In late 2010 I began writing a cross-genre novel called “The Nobleman.” At the time my wife was in an intensive 1 year graduate program, and as a result I found that I had a lot of time to write. So I took the season to begin nurturing a novel plot that had been swimming around in my head. In the second story, garage-apartment we were renting at the time, a host of inspirations converged. Among them was "Crash," a film co-written, filmed and produced by Paul Haggis (one of my favorites to this day), work by friend and artist, Jay Walker (which you will see as part of The Nobleman Serial Novel Project), and "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck. To add to these creative influences, were concepts and questions surrounding noble action, behavior, thought, etc, and the question of why and how "all men are equal."
Here is the back-cover description of the story, for more about the plot:
When the son of business tycoon, Robert Tole, goes missing , and a murder scene is discovered by Brigg Bay, the worst is assumed. Days later, it is confirmed: Jason Tole is dead.
What has law enforcement baffled, and Robert Tole reeling, is that Jason's brother, Nathan, had been the victim of random gang violence four months earlier. Jason's death has no clear links.
Detective Marc Jackson is not new to murder, or gang violence. What does complicate this case is his past, with both the Toles, and the gangs of Easton. As his investigation unfolds, one thing becomes clear: neither Nathan or Jason's deaths were coincidental or isolated.
Bad blood, and hints of a villainous mastermind begin to be revealed as dark secrets come to light.
From the get-go, I built my characters, framed the plot, and wrote the story to fit an episodic format. It wasn’t long before I became rather obsessed with the idea of publishing it as a serial. A long story is shortened by the fact that I only got 2/3’s of the way through writing the novel when life stole back nearly all of my writing time. Such is life as an indie author with a day job, family, etc, etc. I boxed the project to marinade in its own juices until its time had come.
When 2016 began, I pulled it back out. The serial novel itch returned with a vengeance. Today, I am in the midst of designing and requisitioning the construction of a subscription website to use as my publishing venue. My plan right now is to make access codes for "The Nobleman" available for purchase at certain retail locations (this business model is still being developed) as well as online. Since I am not a programmer, graphic designer, or visual artist, I am raising funds to make sure these things are done well. I am also raising funds to help pay for the printing of the access code cards that will be sold in retail locations.
The roll-out plan is that the website will be complete, Chapter 1 will be free to all, and access codes will be available for purchase at retail locations and on the website. With access code purchase, subscribers will be the first to read this novel, they will have access to a complete download of the final work, and if all goes well, will receive a discounted price on the forthcoming paperback (amount is yet to be determined). The access code price point I am considering for subscriptions right now is only $5. I want it to be an easy buy.
What is the actual cost of this project? Well, I can start by saying that I am not raising money to cover it all. I believe in the story I have written and that a broad spectrum of people are really going to enjoy it. I believe in the idea, which is both a reader's experience seldom had these days, and a multi-faceted marketing plan for the novel. Because of this I am assuming most of the risk personally. I expect the project will cost me $5,000 - $6,000 all told (website and all its facets, editing, and access code sales and distribution). My artist is on board for a cut of the sales revenue (and I can't thank him enough!) as opposed to an up front fee. I am hoping to raise $2,000 or more with this Kickstarter to help lighten the burden, but more importantly, to invite people to join me as I pull the "The Nobleman" together. A good story is a community affair.
I believe that being prepared for success is a must. Failure is a piece of cake. That's why I am running a campaign with Kickstarter: I believe that you could be a huge part of the formula for success. Please consider being a part of The Nobleman Serial Novel Project.
Risks and challenges
Risk/Challenge #1: The writing deadlines for a serial novel.
My Response #1: Though the story may not be fully complete when the serial begins on August 13th, I have a very healthy head start. I am committed to a writing schedule, with a plot map that is keeping me on track. I'm embracing the deadline as I feel it is fueling the completion of this story.
Risk/Challenge #2: 21st Century Americans will struggle to stay the course for a literary serial experience, and give up on the product along the way.
My Response #2: So, while I am determined to revive this literary format for the enjoyment it can bring, yes, I understand this is 2016 - the era of the gold-fish attention span.
This is why I am making subscription to the serial a high value proposition. The book will be available in total at the end of the serialization as a download, I am planning to share extra material about my writing and writing process during the serialization, and it is also my plan to give subscribers an awesome deal on the published paperback. For $5, subscribers will get more than $5 back in what I believe will be, very enjoyable literary entertainment.
Risk/Challenge #3: The retail sales aspect doesn't pan out.
My Response #3: Just as I am making the serial subscription a high value proposition for readers, I plan to be generous with anyone who may partner with me in the marketing and sales of "The Nobleman." I believe in profit incentive. My sales pitch for this part of the project is still being honed, and I will share more on that as the project progresses. I self-published several mystery novels and successfully sold copies in retail locations on consignment (several thousand copies sold) between 2003 - 2005. So I have some experience with this sort of project.
With that said, even if the retail points of sale don't pan out, I am compiling a list of online marketing tactics to employ either way. AND, that begins right here, with you, the Kickstarter.
Help me share this story with the world!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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