don't read upon the topic of dishwashers, until you have a reason to, like moving out from home.
Yeah, maybe becoming parents should read upon such a topic, but most people don't even dare to expect something so terrible, that most only know out of movies.

I wish for every one, that they never have to research that topic after they discover such a horrible reason to read on it.

But unfortunately child abuse is something that affects millions if not more of people worldwide. Every year.

That made me think.

How can you help children to be saved from such a trauma?

I can't help most children. But there is something that I can do. That everyone could do.

I can help parents or about to be parents to save their children from going through hell.

Now keeping in mind the above mentioned things, a checklist of symptoms put online won't do much to prevent it from happening. At least not on a huge scale.

It made me thinking: what can?

Then I thought of the impact that information we unknowingly put into our mind can have on us (books, movies, threads on this forum).

Things that you don't think of consciously while you read it. But that come to your mind when you are in a situation where you need it.
As an example, you may read on here about AdWords or ways of distributing your product. But even if you don't need it right now, it's somewhere in the back of your mind. At least the idea of it. And then you can dig into it more when you actually need it.

So I decided to take the information needed to see a possible abuse of ones or others' children, and put it into something that a lot of people read for entertainment. Within those a lot of people are probably also lots of parents, about to be parents or people who will one day have children.

That's the idea behind the fiction book I'm currently writing.

Making the protagonist a psychologist for children, gives me a lot of opportunity to build in such knowledge that may help a child one day.

When her mother reads it in this book. If she sees strange behaviour in her kid that rings a bell somewhere in the back of her mind, or just gives her a gut feeling that something is wrong. This may lead to her researching this topic and if she's right, saving her kid from trauma. Or at least stopping it from happening.

The book will be a psychological thriller.

And I don't give one single F*ck if somebody steals this idea. I even encourage you to do it, since every book, its plot, its characters are different. But this topic is not different. And it needs to be heard or read, and the more books or any other type of medium there are out there, that can help children being saved from going through hell, the better.

I know this is long, but I just needed to get this of my chest.

As UnScripted people on here, as Fastlaners, we are able to do something. To do something good. And who deserves good more than children?

I'm with you on this @Vigilante, I don't give a shit about the money that this could make. But if it saves one kid from going through a hell, that a disgusting person would make him/her go through, then it will be worth every second spent on it.
 
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Vigilante

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Holy. Shit.

I didn't think it was possible that my sympathy towards you raises even more, but damn this thread caused exactly that.

Absolutely loving your idea, and just found myself nodding at every sentence of your post on your Inspiration.

I hope I am not hijacking your thread, but damn I just need to share some thoughts.

Actually, I didn't plan on talking about this topic until there is some real progress to talk about, but your thread just resonated with me on so many levels that, if you don't mind, I want to write about it in it. Especially about that if it saves one child's life it's worth it thought.

To me, child abuse was always one of, if not the most disgusting thing on this planet. It was always a distant thing though. Something you hear about in the news or read on the internet, or maybe see in a movie or tv show.

But this all changed for me, when I met the most wonderful person I ever got to meet.

She told me about the hell her step-dad made her go through from about age 5 to 10.
From this moment on, sexual child abuse was nothing distant anymore. Nothing out of the news or elsewhere.
No. It transcended from something out of nightmares seen on a screen, into a real monster. A monster that can destroy those who can't fight for themselves.

Children.

But like with most of the worst things in life, it is something that only people who are directly (survivors, I know some say victims, but I think the word survivor describes it better) or indirectly (family, partners, friends) affected by it.

Everyone else has that overall knowledge of it.
But without research, could you name some of the signs a kid may be abused?
Or could you think of the lifetime effects it can have on the survivors?

Without offense, but I think no. I don't blame you, I was the same before I met her. Most people research a topic when they need to know about it, or when there's a reason to do so.

Parents pick up books on child abuse, after they discover what their kid had to go through.

That's just the way it is. You don't read upon the topic of dishwashers, until you have a reason to, like moving out from home.
Yeah, maybe becoming parents should read upon such a topic, but most people don't even dare to expect something so terrible, that most only know out of movies.

I wish for every one, that they never have to research that topic after they discover such a horrible reason to read on it.

But unfortunately child abuse is something that affects millions if not more of people worldwide. Every year.

That made me think.

How can you help children to be saved from such a trauma?

I can't help most children. But there is something that I can do. That everyone could do.

I can help parents or about to be parents to save their children from going through hell.

Now keeping in mind the above mentioned things, a checklist of symptoms put online won't do much to prevent it from happening. At least not on a huge scale.

It made me thinking: what can?

Then I thought of the impact that information we unknowingly put into our mind can have on us (books, movies, threads on this forum).

Things that you don't think of consciously while you read it. But that come to your mind when you are in a situation where you need it.
As an example, you may read on here about AdWords or ways of distributing your product. But even if you don't need it right now, it's somewhere in the back of your mind. At least the idea of it. And then you can dig into it more when you actually need it.

So I decided to take the information needed to see a possible abuse of ones or others' children, and put it into something that a lot of people read for entertainment. Within those a lot of people are probably also lots of parents, about to be parents or people who will one day have children.

That's the idea behind the fiction book I'm currently writing.

Making the protagonist a psychologist for children, gives me a lot of opportunity to build in such knowledge that may help a child one day.

When her mother reads it in this book. If she sees strange behaviour in her kid that rings a bell somewhere in the back of her mind, or just gives her a gut feeling that something is wrong. This may lead to her researching this topic and if she's right, saving her kid from trauma. Or at least stopping it from happening.

The book will be a psychological thriller.

And I don't give one single F*ck if somebody steals this idea. I even encourage you to do it, since every book, its plot, its characters are different. But this topic is not different. And it needs to be heard or read, and the more books or any other type of medium there are out there, that can help children being saved from going through hell, the better.

I know this is long, but I just needed to get this of my chest.

As UnScripted people on here, as Fastlaners, we are able to do something. To do something good. And who deserves good more than children?

I'm with you on this @Vigilante, I don't give a shit about the money that this could make. But if it saves from kid from going through a hell, that a disgusting person would make him/her go through, it will be worth every second spent on it.
Your comments are relevant to the spirit of this project and this thread. While the thread is primarily about process, the project is solely about outcomes.

As a side bar before we get this thread back on to process, I can tell you that in 2017 I have a big goal. I need $50k to fund a special forces team that will go on a mission to rescue a group of kids from sex trafficking. This all ties together. It's all significant. Work on shit that is bigger than you. Dream big dreams, and then make them happen. I still believe an individual can impact things on a world scale.

I look forward to reading your book, and expect to receive one of the first copies. Yours is a story that could be made into a movie. :)
 

Supa

Came for the $. Stayed for the Ice Cream.
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
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863
2,489
560
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Germany
Your comments are relevant to the spirit of this project and this thread. While the thread is primarily about process, the project is solely about outcomes.

As a side bar before we get this thread back on to process, I can tell you that in 2017 I have a big goal. I need $50k to fund a special forces team that will go on a mission to rescue a group of kids from sex trafficking. This all ties together. It's all significant. Work on shit that is bigger than you. Dream big dreams, and then make them happen. I still believe an individual can impact things on a world scale.

I look forward to reading your book, and expect to receive one of the first copies. Yours is a story that could be made into a movie. :)
Thank you. Really means a lot to read those words :)

I definitely wish you the best with your book and will of course follow this thread and also get one of the first copies of it.

Your goal is one of the greatest, and most self-less I ever read. Hope to read about its success on here this year.

And yes, definitely I will give out free copies to Forum members, as soon as it's translated into english (writing it in german) :)
 
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Working with an Editor

I had the book written, and I had some kick a$$ illustrations complete. It was time to turn the project into a book.

People with more time and/or less money than me could probably spend the time to learn how to do this. However, I was amazed to find an existing book editor on UpWork.com that was reasonable, professional, and quick. I can tell you that she made this book 10 times better that I could have, and she did it in one tenth of the time that I could have. I was lucky to find her on the first try, and fortunate she had time in her schedule to take my project.

From arranging the text, sizing the images, changing some of the layers of the actual drawings using some of her voodoo, selecting fonts that were what the industry would have recommended, putting the front and back cover with the spine into the correct format, and getting the book ready for publishing in multiple formats --- she did it all. The book is what it is because she turned illustrations and text into a book.

She was $30/hour, and all of that above only took her... a few hours. Total bill I think was less than $200 +/-

I could have done it all myself, and lost the remaining few hairs I have on my head in the process. I'd rather get busy writing the next book. So for this task, I let the pro handle what she does best.

A few days after I hired her, the book was ready for multiple printing platforms.
 
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Selecting Distribution

1. My own web site, which is not built yet. Eventually we will sell some copies direct to the public to maximize the little margin there is in publishing a $9.99 book

2. Amazon CreateSpace, which is the easiest way for a self published work to get into the Amazon stream. On a $9.99 book, using Amazon CreateSpace, I think I will net like $2

3. Ingram Spark, which is the most likely way to have ANY chance at getting the book seen by book buyers early on nationally. We also paid extra to get into the circular they send out to book dealers across the country. Time will tell if that was a wise investment or not. The net for the author is comparable to CreateSpace.

4. eBook - one of the first things that @ChickenHawk asked me (she is sweet to not DIRECT me so she ASKED me) is when the book will be available as an eBook. As a USA Today Best Selling Author, I listen to her. So we will make an eBook this Fall. I want to get through the launch first before I enter the fray of the alternative media. I want to use scarcity as a reason for people to buy the book during launch. Eventually though, I think all books need to be available as eBooks, and for longer titles also as audio books.

A few notes on Amazon CreateSpace and Ingram Spark. CreateSpace does soft covers only, and Ingram Spark does soft and hard covers both. We will buy most of the books for now from Ingram Spark, as they have a "perfect bound" binding that is better than the soft cover process Amazon uses for print on demand. It is a subtle difference, but I want the customers to really like reading the book to their kids 100 times.

Hard cover for this project took the price up too high. More on this when I talk about how we selected the retail price later.

There's a ton for you to read up on for both CreateSpace and Ingram Spark, so Google it and study it.
 

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As a side bar before we get this thread back on to process, I can tell you that in 2017 I have a big goal. I need $50k to fund a special forces team that will go on a mission to rescue a group of kids from sex trafficking. This all ties together. It's all significant. Work on shit that is bigger than you. Dream big dreams, and then make them happen. I still believe an individual can impact things on a world scale.
Sex Trafficking is the number one world issue that I care about. It started when I was travelling in Europe with my 1 year old, and I watched the movie Taken for the first time (kid gets kidnapped in europe and sold into sex trafficking). It shook me up so much, I had to go to my kid's bed and sleep with her.

However, I've found it challenging to get involved, as most "in the action" volunteering is reserved for females only.

Any good organizations you can recommend getting involved with?


I like your idea of funding a special forces team... that's real stuff right there. Although, sad, that funding needs to be raised for this. Sounds like it should be in someone's budget.
 
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jon.a

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I like your idea of funding a special forces team... that's real stuff right there. Although, sad, that funding needs to be raised for this. Sounds like it should be in someone's budget.
vigilante. : a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate)
 

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