The story so far
So at $1400 we've reached the project's first stretch goal: that means that everyone, whether their Reward says so or not, will get an eBook copy of The Lair of the Clockwork Book (mobi or epub), and every backer who's getting a printed book will also get couple of custom bookmarks.
Stretch Goal #2: $1900
If we reach $1900 I'll be able to schedule a Kirkus review for Patently Absurd.
That's probably due to the people who pledged at the higher levels, so here's what they get: a 3 1/2" by 5 1/2" memo notebook. They'll have the Patently Absurd cover art on the front, with 48 acid-free recycled pages. They're really nice: I use one like this myself.
And it looks like we've used up the "Collector" level rewards, which qualified for that add-on. So I'm adding a new (still limited) set of those - including signed hardcovers of Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom - so anybody new who wants one of the memo notebooks can still pile on.
These six illustrated stories (like my novel, Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom) take place in the city of Retropolis. That’s where the future went when we got something else.
So nearly everyone in Retropolis has their own rocket ship, and there are robots pretty much everywhere, and in most ways it’s a pretty nice place to live. A lot of that's due to the innovations of the mad scientists in the Experimental Research District.
The District is the only neighborhood in Retropolis where scientists are allowed to invent, and to experiment, and to find out what happens when you cross a Great White Shark with a lawnmower, and then add a rocket pack. If you're not a scientist you'd rather not visit the District, believe me. But if you are a scientist, in this world where all Science is Mad, you wouldn't want to live anyplace else. Which would be great, since by law... you couldn't.
But there are risks in this social arrangement. If no one keeps an eye on them, one of these mad inventors may start to wonder what happens if you rotate the Earth by 90 degrees. Which would be bad, of course. So somebody has to keep an eye on the scientists, in a friendly, interested way, to see if anybody's started an experiment that has to be stopped.
That's the secret mission of the Retropolis Registry of Patents.
Five of these stories ran as serials at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual. (You might know that best as the home of the Pulp-O-Mizer.)
The final Registry of Patents story is The Enigma of the Unseen Doctor. That one wraps up the series and it’s quite a bit longer than the others. It will appear in Patently Absurd for the first time.
As a 6x9" trade paperback the book runs to about 260 pages, and there are forty (oops, now forty-three) illustrations. Yeah. That's a lot of illustrations. I noticed.
Launching the Book
Although there's nothing to stop you from simply releasing a book into the wild, there's no guarantee that anyone will notice it's there. So to give this book its best chance I want to handle the launch with a little more care.
Patently Absurd will be released only after several months of work. The most visible part of that work is that I want to send advance copies out to reviewers, bloggers, and the book buyers for small (and large) bookstores. That includes trade publications like Booklist, The Library Journal, and Locus.
There's a long lead time for these people, which is the reason I'm starting this now even though the book won't be published until March.
But the advance copies - like everything else - cost money.
This Project's Goal
So I'm inviting you in. If you choose to back this project and get an advance copy of your own, another advance copy will go out to reviewers and bookstore buyers (within reason: at some point, you're just giving away books). Part of these proceeds will also cover pre-production expenses, like Ingram's fees and a set of ISBN numbers.
I've set a pretty modest goal for this project, but there are some important stretch goals (see below). I hope we can reach those levels too.
If we raise more than that, I'll lean back and think about what I'd like to work on next.
Which would be nice.
You'll get your advance copy of the book about two months before it's released. That's when the reviewers and buyers get theirs, so it seems fair that you'll get yours at the same time.
The Project's Secret, Hidden Goal
Like the Registry of Patents, this project also has a secret mission: to enlist you in the promotion for the book.
Because I hope that once you have one, you'll talk about it; you'll mention it on Facebook, or Twitter, or Goodreads; you'll review it on Amazon, when they let you. That kind of grassroots promotion is the best kind there is.
Your advance copy of the book can be in print format or digital (ePub or mobi); you may even get both, depending on your pledge level. I'll sign the printed books.
In addition I'm offering ePub and mobi versions of The Lair of the Clockwork Book, with its 128 illustrations.
If those aren't enough for you, you can have a signed hardcover copy of Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom, my novel of Retropolis; and if you still want more I'll send you a signed, 20 by 30 inch poster of the dust jacket art for Switchboard.
In addition to these rewards, backers will get to hear about the book launch as it progresses from December through March. I'll probably tell the backers some things I might not talk about in public. Or I might not. I'm furtive.
But here's something else. Remember that some of these advance copies are going to go out to the book buyers at bookstores? Well, if you back this project you can recommend your own local book shop. It will help if you can name the book buyer there - we want to make sure the book goes to the right place. And I'm not promising that every suggested bookstore will get one. But there's a pretty good chance that yours will.
Backers can now add their bookstore recommendations in comments on the October 15, backers-only update.
The Stretch Goals
So far, we've financed some great promotion for Patently Absurd. But beyond those advance copies there are a couple of other things that would really help the book.
Publishers Weekly and Kirkus charge fees to review independently published books like mine. Publishers Weekly even stuffs indie books into a supplement, rather than mixing them in with their other reviews.
Although this is kind of annoying, I can see their point: there are a lot of indie books. So our stretch goals target fees for these two publications.
We've reached the first stretch goal at $1400 so we can count on a review in Publishers Weekly. Next up is Kirkus Reviews. To get that we'll need to reach $1900. Details are now at the top!
Risks and challenges
The book is done; its print layout is done. I'll be formatting the eBook editions before the end of the year, and I've done that before. The advance print copies will use a printer I've used in the past, and I can't foresee any large problems there. So there's very little risk in your receiving your rewards.
The only unfamiliar territory for me is that I'll be using Ingram for part of the print production (for the final, published books). They have some finicky preferences and foibles that I'll need to adapt to. But, like I said, that doesn't affect the advance copies. So it's a little special worry that's just for me.
You can look back over my earlier projects (for Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual and The Lair of the Clockwork Book) and you'll find that I fulfilled all those rewards on time. Well. Except for one guy who never gave me his address, and I still have his package ready to ship if I ever hear from him again.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)