Mostly Lies is a true story, except for the stuff I made up. It's an essay collection of creative nonfiction and uncreative fiction.
Hi. My name’s Conlan. You don’t know me. Or maybe you do, I don’t know. I’m a copywriter by trade, and a writer-writer by writing. I blog at http://thisisconlan.com. I’ve written a lot, but I’ve never written a book.
I’m here today because I “want to” write a book. What kind of book, you ask? I’m calling it a fake memoir.
Here's the deal: I lead a pretty interesting life, when I lie about it. And I often do. In fact, I’m lying right now, mostly. This book isn’t really going to be about my life (lies or otherwise). At least not in the traditional sense. It’s not so much a memoir as it is a meandering collection of essays masquerading as a memoir, including stuff that’s entirely made up. (It won't all be funny.)
Possible chapters include:
- The Most Boring Dream I Ever Had
- Divorce, for Fun and Profit
- The Truth About Me and Pickles
- What's the Deal With Observational Humor? Have You Heard of This Stuff?
- The Contents of My Medicine Cabinet
- Why Conspiracy Theorists Are Out to Get You
- Everything: Why Everybody Is Wrong About It
- Food: Shame, Comfort, and What's This Stain on My Shirt?
- Kitty Cats: World's Cutest Serial Murderers
- and so much more!
So it's a fake memoir, which is good because it will also be a fake book. In other words, it will be an e-book. Specifically, a Kindle e-book. For reading on your Amazon Kindle or tablet or smartphone via the Amazon Kindle app. Because paper is too complicated.
Now, here are some questions and answers:
Q: Why do you need money to write a book? Can't you write for free?
A: You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But here’s the thing: Writing a book is hard and it takes a lot of time. (And writing a good book is damn hard and takes a damn lot of time.) As a self-employed person, any time I spend not getting paid for something is time that I could spend getting paid for something (theoretically). Your contribution will allow me to responsibly allocate a good chunk of time for writing, editing, publishing, and so forth.
Q: OK, but why $5,500?
A: A few reasons:
1, Based on my estimates, it works out to a modest yet respectable hourly wage. I'd say it's comparable to working at a fast food restaurant in a big city.
2. It’s not too little. If I just sort of half-ass this and ask for a couple hundred bucks, I'll spend that on writing supplies (i.e., coffee and beer) in the first couple hours and then, during particularly serious bouts of writer's block, I'll be left feeling like I’ve overcommitted and none of this is really worth it, and then I'll start resenting the project, and that’s no fun for anyone.
3. It’s probably too much. To be honest, I don't think I can raise this much — it’s a lot of money, even spread across a lot of people. And that’s good because I’m scared. Like I said, writing a book is a ton of hard work, and it would be kind of a relief to discover I don’t actually “have to” do it. Which brings me to my final point.
4. It’s scary. I really don't know if many people even want to read a book by me. But if enough friends and strangers somehow put that much monetary faith in me — faith to write something worth reading — there’s no way I’m not gonna do my darnedest to live up to it. Because, at that point, the prospect of giving up is worse than any lingering insecurity. In other words, I’ll have to do it. So I will.
Q: Cool. I'm on board. What do I do now?
A: Thanks for being on board. Now you need to choose a pledge level from the options on the right. (You can also pledge any amount you wish — I suggest $10,000.) If I meet my funding goal, you will be billed for that amount and you will receive your reward in due time. If I don't reach my funding goal, you won't be charged anything and I'll look like a fool.
Once you've pledged, tell your friends. You're gonna have to convince them, because they've never heard of me either. Make up stuff about how I'm super great and I'm going to be famous and they can get in on the ground floor and other BS like that. After that, the sky's the limit (metaphorically).
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
This will be a big undertaking, and I can't claim to know exactly what the final product will look like. My plan is to devote an average of 7 hours a week to this project until it is completed. I think a year is a feasible timeline.
At this point I'm not 100% up to speed on distribution in the Kindle store, but I'm confident I'll be able to work it out. In the worst case scenario (if Amazon goes out of business before next year, for example), I will provide the book to backers in PDF format, which is readable on any computer.
Other than that, it's smooth sailing (metaphorically).
Note: E-book will be available worldwide, but buttons will only be shipped within the USA.
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Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
"This Is All I Can Afford" Level. Backers at this level will receive one 1.25" This is Conlan button (version 3.0) — suitable for pinning on your shirt, purse, or mustache — and a handwritten "thank you note".Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
The First Edition Level. Backers at this level will get your very own copy of the Mostly Lies e-book to read on your Kindle (or the phone, computer, or device of your choice using the free Kindle apps), as well as the button and handwritten "thank you note".Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Social Media Expert Level. Backers at this level receive the e-book, TWO buttons, and the note, PLUS: I will write a one-line bio about you (entirely made up by me) that you can use on your social media profiles.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
Contributor Level. Backers at this level receive the e-book, THREE buttons, and the note, PLUS: You get to suggest a one-word topic that I will write about in the book. E.g., if you suggest "aluminum", I will include a section (anywhere from a paragraph to a whole chapter) on what I think about aluminum. Each section will be credited with the name of the backer who suggested it (if you want).Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Proofreader Level. Backers at this level get the e-book, FOUR buttons, the note, and the one-word topic suggestion, PLUS: Early access to the near-final manuscript that you can proofread for me (suckers!). You'll be credited as a proofreader in the acknowledgements section of the final edition. (P.S. You don't actually have to proofread it --- you can just enjoy it, or delete it, whatever, but please forgive any typos.)Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
Editor Level. Backers at this level get the e-book, FIVE buttons, the note, and the one-word topic suggestion, PLUS: I will send one or more draft chapters to you for feedback, which I may or may not incorporate into the final manuscript. You'll be acknowledged as an editor in the e-book.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
Publisher Edition. Backers at this level get the e-book, TEN buttons, the note, the one-word topic suggestion, and the editorial input, PLUS: I will email you an outline of the book before I really begin the serious business of writing, and you'll be able to give your input and help shape the overall project. You'll be credited as a publisher in the final manuscript. Acknowledged as publisher in final manuscript.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
"You're Crazy, But I Love You" Level. Everything from all the previous levels, PLUS my undying gratitude (heck, I'll even throw in a few extra buttons). You'll be credited as supreme benefactor in the final manuscript.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
- (30 days)