Launch Permission - It is a story, but it is not a book!

posted 22 Apr 2013, 01:53 by Jo Grace

I pressed the green 'submit project' button. My nerves tingled. The message said it could take several days for me to hear back. I couldn't focus on work. I had planned to spend this time mapping out who I would contact if the project launched but I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't sit still. I decided to go for a run: a LONG run. 

At 4:30pm the following day I received an email. They wanted some more information about the possible problems the project might encounter. I added a few, thinking that the biggest problem the project could encounter was being rejected by them. I went back to waiting (running).

At 4:30pm the next day there was another email. Clarity was needed about my rewards. My rewards are a bit unusual, I'm offering people a smell in the post, a sensory smorgasbord as well as sensory stories themselves - some of which would have the stimuli with them and some wouldn't. Kickstarter wanted me to make it clearer that some of the stories would be unresourced. I made the edits, and opted for chocolate instead of running.

Again at 4:30pm I heard from them. 

Friends now knew that this was when I heard and I had facebook messages saying: ??? My Mother was carefully not phoning until after 4:30 each day, and then phoning under some guise of needing to know something else, mentioning casually at the end of our conversations "so have you heard?" Mum worked with people with special educational needs and disabilities when she was my age, through her I know how much times have changed: In her early 20s she took a lady with fragile bones to Italy for a three month holiday. People stopped her on the streets asking why she was prepared to be seen in public with a disabled person. They wanted to know why she wasn't ashamed, and were completely shocked when they found out the lady wasn't even a relative. Mum had the time of her life maneuvering this lady's wheel chair up the Spanish steps and seeing everything, tasting everything. Mum wants this project to be a success as much as I do.

The news was bad, it was what I had feared. I had entered the project into 'publishing' as that is where other children's books are listed. But my project isn't a book, and it won't be published. The message said that they were happy with all my edits and there was just one thing they needed to clear up before I could launch: Where is the book?

My heart sank: this was the moment when they would turn around and declare me a 'cause.' It felt as if someone had gone through the whole page, picking out the small edits and then at the end of it had sat back and, for the first time, consider the project as a whole and spotted this glaring error.

I wrote back: There is no book. And waited. 

At 4:30pm the following day: Nothing. The next day was a Saturday. I wondered if they worked on Saturdays. I reasoned that they might. I heard nothing. Sunday, also nothing. I was bad company. My head was full of angry arguments. As James slept next to me I muttered my justifications: “Just because something is for children with special needs doesn’t make it a cause! It’s no different to being for toddlers, or for OAPs or for any group you can put a label to. It is art, it’s the work of a Foley artist.” 

But I knew they could reject me simply for not being a book, for not being a publication. That would be so easy. Sensory Stories just don't 'fit' into any of their categories. The Kickstarter site clearly explains that if a project is rejected that is final, they can't provide a reason, they haven't got the time. I wasn't able to rest knowing that the whole endeavor could be squashed with one email.

I spend Monday morning running, pounding the tarmac, my muttered arguments now more cogent, more vehement. I feel impotent knowing that I'll never get to fight the fight I'm preparing for. If the project isn't accepted, I'll have no one to shout at. 

4:30pm came and went. I tried not to check the site during the evening. It wasn't fair on James to spend his evening with a girl starring at an ipad gradually getting angrier and angrier! As we got up to go to bed I checked on auto pilot, it's become part of the bedtime routine - brush teeth, check for emails, etc. And there it was: : Your project has been approved you are ready to launch

I load the Kickstarter site. The green 'launch' button is no longer in shadow, it's mine to press. I can't send a message thanking Nina - from whom all the communication has come - now the project is go for launch there is no 'reply' button on the messages from her, she just wishes me well. I click back to the button...should I press it? All the fight that was in me turns to jelly. This was the big problem for my project and it's gone. The door is open, I'm go for launch. From here on in the only thing that can fail the project is me.

James is the voice of reason, and points out that launching in the wee small hours of the morning would mean the project ending at this time as well and that might not be the best thing for the final push. We agree I'll launch in the morning. James sleeps and I lie awake imagining all I will do the following day.