Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Blowing Out Some Discs and Melissa Gijsbers

I have been absent from the blogging scene because I blew out five discs in an accident here on our farm. YOUCHIE!!!!! Oh, THE pain! I'm doing this without pain meds too. YOUCHIE!!!!!!! 

But here's the real reason we're here today. 

Everyone please welcome Melissa Gijsbers. Melissa has a crowdfunding campaign going on right now for her book SWALLOW ME, NOW! Her target is  $3,500. Her deadline is September 20th. This book deals with the subject of bullying. A very important subject for all of us. Especially our kids.

This is the story of the project. Taken from Melissa’s crowdfunding project page at Pozible. 
‘Swallow Me, NOW!’ is the story of Samantha Phillips, a ten year old kid in grade 5 who relocates back to Australia after spending three years in Nepal. On her first day she meets Felicity, the most popular girl at Green Oaks Primary School, who bullies her, first with exclusion, and then escalating to teasing. The story tells the tale of how Sam overcomes the bullies and builds her confidence to find some new friends.

I first Melissa over at the chapter book challenge facebook group. This girl is full of energy and a love of writing. I knew I had to do something when I saw she was trying to crowdfund.

Melissa, what is the biggest challenge with crowdfunding?

There are two big challenges for me. One is self-promotion, not something I’ve been particularly good at, hand in hand with self-confidence. Something that many writers struggle with. The second is not bugging people all the time with posting links to the campaign!

How do you decide how much money you will need?

I looked at how much each element of the book cost – editing, layout, illustrations, printing, etc. – and then added extra to that amount for the different rewards. I also took into account how much it would be for envelopes and postage as well as the Pozible fees. I then added in a little extra for any unforeseen costs and came up with the figure.

How many rewards does an author need to have? I noticed you have seven. I’ve seen other projects that have two, and some have ten. 

I’ve seen campaigns with more rewards than what I have, and some that has less. I was going to have less. However, I know I have a lot of contacts who are outside Australia, so I wanted to make sure they didn’t miss out on getting a copy of their book too. :-)

How did you find your publisher?

I met Julieann Wallace from Lilly Pilly Press through a writer’s group on Facebook a while ago. I started looking for an editor about 7 months ago, and Julieann put her hand up. One of the biggest selling points for me was she’s a former teacher of the age group I’m aiming the book at, so she was able to edit the book from the point of view of a teacher as well as an editor. She believed in the book so much that she’s helped me every step of the way with publishing.

How many books will be printed?

That will depend a lot on how many books are pre-ordered! There will also be a box or two ready for the book launch in October.

Tell us about Swallow Me Now!

Swallow Me, NOW! was written during the 2013 Chapter Book Challenge and grew as a result of my son being bullied and hitting out. It’s based on my experiences in the late 1980s of being a missionary kid adjusting to life back in Australia and my kids experiences of bullies. One of my aims with the book is to encourage kids who are being bullied to speak up and get help.

Who did the illustrations?

Cecilia Clark ( drew Sam; you can see her on the cover. I think she’s done an amazing job as Sam looks just like I imagined her.
 My 12-year-old son is also doing a couple of the internal illustrations. He’s really excited to be involved and is trying to find a way he can pledge to the campaign….!

What can readers do to help you?

First, they can stop by and pledge. There are levels from $5 to $100, and most include a copy of the book. There are also levels where you can get a book for you and one for a friend. If you don’t have a friend you can think of, we would be happy to donate the second copy to a school or library.

Second, they can share the word and encourage their friends to get involved.

I’m looking forward to sending out copies of “Swallow Me, NOW!” to all the supporters of this campaign.

I truly hope you have your money by September 20th, Melissa. It's been wonderful having you here. 

If you want to support Melissa in crowdfunding her chapter book hop over to her home away from home and show her the love. Any amount will be appreciated. Here's the link: Swallow, Me Now! 

Melissa's HOUSE! YEAH! The House!

Melissa's hideaway (her blog) :-) Aussie hideaway

Here's Melissa's FB page: MelissaGijsbers. 

Question. Would YOU ever consider crowdfunding a writing project?


  1. I wouldn't be great in promoting myself either. Good luck reaching your goal, Melissa.

    Robyn, so sorry about your accident. Hope you feel better soon! Sending you positive thoughts.

  2. Robyn, I've been chatting with you all summer long. How the #*^@ did I miss your accident???? Holy into-myself-or-what....

    Lovely to meet you, Melissa!

  3. Hey Natalie, great to see you! Thanks for the positive thoughts. I'm trying. :-)

  4. Don't worry, Sheri, my pal. The disc thing is what it is. I bet you know I'm still riding horses. It takes me days to recover but while I'm sitting tall in the saddle I'm smiling and laughing and have a big time Ha.

  5. I see more and more authors using crowdfunding to raise money for their books.
    Sorry about your back, Robyn!!

  6. Poor, dear Robyn...I hate that you are in such pain. :(

    What a fun interview of Melissa. I don't know much about crowdfunding so it's very informative reading about her journey. Best of luck to her!

    And you, FEEL BETTER SOON! xo

  7. Hey Amigo, thanks so much for the intro to Melissa! :) The book sounds wonderful. It sounds like it's a great story and tool for kids to use too. Wishing Melissa all the best!

    Praying for my sweet amigo - hoping you're getting some relief.

    xo Karen

  8. Alex, thanks. Me too. Crowdfunding is THE new alternative to traditional.

  9. Teresa, YOUCHIE! I'll try. XOXOXO back atcha! As I follow Melissa's road I think there are many more authors who will be right behind her.

  10. I'm trying for relief, amigo. But it just won't come. I'm too young for a cane, but I think I'll have to use one. My walk is real choppy now. I fall easily.

    Melissa's book (and those like it) are so needed by youth these days.

  11. We're all sorry you're hurting so badly, Robyn. You've been paying it forward for so many bloggers, and you need to know how much we appreciate all you've done, and , hey, we've got your back! If a cane will help keep you from falling, then by golly you should use it until you don't need it anymore. Not worth risking taking a tumble. Not at our age.

    Melissa's book sounds great, and I wish her all the best with the crowd funding. My brain is a wee bit crowded with too many other things these days, so, no, I couldn't tackle such a thing at this point in my life! Go, Melissa! We're cheering for you!

  12. Oh BBF! So sorry to hear about your back! Take care of yourself and heal quickly...xox

    Wishing Melissa the best of luck with her project!

  13. Hi Robyn .. I felt for you - til you let on you're back up and riding .. but then of course that's what life is about .. be knocked down, get back up - probably the best thing to do ..

    I sincerely hope your back will recover ... but no doubt needs nurturing ...

    Interesting to read Melissa's crowd funding approach .. good for her and such a valuable subject to be broached ..

    Cheers to you both - Hilary

  14. Lynn, thanks for the cane encouragement. Ha. I HATE the thoughts. But one good thing. I can still mount a horse and ride. I pay for it after with pain. But while I'm in that saddle all the back issues are gone. All I'm thinking about is oneness with that horse.

    Melissa is going to make it. She's working hard. I don't want to do it either. But I applaud those who do.

  15. YOUCHIE! It hurts so badly, BBF. It will always hurt. *sigh* But I won't let the pain win.

    Crowdfunding is so popular now. I want to go TRADITIONAL!!


  16. Hil, the pain is excruciating. But I decided to live THROUGH the pain. No pain medicine. While I'm riding, I forget about the pain. Once I'm down from the horse, I can barely walk. But I don't care! Riding nurtures my inner self.

    I hope Melissa makes it!!

  17. ooo, my back just twanged again! No meds. Brave gal. Heal fast and well.

    Good luck to Melissa. I hope she reaches her goal.

  18. Holly, I'm twanging your back a lot these days. :-) Thanks for giving me a chuckle. Healing fast sounds great. Thanks.

    I hope Melissa reaches her goal, too.

  19. I hope you feel mucho better-o Ms. Campbell-o! Make sure to eat lots of donuts! :D
    Great interview! :D

  20. I'm so sorry you're going through this pain, Robyn.

    Looks like a wonderful book and I wish Melissa much success.

  21. Erik, *nom* *nom I sook your adbice. Mmmmm. :-)

  22. Medeia, thanks, my friend. Melissa's book is a good one. I hope she gets her money.

  23. How wonderful that you have Melissa here and area letting everyone know about her book and project. I don't honestly know much about crowdfunding- but I wish Melissa the best of luck. It does sound like an important book for kids. :)

    Robyn- I hope you are feeling better every day. So sorry to hear about your accident. I can't imagine the pain and can only hope it keeps going away. Sending good wishes to you! :)

  24. Hey Jess, so good to see you here. It is a matter of living with the pain. But I can. And I will! Love the good wishes. Thanks so much!

    Crowdfunding isn't for me. But I know a lot of authors who are doing it. I'm a wimp! But I choose traditional roads to published land. :-)


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