Look…up in the sky, it's a bird…it's a plane…it's…
*UPDATE* July 1, 2014
Having passed the $14,000 stretch goal, we've added two new HARDCOVER reward levels at the $40 (unsigned) and $80 (signed) levels. You can also upgrade your trade paperback at any level by adding $15 to your existing pledge.
Silence in the Library Publishing is excited to bring you our latest anthology, HEROES!, a collection of short fiction about superheroes, not-so-super heroes, and everyday people who find the hero within.
Inside the pages of HEROES!, you'll find stories from authors including Aaron Allston, Michael A. Stackpole, Timothy Zahn, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Jaym Gates, Addie J. King, Jean Rabe, Aaron Rosenberg, Janine Spendlove, Bryan Young, and many more.
As part of this Kickstarter, you'll also be able to purchase the companion anthology, A Hero By Any Other Name, featuring stories about sidekicks, off-beat superheroes, and hapless villains by Aaron Allston, Michael A. Stackpole, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Jean Rabe, Janine K. Spendlove, Bryan Young, and many of the other authors in HEROES! Several of the stories in these two anthologies are directly tied to each other.
One of the things that we're particularly happy about with respect to this anthology is its diversity. Diversity with respect to gender, ethnicity, age, body type, and life experience. The heroes in HEROES! come from all walks of life. Some have superpowers that make them something more, or less, than human, but others are facing a dangerous world with only their wits and willpower to aid them. We have some of the "perfect" comic book heroes, but most of our heroes would be considered flawed by those standards. They're past their physical prime, or seemingly too young for the task at hand, or not in perfect shape, or slightly bumbling, or have any number of other quirks. In other words, they're actual people.
Please, let us introduce you to just a few of them:
Kiara Bell is an African American woman in her late twenties who goes by "Panthera" when fighting crime. She wears black leather biker gear and rides a Suzuki motorcycle. Her superpower is her chitinous shell, so she is tough, not quick. She gives the impression of gentle strength and fearlessness.
Thunderbolt is a Caucasian male in his mid 20s. He has the ability to shoot incredibly destructive lightning bolts from his hands. His costume (dark blue motocross leathers with a bright orange lightning bolt logo on the chest) does not hide the fact that he is out of shape and slightly pudgy. He has serious body-image issues, and recurring problems with static cling.
The unnamed hero from "By Blood of Fang and Song, We Call You" by Jaym Gates is an old soldier turned rancher. She is of Hispanic/Native American background, moderate height, strongly built, gold eyes, black hair, dark skin. She lives in a post-apocalyptic world that’s being eaten by monsters and she talks to dragons.
Shade is a twelve year old girl who lives in a swamp called the "Shake" by people who live there--she speaks in a somewhat bayou-ish dialect, and the story centers around her search for a man named "the Caretaker," who is supposed to help residents in trouble.
As with all of our projects, one of our goals with HEROES! is to prove that there is no "standard" face to a protagonist (in this case, a hero), or an author of speculative fiction. Talent and strength know no race, sex, or other artificial boundary.
We want to both entertain you and engage you in the discussion of what it actually means to be a hero, and how that burden affects the person who carries it.
Each of the stories in this anthology is beautifully illustrated by renowned artist Mark Dos Santos. Mark's popular Gotham Evening Post illustrations, which pay homage to the great Norman Rockwell, have been featured on Buzzfeed and io9. Published credits include issues of Grimm Fairy Tales from Zenescope Entertainment, Fall of Cthulhu: Godwar, Cthulhu Tales and Eureka: Dormant Gene for Boom Studios, a comic adaption of The Book of Five Rings for Smarter Comics, and a cover for Hack/Slash from Image Comics. Mark has also illustrated sketch cards for various card sets including, Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Hellboy Animated and Mars Attacks.
In addition to illustrating each story in HEROES!, we've developed a beautiful original art cover for the anthology. Created by artist Denis Loubet, best known for his work on computer and video games and pen & paper role-playing games, this cover captures the spirit and diversity of the characters found inside.
Those of you who have backed past Silence in the Library projects will know that we produced custom "challenge coins" for the Time Traveled Tales Kickstarter. Those coins turned out so well, and were so successful, that we've decided to bring them back for the HEROES! Kickstarter. We'll start off with a single challenge coin featuring the HEROES! logo on one side and one of the characters from the book on the other side, and, if we reach the stretch goal, we'll expand that to a full run of 3 challenge coins featuring different characters. As with Time Traveled Tales, you will get to vote on which characters are on the coins.
At this point, you're probably asking yourself: "Okay, self, this sounds great, but what's the entire list of authors?"
Or maybe not. But we think you're probably going to want it eventually, so here it is:
Aaron Allston - As many of you know, sadly, Aaron passed away a few months ago. He was incredibly important to all of us here at Silence in the Library. Aaron was instrumental in us getting our feet off the ground as a company, but he was also a dear friend and mentor. As much as we miss him, we are very happy to be able to say that he was able to complete a story for HEROES! before his passing.
Michael A. Stackpole, Timothy Zahn, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Janine K. Spendlove, Patrick S. Tomlinson, Dylan Birtolo, Donald J. Bingle, Sheryl Nantus, Sarah Hans, Daniel Myers, Bradley P. Beaulieu, Jennifer Brozek, Gregory A. Wilson, Bryan Young, Addie J. King, Aaron Rosenberg, R.T. Kaelin, Jaym Gates, Steven Saus, Tracy Chowdhury, and Kelly Swails.
But wait, there's more!
We'll also be adding stories and authors to the anthology as we reach stretch goals. Our stretch goal authors include: Alan Dean Foster, Gail Z. Martin, Jean Rabe, Jim Bernheimer, Steven Jordan, Maggie Allen, Rori Shay, and Ron Garner.
BUT THERE'S EVEN MORE!
As we reach certain stretch goals, backers will get free digital downloads of amazing novels and short stories from a variety of authors, some of them in HEROES!, and some not. Authors providing digital stretch goals include: New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ryan (author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth), New York Times bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole, bestselling author Gail Z. Martin, Jim Bernheimer, Donald J. Bingle, Dylan Birtolo, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Vincent Morrone, Megan O'Russell, Rori Shay, Janine K. Spendlove, and Bryan Young. With even more to come!
Silence in the Library was founded by a group of authors based on the notion that it is important to make the creative drivers of the publishing industry, authors and artists, full partners both in the process of publishing and in the fiscal rewards. We want to ensure that our authors and artists make a decent living at their craft so that they will continue to enlighten us with their work.
We continue that tradition in this Kickstarter project. The initial funding goal we have set is exactly what is needed to produce the anthology…to print the book, pay the authors and artists, and to fulfill your rewards. There is no profit built into this for the publisher. As part of our model, the authors share equally with the publisher in any profit from the sale of books. This means that the publisher will get a share in any profits equal to the share of one author in the anthology. We're not out to get wealthy on the back of this book, but just to make enough money that it is financially viable for us to continue to put out great projects like this. It is more important to us that this book get made and that we are fair to our creative partners than that we worry about short-term gain.
We also want to ensure that readers have a voice in the publishing process. Ultimately, readers make all of this possible, and we feel that you should have a say in what gets published and what doesn't. Kickstarter provides the platform that makes this possible.
Many of you will have backed our past projects: Time Traveled Tales, A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination, War of the Seasons, Athena's Daughters, Icarus, and Elected.
All of these projects have been launched since June of 2013, so in the last year or so.
We have sent out the last items (the signed copies of the print books) necessary to have fulfilled 100% of our obligations for Time Traveled Tales, Volume 1. We have completed fulfillment of War of the Seasons, both print and digital, aside from a couple of short stories that are currently being written by stretch goal authors. We have fulfilled print and digital rewards for A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination. Athena's Daughters is on track to be fulfilled ahead of schedule, and Icarus is on track to be fulfilled on schedule. We have fulfilled digital rewards for Elected, and expect to have print rewards fulfilled well ahead of schedule.
The reason we mention these things is to let you know that we are dedicated to fulfilling all of our projects on time, and early if at all possible.
So, take a look at the tiers to the right, and decide how you would best like to participate in the HEROES! experience.
If there is a combination of things you would like that you don't see in the reward levels, just let us know, and we'll do our best to accommodate you.
As with all of our projects, we've lined up some really great stretch goals that are free to backers. So, after you’ve perused the tiers, look at our stretch goals to see what we can achieve with your support. We believe in this project, and we can produce it, but only you can make it live. Please be a part of the team. Together, we can all be heroes.
The way the add-ons will work is that you choose the level at which you wish to contribute, add the price of what you want from the list below, and contribute that amount (or, if you've already contributed, just add the amount from the list below to your current contribution). When the Kickstarter is complete, we will look at each of your selected contribution levels and the amount you have contributed, and if you have contributed more than the selected level we will contact you to find out which of the add-ons you would like.
$5 - The eBook of A Hero By Any Other Name
$5 - The eBook of In Hero Years I'm Dead by Michael A. Stackpole
$5 - The eBook of Jim Bernheimer's novel Confessions of a D-List Supervillain. If you weren't in the first 50 backers of Heroes!, here's your chance to get this excellent novel.
$5 - The eBook of Origins of a D-List Supervillain, the prequel to Jim Bernheimer's Confessions of a D-List Supervillain.
$5 - The eBook of Sidekicks!, the Alliteration Ink anthology.
$15 - A trade paperback copy of A Hero By Any Other Name (If you've backed at an electronic reward-only level, please add $5 for shipping. If you're an international backer and have backed at a print reward level, please add $5 for shipping. If you're an international backer and have backed at an electronic reward only level, please add $25 for shipping)
$15 - A signed 8x10 print of an illustration of your choice from the HEROES! anthology (if you're an international backer, please add $3 for shipping)
$15 - Upgrade your trade paperback copy of HEROES! to a hardcover copy.
$20 - A signed 11x14 print of an illustration of your choice from the HEROES! anthology. (if you're an international backer, please add $3 for shipping)
$20 - A custom Challenge Coin featuring the HEROES! logo on one side and one of the characters from the anthology on the other. (If you've backed at an electronic reward-only level, please add $5 for shipping.)
$20 - An extra trade paperback copy of HEROES! (If you've backed at an electronic reward-only level, please add $5 for shipping. If you're an international backer and have backed at a print reward level, please add $5 for shipping. If you're an international backer and have backed at an electronic reward only level, please add $25 for shipping)
First 50 Backers - ACHIEVED - Will get a free digital download of Jim Bernheimer's novel Confessions of a D-List Supervillain.
First 150 Backers - ACHIEVED - Will get a free digital download of Janine K. Spendlove's never-before-released War of the Seasons short story "Elements".
First 250 Backers - ACHIEVED - Will get a free digital download of Donald J. Bingle's Father's Day Deluxe 3-Pack of short stories. This bundle includes Donald's award-winning story "Father's Day", plus the stories "Work Mode" and "Tree of Enlightenment". In accordance with the theme, this reward will be delivered prior to the end of the Kickstarter on the day before Father's Day.
First 350 Backers - ACHIEVED -Will get a free digital download of the Sidekicks! anthology from Alliteration Ink.
Sidekicks. We know them, and we ignore them. They sit courtside, they wait in the shadows, they ride on the coattails. They have nothing to offer.
Or do they?
Heroes and heroines perform world shaking deeds, but sidekicks? Sidekicks are the unseen glue holding those powerhouses together. They are the backbones. They are the voices of reason.
It's long past time for them to shine.
Here, the fangirls, the trusted associates, the loyal assistants, and the imperiled wards have their moment in the spotlight. Join them as they shake up the world in unexpected and understated ways.
Let the heroes sit this one out.
Celebrate the Sidekick!
$9000 - ACHIEVED - All backers at or above $5 will get a free digital download of Vincent Morrone's novel Vision of Shadows, coming from Silence in the Library Publishing in June 2014.
$9500 - ACHIEVED - All backers at or above $5 will get a free digital download of Megan O'Russell's short story "Blood on Both Sides". This story is set in the world of The Tethering, Megan's novel coming from Silence in the Library in August of 2014.
$10,500 - ACHIEVED - We'll add a story to the anthology by best-selling author Gail Z. Martin.
$11,500 - ACHIEVED - All backers at or above $5 will get a free digital download of Michael A. Stackpole's superhero short story "Peer Review".
$12,000 - ACHIEVED - All backers at or above $5 will get a free digital download of Dylan Birtolo's novel The Shadow Chaser, the first book in his Sheynan trilogy from Apocalypse Ink Productions.
$12,500 - ACHIEVED - All backers at or above $5 will get a free digital download of Bryan Young's short story "Gunslingers of Glycon".
$13,000 ACHIEVED - We'll add a story to the anthology by award-winning author Jean Rabe.
$13,500 - ACHIEVED - Every backer at or above $5 will get a free digital download of New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ryan's short story "A Game of Firsts" from her short story collection The Dead and Empty World.
Story Description: When the zombie apocalypse hits, brother and sister Danny and Julie are stranded at home alone. As the world crumbles around them, they take refuge in the attic over the garage. But it only takes one small mistake for the illusion of safety to break and for any chance of survival to disappear.
$14,000 - ACHIEVED - At this level, we'll add a story to the anthology from author John Kovalic. John has been writing and drawing in the gaming industry professionally for 20 years, now. John is best known for the comic strip Dork Tower, and games like Apples to Apples and Munchkin. His latest project include games such as ROFL! and Double Feature (Cryptozoic).
ALSO at $14,000 - ACHIEVED - Hard Cover! At this level, we'll produce a hard cover version of the anthology, and make it available to all backers for upgrade or purchase.
$15,000 - ACHIEVED - At this level, we'll add a story to the anthology from bestselling author Alan Dean Foster.
$15,500 - ACHIEVED - At this level, all backers at or above $5 will get a free digital download of Rori Shay's novel Elected, the first novel in her Elected series from Silence in the Library Publishing.
$16,000 - ACHIEVED - At this level, we'll add a story to the anthology from author Steven Lyle Jordan.
$16,500 - At this level, we'll add a story to the anthology from author Jim Bernheimer.
$17,000 - At this level, we'll produce an entire run of 3 challenge coins featuring illustrations from the anthology, and make them available for purchase as add-ons.
$18,000 - At this level, every backer at or above $5 will get a free digital download of Maxwell Alexander Drake's novel Farmers and Mercenaries, Book One of the Genesis Saga.
$19,500 - At this level, every backer at or above $5 will get a free digital download of Bryan Young's novel Lost at the Con.
$20,500- At this level, we'll add a story to the anthology by author Ron Garner. This story will be a companion to his story in A Hero By Any Other Name.
$21,500 - At this level, we'll add a story to the anthology by author Maggie Allen.
$22000 - At this level, every backer at or above $5 will get a free digital download of Janine K. Spendlove's short story "Birth of Anarchy", which is a prequel to her story in HEROES!
$23000 - Every backer at or above $5 will receive a free digital download of Maxwell Alexander Drake's audio short story "Wishing You Weren't Here".
$23500 - At this level, we'll add a story to the anthology from author Rori Shay.
$24000 - Every backer at or above $5 will receive a free digital download of a trilogy of Gail Z. Martin short stories, “Coffin Box”, "Buttons", and a new never-before-released Deadly Curiosities short story.
$25,000 - Every backer at or above $5 will receive a free digital download of a never-before-seen story by Michael A. Stackpole titled "In Service Days", which is a prequel to his story in HEROES!, and follows his story in A Hero By Any Other Name.
We're happy to announce that we've partnered with the folks over at OSAAT Entertainment and their Kickstarter for the beautifully hand-crafted children's book Kiley's Purple Hat. Please go check out their project by clicking on the image below. This book needs to exist for so many reasons, not the least of which are a positive role model for young children and a focus on the importance of family.
Want a great looking graphic novel with a riveting story line and tons of intrigue? Check out Amiculus: A Secret History Volume 1. Set in ancient Rome, Amiculus tells the story of a shadowy character by the same name who rules the empire in secret. If you've ever wondered why Rome really fell, now's your chance to find out! Just click on the image below.
Risks and challenges
Of course, there are risks and challenges with any project. We've actually managed to minimize them with this project by having the book ready to go before launching the Kickstarter. It is written, edited, and formatted, and the cover is complete. Mark Dos Santos is still working on the story illustrations, and adding stories will add some complexity, but not a great deal.
The biggest challenge for a publisher, other than getting the content in and formatted, is generally timely printing. We have solid relationships with our printers, and are generally able to get proofs back and books printed within 30 days of sending them the book, but there is always a chance that the printer will take longer than expected. If that happens and it causes the project to run past the promised date, we will send out regular status updates until the books have arrived.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)