About this project
New Pledge Tiers!
I've just added two new tiers to allow you to get an extra digital copy of the book with the release, or with the early backers - at a discounted price! Let's finish this Kickstarter in style!
We are crowd writing an anthology of stories set in the Elite: Dangerous universe, for your reading pleasure and available around the time the game is released.
If you're reading this, it may not have escaped your notice that something very important in the PC gaming world is about to happen - if we make it happen, that is. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the Elite: Dangerous kickstarter page.
One of the pledge rewards in that project offers lucky authors the chance to write some official fan fiction, which a good many people were interested in doing.
This project brings together 15 of those people as authors to each write their own official short story, to be immortalised in our anthology.
So why do you need the money?
Our aim is to raise enough money to be able to put in a pledge for the writer's pack on Elite: Dangerous and produce this book. That pack costs £4,500 and because this is Kickstarter, there are some transaction costs - so the total has to be a little bit higher to cover that. If all of the author pledges are filled, that should more than cover the fees - so as a regular backer, you're paying for the book, not the fees (The actual pledge to Elite: Dangerous will be at least £4,550 to cover my own £50 authoring pledge, since I can't back my own project).
Creating an anthology gives more people the chance to contribute their own stories to the Elite universe, which enriches it for everyone. It will also directly help to finally create the game that I've wanted to play for about 15 years (and believe me, I'm not the only one).
To back this project is to back two projects in one - you'll get a digital copy of the book at £4 and above, and the first £4,500 raised by this project goes towards the Elite: Dangerous writers pack to cover the licence for writing the official book.
What happens to any extra money?
We're going to produce physical books for those that want them, and if we can afford to do so - get a professional edit so that the book is even better. We won't know exactly what's possible until we know exactly how much we have.
So... I have this great story, can I contribute it?
Unfortunately, all of the author slots were quickly taken. Those Elite fans who have pledged to write a story for your reading pleasure have each introduced themselves here:
- Marko Susimetsa
- Gaz Bailey
- Darren Grey
- Alastair Kelly
- Fred Burbidge
- Nicholas Hansen
- Allen Farr
- Ramon Marett
- Alex GS
- Dung Beetle
- Paula Rose T
Also, there's me!
Sadly, we are limited to 15 stories for the single anthology, we'd need to buy 2 writers packs to be able to do any more than that.
We also sold illustrators pledges as well, and you can find out a little more about some of the people who bought them:
What's in it for the contributors?
If you decide to pledge one of the contributor tiers, please understand that there's no commercial gain in it for you (or me). It's all about the challenge of writing a book, and helping to fund the Elite: Dangerous project at the "Writers Pack" level.
Any extra funds raised above and beyond the goal will be either committed to the project, or if there is demand for it - used to create real, printed copies of the book for those who are interested in owning one (please leave a comment if you're interested in that, so I can look into it further!).
Will the book be released for sale?
The likely outcome is that everyone who wants to read the book will back the project and so there won't need to be a general release - but it's not out of the question.
If the book gets released later on, the likelihood is that any profits from selling the book will find their way to the Elite: Dangerous project or to a charitable cause agreed by the contributors.
How can I get a physical copy of the book if all the pledge tiers are for digital copies?
To get a physical book; if you're on the £4 tier or above simply go to 'manage my pledge' and add the cost of the book to your pledge, without changing your reward level. I'll do post-kickstarter surveys to find out what people want to do with extra pledge money and get shipping addresses, etc.
The costs of the physical books are:
+£12 = Paperback & Delivery (Signed for) to the UK
+£14 = Paperback & Delivery (Airmail) to EU, Eastern Europe & Russia
+£18 = Paperback & Delivery (Airmail) to the USA & rest of the world.
I'm investigating both hardbacks and book posters - and will update if that's something that is possible; although these might be something we can look at after the kickstarter ends.
I regret that interplanetary or interstellar shipment is unavailable quite yet.
What happens to the other rewards, if you can successfully get the Writers Pack pledge?
If it helps the funding goal - some of the goodies could be added as unique pledge tiers or sold to individual pledgers, so you'll be able to bag them if they've all run out on the main Elite: Dangerous project.
The plan for the rights to name in game locations is that they be used to tie the book to the game - so that's something for the authors forum once the real work begins on the project. Won't it be great to be able to visit real places in game that you read about in our book?
It would be great if the book can be fully illustrated too, so that's the plan. If we don't get enough illustrators - then the same applies, existing ones will be given first refusal on creating more, or we'll just use up what we have.
Can you guarantee quality?
The plan to ensure good quality stories is to set up an authors forum and use that to discuss and share ideas. Each author will get to help to proof and edit the other contributions. The aim is that everyone will contribute to producing a high quality book we're all proud of being a part of.
If we shoot way over the target - it should be possible to get some form of professional edit to ensure an even better book.
Everyone who writes a book or story had to write a first one at some point, right?
We still have illustrator pledges available! If you're a budding artist - get on board right now! If you're an Elite, or science fiction fan and would like to own an anthology of what will probably turn out to be pretty exclusive Elite universe stories - then please pledge, spread the word, and reserve your copy!
If you back this project, you are also supporting Elite: Dangerous and helping that to succeed - which is what we all want (but this way, you're getting a free book too!)
Conditions for contributors:
I want this book to be great, and it needs to be a unique piece of work, so if you're going to be a contributor - I only ask that the story you write is exclusive to this book and not something you've published, or plan to publish elsewhere.
The same for artists - please contribute an illustration or piece of artwork that is unique to this book, and not something you've published, or plan to publish elsewhere.
It should also go without saying that all contributions must be your own work. You can be influenced and inspired by other stories, whether that be your favourite book or film etc - but you cannot copy them!
Finally, any contributions must not infringe any other person or organisations copyrights, trademarks or any relevant laws - and all submissions must get final approval by Frontier Developments (I'm in contact with them and will work with them to get everything approved!)
Risks and challenges
Our risks and challenges are first to raise the money - to see whether people really believe we can create an anthology of official Elite stories. I hope you'll back the project and give us the chance to prove that it can be done.
Beyond that, the next challenge is to fill the author pledges and get as many contributions as possible, written and delivered on time. The aim will be for the contributors to support each other, bounce ideas, check and offer constructive comments to improve everyone's input. There are backup plans if we don't get enough authors or illustrators, and because there is a pledge fee for the privilege of contributing work, this should keep everyone motivated once they're on board ship.
We will have around a year to produce a full length book, but with the workload shared between several people. I'm extremely optimistic that we can make this happen - many hands make light work!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Elite: Dangerous update 12 revealed to us that the game we get in March 2014 won't have all the features that David Braben and his team envisage. If this book can sell copies and the Elite project needs it, that's where any profits will go.
If one of our authors sets up a great story and people want more of it, then there should be no reason why the author can't continue to develop their characters or storylines in a future book of their own. All I ask is that the particular story or artwork that people submit to this book remains unique to it.
Any submitted work will be used only in this book - whether that just ends up being digital or there are printed copies as well. If there's an opportunity to release the work elsewhere for whatever reason, I'll consult the original author or contributor to discuss it with them.
I made a mistake, the £150 pledge will of course get an artwork credit mentioning that they did the cover. They'll also get a special thanks credit and a copy of the book with the early backers. If there is a character in one of the stories that still needs a name and description, I'll be asking the cover illustrator for their input.
At the time of writing this, all of the author slots have sold out and have been for a while - so we will have 15 good quality Elite stories for you. We are lacking illustrators right now, so spread the word amongst friends who can draw, otherwise the ones that have bought in at that level might find themselves quite busy next year :-)
Yes. The plan is for the authors and illustrators to be listed in the table of contents next to the story they worked on, as well as underneath the main story heading where it is in the book.... And anywhere else that its appropriate and that they will fit.
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