The Betrayal of Renegade X is the third book in the Renegade X series. In book one, Damien Locke, the 16-year-old son of one of Golden City's most notorious supervillains, finds out that he's also the son of the city's most beloved superhero and has to go live with him and his goody-goody hero family. There are currently four main books out, plus three novellas. Books 1 and 2 are already available in audio.
The purpose of this Kickstarter campaign is to fund the audiobook version of book 3, narrated by the amazing Phillip Russel Newman, who narrated the first two audiobooks in the series. (Check them out for a sample or scroll up and listen to the Kickstarter video!) Phil does a perfect job bringing all these characters to life, especially Damien, and I couldn't imagine anyone else voicing him!
Fans have been asking for the next Renegade X audiobook for years, and while I had several ships I thought were going to come in that would have funded it... nothing ever actually came through. But I love audiobooks, and I especially love these audiobooks (I might be slightly biased), and I wasn't about to give up on them.
I've done several successful Kickstarters in the past to raise money to publish other books in this series, so crowdfunding the next audiobook was definitely on my mind as a possibility. But I kept talking myself out of it, reminding myself that audiobooks are expensive and that we'd have to raise a lot to make this happen. And it's one thing to do that with the next book in the series, but another to do that just with the audio fanbase.
But then again, we raised enough to produce the book 2 audiobook during the Kickstarter to publish book 3 (which is still one of the most awesome things that has ever happened, so good job, guys!), so I may have underestimated just how much you guys want these audiobooks. Though it’s still a lot of money to raise in just a short time, which is always nerve-racking!
What all that boils down to is you guys now have the chance to make this happen. If this Kickstarter reaches its goal, the Betrayal audiobook will exist, both for backers and for future listeners. If we don't reach our goal, I'll still do my best to get this audiobook made sometime in the future - I won't give up on it - but there's no telling when that might be.
In book 1, Damien was forced to live with his dad and his hero family. In book 2, he started school at Heroesworth Academy and discovered his lightning power. In book 3...
Damien thinks he has the whole hero thing figured out—he's getting good grades at Heroesworth and acing all his missions—at least until he zaps an unarmed bad guy he believes tortured and murdered children. It turns out the “bad guy” was actually a superhero working with the school. The mission was staged, and Damien blew it.
Now his best friend refuses to work with him, his dad is considering getting him professional help, and everyone's questioning whether or not he has a future as a hero—including his grandpa, who will do anything to ensure Damien's future lies in villainy. His grandpa creates a villain organization called the Truth, intent on exposing the way heroes really treat villains. But when the Truth launches its plan and the whole city erupts in chaos, Damien is caught between the opposing sides, and his future is anything but certain.
With heroes and villains bent on destroying each other, it's up to him to do whatever it takes to stop the fighting, even if it means betraying the people closest to him.
Audiobooks are expensive to produce, and, as Damien said in the video, they take a lot of hard work! If this Kickstarter is successful, your pledges will pay for:
- About 12 hours of finished audio from the narrator and producer team who created the first two audiobooks you know and love (at $200 per finished hour, this is where most of the funding goes)
- Rewards for Kickstarter backers
- Kickstarter fees: 8 - 10% of the total amount raised
One of my goals for this kickstarter is to have incentives for everyone, not just the audiobook fans. So even if you haven’t listened to the audiobooks yet, there’s something for you here. It’s back-to-school themed – the only question is... will you be attending Vilmore or Heroesworth? >:)
Available items are:
- A mention on a thank-you page of my website.
- A special ebook omnibus of all four of the main Renegade X books, plus the three novellas, plus the never-before-seen Damien Locke's Guide to Superheroing (not to be confused with his guide to Golden City, which you can get for free when you sign up for my newsletter). This will be another short, humorous guide written by Damien and featuring commentary by Riley Perkins.
- The Betrayal of Renegade X audiobook, of course!
- Vilmore and Heroesworth school supplies: keychains, notebooks, T-shirts, and blankets.
- A diploma from either Heroesworth or Vilmore with your choice of major. (Or for those of you obviously going back to school, what with your notebooks and your T-shirts and whatnot, this is, like, a pre-diploma. Something to put above your desk as a motivator to get all your villain or hero homework done and stuff.)
- A recording of a short, personalized message of your choice read by Damien (or one of your other favorite Renegade X characters). This can be completely custom if you'd like, as in written by you, or I can make something up for you.
NOTE: ALL PHYSICAL REWARDS EXPECTED TO SHIP IN NOVEMBER.
Are you a hero or a villain? From the $35 tier and onward, there are two versions of the reward tiers - one for Vilmore and one for Heroesworth. Whichever school you choose will determine the rewards you get! Here are some handy visuals to help you decide:
An In-Depth Look
*Note that images of the physical products are previews from Zazzle and are approximations of what the items will look like.
These Vilmore and Heroesworth keychains feature the school seals, which include the dates the schools were established, along with the latin mottos.
The Vilmore motto, lupus non mordet lupum, means "a wolf does not bite a wolf," and promotes the idea that villains need to stick together, or at least not sell each other out too much.
The Heroesworth motto, opere et veritate, means "in action and deed," incorporating the belief that heroism should be enacted through everyday actions.
Diplomas are customizable with your name and major. You can choose from a predetermined list, or you can come up with your own, just like I did when I went to college! Pledge to the $135 tier or above to graduate cum laude! (That's how school works, right?)
Notebooks are 8.5" x 11", spiral, with 60 sheets/120 pages, college ruled, and have laminated front and back covers. They feature the school crests on the fronts and the school seals on the backs.
The Vilmore T-shirt reads Vilmore: Villainy at its finest since 1903. It's the shirt that Riley wears as part of his Halloween costume - if you can call it that - at the end of book 2, The Trials of Renegade X.
The Heroesworth shirt reads Heroesworth: Heroism done right. This pretty much encapsulates the whole Heroesworth vibe.
Both T-shirts are 100% cotton and are available in sizes Adult S through Adult 3X. See the size chart below for more info:
These polyester fleece blankets are 50" x 60" and are machine washable. They feature the school crests and are perfect for taking with you to watch the synchronized flying team or maybe Heroes on Ice. Extra points, of course, if you bring the Vilmore blanket to either of those events.
Risks and challenges
Risks for this project are very low. This is my fourth Kickstarter - all three in the past were successful - so I know what to expect. The audiobook narrator and producer team have worked on this series before, and we've used those projects to estimate the time needed to complete this one. While slight delays are still possible, since we're only human, they're pretty unlikely in this case. And the designs for the physical rewards are already done and will be produced and shipped through Zazzle, meaning once the funds come through, all I have to do is set up the orders and let them handle the rest, which will be much quicker and easier than if I had to order everything and then ship it out myself!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)