About this project
A Tale of Two Advocates of Women's Rights
The project is to publish and promote the literary non-fiction book I have written called Crossing Swords: Mary Baker Eddy vs. Victoria Claflin Woodhull and the Battle for the Soul of Marriage. It is a comparative biography of two influential advocates of women's rights, who had polar opposite political views on marriage and sexuality. The book includes both a history of the institution of marriage in America and a dramatic storyline about two very different trailblazing women. The story features cameo appearances by many famous American civic leaders of the 19th century as they were involved in discussions on marriage. The contentious climax of the story in the mid-1870s is an aspect of the early women's rights movement most people have never heard about. I call it a book about the marriage debate in America in the 1870s, or the untold story of America's 19th-century culture war!
I began my research by trying to set Christian leader Mary Baker Eddy's statements on marriage into historic context. I found a brief mention of a fierce disagreement between Eddy and Victoria Woodhull in a footnote and was curious to learn more. Like most people today I had never heard of Woodhull, yet she had a remarkable career and was one of the most famous women in America: the first woman to run for US President! The more I learned about Woodhull's public statements, the more I saw them as a superb counterpoint for the views of Mary Baker Eddy who founded a world-wide organization which includes the news source The Christian Science Monitor. My research work sheds new light on both Eddy and Woodhull and is relevant to current issues, the progress of women's leadership, and it contributes to the sometimes neglected female side of history -- "herstory"!
A New Angle on Familiar Issues
The #1 word early reviewers have used to describe this book is "fascinating." Crossing Swords provides a new angle on some very familiar social issues. In some ways, the disagreement between Eddy and Woodhull represents two opposing American view points which are still at odds today. Yet the issues in the 1870s were different enough from today's issues to make it fresh and thought-provoking. I hope my book will be an enlightening historical and philosophical exploration for readers of any religious and political background.
Read More About this Book
You can read more about the book at www.Crossing-Swords.com. You can read reviews, see the table of contents, read the Preface and Introduction. There is an author biography and an interview telling more about how the book came to be. As this website develops there will be updates about events and progress.
How You Can Support the Book Launch
- Make a donation! You can contribute as little as $1 to support this book launch. All supporters will receive project updates through the Kickstarter system.
- Buy the book! You can pre-order copies of Crossing Swords in e-book or print. Purchase a copy for yourself, your friends, or even for your local public library, educational institution, or community leaders.
- Spread the word! Please tell your friends about the book, and especially about this Kickstarter!
One goal of this Kickstarter is to pre-sell at least 100 copies, and ideally as many as 1000 copies. When all these pre-ordered books get delivered at the same time, it could create quite a buzz to further promote the book. This first group of readers will be encouraged to post reviews of the book on Amazon.com and share the book with friends. With lots of reviews and lots of talk about the book, it would certainly be possible to elevate this book to be an "Amazon best seller." That would give a launching point for further promotion.
Publishing and Promotion
The minimum funding goal of $2000 will give me enough to cover the most basic costs of independent publishing, such as hiring a professional copy editor, purchase ISBN barcodes, and set up accounts to get the book into book distribution catalogs including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and independent book stores. Whatever is raised beyond that I'll use to polish and promote the book. Ideally, I would like to raise $20,000 to launch this book. Having this level of support would make it easier to hire professionals to help. Promotion could include getting celebrity endorsements, book reviews, author interviews, entering book award contests, advertisements, etc.
How to Pre-Order Your Book
To support this Kickstarter project, you will need to have both a Kickstarter account and an Amazon Payments account. You can start the process by clicking the green "Back This Project" button near the top of this page. I have provided step-by-step instructions to guide you through this process if you need help.
Final 3 Days "Stretch Goal" of $4000!
If I raise a total of $4000 during the campaign, I will use the extra funds to commission an 1870s-style illustration for the book showing Eddy and Woodhull along with other famous American leaders who are in the story, like Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Lucy Stone, Mary Livermore, Maggie Fox, and some men, too. I have added a new reward for $100 contribution which includes a 60-minute phone conversation with the author.
Risks and challenges
I have already put three years of work into this project (evenings and weekends) and I have a solid manuscript which has already been through a peer review phase. So the risk of me not completing the book is small. I just need to finalize the text and cover before publishing.
I plan to do one more round of research and edits before finalizing the text. I expect the changes to be relatively minor, but as of this moment, I am still waiting to get review comments back from a few more people. Their comments could influence how much more research and edits I do on the manuscript before publishing.
The actual mechanics of independent publishing is only getting easier to do with every passing day with changes in the publishing industry. My target for publishing is early 2015. That means possibly as soon as January, almost certainly by May. I will keep backers informed on challenges and progress.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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