About this project
If I hit 16K the one and only Patrick Rothfuss will be added to the calendar!
Should we hit 16K, I'll photograph Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs together (they're married, after all, and adorable), which will open a spot for Pat's photo. I'll also add his signature rewards (bookplates, photos, etc.).
Note: Feel free to donate now and select no prize if you aren't a fan of any other author but want to support the project in hopes that Pat gets added. You can always go back in and select a prize once that happens (check the other prizes for price equivalents).
I am back for another round, ready and excited to give the world more amazing author photographs.This calendar will bring you twelve different photos of world-famous fantasy authors in gorgeous custom costumes I create myself.
But I need your help! I’ve got the ideas, I’ve got the authors, and we’re ready to bring you another outstanding fantasy calendar. But the costs of making over a dozen custom costumes and props, and the travel involved to shoot the photos all over the United States in a six-month period, are more than I can finance alone. So I need your help to bring Fantasy Calendar 2.0 into existence.
Each photo will tell a story, and though they will range from light to dark in essence, overall there will be a dreamy, ethereal feel to the images. From what I’ve seen, this project is the first and only of its kind to bring authors together in such a way and is truly something unique. I had such an amazing time creating the first calendar that I wanted to continue this wonderful project.
My name's Lauren Zurchin. Some of you may know me from my award-winning photography (including last year's Beyond Words calendar), others may know me from Lytherus.com and The Inheritance Cycle Book Club podcasts on Shurtugal.com. But basically I’m a fantasy-loving bibliophile who does photography to make a living and manages a book department on a scifi/fantasy website for fun.
This calendar is a way to bring fantasy images and the creators of fantasy together in a fun and unique way. the initial idea for this project came after experiencing some wonderful fine art photography and wanting to put a distinctive twist on the concept. Who better to be the subjects of fantasy-based photos than the creators of fantasy themselves? Thanks to my author connections from the website I work for I was able to do some great networking, and the project was born. I also wanted to make sure the images were available to fans of the authors, and to the world in general. A calendar seemed like a great, accessible way to achieve that.
After months of coordinating, I've put together an amazing line-up of authors who are excited to participate in this project:
- Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Series)
- Jim Butcher (The Harry Dresden Files, The Codex Alera)
- Melissa de la Cruz (The Blue Bloods series, Witches of East End)
- Tony DiTerlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles, The WondLa series)
- Kami Garcia (The Beautiful Creatures novels, The Legion Series)
- Lev Grossman (The Magicians series)
- Robin Hobb (The Liveship Traders Trilogy, The Rain Wild Chronicles)
- Tahereh Mafi (The Shatter Me Series)
- Garth Nix (The Abhorsen Trilogy, The Keys to the Kingdom Series)
- Ransom Riggs (The Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Series)
- Margaret Stohl (The Beautiful Creatures novels, The Icons Series)
- Scott Westerfeld (The Leviathan Trilogy, The Uglies Series)
Like last year's calendar I’m going to be designing and creating custom costumes for each author and putting together custom props that fit with the themes of the individual photos. I am deliberately not going with expected themes (an author becoming one of their characters, for example), but the overall vibe will be one within the broad term of "fantasy".
Last year I was lucky enough to exceed my Kickstarter goal by around $6500. Even so I still ended up going over by a few thousand. After everything got distributed (see chart below), I ended up having around $500 per author for travel, and $500 per author for costumes and props. This wasn't a lot, and I was able to make it work by grouping the shoots into a few big trips (and couch crashing when I could), and by getting creative for the photos -- and due to the generosity of some awesome people who helped me. This year's finances are shaping up to distribute in a similar fashion, with some adjustments to make a few parts of the project more financially efficient.
Of course, I'd love to do even more (bigger sets, fancier props, more elaborate costumes, pay my graphic designer extra, etc.), but it will completely depend on what sort of funding comes in. The more Kickstarter funding, the better the final product.
Here's how the money last year was spent (I rounded for ease):
Both Kickstarter and Amazon take a cut of the total, plus you have to figure in credit cards that didn't clear. This is gone right off the top.
This was the cost of the costumes and props, general things like the t-shirts and duct tape to make the costume busts I needed for measurements, paying my graphic designer, and anything else I needed to actually acquire for the calendar itself, whether for the shoot or general creation.
This was mainly gas, the occasional hotel when I couldn't stay with a friend, and food while traveling around to get the photos. The authors are extremely busy, and for this to work I had to come to them and they'd fit me into their crazy schedules. Even though it's a large chunk of the money, it's a necessary part of the project.
This is what it cost to make all the Kickstarter prizes and various packaging things for mailing them out.
This was for sending out the Kickstarter prizes and for shipping things to the authors to be signed. This is where I lost money; I wasn't prepared for the sheer amount of cost for this. I will be better prepared this year.
THIS IS A 2016 CALENDAR. What does that mean and why?
Last year, I shot and made the calendar by October of 2013, which gave me some time to get it ready for sale for the 2014 year. However, all the big chain bookstores like B&N and Books-a-Million, because of the way their budgeting is, purchase calendars a year in advance. For me to have a chance of getting this calendar into the big stores, which is my intention, I needed to push the actual release a year forward. I will be shooting the images this summer and fall, and plan on having a completed product by the beginning of 2015, which will allow me to submit it for approval to the big stores for the 2016 year. This is also why prizes aren't until early next year, because I will be spending the rest of this year shooting, editing, and producing the images and the final product.
Prizes for Kickstarter have to relate to the project in some way. All of the authors were awesome enough to sign various items, like prints and bookplates, in a limited quantity. There are also nice combo packs with personalized items, and even a few different prizes, like a skype chat with me, a behind the scenes book, and the big prize of a photo shoot with me (one girl did this last year and we had a blast!). If you're interested in getting one of these items, especially the limited number signed things, make sure you move fast before they're all gone. But be sure to scroll to the end, there are lots and lots of goodies being offered!
This is a chance to create fantasy art with the masters of fantasy themselves as the subjects. Nothing like this has ever been done before in this exact manner. This is also a chance to see your favorite author in a new light, from a new perspective. These photo concepts are the best I've ever had in my creative life, and I feel confident that these will be the best photographs I have ever taken.
You can get something extra with add-ons! You just include the amount for the add-on to your pledge, and then let me know what you want. (If you've already pledged and want to add-on you will need to click the "Manage Your Pledge" button, then adjust the total amount to include your add-on). I will ask you for this info when I send out the surveys at the end!
Please add an additional $2 for international shipping (on top of any other international shipping). Enjoy!
Single postcard of the author of your choice- $10
single bookmark with the author of your choice- $10
Set of three bookmarks with all 12 images on them- $15
5x7 print of the author of your choice (NOT SIGNED)- $15
Set of twelve postcards- $20
8x10 print of the author of your choice (NOT SIGNED)- $25
With the success of last year's Kickstarter I was able to bring my vision for the first calendar to life. Here are the final results, in alphabetical order:
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge from this project last year was working with all the author schedules. One of the prizes was sent out much later than expected, because I was at the mercy of author travel schedules and when they could fit in the signatures. I'm going to try and mail things sooner, and hopefully I left enough time to realistically get prizes out to everyone.
Also, to save money, I'm going to group more than one photo shoot per trip, which should help keep costs down. But the main challenges with this will be in coordinating each author’s schedule within a single trip. Each author I spoke with has approved a shoot during summer or fall, allowing for a great deal of flexibility in coordinating with them. Should I face a setback with one author’s schedule, that photo shoot can be scheduled on its own with a time that works best for that author. I'm sure other things will come up, but like I said above, timing and schedules are the greatest challenge. However, all of these authors are willing to work with me, so I'm not worried about getting all of the photos taken. :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The only way that I've found to get more than one reward is to create two different accounts. You are free to add-on the unsigned prizes to one account, like bookmarks and postcards, but when it comes to signature items, which are limited, you have to place two separate orders. Sorry, there doesn't seem to be an easier way around this.