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An adventure based on the true story of Gabriel de Clieu who brought coffee to the Americas in 1723.
72 backers pledged $3,416 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$3,416

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Summary

Coffee Smuggler is historical fiction novel based on the true story of Gabriel De Clieu. De Clieu began his career in the early 1700s as a French soldier on the Carribbean island of Martinique. He had a vision of how to change the island and the entire French economy. He did what others had tried and failed to do. He smuggled a forbidden new plant to Martinique whose popularity was spreading across Europe like wildfire; coffee.

Synopsis

De Clieu returned to Paris and tried to get seeds or a cutting of the only coffee plant in France from King Louis XV. He failed. Instead of giving up, he did what many Frenchman of his time did. De Clieu seduced a sick noblewoman. Why? Because her rare illness gave her access to royal doctors who had exclusive access to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Varsailles. The Doctor made De Clieu a cutting of France’s only coffee plant. In 1723, with his stolen plant, De Clieu boarded a ship bound for Martinique. A Dutch spy on board tried to destroy the plant, Barbary pirates attacked the ship, and they were almost wrecked in a hurricane. After surviving all these trials, they hit the doldrums began running out of food and water. De Clieu shared his ration with the coffee plant and both almost died. Upon returning to Martinique, coffee took off and De Clieu's plant became the origin of much of the arabica coffee we drink today.

The Plan

I have a design, marketing and production budget goal of $3100. A professional editor is polishing the final manuscript with me as you read this. Maine's largest coffee roaster, Coffee by Design, has offered to host Coffee Smuggler's launch party at their new 65,000 sq foot roastery/cafe in Portland, Maine this November. I will spend November-February sharing Coffee Smuggler and De Clieu's story through book talks at independent bookstores, libraries, museums, and coffee shops.  Everyone who joins me in supporting Coffee Smuggler is not just a reader, you’re a publisher...Plus you get bennies. So please join me by investing Smuggler and Thank You.

What would I do with extra money above my goal?

After shouting wildly and throwing cash in the air I would...

  • Upgrade my membership in the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance to a Promotional Membership ($70 more needed)
  • Order cool bookmarks to give out ($100)
  • Double the initial paperback run to 250 books ($650)
  • Expand the hardcover run to 100 instead of 30 ($1100)
  • Pay a Wordpress designer to make my website and the book website totally awesome and sparkling ($2000-$4000)

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge ahead of me is marketing Coffee Smuggler. This means a combination of in-person efforts like book talks, signings, and readings with social media marketing and outreach efforts. I'll need your help to overcome these and boost sales with positive reviews, recommendations, social sharing and word of mouth.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    A Coffee Smuggler sticker. Your name included in thank you list. All reward levels get free e-book and paperback copy of Coffee Smuggler.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Free E-Book. The Coffee Smuggler magnet and sticker. Sweeter and Stickier. Your name included in thank you list.

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    20 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Natural cork Coffee Smuggler coaster. Also gets ebook, sticker and magnet. Brief thank you in book acknowledgements

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    8 backers
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Signed paperback first edition of Coffee Smuggler. You are thanked prominently in book acknowledgements as a publisher. Also gets the sticker, magnet and coaster.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Signed Hardcover (of 30 Limited Edition Hardcovers). You are thanked prominently in book acknowledgements with profile photo and bio. Also sticker, magnet and coaster.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    You get a very minor fictional character named similarly to you that appears once in the text plus the rewards from the $250 level and a custom Coffee Smuggler mug.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Same as $500 but your character appears 3 times by name. Author chat by phone on a topic of your choosing plus the $500 level rewards.

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    Pledge US$ 3,100 or more About US$ 3,100

    The whole shebang! Plus a meeting with the author anywhere in the US in the next year.

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Funding period

- (30 days)