*** LESS THAN 24 HOURS TO GO! ADDED A NEW "HAIL MARY" $1,000 REWARD. DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? ***
---> ADDED A NEW $2,000 "ARMAGEDDON POTLUCK" REWARD. <---
LOOK UP the IRKED BY KIRK PAGE ON FACEBOOK TOO
The world is a troubled place. It needs you to cuddle it and make it feel better. But how? I am on a 10 year mission to help you replace the world's tears with laughter. This book will show you how.
What is it?
Hundreds of funny letters that I spent 10 years sending to the likes of Honda, Prince Charles, Amazon, and the Utah Board of Education. Plus their hilarious replies, of course.
Phase one of the project is complete. The book is designed and laid out, photos look good. Print and e-book editions approved for sale, and reviews are positive. The next phase is getting word out about the book and making it widely available, and that requires cash. Samples for review, promotion, maintaining a web site... It's like a drama troupe has written a play, made the costumes but needs to rent the theater. That's why I've come to Kickstarter to ask for your help! Creativity alone can get the book only so far.
"I gave up wearing a tartan kilt as schools boys always poked me up the bum while I waited for the streetcar." - Cat Food Recipe letter
More details and special awards on the side.
A phone book sized tome, filled with page after page of scanned full-size letters, funny diagrams, even some haiku. Download a free samplehere.
Quickly though, here are some examples:
I asked Honda motors why their CEO hates human cannonballs.
I invited Prince Charles to a "Spankathon" – an original charity event at a local Japanese women's university.
Expressed shock to Amazon for using words like bollocks and faggot in the free Aesop's Fables included with my Kindle.
Asked a gym in Osaka if I could use their pool dressed as a pirate and walk the plank with my wooden peg leg in return for discounted membership.
Requested a discount on car insurance since my ability to see the future helps me avoid accidents.
Tried to get Apple to explain how to use their new "eye phone."
It's funnier in print, but for your convenience I read a few on YouTube, videos embedded below.
I read a sample exchange with McDonald's Japan & McDonald's USA.
Real letters, real funny.
QUOTATIONS FROM THE BOOK:
"It's wuining my wife! (I'm not mawwied, I mean the wife I'm wivving.)" - Fudd Hypnosis letter
"We'd like to highly appreciate your advice of new Scent,
'Recycled Lard' or 'Dank Hairy Floor'. It's nice and interesting for us
to hear such kind of scents." - Kobayashi Air Fresheners reply.
"I gave up wearing a tartan kilt as schools boys always poked me up the bum while I waited for the streetcar." - Cat food recipe letter
"Commodity such as disinterred human remains are prohibited under FedEx International Service." - Shipping mummies letter
"Together my co-workers form an Axis of Odor that threatens our way of life." -letter to Kao cosmetics
"BUT I'M STILL WAITING FOR MY CASE OF BEER TO SHOW UP, CORONA. I'M
STARTING TO THINK YOUR VACUUM CLEANER *SUCKS*." -letter to Corona
Appliance Mfg corporation.
"I have no idea about your blood sausages. It sounds scary though." - reply from Cat Food Recipe Letter
After all that writing, next I had to learn the ropes of self publishing, edit, proof and format the book, make a site, dive headfirst into the joys of online marketing, the mysteries of ISBN codes and so on. All while scrambling for work and scraping together ways to pay my health insurance and credit card bills.
I really wish I had heard about Kickstarter sooner. But I'm glad I finally did.
I think it's a great book. But no one's buying it. I'm still stuck on the hamster wheel that is my day (and night) job. That's where you guys come in.
As I've already been shelling out the money and time to get the book rolling so far, funding from a successful Kickstarter
project will go towards a larger and more focused marketing campaign. This
includes ads on the popular e-book and self-publishing review sites, traditional print media, sending out promotional copies, copies for
review, and so on. Not to mention keeping the site up and running.
Frankly, I'm in awe of all the other great projects I see on Kickstarter. I mean, there are people doing things like digitally remastering Neanderthal lullabies for an arts center for disadvantaged kids and here I am basically making farty noises in print. So I kept the funding goal modest. That said, I reeeeallly could use the support.
One of the pitfalls of this campaign, actually, is even if successfully funded, much of the money will go towards the cost of the rewards. Paying for and shipping heavy books in particular.
If this project is wildly successful, for stretch goals I'll look into professional cover
and layout advice, zany promotions, hiring an agent, a book tour, and possibly a full-color hard cover
print edition. That would be schweet.
(Only one minute! Short video of accolades for the book:)
Mitsu laughed her ass off.
There are other ways to help without donating. Sharing this page or even select videos from this page would be greatly appreciated.
What an amazing time to be alive, for ordinary people like me to be able to try things like this, asking strangers from around the world to help.
Sample letter reads and other cool videos:
For those of you who didn't just skip straight to the end, note that some of these might be duplicates of others above.
Real letters. Real Funny.
Owen reads letter from Kirk Jr. to McDonald's Japan and McD USA below:
Owen reads Sylvester the Cat - Hotel letter below, complete with spittle, under crappy lighting conditions:
Original "main" Kickstarter video below, discarded because it was too long and tried to be too clever:
Short version of people singing the praises of the book, below. Only 1 minute long! Go on, give it a look:
Me laugh you long time…
Risks and challenges
Honestly, I can't think of anything, other than that the promotional campaign is not guaranteed to make sales skyrocket.
Fulfillment of rewards poses no problem as the books are all set to go.
Unfortunately, the cost of printing and shipping the book rewards will take a significant bite out of total funding. Not much can be done about that.
CHESS: Play a game of chess against me on an online chess site of my choice (turn based, not live.) Chatting allowed. I promise to wear red socks when I make my moves. • "Thank You" credit on the official home page.
VIDEO SHOUT OUT, Plan A: I will mention your name of choice, with a requested or made-up phrase or comment on a video hosted on the Dunkirk YouTube channel. Details and sample vid posted on this Kickstarter project page.
SKYPE PLAN A: 30 minute Skype video chat with me at a reasonable time we can arrange taking time zones into account. I talk for a living. I'm fun to talk to. Really. • We will both try to keep our clothes on. • "Thank You" credit on the official home page. • Thank you on sponsors page of both the print and digital editions. Oh my god, you'll be famous!
PATRON REWARD: Copy of the Kickstarter-only print edition of Irked by Kirk, signed by Owen. • Thank you in sponsors section of both print and digital editions. • Oh my god, you'll be famous too! • Price includes shipping a heavy 300+ page book to and from Japan.
• Unique original and new Dunkirk letter, signed by Kirk and written just for you, with your name or phrase or other not unreasonable request. Does not include a reply from a particular company, but it could be used in the next Dunkirk Book.
• Thank you credit on sponsors page of both print and digital editions!
• "Thank You" credit on the official home page.
• Note: does not include any of the above photo or book rewards.
HAIL MARY- your name or phrase, photo, theme etc. in an original real letter, with a real reply, published in the book. We're talking now, not some future wannabe edition. We can discuss this letter project together. C'mon baby, less than 24 hours left!
ARMAGEDDON POTLUCK - make me an offer and perhaps I can completely whore my wit and page space out to your brilliant idea. Then Bruce Willis and I will plant explosives on an asteroid to prevent collision with the Earth and he will let you marry Liv Tyler if you're into her and she loves you back.