Hello, everyone. It has been an exciting week.
If you missed it or it slipped your mind, I'm running a Kickstarter campaign for the pre-release of my newest book, "How To Draw Black People." As previously mentioned, we started well, and since then, we've been making progress as the days tick by.
We've made a little over 8% progress in the second week. But, unfortunately, one day, we only attracted one backer in 24 hours (yikes!)
Objectively that doesn't sound good. However, in my experience and from what I have observed, this is routine. Typically, if a project isn't fully funded or more than halfway to the goal in the first week, it goes through a lull in the second. I've never had first-week success, and in the past, it has always taken the better part of 3 weeks to reach a funding goal. I'm not ignoring the hill's steepness, just acknowledging that it can be climbed with the right effort.
Some people prefer to go last; others mean to pledge, but the idea gets lost in the shuffle. Still, new people continue to find their way to the project, and the only reason that's happening is because of the effort backers have put in.
My readers are educators, students, freelancers, models, writers, anthropologists, animators, cartoonists, amateurs, and professionals, the kind of people who are often locked in one too many passions to keep consistent track of time. Not many people are willing to shout to the high heavens that they are excited about "How To Draw Black People" either. Race is a sensitive topic, and it is inseparable from the book's subject matter; That makes promotion and advertisement hard.
I talk about the obstacles artists face when directly challenging racial stereotypes, and it only makes sense that I experience the same issues. So, while the progress we've made is less than ideal (though greatly appreciated), it isn't unexpected.
I no longer have 30k followers to rely upon, and I have been MIA for almost two years. I'm sure that my campaign has surprised a few people. I'm naive, but not so much that I think people would flock to me once my ads started running.
All that to say, I'm not panicking, and neither should you. I came into this prepared for the most probable scenarios and understood that it might not work out the way I anticipated or desired. I'm calm because I trust the work I put in. Trust takes time to build. The first readers of How To Draw Black People Volume 2 will be the ones to foster the confidence others need to take the plunge. How those first readers get their hands on this book is secondary to ensuring people know it's there if they need it.
The shop on shabazzarts.com is fully functional, and if the right amount of backers don't show, everyone that did will be able to complete their purchase at the price they pledged.
We need you to continue helping us with outreach, spreading our social links, and onboarding new/potential backers. I don't want anyone to feel like their efforts are being wasted or unreciprocated. I prefer to be honest about what's ahead, and I want you all to be as prepared as I am. My goal is the same, get this book in the hands of people that need help.
The Next Week will be critical for the success of the Kickstarter project but not the production of How To Draw Black People Volume 2 or the delivery of your rewards. We're heading into the final stretch, and if we work together, one way or another, everyone that backs this project will get their rewards.
Every ten backers unlock a new giveaway for new pledges. The first 100 backers get a free digital copy of the first volume, and the ten after that are receiving my wicked witch print. The next group of backers gets this limited edition 10x10 print. The closer we get to the goal, the better the prizes I will give away. Remember, if you get someone to pledge, you both get the same gift. These prizes are deal sweeteners and are a great way to get more rewards out of your pledge.
See you next week when we will be miraculously and inexplicably funded, and you all think I take things far too seriously.