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You know what happens when you tie on a cape, right? You can do anything.
183 backers pledged $9,316 to help bring this project to life.
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About

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$9,316

183

Look!

On The Shelf! It's A Towel! It's A Pillowcase!

It's...

A Cape!

The Book

I've been writing and illustrating fun books for kids for about 16 years. Working with traditional publishers has its own special set of challenges and I'm hoping to overcome all those challenges by self-publishing my most recent picture book, A Cape!

A Cape! is a simple, fun picture book about a young boy who finds out what kind of super powers his new pillowcase cape gives him. And what kind of super powers it doesn't give him.

This is not the actual book. It's a dummy book I made to see how the cover looks at the actual size.
This is not the actual book. It's a dummy book I made to see how the cover looks at the actual size.
I'm still working on the back cover. This is one possibility.
I'm still working on the back cover. This is one possibility.

A Cape! is one of the few books I've ever created that just came to me all at once. Generally, the process of writing a book takes week, months, or even years. While there was still a lot of editing and revising as I worked on this book, the basic story came to me one day as I pulled a towel from the linen closet. The simple-looking artwork was not so simple, however.

The Art

I've spent a long time developing the look of the art for the book. I experimented with lots of materials, techniques, and styles before finally deciding on a simple, loose look for the art to reflect the dynamic excitement of the boy. The artwork went through a LOT of changes while I was developing it.

Here is a series of pictures showing the development of the style I used in the book - from initial thumbnail sketch to final artwork. I tried a LOT of different styles, techniques, and looks before I created one that I really loved.

Sometimes I'm amazed at how much time and effort goes into something that looks so simple.

I got my first huge boost for the project when Cheap Joe's Art Supplies generously donated all the paper for the final watercolor artwork.

The Big Picture - The Big Project

The 32 page, full-color book will be printed in hardcover, with a spot-gloss dust jacket by a large, reputable printing company. It will be 10.25" high and 8.25" wide.

It's going to look amazing! This book will not be a print-on-demand project. As such, the quality is much better, but as you would expect, the up-front costs are considerable.

This project is much more than a picture book, however. I'm a former second grade teacher and I love visiting schools. I get to talk to tens of thousands of kids at 50-75 schools each year to talk about how I create my books. I have developed a new presentation called "Imagination Is A Superpower" based on A Cape!.

I am working hard to promote the idea that imagination is as important as knowledge to young learners. If this project is funded, I will be able to promote the "Imagination Is A Superpower" program at all the schools I visit.

Right now, I'm planning to make the book available for sale only at schools that I visit. I want to be able to make a direct connection with the readers and allow them an opportunity to have something special that not everybody can run out and buy at a big chain store.

I may eventually make the book available through a great local independent bookstore, but for now, you can only get it if I visit your school or if you donate $25 or more to this Kickstarter.

I've already shared the Imagination Is A Superpower program and an early version of the book with a few hundred students at several schools and the response has been incredible. The kids and teachers have loved the book and its subtle but important message that Imagination Is A Superpower. And–let's be honest–the kids loved the fact that the boy in the book is running around in his undies.

Believe it or not, kids think underpants are funny.
Believe it or not, kids think underpants are funny.

I have worked hard to keep my funding goal at the bare minimum to help me complete the Kickstarter and get an initial run of 1,000 books printed. That is the minimum order the printer will accept.

Funding above my goal will be used, in part, to purchase larger quantities of books, thus bringing the price-per-book down so I can make the book as affordable as possible for students.

In an effort to keep this entire project very kid-oriented, my stretch goals also include adding a website where students and teachers (and everyone else) will be able to download and share fun, free activities to help expand imaginations.

If I'm lucky enough to get more funding than I planned on, I'll build myself a giant fortress inside a hollowed-out volcano where I can implement my plan to take over the world.

I'm kidding, of course. I'd never build my fortress in a volcano. Too hot.

Any funding beyond my stretch goals will be used to help promote A Cape! and Imagination Is A Superpower so I can make the book and the program available to even more people.

And maybe I'll buy a jet-pack or something.

The Rewards

Oh, boy - there are all kinds of cool things available to donors: Postcards; posters; copies of the book. I'm also offering original pencil drawings of the boy from the book, a chance to get your name in the illustrations, and a few lucky donors can get some of the actual artwork from the book.

Like that, only I'll use your name; not mine. And I'll write more neatly - I promise.
Like that, only I'll use your name; not mine. And I'll write more neatly - I promise.

In keeping with my desire to highlight reading in schools with this book, I am also offering rewards like a book donated to a school of your choice in your name and Skype Author Visits with a classroom of your choice.

Check out the rewards over on the side of the page to see all the cool stuff that's available.

The Guy

I'm Marty Kelley, a full time author/illustrator of children's books,

A fun author visit at a small island school in NH.
A fun author visit at a small island school in NH.

a recovering second grade teacher,

You need to know this for the test!
You need to know this for the test!

a part time musician in a children's music band,

Drumming at a sold-out show!
Drumming at a sold-out show!
And honking on my harmonica.
And honking on my harmonica.

and an occasional hiker in the big mountains of New Hampshire.

Strange but true - I hike without a cape.
Strange but true - I hike without a cape.

I'm incredibly excited about this project and sincerely appreciate the fact that you are considering it. Thank you so much.

Risks and challenges

Most of the artwork is already completed so the biggest challenge will be the wait time associated with printing and shipping. The book will be printed by a reputable printing company who does great work for large publishing companies. It will not be a print-on-demand book. The turnaround time is longer with large-batch printing, but the quality is vastly superior.
Honestly - having worked to help other authors self-publish before, the only possible risks I can foresee are delays in the printing. If anything does happen, I'll make sure that everybody knows what's happening and what I'm doing to fix the problem.
Waiting a few months to get your sweet prizes is difficult, I know, but the end result will be totally worth the wait!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    My sincere thanks along with a signed Cape postcard! Perfect for showing off to all your friends or using as a super-fancy coaster.

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    6 backers
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Giant gratitude and more fun swag. For $10, you can get a signed postcard and a signed, limited edition poster of A Cape!
    Everyone will be so jealous!

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    2 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Yahoo! Thank you! For $25 you'll get an amazing variety of gifts and prizes. Not only will you get the postcard and the poster - you'll also get your very own signed copy of A Cape!, you lucky duck.

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    103 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Oh, boy! Thanks! Since I'm trying to keep this focused on promoting literacy, for $50 you'll get all the goodies that you'd get for $25, PLUS you'll get another copy of A Cape! donated to a school or library of your choice. Each donated book will have a custom bookplate affixed to it, letting everybody know what a cool, generous person you are.

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    21 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You rock. Thank you so much. For $75, you'll get all the prizes that backers below $75 get, plus, your name will appear in the book on the dedication/copyright page. You'll be FAMOUS!

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    10 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Wow! Thanks so much! Now we're getting to the really fun stuff. Original art! For your very generous donation of $100, you'll get all the things that backers below $100 got, PLUS an original, hand-drawn pencil sketch of the boy from A Cape! Each piece is about 4" x 6" and each one is unique.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Thank you so very much! For $200, you'll get all the great stuff that backers below $200 got, PLUS you'll get to choose a classroom to have a live 30 minute Skype author visit with me! (Yes, if you're a teacher - it can be your own classroom!)
    I'll talk with the class about what it's like to be an author and illustrator and share some fun facts about how my books are created.
    (Skype visit must happen during 2014-2015 school year and is subject to my availability - I book all school visits first come; first served.)

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    2 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Wowee-wow-wow! A donation of $500 gets you all the same prizes that backers below $500 got, PLUS you'll get your name on a page of the newspaper that the father is reading. A really fun way to be a part of the book!

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

    Holy Guacamole! You are amazing! For the incredibly generous donation of $1,000, you'll get everything that donors of less than $1,000 got, plus you'll get an original watercolor painting from the book! You'll also get your name and small headline on the front page of the father's newspaper. You can choose a brief headline that you'd like to share with the world ("Marty Kelley Wins Pulitzer Prize.")

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Funding period

- (30 days)