Hannuka story "The Princess, the Dragon, and the Baker"
A hungry dragon wants to eat people, but learns about jelly donuts instead! A fun fairy tale with deeper themes about Hanukka.
My name is Oren Litwin. I'm a grad student who loves writing and telling stories.
Three years ago, during the holiday of Chanuka, I was talking to a friend about the delicious holiday jelly donuts we eat (called "sufganiot"), when an idea for a story sprang into my head. By the end of the day I'd written my first draft of "The Princess, the Dragon, and the Baker"; when I was satisfied, I emailed it to some friends of mine as a Chanuka present. Then I let it sit on my hard drive, collecting digital dust. (By the way, you can read the full text of the story here.)
Every so often, I thought, "Hmm, it would be fun to have my story illustrated." But that's about as far as I got. After all, I'd have to hire illustrators, and then worry about publishing the book. And should I really take time away from my studies to publish a kid's book?
But at the back of my mind, Sufgan the dragon kept whispering to me. "My story is fun," he would say. "People like hearing it. Even more people would like reading it, won't they?" And he was right. Everyone who heard the story loved it, and wanted to know when the book was coming out. So how could I say no?
From Dream to Reality
Finally, I took the plunge. At the beginning of 2013, I commissioned two excellent artists to do the work, which they finished at the end of April. Now, I'm getting ready to have the book published. And here's where you come in.
I had hoped to make the book available on Amazon.com and other retail sites, and the best way to do that, it seemed, was to do Print on Demand so I wouldn't have to shell out money to print books in advance. But because the book is hardback and in premium color, the base printing cost for my book that Ingram Spark would charge is about $10 a copy, plus shipping. Since retailers generally demand a 55% discount off of cover price, I'd have to price the book at $30 just to make a couple of bucks! And that's a bit too much for a kid's book.
Instead, I'd like to hire a printer to produce a lot of copies upfront, for much less cost per book. That way, you have the chance to order your copy for a much more reasonable price. But for this to work, I need your help.
This is where you get the good stuff! If you want to chip in any amount, even a buck, you'll get the digital version of "The Princess, the Dragon, and the Baker" for your preferred reading device.
For $12, you also get a beautiful copy of "The Princess, the Dragon, and the Baker" in glorious hardback and full color. Guaranteed to delight children and adults, and maybe even teach some deep lessons in the process!
For $30, you get the Family Pack: three copies of the book, so everyone can read at the same time.
For $80, you get the Extended Family Pack: ten (count them, ten) copies of the book, for those with large families or lots of friends.
But Wait, There's More!
My Chanuka fairy tale is almost ready to go. Alas, that means that the art is already done, and I can't offer any giveaways like art sponsorships and cameos like some other Kickstarter projects do. Fortunately, I've written another fairy tale for Purim!
This fairy tale has brave guardsmen, nefarious robbers, and stout townsfolk, in a delightful story where a lowly kitchen boy puts on the uniform of the royal guard to save the princess. And for people who want a truly special reward, this is a great opportunity for a cameo.
What's a cameo? If you contribute generously, you can send in a picture of yourself, or someone you want to give a gift to. When we do the art for the Purim story, we will design one of the characters with the face you choose!
So for $1000, you get the Cameo: everything in the Extended Family Pack plus having a character in the book look like someone you know.
Now, this special reward won't come as quickly as the copies of "The Princess, the Dragon, and the Baker" because I haven't yet chosen the right artist for the next book. But the Purim book will be rolling before too long—especially if I get a good response to the Chanuka book, hint hint...
This project will only fund if we can raise $5,000 so that I can pay the printer. That by itself would be awesome, because it means that a lot of people will be able to enjoy the story of Chanoch the baker and Sufgan the dragon. But I think we can make things even more awesome. How, you ask? Let me tell you...
If we raise $7,000, I will produce an audiobook of the story, and provide it as a digital sound file to everyone who pledged at the $12 level or above. That way, children or adults can read along in the book and look at the artwork while the audiobook is playing. How cool is that?
If we raise $8,000, the audiobook will have a cool soundtrack and sound effects!
If, God-willing, we should raise even more than that, I'll have to figure out more fun things to do for stretch goals. (If you have any ideas, please let me know with a comment!)
Thank you for your support, and have a happy Chanuka!
Risks and challenges
The book is already written and illustrated, and is formatted for printing. The biggest risks are that selecting a printer, printing it out, and getting it to you in the mail might take longer than I anticipate. My hope is to get all the books in the mail by this Chanuka; if that can't happen in time I'll have to apologize profusely. But rest assured, the books will be printed and mailed out, Scout's honor.
The Cameo rewards will depend on my selecting a reliable artist for the next project who is okay with taking input on character designs. But I will make it a criterion of the job.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)