Hello and welcome to my kickstarter page! I am immensely happy to see so many of you here--especially those of you who are familiar with neither this book, my work, nor my person. I can only hope that some of you have stumbled upon this page because you are a lover of stories who happens to find his-or-her-self in the right place at the right time, just like our friend, the Baron Pan Bordolo. (for an overview of the story, check out the synopsis below or watch the video.)
Thanks for checking out my page, and I hope the holiday spirit puts you in the donating spirit. (The writer would be grateful.)
UPDATE: Goal Reached! - So, as you can see, my initial fundraising goal was already reached (within 36 hours of posting no less), which is awesome, but if you're still interested in helping to back this project, the excess funds will continue to be put to use. And I will attempt to make this process a little juicier and more interesting for all of you who have and are going to donate by including add-on appreciation tokens as well as incentives for your help in advertising.
+ Origin Stories: In the video, you may have noticed a drawing of four gentlemen: an old man, a short man, a giant man, and a thin man. I have written/will be continuing to write short stories regarding these characters' origins. As an add-on to donation tiers, any pledge of 12 or more will afford you a story of your choice as companion to the novel. (character descriptions and available short stories are listed below)
+ Storytelling Podcasts: There has been a TON of interest in the audiobook, and a lot of people have told me they wan to just wait until that comes out. What if I told them that I will be recording chapters online in unlisted Youtube videos that will only be available to backers? I will be reading and recording the introduction and prologue as soon as possible (within a week or two) and will post the links for backers, but let's create a group incentive for hearing more. If the fundraiser doubles my goal, I will read and post five more chapters; if I hit three times, five more, and so on. (There are seventy-two chapters in the book, so I don't expect to exhaust this incentive.)
For more information on me and a convenient way to contact with questions, check out my blog at mikejackwrites.tumblr.com
The Project - Basically, I'm publishing a novel. Not-so-basically, I'm raising the money for the equipment and the time needed to record the novel as an audiobook. Even-less-basically-or-directly, I'm creating a following and fan-base for the series of 'origins' stories I've been writing for the characters in the novel, as requested by people who have read the book and want to know how and where the Baron found his crew: the old man, the short man, the giant man, the thin man, and the woman.
The self-publishing package I'm using and have already purchased includes copy-editing, interior and exterior design and formatting, professional binding, proper registration with the library of congress, online advertisements and marketing campaigns, and registration with over two-dozen online book-sellers. Luckily, this whole package cost me $1129; unluckily, even while retro-paying on credit, it's something I can barely afford, and once it's done, I won't have enough money to print copies of my own book which I want to physically sell and market. The $1001 fundraiser will cover enough of the publishing costs and provide me with just enough startup to get this book going.
The Audiobook - When I first wrote the book, I edited and revised it through read-alouds, which were a great way for me to not only hear the story, but to really grow into and embody the characters and see other peoples' reaction to that process. I love performing, doing voices, and telling stories, and because I believe that this narrator's style is better heard than read, I'm going to be recording myself reading the book regardless.
The quality of said recordings and whether I register it as a bonafide selling-on-Amazon-dot-com audiobook will come down to pledges for this project. I will be recording segments of my read-alouds during this fundraiser and posting them on youtube, so stay-tuned for updates, which I will post here.
The Novel's Synopsis - 'The Baron Would Be Proud' is a storyteller's story, set in the tall-tale early 1800s. It tells the story of the nearly unreachable and inescapable town of Adleship Isle, the one man who guards the art of safely passing through it, and a traveler--calling himself a Baron--who stumbles into the town that year. Because they are both well-to-do gentlemen and traveling merchants, their being snowed into the Isle for the winter creates a "this town ain't big enough for the two of us" dynami.
However, the narrator will tell you that's not what his book is about. He maintains that it's the story of the young man Julian who lives in the town and who, in the style of fairy-tales and musical-theatre, finds himself inexplicably in love with the daughter of the mayor. In order to get her to notice him, he offers to put up the strange new traveler and his crew for the winter, and the stranger, a proud Baron named Pan Bordolo, decides that the only way to aptly repay young Julian's kindness is to help him win his lady.
Unfortunately, the Baron finds this and other endeavors somewhat blocked by seven cardinal rules of traveling merchants:
1 - You may not claim any false pretense for your arrival in a new territory
2 - You may not lie about the function or value of items you buy or sell
3 - You may not kill anyone (unless first attacked)
4 - You may not provoke anyone to attack you so that you may kill them and thus comply with the self-defense caveat of rule 3
5 - You may not sleep with influential men or women
6 - You may not rearrange the social structure of any community for your or anyone else's benefit
7 - You may not, having assembled a greater knowledge of science and superstition, take advantage of any people by pretending to be a god--in other words, DON'T PLAY GOD!
One other charming how-you-do of this fundraiser's connection to the story is it begins and ends on the same days that the Baron Pan Bordolo finds himself in the town of Adleship Isle. (Because the story largely takes place between the 19th of December and New Year's Day, I was considering having it end then, but I figured I'd give people a little more time to pledge.)
Available Origin Stories: Of the six origin stories, the following four (that follow the characters who follow the Baron) will be available to donors. Choose from the list below once the fundraising deadline is up, and you will receive your companion short story.
-Oswald (the old man), the Baron's loyal friend, historian, and culture expert
-Geru (the short man), the Baron's scientist, surgeon, and resident elitist
-Pigby (the giant man), the Baron's sweet, sentimental muscle man and mathematician
-Fletcher (the thin man), the Baron's charming, loophole-finding, storytelling minstrel and morale captain
- (34 days)