Friends, I'm pretty excited to announce the arrival of my second book: Hey Baby. It's a comic memoir about my adventures with pregnancy, childbirth, and new parenthood, and it's now available for purchase! Hey Baby is the print collection of the birth comics I've been posting on this blog, plus a bunch of new comics too!
When I started drawing these comics, I really didn't have a book in mind, I just needed to get my story out. The response I got from people when I started sharing them online was incredible: supportive, enthusiastic, encouraging. Enough people suggested it would make a good book that I started to agree with them. So that's what we decided to do!
With tons of help from my wonderful husband Zech (also a character in this comic, naturally) we took the original 46 comics from the blog, added an introduction and a brand new section about new-parenthood (21 new comics!), and suddenly we were looking at a book. Well, a potential book. We still needed to raise the money to print it.
That's where Kickstarter came in. I was skeptical about crowdfunding back when it first came on the scene. I felt uncomfortable asking people for money for a product that didn't even exist yet (at least not physically.) Well, since then I've seen a lot of awesome creative projects produced with the help of Kickstarter, including comics (in fact, it's a major reason why the Xeric foundation - which funded my first book - ended its run!). So when it came time to bring Hey Baby to life, Kickstarter seemed like a great option.
I was nervous. People enjoyed the comics I was posting online, but those were free. There was nothing asked in return. Would people actually bother to reach for their wallets for a bunch of scribbly doodles about the birth of our son? If no one pledged, or we didn't reach our goal, the campaign would fail, and that would be embarrassing, which for an artist, is worse than death.
Zech said, don't worry. People will support this. I still worried, but he was right. Within the first 24 hours we hit our funding goal! And then we kept going. When the campaign ended, 2 weeks later, we had raised 300% of our original goal, including 5 stretch goals (which meant those backing the project scored stickers, paper upgrades, bonus content both printed and online...) Hey Baby was tagged by Kickstarter as a "Project we love" and was even featured on the main comics page!
All told, 133 people backed the project, including fine folks from as far as Scotland, Taiwan, Sweden and beyond. The support and excitement for the project blew me away. My head is still spinning :-)
So, with funding secured, we gave our friends at Gorham Printing a ring and ordered the books. About two weeks later I was driving up to Washington to pick up 13 boxes of my newest release while the star of the book (one Mr. Harvey Bard) hummed and chatted happily in the backseat.
Then there was a flurry of stuffing envelopes and mailing the books and other rewards to my kickstarter backers.
And now? I offer them to everyone! Whether you've had a baby, plan to have a baby, know a baby, or you once were a baby (here's looking at you, everyone alive) I think Hey Baby has something for you. Drama. Suspense. Jokes. Tears. Add it to your comics library, or give it as a baby shower gift. And then, most importantly write your own stories! I, for one, would love to read them :)