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A coffee table book full of unfinished short stories. Anyone can pick up a pen and write the next bit.
A coffee table book full of unfinished short stories. Anyone can pick up a pen and write the next bit. Then someone else comes along and writes, and then the next person, and so on, and so the stories grow.
A coffee table book full of unfinished short stories. Anyone can pick up a pen and write the next bit. Then someone else comes along and writes, and then the next person, and so on, and so the stories grow.
153 backers pledged $10,983 to help bring this project to life.

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Once Upon a Pancake: stories we write together

$10,983

153

 

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.

Like this:

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... 

Vega Coffee, Folsom St, San Francisco (@vegacoffeesf)
Vega Coffee, Folsom St, San Francisco (@vegacoffeesf)

... in bars

The Irish Bank, San Francisco
The Irish Bank, San Francisco

... in co-working spaces

WeWork 600 Cal. St, San Francisco
WeWork 600 Cal. St, San Francisco

 

WeWork 600 Cal. St, San Francisco
WeWork 600 Cal. St, San Francisco

... and on coffee tables at Apple HQ, Insomniac Games, and my mate Jen's place. 

REVIEWS

"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
(For non-US backers: yep, pretty expensive. Unfortunately, these are typical rates for Kickstarter campaigns at this scale... I'll work as hard as I can to get these prices down, e.g. via bulk freight and local distribution in regions where the backer quantities are high enough. With extra backers comes extra negotiating leverage; so grab one for your nan, too.)

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:

(If you have a suggestion for a worthy organization, I'd love to hear it!)

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.

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Support

  1. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE BOOK + a character named after you

    --EARLY BIRD (first 48 hours only)--

    The beautifully made, ~180 page, hardcover coffee table book.

    As a thank you for acting quickly, I'll name a character after you. You can choose whether your full name, first name or a nickname appears in the book. (You won't be able to choose the story details, though.)

    N.B. Shipping costs not included. Please see shipping information for details.

    Includes:
    • Coffee table book
    • Character named after you
    • Your name printed on the acknowledgments page
    • Story Samplers PDF
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 40 backers
    $
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE BOOK

    The beautifully made, ~180 page, hardcover coffee table book.

    N.B. Shipping not included. Please see shipping information for details.

    Includes:
    • Coffee table book
    • Your name printed on the acknowledgments page
    • Story Samplers PDF
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    65 backers
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    2 BOOKS

    N.B. Shipping not included. Please see shipping information for details.

    Includes:
    • Coffee table book
    • Your name printed on the acknowledgments page
    • Story Samplers PDF
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    23 backers
    $
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    3 BOOKS

    N.B. Shipping not included. Please see shipping information for details.

    Includes:
    • Coffee table book
    • Your name printed on the acknowledgments page
    • Story Samplers PDF
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    11 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    10 BOOKS

    Got offices all over? Need gifts for your staff? Run creativity workshops? Here's the party pack.

    N.B. Shipping not included. Please see shipping information for details.

    Includes:
    • 10× Coffee table book
    • Your name printed on the acknowledgments page
    • Story Samplers PDF
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    THE BOOK + a story written just for you

    I'll write an unfinished story with you (or a friend) as the hero.

    We'll exchange a few emails or calls to pick the style, tone and setting. Yes, you can be a centaur if you like. Or swept off your feet by Robert Downey Jr. Whatever floats your boat.

    The story will feature in all copies of the Kickstarter edition of the book.

    Shipping included.

    Includes:
    • Bespoke story just for you
    • Coffee table book
    • Your name printed on the acknowledgments page
    • Story Samplers PDF
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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Funding period

- (38 days)