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An independently produced fantasy novel, featuring badass female main characters, inspired by feudal Japanese samurai culture
An independently produced fantasy novel, featuring badass female main characters, inspired by feudal Japanese samurai culture
An independently produced fantasy novel, featuring badass female main characters, inspired by feudal Japanese samurai culture
92 backers pledged $4,811 to help bring this project to life.

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Blade's Edge: An Independent Novel

$4,811

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***Update: 100% funding! STRETCH GOALS!!***

So... Stetch goals? There's a lot of publicity and marketing I could do with extra money. We have 24 hours to see if we can make any of these!

$4600 unlocks: bookmarks (of the new cover art) set of five $5 add-on UNLOCKED!!

$4700 unlocks: poster sized cover art $20 add-on                 UNLOCKED!!

$4800 unlocks: t-shirts $25 add-on                                 UNLOCKED!!

$5000 unlocks: a notebook with the cover art as cover $30 add-on

$6000 unlocks: a hardcover copy of the book $37 add-on 

Some projects tend to only unlock certain rewards for certain levels. Assuming I'm allowed to (and other people who've run kickstarter projects please fill me in if I'm wrong) I would like to offer all of these as add ons. You only donated $5? Doesn't matter. You can still add a t-shirt for $25!

Ways to reach stretch goals: 1. Get more people to pledge! 2. Up your own pledge! (You can go to "manage my pledge" when you're logged in and adjust the amount.)

Let's do this! :-)

***Update: 45% in 7 days? Challenge Accepted!***

Proof that I enjoy challenges!
Proof that I enjoy challenges!

***Update: Jukepop Serials Wrap up and Exit Interview****

***Original Introduction***

Before I say anything else: For those who aren't able to watch the video or go check out the link to the story, here's a synopsis of the tale:

Mishi and Taka are walking examples of the secrets the Elder Council would kill to keep. Inseparable friends in their early childhood, the two are forced apart by circumstance, distance, and the needs of their training. After years apart, will a quest for vengeance and a mission to overthrow the corrupt Elder Council bring them back together? Will they survive the reunion if it does?

Ok. Now back to our regularly scheduled program:

My name is Virginia McClain and I am an author! Whew. Glad I got that off my chest.

Me attempting to look authorly, or possibly just hiding behind a book. You decide.
Me attempting to look authorly, or possibly just hiding behind a book. You decide.

I'm writing full time and trying to make it my living. Blade's Edge is my debut novel and is available for free on Jukepop Serials. It has been published serially on Jukepop Serials since October of last year with great success. It has been voted into the JP30 for multiple months and is in the top 100 serials -currently #66-  of all time for the site (out of about 1200). 

So now you're probably thinking, "Great! Then why are you running a Kickstarter to publish it?"

Well, while the book will continue to be available for free on Jukepop, the book existing in webserial format is very different from it existing as a physical (or even digital) novel. Not only is it currently only available on a computer or mobile device (which severely limits readership), it's also in a different format than it will be as a novel. The chapter distribution will be different and the pacing will change. The physical novel will require a full scale revision/rewrite, copyediting, cover art, a back cover blurb, and a number of promotional tools as well. Really, it's a different life for a novel entirely!

And all of those differences cost something.

The thing that is probably most important is the thing we're always told not to judge a book by, but let's be honest, we judge books by their covers constantly.

I have a wonderful cover artist who is willing to work with me: Juan Carlos Barquet. If this project is successfully funded, he'll be producing original artwork for the cover of Blade's Edge. I've included a few pieces of his in the intro video, and copied some below in this text, but you should go check them out on his website with the largest screen you have available; they really are stunning.

I have researched the costs of copyediting and formatting, getting galley reviews and a short publicity campaign, printing and shipping, and I've tracked down all the cheapest ways to do each of these things. 

As you can see, all told, including the fees that Kickstarter and amazon charge, the money needed to make this project happen is $4,500. I don't have the capital to fund it myself, so if this Kickstarter doesn't work then the book won't launch; or if it does, it will be without publicity, without professional copyediting, without galley reviews, and without a professional cover, thus plummeting its chances of being read by anyone but my mom to next to none. 

This is what MY cover art looks like
This is what MY cover art looks like

Don't get me wrong. I love XKCD as much as the next person, but that cover isn't going to sell any fantasy novels. 

This is what real cover art should look like (courtesy of Juan Carlos Barquet)
This is what real cover art should look like (courtesy of Juan Carlos Barquet)
Alternatively it could look like this (courtesy of Juan Carlos Barquet)
Alternatively it could look like this (courtesy of Juan Carlos Barquet)
Or this (courtesy of Juan Carlos Barquet)
Or this (courtesy of Juan Carlos Barquet)
Or this - if the story were sci-fi (courtesy of Juan Carlos Barquet)
Or this - if the story were sci-fi (courtesy of Juan Carlos Barquet)

Ultimately, the art will be all new rather than any of the images posted here. But you can see why I think the project will turn out much better if I can hire Juan Carlos Barquet instead of attempting the artwork myself.

To do that, though, I need your help.

"What's in it for me?" you ask... Well, my eternal gratitude for one. A copy of the finished book for another. A signed copy of the cover artwork, a signed copy of the book, a personal interview with the author (that's me), and a short story starring you! Plus a number of other awesome rewards, including lots of secret awesome stuff that could be unlocked with stretch goals. (Did someone say the words "ninja t-shirt?") 

Sound good?

Yay!

Head on over to the pledge section (---->>) and choose something that suits! 

And please tell your friends! 

**Detailed REWARDS LIST**

$1 - Gratitude + updates on goings on

$5 - Gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page

$10 - Digital book + gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page

$15 - 8 x 10 Print of cover art + gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page

$25 - Trade paperback book + gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page (Limited early bird special for only $20)

$30 - Signed 8 x 10 Print of cover art (signed by Juan Carlos Barquet) + gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page

$35 - Combo! 8 x 10 Print of cover art + Trade paperback book + gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page

$50 - Signed Trade Paperback Book (signed by Virginia McClain) + gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page

$75 - Signed Combo! Signed 8 x 10 print of cover art (signed by Juan Carlos Barquet) + signed Trade Paperback book (signed by Virginia McClain) + gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page

$100 - Super Combo! All the perks from the signed combo, plus a personalized hand written thank you letter from the author (Virginia McClain) + gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page

$150 - Personal Short Story: A 300 - 1000 word short story starring YOU as the main character + a trade paperback book + an 8 x 10 print of the cover art + gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page

$200 - Mega Combo! All the perks of the super combo, plus a 30 minute skpe chat with Virginia! 

$500 - Remix Combo! A Trade Paperback book and an 8 x 10 print of the cover artwork, both signed by BOTH Juan Carlos Barquet and Virginia McClain + a personal thank you letter from Virginia + a 300 word short story with you as the main character + a 30 minute skype call with Virginia + gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page

$1000 - The Ultimate Backer! A copy of the trade paperback signed by both Virginia McClain and Juan Carlos Barquet. An 8x10 print of the cover art signed by both Virginia McClain and Juan Carlos Barquet. A 3000 word short story with you as the main character. A personal letter from Virginia AND a thirty minute skype chat with her. Plus a meal with Virginia in person in one of a handful of locations in the US and Canada. (Message me if you'd like to know more about what locations are available!) + gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page

$2000 - Personal Reading: All the Ultimate Backer rewards plus Virginia will come to a venue of your choosing to perform a reading and book signing for you and an audience of your choice. Available in the US and Canada only. (+ gratitude + updates on goings on + mention on kickstarter contributor page)

And a partridge in a pear treeeeeeee!!! (Ok, not actually though. I'm not giving away birds glued to trees.)

Stretch goals?

To be honest, I would be so thrilled to make it to the original goal that stretch goals seem like a fairy tale. But, for those who are interested, the ideas that I have spinning through my head right now involve:

  • a t-shirt reward
  • a poster of the cover art
  • a bookmark
  • a hardcover print of the book
  • a notebook/journal with the cover art as the cover
  • a professional book trailer

I have more ideas where those came from, but that's just something to think about. I don't want to jinx things by setting monetary stretch goals yet. Rest assured that the second we hit our initial goal of 4500 I will post the first stretch goal. *With alacrity.

*Sentences containing the word 'alacrity' don't need to be complete sentences - little known fact. ;-) 

Risks and challenges

All the risks really ride with me. By the time this kickstarter wraps up in October, the second draft of Blade's Edge will be fully published on Jukepop Serials and then it will be up to me to do another full revision to get the manuscript ready for print. I've got most of this revision planned already, so it should go down fairly quickly. Plus, I've cleared my schedule for October so that all I'm doing is working on Blade's Edge.

From there it's a question of getting the formatting and copyediting done in time for the end of November. Then proof copies, then approval and finally a print book in hand.

If the project is successfully funded there's no chance that the project won't get done (barring something horrible happening to me) but there is a chance that human error could lead to a production delay. However, I believe that to be unlikely.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    1. You are lovely. Thank you for supporting Blade's Edge! You will earn gratitude and e-mail updates on everything going on with the book.

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    2. You are very lovely, and your name will appear in the list of kickstarter backers in the back of the book and on my website.

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    3. Digital Copy!

    Get an ebook copy of the book in the format of your choice, plus all the goodies from levels 1 and 2.

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    4. Cover Art!

    An 8x10 print of the new cover for Blade's Edge with original artwork by Juan Carlos Barquet. And all the perks from levels one and two.

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    5. Early bird special:
    A first edition copy of the book in trade paperback complete with names of all the kickstarter backers. (Plus perks from 1 and 2)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    6. A first edition copy of the book in trade paperback (9"x6") complete with names of all the kickstarter backers! (Plus perks from 1 and 2)

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    7. A signed 8x10 print of the original cover art by Juan Carlos Barquet! Plus perks from 1 and 2.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    8. Combo: A copy of the trade paperback, plus an 8x10 print of the cover art. Plus the perks from 1 and 2.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    9. First Edition Signed Copy:
    A first edition copy of the trade paperback personalized and signed by the author! Plus all the perks from levels 1 and 2.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    10. Signed Combo! A copy of the trade paperback signed by the author, plus an 8x10 print of cover art signed by the artist! Plus all the perks from levels 1 and 2. (*Note items will ship separately.)

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    11. Super Combo! All the perks from the Signed Combo level plus a personalized thank you letter from the author.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    12. A 300 - 1000 word short story with you as the main character. Delivered in PDF format.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    13. Mega Combo: All the rewards from the Super Combo, plus a thirty minute skype chat with Virginia.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    14. Remix Combo: A copy of the trade paperback signed by both Virginia McClain and Juan Carlos Barquet. An 8x10 print of the cover art signed by both Virginia McClain and Juan Carlos Barquet. A 300 word short story with you as the main character. PLUS A personal letter from Virginia AND a thirty minute skype chat with her.

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

    15. The Ultimate Backer: A copy of the trade paperback signed by both Virginia McClain and Juan Carlos Barquet. An 8x10 print of the cover art signed by both Virginia McClain and Juan Carlos Barquet. A 3000 word short story with you as the main character. A personal letter from Virginia AND a thirty minute skype chat with her. Plus a meal with Virginia in person in one of a handful of locations in the US and Canada. (Message me if you'd like to know more about what locations are available!)

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    16. Personal Reading: All the Ultimate Backer rewards plus Virginia will come to a venue of your choosing to perform a reading and book signing for you and an audience of your choice. Available in the US and Canada only.

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Funding period

- (30 days)