THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, CRAZY GOOD PEOPLE!
You are wonderful and amazing and I can’t thank you enough! Together we blew past our goal in the first 4 hours of the campaign and you just kept going, crushing it by 620%+ Thanks for making this first step of The League And The Lantern such a huge success! Now that the campaign is over please join me at LeagueAndLantern.com for updates! ! If you missed out on the book, pre-orders will be available there beginning in mid-April, 2016.
"A rip-roaring comedy adventure that's also about courage, family, and friendship."
I love action-adventure! When I was 10, my dad brought home a second-hand Hardy Boys book from the Salvation Army store. I was hooked. Next came The Chronicles of Narnia, and then the big screen: Indiana Jones, The Goonies and later National Treasure.
Those stories had a profound impact on me. They were both GREAT (engaging writing, great characters, surprising twists, and humor) and GOOD (they reinforced the kind of character my parents wanted to build into me). Over the last several years, in-between producing family movies, being a husband and dad, and working to help children around the world, I’ve been writing my own.
Allow me to introduce you to The League and the Lantern. It's the FIRST BOOK IN A NEW ADVENTURE SERIES for middle-school readers. It all starts when a dangerous organization invades Jake Herndon’s seventh-grade sleepover. He escapes along with two new classmates, Lucy and TJ, only to face a 48-hour fight for survival on the streets of Chicago. The kids unravel a mystery dating back to the Civil War and discover an incredible secret about Jake’s family. Along the way they learn unexpected lessons about courage, family, and friendship.
That’s so nice of you to ask. And I love how you worded that. Everyone from 9-14 year-olds to parents to industry professionals are saying that it's an engaging mix of great characters, laugh-out loud humor, and mind-bending twists. And it delivers all this in an incredibly imaginative way without any objectionable language, sexual innuendo, or inappropriate themes.
The book is in its final round of proofreading, but here’s some of the early feedback on the advance draft:
Emmy and Peabody Winner and former Spielberg Producer:
“An original concept with characters that are fun, different, and have original voices. I can safely say I have not read or seen anything with this kind of storytelling.”
Former Vice-President, Walt Disney World:
"A riveting adventure full of great characters, smart humor, and gripping action!"
Mom of two boys and one girl:
Suspenseful action-adventure mixed with moments of hilarity, a great moral lesson, and spatterings of history. My kids loved it and I loved what it filled their minds with!
Eighth Grade Language Arts Teacher:
Wells stands boldly on a premise that all good storytellers know to be true: at the end of the day, memorable characters and a gripping story are the only true keys to any engaging tale. Throwing in a crackling wit and a few well-crafted twists for good measure, Wells more than delivers on all counts in his debut novel. As engrossing as it is clever, as funny as it is downright fun, The League and the Lantern grabs readers from the opening chapters and doesn't let go.
“This is one of my favorite books of all time! I loved the characters who were funny, smart, and daring. I would definitely recommend it to all my friends."
“I loved it. It was an epic adventure with so many crazy twists and turns!”
University English Professor and Children's Author:
“You’ve somehow created a rip-roaring comedy-adventure that also manages to be a brief for mercy, compassion, and love.”
If you want to get an even better feel, check out the first 33 pages here: http://dot-dash-client-files.s3.amazonaws.com/leagueandlantern/LeagueAndLanternSneakPeek.pdf
Again, I’m glad you asked. This isn’t your first rodeo is it? The answer is yes, many things, but especially these two:
1) I’ve worked with education professionals to invisibly weave into the book 140 OF THE TOP VOCABULARY WORDS MIDDLE-SCHOOL STUDENTS NEED FOR SUCCESS. By doing this we’ve created a fun summer read that will also keep your child or grandchild sharp for middle school.
2) By launching this book outside of the traditional route, we’re able to do something that’s close to my heart. FOR EVERY HARDCOVER THAT WE SELL WHEN WE LAUNCH IN MAY WE'LL GIVE AWAY A HARDCOVER TO A CHILD IN NEED. That’s right: Every time someone buys a book when we launch, we’re going to give a free book to a child who couldn’t otherwise afford it. There's something special when a kid gets to hold their very own brand new book in their hands. We want every kid to have that experience.
Brian Wells (me) I spent the early years of my life in Nigeria before my parents moved to Illinois. As executive producer, I've worked on 15 network television movies that have been enjoyed by millions and applauded by family organizations across the U.S. My work includes NBC’s Secrets of the Mountain and The Watsons Go to Birmingham for Walden Family Theater. Outside of my work in entertainment, I have started and led work to combat child trafficking in South Asia, resulting in over $4.5 million investment to-date in rescue and rehabilitation.
Steven Bauer Steven is the author of seven books—ranging from novels to poetry to children's books—and no relation to Eddie. After directing the creative writing program and serving as an award-winning English professor at Miami University in Oxford, OH for many years, he now builds beginners into writers as an editor. Steven served as developmental editor on the book.
Clare Finney Clare is a friend and a wonderful book designer who has designed over 250 books. Clare guided the design of the book, both inside and out.
Joe Slucher Joe is a genius at capturing light and action in illustration. Joe did the killer cover image.
First of all, we're blown away by all the support that helped us reach our goal in less than 24 hours of launch! We're also excited that so many people are choosing options that help distribute 10-30 books to kids who they think can benefit. Our goal is to invest 100% of the Kickstarter contributions into getting the book into as many hands as possible. I'm publishing the book myself with a fantastic team helping me spread the word and every penny we raise will either pay to print the books or spread the word. It would be amazing if we could reach $100,000 for exactly that!
Yep, we’ve got em. We’ve tried to give a nice range but also keep it fairly simple. Here you go:
$1 THANKS & PROJECT UPDATES
I'll send you my sincere thanks and updates as we approach launch!
$15 ADVANCE E-BOOK
You’ll get, before anyone else in the public, an advance copy of the e-book. It will be DRM FREE so you can read it on any device.
$25 DOUBLE-FUN HARDCOVER
You get TWO, yes TWO ADVANCE HARDCOVERS of the first books printed, and shipping is included. This is a $15 SAVINGS compared to what this will cost with shipping when we launch the book! Keep two for the kids in your life or keep just one and give the other to your school-local library, or to a child in need. And you get your name on the LeagueAndLantern.com Legendary Wall of Eternal Gratitude. All shipping is included. (500 available)
$40 DOUBLE-FUN HARDCOVER SIGNED AND NUMBERED
I SIGN AND NUMBER your TWO ADVANCE HARDCOVERS with the autograph I’ve been perfecting since Mrs. Broughton gave me a "C" in cursive handwriting in 3rd grade. While it is now legible it still retains a certain unpolished and emotionally honest quality. And you get your name on the LeagueAndLantern.com Legendary Wall of Eternal Gratitude. Shipping is included. (350 available)
$130 HERO PACK
You get 1 SIGNED AND NUMBERED HARDCOVER AND I send 10 (unsigned) hardcover books to the organization, school, or library of your choice (or we can choose for you). And you get your name on the LeagueAndLantern.com Legendary Wall of Eternal Gratitude. Shipping is included. (105 available)
$500 SUPERHERO PACK
ADOPT A CLASSROOM
Now this is getting fun! You get EVERYTHING in the HERO PACK but instead of 10 hardcovers, I send 30 copies to a classroom or organization of your choosing (or we can choose for you) AND I will do a Skype call with the school or group discussing my adventures in producing television movies and in writing, AND your name is on the acknowledgements page of the published hardcover. Shipping is included. (40 available)
$1,000 NEW!!!! SCHOOL/GROUP VISIT
You receive everything in the Superhero (Adopt a Classroom) pack but instead of a Skype call Brian will visit the school or organization in person. He will talk about his adventures in producing and writing and how critical perseverance is in any hero’s journey. (All shipping and Brian’s travel is included. For visits more than 150 miles from Cincinnati, additional travel costs may apply) (Only 10 available)
$1,700 MEGA SUPERHERO (CUSTOM REMIX) INCLUDES ADOPT A CLASSROOM
Are you still reading? I guess I should come up with something special. How about this? We do EVERYTHING in the SUPERHERO PACK (ADOPT A CLASSROOM) AND you will ALSO get 20 copies of a custom version of the book in which I have replaced all the key character names with names of your choosing (no inappropriate names please). You can give these 20 books to everyone whose name is now a character in the book and these will be the only 20 copies that exist! Shipping is included. (Only 5 available)
$2,000 ULTRA MEGA SUPERHERO (CREATE A LEGEND) INCLUDES ADOPT A CLASSROOM
OK, this is the best I have to give (unless you count my Abe Lincoln bobblehead collection and that's not on the table). We do EVERYTHING in the SUPERHERO (ADOPT A CLASSROOM) PACK AND I will RENAME ONE OF THE SUPPORTING CHARACTERS IN THE ACTUAL PUBLISHED BOOK AFTER ANYONE OF YOUR CHOOSING. Want to make your son or daughter a hero? This would do it. Feeling feisty toward your boss or parent-in-law? Make them a villain. The opportunities for jovial passive-aggressiveness are endless. (No political or inappropriate names) Shipping is included. (Only 3 available)
I’m in the final stage of revisions and copyediting. When the Kickstarter campaign succeeds (and I know we can do it!) we’ll commit to the first print run in March and have your personal books in the mail to you in May. We’ll launch it nationally shortly after.
Thanks! This project has been a labor of love for me. Go here if you would like to get ongoing email updates from me on this project, http://eepurl.com/bOwBkX
Risks and challenges
The only risk to fulfilling the Kickstarter rewards is if the first batch of the books takes longer than projected to print and ship or if there are unanticipated logistic issues in me signing the books. While there's no reason to anticipate that, it is a tight timeline and if that happens it would mean a slight delay (by perhaps 2-4 weeks).
The main risks and challenges are on the public launch of the book. It's not easy to break through the clutter to build awareness for a new book, particularly if you're not part of the established publishing machine. We have some awesome creative marketing planned, but it's no guarantee. None of that should impact fulfilling the Kickstarter rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)