My friends, family and other supporters, I am extremely ecstatic that, in only seven (7) days, you have helped me to reach the initial target of $1,200. Now that I will be able to buy enough copies of my own self-published book to make a respectable marketing push, I am appealing for more contributions for the following reason.
As stated before (my original message is still intact below), it would make the entire launch experience more worthwhile in my view if I could launch the book in Jamaica, which is the main setting for my story. I feel like I owe it to the Universe to do it there but I simply cannot afford a plane ticket at this time (with my part-time job here in Washington, DC barely managing my bills) plus whatever it will cost for me to organize the event in Kingston. I am going to spend these next few days working out the budget to make it happen in the hopes that the overwhelming support that has been shown to this campaign so far will continue! Either way, I feel extremely blessed so far and I can almost taste my dreams already coming true. Today is celebrated as Emancipation Day all over the English-speaking Caribbean and, indeed, I feel like I am being emancipated by your kindness. Thank you!
A Story to Tell
I am Dutty Bookman (born Gavin Hutchinson). I'm 28 years old and have been a self-declared revolutionary for the majority of my adult life. I have an inherent need to express myself, especially through the written word. My blog, DUTTYISM.COM, has been active for over one and a half year now and I decided that now is a good time to embark on a different kind of project: an in-depth account of four key years of my life, between 2006 when I returned to my homeland, Jamaica, after living in the USA, and 2010 when I migrated from Jamaica again. During that time, I was managing a popular social website, hosting a national radio talk show, working for the family of Bob Marley and, eventually, launching a non-profit organization for youth empowerment. The whole time, I was growing up and experiencing major changes in my personal life.
During the entire process of writing Tried & True: Revelations of a Rebellious Youth, I kept asking myself WHY I dared to think that my life experiences would even matter to other people. Memoirs of interest are usually written by people with some sort of celebrity status. I am far from a celebrity, yet that is exactly why I thought I should release this book to the public. My intention is for people in my age group (and younger) to read my story and realize that they can be quite ordinary while accomplishing extraordinary things. I believe that I am an example of a good soul with good intentions and, because of that, I have received great blessings. By printing my story, the impact on the reader has transformative potential.
After writing my story, I think it most resembles a combination of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Jon Lee Anderson's Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, which would make a lot of sense because both titles influenced me greatly. Even so, there is a quality about the book that is very unique and I will not attempt to describe it. I am eager to have others read it and tell me their thoughts!
Approach & Vision
I have chosen to self-publish my work with a print-on-demand model in an effort to make my most useful skill - writing - benefit me financially in the long run. Of course, this means that there are higher start-up costs to consider, especially because I decided to start a publishing company as well. So far, I have registered Bookman Express, LLC in the District of Columbia, USA. I am doing this because I have a vision to provide publishing services to other gifted writers from Jamaica and elsewhere, who wish to enjoy the financial benefits of self-publishing as well as the professional benefits associated with an independent publishing company based in the USA. I am a practicing bookseller at a well-known independent bookstore in Washington, DC, so I am constantly absorbing the ways of the industry. My aim is to live, learn and spread the opportunity around.
That being said, because I am self-publishing, and because I am using the print-on-demand model, it means that I will be doing a lot of my own marketing. I have poured a significant amount of funds into setting up Bookman Express and I would now love to raise the funds to be able to purchase about 200 copies of my own book. That way, I can approach some key outlets in Jamaica and the USA with copies on-hand. From that point onward, Bookman Express will be able to sustain itself with its profits. All you have to do is contribute a modest sum and you will be helping one more writer to be a step closer to achieving financial independence in a world that can be cruel to people with literary or artistic inclinations.
For me to purchase those copies of my book, I will need roughly US$1,200. Your contribution will help me to reach that goal. If I surpass the goal, excess funds will help me to coordinate and stage an official launch event in Jamaica and/or the USA, which I would really love to make a reality! All that depends on how much more than the US$1,200 is pledged though.
I prefer to believe that this target amount will inevitably be reached, but if that does not occur then whatever money is raised will still help me to buy as many copies from the printer as possible for my initial stock. Either way - target reached or not reached - the book will be available for sale online (with worldwide shipping) by the end of 2011, barring any unfortunate, unforeseen incidence. I will be sure to update my website, DUTTYISM.COM, as soon as it is available for sale.