Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 25, 2012.

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Let's turn HUNTING THE FIVE, book one of the De la Roca Chronicles, into a free podcast on podiobooks.com!

Project Description:

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.)

Unlockable Prizes/Bonuses:

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.  

Trucker's Request:

Found this in my inbox and couldn't help but post it.

Audio Credit:

Song Title: "Проповедник(preaching the bells)"

Artist: 90S(CAPKEEPDilapidated)-4

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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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    1 backer

    For $1 you will receive an e-book copy of HUNTING THE FIVE, book one of the De la Roca Chronicles. Note: For the duration of this Kickstarter, HUNTING THE FIVE will be FREE on Smashwords.com and Goodreads.com. This means that if you're the critical/skeptical type, you can read the book yourself, for free, and decide if it's worth a dollar. (Hint: It is.) Or, take the respectable series of 4-star and 5-star reviews on Amazon to mean you can go ahead, prepay the dollar, and then I'll email it to you!

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    6 backers

    Told you it was worth a dollar. For five dollars, you will receive an e-book copy of the newly released book two in the De la Roca Chronicles, HONOR IN HELL, in the format of your choosing (no wise guys here, we're talking ACCEPTED e-book formats), and a personalized email of thanks (may include some crying.) Note: List price of 1.99 for book one plus list price of 2.99 for book two = 4.98. For roughly the same amount, you get the same books, plus the pleasure of knowing you helped launch the audiobook and the exquisite delicacy of watching me cry. I will even tape it.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    5 backers

    As I mentioned before, the audiobook is going to be distributed via podiobooks.com in a serialized format, free of charge. Backers that pledge $10 will get the above prizes, plus an all-at-once-no-waiting download of the audiobook the second it is finished being produced!

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    1 backer

    I'm going to be launching a WALL OF THANKS on my website, mariaviolante.com. For $15, you will receive all of the above, plus a mention on the Wall of Thanks. Wall of Thanks mentions will be thanked (get it?) for their contribution to the De la Roca Chronicles and their name will be linked to a blog or website of their choosing, a move that might earn you or someone you like some publicity. (Note, nothing overly adult, please. I don't want the De la Roca Chronicles associated with porn. I think you can understand.) Wall of Thanks-ers will also be mentioned in the acknowledgements of book three - which is currently being written.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    14 backers

    For $25, you will receive all of the above prizes, plus a personalized, autographed print copy of HUNTING IN HELL, a two-book volume that includes HUNTING THE FIVE and HONOR IN HELL. But wait, you say - I don't see this book listed anywhere! That's because the print edition is currently in proof stage. As a backer, you will receive one of the first paper copies of this book to exist, ever. (Neat, huh?) I will even delay the introduction of the book to the free market (assuming Amazon would allow me to do that), for 30 days to give you some bragging rights and that "special feeling." In addition, $25 backers will receive a personalized letter of thanks from me (on real paper! With real ink!) Hey! It's two rewards in one! (Note: International backers, add $5 for international delivery costs of print edition. I have no idea if that's going to be enough, but unless the cost is something astronomical, I'll eat the difference.)

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    For $50, you get all of the above, plus I will use a De-la-Roca-fied version of your name (or a name of your choosing) for a cameo character in the upcoming book three. Here's your chance to be a household name! (Note: I'm not promising it's gonna be a HUMAN character. If you've read the books, you know that there aren't any humans mentioned yet. This will change with book three, but I'm not sure how much.) As a bonus, you will be able to decide if you want me to mention (in the acknowledgements, again) that the character, in fact, refers to real person that supported the series.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    4 backers All gone!

    For $100, you, big Kahuna, will get all of the above (yes, you can pick a name for a cameo), and a De-la-Roca-fied version of your name (or a name of your choosing) for a semi-important (at least three appearances) character in the upcoming book three. I will even take your physical description and try to incorporate some of its elements. Talk about immortality! And while I can't guarantee, again, that you'll be human, at the very least, you'll be a being that is fairly well known for its sentience.

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Funding period

- (30 days)