Hello, and welcome to the Girl Genius Speedy-o Super Emergency For-Goodness-Sake-Get-the-Book-Out KickStarter campaign! We've put it off as long as we could, trying to get everything about the campaign perfect, but we can delay no longer, the book itself is ready to go. The printer has our files, everything looks great, and all that is required to make it actually happen is the funding.
We are Phil and Kaja Foglio, creators of the ongoing adventure story Girl Genius. We are ready to make the print version of Girl Genius: The Incorruptible Library, the latest in our self-published series of graphic novels. The book will be printed as a trade paperback, with a short run of special "puffy" hardcover volumes.
We used to offer pre-orders for upcoming books through our web site; which helped us pay for the up-front costs of printing the books. It also allowed us to get a feel for how many books we should be making in the first print run, especially of the limited-edition hardcover version. Kickstarter has streamlined this process for us beautifully, and the Kickstarter community has made it so much more fun!
Girl Genius is an ongoing story featuring adventure, romance, and Mad Science. It follows the adventures of Agatha Heterodyne, scion of a notorious family of "Sparks": scientists capable of warping the very laws of nature with their feats of mad brilliance. We call it a "Gaslamp Fantasy," by which we mean that it takes place in an old-fashioned, Vernian world of airships, monsters, and wild inventions.
Girl Genius is published as a webcomic and graphic novel series, and also as a series of prose novels—we're working on the fourth book right now, and hope to share a chapter or two as stretch goals. The graphic series is updated three times a week on our web site at girlgeniusonline.com. When we have enough pages, roughly once a year, we publish a collection in both hard and soft cover bindings. The Girl Genius graphic novel series has won three Hugo Awards for Best Graphic Story!
The Incorruptible Library is Book Three of the Second Journey of Agatha Heterodyne–and the sixteenth book in the overall series. If you're new to the series, The Second Journey is a great place to jump in!
As ever, we like to start with a tiny little immediate reward. Here is a special icon–just for fun and bragging rights. We hope you enjoy it, and use it to spread the word far and wide–across all the vast and wondrous realms of planet social media!
The contents of the different reward levels are listed to the right. The stars of the show are, of course, the books. In addition, all backers getting a book will also receive a campaign-exclusive bookplate, signed by authors Phil & Kaja Foglio. We've found a source for archival, acid free, self-adhesive 3"x4"book plates, which worked out very well with our last campaign.
For those who either do not want a physical book or plan to get it from their favorite real-life book store later, yet still want to support the project, we have some lower-level rewards, starting with a simple "Tips Jar." All our backers, regardless of level, will receive access to our commemorative downloadable computer wallpaper, which we'll reveal at the end of the campaign.
At a slightly higher level, we have a new set of travel stickers! This year's stickers are from the Great Library, Paris, and Madam Desmana's Curiosity Shop.
We've finally finished this year's campaign-exclusive Hero medal design! It's a lovely metal pin-back medal, and will be offered in a choice of silvery or brassy. UPDATE: we hit the Deluxe Medals stretch goal, and now the medal will have the title bar in the middle! Not only that, we have a first draft from our manufacturer. You can see it in the concept art picture above, and we think it looks great!
Below are examples of some of our medals from previous campaigns. As you can see, the finals wind up a lot more 3D than our 2D designs...
Some levels also include our limited-edition Incorruptible Library patch. We just got the sample, and it looks great! Here it is:
If you pledge at a reward level that includes a physical shipment (the $12 level or higher) you will have access to our post-campaign pledge management system, where you can add on all kinds of things, including extra campaign medals, patches and bookplates. Additional shipping, if any becomes necessary, will be calculated in the pledge management system. (It has to do with weight and postal categories.)
The following rewards are available to add to your pledge:
- Additional Softcover Book---------------------------$25
- Additional hardcover book---------------------------$50
- New Europan Travel Sticker Set---------------------$10
- Incorruptible Library Campaign Patch--------------$15
- Books & Glory Medal --------------------------------$25
- Extra "Envelope of Madness*"------------------------$5
- New Charm Set---------------------------------------$15
- "Devil Dolls" Insignia Patch---------------------------$8
*What is the "Envelope of Madness?" It's the envelope of flat extras we'll be shipping along with each pledge level that contains a book. At this time, it consists of: one signed bookplate, one promotional poster, one bookmark, and one "Thank You" picture of Team Hoffmann. More may be added later, as stretch goals command!
The campaign has funded! Hooray! And because things are going so well, we will also be able to reprint Girl Genius Volume One: Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank, which has just gone out of print. So...good timing!
We will also be able to set Cheyenne up with a new computer system, something we've been hoping to do for a while. It's what he uses to color the comic, and that's pretty important to us.
Also because things are going so well, we're able to set things up so that we can offer add-ons. So, if you're after extra medals, books or patches, you'll be able to add those on after the campaign, when our survey goes out.
And now, onward, to the future:
PDF of the New Book: When the time comes, we'll make sure to get everyone eligible for this one a free download link for the PDF of the book. We'll post an update when they've gone out!
In addition to the Signed Bookplate, the Envelope of Madness will now come with (not contain, because the folded poster still doesn't fit in the envelope,) a promotional poster for the book!
The Envelope of Madness will now also contain the special campaign bookmark.
The first three turned out so well, I'm ready to do more! I'm waiting until after the Holiday to show my new designs, because I still need to hear back from the manufacturer about whether or not they are workable. I can say that they'll be Jäger-themed this time. Watch this space!
The Envelope of Madness will now contain an art card featuring Queen Larana and the Heroic Hoffmann Brothers!
We have been working on a coloring book, and now seems as good a time as any to announce it. Ta-da! We've posted one of the pages for you to print and play with! Thank you! You can download the 6.9 MB PDF now. I'll keep this link up for at least a year (it's currently 7/08/2017) so grab it now if you want the page. When will the coloring book be ready? We're not sure. We have about half of the pages we need ready. We'll make an announcement when we know more!
Deluxe medals!: At this level, each of our medals will come with an extra insert to make it even more magnificent! Last Kickstarter, the inserts were loose, to add on as you wish, this time, they'll be part of the whole thing when it ships. (You can easily still take them apart and customize them.)
Also, thank goodness we reached this goal, because I...uh...already told the manufacturer to put them in...
Remember the Devil Dolls? They're one of the Wulfenbach military units, and they have a somewhat saucy insignia patch. (Here's a link to one of the pages where they appear.) Phil has drawn it up, and now that we've reached this goal, we'll make some for sale! Here's the concept art:
Hooray! The mighty TPU Student ID card for 2017 will be added to the "Envelope of Madness!" that comes with each pledge level that contains a book!
Huzzah! Here is a link to the post on our Facebook page, where I've posted ten of the drawings that Phil has done for James Ernest's upcoming and updated version of the Girl Genius: The Works card game. We hope they entertain! (I didn't post them here because this page is already getting huge...)
We've had a lot of requests for something...anything...with this panel of the comic on it. So...now that we've hit this level, I've added a sticker with the artwork below to the Envelope of Madness. The Envelope of Madness is what we're calling the growing pile of little paper goods that comes with each level that contains a book. (It won't automatically ship with add-on books, but it will be available on its own as an add-on, in case people want extras.) You can see more about the Envelope of Madness closer to the top of the page, and you can see the art for the sticker right below this sentence:
I wasn't going to list this one until last year's sketchbooks actually shipped (argh) but now they all have, so here's the sketchbook goal! I've drafted Victor as my art assistant, and he is finishing up the newest sketchbook today, so it will ship at the same time as the regular books, with no long wait this time. Whew!
There are only a few hours until the campaign ends, and we've got a birthday dinner to attend. Here are a couple of last thoughts, things that weren't good stretch goals, but will nonetheless be set into motion because of the success of this campaign:
We'll be able to hire an editor to help Phil bang the text parts of the Buck Godot, Gallimaufry story into shape, so that we can move closer to getting that book into a lovely collected format. Also, we'll be able to get the rest of the pages for the coloring book inked. I'd love to get that out for the Holidays, but we'll see. Last, as a fun thing, I'll be sure to take a lot of video footage at the San Diego Comic Con, and edit it up to share with all of you. You can see what our booth looks like!
Thank you all for reading, and for supporting our Kickstarter. It has been a weird campaign, but I think I'm getting better at this! Please watch for our BackerKit surveys in a week or two. I'll be in touch. Happy Summer, everyone! (And Happy Winter, to our Australian and Southern Hemisphere friends.) I hope it's a good one for all of us.
Note: It's the last day of the campaign, and there is no way I'm going to get a proper video finished...so here I've uploaded a couple of pieces that our multi-talented color artist Cheyenne Wright made for us. Ordinarily, these clips would be part of a very nice Kickstarter video, but this time, I've been too busy actually getting the book made. So..thank you, Cheyenne, for the wonderful work--next time I'll do it right! --Kaja
Risks and challenges
Our main risk is the possibility of manufacturing delays. Delays of the book are extremely unlikely: the cover and pages are at the printer and ready for printing, and unless the whole run comes off the press completely purple and has to be redone, we're on a set timeline.
We are very experienced publishers, this is our sixteenth volume in this series, alone! That doesn't mean that delays can't happen, but it does mean that it would only be a delay, never a cancellation of the project.
Secondary items like medals and patches can sometimes hit snags that delay their manufacture--a prototype has to go back to the factory for multiple revisions, for instance–but we are taking steps this time to make sure that the turnaround on these items is reasonable. Again, in the event of design trouble, our project would only be delayed, never cancelled.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (17 days)