Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 22.

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Between parties, sleepovers and school elections, high school life gets complicated in the third collection of this online comic!

Adding in the $600+ of PayPal pledges, we’ve hit the $26,000 stretchgoal and then some! Thank you all!

Bittersweet Candy Bowl is a romantic comedy that we’ve published online for 7 years running. It’s a funny, sweet and sad story about friendship, history essays and unrequited love!

Featuring a relatable bunch of high schoolers that readers grow to love, BCB is for every person who delights in the small dramas of adolescent life. New readers are invited to catch up here — there’s a special little chapter we made to introduce you to everyone!

Today we’re asking for your support as we raise money to print Bittersweet Candy Bowl Volume Three and make a big hosting upgrade to carry the comic through to its final chapter.

This year we want to deliver:

Yep: two new chapters, a recap to get you up to speed and the same high-quality hardbound casing to match the first two volumes in the series!

But hey, we’ve always done that.

Well! Like in previous years, we’ve cleaned up the scans, revised the dialog and designed a unique interior with loads of book-exclusive artwork. But this year marks the first time a BCB book will appear in full color, and in response we’ve spent more time on the artwork than ever before!

Scenery has been redrawn, expressions have been fixed and (with some expert assistance!) our source files have been painstakingly color-corrected for the CMYK process so the art will be bright and vibrant on every page!

This has been a huge amount of work — we started back in March. But you know what? It’s done! And we went a step further: after printing Volume Two: Starting Over, we made arrangements with our printer to finalize the materials, hard copy proofs and final printing schedules so the books will be printed and packaged 3 days after this project ends. And quite possibly at your (American) door by Christmas.

All we have to do is raise the money, pay the printer, and we’ll be able to complete one of the quickest book projects ever! But that’s not all.

We’ve always thought that our supporters deserve exclusive stuff in every book we publish, and with the introduction of Volume Three we’re gonna have a huge amount of EXCLUSIVE content on offer:

With over 400 pages of side stories, cute drawings and other featurettes that will never be posted on the public website, if you’re missing anything here you’re missing a lot! So we’ve made up some awesome book bundles, featuring all the cool stuff in Volume Three and more!

We have designed a brand new book bag (real pictures above!!), perfectly sized for holding your BCB stuff and more! Professionally screen-printed on tough 12 oz cotton with a durable green handle,  this 15″ × 12″ × 6″ bag is now upgraded thanks to us meeting the stretchgoal!

Yeah, web hosting! A few months ago the BCB website got really flaky. For a period, this hilarious internet reference graphic became a common sight around update times:

We’ve only barely staved off server overloads since then — with the new 5-day-a-week update schedule and the increasing load of readers on the site, the poor web server is pushed to its limit! So as a secondary goal for this project, we want to purchase a dedicated Mac mini server that will capably serve the BCB site until the end of the series.

This upfront cost will cut our monthly hosting fees way down, make the site faster and more reliable and give us lots of room to expand in 2014! It’s a small chunk of our funding goal (about $1,200 including the setup costs at the data center) but we think it’ll make a big difference. (Plus, we have a really cool idea for a reward involving that aluminum surface — read on, potential server patron!)

The main attraction is Volume Three, of course, but we have a variety of new items and book bundles:

We’ve also come up with a number of limited-quantity rewards for you to choose:

Now, we played it safe with the Volume Two stretchgoals, but this time we want to go all out! We’d love to reach any one of these goals and make improvements, throw in freebies and produce new stuff, but it’s all up to you. Here goes:

We hope there’s a reward that catches your eye — we are super excited to get this project off the ground, but we’ll need your help to get there! The sidebar contains the full selection of rewards, so go check them out. Thanks!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We’re proud of our track record in producing books, quickly shipping out rewards and communicating with backers throughout the Kickstarter process. But there’s one critical issue that always tends to crop up: delays incurred by book printers, and the associated shipping delays which follow.

That’s why we haven’t shipped out our “Not Enough Rings” books yet, a fact we want to be completely upfront about. We’ve long since finished work on the Not Enough Rings book, all copies have been printed and we’re poised to send every reward out as soon as we’re able to… but because of a printer delay early in the process, they’re still packed inside a shipping container and won’t be here until the end of November. If this project is funded, we expect to mail those books almost immediately before Volume Three, instead of in September as was originally planned.

We are very conscious of our duty to backers, and are confident we can deliver Volume Three on schedule. We have gone the extra mile to ensure it, working with our printer to do the proofing work unusually early just so that we could offer concrete shipping dates before launching. We can assure backers that all the book production work is already completely finalized. It’s all ready to go, and aside from the possibility of an unusually long customs inspection on arrival, we don’t foresee any issues in meeting our December shipping date. All that’s left to do is raise the funds to create the books!

FAQ

  • If you’re in the USA, we think there’s a good chance we’ll get it delivered before the 25th, but it depends on delays at the US port. (If the books pass through customs as fast as Volume Two did, the answer is YES.) We’ll do our best, but we can’t make a firm promise beyond “it’s looking quite possible”. (Outside the US, rewards won’t arrive before January, shipping just takes too long! Expect stuff in January.)

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  • The BCB site is complex, custom-made and very inefficiently coded, so yeah, we kinda do! Getting a server with a ton of memory is the easiest, most cost-effective solution to our capacity problems — rewriting the site would be much more costly. Plus, it should save us a lot of support headaches to move from Solaris to OS X… being familiar with OS X, we should be able to resolve problems a lot easier without recruiting (and paying for) outside admin help. You should see how clunky our setup is for printing BCI welcome letters…

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  • Nothing too severe! For the answers, we ask that you keep to the guidelines on http://askbcb.tumblr.com/ and ask questions in keeping with the other stuff on the blog: i.e. nothing NSFW, only direct questions to BCB characters, nothing spoilery, etc. Similar guidelines would apply to the comics! Because the chapters will be canonical, we ask for a good amount of leeway in adjusting your concept to fit into the wider BCB narrative. (Though BCI ones can be goofy if you like… think “Disaster Dominoes”.) We promise to run it all by you and work to your satisfaction, but understand it has to be a BCB chapter we’re proud of! If you have any doubts, message us before backing at these levels.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    9 backers

    “PICTURE PERFECT”: The interactive bonus “comic” from the BCB iOS app, in downloadable desktop-compatible form for the first—and only—time! (Note: also included with ALL higher reward levels!)

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    15 backers

    VOLUME THREE EBOOK: A digital download of Volume Three in PDF, CBZ and Kindle formats!

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    21 backers

    BOOK BAG: A brand-new tote bag, made from tough cotton material with an adorable pile-o’-cats design!

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    11 backers

    “VOLUME TWO: STARTING OVER”: The best place for new readers to start, the previous volume of BCB is available to backers of this project at a one-time only discounted price. Across this 270-page hardcover, you’ll meet the cast and dive into some of the most scandalous storylines of the series! We think you’ll LOVE it.

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    VOLUME THREE EBOOK & BOOK BAG: A thrifty combination for those who want the cute new (physical) bag and a digital version of the new book!

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    3 backers

    VOLUME THREE EBOOK & ASK ROSEVILLE HIGH IN A BOOK BAG: As above, but a physical copy of the BCB askblog book stuffed inside the bag!

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    26 backers

    FULL EBOOK BUNDLE: Digital versions of all four BCB books: Volumes 1, 2 and 3 plus “Ask Roseville High”. That’s over 1,200 pages collected in PDF, CBZ and Kindle formats!

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    62 backers

    VOLUME THREE: A physical copy of the new full-color hardcover book!

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    24 backers

    VOLUME THREE (SIGNED): The new book, signed by Veronica!

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    88 backers

    VOLUME THREE (SIGNED) & A BOOK BAG: As above, but in the cute new book bag!

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    16 backers

    VOLUME THREE (SIGNED), ASK ROSEVILLE HIGH & A BOOK BAG: As above, but with a copy of the 120-page BCB askblog book included as well!

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    10 backers

    INTRODUCTION BUNDLE: Recommended for new readers, Volume Two is the perfect introduction to the series. Get both Volume Two: Starting Over and Volume Three (the physical books) together at a great discounted price!

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    8 backers

    DIGITAL EXCLUSIVES BUNDLE: Get every bit of exclusive content we’ve ever made! The full eBook bundle (Vols. 1, 2, 3 & Ask Roseville High), plus an annual electronic subscription to Bittersweet Club International, the BCB fan club which offers access to more than 220 pages of member-exclusive comics!

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    9 backers Limited (6 left of 15)

    VOLUME THREE (SIGNED) + A BOOK BAG + YOUR OWN “ASK ROSEVILLE HIGH” ANSWER: Get a signed copy of the newest book in a book bag and Veronica will answer your question to a BCB character (guaranteed!) on the Ask Roseville High askblog. We’ll also send you the physical art that results! Some restrictions, see FAQs.

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    4 backers

    DIGITAL EXCLUSIVES + BOOK BAG BUNDLE: The full eBook bundle (Vols. 1, 2, 3 & Ask Roseville High), plus an annual electronic subscription to Bittersweet Club International, and an exclusive book bag so you have SOMETHING physical in there!

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    5 backers Limited (10 left of 15)

    VOLUME THREE (SIGNED) + A BOOK BAG + A BCB ORIGINAL PAGE: Get a signed copy of the newest book in a book bag as well as a signed, hand-drawn original page, randomly picked from your choice of Volume One, Two or Three!

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    5 backers

    VOLUMES 1–3 BUNDLE: 1,100 pages of Bittersweet Candy Bowl across all three printed volumes!

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    4 backers

    EVERY BOOK BUNDLE: Including “Ask Roseville High”, this huge, discounted bundle contains more than 1,200 pages of BCB across all four printed books!

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    25 backers

    EVERY BOOK BUNDLE (SIGNED N’ BAGGED): All four printed books in the new book bag, plus Veronica will sign one (or all four of them, if you can add another $20 to your pledge to cover the jump in postage required on our end!)

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    SPECIAL REWARD #1: A box of BCB “prototypes”! We’ll send you an interesting box of unique prototypes from the last few years, like book drafts, figurine samples and alternative charm designs! (Plus a signed Volume Three and the book bag!)

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    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    SPECIAL REWARD #2 (EARLY BIRD SPECIAL): Get your choice of a signed, hand-drawn original page from the BCB archives! Excludes watercolors and already-sold pages… but 99% of them are left, so we’re sure you’ll find something you want! (Plus your own “Ask Roseville High” answer as per the $75 reward, a signed Volume Three and the book bag!)

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    SPECIAL REWARD #2: Your choice of a signed, hand-drawn original page from the BCB archives! Excludes watercolors and already-sold pages… but 99% of them remain, so we’re sure you’ll find something you want! (Plus your own “Ask Roseville High” answer as per the $75 reward, a signed Volume Three and the book bag!)

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    SPECIAL REWARD #3: Be a SERVER PATRON! Contribute an idea to a cute little BCB scene that will be engraved on the surface of the web server everyone accesses to read the comic! It’s up to you: Lucy clinging to the edge? Mike and Paulo making out? It will be a collaborative process between Veronica and all patrons at this reward level, so bring a few ideas in case of character conflicts, but with a shared discussion we should be able to design an illustration everyone will be proud of! Once complete, we’ll feature an image of the server on the About page, engrave your preferred name\nickname\short message on a corner and send you a one-of-a-kind metal swatch engraved with your contribution to the illustration. (Plus you’ll also get the items from special reward #2, including a custom “Ask Roseville High” answer!)

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    SPECIAL REWARD #4: Be the SUPREME SERVER PATRON! The same as special reward #3, but you’ll have first dibs on your character choice and the privilege for your chosen character to interact with the logo!

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    1 backer All gone!

    SPECIAL REWARD #5: FRAMED BOOK COVERS! Get the original art used to create the front and back covers of Volume Three, framed together and signed by Veronica. That’s Paulo, Jasmine, Sue and Amaya! (Plus you’ll also get the items from special reward #2, including a custom “Ask Roseville High” answer!)

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    SPECIAL REWARD #6: DIRECT A BITTERSWEET CLUB INTERNATIONAL CHAPTER! Give us an idea (characters, plot, anything!) for a new 3 to 15-page chapter and we will write, draw and publish it in the special BCI members’ section in the typical monochrome style. You will also get every original page. (Plus you’ll also get the items from special reward #2, including a custom “Ask Roseville High” answer!) Some restrictions, see FAQs.

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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    SPECIAL REWARD #7: DIRECT A FULL BCB CHAPTER! Give us an idea (characters, plot, anything!) for a new 3 to 15-page chapter and we will write, paint and publish it! You will also get every original page — which in this case is pretty cool, as it’ll be in watercolor! (Plus you’ll also get the items from special reward #2, including a custom “Ask Roseville High” answer!) Some restrictions, see FAQs.

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