18 July 2014 | 32 Comments
Back in May, my literary agent told me that we had a teleconference scheduled with a publisher called Berrett-Koehler who was interested in my Kickstarter book, People Not Pawns.
In truth, I had never heard of Berrett-Koehler, so I went to their website to learn more.
I instantly fell in love.
Berrett-Koehler describes its mission as “Creating a World That Works for All.” Their story goes on to say the following:
We believe that to truly create a better world, action is needed at all levels–individual, organizational, and societal. At the individual level, our books help people align their lives with their values and with their aspirations for a better world. At the organizational level, our books promote progressive leadership and management practices, socially responsible approaches to business, and humane and effective organizations.
The reason I connect with this mission is because it’s almost identical to the reasons I write this blog and why I’ve written a book about Kickstarter: I want people to approach Kickstarter with integrity, due diligence, and a backer-first mindset, and not just because I think that’s the “right” thing to do, but because I believe that a creator will significantly increase their chances of success if they approach Kickstarter with that mindset.
One of the early working titles for my book was “Make It About Them.” The idea is that people will be more drawn to you and your dream if you focus on them and how you can add value to them. For example, blog about something that teaches people something new instead of just talking about the thing you’re making. I feel like this philosophy is strongly tied to BK’s mission.
The teleconference went great. It’s pretty rare that an editor takes 45 minutes to chat with an unpublished author, and I’m very grateful for all of the advice and insights Neal Maillet shared during that discussion.
My agent, Jennifer Chen Tran of Penumbra Literary, had sent the book proposal to a number of publishers. We ended up getting offers from three of them, but in my heart I had to go with Berrett-Koehler.
That brings us to the present day. I can now officially announce that I’ve signed with Berrett-Koehler to publish my book in 2015!
I’m really, really excited about this. I love writing here on the blog, and I will continue to do so, but it would be great if my message and story could reach a much broader audience. My hope is that it will make crowdfunding better for both entrepreneurs and backers.
Also, on a personal note, I’ve had two lifelong dreams: to publish a board game and to publish a book. In a way, I feel like I get to reach back in time to pat little 8-year-old Jamey on the shoulder and tell him that the future is a place where those dreams come true.
Here’s the Publisher’s Marketplace blurb about the book signing:
Board-game start-up entrepreneur, crowdfunding authority, and blogger Jamey Stegmaier’s PEOPLE NOT PAWNS: How I Kickstarted My Dream Company, part business memoir and part nuts-and-bolts insider tips on how to build a successful Kickstarter campaign from the ground-up, connect with your core audience, and pave the road to crowdfunding success, featuring interviews with major Kickstarter campaigns and creators including Studio Neat, 1 Second Everyday, and Quinn Popcorn, to Neal Maillet at Berrett-Koehler, in a nice deal, for publication in September 2015, by Jennifer Chen Tran at Penumbra Literary.
I’ve written about 75% of the book, but just to give you a small taste, I’ve posted the first few pages of Chapter 1 here. Oh, and the title might change. BK and I will work together on that.
It’s a little weird for me to write this post (it feels too self-congratulatory), but really, I’d like to thank you, dearest reader. Without you, this blog wouldn’t have grown into what it is today. Without your comments, Likes, tweets, subscriptions, insights, and participation, there is no way that I would have taken the plunge to write a book. I am incredibly grateful for you.