A Ghost Haunts Me.
Pilate's Ghost, to be precise. Here are the basics, straight from the horse's mouth:
Our small but loyal fan base enjoys following our hero, John Pilate (an attractive, flawed guy who's also kind of a wise a**) as he careens from one quirky mystery to another. Always at his side is Simon, his imaginary, sardonic pal, as well as a supporting cast of grouches, professors, fishermen, cops, beach bums, crooks and people who excel at the art of sexy distraction.
The series is more than mysteries, though. More than anything, it's about interesting characters in unusual circumstances. There's love, sex, violence, bad behavior, sarcastic comments, oblique references to pop culture and even drink recipes.
With all due respect, this isn't Agatha Christie.
A Little Backstory.
Anyway, the first two books were published as eBooks and in paperback, available everywhere. Both were accepted into the collection of the Kansas City Public Library and are on the shelves of indie bookstores here and there around the country. This independently published series has so far sold just under 4,000 copies (eBooks and paperbacks) combined--but the books continue to get more reviews and attention every day. I've been interviewed by countless blogs, had my work dramatized for podcast and even appeared on radio and TV talking about the books.
I truly believe it's starting to take off.
The first book, Pilate's Cross, is inspired by a true-life murder at a small college in the American Midwest. Instead of telling you about it, I'd rather show you. Check out the trailer:
It was nominated as Best Mystery in the 2011 Global eBook Awards and was a finalist for Best Book Cover.
The follow up, Pilate's Key, plays out on the beaches of Key West, Florida:
It is currently a semi-finalist for Best Mystery/Thriller in the Kindle Book Review Awards. So you can see, this isn't just my pals and parents saying this. People dig these books!
Anyway, the next book, Pilate's Ghost follows the exploits of John Pilate all over the map--with some pretty bad hombres on his tail. It promises to have the same playful spirit, smart-alack dialogue and energetic pacing my readers have come to expect from this series.
So, like the previous books, I want to offer this third book in paperback format.
Why A Paperback?
There are many readers who either don't like eBooks or don't have the financial means to buy my work and can only get books on loan from the library. Also, a paperback version helps the series gain new fans by making it available in every possible format. Ebooks are great--but there's still nothing like a paperback to get it on shelves in front of people. (There are also many who prefer audiobooks--more about that in a minute).
So What's the Problem?
It's not cheap to produce a print-on-demand paperback. Costs of editing, typesetting, book design, cover design (After two--going on three--covers I owe my brilliant cover artist a stipend!), production, review copies and shipping can add up. It can cost anywhere from $1200-$1500.
Put simply: my current financial situation makes it unrealistic for me to offer the paperback version of this new book. (My daughter needs new shoes!)
Any profits I've made on the ebook versions to date have been completely swallowed up by the paperback costs (and the website, eBook formatting, book trailers, review copies, postage, PR, advertising, etc.). Put simply: my current financial situation makes it unrealistic for me to offer the paperback version of this new book. (And my daughter needs new shoes!)
That's Where You Come In.
For a mere pittance, you can ensure there will be a paperback version of Pilate's Ghost and provide a little seed money for the audio versions.
You'll qualify for some spiffy rewards, including free eBooks, autographed copies of the new book and other books in the series…and you can even be in the book itself! Have a look at the rewards and perks on the right side of this page for ways you can get a whole lot for just a modest investment.
Can You Hear Me Now?
I'd also like to dramatize all three novels as audiobooks, but that takes studio time and an engineer to get it done right (I refuse to read the books into an iPhone while crouching in a poorly-soundproofed closet!). So any extra funds left over after the paperback is paid for will go in the audiobook production fund. If I get at least $200 set aside from Kickstarter, I'll pony up the rest of the funds to record the first audiobook.
This Is Not An All-Or-Nothing Deal.
I want to be clear--there will be a Pilate's Ghost book, no matter what. I owe it to John Pilate fans to produce the third book. (Besides, I've already finished the first draft!) However, if I cannot get the funding for a paperback (and audiobook), so be it, I'll produce an eBook version exclusively.
However, if I earn the support of enough people like you, there will be a great-looking paperback ready to hit the shelves of bookstores, libraries and the hands of those without the means or desire to use an ereader. Not to mention an audiobook of "Pilate's Cross" in 2013.
So, What Do You Say?
Some have said the John Pilate Mysteries would make a cool movie. I'm not that grandiose, but I do think it's something special. I think at the very least it could be a long running, entertaining series of books--and isn't being entertained worth a few bucks? That's no mystery if you ask me.
Thanks for reading this--and if you want to check out the first two books before you open your wallet to invest in the third, by all means please do. Click here for free samples on my Amazon page or in any format on Smashwords.
We have three weeks to make this happen. I'm asking for $1,500. (Bear in mind, Kickstarter will apply a 5% fee to the funds raised, and Amazon will apply credit card processing fees (between 3-5%) to what I raise. If I don't reach the $1,500 minimum goal, then the deal is off and your credit card will not be charged.)
Many thanks for your time and consideration--with your help, this book has more than a ghost of a chance!
- (21 days)