Friday, May 23, 2014

Now What?

It's graduation season. My excellent 2014 intern just graduated from FIT. The student I mentored at NY's High School of Art and Design is graduating from RISD next week. Countless graduates will experience Commencement and will wonder exactly what they're commencing. The big question is "Now what?"

Ari B. King asked the very same question years ago. Tired of couch surfing and odd jobs after he graduated from Weslyan University and moved to New York, King started to interview fellow alums, including an enthusiastic Sebastian Junger and Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket to most of the world). Ari also compiled information from contacts in a range of fields and—most importantly in the real world—enlisted advice from interested parties who could help him get his idea published. I was one of those parties.

After numerous literary agents declined the project—even though it was well-described, clearly-outlined, and traveled with sample pages devised by the BTD intern of 2012—Ari B. King determined to self-publish his book. He began a Kickstarter campaign to fund publication. He hired an editor and enlisted the afore-mentioned former intern to design, typeset and page the book. He PAID his collaborators. In late Spring, 2013, Ari gave himself a launch party.

The name of Ari B. King's book, published in 2013, is Now What?!The subtitle is Conversations About College, Graduation, and the Next Step.*

In addition to publishing Now What?!, King also started an org called Off Campus, which has a funky and hilarious trailer. King got by with a little help from his friends and contacts.

Great ideas travel in packs—or at least pairs. Katherine Schwarzenegger, who also gets by with a little help from her friends and contacts, wrote a book covering similar territory. Published by Random House, Ms. Schwarzenegger's book, I Just Graduated . . . Now What?, has a stronger PR machine (Duh!). Katherine, daughter of Arnold, Schwarzenegger seems lovely—at least on the basis of a book entitled Rock What You've Got, designed by BTDnyc. But I can't help rooting for Ari B. King, who's had the grit and persistence to get himself and his colleagues out into the world.

Possibly, the appearance of a rival "Now What" won't be an unfortunate event. But to help ensure the underdog does well, check out King's versionas well as his domain.

* I'm going to keep repeating the link till you buy the book.

1 comment:

Donura said...

Thank you for acknowledging the determination of a self motivating, self publishing, self promoting writer like Ari King. He provides hope for all writers out there that don't have parents with famous last names and famous friends.