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This is the story of what happens when The Sopranos meets Fawlty Towers...in a bookstore. Read more

Mansfield, TX Fiction
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on March 25, 2014.

This is the story of what happens when The Sopranos meets Fawlty Towers...in a bookstore.

Mansfield, TX Fiction
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Paul Combs
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Paul Combs

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About this project

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.

Risks and challenges

The only real challenge will occur if the project doesn't meet its goal. I have chosen a publishing (and rewards fulfillment) date of September 2014 because that gives plenty of time for everything to be completed.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Rewards

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more
    About $5 USD

    1 backer

    Casino Level. While publicly unheralded, you will be forever cherished in the heart of the author. Kind of like Hemingway’s bartender.

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    Pledge $10 or more
    About $10 USD

    5 backers

    Donnie Brasco Level. A PDF version of the novel, which can be read on various devices.

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    Ships to: Anywhere in the world
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more
    About $25 USD

    12 backers

    Scarface Level. A signed copy of the paperback book and the aforementioned PDF version. A particularly attractive option for those considerably younger than I am; signed books almost always go up in value once the author shuffles off this mortal coil. You will also be acknowledged publicly on Facebook and Twitter.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more
    About $50 USD

    0 backers

    The Departed Level. A signed copy of the paperback book for yourself plus one for a friend (they make great gifts) and the PDF version. You will also be acknowledged publicly on Facebook and Twitter.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more
    About $100 USD

    3 backers Limited (47 left of 50)

    Goodfellas Level. A signed, numbered, limited-edition hardcover copy of the novel, as well as signed copy of the paperback book and the PDF version. You will also be listed on the book’s acknowledgements page, forever linked in print with my imaginary characters.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more
    About $500 USD

    0 backers Limited (15 left of 15)

    The Godfather Level. In addition to everything from the Goodfellas level, you will receive an Advance Readers Copy (uncorrected proof) shortly after the project ends. You will then have the option of sending me a review which I will post on my website (unless it's a hatchet job, of course). Excerpts from the best reviews may be included in the final print version, either on the first page or the back cover.

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  7. Select this reward

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

    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    The Lucky Luciano Level. For this one I had to name the level after a real gangster. In addition to everything from the Godfather level, you get a tour of the world of "The Last Word." During this day-long excursion we will drink, dine, and roam in the same places in Fort Worth and Arlington that my characters inhabit in the novel. Think of it as a peek behind the curtain. The limit for this level is 3 (I have a small SUV); airfare and lodging are NOT included. This may be best for someone local.

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    Ships to: Only United States
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Funding period

- (30 days)