Once Upon a Pancake is a coffee table book full of unfinished short stories.
You pick up a pen and write inside. Add a little bit or a longer bit — go wherever your imagination takes you. Then pass the pen! The next person keeps the story going, riffing, joining the dots and sparking ideas, and then the next person, and so on, and so the story grows.
The book is a way to get creative together, whether just for a giggle or with the aim of stretching your imagination and lateral thinking skills.
Every copy will be a one-of-a-kind: full of stories made unique by you and your friends' collective imaginations.
I've crafted stories in a variety of styles to spark your imaginations in different ways. Some have few words, others have plenty. Some have illustrations or photos to work into the storyline, or places to sketch. (Larger images here.)
The prototype books are sprouting stories in cafés...
... in bars
... in co-working spaces
... and on coffee tables at Apple HQ, Insomniac Games, and my mate Jen's place.
"Gift for my creative friend, done!" -- Dianne, SF.
"I can't wait to try this in our quarterly innovation workshop," -- Sofie, HR Manager.
"Easily the ________________________game ________. Right?" -- Leroy, NYC.
The Kickstarter edition will be hardcover, 8w x 10h inches, full color, with a special opaque or uncoated paper stock that's a joy to write on with any pen or pencil. It'll be ~180-200 pages, depending on the final shortlist of stories.
All funds raised will go directly to designing, printing and shipping the book to you. I've partnered with the hyper-talented designer Jake Kahana, who is primed and excited to finish the artwork. And I've shortlisted two printing companies with exceptional reputations for coffee table book quality.
The book will be in your hands by April 2018 at the latest. But I like surprises and I'm planning to surprise you earlier.
Shipping costs are notoriously hard to estimate before knowing quantities and geographies, so I've decided to collect shipping costs after the campaign ends, using a pledge manager (BackerKit). This is a seamless process, so no stress. But keep in mind that for each shipping address associated with your order, there'll be this approximate shipping to pay:
- United States — $5-6
- Australia & NZ — $19-24
- Canada — $15-22
- EU & UK— $20-25
- Rest of the world — $25-30
Funds raised above the $4750 goal will go to production quality (e.g. extra-special paper, including contributions from excellent illustrators).
But if we reach $20,000...
after a little dance break, I produce free copies to some fantastic not-for-profits and community organizations which champion writing, reading and creativity. Many provide free workshops to underserved communities, or grants and mentorships. They all rely on the love and sweat of volunteers.
The first groups I'd like to offer a gift to are:
- 826 Valencia
- Girls Write Now
- Quiet Lightning
- San Francisco Center for the Book
- The Center for Fiction
- Lambda Literary
- The Muse
- Literary Arts
Hey. I'm Rick, a fiction writer from Australia who lives in San Francisco. Here's a selection of my stories.
I've been collecting story ideas for Once Upon a Pancake book for about 3 years, and in the past 6 months I've written, drafted and shortlisted about 150 stories. I can't wait to test different styles and formats with y'all; we'll make the final cut together.
Big thanks to Luke Hale on video, Jake on design, Ryan + Jen + PianoFight + Insomniac Games on prototype testing, and Lisa on endless moral support.
Risks and challenges
You'll get a great book. The stories are 80% written, Jake's ready to polish the artwork, the printing quotes are vetted and print production is scheduled.
The primary risk and challenge is timing. In dealing with 3rd party printers and distributors, there's a chance of delays I can't control. But, I've selected local (North American) companies with great reputations and records.
In my day jobs, I've managed complex, global creative projects in all media. This is comparatively straightforward, and there's plenty of fat in the timeline. I've also launched and run a community education not for profit, so I know how to juggle.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (38 days)