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An illustrated tale of a boy who wants to fly the family airship & the clockwork girl who helps him find his way home. Kid steam-punk!

The Littlest Clockwork sails on!

Thank you so incredibly much to everyone who supported this campaign! Amber and I can't express how grateful we are for your help making this book a reality, and for striking a critical blow in the fight against DAOICSBFAOETSG(uh).

If you missed out on the Kickstarter, you'll be able to find the book for sale here (once it's finished), as well as Amazon and all major online book retailers. It will available through Ingram, so most bookstores should be able to order a copy for you if you like.

For future updates on this book and the world of The Wind Merchant, please check out the Facebook Page.

You all are amazing!
-Ryan

Hi there! My name is Ryan Dunlap, and I am a freshly minted geek dad as of September. As a full-time filmmaker and author, I count myself incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to tell stories for a living.

But, looking around at stories I could read to my daughter, I didn't find much in the way of steampunk or airship adventure when it came to illustrated books. It would be many years before she could read my current books, so I wanted to craft a story that would satisfy my geek heritage and share it with other steampunk and sci-fi/fantasy enthusiasts.

I wanted a book that would spark my child's imagination with airship adventures from an early age.

Then I realized, I had already written this book... sort of.

The Littlest Clockwork is a children's picture book featured in the novel, The Wind Merchant, a steampunk fantasy novel I Kickstarted back in early 2012. In the novel, the children's book goes by the title The Littlest Elder, which is another name for a Clockwork person in that world.

Now, you don't have to be familiar with The Wind Merchant to enjoy this children's book, but those who have begun reading that trilogy might find a few fun easter eggs.

The book that Amber and I are Kickstarting here is a 8" x 8", 32 page, copic marker illustrated story about a young boy who wants to fly his family's airship. But when a scary storm blows him overboard, he makes an unlikely friend with a clockwork girl also lost in the clouds, and it's going to take all the bravery they both have to find their way home.

I think anyone who enjoys high-flying steampunk adventure and wants to share that with their little one will find this book enjoyable, and I can't wait to share this story with you.

  • First off, Kickstarter and Amazon take about 8-10% off the top.
  • After that, compensating Amber for all the time and hard work she puts into the illustration is top priority. We both want to make this something we're both proud of, and acquiring the right tools to do so also comes into play.
  • After that, the money will cover the self-publishing costs (book design, acquiring ISBNs for the different formats of the book, and paying the set-up costs with the printer of the paperback and hardback).
  • Lastly the printing and shipping cost of the physical books/prints account for a sizable chunk since I'm doing short run printing.

Honestly, I'm not going to see a dime until this campaign makes a good deal more than $6,000. I want to see this story get told and if it means I take a slight hit so others can be fairly compensated and the story can get out there, then I'm all for it. Obviously I wouldn't be opposed to the campaign surpassing its initial goal, but for that I'm going to need your help to get the word out.

artwork by Grant Cooley ("The Getaway") on the cover of The Wind Merchant.
artwork by Grant Cooley ("The Getaway") on the cover of The Wind Merchant.

Here's where it could get extra fun...

If we raise more than our $6,000, then everybody starts getting extra things.

  • (COMPLETE!) At $6,000, if reached before November 30th, every backer from $1 and up will receive a copy of The Wind Merchant in eBook. For instant access to The Wind Merchant eBook, you can find the link in this backers only update.
  • (COMPLETE!) At $7,000, the paper gets upgraded to Lightning Source's Premium level.
  • (COMPLETE) At 200 backers, every backer who has pledged for the $5 reward or higher will receive a .pdf of The Littlest Clockwork in line-art format that you can print out at home as a coloring book.

I'll be honest... I'm a bit of a Kickstarter junkie. Take a look over to the top right of this page, just under that silly picture of me holding a mini-porthole up to my eye. Yeah, 60 campaigns backed.

I believe in what Kickstarter does for the little guy. It levels the playing field, letting people with ideas find others who are interested in the newest and niche, and allowing them to directly support artists and dreamers.

Always. First off, I'd like to thank God for putting me on this path and giving me the experiences that have shaped me to be able to tell stories that I tell. I'd like to thank my beautiful and supportive wife Sarah for encouraging me to never give up with my artistic endeavors. My parents, for instilling in me the hope that I could do anything if I put my mind to it, Amber Hezlep, for agreeing to take on the illustration project, and my friends that have put their blood, sweat, tears, and sometimes money to be able to tell stories like Leave Me, Greyscale, and The Wind Merchant.

Lastly, I'd like to thank the newest member of my family, Mary Clementine, for inspiring me to branch out into the world of children's books, and for causing me to want to be the best father I can be.

Track the progress of this project on Kicktraq
Track the progress of this project on Kicktraq

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Both Amber and I have successfully completed Kickstarter campaigns in the past (Amber's Everlife campaign: http://kck.st/InLNqa, and my campaign for The Wind Merchant: http://kck.st/yMCquT), and along with having backed over 50 Kickstarter campaigns personally, I'm fairly well versed in the process.

That being said, this is our first Kickstarter for an illustrated children's book. We're planning to pad the delivery date with plenty of time to account for hiccups, and I plan to use much of what I learned from my last publishing campaign to bypass the beginning mistakes by using the same printer as I did for my previous book.

Amber is expecting Baby Hezlep in March of next year, and with our current production schedule, we should beat the clock before life changes for Amber and her husband, but sometimes babies come early and can disrupt production schedules, so there is always the possibility of that.

The sooner we're confident this campaign will meet its goal, the sooner Amber can prioritize the book above other paid illustration endeavors and get started on making a stand against DAOICSBFAOETSG(uh).

FAQ

  • Due to the safety concern, 99.99% of the time, no. Due to showing you that she's in capable geek hands for a few seconds, yes.

    I just wish they made a plushie of Serenity. Actually, I should go check on that...

    Last updated:
  • The book has been written, and every page has been pencil sketched into a storyboard format. Amber is working on the cover art currently (which will show up within a week of the campaign launch), but after that she has to prioritize paying illustration work over this project until we're relatively certain this campaign will be successful.

    Last updated:
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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    27 backers

    ======THE LITTLEST EBOOK====== You'll receive a PDF copy of the book, plus all digital stretch goals achieved.

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    53 backers

    ====THE LITTLEST PAPERBACK==== You'll receive the fully illustrated 32 page SOFT COVER PAPERBACK edition of the book as well as the PDF.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    49 backers

    ====THE LITTLEST HARDBACK==== You'll receive the fully illustrated 32 page HARD COVER edition of the book as well as the PDF.

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  • Pledge $35 or more
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    28 backers

    ======THE CAPTAIN DAD====== You'll receive the fully illustrated 32 page HARD COVER edition of the book, signed by the author and illustrator, the PDF, and a hand-written thank you note from the author.

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    25 backers Limited (75 left of 100)

    ======THE LUCKY DUCK====== Named for the Windstrider family ship, you'll receive the everything in THE CAPTAIN DAD package, plus an extra SIGNED PAPERBACK for yourself or a friend, and your name on acknowledgments page.

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    3 backers Limited (47 left of 50)

    ======THE WHISTLER====== Everything in THE LUCKY DUCK package, plus a print of either Whistler or Roy standing next to the alphabet letter of your choosing.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    6 backers Limited (14 left of 20)

    ====THE INKY CLOCKWORK==== Everything in THE WHISTLER package, plus a CUSTOM INK SKETCH of either Roy or Whistler done by artist Amber Hezlep.

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    ==THE COLORFUL CLOCKWORK== Everything in THE WHISTLER package, plus a CUSTOM MARKER ILLUSTRATION of either Roy or Whistler done by artist Amber Hezlep.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    5 backers All gone!

    ==THE LITTLEST CLOCKWORK== Everything in THE WHISTLER package, plus a FULL COLOR ORIGINAL RECREATION of The Littlest Clockwork's cover art.

    Estimated delivery:
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Funding period

- (30 days)