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We will fund two large-scale, coffee table, art books.  One features wounded US veterans and the other explores male figure studies.
We will fund two large-scale, coffee table, art books.  One features wounded US veterans and the other explores male figure studies.
We will fund two large-scale, coffee table, art books. One features wounded US veterans and the other explores male figure studies.
3,536 backers pledged $411,134 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Publish two large-scale photo books by Michael Stokes. project video thumbnail
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Publish two large-scale photo books by Michael Stokes.

$411,134

3,536

The goal is to fund the publishing of two large-scale, hardcover, coffee table books.  Last year we did a Kickstarter for my book, Bare Strength.  We reached the goal within 48 hours.  This year the goal is slightly more ambitious because we are publishing two books, but it is still well below the $72,707 we raised last year.  For those of you who purchased my books, Masculinity, Bare Strength or follow my work will already have an idea of what these books will consist of. Last year, in Bare Strength there was a chapter featuring wounded, amputee, Marines, but this year instead of one chapter, I decided to create a separate book for the men who served in the US military.  Special thank you to Whitehorse for allowing me to use their song, Sweet Disaster in my teaser video. 

Cover for Always Loyal (Taylor at Salton Sea)
Cover for Always Loyal (Taylor at Salton Sea)

The veteran's book is titled, Always Loyal and features approximately 14 different wounded, United States Army, Navy and Marine veterans of The Gulf Wars.  This hardcover photo book with dust jacket will be approximately 80-96 pages and will measure 13.5 X 10.4 inches, consisting of both color and black & white images printed on heavy stock, high quality, photo paper.  The full retail price will be $79.99.  Each veteran will have a bio page and details related to his or her injuries.  The vast majority of these veterans have lost one or multiple limbs from IED attacks.  So far I have photographed 12 of these veterans, and the last two (one is female) are scheduled to be photographed within the next 3 weeks.

Cover for Exhibition
Cover for Exhibition

 The other book, Exhibition consists of male erotic images and figure studies of fitness competitors, personal trainers and body builders from around the world - and yes, some veterans will be in this book as well.  The images are already photographed, edited and only need to be organized and published.  This hardcover photo book with dust jacket will be approximately 128 pages and will measure 13.5 X 10.4 inches, consisting of both color and black & white images printed on heavy stock, high quality, photo paper. The full retail price will be $99.99.

Alternate cover for Always Loyal (Taylor with ropes)
Alternate cover for Always Loyal (Taylor with ropes)

 There has been some controversy as to which photo image should be used for the cover of Always Loyal.  We have decided to give you the option to have the controversial photo of "Taylor with ropes" as an option for a book cover.  This will ONLY be available through the Kickstarter and is an opportunity to own a rare and collectible book that will only be printed on demand through the Kickstarter.  When you receive your address survey at the end of the Kickstarter, this is when you will indicate if you want the alternate book cover.  If you do not indicate that you want the alternate cover, the default cover will be Taylor at the Salton Sea.

Last year's Special Edition. Even though the book here also has a paper slip cover, it is clothbound underneath and comes with a clothbound slip case.
Last year's Special Edition. Even though the book here also has a paper slip cover, it is clothbound underneath and comes with a clothbound slip case.

Like last year, we will offer a collector’s edition consisting of both Always Loyal and Exhibition; both will be clothbound with foil stamped lettering, in a special clothbound slip case also with foil lettering.  Each book will have individual slip covers, and both books will fit into the one slip case.  The alternate cover for Always Loyal will be an option.  Only 150 will be printed. They will be hand stamped, hand numbered and hand signed by Michael Stokes.  At your election, your name will be printed in a special acknowledgements section of the book, separate from the regular Kickstarter acknowledgement section.  For every fulfilled pledge in this category, I will donate $100 from my own funds to a charity that benefits wounded, United States veterans of war.  If all Special Editions are pledged, then that will equal $15,000 to a veteran's charity from my own funds.

Special Edition pledgers are given a separate acknowledgements section in the book for helping to raise funds for a veteran's charity.
Special Edition pledgers are given a separate acknowledgements section in the book for helping to raise funds for a veteran's charity.

The photos in the Kickstarter video are just a sample of what will be in the books. Many unpublished images will appear in both books.  These photos are specifically designated for the books, especially Exhibition. While working with many elite models in the fitness and body building world, I have selected images that have never before been viewed on the internet or social media. These intimate and exclusive photos are reserved for projects like this, in order to provide a truly special experience for those who support the books.

Please continue to support the work by pledging. The Kickstarter time line is only 21 days this year. We estimate that the book will be printed and ready to distribute END of September to Kickstarter participants. In mid November we anticipate the book will be available on Amazon and through other distribution avenues.  Thank you!

Risks and challenges

The risk is relatively low. If we don't reach the funding goal, then your credit card is not charged. If we reach the funding goal, then it is just a matter of printing the books and distributing them. I have more than one bid for the cost of publication, and the funding goal will meet or exceed more than one of the printing and distribution quotes.

Last year I did a Kickstarter for my book, Bare Strength. Everything went as planned and on schedule. I believe this year things will go just as smoothly.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Receive one copy of Always Loyal.

    At your option, your name or a designated name in the book thanking you for supporting the creation of this work.
    *When the Kickstarter ends, you will be sent a survey where you will indicate if you want the alternate cover, Taylor with ropes. If you order more than one, you can indicate how many you want (if any) with the alternate cover.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Receive one copy of Exhibition.

    At your option, your name or a designated name in the book thanking you for supporting the creation of this work.

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    130 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Receive one copy of Always Loyal and one copy of Exhibition.

    Receive a certificate, hand signed and hand numbered by Michael Stokes thanking you for your participation, and at your option, your name or a designated name in both books thanking you for supporting the creation of the work.
    *When the Kickstarter ends, you will be sent a survey where you will indicate if you want the alternate cover, Taylor with ropes.

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    1,886 backers
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $325 or more About $325

    COLLECTOR'S EDITIONS: Receive both books. 1) a collector's edition of Always Loyal and a collector's edition of Exhibition, both in a special cover, clothbound with foil stamped lettering in a slip case also clothbound with foil lettering. Both books will fit into one slip case. Only 150 will be printed. 2) They will be hand stamped, hand numbered and hand signed by Michael Stokes. 3) At your election your name will be printed in a special acknowledgements section of both books, in a section separate from the regular Kickstarter participants. 4) For every fulfilled pledge in this category, Michael Stokes will donate $100 from his own funds to an organization that benefits wounded United States veterans of war. Limited to 150 backers.
    *When the Kickstarter ends, you will be sent a survey where you will indicate if you want the alternate slipcover, Taylor with ropes. This slip cover is not to be confused with the slip case which is clothbound as well as the book itself.

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    Reward no longer available 150 backers
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Funding period

- (21 days)