A four novel arc set in the world of harness racing featuring a colorful set of characters whose predilections tend toward unsavory.
The call to fiction writing (especially the crime genre, of which this project falls under) has been fairly recent, about five years, but many of the experiences I have collected that fueled the eventual dedication to write a four novel series set in the world of harness racing came early, and stayed with me for ever after.
Upon graduation from high school (the very day), I ventured off from home to a harness racetrack (Vernon) in Central New York in search of a summer job as a groom. I found the job, and then took lodging at a nearby rooming house (actually a family lived there). By the end of summer I had become involved with a race fixing ring, was a personal driver and assistant to a card sharp/ crooked dice player, and had an intense relationship with a married woman...then I went off to college.
In the first of the four novels that make up part of my project I incorporate many of those experiences of that memorable summer. Then, I enhanced, embellished, and added,in true crime fiction writing fashion, the rest of the story.
It occurred to me as I finished that first novel that there was a lot more to tell if I allowed the characters to age. It would be a natural that the sins of their ways would continue. My hero of the stories became more dedicated and deeper as a character, he had more exciting, often life threatening, encounters with the evil around him. By the end of the second novel (my hero is,again, asked to help combat a sophisticated scheme of race fixing) he is in a relationship with a beautiful young woman (who will ultimately be his wife) who's father he shot dead at the end of the first novel.
As book three opens, the young woman of novel two has become my hero's wife and a major superstar racing driver in the world of harness horse racing. Her family's unwanted involvement in their life (Chicago racketeers) and the pressures on our hero generated by the greed and lawlessness that swirls around the sport he loves (wherever there is gambling there are people who will try to cheat to succeed), have put strains on his marriage while he attempts to right the wrongs he so clearly sees. Those forces cause dramatic, dangerous actions and reactions between our hero and the characters around him (especially his wife). In our hero's struggles, his moral ambiguity leads him down a twisted path. The reader is left to decide if his actions are warranted and just.
Book four opens with our hero in prison (paying the price for his decisions and actions). Scrupulous politicians arrange his release to satisfy there own agenda (adding slot machines at racetracks).....the story expands and, again, our hero's marriage is at stake as he confronts the threats to his sport, his marriage, and himself.... his future rests in the balance. Once again he makes decisions that ask the readers to decide for themselves his fine line between right and wrong.
The novels are fast paced, fun, entertaining, different, and filled with characters you just don't run into everyday...in life, or fiction.
I made a very carefully considered decision to not make any attempt to publish until I had completed what I felt was a compelling, entertaining series. I now have that, and with Kickstarter's and your help, I will have backing ready for me to take the next step.
My project is to turn the very important phase of final editing of the four novels over to a good experienced editor, and, then, self publish the series, then, offer the series for sale to the public, while having some control over its' destiny. I want to select an editor of my choice (experienced in the genre) to finish the storytelling, then a cover artist who I will work with me for that all important first impression, the formatter (a purely technical stage), and my publishing partner, as well as, the creation of a website to allow me to communicate personally with my readers. I'm convinced (as I plan to continue with the series) that self publishing is an incredible opportunity for a writer with a good fiction series. The fact that I have a series, instead of a stand alone, is (I've been told by many) a very positive position to be in. The reader enjoys one of the books and is naturally drawn to revisit the characters he has become involved with. As with any product, having new product for the customer is crucial.
The writing (five years) was a dedication, the self publication is the next step in seeing this project through to fruition. I need some help from simpaticos.
I am asking for $12,500. Let me explain that figure.
Costs to finish the project:
Editing: The price of editing is fairly standard among professionals and is established by length (word count). The four novels vary between 105,000 and 130,000 words. The cost per book will be $2,500-3,000.
Cover Art: The price varies between $50 and several hundred, depending on cost of the art work's elements. I project my costs at not over $100 per cover.
Formatting: The cost is established by the word count. The cost will be @ $75.00 per book
Uploading to publishing partner: Under $100.00 a book once all the above are completed.
The Creation of a Website (My personal self publishing platform):
There are many internet sites that offer templates and guidance for creating a website. I plan to develope my website myself (to include e-commerce capability) using one of these sites. The purpose of the web site will be multifaceted.
1)Establish, explain, and market myself and my books.
2) Present excerpts of the novels
3)Offer reader reviews of my work
4)Offer links to other sites (social media) and my publishing partners
5)Be capable of conducting sales transactions of my work.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
My project consists of three specific challenges: The editing of the series, the publishing, and the marketing. The writing is almost finished. One very important part remains: editing. As a director of film and video projects I became a fairly proficient editor using Final Cut Pro and was constantly reminded of no matter how great the pile of raw material was, everything needed to be edited for clarity and succinctness. Editing will bring greater fluidity and cohesiveness to the project. It is something that is best done with an experienced professional fiction editor, and I look forward to working with that person. Their objectivity and experience will be invaluable.
The publishing is relatively straight forward. A book cover needs to be designed and created (a great cover is one of the most important parts of the process), the manuscript has to be formatted and then a publishing partner (I'm leaning toward SMASHWORDS) needs to be contacted. The manuscript gets uploaded to them and they will do all the tasks that set the book up for distribution.
The final phase, for me, is the creation of a website dedicated to my work and the beginning of a never ending marketing plan to get the series in front of readers and critics. All of the above will, hopefully, result in sales of the series.
I believe in the value of the series as an addictive (read the first one and you'll want them all) rewarding option for a wide section of the reading public. I have asked for impartial feedback from enough people, whose opinions I respect, to know that if I can get the stories through the necessary levels of development needed, I believe, wholeheartedly, I will have something of merit to offer.
I feel completely qualified to successfully complete my project. I have a great deal of experience working with creative, talented people over the span of my career. Bringing the right people together will be an important part of finishing this project.
The greatest challenge will be after the project (as explained here) has been completed and a web site has been established. That challenge will be to market the novels and reach the public. It will be a lot like sending your child to school for the first day...its yours and nobody cares more than you that it succeed.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $12,500 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on December 20.
Nov 5, 2012 - Dec 20, 2012 (45 days)
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Pledge $10 or more
I hope that my backers will be my first sales force. I would hope to begin a long term interface with them as they open up their social media contacts to me to help sell the series. To secure their confidence I want them all to have received and read at least one of the novels. I believe the novels quality will speak for themselves and my backers will be very proud to be associated with the long term goals of the project. I hope each and every one of them will become a long term participator helping reach my goals. Therefore, the most natural reward I can imagine would be digital copies of the novels after they have been edited and finalized for publishing, but before they are offered for sale (so my backers can help me organize a marketing plan). Pledge scale: $10: one digital copy of one of the four novels $20: digital copies of two of the novels $40: digital copies of three of the novels $60: copies of the complete set of four novelsEstimated delivery: Apr 2013
Pledge $20 or more
The reward for this pledge will be digital copies of two of the four novelsEstimated delivery: Apr 2013
Pledge $40 or more
The reward for this pledge will be digital copies of three of the novelsEstimated delivery: Apr 2013
Pledge $60 or more
The reward for this pledge will be digital copies of the full set of four novels.Estimated delivery: Apr 2013