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SheChanges Book #2: Powered by Women

$1,360 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 16 people in 2 months

My name is Lael Couper Jepson and I am the woman that lives at the red-hot, fiery center of SheChanges , a Portland, Maine-based business that's all about change powered by women. 

This campaign is to support the publishing of my second book—the first one being Unscripted: A Woman's Living Prayer , published in 2015. 

I am very proud of that first book, and it was wonderfully received, but this next book? It feels super-charged—like I've pulled out all the stops and am not holding anything back. 

The book is called Witch Ways: The Unspoken Ways Women Create Change, and I've felt it coming in me for years. I have coached executives, senior-level women and entrepreneurs all over the county for the past thirteen years in my business, so at the core of this book is a call for more women to lead us forward...but not just any way. THEIR way. Embedded in this book is an invitation for women to to bring MORE of who they are to HOW they show up—everywhere.

This is a book about women NOT waiting one minute longer.
This is a book about women being BORN ready + MORE than enough.
This is a book about going rogue from "the way it's done".
This is a book about women bringing everything they've got to bear...
Embodying who they are naturally, creatively, resourcefully and wholly.

And this is, ultimately, a book that not only DEBUNKS our stories we tell ourselves about the women we admire, but also shows us how we ARE the women we admire—and what happens when more women decide to assume the responsibility for the full-throttle power that lives inside them as one of our greatest sustainable resources. 

Because I've had the good fortune of being a midwife to countless badass women over the years who go on to do some pretty epic maneuvers in their personal and professional lives, I've gotten to witness what happens when no one is looking—the stuff that goes on behind the veil that she either doesn't talk about at social gatherings or has tried to tell you but you won't hear of it—because that would mean she's not much different or more special than you, right? 

Could you tolerate being that woman you admire? 

Over the years, I've gathered (and lived) loads of stories and illustrations—enough so to see a pattern (not a formula or a how-to...) emerge. I've designed this book with that pattern in mind, organizing the stories around FIVE sections that each have their own governing question: 

Roots: What's Happening To Me?
Hunger: Can I Really Want This?
Opening: What the Hell Am I Doing? 
Movement: Am I Willing To Make An Ass Of Myself? 
Perspective: Can We Be Done Yet? 

You can hear a bit more about why I feel so strongly about this book and where it comes from in my video. Or, if you want to get a flavor for how I write and what you'll find inside the book, I've recorded 5 five different excerpts  of me reading from the manuscript via SoundCloud. 

This book is how I am contributing to the conversation about women leading in the world. This book is my fiery missive I'm sending into the nighttime sky through the vast web of women's networks. And as a result, this book will be powered by and for women. Period.

Which is why I need your help to get it published. It's more than just mine this time around. I've proven myself as a published author on my own, and that was important to me, but this is different. This is bigger. This is about more than just me. And (happily) it's now OUT of me. 

Why I'm Self-Publishing (in case you were wondering...):
I want to spend my time/energy actually writing what's pouring into my soul, not creating proposals, pitching my stories, and shopping myself around hoping someone I don't know will notice me
I self-published my first book . It got my book to you 6 mos after I finished the manuscript, not 2 yrs 
I want a high degree of creative control over my own art—I know what I want
I actually want to get paid for my art after it's released—not when the advance has been met
I know how to do me well—I am messy,  wild, and completely immersed when I create, so answering to others or thinking about my "market audience" will sour or staunch my creative juices fast
It's fast(er) than traditional publishing, and I'm wildly impatient 
I have at least two other books cued up to write inside me...and I want to get to them

What This Campaign Will Cover (see links for the amazing people on my team so far):
First round  of editing (developmental: overall structure, ensuring clarity and flow of concepts)
Second round  of editing (line editing: catching and correcting grammar, tense, tone, voice, clarity)
Cover photography
Interior design/layout to make it all perdy 
Cover design to make it all pop and pull you in 
Final round  of editing (technical: proofing with the lice comb to get out all the tiny nits)
Upload to KDP...formerly CreateSpace  (so people can actually BUY it)
Kindle conversion (so people can have an electronic version) 
Misc stuff like ISBN number, marketing channels, website promotion

So if you see yourself (or someone you know) in my words here or feel connected to this community launch in anyway, I would welcome your gift of support. If you'd like to make a donation to honor a girl or woman in your life, then please make it in her name. If you believe in me and want to see this book reach others beyond the SheChanges community, please consider connecting me with your web of women by sharing this campaign and showing your support of it—the more the merrier.

You're welcome to ride shotgun on this journey with me, or just hitch your wagon to our caravan, but we're headed to a publishing date of summer 2019, which means this party is going to get started pretty soon in the publishing pipeline! 

Here are some reward levels if that's something that gets your motor running: 

$15 (Hermiones) If you're just dipping your toe in this pool for the first time and want to see what it's like, I'll give you a warm shout out by name in the acknowledgement pages of my book!

$25 (Vixens) Way to step up, there hot stuff! For your fleet feet and sure-footedness on that show of support, not only will I acknowledge you by name in my book, but I will also welcome you to this level with a hand-written (yes, I am an old-school fan) thank you note with lots of Lael-love. I'm good at gratitude. Go ahead, test me. 

$50 (Spitfires) Ah, you sassy number! Way to lay it down for something you feel passionate about! For your moxie and pluck, I will name you in my book for your support, sure, but will also welcome you to this level with a hand-written Lael-love note and also a signed copy of my new book! 

$100 (Badasses) Well now, you DO mean business, doncha!? High five and chest bump on that gift, you! For that show of amazing support, I will name you in my book, give you an extra special Lael-love old-school thank you note, and signed copies of my first book as well as this second one! 

$250 (High Priestesses) And.....WHOMP! There it is! (insert sounds of bells and whistles here and explode the confetti capsules). I am honored by your generosity and bow deeply to your commitment to this cause. For your awesome show of support at this level, I will name you in my book, give you a juicy good Lael-love-old-school thank you note, two signed copies of my book (first and newest) AND one 45-minute badass coaching session to be scheduled by you at your leisure. 

Thank you!
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A fresh outta the shower video update on my book that’s keeping it real, showing myself to you more, and calling bullshit on the seductive pull to keep it practical, bite-sized, and “not too much”. And a realization that I need to be leveraging my followers more—who are just as eager for this book to be published as I am! You can expect more of these from me here—this helps immensely, so Thank you! And if you know of anyone else who knows me (and my work), knows you (and trusts your take on things), or just comes to mind, will you please share with them so they can come behind the veil with us and witness this book birthing? The more the merrier. Merrier helps the flow incredibly!
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I’ve been holed up by myself these past two days reading the pages of my manuscript, and I’m thinking of you. Yes you. I’m reading my own words—stories and descriptions of the feral process of creating change that many don’t talk about in the light of day...the things we try, the places we look, the ways we move, and the beliefs we tap into when no one is looking.

I talk about “lifting the veil” on the process of change, revealing distinctly feminine ways of creating that get left out of “the way it is” conversations and mainstream thought. Think of a woman in labor. The things she’ll try when she’s done-enough, frustrated enough, hungry-enough, or even curious-enough. Think of that level of resourcefulness and creativity. And faith.

It’s why I’ll often refer to myself as a midwife as opposed to a coach. Truth be told, I sit (and move with) women in labor—it’s what I do. Their noises and loud wails, wide-eyed looks and sheepish grins don’t phase me. Their “you’re never gonna believe this, Lael” comments rarely surprise me. Their non-traditional longings, “batshit crazy” ideas and “holy shit this is happening” screams over text make me grin.

I adore these women because I relate to them. I want them to know how alone they aren’t. How to me, it’s like a chorus in my ears, my heart. The things I see and hear and live myself. How their courage inspires my own and how hungry so many of us are for real stories that honor how women move in the world if left to our own devices. Naturally.

Now, in this second book I’ve written, I have so many of your faces and stories and moments in my mind that it feels like you—your energy, my energy, our essence as women—are infused in every word I am writing.

So I guess what I’m saying is thank you. Thank you for the gift of a lifetime: to get to witness courage and heart and fire and moxie and strength and unbelievable power embodied by women as they create from a place of wildness in themselves. A source that was right there all along, ready to be tapped. Thank you for letting me see it. See you. Be with you as you see it. See you.

So here’s to us. And here’s to this book, Witch Ways, being put into your beautiful hands sometime in 2019. I’m in my final push to get it ready for its first round of editing April 1st (just conformed with my editor today!) and am full of gratitude that you are by my side in this.

In other news, a friend sent me this picture this weekend of her grand daughter, with two words in her text: Rise, Sister. So that is what I’m doing. With Her as my muse this week. :)
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I feel your presence in my life these days. Mightily. Viscerally. I FEEL you behind me, with me, and can sense your energy mingling with my own as this book makes it's way into the world. And for that I am so very grateful, because in case you were wondering...it's really, really lonely at times. Super lonely.

But when I asked for you to show up and have me FEEL and SEE your support....BOOM! There you were. Immediately. In just about TWO weeks, I have received $920 in donations. And I'm just getting started.

As I stood on stage at SheSpeaks a couple of weeks ago, I felt you with me. I KNEW you were there, even as many of you weren't in the audience. I spoke about Derek Siver's TED talk "How To Start A Movement"... the one that features a "lone nut" dancing in a field at some concert. I likened myself to that Lone Nut. Indeed, I am willing and happy to make an ass of myself publicly, if I believe it will inspire others to dance more freely. If it feels like it's of service.

In his TED talk, he talks about how it's important to notice the first few followers, because THEY are the ones that will transform the Lone Nut to a leader.

You, my beautiful people, are my official first followers of this book. And this Lone Nut will never ever forget you. Ever.

I am just $80 shy of hitting the $1000 mark, which would feel oh so good right now, as my first deposit of $1,500 is due at my editor's desk shortly after the New Year. I would be so very grateful if you could forward this to any friends or colleagues who either know of my work and want to stand behind it, or don't yet know of it, but know YOU and will take your lead and start dancing with us because it feels good. And time.

You matter to me, good people. Thank you so very much for your donation(s) and for getting behind me with MORE than simply your words. Here's to being a part of a movement.
xo
Lael
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Wahoo! You know what’s AMAZING? Waking up to discover that I have my very first Badass level contribution from a sassy someone!! Wow! This is really happening. Feeling the love, and one step closer to releasing this next book of mine into the world!
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$1,360 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 16 people in 2 months
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