If you're reading this then you likely have some questions. These questions will range from "who is this guy?" to "what the heck is The Last Word?" to "what is the capital of Slovenia?" I'll knock out the last question first: Ljubljana (and you were probably looking for Wikipedia, by the way). Now on to the important stuff.
As to who I am, I'm a writer living in the not always literary state of Texas, and my ultimate goal (besides being a roadie for the E Street Band) is to make reading, writing, and books in general as popular in Texas as high school football. It may take me a while. My fiction has been published in The Faircloth Review, Postcard Poems and Prose, and Pure Slush. The Last Word is my first novel.
As to what The Last Word is, well, it's a novel about two cousins, Sal Terranova (from New Jersey) and Camden Templeton (from London). They are separated by a few minor details: upbringing, the Atlantic Ocean, and a common language. Then fate (with help from a run of bad luck and a dead uncle) throws them together in the least likely of places: Texas. Exiled in this strange land, they must band together in order to save the family bookstore from financial ruin, from its own insane employees, and probably from themselves. This is the story of what happens when The Sopranos meets Fawlty Towers...in a bookstore."
It's actually a lot more than that, but that's my best summary as of today. The novel has been revised multiple times, and is ready to go to an editor to clean up all the typos I can't see because I've looked at the damn thing every day for months and all I see is the way it's supposed to look. I also need to hire a designer for the cover art work, as well as funds for marketing, printing, and a host of other details you never consider when you decide to write a novel.
WHY SELF PUBLISH?
I could, of course, follow the standard practice and send out query letters to literary agents. Most would never get past the interns that cull through slush piles seeking gems for the agent. Perhaps one or two of these readers would recommend requesting the entire manuscript, but once the agent read it he would exclaim: “There are no zombie vampires seeking BDSM-love in a dystopian future society here! No one will buy this!” It's true: my novel has no sex-crazed zombies. Maybe I'll put some in the sequel.
I am also not getting any younger, and time matters. If and when a publishing house “buys” your book, it takes 18 to 24 months from that point before the thing sees the light of day. I have no clue why the traditional publishing industry remains so unbelievably slow; Gutenberg himself printed books faster than this, and he had to set the type by hand. I calculate that even with editing, cover design, reviews, and marketing I can have The Last Word on store shelves no later than mid-September, and possibly much sooner.
Finally, there is the issue of marketing. Whether you are traditionally published or indie published, unless your name is John Grisham or Janet Evanovich or Dan Brown (good lord, Dan Brown) you will be doing every bit of the marketing on your own. The margins are too thin for even the Big Six publishers to spend marketing dollars on a mid-list author, let alone a rookie. If I’m going to have to do this critical task on my own, I might as well do the rest as well.
WHERE THE FUNDS WILL GO
As mentioned above, all money raised will go toward editing, cover design, marketing, printing, and the costs of the various contributor rewards.
BE PART OF THE STORY
No book happens without help, whether from the friends who read the first draft to the editor who cleans up the manuscript to the bookseller who tells customers about it. By contributing to this project you become a key part of bringing The Last Word to life.
One important note: Kickstarter is an "all or nothing" crowdfunding site, so if I don't reach my goal within the 30-day window I'll receive nothing. You won't be charged anything if this happens, but it will delay the publication of The Last Word beyond September 2014, and no one wants that.
Thanks for taking the time to check out my project page, and for helping make my novel a reality. And always remember...books have souls.