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A guide to the street names of Manhattan, their origins and history. Read more

Red Oak, IA Nonfiction
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This project was successfully funded on November 17, 2012.

A guide to the street names of Manhattan, their origins and history.

Red Oak, IA Nonfiction
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About this project

Ever wonder why Houston Street is pronounced House-ton and not Hews-ton? Curious about who, what or where "Gramercy" comes from? Do you know where to find Oyster Pasty Alley, Dirty Lane, or the Golden Hill?

The people, places and things that provided names for the streets of Manhattan have largely faded into history, but the street names live on as everyday memorials.

The Project

Manhattan Street Names Past and Present is an alphabetical guide to the origins of current and former Manhattan street names. It's an informative reference work for anyone interested in New York City and its history.

Other books describe the origins of current Manhattan place names, but they don't include the former names or the historic streets that no longer exist. Manhattan Street Names Past and Present lists over a thousand cross-referenced names and gives the history behind them.

A draft page from the book
A draft page from the book

I have already completed the research for the book using original sources such as city records, personal memoirs, newspaper accounts and historic maps. The first draft is done. I estimate the text will be finalized and the book designed and converted to electronic versions by spring, 2013

I'm starting this Kickstarter project to give people a chance to get a copy of the book by funding an initial printing.

This project will fund the production of a trade paperback edition of Manhattan Street Names Past and Present in an initial printing of 300 copies. Epub and Kindle versions will also be developed.

Proposed artwork for the cover
Proposed artwork for the cover

Electronic versions will be given to supporters at the $10 level and above. Supporters at $20 and above will also receive a copy of the trade paperback, with other perks at the $50 and $100 levels. All rewards will be advance copies, delivered before the book goes on sale to the public.


The Budget

My budget is based on the goal of printing 300 books. The estimated cost per printed book is $8, which includes up-front costs to register ISBN numbers, print the paperbacks and have them shipped to me, then to package and mail each reward book to my supporters (by USPS media mail). That comes to $2400 total. Kickstarter and Amazon Payments each take a 5% cut, so accounting for these fees brings the total to $2670.

If the project is funded above 100%, any additional funds after rewards have been printed and sent will be used for marketing the book to bookshops, libraries, schools and directly to the public.

Risks and challenges

I have 15 years of experience as a freelance writer and journalist. I hold a degree in American Studies focusing on early 19th-century American history. I have already invested months of my time in research and writing to this point and am very motivated to see this project through to fruition.

I have designed and produced several publications as part of my freelance writing work over the years and do not foresee any difficulties completing this portion of the project. I have also converted dozens of texts to Kindle and Epub format. You will receive an attractive well-researched book.

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FAQ

  • Right now I am just planning on text because of the extra cost of creating and printing graphics. If the project receives extra funding, I may be able to add maps.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    3 backers

    You'll receive a shout-out at @ManhattanPast on Twitter and have my eternal thanks.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    21 backers

    You will receive an advance Epub edition of Manhattan Street Names Past and Present, delivered by e-mail. (Approximate retail value $10)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    13 backers

    You will receive an advance Kindle edition of Manhattan Street Names Past and Present, delivered by e-mail. (Approximate retail value $10)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    125 backers

    You will receive an advance trade paperback print edition of Manhattan Street Names Past and Present in addition to an electronic version in your choice of Epub or Kindle format. (Approximate retail value $25)

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    6 backers

    You will receive an advance inscribed trade paperback print edition of Manhattan Street Names Past and Present sent anywhere in the world, plus an Epub or Kindle version delivered by e-mail.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    12 backers

    You will receive an advance inscribed trade paperback edition of Manhattan Street Names Past and Present mailed anywhere in the world, an Epub or Kindle version delivered by e-mail, and be thanked in the acknowledgments.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)