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$744
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
14
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, September 8 2013 7:24 AM UTC +00:00
$744
pledged of $10,000pledged of $10,000 goal
14
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, September 8 2013 7:24 AM UTC +00:00

About

S-A-M logo
S-A-M logo

SecretAgentMan (aka S-A-M) is a novel in progress. It is also nothing less than the culmination of my life's work and passionate hobby. Journey is a short story that leads to the introduction of SecretAgentMan. The genre of this work is "Supernatural Sci-Fi".

S-A-M is the fictional biography of Lawrence Ronald Howard. Born in Methuen, Massachusetts in 1956, he is Albert Einstein reincarnate.

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At the top of this page, I made a bold claim that this project aims to become a major bestseller and that it was designed with this possibly absurd goal in mind. I realize of course, that the odds are long, but as with most of the important things in life, I have a tendency to aim high, put forth my best effort and let the chips fall where they may.

I also have legitimate reasons to believe that this project has a realistic chance to result in the production of a novel with above average sales.

The two main reasons for this are:

1. Upon its release, people will notice some similarities to Dan Brown's works The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. They will incorrectly surmise that my novel is an attempt to mimic Brown's genre and piggyback on Brown's success. The stunning fact is that my work precedes Dan Brown's by two decades and that I deliberately imposed a subtle but direct influence on him in April of 1998 when I told him about this project. I have compelling evidence in support of this claim, which I will expound upon later.

There are many more differences than similarities between my novel and Brown's work. I write in a very different voice than Mr. Brown does and while his books cover a 24 hour time period, my opus stretches out over decades and light years.

Let me further state that I believe that Dan Brown's success is primarily due to his own unique talent, brilliance and work ethic. My claim of subtle influence here is made only in order to thoroughly refute any notion that my work has any copy-cat relation to Mr. Brown's. I offer this information to prove that my work in the genre precedes Mr. Brown's and that I informed him on the topic in the spring of 1998. After you read the detailed story of my meeting with Dan Brown, you can judge for yourself.

2. The second reason for my confidence level is that I have systematically built into the novel a series of unique publicity hooks that will be gradually exposed and are very likely to garner some level of media interest. The links to writing samples on my Bio page (and below) will demonstrate how some of the publicity hooks relate to the novel.

SecretAgentMan's Life Philosophy
SecretAgentMan's Life Philosophy

Here is a brief explanation of the evolution of this project.

The idea began as a simple one. As a daydreaming youngster gazing out the window of my fourth grade classroom, I was inspired to create the Superhero character who became the protagonist at the center of this project. The first incarnation was a crudely drawn four panel comic strip. By seventh grade it had grown into a short story, then a series of short stories.

In high-school it reached novella length. Never quite happy or content with the current status of the work, I continued to add, subtract, revise and push the boundaries of what I believed it could become and what I could accomplish. I knew I could do better. I never showed the work to anyone. It was a secret that I took delight in keeping to myself.

In the ensuing decades, it has grown into a massive file and a never ending story. The time has come to condense the best parts of what I have assembled; attempt to turn it into the first volume of a polished, epic novel; and finally release it for public consumption and criticism.

Each chapter in the novel is a year in the life and times of the protagonist, Lawrence R. Howard.

Like Mr. Howard, I was also born in 1956, so the time-frame and geography in the novel coincides with my own life, enabling me to keep faith with the "write what you know" mantra that workshops often espouse. The idea is to use the ordinary facts of my ordinary life as the base and the scaffolding upon which I am attempting to build an extraordinary fiction.

Media
Media

This project has been decades in the making. My patience and demonstrable progress over the years is bound to be rewarded with some level of media and readership interest ranging from mildly respectable to perhaps something more notable. 

Because this is an epic undertaking, I am still approximately sixteen months away from completion and I ask that my backers here maintain a level of patience and support me during this final critical phase. After all of this time, I don't want to rush it into production to satisfy outside pressure.

If this campaign is successfully funded, I will judiciously employ the money raised here to free up time in my life to work on the final manuscript, hire a top-shelf editor and professional writer to compliment my skills and eliminate, hide or minimize my writing deficiencies; publish the completed volume and vigorously promote the long awaited release of the work. 

Depending on the final total, funds may also be allocated toward the design and associated costs related to producing both the novel and a website dedicated to it.

Any excess funds raised above those requirements will help finance the distribution, marketing and promotion budgets.

SecretAgentMan is Old School - Are You?
SecretAgentMan is Old School - Are You?

I am much better at the "big-picture concept and design" processes and will require some help with the tedious detail and component level of the writing craft. I want the final manuscript to be as good as the story deserves and my writing talent falls a little short of what this project needs and what I demand before releasing it into the marketplace. That is why I intend to hire a more talented editor and writer to assist me in completing this work and why I require your help to fund all of these expenses.

It is my hope that you will enjoy having played a key role in ensuring that the production of this novel was given a fair chance with a generous kick-start. I invite you all to be able to claim a share of its success and to celebrate the eventual outcome with me.

Even though the expenses are substantial, I have decided to pursue the full-service publishing route (as opposed to P.O.D. or an outside publisher) for two reasons:

1. I do not wish to give up any control over this project.

2. I believe that the current state of technology allows writers to bypass the old-world publishing model and gives more power and control to the creators of the art, who often know better than the corporate suits how the work should be treated.

In anticipation of publishing my novel, I started the small press, AnEx Publications. It is more of a hobby than a business at this point, but the intent is to grow it into a substantial business, should SecretAgentMan achieve a sufficient level of funding and success.

I humbly ask for your help to turn these dreams into reality. If my dreams come true, you will be able to proudly state that you were in on the "Secret"  from the beginning and helped make it happen right here on Kickstarter!

Here is a link to a sample of the book's front-matter and two chapter excerpts.

http://www.anexpublications.com/SamSample.pdf

More information is available on my Bio page.

I noticed a problem with the display of the Bio page on some PC and smartphone platforms, so I've included the remaining links here also.

http://www.anexpublications.com/WildeBill.pdf

http://www.anexpublications.com/DanBrown.pdf

http://www.anexpublications.com/ColumbineMemorial.pdf

http://www.anexpublications.com/DonaldTrump.pdf

http://www.anexpublications.com/TheLawsuit.pdf

http://www.anexpublications.com/NH_Poker_Championship.pdf

 

Risks and challenges

I am well prepared for the final push to bring this project to a successful completion and to deliver the product to market. The amount of available free time is a potential challenge. Depending on the level of support I receive here, I may be able to reduce the hours worked at my day job and increase the amount of time spent on this and other AnEx Publications projects.

In any event, I will still work diligently to complete the project and deliver the rewards in the time allotted. The more free time I am able to generate, the better the final product will be.

I am appealing directly and especially to supporters of the arts, readers and lovers of fiction who are here to support worthwhile projects and who understand the creative process.

Some of my relatives, friends or acquaintances might feel obligated to pledge money for this project whether they believe in it or not or because they feel they owe me a favor. I would caution against that and let them know that they should not contribute for any of those reasons and that our relationships will not suffer as a result.

I prefer to let those good people who do not know me and will give a brutally honest assessment when judging whether the project deserves support. I want it to stand or fall solely on its own merits.

I have studied the publishing industry and set up a vehicle from which to launch. I designed this project as a vertically integrated business where I have total control of all issues and aspects from creation, to production, promotion, marketing and distribution.

The digital age has matured to the point where creative talents no longer are at the mercy of the big business publishing houses. I have waited patiently for many years for the technology and the market to be ready for me. I am ready for the opportunity that this new era in publishing gives the owners of creative art and I am poised and excited to take advantage of it.

I humbly ask for your assistance in crossing the bridge to make this happen. If you have faith that my project has merit, please help me spread the word by recommending it to others whom you believe will like it.

Please also consider Share-ing, Like-ing and Comment-ing on our Facebook links and posts: https://www.facebook.com/anexpub

I am in good health and most foreseeable obstacles have already been cleared. The final major obstacle is the funding and of course that is why I am here. Once funded, there is nothing that will stop me from completing this and bringing it to the markets. I will even have contingencies in place to move it forward should I suffer an untimely death or incapacity.

If I do encounter unforeseen setbacks, I will consult the community here for advice and will keep everyone informed of the progress.

Thank you so much for taking the time to review my proposal!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    One dollar as a statement of support from a kind soul with very little to spare is worth more to me than a thousand dollars from a wealthy patron. Sometimes the giving is its own reward:-)

    Note to potential wealthy, generous patrons: This doesn't mean that I don't have tremendous appreciation for you also.
    I trust that you good people won't mind if I appreciate my less fortunate backers just a little bit more:-)

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    Exclusive access to a section of the book's website chat room / bulletin board with prior notification via email whenever the author will be available to answer questions online and discuss the book with his KS fans. The author will forever be grateful to this special group who supported him from the beginning and gave him this amazing opportunity!

    This particular reward is structured for those who are on tight budgets and / or prefer to borrow the book instead of paying for it-:)

    Contributions at every level are very much appreciated!

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    Bronze Level Reward. Receive a special Kickstarter only version, pre-release digital download copy of Journey / SecretAgentman for your eReader, tablet, phone etc.
    After release, the digital version will sell online at Amazon for $14.95.

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    Silver Level Reward. Receive a pre-release copy of the first edition, first printing of the 6" x 9" high-quality paperback version of Journey / SecretAgentMan.

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    Silver Level Reward plus special recognition as a Kickstarter supporter on the book's website. You will also attain the status and receive a certificate as an honorary Phoenix Foundation Secret Agent! (note: the special website recognition also applies to the higher reward levels)

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    Receive a signed (initialed) copy of the Hard Cover Kickstarter (pre-release) limited, numbered and collectible first edition, second printing of Journey / SecretAgentMan. The number of the copy of this limited edition will be distributed in a blind, random sequence; meaning that any one of the $35+ backers could receive the coveted #1 copy! Or another low number.

    Friends and relatives of the author or anyone connected with the book or the publisher are NOT eligible for this offer in order to ensure fairness and prevent the possibility of favoritism.

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    Receive two signed (initialed) copies of the Hard Cover limited, numbered and collectible Kickstarter (pre-release) first edition, second printing of Journey / SecretAgentMan. Keep one and give one as a gift!

    These limited edition books will be distributed in a blind, random sequence, meaning that any one of the $60+ backers could receive the coveted #1 copy! Or another low number.

    Friends and relatives of the author or anyone connected with the book or the publisher are NOT eligible for this offer in order to ensure fairness and prevent the possibility of favoritism.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Gold Level Reward. Receives a numbered, Fully Autographed copy of the highly-coveted collectible, Hard Cover, Limited First Edition, First Printing of Journey / SecretAgentMan. The highest pledge amount gets the lowest numbered copy (#1!), next highest gets the next lowest number etc. Ties will be broken by distributing a blind, random sampling to everyone at the same pledge level. For instance; all those who pledge exactly $75 will have the opportunity to receive the lowest number remaining after all other copies have gone to those pledging over $75.
    This most prized collectible, the limited Kickstarter (pre-release) First Edition, First Printing will forever be the only books containing my full autographed signature.
    After this very special release, I will only sign my initials (not my full signature) on subsequent copies during book signings, author appearances etc. for the rest of my life!

    Friends and relatives of the author or anyone connected with the book or the publisher are NOT eligible for this limited edition offer in order to ensure fairness and prevent the possibility of favoritism.

    In addition to the above, $75+ level backers will receive a copy of a book of their choice from AnEx Publications anexpub.com - (these books were all edited and published by the creator of this project, which qualifies them under the KS reward rules) The anexpub.com reward books (except SecretAgentMan) may be ordered for delivery two weeks after this project receives funding and will be delivered within two weeks following receipt of the order!

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    Pledge US$ 135 or more About US$ 135

    Gold Level Reward plus a second copy of the fully autographed, pre-release, limited, collectible Hard Cover, First Edition, First Printing of Journey / SecretAgentMan. Keep one copy and give the other as a gift!

    Also choose a second book from anexpub.com and order it two weeks after this project is funded!

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    Gold Level Reward plus . . .

    All $250+ pledge backers will be invited as special guests to the book release party near Boston, MA.

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    Pledge US$ 265 or more About US$ 265

    Five unsigned copies of the hard cover (pre-release) First edition, First printing of Journey / SecretAgentMan.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Ten unsigned copies of the hard cover (pre-release) First edition, First printing of Journey / SecretAgentMan.

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    Pledge US$ 550 or more About US$ 550

    VIP Level Reward. Preferred, limited access and seating for an exclusive dinner and special reception with the reclusive author prior to the book release party near Boston, MA. The top 10 highest backers (and their guest) will sit at the author's table. This offer includes all features and offers contained in the previous reward levels, unless a limit has been reached prior to selecting this reward level.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Platinum Level Reward. Journey / SecretAgentMan contains a hidden Vigenère Cipher and key that are imbedded as discrete semi-random variables within the text of the first volume that is scheduled to be released in May of 2015.
    The cipher, when isolated and decoded, reveals the GPS coordinates of a sealed, deeply buried treasure that the author has hidden on public land in New Hampshire.
    The "treasure" is a cache of items which either proves outright or lends significant credence to the claim that some of the fictional storylines in the book really happened and that the author, impersonating his protagonist, acted out these scenes in real life over the course of several decades, after first imagining and plotting them.
    One of the items is a recording of the author's conversation with Dan Brown from 1998, stored on multiple formats including tape, flash drives and CD's. (The author had a microcassette recorder in his suit coat pocket which was unknowingly set to "voice activated" mode when he accidentally and inadvertently recorded the audio during this historic meeting)

    Backers at the $1,000 and above level will be given a head start clue to finding both the cipher and the key. No other clues will ever be provided.
    Friends and relatives of the author or anyone connected with the book or the publisher are not eligible for this reward.

    The publisher offers a separate reward to whoever finds and presents the treasure for verification, regardless of whether or not the cipher was used to locate it. This reward is not available to anyone connected with the book or the publisher.
    This offer includes all features contained in the previous reward levels, unless the limit has been reached prior to selecting this reward level.

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Platinum Level Reward, plus . . . Your name on the acknowledgement page of every version of the first edition, first volume of Journey / SecretAgentMan

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    The reclusive author will meet you for dinner anywhere in the continental United States. He will fully autograph / sign personal inscriptions on five First Edition, First Printing hardcover copies of Journey / SecretAgentMan. After this exclusive Kickstarter+ promotion ends, he will never sign personal inscriptions on any copies of this book again for the rest of his life. These books could potentially become rare collectibles.
    Selecting this Reward also entitles you to all of the lower Reward levels.

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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    The reclusive author will spend the day with you (lunch and dinner) anywhere in the continental United States. He will fully autograph / sign personal inscriptions on ten First Edition, First Printing hardcover copies of Journey / SecretAgentMan. After this exclusive Kickstarter+ promotion ends, he will never sign personal inscriptions on any copies of this book again for the rest of his life. These books could potentially become rare collectibles.
    Selecting this Reward also entitles you to all other Reward levels.

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Funding period

- (60 days)