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$2,425 pledged of $12,000 goal
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By SketchbookJack
$2,425 pledged of $12,000 goal
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About this project

The Island and the Plough

All is well for Papa, the farmer, and his family on their lonely black island amidst the great white sea.  There is only one rule on the island: "Don't go near the fence or you may be swept away into the vast sea."  As they gather the harvest, they realize the crops have not yielded as much as in years prior.  Worried about making it through the approaching winter, Papa attempts to gather more apples from the very top of the apple tree.  While tossing them to his son, Eli, one apple rolls too far and under the fence.  Papa realizes that the white sea around them is not actually a sea, but a surface!  He leaves the island in an unusual way to find more land, or perhaps, more people.  In his existential journey he learns that the world around them is not what it seems.

"The Island and the Plough" is a simple story, but with many deeper layers.  Told in a traditional fable style, we are taken on a journey along with Papa in a man-vs-nature as well as a man-vs-self sort of tale. He not only learns about the world around him, but about himself and what is important to him in his life.

Jack wanted to tell stories that totally visual.  Books being a visual medium, he was disappointing with the standard of large pictures with small text printed in a line below.  He began laying out pages with the text, the imagery, and how they play off each other in mind.  The story is told through BOTH the typography and the images and you cannot get the fullest understanding of the story without both.

The story is simple enough for a child or young reader to understand but layered with deeper personal and philosophical questions that raise more questions than provide answers.  Hopefully, Jack has created a book that is both story-wise and visually, different from what you may be used to.

Captain and Crow's ABCs

The second book is a simple page-by-page ABCs book, with a fun running theme.  The story revolves around a pirate captain who is floating alone in a boat, lost at sea because he is missing a piece of his map.  A crow lands on his boat, asking him if he is a pirate and up for an intellectual challenge.  The crow asks what his favorite letter is, being a pirate he says "R!" so the crow offers to reward him the missing piece of his map if he can name a word for every letter in the alphabet that contains the "ARR" sound.


Each page is filled with bold, often humorous, illustrations of the captain working his way through the alphabet, thinking of words.  He stumbles on a few of the more difficult letters so watch our for the "I" page (or is it "Aye", maybe even "Eye"?), the "X" page, and let's not talk about what might happen on his favorite "R" page.

The Island and the Plough Interactive APP

The charming printed story will be brought to life with interactive words and animation as well as a full narration and a musical score.  The graphic style of the books lends itself perfectly to the interactive media.


The interactive ebook App is in the last phase of development and just needs that extra kick to complete it and pay for the costs of getting it into the AppStore.  Developing "The Island and the Plough" into an interactive App opens the door to "Captain and Crow's ABCs" also becoming an app, bringing voices and fun animation to the Captain and the Crow.

Music & Narration

An amazingly talented composer and narrator were hired to bring the fullest experience possible to the interactive ebook App. 

Stephen Pikarsky of AllKeyedUpMedia.com is versed in Kickstarter and has successfully funded the "Piffle" card game.  As classically trained pianist, he wrote and performed the original music for "The Island and the Plough" and can be heard in the promo videos. 

Bill Townley is a recognized voice talent who has worked with clients such as McDonald's, Blockbuster, FedEx, and has narrated several audio books.  Bill provided the fatherly, wise narration voice for "The Island and the Plough" interactive ebook App.  He is also a writer himself and assisted in the editing of both books.

Where Do the Funds Go?

The bulk of the funding goes directly to the print of physical books.  In order to bring you a reasonable cost, a large volume needs to be ordered.  Roughly 9k of the funds will go to printing and shipping of the two books.  The remaining 3k will cover packaging materials, the supplies for the additional rewards and the publishing costs to get the App into the Apple AppStore.

Risks and challenges

Luckily for backers, there are very few risks involved here. The work is already done so there is little risk of non-delivery. Backing can essentially be treated as a pre-order. I already have a printer lined up and ready to print once the funds are in place. The proof prints are already in-hand so I know exactly what the books look like and nearly all of the formatting issues are out of the way.
The app is nearly done, but there are some technical hiccups getting it to work flawlessly with iOS7 and it will have to be tested on different iPad generations. There is potential for delay in completing the App, but the hardest part (art, narration, music) are completed.
The only risk involved is achieving the goal. $12,000 is a lot to ask for but printing physical, hardcover books is expensive. In order to bring them to you at a reasonable price (with proper binding, foil printed linen hard cover, etc) they need to be ordered in volume which adds to the up-front price but brings down the per-unit cost.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Our grateful thank you and your name on the "Additional Thank Yous" list on the "The Island and The Plough" and "Captain and Crow's ABCs" websites.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    PDF version of either "The Island and the Plough" or "Captain and Crow's ABCs" formatted specially for the iPad.

    Plus your name on the "Additional Thank Yous" list on the websites.

    Add just $5 more and get both PDF books.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    PDF versions of both books formatted specially for the iPad!

    Plus a book mark featuring The Captain in beautiful, bold black and white.

    Plus a limited edition print from "The Island and the Plough" or "Captain and Crow's ABCs"

    Add just $5 more and have the print signed.

    Plus your name in the "Additional Thank Yous" on the website.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    PDF version of one of the books of your choosing specially formatted for the iPad. PLUS a one of a kind character mugshot in the style of dailymobster.com of your, your friend, your mom, or just a character of SketchbookJack's choosing. This is a brief chance to get your hands on a custom sketch for cheap! PLUS your name in the "Additional Thank You" section on the websites.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Hardcover book of "The Island and the Plough"

    Add just $5 more and have it signed plus a bookmark to match!

    Add just $10 more and have a custom doodle drawn along with the book signing (plus the bookmark to match).

    Plus a digital PDF version of book formatted for the iPad.

    Plus your name on the "Additional Thank Yous" list on the websites.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Hardcover book of "Captain and Crow's ABCs"

    Add just $5 more and have it signed plus a bookmark to match!

    Add just $10 more and have a custom doodle drawn along with the book signing (plus the bookmark to match).

    Plus a digital PDF version of book formatted for the iPad.

    Plus your name on the "Additional Thank Yous" list on the websites.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    BOTH hardcover books of "The Island and the Plough" and "Captain and Crow's ABCs".

    Add just $5 more and have the books signed plus a bookmark to match!

    Add just $10 more and get a custom doodle inside along with the signing (plus the bookmark)

    Plus a download code for the APP!

    Plus your name on the "Additional Thank Yous" list on the website.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    BOTH hardcover books of "The Island and the Plough" and "Captain and Crow's ABCs", signed and doodled.

    Plus a download code for the APP!

    Plus a signed limited edition print of your favorite letter from "The Island and the Plough".

    Plus two bookmarks and two "This book belongs to:" bookplate stickers featuring bold black and white SketchbookJack art.

    Plus your name in the "SPECIAL Thank Yous" list on the website.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A custom frame-ready illustration done by Jack. Your name or wording of our choice illustrated in the style of "Captain and Crow's ABCs". Signed, of course.

    Plus BOTH hardcover books of "The Island and the Plough" and "Captain and Crow's ABCs", signed and doodled.

    Plus a download code for the APP!

    Plus two bookmarks and 5 "This book belongs to:" bookplate stickers featuring bold black and white SketchbookJack art.

    Plus your name in the "SPECIAL Thank Yous" list on the website.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    One of the original illustrations, frame-ready, from either the "The Island and the Plough" or "Captain and Crow's ABCs", signed of course.

    PLUS, your name printed IN the book in the "Special Thank You" page.

    Plus all the goodies of a $500 backer.

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Funding period

- (30 days)