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14 year old Simon Warner sets out to rescue his kidnapped father and is violently pulled into the world of monsters and magic.

SPECIAL NOTICE: ALL backers will be included in the Special Thanks section in the eBook. I am unable to edit the $10 reward description to explicitly add this perk, but rest assured that you will receive your place in the Special Thanks section.

AMERICAN MAGIC is a young adult fantasy novel and the first ebook of a planned series. I have been working on the first book for the past two years. I think every writer at some point wants to examine the journey into adulthood, and AMERICAN MAGIC is the end result. 

AMERICAN MAGIC will be a series of six books. This Kickstarter campaign is to help finalize the first book and bring it into the world with the level of polish it deserves.

The second book--The Book of Fire--is in its early stages of a first draft. I hope to have that ready for a potential release in Summer 2013, followed by the third book--The Book of Water--the following Winter.

Does your heart go bump in the night?

14-year-old Simon Warner thought that nearly drowning would be the scariest thing to ever happen to him. Turns out, near-death was just the beginning.

The accident awakens an angry and violent force inside Simon--magic, and soon after his adopted father is abducted by a malevolent stranger who burns their home to the ground.

Before long, Simon is folded into the world of magic, where the real trouble starts: magic is emotional by nature, and the stress is causing Simon’s abilities to go haywire! Making matters worse, Simon finds himself on a collision course with Silas Darrow, a xenophobic warlock who fears humanity will one day destroy magic.Now, Simon not only has to rescue the only family he has ever known, but doing so means stopping Darrow from unleashing the Old Ones--ancient horrors from beyond our world--and using them to rebuild the Earth in his image.

It’s easier than ever to spread a book, especially one that’s digital. You can distribute to anyone in a heartbeat, give it away if you want just to increase your exposure. When you go indie, you’re removing the barriers.

Kickstarter is more than just a way to raise revenue. It’s a way to build community, to establish a personal connection with others, and to take ownership of something you helped bring into the world.When you go indie, you’re removing the barriers.

1. A comprehensive copyedit - AMERICAN MAGIC is completed and polished, but no novel should move into the marketplace without a professional to objectively edit it. This will run between $1,000 and $1,500.

2. Typesetting, file conversion, and a cover - There are mechanics involved in preparing any manuscript ready for publication, namely a proper conversion into an eReader-friendly format, and of course an awesome cover. This will run between $400-$500.

3. ISBN - if your characters are the heart of your story, then the ISBN is its fingerprint. No two are alike, and everybody has one. This will cost $125.

4. Overhead - Kickstarter and Amazon take a cut, which they have every right to do, and Uncle Sam gets a cut as well, which is only fair. Then there is the cost for manufacturing and shipping of rewards.

The money raised will go towards all of this, as a start. Should the campaign raise a significantly higher amount, then that money would be rolled over into the fund for AMERICAN MAGIC 2: THE BOOK OF FIRE.

I’m super grateful to everyone who supports AMERICAN MAGIC, in whatever way. I’ve worked very hard to create some rewards that I think are worth receiving while keeping costs down. I’m very excited about this project--have been for a long time--and I hope you are willing to support it.

Here are the rewards by tier:

Since this project is a book, I have some unique rewards that I can offer beyond just the final product or swag-type rewards. Obviously a copy of the final book is there for anyone who contributes $10 or more, but I’m also offering a few opportunities to be a small part of the AMERICAN MAGIC universe. I hope that people will be excited by Simon’s world as much as I am, and I look forward to opening the doors to those who want to name a character in a future book.

Also, as a special reward for higher-tier contributors, I’m preparing a special “Author’s Cut” of the manuscript, which offers a behind-the-scenes view of Simon’s story and the writing process behind it. This annotated edition will include margin notes, character insights, and other various scribbles. Every page will feature at least one or two annotations, and there will be plenty of insights and clues about the direction of the series.

Finally, there is some physical goodies for contributors from the mid-tier up, including a limited edition membership card to the Freemancers, a poster of the book cover (design pending), and at the very top level, a signed copy of the poster. Each tier will also receive the goodies of the tiers below them. 

Please allow some time after the campaign is over for the printing and shipping of the goods. International contributors, please include an extra $5 for international shipping.

I plan for AMERICAN MAGIC to span six books. Each novel follows the naming scheme of AMERICAN MAGIC: THE BOOK OF--, with the second book being The Book of Fire. Like I mentioned earlier, the subtitle does not describe an actual item in the story, but the actual book itself.

Your support will help me keep working as hard as possible to bring this world to life. I love writing, and nothing would make me happier than building this world for everyone to get lost in, and every bit will help me maintain this creative vision. AMERICAN MAGIC: THE BOOK OF FIRE is finishing the pre-production phases, and I plan to have a first draft completed by the end of the year. With your support, that becomes easier.

The first two chapters of AMERICAN MAGIC: THE BOOK OF LIGHT are available HERE. If you would like to read more, then please subscribe to my mailing list by emailing me at clay@clayheld.com. After I sign you up I will deliver chapters three and four right to your inbox!

Thanks again!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are really only a few significant risks to the release date of AMERICAN MAGIC: THE BOOK OF LIGHT:

- The cover designer has a backlog and can't get to my cover in time.

- The file conversion service hits a bottleneck.

- A disproportionate amount of copyediting being needed. The manuscript has already been highly polished, but you never know what curveballs your copyeditor may throw at you.

In the absolute worst-case scenario, the manuscript slips at *most* by a 2-3 weeks, *maybe* a month. I'm currently planning a release date of February 8th, 2013, so the absolute further back you could expect the finished book is March 8th.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    THE INITIATE: Initiates will receive a thank you email and/or a shout out on Twitter, if they have an account. They will also be added to a special thanks page in the eBook.

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    1 backer

    THE ARCHIVIST: Exactly the same as the Apprentice tier, but at half the pledge amount. You will receive a copy of the book in ePub format, DRM-free, to load onto your eReading device(s). You will also receive a thank you email and/or tweet. This reward is for backers who still want the book but are on a budget. My way of saying THANK YOU to all my wonderful, awesome backers!

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    6 backers

    THE APPRENTICE: Apprentices will receive a copy of the book in ePub format, DRM-free, to load onto their eReading device(s). Apprentices will also receive a thank you email and/or tweet.

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    4 backers

    THE JOURNEYMAN: Journeymen will receive the following: A copy of the book in ePub format, DRM-free, to load onto their eReading device(s), an 11" x 17" AMERICAN MAGIC poster (design pending), their name on a special "backer" page/special thanks page in the final book, and a thank you email and/or tweet.

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    4 backers

    THE MANCER: Mancers will receive a DRM-free copy of the book in ePub format, an 11" x 17" AMERICAN MAGIC poster (design pending), their name on a special "backer" page/special thanks page in the final book, a thank you email and/or tweet, and an annotated edition of AMERICAN MAGIC in PDF format with behind-the-scenes information about the story and the writing process.

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    1 backer Limited (34 left of 35)

    THE ARCHMANCER: Archmancers will receive a DRM-free copy of the book in ePub format, a SIGNED 11" x 17" AMERICAN MAGIC poster (design pending), their name on a special "backer" page/special thanks page in the final book, a thank you email and/or tweet, the annotated edition of AMERICAN MAGIC in PDF format with behind-the-scenes information about the story and the writing process, and finally, a novelty membership card to AMERICAN MAGIC'S secret society of wizards--the FREEMANCERS.

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    5 backers Limited (10 left of 15)

    THE ARCHMANCER + CREATIVE CONSULTANT: These five spots will receive everything from the $75 tier, PLUS they will get to name a character in a future book. A few ground rules: the name must fit within the tone of the universe (i.e. no characters named "Skippy McFuzzyBottom" or "BoogerFace08234"), nothing obscene, and no ersatz versions of existing characters (so no Larry Jotters or Catniss Weverdeens, sorry). I will work with the creative consultant to then craft a suitable backstory and integrate them into the AMERICAN MAGIC universe in a future book.

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    These spots will receive everything from the $100 tier, PLUS a limited-edition, hand-numbered *manuscript* copy of American Magic, complete with handwritten notes and whatnot throughout. I will also extend the Creative Consultant role and create a standalone short story for your character, to be included in a future, unannounced work. You will have pre-production access to the outline and will get to see the rough draft of your story and give input.

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Funding period

- (30 days)