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This fully-illustrated book follows twin otter boys as they discover the magic that comes from protecting what's most important.
20 backers pledged $1,500 to help bring this project to life.

About

Otter Twin Magic: a children's book project video thumbnail
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$1,500

20

If we reach the funding goal of $1250, the books will be printed and digitalized, and they'll get on their way to you. In addition, everyone receiving a physical copy will also receive a very limited edition bookmark in every book. The bookmarks will be two-sided, full color, and come in a clear vinyl sleeve with a tassel on top. Watch for the reveal of just what the bookmark will look like in a future update.

 I am creating a full-color children's book. It will be available as an ebook and hard-cover. The hard copy will be 8.5 x 8.5 inches when closed, and about 38 pages. The story itself is 32 pages.

The book is about two young otters who discover a magical rock and a magical stick behind a waterfall in the woods, where they live in Northern California, USA. They learn to use them only for the most important purposes. What those "important purposes" are they must discover for themselves.

I've been writing stories and drawing pictures ever since I first learned to hold a pencil as a tiny child, and I've written and self-published five fantasy novels. I've thought about making children's books but never really had the inspiration to do it until my twin nephews were born in October of 2013.

I then decided that I wanted to write and illustrate a book starring them as the main characters. I chose to use animals because I've always loved drawing animals more than people. I also have an undergraduate degree in zoology and a graduate certificate in scientific illustration. I knew I could use my education to make characters and environments that harmoniously blended scientific accuracy and cute and friendly.

I grew up in Northern California and that's where my nephews live now, so I wanted to put the setting there, using plants, animals, and even locations that the boys might see and visit when camping or hiking.

Because I have training as an illustrator and experience as a self-publishing writer, I had a good idea where to start, but I've never made a children's book before.

These are my five perviously published novels.
These are my five perviously published novels.

I wrote the text first, going through a few drafts. At first, I was focused on trying to tell a story that would teach a lesson that I thought was important, but putting that restriction on my creativity turned out to stifle it. Eventually, I threw out my first attempts and started over, with only the goal of writing a fun story about what I liked to write about: magic and mystery and adventure.

This approach turned out to be the right one, and when I had finished the story, it ended up being one that taught a lesson, too: that your family is one of the most important parts of your life.

Now that I had the story, I needed to begin work on the illustrations. I decided on a 32 page story, and broke the text up so I would know what text would go on each page. I started the illustrations, sketching in pencil, using tons of photo references and a good dose of whimsy.

Some of the black and white line art from the book, before adding color.
Some of the black and white line art from the book, before adding color.

Once the sketches were done, I began inking the linework. The pen and ink linework was then scanned into digital files which I am currently coloring in Adobe Photoshop. I will combine that finished art with the text in Adobe InDesign, and produce a print quality PDF that can be sent to any printer or converted into an ebook.

The funds that help me reach my goal go to offset the cost of materials, scanning of the art, purchasing the ISBN number, title set-up fees with the printer, and the time and cost of printing and shipping the copies of the book to you.

The personal cost of my time spent in writing, illustrating, and designing the book is not included in the funding goal. That is a gift I am giving to my nephews and other readers, and something I enjoy doing in any case.

This is how I'm expecting the budget to work out.
This is how I'm expecting the budget to work out.

You can get an ebook version of the book, or a 8.5x8.5 inch (21.6x21.6cm) hardcover copy. The book will be about 38 pages long, full color. The story itself is 32 pages long.

In addition, all backers will be thanked in print on a page at the back of the book. In the follow-up survey you will be allowed to specify what name you would like to appear on the thanks page, up to 20 characters, appropriate for a children's book, no urls please.

The ebook will be made available for download through Gumroad. Each backer will receive a unique download code which can be used on the Gumroad site to get the ebook for free.

At pledge levels for physical copies of the book, for US backers the shipping fees are included in the pledge amount. International backers will be asked to pay additional shipping to allow me to send the package to your country.

Add-ons: If you would like additional copies of the hardcover or additional ebook download codes (each can only be used once) you may add-on these items as follows:

  • $10 = one additional ebook download code
  • $25 = one additional hardcover copy PLUS another ebook download code

Add-ons can be added after you have selected a pledge level. Simply add the amount of the add-on you'd like to the amount of the pledge when checking out. For example, if you pledge at the Badger level ($25) but would like an extra hard copy of the book, add $25 to your pledge, for a total of $50.

Add-ons can also be added at any time after you've made a pledge, before the kickstarter ends, by clicking on your pledge level and selecting "manage." Increase your pledge amount by the value of the add-on(s) you'd like without changing the reward selection.

In the follow-up backer survey, please also note what add-ons you included in your pledge.

If we reach $1500 before the campaign ends, every hardcopy of the book will come with a full-color, fold-out 11x17 inch poster that you can display and enjoy. While reading Otter Twin Magic you'll discover a bunch of Northern California animals, from birds and mammals to fish and amphibians. This poster will be all new artwork of those animals, with their names and some information about each one, so all readers can learn more about them.

Stay tuned for more stretch goals as the campaign continues.

Although of course I'll be posting updates here, you can also follow me on Facebook (Kasmith Art & Books), Google+ (Kasmith Art & Books), or Twitter (@Tahtanista). You can also visit my official website: elucidationimages.com.

My official website is at www.elucidationimages.com
My official website is at www.elucidationimages.com

Thank you for your interest and support! With your help, I can make this book a reality for everyone who wants to join Lukas and Jaxon on their adventure. I hope you will share this project with your friends and family. Thanks for stopping by!

Risks and challenges

This is my only Kickstarter project, and I'm not going to start another one until this one is totally complete. The book is not finished yet, but I am keeping up with the schedule I planned for myself, and I've never defaulted on a deadline before.

If a problem were to arise with a printer, there are always other printers I could take my business to. Delays in shipping could occur, as with shipping anything, but I would investigate all delays and ship additional copies to anyone whose book is lost in transit.

Should anything occur that prevents me from completing this project, I would of course refund the support received from backers.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Level 1: Raccoon

    Receive a digital copy of the book via Gumroad, and printed thanks on the last page of the book.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Level 2: Badger

    Receive a hard cover copy of the book, a download code for the ebook via Gumroad, and printed thanks on the last page of the book.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Level 3: Otter

    Receive hard cover copy of the book, a download code for the ebook via Gumroad, and printed thanks on the last page of the book.

    Plus, the creator will sign and sketch a Northern California animal on the title page of the hardcover book. Each signed book will have a unique sketch.

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    Limited 9 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    Level 4: Badger 5-pack

    Receive FIVE hard cover copies of the book, FIVE download codes for the ebook via Gumroad, and printed thanks on the last page of the book.

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    4 backers
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Funding period

- (27 days)