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Short stories of ordinary warriors facing extraordinary challenges in times ancient and modern, by new and experienced authors.
Short stories of ordinary warriors facing extraordinary challenges in times ancient and modern, by new and experienced authors.
34 backers pledged $1,269 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Have you ever wished that people could publish the books that you wanted to read? Now, you can make that wish a reality! The Odds Are Against Us will be an anthology of military-fiction short stories, broadly defined, that celebrate the courage of those who push on despite the likelihood of failure. (Read the details here.) Open to new and experienced authors, this anthology is meant to serve an unfairly neglected genre—providing a place to tell stories about honor, will, cunning, and the other martial virtues that we admire.

The goal is to publish ten or more short stories, of between 3,500 and 7,000 words, and to pay the authors fairly for their work. Your donations will help support the authors whose work you want to read! (It's part of a concept I like to call audience-driven writing.)

Why The Odds are Against Us?

It's a win-win: You get to read awesome stories in a genre you like, with themes you care about. Authors get a new home for their writing, at a time when military fiction has few publishers outside of Baen (praise Baen!). One of the things I've been most surprised about since announcing this anthology is how many submitting authors have thanked me for providing a new venue—opportunities for military fiction seem few and far between. Let's change that together.

But don't just take my word for it; listen to noted crime author Frank Scalise, AKA Frank Zafiro:

In fact, the opportunity here is even bigger than that. This is only Step One of a larger plan—which you can read about below, or by clicking here.

How will we use the funding?

When I announced the first Call for Submissions, I guaranteed that selected authors would be paid $25. But really, that's not a lot of money for a short story. The main goal of this Kickstarter is to raise funds to pay our authors what they are worth.

If this project funds, the first thing will be to immediately pay all accepted authors $100—bringing the compensation level close to industry standards for short stories. At the initial funding level, that lets me publish seven short stories (after subtracting Kickstarter's fees and my own expenses thus far).

The more money we get, the better the anthology becomes:

$1,500:           Publish 10 short stories

$2,000:           Get even better cover art!

$2,500:           Author payments go up to $125

$3,000:           Publish 12 short stories

$4,000:           Author payments go up to $150

If we get the funding, expect this space to be updated—I would love to publish even more stories, and to pay the authors even more for their work! (Maximum author payment $1,000 per short story. We'd have to get a lot of donations to hit this level, but just saying…)

Call for Submissions

This is a good place to say that we will be accepting submissions until the beginning of April. (Click the link for submission requirements. If you ignore these, your work will be rejected!) If you are an author of military fiction and you want your work published, I'm happy to read your submissions!

Since this anthology was first announced, we have received several excellent stories. As promised, three of these pre-Kickstarter submissions have been selected for inclusion, by the following authors:

John M. Floyd

Sophie G. Michaels

Jim J. Wilsky

Jake Lithua

Joseph Benedetto  (new!)

Ron Farina  (new!)

(Watch this space for more authors as the Kickstarter continues.)

Backer Rewards

On the sidebar, you can see the ways in which we will say "Thank you!" for your support. First of all, you'll be getting to read the stories! Beyond that, there are extra perks like being Tuckerized (getting to name a character after yourself), getting an art print of the book cover—or even becoming a Patron of the Arts! Because, you see, this is only the beginning…

The Master Plan

Have you ever scanned the shelves of a bookstore or browsed Amazon and thought to yourself, “I wish there were a book I could buy that spoke to my tastes”? Do you prefer a particular type of read—say, Cambellian sci-fi with high politics, or time-travel romance with cross-dressing werewolves, or literary musings on the deep existentialist nature of pawnshops—that no one seems to be writing anymore?

Well, together we can change that. The master plan is for audience members to say what kind of book they want to read, pool their money, and attract a skilled author eager to give you the book you want. Kickstarter is the perfect vehicle to get this idea rolling. Imagine: you won't be waiting and hoping that someone happens to write something you like—you can help make it happen in the first place!

Add Ons

Quick Explanation: Kickstarter doesn't really have an intuitive way to do add-ons, and the process can be confusing, so here's a quick explanation. To add one of the below onto your current pledge, just click on the "Manage Your Pledge" button at the top right of the page, click in the "Pledge Amount" box, and change the pledge amount to reflect the addition of the amount of the add-on you want.  

Example: if your current pledge amount is $10, and you want to add a $5 add-on, you would click into the "Pledge Amount" box and change the pledge amount to $15. At the end of the Kickstarter, we'll send out a questionnaire to find out what add-ons you contributed for.

We will be coming up with more add-ons as the project proceeds. Here is what we have so far:

Additional paperback copies:        $10

Risks and challenges

This will be my fourth published book. The anthology will absolutely be created and published as an ebook, barring acts of God. Creating the print edition and mailing books out will be slightly more complicated, but not much.

The biggest risk is that we don't get as many high-quality story submissions as we would like. So far we've received several excellent stories, and a successful Kickstarter will surely encourage more authors to submit, given that our effective payment rates would be relatively high. You can help by spreading the word so that more authors see the opportunity!

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

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    You'll receive updates from the project as we go, along with the opportunity to purchase add-ons once the project funds.

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    Backers will receive an ebook of "The Odds Are Against Us."

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    Fiction Lover

    The ebook, plus you will be thanked in the "Acknowledgments" page.

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    Military Buff

    You will receive a paperback copy of the anthology, plus the ebook, plus you will be thanked in the "Acknowledgments" page.

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    Hard-Boiled Hero

    All of the above, plus you will receive a digital copy of the "Ania" trilogy by Frank Zafiro and Jim Wilsky: "Blood on Blood," "Queen of Diamonds," and "Closing the Circle".

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    Red-Shirt

    All of the above, plus a character in a short-story will be named after you, or someone you choose!

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    Art Aficionado

    All of the above, plus an art print of the book cover! (A range of sizes and frames available for an additional cost.)

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    Patron of the Arts

    All of the above, plus YOU, yes YOU, can determine the theme for our next anthology!

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Funding period

- (30 days)