UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS! 515lbs of books are showing up at my house today!
6 days ago
– Fri, May 18, 2018 at 07:54:40 AM
After a lovely launch party last night (watch the video feed here for the mini podcast if you like, the podcast starts at 26:47), I woke up to a delight this morning: 515LBS OF BOOKS ARE ARRIVING TODAY! They weren't supposed to arrive until Tuesday of next week, but after a journey from China through Kentucky and Alaska, they have touched down in my city.
If you have moved since you originally filled out the backerkit survey, PLEASE update your address on the Backerkit Reminder email sent out this morning. No action is necessary if you haven't moved in the past 5 months. I start shipping on Sunday afternoon, so I want to make sure your books get to you at the right time! Updating through the survey is the best way to do it, not sending me a direct email. If you can't find the survey, email me, though!
If you have any gift requests, or want me to write a special note or something on your book, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll make sure I get it set up for you!
Thank you all for your help on this journey, and I CANNOT WAIT to have you and your critters receive the book. I really couldn't have done it without mew.
BOOKS HAVE LANDED! Launch Purr-ty is tonight - join the livestream!
7 days ago
– Thu, May 17, 2018 at 08:15:27 AM
Hello lovers (or reluctant purr-ticipants) of purrsonal finance,
Well, the 515lbs of expediated books have finally cleared customs and have boarded a book plane and currently are set to arrive on Tuesday next week, at which point I will immediately start packaging them up to send to you all! You will receive tracking in-fur-mation for your books and stickers and bowties next week. Books will arrive for most folks by end of the month (except for the Australians, sorry).
Want to see the books right meow? Join us at the launch purr-ty tonight!
Tonight in Portland we're having a little launch purr-ty for the books. You can see the 2 copies that have made it stateside, get some adorable stickers, eat some cat-shaped snacks, and hear a live mini-show.
The purr-ty will be at Kate Bingaman-Burt's studio, Outlet PDX, where she creates amazing books, zines, and large scale art about her purr-chases. She even paints large canvases replicating her Target receipts! It's a magical space, and I'm so honored she let us join for the party! You can RSVP and get all the details here.
Book printing is wrapped! See the stickers!
23 days ago
– Tue, May 01, 2018 at 01:23:08 PM
Printing of the books is finnnnallly complete!
I just got word from our overseas printer that the book has wrapped up being printed today!! Finally! 325 of the 1,000 books are being packaged up and put on a plane this week from Shenzhen, China to Portland, Oregon. That’s supposed to take about 10 days. Once they hit Portland, I’m bundling them up with your adorable stickers, cat bowties, and Lawcat zines and shipping them out to you. I’ll send out a 72-hour warning to update your address in Backerkit, just in case you move in the next 2 weeks. If you’re in Portland, you can also pick up your book at the launch party on May 17th.
The other 675 books are being put on a literal slow boat from China and will arrive several weeks later. Those books will being going to shops, Pay It Fur-ward recipients, and will be purr-chasable on Amazon.
Lessons learned with my first print book
I definitely thought I was special and I was going to deliver my first-ever crowdfunded shoestring budget print book exactly on time, not late like nearly every other Kickstarter. Nope, I’m late, because I learned the same lessons many others have learned, including some of these:
Print books are not the same as zines. In my life I have made and helped other people make hundreds of zines. Yes, being a zinester helps with self-publishing a book but books ≠ zines. I can't do another print run later with some white out if I find a mistake. I can't produce a batch of 100 and then do a second edition of 50 later. Books, also, are extremely heavy compared to zines. Heavier = more expensive to ship (I’m spending thousands on shipping the books from the printer to me).
You need a LOT of margins. My old middle school trick of contracting the 1/2 inch required margin to .33 inches to fit more words in a page backfires when you need the page to be readable. Adding margins increases your book length - significantly (we went from 120 pages to 216 pages).
Ideally avoid having the president get involved with a trade war with the country where your book was printed. I don’t really know what to say about this except… yea. that. This made my original locked-in quote go up quite a bit.
Book designers are skilled, smart humans and worth the money. I know how to use InDesign. I am even an okay graphic designer some days. But I am not a book designer - and if I could’ve afforded to hire one, I would in a heartbeat. I spent over 130 hours designing the book after it was done being written and illustrated, and it probably would’ve taken a skilled book designer half that time and looked better.
Bribe people for finding typos. We found a lot of typos collectively. You cannot underestimate the power of promised cat stickers and love in finding typos. (And yes I still found more typos after the book went to print).
Pay it Fur-Ward
Just this month, I have been able to deliver in-person financial literacy workshops to over 80 low-income adults and youth thanks to the generosity of your contributions to the Pay-It-Forward program. Yesterday I spent the evening talking through budgeting, fixing credit scores, cats, and looking for jobs with youth at the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center, a drop-in program for homeless/transitional youth that identify as GLBTQ*.
Some questions that came up:
How do I keep myself from spending my rent and cell phone and food money instead of spending it on bathhouses and shoes?
Are you a cosplayer? You dress like a cosplayer.
If I am living in a tent right now, but am working to save up for an apartment, how do I prove where I have been living on my rental application?
If I can keep saving $500 a month, will I be able to retire by 50? (This is from a 19 year old making minimum wage- the answer is that you can retire a lot sooner than 50 if you can save that much on that income!)
How do I fix my credit after selling my car back for $10,000 less than the loan?
If my parents kicked me out, can I still go to college if they won’t fill out the FAFSA?
Everyone got cat stickers if they wrote down their next financial goal. They were a hit.
To wrap up: I am most excited about the books, and can’t wait to get them in your paws. And if you’re in Portland, please join us at the launch party on May 17th!
When are the kittens arriving!? Launch Party details + status update
about 2 months ago
– Tue, Apr 03, 2018 at 01:17:57 PM
Hello fans of purrsonal finance!
For the few of you that are not in on the weekly read-along emails, I realized you haven't heard from me in awhile! So here's an update:
The weekly challenges and chapter-by-chapter read-along wraps up next week (4/11), after which every single backer will be getting their shiny ebooks of the entire book (in DRM-free EPUB and PDF form.)
You will see the email with the link to the ebook downloads come from Backerkit, and if you don't see one by 4/17 (tax day), please let me know and I'll directly email you one myself. All gift ebook copies will be going out at the same time!
What about the other things - stickers, bowties, Lawcat Zines?!
Lawcat zines are right next to me at this moment! Stickers and bowties are both being produced right meow, and are expected to be at my house next week! Once the print books have arrived we'll package them all up and ship them out. Here’s what the stickers look like (the lines are where you can peel them):
Most impurrtant - When are the print books coming?
I’m still hoping to get the books out to you later this month, but we had some surprises during production (that anyone who has self-published before probably would've foreseen) that might mean they arrive as late as mid-May for some folks.
Thanks to the excellent, helpful feedback of folks during the read-along, we added 25 pages to include more worksheets and information, and we ended up having to change the final print size to make better margins to write in! All these changes, while great for the final book, have slowed down print production - and significantly increased costs, unfortunately - but I’m committed to getting y’all the best book possible.
The books are being printed abroad to keep costs down, and as soon as printing is done, they’ll be booking their ticket on a plane to Portland. I'll then pack up your extras and they books will be shipped to you! You will get estimated shipping updates + tracking numbers from Backerkit as soon as the books leave Portland!
When is 401Kittens (video of kittens + explaining investing) ready?
"Kitten season" at local shelters is just beginning, so I'm waiting for available kittens for filming. I expect 401Kittens to be up on the web this summer!
When will the audio version be ready?
We've got the audio studio time booked for later this month, so likely sometime in June once we get the chapter markers inserted and everything edited!
It's not too late to join the weekly read-along!
3 months ago
– Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 09:19:30 AM
Hello purrsonal finance kittens and humans!
I don't want to crowd up your inbox - this will be my last email about this - but I wanted to let you know that there's still time to join the weekly #purrsonalfinance chapter read-alongs. Chapter 2 went out this week to the 51% of backers participating, and you can easily catch up!
Each week we reveal a new chapter and a new kitty of the week. Plus, we have a #purrsonalfinance money challenge, and you get a digital cat merit badge for completing each one! We're trying out instagram for live Q&A's each Sunday night so you can ask me questions about the chapter. The next one is today at 5PM Pacific time! Get notified about the livestream by following @oh.mydollar on instagram.
When do the chapter emails come out? The new chapters come out on Wednesday night or Thursday morning, depending on your timezone (11 time zones are represented by our group of backers!)
What if I fall behind? Don't worry about it; if you get swamped and miss a week, it's easy to skip over a chapter or catch up later. You shouldn't have any problems catching up, and hopefully the weekly challenges will provide some cute accountability!
Can I give these weekly read-alongs as a gift? Yes! Just shoot me an email back with your giftee's name and email address and I'll send a "gift email" to your gift recipient that will let them opt-in to the weekly read-alongs.
When are my print books and stickers and cat bowties coming? We're still on track for the full release in April as originally predicted. I will let you know if anything changes!
How are the pay it fur-ward classes going? We had 211 pay it fur-ward books donated, and we have 100 of the spots booked with Portland-area non-profits! If you're interested in facilitating a class and receiving free books and money curriculum for group that serves low-income folks in your area, I'll be sending out a (very short and easy) application later this month!