In the year 1491, the Industrial Revolution arrives early.
Three hundred years in advance of our history, the city-states of Italy harness the power of steam and tap the secrets of metallurgy. In this steampunk version of the Italian Renaissance, steamships cruise the Adriatic Sea, Leonardo da Vinci’s dreams of flight are but a hair’s breadth from realization, and Rosaria Adalberto toils incessantly in search of a theory of electromagnetism.
The daughter of one of Venice’s noble families, Rosaria dreams that the natural principles she discovers will one day become as essential to civilization as steam and steel. While her standing as an aristocrat has granted her the resources and the education to pursue her dream, society disregards women who seek to rise above their station. In the wake of a fateful family reunion, disaster strikes—setting off a series of events that will drive her world into chaos. With her life, her companions, and her love on the line, she will have to decide the price she is willing to pay for her ambitions.
Rosaria of Venice is the first book of a series: The Renaissance of Rosaria Adalberto. It is an alternate history of the Italian Renaissance—with elements of steampunk, swashbuckling adventure novels, and romance. Think of it as what would happen if someone dropped a beaker and got The Three Musketeers, The Time Machine, a hint of Arthur C. Clarke and a generous helping of 15th-Century history mixed together.
I am in the process of revising the first volume. My goal is to publish Rosaria of Venice independently as an eBook. After its premier on Amazon Kindle, I will roll the book out on Barnes and Noble’s Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and other eBook retailers.
However, much work remains until then. In addition to my own revisions, I must also pay for editing and cover illustration. Both of these are essential. You can’t write a respectable book without proper editing. This means both content editing (which ensures continuity and quality of storytelling) and copyediting (which covers spelling and grammar). As for illustration: even if we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we do so anyway. A well-made cover tells readers that the author cares about the book, and offers a hint of what they may find inside.
All of these services are expensive, and that is why I am asking for your patronage. If this project meets its $5,500 funding goal, I will have enough to commission a front and inside cover, and to pay for content editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Rosaria of Venice will then be on track for a March 2014 release on Amazon.
You Choose the Cover (And Other Rewards)
So, what’s in it for you?
You can receive all kinds of nifty things as a backer—the eBook, limited edition hard copies, and posters—and you can see all the details in the Rewards sidebar at the right. Every backer will receive acknowledgment in the front of the book as a patron. And everyone who backs the project gets to vote on the final front cover design.
As you can see, I have already begun working with the illustrators, and have three good candidates for the front cover. Since I believe that the readers are the best judge of what attracts them to a book, I am letting you—the backers—vote on which of these three concepts becomes the official cover of Rosaria of Venice.
So, what’s in it for you? SWAG, gratitude, and a chance to be a part of the process. If what you’ve seen catches your fancy, then please pledge at the tier you find most suitable, and help bring Rosaria of Venice to readers everywhere.
Risks and challenges
I expect to be able to release the book and fulfill all rewards by March 2014. Nonetheless, there are two risks I can see affecting the project:
Editing costs are difficult to predict. They vary by editor and length of manuscript. At bare minimum, this budget will pay for professional copy editing. As I intend to supplement my editing with aid from colleagues, friends and backers in any case, I believe I will be able to make the most of this budget and deliver a good book in any circumstance.
Secondly, a glut of backers could delay the delivery of physical goods. Cost of rewards is not an issue, but storage and labor requirements increase dramatically with a very large number of backers. Fortunately, this would also mean the project would be better funded than I estimated, making such issues easier to solve. I will keep a close eye on the situation, keep the backers informed, and use every resource at my disposal to deliver the rewards on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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