So, we were supposed to launch a Kickstarter this week.
Matt and I spent 2019 working on two books simultaneously for two different publishers. One of them is the sequel to Drawn to Sex: The Basics, the collection of educational Oh Joy Sex Toy comics that we co-published with Limerence Press. Drawn to Sex: Our Bodies and Health is the follow-up that compiles our OJST comics that focus on, well, health and body issues— “It’s comics about all the ways your genitals can explode” is the way I’ve summed it up to my friends (There’s a lot more to it than that, of course).
I’m especially proud of this sequel because, obviously, sex education is a subject that’s near and dear to my heart, but also because we completed this (and our other book) as I was also admitted into the Intensive Outpatient Program and its long-term follow-up program at the hospital for the better part of the year. I only just graduated at the end of March last month.
Every book is an accomplishment. It takes blood, sweat, and tears to produce one of these suckers in even the best of circumstances.
Drawn to Sex: Our Bodies and Health, though? This book is a miracle.
Matt and I made it through maybe the hardest year we’ve ever faced— mentally, emotionally, and physically— and we came out of it not just by the skin of our teeth but with two books that we are so, so proud of. We did a good job. These books are GOOD. We want to share them with you. We NEED to share them with you- that’s why we did everything we did to complete them on time!
With the book work somehow done, we were now gearing up to Kickstart Drawn to Sex: Our Bodies and Health (which also funds the rest of the business costs of Oh Joy Sex Toy and guest artist pay), and then…
…the world exploded?
What do you do when you’ve produced a big thing and you need to get paid for the thing and the world is literally (metaphorically) on fire?
Matt and I honestly don’t know what the right answer is. Does a “right” answer even exist?
I’ve read the articles that make a case for independent artists to persevere and continue to crowdfund during these times and we’ve been encouraged privately from people in our industry to go ahead and let our audience decide for themselves if they can afford to support us.
That’s all well and good……… but what about the whole post office issue? It’s looking like now the United States Postal Service is gonna go bust???
Nothing compares to the USPS’s media mail rates, so if it goes under between our Kickstarter funding and the time we ship our books, we could be looking at a huge price difference. Like, ‘This Kickstarter would COST us money, not make us money’ kinda difference.
So we’ve decided to postpone our Kickstarter campaign until May and will see what shape the post office is in then. We need to feel confident that the prices we quote people during the fundraising will match the ones we’ll have to pay when we ship them in November.
Here is the thing, Drawn to Sex: Our Bodies and Health WILL be releasing through Limerence Press this November, whether or not we run this Kickstarter. Like the previous books we’ve co-published with them, they will be printing and delivering our book to the distribution networks that Matt and I are too small to access on our own, places like book stores and libraries.
The reason we still need to Kickstart on our end is to
1) Raise our own payment for having made the book in the first place,
2) Buy our personal copies to sell to our audience directly, and
3) Crowdsource the money to pay our guest cartoonists a professional rate.
Our annual book Kickstarter is a large part of how we support our business and, y’know, ourselves. It’s not just money to print the book, it also generates the income we need to hire freelance cartoonists, run our business, and pay for our living expenses.
So, yeah. This was a whole lotta words to say “The Drawn to Sex: Our Bodies and Health Kickstarter campaign is postponed until May, probably?”
What weird times we’re in. I hope you’re staying safe out there.
(Cross-posted from the Oh Joy Sex Toy blog)