Dog Ear Publishing Author Turns to Crowdfunding to Finance Book Project

Dave Manousos has begun a month-long campaign to raise money via Kickstarter to self-publish his latest illustrated children’s book, "The Land of Reverse," with Dog Ear Publishing.

San Francisco, CA, November 25, 2016 --( Author and illustrator Dave Manousos has an important message he wants to spread: Children are not getting enough sleep. The reasons vary, but being overscheduled with too many activities, homework and interacting with technology late at night all contribute to the problem. He aims to address that issue in a humorous way in “The Land of Reverse,” his new children’s book released by Dog Ear Publishing, and he wants the public’s help to market the book.

Manousos, who has written and illustrated “The Land of Reverse,” has launched a 30-day crowdfunding project on Kickstarter to raise $5,600 to publish and market his book. Potential donors can see his work at

“The $5,600 is the amount that is necessary to pay for the publishing and a limited marketing package through my self-publishing house Dog Ear Publishing,” said Manousos. “Depending on the success of this campaign, I may be able to get the exposure I need to make this book a success. If not, I may reach out to the Kickstarter community for additional funds in the future.”

He’s not the only one turning to crowdfunding to raise money for a creative project. “The crowdfunding site Kickstarter has radically changed the way creative ventures can raise money in the Internet age,” wrote New York Times reporter Stephen Heyman in his Jan. 15, 2015, article “Keeping Up with Kickstarter.”

“Last year, 3.3 million people around the world contributed more than $500 million – roughly $1,000 a minute – to finance more than 22,000 projects, (on Kickstarter),” Heyman wrote, adding that the average successful project raises about $6,000 and individual contributions average $25 on Kickstarter, based in New York. In all, more than 20,0000 publishing projects were posted to Kickstarter in 2014, according to the article.

Although Manousos has self-published other books, that was before crowdfunding was a viable resource, he said. This is the first project he is posting to Kickstarter, although he has contributed to other artists’ campaigns.

The inspiration for “The Land of Reverse” is from a poem written by Manousos numerous years ago and evolved into a story through conversations he had with the many kids he has coached as a baseball coach and hitting instructor. He had kids in the batting cage and on the field who were not performing up to their skill level, and he began asking why. Most of them said they were tired, whether it was from doing excessive amounts of homework, combined with team practice, music lessons or were up late playing video games.

He created the character of Sam, an overbooked 9-year-old wound up too tight to fall asleep. Even counting sheep doesn’t help. By pretending to fall asleep, Sam falls into a backwards land where everything is flip-flop, opposite and reverse. Through this exercise he discovers a relaxation technique to fall asleep more easily. The complementary rhyming story and whimsical, stylized illustrations pair up to tell the story.

“My dream is to see this book turned into a movie,” Manousos said, “having Sam’s adventures in The Land of Reverse grown into mini-adventures with each character having its own experience with sleep deprivation and ultimately their solution to get to sleep.”

Manousos, a member of the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators as well as JacketFlap, lives in Orinda, Calif., a rural area near San Francisco. He is getting help with his project from Lynn Champagne, owner of Champagne Design in Moraga, Calif., who created the layout for his book. For his Kickstarter campaign, Champagne has helped him build his profile and create the video plea for donors. “We are pleased to help Dave with his book layout and Kickstarter campaign. All of our work on this project has been pro bono in an effect to see his vision to completion. He’s so talented, I hope this is what it takes to get his name out there,” Champagne said.

“I am ready to sit back and enjoy the ride, whatever the outcome,” she said. “Dave Manousos is an undiscovered goldmine of talent. He, like many other authors and truly creative individuals, has never had the resources to get his work out to the public. This project has been developing in his head and heart for nearly 30 years and he is now, finally, sharing it with the world.”

For Kickstarter campaigns, artists set up a profile at and set a monetary goal they want to raise from donors. A pitch video provides more information about their project. Kickstarter gets a small percentage of the money, so it promotes it to social media outlets and other resources. If the goal falls short, neither the artist nor Kickstarter get any money.

“I am hoping that the funds I receive from this campaign will help get my book into large-scale distribution,” Manousos said. “If this is the case, I will be able to leave the Kickstarter forum to other undiscovered artists.”

As the fifth child of 11 musically and artistically talented siblings, Manousos has been surrounded by the arts for his entire life. “Inspired by the lyrical genius of John Lennon, the nonsensical writings of Lewis Carroll, and the colorful magic of Walt Disney, I realized at an early age I would one day fulfill my dream and publish my writings and drawings,” he said.

He wrote and illustrated the children’s books "Life is Good & Other Reasons For Rhyme," "Sophia’s Turn: Believe in Your Dreams," and illustrated "Let’s Go On A Letter Hunt" and "Transparent Pillage." He is already working on a sequel to “The Land of Reverse.”

“The Land of Reverse” is scheduled to release Jan. 31, 2017, which happens to be National Backwards Day.

For additional information, please visit

The Land of Reverse
Dave Manousos
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-5193-2
40 pages
$19.95 US

Available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

About Dog Ear Publishing, LLC
Dog Ear Publishing offers completely customized self-publishing services for independent authors. Dog Ear authors retain all rights and complete creative control throughout the entire process. Self-publishing services are available globally at and from our offices in Indianapolis.
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Ray Robinson