When we first launched this project in August 2014, we asked for community support in the form of donations. Three groups and over 160 people donated through the IndieGoGo or through direct donations through AWN. We’ll also be selling the anthology (as an ebook and a print version), and might make profits if we sell more copies than it costs to make them.
Here’s what we did (or will do) with the donations and any possible profits on the anthology:
- Pay everyone who worked on the project. From the folks who designed the covers to the person who did the formatting for publication to the folks who helped with editing each piece, everyone has been offered at least some compensation for their labor. 100% of those people are disabled, and everyone in a leadership role is an autistic person of color. Several of those people, including most of the white disabled people providing support, also chose to donate their payment back to the project. Everyone paid under this category includes: E. Ashkenazy (project lead and editing), Lydia X. Z. Brown (project lead and editing), Morénike Giwa Onaiwu (assistant project lead and editing), Finn Gardiner (cover designs), Melanie Yergeau (formatting for publication), Amanda Gaul-Worboys (legal and financial help), Lori Berkowitz (web development), Shain M. Neumeier (editing assistance), and Claire Barber (editing assistance).
- Pay every artist and writer for their work. Disabled people and people of color (and especially disabled people of color) are routinely devalued. While our white, abled colleagues receive payment for their work, speaking engagements, writing, etc., we are often told to accept “exposure” as a form of payment and expected to be “grateful” for it. Every artist and writer was offered a set fee for each submission that we published. (We paid $55 for each new/original essay or fiction piece, $35 for each new/original poem or visual artwork, and $25 for each contribution reprinted from another publication.) In return, each artist and writer gave us the permission to use their work in this anthology and alternative versions/formats of the anthology. (Every artist and writer keeps all other rights to their work, including the right to use their work wherever else they want and to make profits from their work if they do.) These payments were one of the largest items in the entire total budget, and over 60 people were paid under this category for each submission we published.
- Pay for ISBNs so we can provide copies to libraries, schools, and bookstores. All books that can be placed in libraries, schools, universities, or bookstores need to have an international standard book number. Those cost between $99 and $300 depending on how many you buy at one time. Each version of a book needs a separate ISBN, so we need one each for the ebook, one for the print version, and one for the future audiobook version.
- Pay to send a copy to the Library of Congress. By federal law, we have to send two copies of the print book to the Library of Congress, so we will have to pay to have two copies printed and mailed there.
- Pay for copies of the anthology to be sent to the contributors and to some of the donors. Everyone who has art or writing (or both) will receive a copy of the anthology for free on top of their payment for their work. Some people who donated during our initial campaign for support will also receive a copy as we promised during the IndieGoGo fundraiser. We have to pay for each copy to be printed and then for the shipping costs of mailing the anthology to the recipient. (Recipients live in seven different countries and in various places, and Lydia will be sending these copies directly from their own apartment, so the shipping costs could be different for each copy.)
- Pay for thank you cards to send to supporters. We promised to send personalized thank you notes to people who donated above a certain amount during the IndieGoGo fundraiser. We have to pay to have the thank you cards printed and then mailed out to each donor who will receive one. Donors receiving copies of the print anthology will have the card mailed with the anthology.
- Pay for this website to exist so you can read about every aspect of this project. We paid for the domain name (that’s how you can go to www.autismandrace.com instead of autismandrace.somecommonservice.com) and the web hosting services (that’s how this website doesn’t look like it’s leftover from the 1990’s.) The website overall cost us $170.
- Pay for someone (or more than one person!) to do social media publicity/outreach. We plan to offer someone a part-time remote position promoting the anthology this year so it reaches more people. This will be an autistic person of color (or more than one).
- Sponsor future projects (or expansions on this one) that are led by and for autistic people of color. If we actually end up making any money on the anthology by selling a large number of copies, 100% of profits will go directly back to projects led by and for autistic people of color addressing racism and ableism through any type of work. We have some ideas already!