It is safe to say that it has been a challenging 30 days as we tried to promote the Kickstarter funding drive to try to get this book published.  We sincerely appreciate all those that stepped up and pledged their support.   If you saw the last project update there, or looked at any of the new material here on the site, you know we aren’t giving up on this project.

If you were a pledged backer there and are willing to convert that pledge to an incentive purchase, please visit our Funding Incentives page and do so.   It’s less clicks and hassle than the Amazon process from Kickstarter!  You already pledged the money.  Please follow through and get it to us!

As we move forward, we’ll be managing our own funding drive for this project.  No more Kickstarter for Underwater Sombrero.  When we started with Kickstarter, we new that we would have to promote the project ourselves as much as possible, both to our contacts and to our contacts’ contacts.  We also had an expectation that we would receive some support from Kickstarter in the form of project exposure.  That didn’t happen. Kickstarter keeps some 5% of project funds if a project is funded.  For our $8000 Kickstarter goal, that would have amounted to $400.  Our project would have paid $400 for nothing more than 30 days of web hosting.  That’s it.  Even the payments are processed by someone else at an additional expense to the project.

You can see the statistics yourself.  Below is the final pledge statistics graph provided by Kickstarter.  Only in the last 10 hours or so of the project did we get any attention from the Kickstarter website at all, and then it was as a result of the automatic “ending soon” feature which prompted two $1 dollar contributions from site members, likely wishing to simply up their “projects backed” stats without having to spend any money.    So, after 30 days of hosting on a site with “Featured Projects”, “Staff Picks”, “Project of the Day” and a blog that discusses notable projects, not to mention Facebook and Twitter promoting projects, we got no attention from Kickstarter at all until the last 10 hours, and then only because their automated “ending soon” function picked us up, and then it was too late.  We wonder how the outcome might have been if we had been publicized even just once by Kickstarter.   Apparently we’ll never know.

Keep in mind also that we didn’t sit idle and hope for Kickstarter’s attention.  We availed ourselves of every opportunity to tweet @kickstarter on Twitter, post on their Facebook page and tag them in Facebook posts.   An email to Kickstarter HQ asking about being featured was met with an automated response which we interpreted as “keep marketing to your own contacts.  Maybe we’ll notice you.”

So, Kickstarter for us turned out to be nothing more than web hosting for our project.  Had we managed to get funded through our efforts, it would have been expensive funding at that.  $400 for 30 days.  We don’t need to spend that kind of money for hosting, so we don’t need Kickstarter!  We also don’t need their help to manage online payments and we can offer incentives just like those offered on Kickstarter.  As is probably obvious by now, we won’t be using Kickstarter again.

Moving forward, we’ll continue to run our funding drive, by our rules, on our own site.  Payments are being handled securely by Paypal, and you don’t need a Paypal account to donate or purchase funding incentives.  It’s even fewer clicks than the Kickstarter/Amazon process!  No deadline.  We can work on the project as funding becomes available.  If you have questions, or want to discuss your contribution, please don’t hesitate to email us at

If you were a Kickstarter backer, please visit our Funding Incentives page and select your incentive and follow through with the purchase.  You already committed the money and it would have been collected today.   We’re just asking that you please go ahead and get it to us!

As always, we thank everyone for the support!

Steve, Dee, Elizabeth, Dennis and Robert – The Underwater Sombrero Project Team

Passing Out Cards

Friends, we’re still working hard on promoting the Kickstarter funding drive.   We’re currently in single digit days and only about 1/3rd of the way to the funding goal.   One of the marketing steps we’re taking is to pass out cards on the project.  We’d love it if you’d like to pass out some as well.   If you’re willing to do so, let us know and we’ll get some to you!   Alternately, you can save the image and print them yourself!   Here’s the card:

Now Easier to Get to Kickstarter!

Are you willing to help spread the word about our Underwater Sombrero book publishing project?  Can’t seem to remember the complicated Kickstarter URL?

We’ve made it easier for you now!  You can now reach the Kickstarter project at:

Please share this with all of your contacts!  Time is running out on our funding drive and we have a long way to go to get to the goal!

Thanks for your support!

Wondering About the Holidays?

Wondering about a gift for that special someone for this upcoming holiday season? Perhaps the Underwater Sombrero project can help!

We’d love to say that we’ll have all of our work done, prints made and the book published by the 2012 Holidays, but we’re afraid that isn’t going to happen.   Since the diving and the photography is currently planned for late December 2012, we’ll barely have the photography done before Christmas.  Publishing is planned for March 2013 but only if we can get the funding raised!

What we can do though is provide a beautiful Certificate of Support, featuring our colorful project logo, customized for presentation as a present from you, suitable for framing, which will arrive in time for the holidays if you act soon! We’ll ship it to you so you can present it to them.   All you need to do is support the Underwater Sombrero Project for at least $10 and then let us know that you want your certificate of support as a gift for the holidays!

If you like, we’ll also customize your contributor recognition in the book and on materials to reflect your gift.  Then your gift recipient can wait in anticipation for the delivery of prints and books!

Size Does Matter!

In case you’re wondering about the size of the finished book the Underwater Sombrero project is hoping to put together, here’s a visual reference.   This book is the same size and about the same number of pages as the book we’re proposing.   We don’t know yet if we’ll use a horizontal orientation or a vertical orientation (like in this image).  That decision will come later after we’ve had a chance to capture more images and start working on the layout.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, we’d sure appreciate it if you’d visit the project proposal on Kickstarter and perhaps pledge your support!


It is official!  Just in time to celebrate Steve’s birthday, the Kickstarter project is LIVE!   The clock is ticking folks!  We have 30 days to get enough pledges to reach our $8000 goal.  We need your help!  Any pledge of $1 or more is welcome.   If you can’t support financially, you can still help by sharing the link to the Kickstarter project!

How does Kickstarter work?

Are you considering supporting our Underwater Sombrero project, but want more information on how supporting it works before you decide?

The process is very simple.  Project owners put together a proposal for their project and submit it to Kickstarter for approval.  Among other things, that proposal includes a funding goal and a funding timeline.   The goal is the amount of money the project needs to succeed, and the timeline is the amount of time the project planners want to have to try to recruit enough project supporters to meet the funding goal.

In our case, we’ve determined we need at least $8000 to make our project succeed and we’ve decided that we’re going to try to meet that goal in 30 days.  After Kickstarter reviews our project and determines it meets their guidelines, the project is launched.  Once the project is launched, our job is to recruit supporters and get their pledge to support the project.   When a supporter makes a pledge, they provide their billing information, pledge amount and credit card number.   There is NO CHARGE at the time of the pledge.   Pledge amounts start at one dollar ($1) and we’ll happily accept all the support we can get.

Once the deadline is reached, IF there are enough supporters to meet at least the $8000 goal, then the project is funded, supporters credit cards are billed, the resulting money is transferred and the project work begins.     In return for the pledge, the supporter will receive an incentive item.  This item is based on the amount of support and at any level is a product of the project.  Supporters receive their pledge incentives when the project has been completed and the incentives are produced.

With respect to the Underwater Sombrero project the timeline is this:

  • We launch September 5, 2012 (in celebration of the project lead’s birthday 🙂 )
  • We recruit project supporters pledges for 30 days.
  • If you pledge to support the project, you agree to an amount and provide your billing info at the time of the pledge, BUT ARE NOT CHARGED
  • On October 5, 2012, if we reach our $8000 goal, your card will be charged for the amount you pledge.  If the goal is not met, there is no charge.  Kickstarter projects are ALL OR NOTHING.
  • If funded, we’ll receive access to the funds mid October and will start project work
  • If there are extra funds, they will be applied to improving the project with video and possibly a larger book product.
  • Project related travel and SCUBA diving will be conducted late December
  • Book and incentive preparation is expected to be done by March 2013 and supporters will receive the prints, books and other materials based on their level of support.

Please keep in mind that your support of our project IS NOT A DONATION.   With your support of our project, you are purchasing a tangible item and with this purchase, making our project a reality.

We appreciate that you’re considering supporting the Underwater Sombrero project.  Thank you for your time.  If you have questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to send us an email at


Kickstarter Project Submitted for Review!


We are excited to announce that we’ve completed the project video, uploaded it to Kickstarter and submitted the project for review!  After they’ve approved it, we’ll have a last chance to make edits, and then we’ll launch!  That will give us 30 days to try to recruit enough supporters to make the project happen!   Until launch, you can preview the project and watch our new video.  If you do, we’d sure appreciate some feedback.  After all, those pledge incentives are “what’s in it for you”, so we want to be sure they are worth your support.  If you have questions or comments, you’re welcome to email us at