UPDATE 16th June 2015 - Eyes on the 1st Stretch Goal, Limited Edition Paperback, at £600
UPDATE 14th June 2015 - Ebooks will be offered in both EPUB (i-Books/Kobo) and MOBI (Kindle) formats, for you to select in the backer survey.
UPDATE 13th June 2015 - Stretch Goals reconfigured in response to backer feedback.
The aim of my Kickstarter is to gather interest in the forthcoming Dark Chapter Press horror anthology, "Kill For A Copy". Backers essentially place pre-release orders on this fantastic collection that will be fulfilled in late June, early July 2015. The goal is two-fold. The first outcome is that those who backed the project, who then read the e-book that they helped to launch, could review "Kill For A Copy" on Amazon and Goodreads when released for general sale and help to generate buzz through social networking and word of mouth.
At present, as a new small press, our marketing is very limited and with a practically non-existent budget. The royalties from sales on Amazon come in drips and drops and so get consumed by the usual bills and overheads associated with running a small press. That's where the second outcome becomes clear.
Through this Kickstarter project, instant sales of "Kill For A Copy" would generate a lump-sum of funding, from which I could raise more awareness through focused advertising to reach a carefully targeted audience, including a half-page advert in a UK horror magazine.
I can produce 10 promotional copies of Kill For A Copy to issue to reviewers and bloggers and additional copies to offer in competitions/giveaways on Booklikes and Goodreads.
Dark Chapter Press was established in August 2014 following a successful campaign to launch the Jack Rollins novella The Séance. Since then, the Dark Chapter Press website has received almost 50,000 visitors and featured excellent monthly competitions from August 2014 to February 2015.
In January, the Dark Chapter Press site hosted Writer’s Block Month, where writers at all stages of their career gave advice on coping with the dreaded block. Contributors included Shaun Hutson, Graham Masterton and David Moody. The response to our initial open submission call was literally overwhelming and we recently called up prolific horror writer and editor Stuart Keane, to lend us his support. Stuart is taking the lead on one of our planned summer releases.
Now well-established with horror writers, it is time to move to the next phase and focus on attracting new readers to the exciting line-up of books we are launching this year. This includes Flashes In The Dark (a collection of flash fiction stories), Bloody Heather (a Scottish horror anthology), Under The Knife (a medical horror anthology) and Kids (as if parenthood isn’t horrific enough).
You are invited to join the launch of this new anthology, which will see your name included in the Special Thanks Kickstarter Backers page of the anthology, and on the Dark Chapter Press website. Not only will you have supported this fantastic book, you will also have supported a small business to develop, and expand its reach. Imagine that, in a few years’ time when Dark Chapter Press has dozens of titles in the stable – you were there at the beginning, helping us to make sure we could grow. You get to feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like you just ate a warm and fuzzy creature. One of the authors from this anthology has written about his experience with us. He's put it better than we can, and is perhaps a better source of information than us just telling you what we do: http://www.thydemonsbescribblin.com/scribblin-maniacs/help-feind-and-dark-chapter-press
Ok, so you know you don’t actually have to kill for a copy, it’s much more straightforward than that and without the risk of lifelong incarceration. But even if the book isn’t worthy of a homicide or two, it’s still one hell of a read.
The current table of contents is as follows (final order to be decided):
- Introduction by Shaun Hutson
- Silver Bullets - Steve Jenner
- Time It Right - William G Chandler Jr
- Redwood - Angus Fenton
- Madness In Death Valley - M.R. Wallace
- Tactile Living - Audrey E.L. Coots
- Bovine Rule - S.L. Dixon
- Be Careful What You Wish For – Sharon L Higa
- Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind - David Basnett
- The Coma - Stefan Lavery
- Am I Dead - Joe Bockus
- Hell Awaits - Fiend Gottes
- Bon Appetit - Stuart Keane
- The Herald Of Our Times - Matthew Teah
- Blynd Haus - Robert J. Stava
- To See The Well - Luc Haasbroek
- Home, Sweet Home - Jack Rollins
- Bedlam Betty - Aghori Shaivite
We’ve got great variety here; from the ice-cold confines of a space station in The Herald Of Our Times, to the tongue-in-cheek Bovine Rule, and beyond, to the globe-trotting horror fantasy of Silver Bullets this is a collection to shock, scare and thoroughly entertain whether you are an established horror lover, or new to the genre. More than this, though, it is a collection to be proud of - especially when you become a backer and help to kick this book off in style.
Take a look at some of the samples (note the formatting is a little jittery here on Kickstarter for example there will be no indents where you'd expect to see them).
Exerpt from Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind, by David Basnett
It didn't seem much when it started. Maybe they had been there a while and I just hadn't noticed. You see, I kept on glimpsing things in my vision, but whenever I tried to look they moved. Damn things drove me near crazy. I went to the local optician, not one of those big chains - I always tried to support local business, be it a coffee shop or a bookshop. The optician asked me to describe them and I thought for a while before responding tiny black floating spider-webs. She nodded as if she had heard it a thousand times before and examined my eye with a torch that seemed to be powered by a miniature nuclear power station; I bet if I dropped my pants that light would have shone through my eye and out of my urethra like I'd stuffed magnesium ribbon up there and set it on fire.
I waited a moment with her face uncomfortably close to mine, her breath hot on my cheek. I'm embarrassed to say it was the closest I'd been to a woman in a long, long time and it gave me a not unpleasant tingle of excitement.
'There's no retinal tear,' she said and wheeled her chair back to her desk where she started typing up my record.
My heart jumped, I hadn't even considered it could be something that serious and, even though she had dismissed it, my brain raced at the thought of what horrendous conditions it might have been.
'That's good,' I said, always the master at stating the obvious.
'If you start seeing white flashes, come back in,' she said, her Scottish accent was long on the vowels and made her sound bored. Or maybe that was just my company.
'So how do I get rid of them?'
'You don't,' she replied. 'It's debris in your eye casting shadows on your retina. In time your brain should learn to ignore them to a degree.'
She stood and turned on the light and I emitted a strangled yelp and bit down hard on my tongue. My brain dismissed what I had seen as I trick of the light and I avoided looking at her for the remainder of the assessment in case I proved my brain wrong. Please, please God let my eyes be wrong and my brain right.
As I left I risked another look at her in an attempt to give me a chance of sleeping that night, and to my immense relief she looked normal. She gave me a puzzled smile that I returned, and closed the door after me.
On the walk home my brain started to undermine its earlier, dismissive argument and pondered one thing and one thing only: can a trick of the light make it look like someone has no skin on their face?
Exerpt from Be Careful What You Wish For - Sharon L. Higa
Jeff pulled open the door, shoved his pack onto the floor and slid in, lifting his left leg up and over the pack. The door closed with a rusty clunk and he reached to the side for the seatbelt. The driver watched this all in silence. With the click of the seatbelt locking in place, he faced forward again and planted his foot on the gas, urging the vehicle forward.
For a few minutes, Jeff just sat there, taking in the car. The seats were faded but clean, the occasional rip patched with an actual patch repair kit, not like the usual duct tape fix. He noted earlier that the car was dented and dusty, the rattle coming primarily from the loose muffler. The body overall was in good shape for a late model car. But the engine, now. That was a dream. He’d worked in a few garages in his travels across the country, and he knew a good, strong engine when he heard it. And this engine was top notch. The rumble was smooth and steady, no lurching or hesitation when he accelerated or decelerated. Jeff was duly impressed.
He turned his attention to the driver.
Rough, gnarled, work hardened hands gripped the steering wheel. The wrists sticking out of the thermal shirt were lean and wiry, as was the arm leading up to the shoulder. Dark overalls, faded but fresh washed from the smell covered the man’s body and Jeff assumed that there were ‘shit-kicker’ work boots on his feet. A farmer or a rancher, Jeff concluded. Someone used to physical labor. A hard, ‘salt of the earth’ type of guy.
The man’s eyes were deep set, eyebrows bushy and thick. The hair matched the wiry eyebrows, its true color, like his eyes, hidden in the night shadows that played within the car. The profile showed chiseled features, the cheekbones jutting sharply out to cut back in and angling down to a smooth plane connecting to the jawbone, accentuating a square chin dappled with stubble. His mouth had a relaxed, contemplative set to it, lips thin and hard, aptly matching the rest of his features.
Many times in the past, Jeff’s initial assessment of a driver kept him out of harm’s way. He could pick up on whether someone was a ‘little off the beam’ but harmless, an ‘Oh no, not on your life’ or what he termed as ‘a regular’. Someone safe to cadge a lift from. This guy gave him no vibrations of any kind. A ‘regular’. Ok, fine.
Jeff turned his full attention to the driver. “My name’s Jeff. Thank you for the lift Mr…?”
The question hung in the air between them. When there seemed to be no response forthcoming, Jeff could almost feel his question drop, like a stone, through the empty space between the seats.
“Oh great”, Jeff thought, unconsciously straightening his shoulders, nervously sliding his hands along the legs of his jeans. “Now what’s up?”
Resigning himself to an interminable time of absolute silence, Jeff was startled a few minutes later when the man spoke up.
“Sorry about that, son. I was wool gatherin’. Name’s Bowie. J. Bowie. Where ya headed?”
Jeff leaned forward, fiddling with the straps of his pack, giving his mind time to process what was just said.
“I’m headed to a town called Jackson. It’s about two hours…..”
The man interrupted. “Yep, I know where Jackson is. Matter of fact, I need to be passing through that town. Got business about fifteen miles past there.” He glanced over at Jeff. “Looks like it’s your lucky day. I’ll take ya into Jackson, at least to the first exit n’ drop ya off.”
Jeff sat blinking at the figure who had gone back to focusing on the road. After a second, a grin split his face from ear to ear. “You can? Mr. Bowie that would be terrific!” He slapped his thigh and chuckled. “I guess grandpa was right.”
“How’s that?” The question was almost a statement coming out of Mr. Bowie’s mouth.
Jeff looked at the man and shrugged his shoulders, a little uncomfortable with sharing something that he considered personal with a stranger. But, since Mr. Bowie was giving him a lift to his next destination, he felt he owed the man an explanation.
“Well, my grandpa basically raised me. He was always giving me advice by the way of ‘Old Folk Tales’, only he called ‘em ‘Folkisms’. You know. Sayings that have good common sense to them.”
He looked over to see if Mr. Bowie was following what he was saying. If he sensed any kind of derision from the man, then he would leave his explanation where it was. But Mr. Bowie was nodding his head, a small smile playing across his lips.
He positioned his hands on the steering wheel and addressed the boy. “You mean, like, “A little too late is much too late.”
Excerpt from Home, Sweet Home By Jack Rollins
“I know it’s not our dream house, Keith,” Amanda admitted, pressing her firm body against her husband. She kissed the tip of his chin. “But, we can make the place our own and I’m sure we’ll be happy here.”
“I know, I know. I just loved the old maisonette. I’ll get used to it,” Keith said, sighing in resignation. The maisonette was sold and he was officially a resident of Tilwick’s Golden Acre Park estate.
Peering over Amanda’s shoulder, brushing her blonde hair up behind her neck, Keith observed the collection of brown-brick detached and semi-detached homes arranged around the cul-de-sac, washed in the muted orange of sunset. Keith remained silently thankful to have taken up a detached property with a good stretch of tree and shrub-lined garden on all sides, baffling the noise to and from the neighbours. He considered that his battered Ford Focus appeared somewhat out of place among the BMWs and Land Rovers of their neighbours. The patchy lawn of the front garden, the cracked driveway, the too-small-to-park-a-car-in garage, the one-hard-cough-and-down-they-come fences, all of these things, they made Keith feel as though a huge sign reading Lowest Earners in the Neighbourhood should be erected out front.
Keith had voiced his opinion before the move and Amanda had reasoned that since the property had been uninhabited for two years, and the landlord had left the running of the place to an estate agent, nobody would be surprised that the place needed some work. Plus, she had added, our friends live here. By our friends, of course she meant her friends, who had recommended the place to her.
Handing him a glass of a fruity summer red wine, Amanda attempted to free Keith from the mental swamp he kept falling into when he thought about the house and its gardens for too long.
He took a gulp of the wine, recognising Amanda’s distraction tactic and hoping that it would work. She slipped a hand to the front of his jeans and fondled him with just the right amount of pressure in the right place to state her intent without hurting him.
“Which room would you like to christen first, Mr Corgan?” she purred.
Keith almost spat his wine across the window, only just managing to swallow his drink in time. In doing so he avoided the destruction of the white vertical blinds he had installed the previous morning. He clasped a hand over his lips and let out a half-laugh, half-cough.
The white baby monitor plugged into the four-gang extension by the TV flickered to life, with two of the three green LEDs blinking, showing that only a low level of noise had been detected. Little Alex’s cries usually drove the baby monitor up past the third green light and into the two red LEDs that indicated a loud noise had been detected. A second later, with the LED’s still flickering slightly, a snuffling noise was heard through the small speaker. Alex let out a little moan and settled down once more.
“I wasn’t expecting him to settle in his new room so well, tonight,” Keith commented.
“He’s very adaptable,” Amanda said. She pinched Keith’s bottom, adding, “You could learn from him.”
Keith frowned at his wife, something was missing. “Hey, where’s your wine?”
Amanda flashed him a grin and rested her head on his shoulder. “I have some news for you… Daddy.”
“You’re fucking kidding me?” Keith cried, returning his wife’s wide grin. “Really? Well, it must be true, or you’d be drinking, nothing as sure as that!” he said, answering his own question.
“You’re happy then?”
“Happy? I’m over the bloody moon! How long have you known? The move, Jesus the move… Mandy, are you sure everything’s alright?”
Amanda stroked Keith’s upper arms. “Everything is fine. I’ve known for a couple of weeks, but I knew if I told you, you’d probably call off the move.”
“Well, it’s done now.”
“And you won’t be lifting a finger ‘til he’s here,” Keith warned.
“He? Another little chap, is it? We’ll see. And besides, I’m only about six weeks pregnant. I’ll be doing plenty right up until I can’t move anymore. Alex needs his mummy.”
“I know, I know. I just don’t want you to get stressed out again. You know how it was when you were carrying Alex.”
“Yes, Mr Corgan. But this is different, we’re here. We’ve got a view, and space, and nice neighbours.”
“So you say, I haven’t met them yet.”
“Well, that’s the next bit of news. I’ve invited them over this weekend.”
Keith rolled his eyes toward the ceiling. “Oh, brilliant.”
They chatted excitedly about the baby and how Alex was going to be a brilliant big brother. Keith drained his glass and returned to the kitchen. The wine bottle rattled against the lip of the glass as his hands trembled. The thick red liquid poured across the oak veneer of the work surface, trickling over the edge to splatter and pool on the marbled linoleum floor. Keith cursed under his breath and slammed the wine bottle down before him. He pressed his flat palms onto the work surface and pushed a hissing breath through his clenched teeth.
Closing his eyes he felt the sting of tears and the lurch in his stomach as the reality of the situation – that they would never again leave Tilwick, that the second child would essentially root them to this evil old place – took hold and squeezed all hope from his heart.…
For those who just want a copy of the book, or the e-book, there are some basic pledge levels to account for this. You are pre-ordering the book and will receive only that, no matter what extras we add, or stretch goals we unlock (note you can always edit your pledge as you go).
For those who want to pledge a little more to really help us get that marketing goal achieved early, you will have access to the stretch goals announced once we bypass the initial target. These will include (depending upon whether you backed at e-book or paperback level):
£600 - Paperback upgrade to A backer exclusive 6"x9" paperback (retail will be a 5"x8"). E-book backers will receive a copy of the EPUB 'Flashes in The Dark'.
£800 - 2 bookmarks (one DCP logo design and one Kill For A Copy cover art design) and postcard of the Kill For A Copy Cover art. (E-book backers to add £2 to pledge for UK delivery and £4 to pledge for international delivery.
£825 - Copy of the forthcoming e-book flash fiction anthology "Flashes In The Dark" added to rewards for paperback £20 backers and upward.
£900 - Copy of our next paperback anthology - expected to be "Kids vol. 1"
For those who want to treat yourself to something even more special, some of the authors included in this anthology have pledged to write stories including the names of some backers in some exclusive pledge levels - and some of them will even write a story based on you, friends, family members etc, where your likeness will even be featured in the cover art.
You will have the option to add-on either or both of our two currently available titles in paperback form. Simply add the amount shown to your pledge and make your selections in the pledge manager at the end of the campaign. £8 - The Cabinet of Dr Blessing by Jack Rollins £4 – The Séance by Jack Rollins
Risks and challenges
The stories are in hand and going through the final editing process. Contracts been issued and changes to individual stories are to be accepted/negotiated as is a normal process in book publishing. Any delay in receiving responses may have an impact on the delivery date.
Should any individual author decide not to proceed, we have actually already exceeded the planned word count and would seek to proceed. Should more than one author decide not to proceed, and where this results in a word count of under 80,000, Dark Chapter Press will seek to, as far as is practicable, obtain additional entries to retain the value of this anthology as it stands in the original pitch (in terms of both word count and the quality of the stories contained within). This is not expected, as the majority of the contracts and edits have now been returned by the authors.
Problems encountered in the initial production run, which are beyond our control, could see a delay in reward fulfillment.
The creative process can be time-consuming. The 'feature in a story' reward packages can only be given an estimated timeframe. Kill For A Copy will be sent as soon as ready, however.
The 'set the theme of an anthology' reward level should only be taken up by those who really are seriously interested in horror anthologies and who have a keen sense of what would make a good theme. Dark Chapter Press reserves the right to refuse to carry forward proposals considered taboo, too weak, or otherwise unsuitable. So you can forget that Peppa Pig Horror Anthology you had in mind...
Furthermore, not every submission call will be well-received. If we think it has legs, we will happily try it a second time (we had to do that with one of our own and it worked much better second time around). However, if the response is poor, or the entries unsuitable, Dark Chapter Press can accept no responsibility for this. No refunds will be given on this pledge level even if the anthology does not materialize. Any queries, don't hesitate to send a message before pledging.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (10 days)