What are you Kickstarting?
Nonvella is a new, independent publisher of long-form nonfiction by award-winning and emerging authors from Canada, the US and Mexico. We publish ebooks and print-on-demand paperbacks.
Backers of our campaign will receive great rewards including digital or print editions of The Silicon Rapture by Adam Pez, Timothy Taylor's Foodville and our anthology Far From Home.
We coined the word ‘nonvella’ for the kind of nonfiction that we love to read, and to write: pieces that run to the length of a fictional novella (5,000 to 20,000 words). These are timely, memorable works of nonfiction—narrative journalism, reportage, adventure writing, memoirs, essays—that can be read in a single sitting.
Our goal is to publish six nonvellas this year, and with your support we'll publish our first three titles and get off to a roaring start.
Why should I be a backer? The Top Five Reasons
#1. Because you're an idealist! You want to be part of creating an independent "craft brewery" of great writing.
Think of us as a mongrel mix of UK publisher Granta, new digital upstart The Atavist, and the feature well of great North American magazines like The New Yorker and Orion.
We’re a writer-run operation, which means we’re setting Nonvella up to work for both authors and fans. We'll deliver irresistible stories and essays to readers while offering authors a fair-trade financial return for their work.
#2. Because you want to help create a new publishing model for readers and writers.
Magazines often put well-crafted writing and big ideas on the chopping block—capping them at 3000 words or so— to get them to occupy as few ad-funded pages as possible. On the book side, publishers generally require a minimum of 50,000 words: they're concerned their titles are hefty enough to justify charging a cover price that will keep the lights on.
This has been at the expense of readers and writers, gating off an entire landscape of storytelling between those two extremes. We love magazines and traditional print books, but thanks to digital and print-on-demand technologies, the time has come to cultivate that fertile middle ground via a more nimble form: the nonvella.
#3. Because you love stories and books.
All of us became readers and authors because we love stories. Because we love the way our imaginations engage with writing— with books — in such a different way than with film or other media.
This is why we love the nonvella form: it’s a just-right length for great writing. It hits a sweet spot of heft and brevity.
#4. Because you want to get your hands on one or all of our upcoming titles.
You appreciate craftsmanship, insight and damn good storytelling.
#5. Because (in the culinary tour offered on the right) you want Timothy Taylor to tell you about pressure-cooker carnitas and the time he pan-fried dirt for his dinner guests.
He doesn't call it Foodville for nothing.
What's your plan?
We have many writers eager to work with us — writers formerly published in Harper’s, Orion, National Geographic among many others—and we’re getting set up to deliver exciting new stories for e-readers and print fiends alike.
The plan is to publish six quality nonvellas this year, and build up to publishing at least one nonvella per month as an ebook and a stand-alone, collectible print edition. As we build momentum and a backlist, we’re exploring offering readers an even better deal on our books through a subscription service.
For more about us and our upcoming titles visit Nonvella.com.
What are you going to publish?
Our writers celebrate and explore the natural world, urban culture and the edges of human experience. Content will range from narrative nonfiction and personal journalism to essays and memoir — all in satisfying, single-sitting reads.
We're Kickstarting our first three titles this spring in time to get you some great summer reading.
The Silicon Rapture by Adam Pez
Our first Nonvella original is by turns geek and gonzo, diving into the big, weird questions of the phenomenon known as the “Singularity.” Author Adam Pez attends the Singularity Summit in a Masonic Hall in San Francisco, and his experiences rubbing elbows with leading-edge digerati kick off his quest to understand the meaning of artificial intelligence (AI) and the likelihood of a ‘silicon rapture.’
Will those who can afford it be uploaded into a mainframe for all eternity in forty years or so? Or will a rogue AI take over the world, and/or achieve God-like omniscience? Pez leads us into the questions with a raised eyebrow and a few cheap cocktails.
Foodville by Timothy Taylor
In a nose-to-tail culinary confessional, acclaimed novelist Timothy Taylor (Stanley Park,The Blue Light Project) makes a three-course meal out of our food-obsessed culture. “I am not now, nor have I ever been, a foodie,” says the man who has made agar-agar basil gel and vacuum-packed sweet caraway pickles.
Fork, meet viscera.
(Note: This cover is a placeholder and the final version's cover will differ from what we picture here)
Far From Home: A Nonvella Anthology
Our first Nonvella anthology includes pieces by five award-winning North American authors.
James MacKinnon careens toward Reno via 'The Loneliest Road in America'; Deborah Campbell tracks the elusive white Spirit Bear in a BC rainforest; Scott Russell Sanders eats lentil soup with his family in the middle of a tornado; Jake MacDonald remembers duck-hunting with his father; and Susan Olding ends up coaching a squad of high-school cheerleaders.
Learn more about our books and read some excerpts at Nonvella.com.
What will my money do?
We’re asking for $12,500 to tip us over and get these books published.
Here’s what your support will do (besides get you all the cool stuff you see on the right):
• Enable us to set up and manage our print-on-demand (POD) account
• Help us to publish, distribute and promote our first three titles as ebooks and attractive, collectible print books: The Silicon Rapture by Adam Pez; Foodville by Timothy Taylor; and our Far From Home anthology featuring essays by JB MacKinnon, Scott Russell Sanders, Deborah Campbell, Susan Olding and Jake MacDonald
• Help us secure deals for the next three original nonvellas
What's with the word 'nonvella'?
As noted above, we coined the word 'nonvella' for pieces that run to the length of a fictional novella (generally from 5K to 20K words).
When applied to journalism, pieces of this size are often called long-form. This name can be a bit confusing since pieces of 5K-20K words are long when compared to most magazine and newspaper articles, but short compared to books— and so some people end up calling them “short-form” instead.
We started calling them nonvellas, and we liked it. The name stuck. And with your help we hope the day will come when every spell-checker on the planet stops flagging it as a typo.
Will the ebooks be illustrated, hypertexted, video-embedded or otherwise enriched?
For now we’re focused on elegant and simple books that deliver a great story and don’t have a lot of extra doo-dads. But we’re not against doo-dads per se. With sufficient funding, we’ll explore including certain kinds of enriched content in our ebooks as we go forward.
What people have to say about us
Risks and challenges
Reward fulfillment challenges could come in three flavours: completing the ebook formatting/delivery process; ironing out our on-demand printing systems; and resolving cross-border shipping issues.
Hopefully none of these will cause delays, but we're new at this and our goal is to be a) efficient Canadian beavers in delivering our authors' works digitally and in print to backers and b) to be transparent about what's going on behind the scenes.
So if there are any delays, you'll know why— and when we estimate to have them all cleared up.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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