Moss Gardening Book Project — With “a little help from our friends,” we can reach our Fundraising Goal and make this book happen.
The Magical Realm of Eco-friendly Mosses – A Practical Guide to Moss Gardening Projects by Annie Martin
Overview of Project
Support a truly GREEN environmental approach to sustainable landscapes and assist Mossin’ Annie in spreading the word about… The Magical Realm of Eco-friendly Mosses. As a recognized expert in using bryophytes (mosses) as a horticultural choice, Annie Martin, needs your help in publishing a book on moss gardening. Aesthetic, botanical and environmental reasons for choosing mosses along with the practical how-to aspects of achieving success will distinguish this book in the marketplace. Written in a conversational style that will appeal to the lay person, this easy-to-read guide will serve as a valuable reference to gardeners, landscapers, environmentalists and educators around the world. While we’ll meet our educational goal to spread the moss word, we’ll be positioning our entrepreneurial business, Mountain Moss Enterprises, as a leader in the emerging LIVE moss industry. As a “thank you” for your contribution to this book project, you’ll be rewarded with major cool moss gifts… even custom moss art created especially for you.
A detailed project proposal follows. Right now, check out Mossin’ Annie’s video on YouTube about this book project. A concise proposal can be found at Indiegogo.com where you can DONATE to this moss gardening book.
Hey! I’m Mossin’ Annie and the purpose of my book is to promote the benefits of eco-friendly mosses as a viable horticultural choice and support concepts of sustainability and responsible land stewardship.
DETAILS OF BOOK PROJECT
- To publish an easy-to-read reference book based upon scientific research and “hands-on” expertise that offers practical advice and specific instruction on successful moss gardening techniques.
- To highlight the environmental benefits of eco-friendly mosses by providing insights into ways to “green” urban environments with sustainable landscape approaches and solutions to environmental issues.
- To achieve world-wide distribution of books and generate revenues that can be targeted toward continued educational outreach and horticultural research fueling the growth of our entrepreneurial business, Mountain Moss Enterprises.
Growing Interest in Eco-friendly Mosses
Mosses are amazing plants that have existed on Planet Earth for over 450 million years for good reason. Stress-tolerant mosses can live in all types of locations including shade and sun exposures… and provide eco-friendly solutions for a better environment. Sustainable landscapes, pocket gardens, green roofs, moss lawns are ways that gardeners can utilize mosses as a viable horticultural choice. From native restorations to formal gardens to urban “greening”, these miniature plants offer solutions to problems of erosion control, storm water filtration, and land reclamation. Because of their unique botanical characteristics, mosses require NO chemicals – NO fertilizers, NO pesticides, NO herbicides… and therefore, NO groundwater contamination. Mosses might be “mini” in size but they offer “maxi” solutions that can lead to a “greener” environment for future generations.
From an aesthetic point of view, moss gardens offer a serene retreat. Unlike other gardens that can be enjoyed only in warm weather, mosses thrive in the winter months and continue to offer year-round green. The spectacular display of sporophytic reproduction occurs throughout all seasons providing colorful delights. Generalizations and myths abound about MOSS… but moss is not just moss. The fact is that there are approximately 20,000 bryophyte types including mosses, liverworts and hornworts. We have lots of choices that are appropriate for a range of climates and conditions. Yet these magical, miniature plants have been viewed either as Mother Nature’s gift or on the flip side… as an annoying weed. Often overlooked as an intentional plant choice, mosses are finally coming into their own. As interest in moss gardening gains impetus, gardeners are faced with the challenge of learning about bryophyte types and their appropriate horticultural applications.
While gardeners have endless print resources regarding other types of plants, few references exist that focus specifically on moss gardening methods. My book will fill an information void in the marketplace and be a welcome addition to any gardeners’ library.
Scope of Moss Gardening Book
The Magical Realm of Eco-friendly Mosses will be unique in the market because there is no other comprehensive moss gardening book currently available to the general public. Presented in a manner that will appeal to the beginning moss gardener as well as the experienced horticulturist, concerned environmentalist, or avid moss enthusiast, the subject matter will be presented in a logical progression that builds the reader’s knowledge base. The goals of the book will be achieved through chapters and sections that cover the aesthetic, botanical and environmental reasons for choosing mosses. The practical how-to aspects of achieving success will emphasize sustainable approaches. The specific moss gardening guidelines of “right place, right plant” will be supported by research which has included interpretation of the scientific studies of bryologists and the practical moss gardening expertise of the author. This book will be an essential guide for moss gardeners and green landscape designers worldwide.
Environmentally-conscious gardeners and responsible land stewards will discover ways to create inviting outdoor spaces while being kind to our environment. My book will explore benefits of bryophytes as a green alternative for innovative landscapes, moss lawns, living walls and green roofs. Educators will have a resource that explains the botanical characteristics of bryophytes as a supplement to textbooks that have overlooked these non-vascular plants as a topic of interest. My overall goal is to provide insights into various bryophyte types and how they can be successfully integrated into garden design and new trends for sustainable living.
Conversational Writing Style for Greater Appeal
In writing this book, I’ll present content in a manner that will appeal to the general public. Scientific perspectives in the fields of bryology, horticulture and environmental studies will be synthesized and interpreted into lay terms. In other words, my book will be easy to understand with concepts effectively communicated in a systematic fashion to reinforce the “right place, right plant” guidelines. My writing style is conversational and relaxed. Our target audience will be environmentally-concerned gardeners, landscapers, urban planners, educators and plain ol’ moss lovers of all ages and educational backgrounds.
Based upon acute observations in natural settings as well as cultivation research conducted by Mountain Moss Enterprises at our demonstration moss garden and Mountain Mossery (moss nursery operations), my book will provide specific recommendations and suggested techniques. As an enhancement to this expert advice, impressive photographs will highlight the beauty of mosses as well as illustrate recommended methods.
As an environmental moss artist, my approach will be focused on creative and innovative designs in concert with environmental solutions to issues of groundwater contamination, carbon footprint and erosion control.
Economic Value to Mountain Moss Enterprises
Having extolled the value of mosses in sustainable landscapes and the recognized appeal of a book in the market, let’s not overlook the value of this book to my entrepreneurial business, Mountain Moss Enterprises. In publishing this book, we will solidify our role in the LIVE moss industry as a leading expert. Opportunities as an educator and lecturer could be fueled by this recognition as the moss gardening “pied piper.” We anticipate a corresponding increase in demand for our design and installation services as well. The income generated from book sales will allow for more books… and continued horticultural research and groundbreaking projects. As book sales increase over time, this supplemental income could help the business survive the winter months when landscape projects slow down. I view this book as another milestone in our efforts to increase cash flow necessary to help grow a successful business.
Intended Target Audience
The most obvious target audience will be gardeners, yet this book will appeal to other audiences as well. Botanical types will be fascinated with the scientific documentation of these native plants being incorporated into the landscape. Landscapers, land use planners, and landscape design architects will gain inspiration from insights into new “green” ways to feature mosses. Environmentalists and sustainability supporters will be interested in the practical solutions and eco-friendly benefits of mosses presented in this proposed book. In addition, professional designers of green roofs, living/green walls, water features, outdoor living spaces, patios, native restoration projects, and urban “greening,” will find value in the content. Educators will have a supplemental resource to traditional textbooks that have overlooked bryophytes as a topic. We anticipate this book will appeal to a wide audience and that public libraries will add this title to their collections. Since no bryologist or horticulturalist has published a book of this nature and scope, my moss gardening book, written in lay terms, will be a hallmark reference for a variety of target audiences in America and in the international market.
Competition in the Marketplace
There are few titles on moss gardening in the world of publishing. Only a handful of moss gardening books are available in hardback and self-published handbooks in soft cover versions. Moss Gardening by George Schenck (Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, 1996, ISBN: 0881923702) is currently the best resource providing a basic overview of moss gardening. It includes 97 color photographs and generalized information regarding using mosses in shade gardens and containers. Yet, this book does not explore the botanical aspects of this unique non-vascular plant which are key to understanding the nuances of bryophyte types applicable for a full range of horticultural options. Further, the emerging trends in the green movement and the environmental benefits of mosses are not addressed in Schenk’s book. The reader gains an appreciation for moss gardening yet is left longing for more specific information necessary for success with moss.
Another popular new title is William Cullina’s book on Native Ferns, Moss, And Grasses: From Emerald Carpet To Amber Wave, Serene And Sensuous Plants For The Garden (New York: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2008, ISBN: 0618531181). Part of a series of books on native plants written by this respected gardener, this coffee table book helps to promote interest in mosses. It includes a section on mosses and good photographs but few moss gardening techniques are included in the limited scope of Cullina’s book.
Other self-published books with pertinent moss gardening information include Gardening with Moss Booklet written by Dave Benner (2002) and New Methods in Moss Gardening: Helping You to Successfully Grow Moss in Your Gardens and Landscapes written by Richard R. Smith (2009). Published by the British Bryological Society, Michael Fletcher’s Moss Gardener’s Handbook (1991, rev. 2003) is available in pdf form on the Internet. All of these guides offer tips from moss gardeners but are by no means as comprehensive as my book will be. My book will address key questions left unanswered in other publications and will offer bryophyte-specific recommendations rather than generalizations.
Author’s Background – Mossy Path from Childhood: Fascination to Expertise
Growing up in the mountains of western North Carolina, I have been fascinated with mosses since childhood. My passion for mosses has evolved from an avocation as a bryologist into a recognized and successful moss landscape designer in the region. My portfolio includes numerous private gardens as well as public venues at Furman University (Greenville, SC) and Silvermont (Brevard, NC). With a commitment to responsible land stewardship, Mountain Moss rescues mosses from high impact places where they will be destroyed during construction and land development. Given little existing horticultural research on mosses, I have necessarily conducted my own cultivation experiments for container/field production, green roofs, living walls and moss lawns. This book will be based upon actual “hands-on” experience and successful long-term results.
Mountain Moss is dedicated to public outreach through our educational lectures, workshops and hikes. Through these informational Go Green With Moss programs, we have reached out to literally thousands of participants. A resounding encouragement for publishing a moss gardening book has prompted me to pursue this idea.
In addition to our business products and services, we share moss gardening information on Mountain Moss’ Web site (www.mountainmoss.com) and through our Go Green With Moss group on Facebook. Traffic on our Web site in 2011 has exceeded over 1,376,146 requests. We have effectively utilized media strategies evidenced by feature articles that have appeared in many regional publications (Carolina Gardener, WNC Magazine, The Laurel of Asheville, Carolina Home and Garden, Mountain Xpress, and VERVE). Networking within the scientific community continues through our professional affiliation with the International Association of Bryologists, American Bryological and Lichenological Society and the American Horticultural Society. As an author, I’ve been published in The Bryology Times within the academic community as well as other magazines that appeal to the general public.
My master’s degree in media production and my previous professional background in photography, writing, graphic design and print production will come in handy while pursuing ebook publishing options and as well as self-publishing a print version. My public relations, marketing, and social networking skills will facilitate the process of promoting and selling the books. Professional skills will enable the author to perform a variety of publication support functions that other writers normally farm out to contractors/freelancers.
Publication Process: Ebook and Print Versions
Your contribution to this project will enable the process of writing, self-publishing and marketing my moss gardening book. Following current trends, I will produce two versions – an ebook and a soft-cover print version with color photos. My goal is to utilize fall and winter months to write the manuscript and design layout for both e-publishing and print formats. I won’t beat around the bush. I need to utilize a portion of the funds received to survive without the pressure of trying to generate income for basic expenses during this writing and design phase. A draft of the text is already in progress. In addition, I have an extensive archives of print-quality photographs. After a thorough editing/proofing process, we’ll prep files for the print production to occur in the Spring. We have targeted early Summer for the book release date. By the end of 2012, we anticipate significant sales. Profits from this book will be funneled into more books… and continued educational outreach, cultivation research, and groundbreaking projects by Mountain Moss Enterprises, our entrepreneurial venture to grow the moss industry.
In researching finances required to self-publish books, I’ve determined that costs can seem excessive and daunting… at least to me. So, I’ve wrestled with ways to make it happen. While quality standards are of utmost importance, consideration has been given to the actual market price point to the retail consumer. The scope of the book (number of pages, inclusion of color photos, electronic versus print, etc.) are key factors in developing a strategic budget. While I wish I could publish a hard-bound book with slick glossy photographs, the costs are too high to make it cost effective. In order to reach a wider audience and to acknowledge the attraction of new electronic media as well as the continued appeal of print, the manuscript will be adapted to both formats – an ebook and a soft-cover, perfect-bound color print book. The eBook will be formatted in a size that meets specifications of popular readers like the iPad, Nook, Kindle, Sony Reader and more . The print version will be in 8×10 landscape format. The number of pages is estimated to range from 120-200 pages with at least 50 color photographs. Paper stock will be standard 70 lb white with a full color laminate cover. In today’s market, printing on demand (POD) is a great alternative to traditional upfront costs of printing a volume quantity of books.
From my years of experience in producing print publications for others, I’ve learned the value of the adage… “the more eyes, the better.” Editing and proofing is essential to a quality product. Beyond grammar, spelling, and readability, the consistency of layout details and photo captions should be reviewed carefully. Additionally, the index needs to accurately cross-reference topics for ease of use.
To facilitate this quality control, I plan on using an editing team. A professional and experienced editor will be contracted to oversee editing from draft to final version. in addition, an experienced proofer and indexer will be engaged to provide a user-friendly reference. A respected bryologist and author of print and electronic books will edit the text from a scientific perspective. A team of reviewers will represent the lay point of view and provide feedback in the draft stage so that their suggestions can be incorporated into the final version. The budget reflects compensation to all of these “editors” and a printing allocation for review copies and miscellaneous supplies.
There are other budgetary considerations that relate to distribution and sales as well as protection of the intellectual property of this book. The acquisition of ISBN and corresponding barcode indicia is a standard in today’s international market. For ease of accessioning by libraries, a LCCN and SAN are also valuable. The final administrative step is to register my book with the US Copyright Office. There are associated fees, expense of required submission copies, and shipping costs to agencies.
The proposed budget allocates funds to accomplish all the various tasks necessary to publish my book. Monies received will be appropriated to pay the printer, contract “editors,” government agencies and … to provide moderate and reasonable compensation to me as the author, graphic designer, photographer and overall project coordinator. The marketing budget is modest in terms of paid advertisements. We’ll use creative approaches in publicizing the book release, and hopefully, contract out for the services of a temporary sales rep. Other miscellaneous projected expenditures are self-explanatory.
Through direct contact with garden clubs, our email list of over 1000 people, moss friends, social networking sites, academic connections, and our own Web site, we will mount our initial marketing campaign for book sales. If funding allows, we will also advertise this book through key national gardening publications. Throughout the entire process, we’ll keep our “investors” posted with book updates and previews of chapter content.
We’ll appreciate all of your own efforts to promote our funding campaign as well as assist in promoting the book sales through your personal contacts and social networking vehicles. If we do not achieve our full funding goal, we expect to still publish the electronic version and use any profits to proceed with the print version.
Benefits to Donors – Major Cool MOSS Perks
In addition to the mossy smile you’ll have from being a contributor to this green project, you will receive a personally written “thank-you” note and exceptional gifts. ALL contributors will be acknowledged in the book credits and on our Web site: www.mountainmoss.com. Whether you can give a little or a lot, you can be assured that your donation will be greatly appreciated.
Other special gifts of appreciation will be:
$10 level – Moss Munchkin – Go Green With Moss postcard
$25 level – Moss Fairy – Go Green With Moss postcards (5)
$50 level – Moss Gnome – Go Green With Moss postcards plus a set of 4 Moss Note Cards
$100 level – “Mini” Moss – The above gifts plus a LIVE miniature moss terrarium necklace
$250 level – “Maxi” Moss – The above gifts plus a LIVE Custom moss terrarium creation by Mossin’ Annie
$500 level – “Mighty” Moss – The above gifts plus a Special LIVE Moss Art creation by Mossin’ Annie and an autographed copy of my book
$1000 level – Moss Boss – The above gifts plus Outstanding LIVE Moss Art to enhance outdoor living spaces and 2 autographed copies of my book
$5000 level – Moss Magnate – The above gifts plus a Marvelous Moss Creation – LIVE log with variety of bryophytes and miniature native ferns, set of custom moss greeting cards, and 5 autographed copies of my book.
I have approached all my business dealings in good spirit and I’ve really enjoyed sharing my passion for mosses with others. Despite hardships of starting this niche business in an economic recession, I have been determined to promote the environmental value of mosses through a variety of avenues and maintain a positive vision. While growing my own business, I’ve been laying a foundation for the emerging LIVE moss industry. I’ve personally responded to email and phone inquiries about moss gardening from folks all around the world. I have devoted long hours of research and hard work to reach this stage in my knowledge base. Publishing a book is critical next step in our educational mission and desire to share the joys and advantages of mosses as horticultural choices. Initial profits will be funneled back into book production and the purchase of copies for direct sales by the author. Future profits from book sales will be targeted toward Mountain Moss’ educational outreach, horticultural research and special groundbreaking projects.
Thank you for your serious consideration of this proposal from both environmental and educational standpoints. Your donation will be greatly appreciated. DONATE NOW and together we can make this book a reality as you join my team of supporters for the publication of Mossin’ Annie’s book… The Magical Realm of Eco-friendly Mosses – A Practical Guide to Moss Gardening Projects. Go Green With Moss!
Special thanks to Ron Kolstedt, Misty Moon Productions in Brevard, NC for producing the video.
All content of this moss gardening book proposal is copyrighted by the author. Please do not reprint without permission. Mountain Moss Enterprises, 2011.