The Collected Bartleby and James Adventures is a best selling collection of steampunk mystery novelettes, reaching #1 on the Amazon UK mystery anthology kindle list and #4 in the US. I'd like to release a paperback version.
Alton Bartleby is a savvy deductive savant. James Wainwright is a socially awkward inventive genius. Together the pair of consulting detectives hunt steampunk monstrosities and protect Victorian London from danger for the police, for the crown, and for private citizens. This collection features four steampunk novelettes: And They Called Her Spider, Maiden Voyage of the Rio Grande, On the Trail of the Scissorman, and A Matter of Spirit.
The entire work comes to approximately 144 pages.
In And They Called Her Spider the consulting detectives have been hired to scour steampunk London for the Spider, an impossible killer targeting only the most well-protected of targets. It's up to them to stop her before she can assassinate Queen Victoria at the pinnacle of her Platinum Jubilee.
In Maiden Voyage of the Rio Grande James Wainwright has been accused of a murder he did not commit, and only his savvy partner Alton Bartleby can clear his name. The clock is ticking, though, as the true murderer's sabotage threatens to crash the largest airship in the world onto the teaming streets of Victorian London below. Many of those aboard the Rio Grande's maiden voyage would love to see its plutocrat American owner ruined, but how many would kill to see it happen?
In On the Trail of the Scissorman, When the police cannot catch a serial killer turning Victorian London's children into orphans, the brother of its latest victim turns to the duo for help. Despite less-than-forthcoming assistance from Scottland Yard, the pair are determined to stop the menace that the broadsheets have labeled The Scissorman.
In A Matter of Spirit James has little use for the fancies of faith or Spiritualism. When he's hired to advocate for an old friend who claims that his medium was kidnapped by angry spirits, he is forced to put his skepticism aside for the sake of the investigation. Is this just another con-job, or is something more supernatural at work in Victorian London, and can James be objective enough to find the answers?
What Funds Will Be Used For
First of all I'll be commissioning art from local independent artists, one full cover piece for the cover, one interior black and white illustration for each novelette, and a "steampunk style" author's portrait for the back cover.
The book itself will be offered through Amazon and Createspace, so there's little additional overhead there - an ISBN, proof copies, etc. The novelettes have individually been proofread, but I'd like to spring for some additional editing if possible.
Additional funds will go towards marketing. If enough is donated this will include a book trailer created by local Chicago production companies and theater troupes.
If donations wildly exceed budget I'll commission more art for the book, and possibly write a bonus feature on Steampunk London for the end of the book.
Risks and challenges
The stories are already written, the ebook already published, so the risks involved with the project come from the artists and editors commissioned to provide resources. There are several outcomes that might cause delays in getting the paperback out in a timely fashion.
Artists might miss deadlines, or provide substandard work that needs to be revised. Editors might take longer than anticipated to complete their own revisions.
The printers' proofs might be in error and require further layout work, additional proofs with additional shipping time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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