Publishing

Good morning, afternoon, good evening and good night, depending where and when you are reading this.

Again, its been a while since I could last sit down and write a full blog post, so I hope you have been following our Facebook page. A lot has happened too. So where to start?

First of all, after finishing the book I sent it to Amazon to check. They had a few minor quibbles which I fixed, and then we ordered our proof copy. It arrived within three days! I was totally surprised, but it was also great to see it.

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However, we spotted straight away that there were a few problems. For some reason, the front cover was a lot lower quality than the back cover. Perhaps it was something to do with how I imported each part into the full cover template, but I corrected it by copying the procedure I had done for the back cover. Also, I had previously misspelled the Principal’s name and had corrected it (I remember doing it!) but it was wrong again in the book and some of the contents pages were wrong. So I corrected those again and sent the new file to Amazon.

Meanwhile, with some physical copies of the book we were able to show the students what they had accomplished. So yesterday, I visited some classes and let them have a look. They seemed very impressed. I think a high number of them had either not believed it would happen or had given up on it because it had taken so long.

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I don’t blame them really. The whole process has been much longer and more difficult than I expected. Mainly this was because of Japanese laws of copyright and safety concerns about the students (which is why there are no names or pictures of them in the book)

Lastly, and perhaps the best news as it shows that others have finally understood the importance of this project, I want to tell you about a meeting that took place yesterday.

Our school, Mukaiyama, is a model school in the prefecture for advanced English teaching which the BOE hopes that all high schools will soon adopt. So it is the job of one of my teachers to report on classes, projects and materials to important figures in education around the country. Yesterday, he had one such meeting and, with a copy of the book to show, he talked about our publishing project.

He says (I wasn’t there) the members were very impressed and the lead advisor mentioned that it was an important achievement in all of Japan, so he wants to help promote it and tell people about it. It looks like the project might finally get some of the support it deserves!

Stay tuned for more information. The final book is with Amazon now and approved. We are just writing for it to appear in the online stores. We are told it will take about a week!

Happy New Year Delays!

20130108-100030.jpgChristmas lights here in Sendai.

Hello! And a Happy New Year,

The new term has started. All the students and teachers at Mukaiyama wish you a successful and productive new year!

I’m afraid that the winter vacation proved to be busier than I expected. So I wasn’t able to complete the book on time. As such, our new target for sending it to the publishers s the end of January. Please don’t be concerned. This doesn’t affect the quality of the book at all, we just want to make sure we finish a quality product.

It’s coming along nicely, though its important to me that we have a finished product before the end of the school year (March, here in Japan) as I fear some of the students will forget about this project!

That’s it for now. I’ll resume more regular updates as I get settled back into work!

New Japanese Culture blog

Hello, hello.

Things are progressing slowly. Tomorrow is the last day of school before the winter vacation. So I’ll finally be able to have more time to devote to formatting the book. I’m almost done. I hope to have it complete and ready by the end of the vacation.

However, I also wanted to promote my new blog and YouTube channel that I am starting with my girlfriend. We have both been living in Japan for several years so we are going to make videos about Japanese culture with the aim of helping newbies and presenting differences to foreigners. So if you are interested in learning even more about Japanese culture, please head over to the main site. There you can find links to all our sites on the web. The address is:

Http://Sakurapandateatime.blogspot.com

We’ll release our first video next week but our twitter and tumblr is already active.

Take care, with the end of the world and all, and have a good Christmas! Though I’ll probably blog again before then.

Rushed

Sorry for the delay, but I’ve been swamped with marking. As soon as the Indiegogo project finished, mid term exams started. The deadline is very tight! I’ll update more when I finish but I’ll be contacting donators soon. Thank you for all the support!

In Japanese

Its the last day of donations! Please do your best to spread the word! Instructions on how to donate are also available in Japanese http://www013.upp.so-net.ne.jp/dankato/mukaiyamaletspop.html. So tell this link to your Japanese friends.

プロジェクトのindiegogoのチャレティーは最後日ですよ!日本語で説明があります!どうぞ。http://www013.upp.so-net.ne.jp/dankato/mukaiyamaletspop.html 日本人と友達に教えてください。お願いします!

Last Chance

I’ve formatted half of the book now. The traditional section is actually very long. The movie section is quite short, Most movies are by the two animation greats of Japan. Do you know who they are? If you don’t you should definitely buy our book, and if you do, you should buy our book to check!

There’s only 3 days left on our Indiegogo campaign! We’ve raised less than a quarter of the meager target!

So I don’t know what else to say except PLEASE share this link like crazy: http://www.indiegogo.com/letspopculture

If not for me, who has, by the way, worked so hard for this project I might seriously have depression if it completely fails, then do it for the students who desperately need help but don’t even realise it, and all the disaster victims who need new homes.

Please! Just two seconds of your life can change so many others for the better.

20121129-102734.jpg if you don’t help, this cat will hate you forever, and probably die horribly cursing and screaming your name…

Have a nice day!

Closing Time

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Hello,

Sorry for the long delay in blogging but I hope you have been following our Facebook page. I kept meaning to update here as well but opportunities for important advertising kept cropping up and stealing my free time. Not to mention work.

Well, first up, I’m sad to say that we are in the final week of our IndieGoGo fundraiser, but we have only raised a fraction of the target. It’s very is heartening but if I’ve learned one thing from this project it’s that you can have the best idea in the world and you can have incredible passion for a subject but that doesn’t mean you can make other people like it. It seems people would rather pay for mind reading headphones than help people get out of poverty and the ruins of disaster and help a disillusioned youth gain a passion for education. Well, I kind of knew society was like that all along.

I’ve tried though. I have been and I still am posting regular tweets and contacting groups who might be interested in our work. This has included a competition run by IndieGoGo themselves to find the campaign with the best perk. I ended our campaign but just like the fundraising, the competition is tough. The winners get a cash boost to their project. What is more important is that it offers lots of closure and free advertising. If you want to vote for our project, then go here. Voting is open until Wednesday and you can vote once every hour, you can even vote again from different devices. So if you have spare time you can really push us up the charts! Thank you!

So this is it. The final push. I know we aren’t going to meet our target, but it is said that over 60% of funds for these things come in the last few days. So we might still get a high total yet. Plus, whatever we raise, every $5 will buy one book to distribute here in Japan and who knows how many disparaged students that might inspire! So please don’t be shy, spread word of our project and donate if you can!

http://www.indiegogo.com/letspopculture

Cheers

Started!

It’s on!

The IndieGoGo page is here and it’s on. We are now accepting donations until 1st December.

So please get over there and do what you can. Donate if you have money, even a dollar could change lives, but if you can’t, then share, share and share again! This really means the world to me and it could really change lives, but only if lots of people know about it! So please, I will never ask for anything again! Unless, I get stabbed or something, then I may ask you to pull the knife out. Be realistic here,

As the fundraising continues, I will continue to blog here, giving updates of our progress and our efforts to advertise the project. I’ll also be posting interesting tidbits such as videos and photos directly on the IndieGogo page, so be sure to keep following that!

So there we go! After months of hard work, this is finally happening! Here’s to a big success!

Countdown

This is it! Or rather, tomorrow is it. Tomorrow the IndieGoGo page will go go live! In 24 hours you’ll be able to start donating to our project, and we sincerely hope that you will. All the teachers and students here at Mukaiyama are counting on you to help them and those people still struggling to rebuild their lives after last year’s earthquake.

Full information can be found on this site (hint: try the links above) but to donate, and watch the awesome video, you need to go to our IndieGoGo page at http://www.indiegogo.com/letspopculture

Please, please please tweet this link, Facebook it, tumblr it, anything, just spread the word, especially if you know someone interested in Japan, helping charities or teaching. This project really can make a big difference, but only if more people know about it.

So tweet away, my friends. What would you have me do in return? I’ll do it! I promise.

That’s a wrap

Today I finished filming the video to promote the project. The students ran their annual half marathon leaving the school nearly empty. So I took to doing some location shooting without interruption. I finished my bits quite quickly. I had some speeches in the media room, I had some speeches in the halls, I even had some speeches while writing on the walls…. wait! No! Don’t got complaining to my school. I actually wrote on the blackboard and did some (almost) stop motion animation, but walls rhymed a bit.

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After that, I was stuck marking until the students returned from their run and were ready to film their part. At first we only had a few boys volunteering, but while we were waiting for some organization we all tried to rope in any girls who passed by, to give the project some balance. It’s bad enough having no students in the video and people thinking there is just me on this project, but neither did I want just boys in the video as its supposed to represent the school, and guess what?! We have girls! So we all kept asking girls if they anted to join in, but even though faces would be hidden, everyone was very shy. Eventually we got three girls to join in and filming got underway.

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It took a few minutes to explain what I wanted to do, but they are smart kids they got it. We had a practice and then filmed it three times before we got the perfect run. Then we filmed a goodbye message at the school entrance. This was more fun because other students were running around and we had to try and avoid them, but they got to see what we were doing.

Now this weekend I had to edit it, then it should be up on YouTube in a few days. It’s a week until the Indiegogo page goes live. So, I think, we will be ready! Please check it out.

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Fundraising ends!

The EndDecember 1st, 2012
Our big fund raiser is coming to an end... Here's when. Thank you for all the support! We all really appreciate it.

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