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The thirteenth printed volume of the ongoing comic space opera Schlock Mercenary
The thirteenth printed volume of the ongoing comic space opera Schlock Mercenary
1,282 backers pledged $75,000 to help bring this project to life.

About

$75,000

1,282

The Book

"It doesn't hurt, and Petey is now five-for-five on patients not ending up as vegetables."  

Captain Tagon and his crew want their memories back. GavCorps wants to know what's inside the wandering planet Oisri. UNS Intelligence wants to keep messing with people's heads.  

When everybody gets what they want, nobody gets what they want.

RANDOM ACCESS MEMORABILIA is a science fiction story of exploration and adventure set in the Schlock Mercenary universe. This print collection will be 176 pages long, perfect-bound in full color, with 11 pages of never-before-seen bonus story and over 30 pieces of new margin art. 

Back when we launched the project, this was our blueprint for the cover's layout.

Today, on the final day of the project, this is where the cover stands...

This image may look pretty finished, but it's just a mockup from which a few key elements (most notably the stonework and the circuit lights) will eventually be ported over to InDesign, where final layout will happen. 

Why Kickstarter?

We've printed a dozen Schlock Mercenary collections, but this is the first collection for which we've run a Kickstarter rather than just opening pre-orders. Why? Here are some bulleted becauses:

  • We like the way that Kickstarter allows us to have ongoing communication with backers.
  • After three successful Kickstarters, we think this may deliver a better pre-order experience for Schlock Mercenary books.
  • Kickstarting this print run may let us offer more than we've been able to offer in the past.

When we say "offer more," we don't mean "more pages." The book is finished, and we're all better served if we don't mess around with that part. No, we're talking about additional merchandise that we wouldn't otherwise be able to produce. You'll find those in the Stretch Goals.

Pledging for Add-Ons

We'll be using Backerkit, just like we did with the Planet Mercenary project. This will let you add to your pledge for additional goodies after the Kickstarter closes. You don't have to wait, though! If you increase your pledge to cover the add-ons while the project is still running, you help us reach our stretch goals more quickly.

Example: You've pledged for $20 to get Random Access Memorabila, but you also want the poster. Just increase your pledge by the cost of the poster ($20 + $15 = $35). There won't be a line-item for that yet, but when the project closes, you'll be able to specify exactly what you want your additional pledge money spent on.

Here are the prices on previous Schlock Mercenary books:

A Note on Sketch Editions of Random Access Memorabilia

The system here limits sketch editions to one per backer, but we know that some of you like to group your orders together for shipping purposes. If you want more than one sketch edition, here are your instructions:

1. Pledge for a sketched book.

2. Email schlockmercenary@gmail.com, and Sandra can arrange additional sketched books for you. She's reserved some sketch editions for this purpose.

If you're getting a sketch edition, Backerkit is also where you will select which character you want sketched in your book.

Stretch Goals

If we meet our funding goal, we have some additional items planned.

1. UNLOCKED!  The Maxim 70 coin has been so popular that we ran out. 

Maxim 70: "Failure is not an option. It's mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do."
Maxim 70: "Failure is not an option. It's mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do."

Print runs of die-stamped brass aren't cheap, so our first stretch goal covers the cost of making more of these.

2. The Bristlecone Coin: during our Challenge Coin Kickstarter in 2013 we printed coins for the four principal vessels used by the Toughs. There have been some more ships since then, one of which was Bristlecone, which features prominently in Random Access Memorabilia. We'd like you to be able to add her coin to your collection.

3. T-Shirts (R&D): First, a clarification - we won't be including actual T-shirts in this project. What we WILL be doing is committing to the R&D for a proper run of shirts early next year. 

We're not T-shirt experts, but we know many of you want shirts. This stretch goal will allow us to engage a designer who will help us create some outstanding Schlock Mercenary t-shirt designs. Those designs will be the beating, shirt-clothed heart of a shirt-specific Kickstarter in February or March.

Other Stretch Goals? There are a few more things that we'd like to make in conjunction with Random Access Memorabilia. If we reach all three of our listed stretch goals, we'll post additional goals. Note, though, that over committing on stretchy deliverables (especially things that change the scope of the project) might threaten our ability to deliver, that would be kind of disastrous for everybody. We'll be taking great care to make sure that doesn't happen. 

Timeline

This Kickstarter's funding period closes on Friday, October 13th, which is hopefully going to be very lucky for all of us. There is a two week waiting period until the project's funds are released to us. As soon as we have that money we will send the book off to print. Our printer has a three month turn around, so if the print run is launched in early November, we expect to receive the shipment of books at the tail end of January. That is when we'll ship them to you. If we unlock challenge coins, they have a shorter turn around time. Our coin manufacturer can deliver coins in four to six weeks. So the coins will be waiting when the books arrive.

Here's the bulleted schedule:

  • now through October 13th - Funding!
  • 1st week in November - launch print run
  • 2nd week in November - launch coin manufacturing
  • Early January - coins arrive
  • Late January - books arrive
  • February - Howard starts sketching in books
  • Also February - shipping begins

We're really excited to run this Kickstarter for you. Thank you for your support.

Risks and challenges

The principal content for Random Access Memorabilia is complete (that's roughly 165 of its 176 pages.) The bonus story is scripted and storyboarded, and Michael (the artist) is diving into the final artwork for the pages this week. We expect to send the book off to print within a week of receiving funds from Kickstarter.

Printing books is pretty complicated, and there are a lot of things that can go wrong. We've printed twelve Schlock Mercenary books, two RPGs, two children's books, and two separate editions of the Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries, and across those eighteen printings (in just 11 years!) we've seen lots of things go wrong.

We've been working with our printer for almost a decade, and we know how to manage any potential difficulties. If things go sideways, we know how to get them back on track. More importantly, we know how to keep our customers, backers, and supporters happy, and that's always our top priority.

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    Get a numbered sketched edition of Random Access Memorabilia. You also get a PDF version of the book.

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    Sketched RAM Batch 2

    Get a numbered sketch edition of Random Access Memorabilia. You also get a PDF of the book. This batch of sketches will be drawn after the first batch.

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Funding period

- (24 days)