Tuesday, November 10, 2020

My First Children's Book

Well, my wife has been after me for years to write a children's book, and I finally did it. Well, sorta, according to me.

I'm also giving it away for free.

Wait, what? 

Well, because you're getting it for free, I'll need you to hear me out. Got a little story to tell ya. Let's back up a little (or fast forward to the bottom if you're not interested in reading a backstory)..

Once upon a time, when George W. Bush was president, I read an article that said that, at any given time, fully 30% of the populace believes their president deserves to be impeached. The first thing that came to mind was "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!" At the time, I hadn't yet written my first book, but was tinkering with dozens of ideas. I actually put a text together, using pictures of Dubya acting goofy and all, and consulted with the lawyers in the law firm I was then working for. I was told I couldn't publish it. I had no rights to the pictures, and I wouldn't be able to do it. Into the dustbin that went, but out of that idea my first book was indeed about George W. Bush (http://tinyurl.com/BushIIBookI).

Several years later, I was tinkering with further ideas, Barack H. Obama was president, and I was working at a university. I mocked up "Barack H. Obama Will You Please Go Now!" and consulted with some professors about the legality of it. Ixnay, but I had published four books and was getting to know the industry a lot better. This idea was going to see the light of day at some point. However, I did publish a Seussian essay concerning Obama (https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/06/mean-regs-and-scam/).

"Donald J. Trump Will You Please Go Now!" was obviously the next idea. I had published eight books, and now I was working for a publishing firm, so I had a lot of experts with whom I could consult, including lawyers, permissions specialists, artists, editors, and so forth.

I had several problems, however:
  1. The cost of hiring artists was more than I could afford. I do not have $y 15/s ×  3.6 km/h1 m/s = 72 km/h/50 per picture at hand.
  2. The cost of securing rights to photographs was even more exorbitant: anywhere from $x 30/1.6 s = 12.5 m/s = 45 km/h/36 per picture. I don't have that kind of bread.
  3. I couldn't publish the book until a very specific moment, because, if you know the original punchline of the Seuss book, I could only release it once Trump conceded.
  4. If Trump never actually conceded, I'd completely miss the boat.
Here's how I worked around the issues:
  1. I didn't hire an artist, I used pictures I found on the interwebs and ran them through a photo-to-cartoon filter to make it all artsy-fartsy.
  2. Because I can't afford to pay the photo agencies, I am absolutely forbidden from monetizing the book in any way, including printing them and selling them at exact cost, or even taking a loss! It must be absolutely free.
  3. I obviously couldn't wait until January 20th. Once both CNN *and* FOX (and Alec Baldwin) called it for Biden, that was the signal for launch. The punchline works.
So hey, thanks for listening. You now deserve my new book after reading all this rambling. Here it is on the internet's free library. It's free to the world, and you may disseminate at will.

I can track how many times it's downloaded, and I'll consider those my "sales." Good enough for me. Enjoy:

P.S. Trivia: did you know that "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!" was Dr. Seuss' metaphorical satirical way to let Nixon know the jig was up? Well isn't that interesting...

P.P.S. Okay, okay, still working on that children's book...

Martin Bodek,

Now 9-time Author


Post a Comment

<< Home