A novel about trains and comics and capitalism and love and joy, written by the creator of the Comics Curmudgeon.
UPDATE: Holy cow, I've already met my goal, and my stretch goal! But read to the end to find out how more pre-order sponsorships will make the book even better -- and about some new rewards!
I am writing a novel, and it is called The Enthusiast! I think it's going to be pretty good. It's about a young woman who works for a very unorthodox marketing agency. Her job involves a certain amount of secret identity subterfuge, and she has a moral dilemma or two along the way. It's also about, in a larger sense, the way we love products, but we don't necessarily love them the way the people selling them want us to. There will be stuff in the book about soap-opera newspaper comics, and subways, and the Internet. And a love triangle! There will definitely be a love triangle.
Oh, did I mention that it'll be funny? It's going to be funny. If you want to get a preview of the book, you can read this sample chapter!
Sounds great! But why don't you just get an agent and a publisher like a normal person? The traditional publishing landscape is in flux right now, and it's tricky for a first-time novelist to break in. This Kickstarter is me placing a bet that, through my years of being an amusing person online, I've accumulated enough readers willing to take a chance on me. By self-funding and self-publishing, I'll have more control over the process and will, with any luck, be able to get it to you more quickly than I would if I sold it through a publisher. My goal is to have the high-quality trade paperback and hardcover versions of the book ready to be mailed to you by November of 2013.
So what are you going to do with all this Kickstarter money between now and then? Well, most obviously, I'll need some of it to pay to have the books printed. But to my mind, the most important service you get from a traditional publisher is editorial help, and this will be the most important thing I spend money on. (I've already got an editor lined up: National Magazine Award winner Emily Gordon!) I'll also be paying an artist to create the book's cover; and, if I get enough pre-orders, I'll be able to pay someone to help me design the interior of the book and to promote it. And I'll also need some of the money to live on so I can spend time writing the book instead of working on other paying gigs! Basically, the book can't happen without pre-orders, and the more pre-orders I get, the better the book will look, and the easier it'll be for me to get the word out about it. If you contribute to help make the book happen, you'll get sponsors-only emails and sneak peeks to see the project develop.
That all makes sense. But who are you again? I'm Josh Fruhlinger, and I've been writing things on the Internet for many years! I'm most famous for the Comics Curmudgeon, my blog about newspaper comic strips, but I've also written for Wonkette and the Awl and ITworld, among other places. If you're interested in my other writing or musings, check out my personal blog or my Twitter. Thanks for reading and I hope I have convinced you to participate!
UPDATE: Whoah, you've already met your fundraising goal! Why should I even bother contributing now? Believe me, I'm just as surprised as you that it went this fast! But there are still plenty of benefits to you to pre-ordering now, even though the book will now definitely be made. Remember, you'll only be able to get the hardback copy, or the signed copy, by pre-ordering through Kickstarter, and even the paperback books are going to be ordered through a printer, and thus probably higher quality than the print-on-demand version that will be available for sale once the book's been written. In addition, more pre-orders mean that I'll be able to afford more editorial help (Emily is good, and she charges by the hour) and design help to make the book a good read and nice to look at.
But let's pick a stretch goal to make it even better, shall we? If we can get up to $11,111 (yes, let's stick with the silly repeating numbers), I'll commission illustrations for the book's interior. No ideas what they'll be yet -- train diagrams? soap opera strip panels? soap opera strip panels drawn by real soap opera strip artists? -- but I assure you in advance they'll be awesome. I can't wait!
UPDATE 2: Holy cats, I'm going to have to find an illustrator! Thanks so much for everyone's support. I'm going to try to come up with some stretch goals for the next two weeks of Kickstarting -- and if you have any ideas, let me know! I also have added a couple of new rewards -- fab hand-drawn artwork from Medium Large artist Francesco Marculiano! If they strike your fancy but you've already sponsored, you can change your sponsorship amount and upgrade your reward. Supplies are limited so jump on board now!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.