Thanks SO much to everyone who gave me your feedback on the idea of an 18th century hair/wig-styling book! I got a TON of positive, useful feedback and I really think it’s viable, so I am going to go for it!
I’m still crunching the data I gathered on the survey, and exploring options for images. I’ve ordered myself a practice mannequin so I can work out the specific styles I want to do.
And there are some things I want to do a bit more research on, like caps — how ubiquitous were they? Etc.
I even appreciate those who said they WOULDN’T buy the book, because that’s helpful to know! It seems like those few are more interested in a book on 18th century techniques, which I agree are interesting, but I just don’t see myself (or the bulk of costumers/theater people) wanting to make pomade out of beef tallow and setting curls by baking hair on clay curlers in ovens. It just doesn’t sound viable. I’ll certainly be researching how they did it, and including information about that in the book.
My goal is to have the book ready to go for Costume College 2013!
And — what I’m going to do is use Kickstarter, which is a site that allows people to fund a project. You can donate $1 or $500, depending on the various levels that I set it at. Obviously I will have the basic “donation” be a discounted price on the book, and you’ll get a copy of the book at this discounted rate for pre-funding the project. This way I can figure out the cost of the book and essentially pre-sell it… And the way Kickstarter works is that you figure out what your funding goal is, and if you don’t make that goal, nobody’s credit cards get charged — so basically you’d be buying the book, but if for any reason I can’t get enough people to buy a copy and the project falls through, you wouldn’t be out a cent.
So my plan is do more research and figure out hairstyles over the next couple of months, and hopefully do the real work with photography and writing over winter/spring. I won’t start the Kickstarter pre-sale until I have things pretty firmly lined up with a finish date — so when a lot of the writing is done and I’m starting to work with models, and have a firm end date in site. So, watch this space for lots more updates!