About this project
He is borne aloft by the Silver Wind . . .
Shard is a gryfon with a great destiny. Reunited with his friends and his wingbrother, Kjorn, they work to restore peace in the Winderost, where Kjorn is the rightful king, before they return to the Silver Isles. They are hampered by would-be allies, old enmities and grudges between the clans of creatures, and the ever-looming threat of the fear mongering wyrms.
While Kjorn secures his alliances and prepares to drive out the wyrms with a war, Shard becomes desperate to prevent it, to get through to the wyrms and stop their violent marauding before more lives are sacrificed. Everyone believes that Shard is the legendary Summer King, that he alone can make the wyrms see reason, but when he uses newfound powers of dream weaving to try communicating with their leader, he only ends up making things worse.
When the wyrms make a surprising move by attacking where Shard least expects it, he knows he must be willing to sacrifice anything—and everything—to stop them once and for all.
I am so honored to be a SFWA Star Project!
Fair winds to you!
If you're already a member of the Gryfon Pride, please, make yourself comfortable, find a mossy rock to lounge, or go explore the amazing rewards for this, the campaign to fund the final volume of the Summer King Chronicles.
To those who are new, welcome! You've entered the world of the Silver Isles, where gryfons rule, dragons roam, ravens riddle, and wolves sing. I hope you'll stay and become a member of the Pride!
The Summer King Chronicles is a young adult book series, suitable for ages 11+. For voracious readers, one might (and some have!) begin as young as nine. The reading level is similar to Harry Potter, with no more violence (or romance ;) ) than The Lion King.
Fans of Warriors, Wings of Fire, Redwall, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole books will likely enjoy this new fantasy world.
Despite writing the books for young readers, I've seen the Summer King Chronicles capture the hearts of young and adult alike. No matter your age, if you love mythical animal adventure fit for the whole family, you'll feel right at home with these books.
All three currently-available books enjoy high ratings on Amazon and Goodreads, and have won several awards including the Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Novel (Skyfire), an Honorable Mention in the Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards (Summer King), and A Shard of Sun was voted onto the Suggested Reading list for the Norton Award from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.
If you're still not sure, please feel free to click over to Amazon and read a sample from the first book. Go ahead. I'll wait.
So You're Self Publishing?
Yes. I chose self publishing for the creative control, the adventure, and the speed-to-production (I've been writing for decades, but these are the books I chose to launch my career). Some have wondered if the books were rejected by traditional publishers. The answer is no-- I never submitted the books to agents or publishers. On the advise of colleagues, I chose self publishing, so I honestly don't know how they would have been received! But I do know that readers have enjoyed them very much, and so I've continued down this path. And as I build my publishing company, Five Elements Press, I hope to one day publish others.
When I set out to self-publish, I wanted to make a statement. I wanted to print beautiful books that looked as slick as any put out by Del or Tor. To this end I contacted a well-known wildlife and fantasy artist, a professional editor, an awesome typographer, and I formed a relationship with a U.S. book printer. Together, we've made three beautiful books. These books are not "Print on Demand." They are sustainably printed, limited, first edition hardback books that will adorn your shelf for years to come.
I'm here on Kickstarter to raise funds to print the final chapter in the Summer King Chronicles, By the Silver Wind.
. . . aaaand a little extra.
What's that you say? We're funding what?
Kickstarter has become not just a way to fund the hardback print run, but a way to connect with my amazing readers, meet new ones, collaborate with fellow creators, and dream big. While the majority of the funds will go to printing the books, I'm also using this as an opportunity to launch the final book in a great big way. Hence, the many incredible reward tiers. In order to create these wonderful things, I've teamed up with multiple amazing artists (who also happen to be excited about the books) to make it all happen.
Allow me to introduce them.
What is it for? Where does it go? Here's the simple breakdown so you can see where all your hard-earned dollars are going.
About $8,000 to print & ship the hardback books.
About $4,000 to fund the illustrious gryfon rewards.
Over $1,000 shipping all these awesome goodies.
Over $1,000 cut for Kickstarter's payment fees and such once we hit our funding goal.
I hope that's all straightforward--and, in the end, it's all to print a beautiful book and launch it into the world in a fun and exciting way!
Your Math Seems Off...
Yes, I said "over $1,000" in a couple places. Do those numbers seem like more than $14k? I am, perhaps, too confident that we'll overfund (gryfons must be bold, you know). If not, I've already invested some of my own money into these books, and I'm willing to invest more. This is a good solid number, and also a lucky one.
Okay, the fun stuff: so many rewards this year. We have so. Many. Rewards. Here's a quick rundown, then a picture, then MORE pictures of every tier if you don't want to read through or you get lost in all the awesomeness.
Take a peek, then get your talons on the limited ones before they run out!
The Books, of course. This is a chance for you to get your hands (or talons, or paws, we don't judge) on the e-books before the official launch, or the limited edition hardbacks, signed by Yours Truly.
Artwork. Prints galore. Jennifer Miller's beautiful cover art can adore your walls to inspire and delight. All signed by the artist herself.
Bookplates designed and signed by Jennifer Miller, to increase the epicness of your Summer King book collection.
The Gryfon Pin is still available in limited quantities! Just larger than a quarter (any bigger and it would be too epic to exist, really), designed by Jennifer Miller and brought into existence by Custom Pins, Inc., the enamel gryfon pin will show others you are a member of the Gryfon Pride.
For the final campaign, something very special: Our award winning cover artist, Jennifer Miller, will create a digitally painted portrait of your own original gryfon character at this reward tier. This special custom reward is very limited to five only, so grab a spot before they're gone! Backers at this tier will be asked to send a simple description or reference image of their own original gryfon character after the Kickstarter is funded, and Jennifer will interpret it into a portrait. Don't have a gryfon character of your own? If you'd prefer, pick one of the gryfons from the book series instead, and Jennifer will bring that gryfon to life. Portraits will be delivered as electronic files via email.
Sculptures. Beautiful, highly collectible character figurines created especially for the campaign by artist Emily Coleman. Each sculpture is solid cast urethane resin, hand painted with high quality, water resistant vinyl paints, numbered and signed by the artist.
Gryfon Feather Bookmarks drawn by Lindsay Adams. The sample shown (below) is a raptor feather bookmark. Gryfon feathers will be magical and colorful, made just for you. Various colors will be available, but we'll surprise you with which feather you'll receive.
Plush Shard by Gann Memorials. One of the biggest requests from the Gryfon Pride has been to make the Shard plush more affordable. With designer dot.DOLL's blessing, and the wizardry of Gann Memorials, Inc., I have done my best to make your wish come true. Grab the best reading buddy ever to begin, or end, your Summer King journey. Each plush measures about 12 inches tall, guaranteed soft and snuggly.
Hand made Plush by dot.DOLL . She's baaack and she's sewing! You'll have a chance to begin or complete your Summer King plush collections with this final campaign. The mini plushes measure about 6 inches high, and the large about 12 inches. New this year: HIKARU DRAGON!
***All tiers above $18 include all four e-books! There has been some confusion***
PLEASE NOTE! There are endless combinations I could have put together for these rewards, but even I can't guess what everyone might want, so . . . by popular demand and many requests, I have decided that--rather than building more and more reward tiers-- the following items will be available as "add-ons" while quantities last:
All books in the series: If you missed book 2, or you need two copies of book 4 for birthdays and Christmas, or -- whatever! -- please add $25 per book and send me a note regarding shipping. Hardback only.
Gryfon Feather Bookmarks: Please add $5 for each bookmark and send a note to alert me of your add-on. If you get more than one, we'll make sure you receive an interesting variety. If you're already receiving physical rewards, there is no additional shipping. If you aren't, please add $2 shipping for US, and $6 International. Also--see Update #5 for pictures of these gorgeous feathers!
Bookplates: At this time, Jennifer Miller is up for the task of signing many book plates. Please add $4 per bookplate and note me with your request. If you're already receiving physical rewards, there is no additional shipping. (Hey, if you don't have the books, the plates still make handsome stickers) If not, please add $2 shipping US, and $6 International.
Pin: The Gryfon Pin is available as an add-on while they last. Please send me a note for pricing and to make sure they're available.
The Shard Plush by Gann Memorials: We have a Shard army! While quantities last, Shard may be added to any tier for an additional $54 (I said $40 in an update--this price reflects total shipping costs.) Please note me with your request so I can be sure there are enough Shards before saying yes.
Prints: In general, the art prints are available as add-ons. Please note me with your request and for prices.
Due to their unique and hand-made nature, the dot.DOLL plushies and Emily Coleman sculptures are not available as add-ons.
Enough from me, enjoy some beautiful photos of the beautiful rewards!
Reward Tier Breakdown
There are a lot of rewards. This is a big campaign for what I hope will be a big book launch. I hope these image breakdowns help you in making your decision. Not sure what to choose? Drop me a line. I work with backers for add-ons as much as I can. I recommend pledging for the thing you want the most, then send me a note immediately about the other things you want. If the limited tiers don't sell out by the end of the campaign, the remainders can be add-ons -- first come, first serve, as much as I can manage.
So here we go!
******PLEASE NOTE: The new "Fit for a King" tier at $150, which doesn't have an illustration. All four books + the Shard Plush by Gann!****
EARLY FUNDING ~!!!~UNLOCKED~!!!~ FIRST THREE CHAPTERS
If we fund early, I will post the first three chapters of BSW online, for backers only.
Stretch Goal #2: $16,000 ~!!!~UNLOCKED~!!!~ HIKARU PORTRAIT
If we meet this stretch goal, Jennifer Miller will paint a portrait of Hikaru, and everyone who has pledged at $30 and up will receive a 6x9 print!
In case that doesn't excite you enough, here's a teaser she created:
Stretch Goal #3: $17,000 ~!!!~UNLOCKED~!!!~ BACKER-EXCLUSIVE DELUXE OMNIBUS
If we unlock this stretch goal, I will create an omnibus (PDF only) of all four Summer King books, complete with character sketches, deleted scenes, music inspiration, and first-draft endings, beginnings, and other juicy behind-the-scenes STUFF.
Stretch Goal #4: $18,000 ~!!!~UNLOCKED~!!!~ QUARTET SLIPCASES
WOW. If we stay strong above $18k, all backers who already own or are ordering all four books will receive a slipcase to create a boxed set of their Summer King Chronicles quartet! So, so snazzy.
Stretch Goal #5 : $20,000 ~!!!~UNLOCKED~!!!~
Later in the campaign, I will host an online gathering (using some mystical gathering tool...Livestream? Picarto? Skype? We're not sure yet.) This will be a chance for fans to meet each other and squee over gryfons (and wolves and dragons), and also for writers and readers to ask me questions. Yep, questions. Date and time TBA. I will make it long enough that people can pop in and out, and available for viewing later if you can't attend.
I ask that anyone hoping to attend keep their content PG and positive! This is for fun and memorable gryfon times.
Especially Writers: Please feel free to submit questions in advance of the event. Use the Kickstarter private message to send me writing questions, marketing questions, anything you want. I cannot promise to answer them all, but I'll do my best.
Especially Readers: Same thing! I will answer just about anything that isn't a spoiler for BTSW.
I hope you can make it!
Stretch Goal #6 : $22,000 ~!!UNLOCKED!!~
BACKER EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEAK AT THE SUMMER KING GRAPHIC NOVEL
Yep, that's what I said.
And you delivered! Near the end of the campaign, I will post a backer-only update with a sneak peak at the first stages of the graphic novel of Song of the Summer King.
Stretch Goal #7 : $25,000 ~!!UNLOCKED!!~
If we unlock this stretch goal, I will begin the process of turning Skyfire into an audiobook! Please see Update #5 for details.
Stretch Goal #8 : $27,000 ~!!UNLOCKED!!~
It's already written, we just have to reach the stretch goal for me to add it. A bonus scene at the end...something very special, to be included ONLY in the e-books received by backers of the BTSW campaign.
Stretch Goal #9 $29,000 ~~!!UNLOCKED!!~~
To make sure the final volume is especially epic, I will sign every backer copy of Book 4 in silver marker, and add a small silver feather doodle.
Ohhhhh boy I'll be drawing a lot of silver feathers! WOW!
Okay, You Pledged (woo!) Now What?
Spread the word! I'm using the hashtags #GryfonPride and #GameofGryfons for all Kickstarter related tweets and Facebook posts. Follow along or tell your friends (and enemies! Who knows, you might reconcile over gryfons).
Risks and challenges
As anyone who's ever backed a Kickstarter campaign knows, and anyone who hasn't can probably guess, there are some risks involved. Not the least of which are...
I try to set reasonable (even generous) delivery deadlines, but those who've backed me before knows there is a high risk of delay. I'm running this little operation while working two day jobs, writing more books, and occasionally spending some time with my hubby and my new dog (!) So there is a risk of delay, but I promise you will ALWAYS get your rewards. And I'm very easy to find and contact. If you ever have questions, just drop me a line! If you have a very urgent deadline like a birthday, let me know, and I'll do my very best to meet it.
Risk #2: Flexibility = Higher probability of a mix-up...
My backers know I'm happy to do as much as I can to be flexible and get people the goodies they desire even if the particular combo isn't offered in a specific reward tier. Want a drawing in your book but not all the other stuff? I will do my best to work with you. BUT, as noted, I fulfill campaigns mostly alone, on my days off. Even when I have a packing party, I try to oversee to avoid mix-ups. From the beginning of the campaign when we're a ll excited and I'm saying "YES!" a lot to the end when I'm preparing packages...there's a chance I might forget something special we've arranged--in that case, there is a 100% chance I will make it right. You just have to let me know.
Risk #3: Sudden Gryfon Withdrawal Syndrome (SGWS)
This highly contagious condition has been noted in some readers of the SOTSK Chronicles. Symptoms include: lethargy, depression, severe lack of wings, tendancy to moon-gaze and seek out large bodies of water, quests into the woods, and occasionally making low, feral growls as a sign of displeasure.
Thus far the only cure appears to reading similar books (we recommend doses of Warriors, Wings of Fire, and perhaps any Lion King spin-offs). The best treatment for symptoms of sufferers of SGWS is to seek out fellow afflicted on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Deviantart, to discuss all things gryfon. It's also rumored (but not proven) that leaving ratings and reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and other sites can help ease the symptoms and also raise the likelihood of more gryfon novels in the future.
Most symptoms fade with time and are generally harmless. However, anyone suddenly sprouting feathers, talons, or communicating in raspy trills should speak to a physician immediately.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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