When we initially started tossing around the idea of writing a book that was aimed at keeping cash in students’ pockets we knew that it was badly needed – this wasn’t the issue. The real question was whether we wanted to write a book about money for a demographic that didn’t buy books and didn’t really care about money. I mean, we’re all for helping people out and stuff, but did we really want to put the time into writing, editing, publishing, distributing and marketing a product that might never get purchased? Well apparently we didn’t pay attention in economics 101 because the answer is yes.
Hellooooo… Anyone Out There…
The only good part about taking on this sort of task is that we have almost no competition. In other words, in the last ten years or so, no one has been dumb enough to take on this challenge – this despite growing levels of student debt and the accompanying media attention of the problem. The last book even close to what we tried to do was written over six years ago with information from eight years ago and it was pretty “dry” to say the least. We couldn’t see the students we interact with everyday wanting to read it. The last truly decent book in our niche we could find was The Debt Free Graduate by Murray Baker, and that was initially published in 1996. Remember 1996? Such a simple time: no smart phones, the economy was booming, and tuition rates were only starting to get scary. Plainly there is room on the market for a book that looks at the financial issues Canadian students in post-secondary education of all kinds face today.
Helping Students – It’s a Sick Addiction
When Justin and I got together to actually decide on whether or not we would get serious about writing a book (we had tossed the idea around for a while, but it’s easy to throw ideas out over beers – it’s another matter entirely to actually put together a plan to execute them) we realized that most of what was required was stuff we were already telling students on a daily basis anyway. When you deal with teenagers and young students these days it quickly becomes apparent that they are likely to do some pretty severe damage to themselves if they are left to learn financial lessons the hard way. I don’t mean there is a small deficit of knowledge, I mean that in most cases there is such an absence of information about anything concerning handling their own money that they aren’t even truly aware that such a field of knowledge exists somewhere. That is really scary. It is definitely true that money isn’t the most important thing in life, but as Forrest Gump would say, “You know, it’s one less thing.”
Financial problems cause spin-off problems and compound existing ones for students across Canada every day. Anxiety about not being able to pay rent, or the stress caused by not being able to find a job that will work with your class schedule can be mega-challenges. Our goal wasn’t to try and get rich (although we’d be lying if we said we didn’t hope to make a few bucks off of it – tentatively we hope to say we can pay ourselves minimum wage for the hours we put in), it was simply to put together a resource that fully stated all of the pieces of advice we throw out there from day to day to the young people we try to help.
One interesting aspect of writing a book I hadn’t that of before we started was something I’ve since heard referred to as, “imposter syndrome”. Logically, Justin and I knew that we had the ideal background to write this book. We both work with young people and are familiar with the challenges they’re facing. We’re also sort of in a sort of sweet spot in terms of still being involved with post-secondary life (obviously Justin works there every day, and I’m currently taking graduate studies), and being young enough to remember what it’s like to experience the freedom of post-secondary life for the first time, yet we are almost ready to consider ourselves full-fledged adults – almost. That logic doesn’t stop your mind from wandering to thoughts of, “Why would anyone want to read something I’ve written anyway?” and, “Isn’t there someone out there that could be writing something a lot better than this?” It got me to thinking if the people we think of as “big names” in almost any walk of life had these thoughts at some point. Maybe they’re just built differently and never doubted their abilities. One could even hypothesize that, that is what made them great.
Books With Benefits
While we haven’t made a ton of money so far from the book (although we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the initial demand!), we have noticed some cool side perks. Most of this revolves around the newfound respect we’ve gotten from our peers and extended family members. It’s amazing that ideas I’ve been spouting off about for years, are suddenly listened to so much more carefully because I now have my name on a glossy cover. Who knew that a book on the shelf gave you so much more gravitas! The wonder in my students’ eyes alone was nearly worth the hours of work alone!
Anyway, thanks for indulging us this week by reading about the launch of our new book. We really did work hard on the project and we think it truly is a resource worth recommending (although admittedly we are not the most impartial of observers). Once again you can order it online here, and we hope to be on book shelves in a store near you in the not-to-distant future. More beers more cheers that’s it that’s all folks!
Oh, and don’t forget about our giveaway this week! What’s the point of writing a book if you can’t be a little vain and give away a few FREE copies right? In addition to wanting to reward our loyal readers, we are obviously trying to maximize our modest marketing budget and are asking for your help in spreading the word about this great new resource.
To qualify for our draw, simply fill out the form below and then set about getting as many entries as you can.
a Rafflecopter giveaway