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A comprehensive, curated, printed guide to Detroit featuring 750 sites, attractions, and curiosities from the essential to the obscure.
A comprehensive, curated, printed guide to Detroit featuring 750 sites, attractions, and curiosities from the essential to the obscure.
472 backers pledged $19,622 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$19,622

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Edited by siblings and lifelong, seventh-generation Detroiters Emily, Andy, and Rob Linn, Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider’s Guide to Detroit will be the first comprehensive, printed guide to the city in a generation. 

Andy and Emily own two shops in Detroit called City Bird and Nest and have had the privilege of meeting visitors to the city every day and talking to them about their experiences. Through these interactions, they realized that in many ways Detroit is an underground city that can be extremely difficult to navigate without a guide. It’s a 300-year-old city with a rich history and cultural heritage and an exciting present, but that there hasn’t been a comprehensive printed guide to Detroit since the 1980s!

The book will feature a carefully-curated selection of more than 750 favorite Detroit attractions, sites, institutions, events, restaurants, bars, and curiosities from the essential to the obscure, from throughout the city. We edited the book with help from 30 Detroit-based writers and researchers, and incorporated ideas from more than 300 local residents representing a wide range of ages and diverse backgrounds, and residing in every corner of the city. The book will showcase well-known establishments, bring much-needed attention to their more obscure counterparts, and put contemporary Detroit in a broad context by painting portraits of the city’s historic neighborhoods, sharing stories of its history and traditions, and detailing the people and culture that have made – and continue to make – the city great. In addition to reviews, it will feature hand-drawn illustrations, maps, and categorical lists.

Now in the final stages of editing, we are nearly ready to go to press and we need your help to get there. We’re thrilled to be working with Inland Press - a 117-year-old print shop in Detroit - to print this guide, and need to raise $8,000 to pay for the initial printing of the book. Please join us in creating Belle Isle to 8 Mile and help Detroit have it’s own guidebook!  Donate to pre-order your copy of the book and to take advantage of some of the other great rewards we are offering.

Essential for tourists and new residents, but informative and interesting for the well-acquainted, the curious, and any fan of Detroit, Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider’s Guide to Detroit will be your handbook for unlocking the city.

Thank you for your support!

** UPDATE **  We’re so incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support for this project.  Thanks to your generosity we have reached our original funding goal more quickly than we ever dreamed!  Thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered copies of the guide and backed the campaign so far - for your generosity, kindness, and for your interest in the guide and in Detroit!

Since beginning this project, it has been our hope to be able to donate copies of the book to libraries throughout Metro Detroit and Michigan to make the information more widely-available and to encourage visitors to come explore the city fully.  Now that we have reached our original goal, we'd like to continue the momentum of this campaign to be able to afford to donate these library copies.

There are 691 public libraries in Michigan. For every additional $25 pledged above our original goal, we will be able to donate a copy to another library (in addition to sending out the rewards listed for individual pledge amounts).

Thank you for all your support! - Emily, Andy and Rob

Risks and challenges

While there have been many challenges that we have encountered throughout the course of this project, upon the completion of this Kickstarter campaign, our greatest challenge will be fulfilling the immediate demand for the book from donor rewards and early orders, in terms of both timing and capacity. To meet this challenge, we have built in extra time in each phase of the end of the project to allow for unexpected delays. Additionally, to provide the capacity needed to fulfill orders during the busy holiday season, we will be shipping the books out of our store, which already has a system in place to handle the volume.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    High five! Our sincere thanks and a Belle Isle to 8 Mile Pin (pick up at City Bird, Andy and Emily's store in Detroit, only)

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    We'll mail you three limited-edition Belle Isle to 8 Mile postcards (to mail to your friends or keep for yourself!) and a set of three special Detroit-themed stickers.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A copy of the guide hot off the presses and mailed straight to your door!

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    298 backers
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    A signed, limited-edition print of one of Emily Linn's illustrations from the guide. You can pick from Michigan Central Station, Hitsville USA (the Motown Museum), or Eastern Market. Here is a sample: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/21008948/easternmarket.jpg

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A copy of the guide signed by the three editors mailed straight to your door AND your name in the thank you section of the book!

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    51 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A signed copy of the guide AND your name in the thank you section of the book AND a signed, limited-edition print of one of Emily Linn's illustrations from the guide. You can pick from Michigan Central Station, Hitsville USA (The Motown Museum), or Eastern Market. Here is a sample: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/21008948/easternmarket.jpg

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    One-stop holiday shopping! Four copies of the guide signed by the three editors mailed straight to your door AND your name in the thank you section of the book!

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    50 backers
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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    A limited-edition Detroit Nicknames print designed for us by the legendary Hatch Show Print in Nashville (print looks like this: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/21008948/nicknames.jpg) AND a signed copy of the guide AND your name in the thank you section of the book AND a hand signed, limited edition print of one of Emily Linn's illustrations from the guide. You can pick from Michigan Central Station, Hitsville USA (The Motown Museum), or Eastern Market. Here is a sample: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/21008948/easternmarket.jpg

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    An exclusive night on the town with the Belle Isle to 8 Mile crew! As part of a small group of VIPs, we’ll take you and a friend to four of our favorite off-the-beaten-path evening hangouts around Detroit. Transportation and refreshments provided. You’ll also get a signed copy of the guide AND your name in the thank you section of the book. While the book will be delivered in December, the evening adventure will be scheduled in early 2013.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Join the Belle Isle to 8 Mile folks at an intimate riverside party at an historic home on the Detroit River where we’ll enjoy refreshments and a bonfire by the water. In addition to an invitation to the event for you and a friend, you'll get your name in the thank you section of the book and we'll mail you a signed copy! The book will be delivered in December and the party will be held in early 2013.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Call in the pros! Visiting Detroit sometime soon? Let us plan your trip for you based on your interests and tastes! We'll create a customized itinerary for your Detroit vacation from start to finish (up to two weeks). As part of your trip, we’ll take you and a guest out to dinner - our treat. You’ll also get a signed copy of the guide AND your name in the thank you section of the book.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Want a special, one-of-a-kind, original drawing of your house or favorite building? With this reward, you get a custom black and white hand-drawn illustration of the site or building of your choosing by Emily Linn, the illustrator of Belle Isle to 8 Mile, AND you and a guest will be invited to the exclusive night on the town with the Belle Isle to 8 Mile crew, refreshments and transportation included AND you’ll get your name in the thank you section of the book AND we'll mail you a signed copy! We'll mail you the book in December, but the illustration will arrive in 2013, based on your communication with the artist. Here is a sample of Emily’s work: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/21008948/easternmarket.jpg

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Let us help you plan your next trip to Detroit by creating a customized itinerary just for you (up to two weeks). We'll also set you up for two nights in our favorite bed and breakfast - Honor and Folly in Corktown (subject to date availability) and we'll transport you to and from the airport (or other place of your choosing within 40 miles). As part of your trip, we’ll take you and a guest out to dinner - our treat. You'll also get your name in the thank you section of the book and we’ll mail you a signed copy!

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Funding period

- (26 days)