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ttom - a chat fiction app for grown-ups

A chat fiction app for older millennials, delivered in real-time, with longer-form storytelling, heightening suspense and exhilaration.

$5,338
pledged of$5,000 goal
115
256Days Left
Fund it
Campaign Ends on May 31, 2022

Project Description

 

 

 

 

Digital Land Acknowledgement:

As ttom app continues to grow and operate exclusively in the digital space, we acknowledge using high-speed internet and electronic equipment, devices, and digital meetings that are not readily available in many indigenous communities. These digital advances are  ingrained in our day to day operations, and are creating an acceleration of global climate change through the carbon footprint of these devices. Because climate change impacts indigenous peoples at exponentially greater rates, as we sit in communion with each other, connected through this technology we must acknowledge that we sit on land stolen from Native people, and the genocide committed against the Native people by European settlers. We must bring this truth to the forefront and recognize the impact it continues to have on indigenous people. 

ttom app is based in Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinois on the land of the Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Peoria, Kaskaskia, Bodéwadmiké (Potawatomi), MyaamiaOčhéthi Šakówiŋ.

This land acknowledgement was inspired by the work being done at American Blues Theater as they have adapted to digital theater during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to learn more. To reveal which tribes lived on the land where you now sit, visit this map

 

Image Description:

Brightly colored images of a sneaky black cat with a multi-hued blue cellphone, and images of phone home screens, and people using phones appear throughout. The colors for backgrounds and text are whimsical and saturated. The color palette includes black, white, Magpie Blue #0D47A1, Sunflower Yellow #EAC435, Robin’s Egg light blue #86BBD8, and Sundress Salmon Pink #FE4A49

Text reads:

ttom

a chat fiction app for grow ups

*grown-ups

MISSION

ttom creates a more immersive and complete experience, for a deeper connection to the storytelling by telling chat fiction NOT through text messges alone, but also voice messages, video messages, emails, images, and music, and the characters' interactive home screen.

ALL IN REAL TIME

PROBLEM

chat fiction content tends to focus on sex and violence as topics to capture audiences

chat fiction is geared toward younger audiences

primarily teens, missing out on tons of cell phone users

most chat fiction apps contain pay walls making enjoying a story frustrating and expensive

chat fiction is based on on-demand content, unlike real life

chat fiction stories tend to last a few hours or a day

SOLUTION

ttom works with emerging and established voices in the Chicago theater scene, creating more diverse themes and distinct characters

ttom appeals to older audiences with longer-form storytelling, and more mature themes

ttom delivers content IN REAL TIME creating more suspense and exhilaration, mimicking real life

ttom prices each story individually, with no surprise paywalls

ttom creates an immersive experience beyond the chat fiction itself, including the ability to navigate the characters' cell phones

Pricing and Profit Sharing with Authors

ttom prices all pieces based on how long the story runs

The shortest stories in ttom's library runs one day, the longest is the length of a novel and runs for two and a half months.

Day-long pieces are $1.99

Week-long pieces are $3.99

Months-long pieces are $9.99

ttom values it's artists' time and work

all authors are paid 70% of profits from their story sales

MARKET SIZE

Entertainment App Usage Has Had The Largest Increase In Market Share From 13% in 2016 to 21% in 2019 and still rising through 2020.

TOTAL AVAILABLE MARKET: 100M Chat Fiction Users

SERVICEABLE AVAILABLE MARKET: 60M Users aged 18-35 years old

MARKETSHARE: 20M Older Gen Z - Gen X, ttom can capture more as they age into the app

WHY ARE WE LOOKING FOR FUNDING?

TTOM HAS BEEN SELF FUNDED SINCE IT'S INCEPTION IN 2013

ttom's owners have contributed the following since 2018

Man hours: 3,000hrs (10 hours x person x week x 3 years) = $105,000

Actual Dollars: $2,000

Total: $125,000

ttom needs help with large one-time expenses and increasing operation costs due to hosting and sending more/larger amounts of data.

WHAT YOU ARE FUNDING?

Trademark logo federally: $660

Trademark logo state: $150

Wordmark: $660

LLC Annual report: $75

LLC address change: $50

Marketing: $500

(upcoming with launch, video editing, more servers)

Cloud hosting: $300/month x 2 months

(due to the expanding library)

Credit card processing: $500/monthly x 2 months

Standard operational costs: $125/month x 2 months

Freelance coding: $225/week x 4 weeks

TOTAL: $4,845.00

WHY IS TRADEMARK AND BRANDING SUCH A LARGE LINE ITEM EXPENSE?

Over the years, the 8 years that we have been working on this app, numerous chat fiction apps have entered the market. Since 2018 we had been operating under the name Magpie and logo. We were forced to file name changes for the LLC and rebrand when a chat fiction app of the same name and logo entered the US market in 2020, scraping all the work we had done on logo and branding up until the point.

THE TEAM:

Carolyn Minor: Founder, Owner, Business Manager, Author, she/her/hers

Jessica Kress: Owner, UX Designer, she/her/hers

Adam Velma: Owner, Lead Developer, Full Stack, he/him/his

THANK YOU!

So many friends have been here through this arduous journey to launch. Starting back in 2013, with the first iteration of Carolyn's novel, all the way to 2021 to see a cohesive team actually big this to fruition.

ttom is thankful for any and all support: emotional, social media, word of mouth, mentoring, life advice and encouragement that we have received over the years.

ttom CANNOT wait to get into your phones and your hearts

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

 

 

Updates

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is chat fiction

It is a genre of storytelling that occurs through mobile apps, exclusively told through text messages.

Can we learn more about the owners of ttom?

Sure! Check out our Linkedin or personal pages:

Carolyn Minor: Linkedin, Personal, Facebook

Jessica Kress: Linkedin

Adam Velma: Linkedin

Can we learn more about the authors of ttom?

Obviously!!! We love our aritists and want everyone to check out their work!

Carolyn Minor: Linkedin, Personal, Facebook

Leah Barsanti: Linkedin

Stefanie Coleman: Personal 

When was ttom app conceived?

ttom app was conceived in the winter of 2013-2014 and had several hiccups with getting a development team together

What does ttom mean/stand for?

ttom is the name of our logo cat, it represents a peeping tom or a tom cat, someone sneaky around alleys and stealing glimpses of other peoples' lives

Why do you tell these stories in real time?

ttom tells stories in real time to create a stronger sense of suspense and excitement when the text messages are received, very much like a real relationship. Not everyone is answering your messages instantly due to work, stress, illness, avoidance, or any other host of reasons. In this way, getting the messages in real time creates excitement when they arrive, while still making the reader a passive participant. 

Here is a breakdown of the funding needs:

ttom needs help with large one-time expenses and increasing operation costs due to hosting and sending more/larger amounts of data:

Trademark logo federally: $660

Trademark logo state: $150

Wordmark: $660

Annual report: $75

LLC address change: $50

Marketing: $500 (upcoming with launch, video editing, equipment)

Cloud hosting the expanding library: $300/month x 2 months

Credit card processing: $500/monthly x 2 months

Standard operational costs: $125/month x 2 months

Freelance coding: $225/week x 4 weeks

TOTAL: $4,845.00

Why is trademark and branding so important to you as a line item expense?

Over the years, the 8 that we have been working on this app, numerous chat fiction apps have entered the market. Since 2018 we had been operating under the name Magpie and were forced to file name changes for the LLC and rebrand when a chat fiction app of the same name entered the US market, scraping all the work we had done on logo and branding up until the point. 

 

Leo
06/15/2021
SOCIAL MEDIA SHOUTOUT!
$25
06/09/2021
Free copy of The Actress & The Painter
$50
Jessamyn Edawrds
06/03/2021
SOCIAL MEDIA SHOUTOUT!
$25
Mackenzie
05/31/2021
SOCIAL MEDIA SHOUTOUT!
$33
Anthony Prino
05/31/2021
Free copy of The Actress & The Painter
$50
Rochelle
05/28/2021
Monetary Contribution
$5
ErinLytn
05/28/2021
Free copy of The Actress & The Painter
$50
Byron
05/28/2021
SOCIAL MEDIA SHOUTOUT!
$25
Brandon Boler
05/27/2021
SOCIAL MEDIA SHOUTOUT!
$25
Mark Finks
05/27/2021
Free copy of The Actress & The Painter
$50
25.00 USD
SOCIAL MEDIA SHOUTOUT!

We are so thankful and we want to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS, well not really, BUT we do wanna shout it from our Facebook and Instagram pages. And send you a personal thank you for being such an amazing supporter!

37 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
Free copy of The Actress & The Painter

If you donate $50, you will receive a free copy of the original piece that inspired ttom app. 

The Actress & The Painter by Carolyn Minor was written in 2013, and was comprised of exclusively text messages and emails. The ttom founder wanted to deliver it to the audience the same way you would experience it in real life. Thus began the 8 year journey to find tech people who shared Carolyn's vision. The novel is roughly 200 pages in traditional book format, but as chat fiction runs 2 and a half months. It follows a DRAMATIC and racy, overly romanticized relationship between two creatives in the Chicago winter of 2013. 

28 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
Title Card Artwork and Free Copy!

With your $100 donation, you will receive a free copy of the chat fiction novel The Actress & The Painter by Carolyn Minor AND a 6"x11" print of the title artwork for the piece. 

The artwork for the piece is a team effort between owners, Jessica Kress and Carolyn Minor. Carolyn Minor hand painted and drew the emojis she envisioned for the world of the characters. Jessica Kress then added the water color effect for the background. 

12 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 USD
Playwriting for Kids and Teens

Do you know a kid or teen with a love of writing and endless imagination?!

Carolyn Minor will teach 4 sessions with your student to create a 10 minute play. The culmination of the playwriting experience will be a reading via ZOOM of all the plays written by students the donors enrolled. 

Carolyn Minor has been creating theater and performance in Chicago since 2001. She was a company member of the now defunct Knife & Fork Theatre Company that built artwork with a heavy emphasis on devised and movement-based pieces. She is a production manager at City Lit Theater Company and is the education associate and a teaching artist with American Blues Theater. She has written pieces performed at You Only Live Once More for SoloCrowd Chicago, at AbbieFest for Knife & Fork, Brecht 3 High Fest for The Island Theater Company, and Ghostlight Ensemble’s Nightlight Series. As an advocate for empathy and early childhood exposure to the arts, she is grateful to be reaching students in a new and exciting way, keeping them engaged while everyone stays safe at home.

 

5 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
250.00 USD
3 Page Website Build

Are you looking for a website AND a way to support women in STEM?!

Jessica Kress, the owner and UX designer for ttom, has a degree in UX design and a background in coding. Jessica will have a consultation with you to determine what your website needs are and how best to build a 3 page website for your personal, hobby, or business needs.

2 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Print by Artist Alyssa Beech

ttom's AMAZINGLY talented and very kind friend and fellow artist Alyssa Beech donated a print to us for this crowdfunding campaign.

Alyssa is a "chicago maker of many things".  Alyssa Beech  graduated from the School of the Art Institute Chicago in 2014, and recently completed continuing studies in weaving at SAIC. She is also an art teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. Alyssa has shown her work throughout Chicago since 2013. This year she is creating work with a women's art collaboration taking place in Australia, 2022. 

This piece is entitled The Lily, 2016. (13"x17")

Also, for more of Alyssa's work that is for sale check out her shop. There is a print entitled Remembering Fred Hampton  that leaves you breathless. 

1 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Print by Artist Sotirios Livaditis

This print by Chicago artist and scenic designer Sotirios Livaditis was inspired by The Little Prince, a family favorite for ttom founder Carolyn Minor. And we just love him and think his work is so beautiful! He also has his pieces for sale here.

 

Sotirios Livaditis is an award-winning Chicago based scenic designer who has committed himself to discovering what live stories look like.

In the Chicago region he has worked with Jackalope Theatre, About Face, (re)discover theatre, Rare Terra Theatre, Northwestern University and Citadel Theatre (among others). Formerly a Colorado Native, he also worked with Bas Bleu Theatre, Openstage Theatre, Canyon Concert Ballet and the Candlelight Playhouse (among others).

He received his MFA from Northwestern University and was recently honored with the Best Design Exhibition Award at the 2017 Michael Merritt Awards.

 

 

1 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Print by Artist Candice Johnson

Candice Johnson is a born and bred Chicago artist, painting anything from large gray scale murals in amazing restaurants and bars throughout the city to scratch board pieces of family's furry friends, and a staple at the Glenwood Art Festival each year, showing with her mom. Our very favorite piece by CJ was outside of Rogers Park Social for many years.

This piece is a scratch board print of a lovable, snuggly dog, and comes framed and stamped with her CandiceWithAnEye logo. 

1 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

25.00 USD
SOCIAL MEDIA SHOUTOUT!

We are so thankful and we want to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS, well not really, BUT we do wanna shout it from our Facebook and Instagram pages. And send you a personal thank you for being such an amazing supporter!

37 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
Free copy of The Actress & The Painter

If you donate $50, you will receive a free copy of the original piece that inspired ttom app. 

The Actress & The Painter by Carolyn Minor was written in 2013, and was comprised of exclusively text messages and emails. The ttom founder wanted to deliver it to the audience the same way you would experience it in real life. Thus began the 8 year journey to find tech people who shared Carolyn's vision. The novel is roughly 200 pages in traditional book format, but as chat fiction runs 2 and a half months. It follows a DRAMATIC and racy, overly romanticized relationship between two creatives in the Chicago winter of 2013. 

28 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
Title Card Artwork and Free Copy!

With your $100 donation, you will receive a free copy of the chat fiction novel The Actress & The Painter by Carolyn Minor AND a 6"x11" print of the title artwork for the piece. 

The artwork for the piece is a team effort between owners, Jessica Kress and Carolyn Minor. Carolyn Minor hand painted and drew the emojis she envisioned for the world of the characters. Jessica Kress then added the water color effect for the background. 

12 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 USD
Playwriting for Kids and Teens

Do you know a kid or teen with a love of writing and endless imagination?!

Carolyn Minor will teach 4 sessions with your student to create a 10 minute play. The culmination of the playwriting experience will be a reading via ZOOM of all the plays written by students the donors enrolled. 

Carolyn Minor has been creating theater and performance in Chicago since 2001. She was a company member of the now defunct Knife & Fork Theatre Company that built artwork with a heavy emphasis on devised and movement-based pieces. She is a production manager at City Lit Theater Company and is the education associate and a teaching artist with American Blues Theater. She has written pieces performed at You Only Live Once More for SoloCrowd Chicago, at AbbieFest for Knife & Fork, Brecht 3 High Fest for The Island Theater Company, and Ghostlight Ensemble’s Nightlight Series. As an advocate for empathy and early childhood exposure to the arts, she is grateful to be reaching students in a new and exciting way, keeping them engaged while everyone stays safe at home.

 

5 Left
1 Supporter
Select this reward
250.00 USD
3 Page Website Build

Are you looking for a website AND a way to support women in STEM?!

Jessica Kress, the owner and UX designer for ttom, has a degree in UX design and a background in coding. Jessica will have a consultation with you to determine what your website needs are and how best to build a 3 page website for your personal, hobby, or business needs.

2 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Print by Artist Alyssa Beech

ttom's AMAZINGLY talented and very kind friend and fellow artist Alyssa Beech donated a print to us for this crowdfunding campaign.

Alyssa is a "chicago maker of many things".  Alyssa Beech  graduated from the School of the Art Institute Chicago in 2014, and recently completed continuing studies in weaving at SAIC. She is also an art teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. Alyssa has shown her work throughout Chicago since 2013. This year she is creating work with a women's art collaboration taking place in Australia, 2022. 

This piece is entitled The Lily, 2016. (13"x17")

Also, for more of Alyssa's work that is for sale check out her shop. There is a print entitled Remembering Fred Hampton  that leaves you breathless. 

1 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Print by Artist Sotirios Livaditis

This print by Chicago artist and scenic designer Sotirios Livaditis was inspired by The Little Prince, a family favorite for ttom founder Carolyn Minor. And we just love him and think his work is so beautiful! He also has his pieces for sale here.

 

Sotirios Livaditis is an award-winning Chicago based scenic designer who has committed himself to discovering what live stories look like.

In the Chicago region he has worked with Jackalope Theatre, About Face, (re)discover theatre, Rare Terra Theatre, Northwestern University and Citadel Theatre (among others). Formerly a Colorado Native, he also worked with Bas Bleu Theatre, Openstage Theatre, Canyon Concert Ballet and the Candlelight Playhouse (among others).

He received his MFA from Northwestern University and was recently honored with the Best Design Exhibition Award at the 2017 Michael Merritt Awards.

 

 

1 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Print by Artist Candice Johnson

Candice Johnson is a born and bred Chicago artist, painting anything from large gray scale murals in amazing restaurants and bars throughout the city to scratch board pieces of family's furry friends, and a staple at the Glenwood Art Festival each year, showing with her mom. Our very favorite piece by CJ was outside of Rogers Park Social for many years.

This piece is a scratch board print of a lovable, snuggly dog, and comes framed and stamped with her CandiceWithAnEye logo. 

1 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward