Update: Stretch Goals
So having already funded the initial print run, I'm looking to raise money so I can get the books and audiobooks made as high quality as possible, including hiring a producer who can help make it sound really professional, and getting illustrators to make some lovely diagrams and images for the books. The more money I raise, the more illustrations I can afford to get done - and I will be making some of these as limited edition posters and postcards for our top backers, but only if we reach the stretch goals!
To help reach these targets I've added a new e-patron's package, meaning people can get a new word crafted by me to be used as they want without needing to pay for a physical copy of the book. These will be limited to 25 for now, but may make more available depending on popularity. Grab your new word now just in case!
Stretch Goal 1 - £500 - Limited edition postcard for all those receiving a physical package featuring an illustrated definition from the book.
As a thank you, here's an image I put together to share with you all celebrating another of my creations - the word "Bonjello". Enjoy!
What am I raising funds for?
I'm looking to raise funds so I can do a short print run of about 100 copies of my new book: "The Alternative Wordbook". As well as fund the physical printing, I'd also like to put money towards recording an audiobook version of it. The book is currently finished as a third draft, and is being re-edited, trimmed and generally galvanised for optimum public consumption. It's ready (almost), and more importantly I think I'm ready for it to be out there. A lot of my friends must be sick of me talking about it by now...
What's it about?
Basically, The Alternative Wordbook is an attempt to collect a bunch of new words together that "the official dictionary people" won't publish. The author of the piece is actually character, who just happens to have the same name as me, and is a well-intentioned, but clearly misinformed, faux academic, writing lovingly about words that don't work and new ideas for some that he thinks do. The character is essentially an extension of me, constantly dissatisfied with words and making things up when my mouth is too slow for ideas I have.
It's a work of fiction which could be read in any order you want - you can browse through and find funny words that stand-up of their own volition, or read it in order and see some vague sense of narrative and progression, small jokes falling into place here and there. It's something slightly more than just a book of one man's attempt at urban dictionary, with around 26 short funny essays on the derivations of letters, as well as the actual definitions themselves.
Also I've thrown in a bunch of spelling mistakes that are probably intentional hilarious jokes so look out for those (and e-mail me them if find some).
How would I describe the book?
Somewhere between The Meaning of Liff, The Timewasters' Letters and a dictionary (obviously).
This book won't be for everyone, I can guarantee that. Especially not children. It's definitely not for them - it's got sex in it for one thing, and references things years ago they won't have seen. It swears a bit too (lovingly) alongside some always well-intentioned bashing of modern culture, religion, logic and reality. Inoffensive nonsense that some people may find offensive - but always in good faith. The real butt of the joke is the bloke what wrote it.
Why have you done this you sad, sad man?
Well I've always wanted to be a writer, or at least pretend to be one. For me, this is about me sharing my own brand of nonsense with people who happen to like that sort of thing.
The idea came from a set I have been doing in stand-up gigs, which has confused and delighted audiences in equal measure. This set has gotten me nominated for the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year (2012), into the final 20 of BBC New Comedy Award (2011) and to 3rd place in the final of Chortle's Student Comedy Award (2011). It was the first thing I wrote that felt funny and specific to my voice, and continues to be the backbone of what I perform now, a crutch I rely on - but I need to let it go and move on. Publishing this will hopefully let me lay it to rest so I can write new and interesting stand-up and become a better comedian.
How's that PhD going then eh?
Well it's funny you should ask... it's going well (ish) thanks! This was a distraction to it, obviously, but one that is necessary (probably). Basically, whenever I'm working on my thesis, and I find my mind wandering, I tend to procrastinate, as we all do. Rather than let that energy go to waste, I tried to harness it to do some other project that will benefit me, something creative of which I could be proud. This is the result. 6 months of heavy procrastination - and at least a year more of occasionally coming up with words. Inevitably, the PhD is still being worked on while my alternative to doing that is nearly complete...
What does backing this project mean?
It would mean the world for me to have a chance to share this with people I've never met. I don't tend to write for normal people, and I don't have the comedy routines palatable for a mainstream audience - but there are people out there who enjoy what I do and even some who really connect with it. The outsiders. And I want to find them all, collaborate with them, build with them. Really make something fun and beautiful - and this is what I deam to be my first, public gesture of intent
One thing I wanted to make absolutely clear is that this is not a vanity project, but something to be shared with as many people as possible.I am a firm believer that art and culture should be accessible for anyone and everyone that wants it. As such, I will be licencing the book under creative commons, meaning that when the book is published anyone will be able to copy, remix and distribute it as they want. Not only this, but the eventual ebook will be available for free from my website. Your money now will mean
Why shouldn't I just give this money to a charity?
Please do. I mean obviously, I'd love to get this thing fully funded, but I know how it is with a thousand friends pleading with you for sponsorship every moment of the day. As mentioned previously, when it is published the digital ebook will be available for free, so I don't want to force people into pledging their hard earned money for something as frivolous as this when a few months down the line you'll be able to get it a digital copy nothing at all. Similarly, this isn't a profitable venture, I'm not doing this to make money, just to get as close to breaking even as I possibly can!
If you can't afford to pledge anything, then please at least share it with someone else you know who might like something like this. Or even people who you don't know who might like something like this. I'd really appreciate just getting the word out so some people know about it!
Thanks very much for involving yourself with this - I will have some updates coming soon, with me being funny for you to share, and I will be asking anyone who pledges to help me make decisions about how the final product comes together, choosing the front cover design and so on, as well as maybe distributing some special advanced chapters and things - but I'll try not to bother you all too much more!
Risks and challenges
The current obstacles to this book becoming a reality is formatting and generally getting the book ready for print - I've never printed a book before, and so am not 100%. However, I do graphic design where I can and so shouldn't have too much trouble in working this out!
Also, I'm going to be very tempted to tweak and change it right up until it's sent off to be published - so one of the biggest challenges for me will be letting it go to print and not being allowed to change anything any more!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)