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A series of books that will help you find your purpose in life and the courage to pursue it, written by author James A. Owen
A series of books that will help you find your purpose in life and the courage to pursue it, written by author James A. Owen
301 backers pledged $25,949 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$25,949

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THE STORY:

In 2006, my novel HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS was released, and my publisher sent me on a speaking tour. But instead of just promoting my book, I realized I had a great opportunity – to share with thousands of students and teachers the lessons I learned and the choices I made to get to do what I loved most for my job. The story I shared was not just about the successes, but also about the obstacles and challenges I had to overcome to achieve them.

That story became the ebook DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS: A Meditation on Art, Destiny, and the Power of Choice. A successful Kickstarter resulted in a beautiful print edition of that book being published, which led to more speaking engagements, which led to a beautiful new definitive hardcover edition from another publisher. But even that book was not the whole story. I had more stories to tell, with even greater lessons and more powerful messages to share, and so two more ebooks followed: THE BARBIZON DIARIES: A Meditation on Will, Purpose, and the Value of Stories; and THE GRAND DESIGN: A Meditation on Creativity, Ambition, and Building a Personal Mythology.

Together, I called these books The Meditations, and thousands of readers all over the world have enjoyed and been changed by the messages in these books – but until now, they have only been available as ebooks.

WHY THIS PROJECT NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT:

I created this Kickstarter for a very simple purpose: to produce a new hardcover edition of DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS, and matching hardcover print editions of THE BARBIZON DIARIES and THE GRAND DESIGN. Asking for the support to publish them from the readers who are already following me as a speaker and author made a lot of sense. So that's exactly what I'm doing: asking for your help to make these books happen.

The books are completed. Their messages are already being shared. And with your help, I can share these stories with even more readers. Together, we can create books that will change lives – and already have.

HOW THESE STORIES HAVE AFFECTED READERS:

"James inspires and motivates both the young and young-at-heart with personal stories that share an important belief: that you can choose to lead an extraordinary life if you will just persevere, stay focused on your goals, and believe in yourself. James believes in you. And I believe in him." – LeVar Burton, educator, actor, entrepreneur

There are certain books that have come along, shoved some junk out of the way, and made a home in my soul. For example: Rainer Maria Rilke’s LETTERS TO A YOUNG POET, GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin, Pearl S. Buck’s THE GOOD EARTH, and NIGHT by Elie Wiesel, to name a few. These books have made me evaluate my life, and have helped shape how I want to live it. THE BARBIZON DIARIES now tops that list. In this deeply personal account of adulthood circumstances, traumas, and triumphs, James A. Owen explores the meaning of true purpose, true belief, and true success. In approximately 140 pages, James reaches inside of you, pulls courage out of your gut and places it in your heart, instead. If you have ever questioned your Greatness, your meaning, your purpose... THE BARBIZON DIARIES will change your life.” — Kristin Leigh Luna, author, Goodreads reviewer

In an autobiographical meditation brimming with exuberance and hope...James A. Owen seeks to show how we can all harness our potential and become luminaries in the world...Owen’s story contains no shortage of potentially catastrophic incidents. To his credit, and to the reader’s delight, he relates these with both tranquility and humor... So, too, can we all forge our personal success stories, Owen insists. We can reject the temptations of regret and fear, without which “there’s nothing left but possibility and joy.” We can actualize our grandest dreams, and bring them to bear for the good of humanity. These are lofty propositions, but Owen delivers them with such charm and conviction that readers will find it difficult to escape his enchantment. This work is an astounding manifesto for creativity, sure to alternately move and inspire its readers.” — Michelle Anne Schingler on DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS in Foreword Reviews

"The first paragraph peeled me open and forced me to lean in and take the truth of this book. After reading the first two in the trilogy, I thought I was ready for the revelations in THE GRAND DESIGN... but James went all-in and took this to the next level. This book opened my eyes to the profound truths that come with being an artist and having a truth and purpose that I'm called to--one that's impossible to ignore if I'm really open to it. This is a must must read and the perfect genius to round out the trilogy of awesome. The Meditations Trilogy is THE ALCHEMIST for a new generation." – Jen Grayson, author and speaker

"...the person who spoke Friday at Jerling Junior High, in Orland Park, IL, was awe inspiring...Mr. Owen projected a message to our 8th graders, repeatedly, in a direct and appealing manner...[and] should not be listed as just author, but motivator to the young and young at heart, even those floundering, wondering what path to walk." – Bernadette M. Cronberg, Educator

THE REWARDS:

Backers of The Meditations Trilogy will receive hardcover copies and/or PDF editions of the books as detailed in the rewards below:

And, we've added one more EXTRA option for EVERYONE – a chance to get signed copies with a personalized DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS including an original drawing! Just add $25 to you pledge and select the same reward. When we send out the fulfillment surveys at the end, just choose the Dragon Art option as an add-on.

And because our main commerce website has been down recently, several people have asked about getting signed copies of my best known book, so we're offering it as a bonus pledge. Simply add $20 to ANY pledge, and when you fill out your survey after the campaign is done, you'll have a credit to use to add a signed, sketched-in hardcover of HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS to your order.

ONE MORE BONUS PLEDGE: a few people have also asked if they could add some of the coloring books to their rewards packages, and the answer is YES! Just add $15 for each coloring book you would like, or $50 for the set of four, and when you are sent the BackerKit survey after the project is over, you'll have the extra amounts as a credit, and you can just select the books you want.

You can help us make these books a reality. Thank you for your attention, and your support. We couldn't do what we do without you.

James A. Owen & Team Dragon

Risks and challenges

Because all of the work is complete there are very few risks to be had in supporting this project. I've done this — published my own work — many times before. When this project funds, the files will be uploaded to the printer and prepping for fulfillment will begin.

There are always possible challenges, such as delays with printing and shipping, and other unexpected things could also happen which might hold up delivery, but this is my fifth Kickstarter; my team has developed a reputation for always keeping everyone apprised, and we always deliver exactly what I said we would. In fact, one of the previous projects shipped several weeks early to 90% of our backers, with only a handful of the foreign packages going out in the actual delivery month.

We've decided to keep this project as simple as possible to minimize the risk, and to show all of our readers and supporters that we have continued to learn from our experiences. The project is both simple and elegant; we have a production facility we know and trust; better fulfillment processes are in place; and we've given ourselves a 90-day window post-funding for production and fulfillment.

As with the last project, we have added in the costs of domestic shipping. The cost isn't very much, but multiplied by several hundred packages it can affect the viability of a project, and the minimal additional cost is still a bargain for the level of quality we deliver.

I promise I will keep everyone updated as to the progress of the project — particularly if there are any delays or obstacles — and they will be overcome to deliver what you have supported and what I have promised.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Digital Meditation Pledge – Get a PDF of each of the books to read and enjoy.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    The Drawing out the Dragons Pledge – Get a hardcover copy of DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS: A Meditation on Art, Destiny, and the Power of Choice, plus a PDF of the book to read and enjoy.

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    17 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    The Barbizon Diaries Pledge – Get a hardcover copy of THE BARBIZON DIARIES: A Meditation on Will, Purpose, and the Value of Stories, plus a PDF of the book to read and enjoy.

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    5 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    The Grand Design Pledge – Get a hardcover copy of THE GRAND DESIGN: A Meditation on Creativity, Ambition, and Building a Personal Mythology, plus a PDF of the book to read and enjoy.

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    4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The Double Meditation Pledge – For those of you who may have purchased the previous hardcover edition of DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS (published by Shadow Mountain) and wish to buy the second and third volumes to complete the set. This reward includes hardcover copies of THE BARBIZON DIARIES and THE GRAND DESIGN, as well as PDFs of both books to read and enjoy.

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    47 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    The Complete Meditations Pledge – A matching set of all three new hardcover editions of the Meditations Trilogy: DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS, THE BARBIZON DIARIES, and THE GRAND DESIGN, housed in a custom printed paperboard slipcase. This reward also includes PDFs of all three books for you to read and enjoy.

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    123 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    The James A. Owen Starter Set Pledge – a reward offering a hardcover set of the core books of my career: DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS (including the PDF); the first Imaginarium Geographica novel, HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS; and the massive limited edition hardcover graphic novel THE NEARLY-COMPLETE ESSENTIAL STARCHILD.

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    5 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The Fellow Travelers Pledge – Three matching sets of all three new hardcover editions of the Meditations Trilogy: DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS, THE BARBIZON DIARIES, and THE GRAND DESIGN, housed in custom printed paperboard slipcases. A set to read, and two sets to share. This reward also includes PDFs of all three books for you to read and enjoy.

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    Ships to Only United States
    14 backers
    $
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The Ultimate JAO Kickstarter Collection Pledge – This reward includes a matching set of all three new hardcover editions of the Meditations Trilogy: DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS, THE BARBIZON DIARIES, and THE GRAND DESIGN, housed in a custom printed paperboard slipcase, PLUS one copy of each James Owen book produced though our earlier successful Kickstarter campaigns: the original hardcover and softcover editions of DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS; the massive TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY NEARLY COMPLETE ESSENTIAL STARCHILD hardcover graphic novel (book only - no slipcase or extras); the first ALL THE COLORS OF MAGIC coloring book featuring art from the Imaginarium Geographica novels; and the set of three additional ALL THE COLORS OF MAGIC coloring books. This reward also includes PDFs of all three Meditations books for you to read and enjoy.

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    Limited 4 backers
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  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $235 or more About $235

    The Zen Over The Airwaves Pledge (individual option) – An individualized mentoring option, which allows me to discuss, advise, and consult on creative projects, personal projects, and/or writing and art as a career. It is all the goodness of the live presentation without the additional expense of travel costs (and much easier to schedule). For this pledge, I will do either a full presentation of DotD (60 minutes) plus a 30 minute Q & A the backer, OR a consult/workshop for a creative work in progress, OR any combination of the two, plus talking about comics and/or whatever else sounds good to you at the time, including your kids school project, Battle Goats, and the ethical merits of cooking with blueberries. I'm also okay with this being a family participation option (as in, mom and dad back the project and choose this reward, but want the teenagers to be in on the session. Younger kids may not benefit from it as much, but if you choose this reward, I'm sure some Dragon Drawing lessons can be included.) The schedule for Skype visits will be based on both my existing schedule and that of the backer, and can be for mutually-agreed dates between June 2016 and June 2017. This pledge also includes one complete set of all three new hardcover editions of the Meditations Trilogy: DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS, THE BARBIZON DIARIES, and THE GRAND DESIGN, housed in a custom printed paperboard slipcase, as well as PDFs of all three books for you to read and enjoy.

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    Reward no longer available 8 backers
    $
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The Everyone's Enlightened Pledge – Five matching sets of all three new hardcover editions of the Meditations Trilogy: DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS, THE BARBIZON DIARIES, and THE GRAND DESIGN, housed in custom printed paperboard slipcases. Enough copies of the books to share with friends, family, or anyone else who might benefit from reading one of the books. This reward also includes PDFs of all three books for you to read and enjoy.

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    6 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $265 or more About $265

    The Bonus Zen Over The Airwaves Pledge (individual option) – Due to popular demand, a second individualized mentoring option, which allows me to discuss, advise, and consult on creative projects, personal projects, and/or writing and art as a career. It is all the goodness of the live presentation without the additional expense of travel costs (and much easier to schedule). For this pledge, I will do either a full presentation of DotD (60 minutes) plus a 30 minute Q & A the backer, OR a consult/workshop for a creative work in progress, OR any combination of the two, plus talking about comics and/or whatever else sounds good to you at the time, including your kids school project, Battle Goats, and the ethical merits of cooking with blueberries. I'm also okay with this being a family participation option (as in, mom and dad back the project and choose this reward, but want the teenagers to be in on the session. Younger kids may not benefit from it as much, but if you choose this reward, I'm sure some Dragon Drawing lessons can be included.) The schedule for Skype visits will be based on both my existing schedule and that of the backer, and can be for mutually-agreed dates between June 2016 and June 2017. This pledge also includes one complete set of all three new hardcover editions of the Meditations Trilogy: DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS, THE BARBIZON DIARIES, and THE GRAND DESIGN, housed in a custom printed paperboard slipcase, as well as PDFs of all three books for you to read and enjoy.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The Zen Over The Airwaves Pledge (group option) – DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS began as a live presentation for schools and libraries, and with this pledge, you can bring the author – me – to speak at your school, library, company, or private function via Skype. It is all the goodness of the live presentation without the additional expense of travel costs (and much easier to schedule). For this pledge, I will do a full presentation of DotD (60 minutes) plus a 30 minute Q & A with students and/or attendees. The schedule for Skype visits will be based on both my existing schedule and that of the backer, and can be for mutually-agreed dates between June 2016 and June 2017. This pledge also includes five matching sets of all three new hardcover editions of the Meditations Trilogy: DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS, THE BARBIZON DIARIES, and THE GRAND DESIGN, housed in custom printed paperboard slipcases, as well as PDFs of all three books for you to read and enjoy.

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    Limited 1 backer
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The Eternal Library Pledge – DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS began as a live presentation for schools and libraries, and with this pledge, you can bring the author – me – to speak at your school, library, company, or private function. For this pledge, I will do up to two full presentations of DotD (60 minutes each) plus do a book signing/meet and greet/Q & A with students and/or attendees. If a small private group wishes to sign up for this pledge – for example, a writing group, or something similar (please inquire) – then the presentation will include an extended workshopping Q & A, after which I will also make and serve ice cream sundaes for everyone in attendance (not available for groups exceeding twenty attendees without prior approval). Travel costs will be in addition to the pledge, and can be discussed via private message. For the smaller group option, I'll take care of the ice cream. The schedule for visits will be based on both my existing schedule and that of the backer, and can be for mutually-agreed dates between June 2016 and June 2017. This pledge also includes five matching sets of all three new hardcover editions of the Meditations Trilogy: DRAWING OUT THE DRAGONS, THE BARBIZON DIARIES, and THE GRAND DESIGN, housed in custom printed paperboard slipcases, as well as PDFs of all three books for you to read and enjoy.

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    Limited 2 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)