HUNTING THE FIVE is a gritty, genre-crossing fantasy novella (at approximately 30K words, it's on the big side of novella) by Maria Violante and published by Indie e-book publisher Airam Publications. It follows the quest of demon-gunslinger De la Roca and her attempts to gain freedom from servitude to an enigmatic angel and a not-so-happy past. With 4.3 stars on Amazon and 4.5 on Smashwords, it's been described as a "deliciously imaginative course for the monster starved" and "action-packed and reminiscent of King's Gunslinger" (see Amazon reviews for context.)
I've had plans to turn it into an audiobook for quite some time now. I think the modern world definitely needs a little more of the magic that oral storytelling provides, and with so many of us strapped into our cars and chained into repetitive labor, my books (cause there are more than one!) were really intended, first and foremost, as a mental and emotional escape from "reality." Plus, my circle of friends include a long list of commuters, dyslexics, and even truck-drivers - people that may find it hard to sit and stare at words. People that could use a good story. I want to share it with them, and people like them - as a series of free, downloadable podcasts.
Originally, I planned to just record the book myself. I'm determined and tech-savvy, and the long-term savings of setting up my own studio really appealed to me. Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to be moving to a reefer (a semi-truck with a large, very loud refrigeration unit that cycles on and off) very soon - meaning that unless listeners want to hear the screaming drone of an earth-shaking air compressor every 25 minutes or so, I was going to have to find another option.
DarkFire Productions fits the bill. They're professional, they guarantee it will be of "Audible" level quality (important because podiobooks will reject books that do not meet the recording quality bar), and they specialize in working with independent authors - something that is important to me for reasons that I won't get into here. (I really want to, ha, but I won't.)
I contacted them for an estimate, and after a VERY quick reply, they explained the amount it would cost for my book. At 30k words and assuming a speed of 150 wpm, the finished book would constitute three hours and 20 minutes. At a rate of 130 dollars per finished hour, (which seemed like a lot but upon comparison shopping, is quite reasonable) the book would cost an estimated $430. Add in prizes, postage, the Kickstarter and credit-card fees, and the fact that there are a few pretty difficult to pronounce names in there, and the total will hit right around $525 USD. Which, coincidentally, is what I'm asking for.
So that's where your money is going, folks.
But Maria, what if you raise more than $525?
I fill a swimming pool with the money. No, more seriously, I have decided to add a nice ton of unlockable prizes starting at $750 and going in $150 increments, all the way up to $1500.
*Update*: As of 4/20/12, we are not only FREE on Amazon - we're #21 in the kindle store for Contemporary Fantasy! WOOT!
That means you can get your e-book copy for the $1 pledge on Smashwords, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble (although B+N has an older version and they refuse to update.)
At 750 dollars, all backers above $15 will get an e-book copy of book three as soon as it is available. I'll even hold off on the publishing to online venues for thirty days, just so backers can claim firsties! The extra money raised will go towards paying a cover artist for book three.
*** This bonus has been unlocked! All backers above 15.00 will now get an e-book copy of book three as soon as it's finished! ***
At 900 dollars, I've commissioned comic artist Caytlin Vilbrandt, of Broken Glass fame, to create a custom De la Roca bookmark design. The extra money will go towards paying her for her incredible work (she also created the awesome graphic for this Kickstarter), printing and shipping costs. I will autograph the bookmarks and all backers at $25 dollars and over will get one mailed to them!
*** This bonus has been unlocked! All backers $25 or over will get custom DLR bookmarks! ***
At 1050 dollars, all backers at 15$ and over (25$ for international shipments) will receive a custom, Kickstarter-only poster of Caytlin Vilbrandt's awesome De la Roca concept art - the same graphic that I used for the Kickstarter image (it looks like this if you want to see the whole thing.) I'm hoping she'll even autograph them ;) Extra monies, of course, go towards paying Caytlin, printing, and shipping costs.
*** Bonus reached! All backers $15 and over will get mini-posters!***
At 1200 dollars, all backers at 25$ and over will receive autographed print copies of book three as soon as it's published. Once again, I'll hold publication off for 30 days so that backers can claim firsties.
At 1350 dollars, I will get a custom map made of the Valley of Ascension and the Valley of the Winged in Hell (from book two), most probably from Robert Altbauer, the genius Austrian cartographer that runs fantasy-map.net. (I say most probably because I have received an estimate from him, but it needs to be revised to include royalties from said poster.) This map will be inserted into later editions of the book, but it will be also made into a nice mini-poster, to be sent to all backers that pledged $25 dollars or more. (And the money will of course go towards paying him, printing, shipping. You know the drill. Size of the poster and detail will depend on how much money is raised by the kickstarter and how many international orders I need to ship!)
At 1500 dollars, I will also turn book two, HONOR IN HELL, into an audiobook - and get this - EVERY SINGLE BACKER WILL GET A LINK TO DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE THING. That may seem a little strange, but at that point, I'll be really ready to celebrate, and I think y'all should get a chance to celebrate with me!
But Maria, what if you break 1500 dollars?
Holy cow, guys, I don't even know. I will think of something else, even more awesome and more unique, and you'll get it.
Found this in my inbox and couldn't help but post it.
Song Title: "Проповедник(preaching the bells)"
Link to Original: http://soundcloud.com/90s-capkeepdilapidated-4/preaching-the-bells
Used Per Creative Commons License: Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0).
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