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Publishing Couchfucker: Tips on Self-Publishing and Crowdfunding a Salacious Little Book

Handmade book by Adam Rubinstein - Pyragraph
Photo by Adam Rubinstein.

Meet Couchfucker.

A shamelessly beautiful little book about power, self, and private sexuality, and my eighth collection of poems. It’s already been rejected by one printer, and two more are taking their sweet time getting back to me.

Couchfucker’s declared purpose is to make me happy.

These poems teem with vulnerable admissions, self-love, and uncommon takes—on porn, on love, on virginity, on loneliness. All in a book whose design mimics the couch cushions where sex toys can be shoved.

I’ve been making my own books for 16 years.

I’m well aware of how to make the self-publishing and production process a joy, and how to burn myself out. The advantages to making your own book are threefold:

  • Make your vision by controlling the production process.
  • Save a lot of money doing it yourself, and in so doing,
  • give each book a personal touch.

Traditionally, I’d print everything at home, fold and staple each signature, score each inner cover (four times) and outer cover (six times), attach magnets to both covers, assemble and glue the books, cut them to size, and stamp on the title. 500 times.

This time, I’m taking a modified approach:

1. Raise a pile of money.
2. Pay the printer to do most of it, leaving me the handcraft.
3. Join forces with a local upholsterer to make a limited series of coffee table collector’s copies.

Couchfucker - Adam Rubinstein - Pyragraph
Photo by Adam Rubinstein.

Here’s how I’m going to do it.

I’ve participated in one crowdfunding campaign. On investigation, I’ve learned a lot of the tricks that separate the backwaters from the front-pagers.

  • Videos help you raise 114% more money. Make a video.
  • Collaborating. You’re likely to raise a hell of a lot more if there are four or more team members.
  • Produce a prototype or mockup. Folks want to see what you’ve done, and what you’re capable of.
  • Set up your promotions machine ahead of time. Make agreements with papers, blogs, and culture-influencers to cover your campaign before it launches.
  • Likewise, secure donations from friends and family before you launch. IndieGoGo says the first third of your goal comes from your network, the next third from your network’s network, and the last from on-site and email-based marketing.
  • Contact not only everyone you know with a strong digital social network, but everyone you believe has friends with disposable income, and a yen for what you’re making.
  • Make sure you can deliver what you promise. Don’t offer what you can’t produce, even if only a few people come through for you. And as the old customer service axiom goes: Under-promise, over-deliver. Get your perks out on time, and keep your supporters in the loop!

Want more? IndieGoGo’s CEO has been kind enough to share a hoard of insights.

Handmade book by Adam Rubinstein - Pyragraph
Photo by Adam Rubinstein.

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