STRETCH GOAL ACHIEVED!! HARDCOVER IS GO!!
Hi, I'm Jeff, the Starshipwright. I'm a professional artist & designer working in the game biz for more than a decade. I've done concept art, cinematics and UI work on nearly a dozen published titles, including BioShock Collection, Prey, Evolve and Sunset Overdrive. I've even done some ships for the TV shows V and Falling Skies.
I love sci-fi, especially spaceships and other hardware. I grew up on Star Trek, Star Wars, original Battlestar, Space: 1999 & UFO, even Star Blazers (which of course we all know is really Space Battleship Yamato). For games, I played anything at an arcade that was even remotely sci-fi, as well as computer games like Wing Commander, Descent, Space Quest, X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter, Halo... countless others. Since childhood I've been accumulating toys and models and art books full of futuristic wonders.
A couple of years ago, I found a blank sketchbook in one of my office drawers, and on a whim started sketching a new spaceship in it every day, then tweeting it out to the world. I wound up with a pretty big pile of sketches like this one:
I've wanted and planned to collect them in a book ever since, and after much work I'm ready to bring you Starshipwright One.
The book will be 11" wide x 8.5" high. It's got well over 150 different designs on 96 pages. More than 40 of them have been cleaned up and rendered in color, with about a dozen showing step-by-step process of how I take them to a high level of finish.
Finally, two ships go all the way to 3D models with renders.
This Kickstarter is to raise the funds to print a starter-sized run of softcover copies of the book. I've found an excellent printer right here in the United States whose price, quality and reputation are equal to printers overseas, with a much faster turnaround time that allows your rewards to be shipped out to USA addresses in time for the 2017 Holidays (International addresses may not make it before year-end, but we'll do our very best). If successful, your $20 pledge (plus shipping) will make you one of the first to hold Starshipwright One in your own hands.
For an extra US$10 pledge, I'll sketch a unique original ship for you inside the book. And, if you're feeling extra generous and you happen to like toy spaceships (who doesn't?), there are tiers that include either one random ship from my 2017 series, or a full set of all three ships, for a little larger pledge and, happily, no extra shipping cost.
The ships come right off my 3D printer, in ABS plastic and Kickstarter-exclusive colors, and have a sticker sheet for a quick dress-up. If you're craft-inclined, feel free to sand and paint them any way you like!
There's a major stretch goal on the board, too. More about that when the time comes.
The book is nearly finished, in the final touches stage. By the time this Kickstarter ends, the files will already be at the printer, cleared by the prepress department, and ready to go to press.
So if you or someone you know is a big fan of sci-fi spaceship art, here's a great idea for a holiday present that will give them (or you) many hours of enjoyment!
Time And Space
The project timeline is simple. The Kickstarter will close on 15 October; at that time the print files will already be at the printer, ready to be proofed. The proof/corrections process should take no more than two weeks, so on or about 1 November latest the job should be ready for press. The printer has asked for 25 business days from press-ready to ship-ready, which puts them on the truck about 5 December, at my place about 12 December. It's entirely possible they'll get the books to me faster than that.
I will have *all* the shipping labels printed and my pick-pack line all set up long before the books arrive! International packages will go out first, starting with countries farthest away. I plan to then spend the weekend of 12/16-17 getting everything else wrapped and ready for USPS pick up on Monday 18 December. The last USPS ship date to make it to US addresses is 23 December, so I'm confident all US backers will get their package on time.
Dollars and Sense
Here's the financial breakdown of the minimum successful funding for a press run of 1,000 softcover copies (USD):
- Printing, binding, bulk shipping: $5,850
- ISBN Numbers & Barcodes: $ 400
- Kickstarter Fee (5%): $ 300
- Card Processor Fees (5%) $ 300
- Contingency Reserve (~15%) $ 900
- Total: $7,750
At the base tier with one copy shipped in the US, the project needs 311 backers to fund. I anticipate the vast majority of sales to be in the US, although I know there are a few fans in the UK.
The "Contingency Reserve" is a safety margin to handle or at least soften unexpected problems. For instance, it's theoretically possible that the only backers are 141 Australians, which would mean funding success - but would also mean shipping would cost $4,935, leaving only $2,820 available to actually print the book. That's an extreme example, just for illustration. (If that actually happens, I'll work out some other way to ship and distribute there.)
The spaceship toys are already accounted for; I have plenty of filament on hand as well as all the ink, sticker sheet paper and packaging materials needed. Since even a full set of 3 will fit into the same Priority Mail package with one book, the shipping cost remains the same. In the event there are many orders for multiple books and ship sets, the Contingency Reserve should take care of any excess shipping charges.
Thanks so much for your time and consideration. Here's to success!
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk to this project is simple: some circumstance not under my control makes either the printing or the shipping run late, which may keep your rewards from arriving before the holidays.
Before I was a game artist, I spent more than a decade working in printing and prepress on all kinds of publications including books like this one. I've helped many of my friends who make comics to get their own print books done. Suffice it to say that I'm confident that the files I send to print will be error-free, and my interaction with the printing company will be smooth - in fact it already has been.
While this is my first personal Kickstarter, I was part of two other Kickstarters that were successful in both funding and fulfillment with my friend Bill Barnes https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/billba/about related to our webcomic Not Invented Here https://www.notinventedhe.re
In addition to that experience, I've gotten extensive notes from other friends who have years of experience knocking Kickstarters out of the park, like Spike Trotman http://ironcircus.com and David Malki https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/malki/about
I've done my math, checked it twice and had others check it, too.
Another risk is that my 3D printers won't be able to print enough ships fast enough to satisfy demand (unlikely), or that they might break in some way that prevents me from using them to print the ships (more likely). Should that happen, I have various options including getting friends with 3D printers to help, or just plain buying a new printer. Either way, the toys could be delayed in shipping; if so, I'll ship them separately when they are done at no extra cost to you.
Essentially, barring Random Acts of Nature or some kind of "out of left field" unexpected life event, this project should proceed in a straightforward way. If the Kickstarter succeeds but something blows up after funding, I'm going to ship it anyway, as soon as possible, period.
Finally, if this Kickstarter isn't successful, I will still release the book as a PDF file in time for the holidays. Both the PDF and the spaceship toys will be available in my own web store in that case, and I'll send everyone who pledges all the info you'll need to take advantage of that.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)