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A gripping, gritty and authentic science fiction book set in the "Elite" game universe. Not tacky, schlok SF, but a d*mn good story.
A gripping, gritty and authentic science fiction book set in the "Elite" game universe. Not tacky, schlok SF, but a d*mn good story.
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508 backers pledged £6,103 to help bring this project to life.

Backers: It's Your Project and We Have a Decision to Make

You may have noticed the disappearance of the £2500 reward, offering the rights to the non-writing benefits of the writer's pack (as per the Elite:Dangerous Kickstarter page). As backers, you are entitled to know why.

A potential backer has privately expressed their interest in the £2500 reward as was previously offered. I've removed it while we clarify details before possibly moving ahead. Since the reward was posted the situation has changed somewhat: we've secured the pledges we need for funding the project. The £2500 was originally posted in order to increase the chances of this project reaching its £5000 goal, but thanks to you we've managed without it. Which leaves us with a choice:

If the backer and I can agree terms, the project is given another £2500 which should enable us to achieve the stretch goals of professional editing and possibly commissioned artwork (subject to there being no unforeseen problems in providing these).

YOU GET: Professional editing/artwork.

YOU LOSE: The names of stations, planets from the book being placed in the game by Frontier (the backer will have bought the rights to these). You won't be able to visit them in-game because they won't be there.

Currently there are not funds to achieve the stretch goals, and have the book contents to be included in game. We may reach our stretch goals before 23.59, Sat, 23rd Dec, 2012 without this backer's extra funding and so you would get both, but that is then entirely dependent on community pledges.

***So, what do you want?*** Professional editing and possibly cover art, or the ability to visit the book's locations in-game as offered by Frontier? Would you like me to accept this backer's offer on your behalf, or not? Please let me know your thoughts by Kickstarter mail, or comment below if want to discuss them publicly.

At the end of the day, it's your project too and your opinions will be taken into account.


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    1. T. James Creator on December 21, 2012

      Thanks for everyone's input. A few key points:

      1) The backer has decided not to go ahead with the £2500 pledge. No final commitment was made, nothing legal was broken, and no one died: questions were asked and answered.

      2) They are not a corporation, a Thargoid invasion scout or CIA agent, but a decent human being with a love for the game and an intriguing idea that I endorse but it turns out that the rights offered don't particularly help the realisation of that idea.

      3) The funding is moving, and if we carry on at this rate we stand a good chance of achieving the necessary funding for a professional edit AND keeping the locations in the game. (I also have some beta-readers who are willing to take a look, for free).

      4) A quick tally of the comments reveals that the overwhelming majority favour putting the names in the book into the game. So that is what I will do.

      5) I have in my email inbox a message from Michael Brookes from Frontier approving the transfer of rights. I asked before I offered the reward because I'm not stupid.

      End result: Names in the book are going in the game. Currently a professional edit looks hopeful, but not completely secure.

      Thanks for your commitment to the project, and your passion for the Elite game. It's been an interesting discussion, but with the backer choosing not to proceed I it's now a moot point. If you have any other questions, please contact me here or via Kickstarter mail.

      Fly well, Commanders!

    2. Bloocheez on December 21, 2012

      It would be nice to have places in the gamebook added to the Elite universerse, however professional typesetting etc is important too. . it's your baby tho and your choice

    3. Carl Armstrong on December 21, 2012

      Professional editing, it's about the quality of the book:)

    4. Neil Dandy on December 21, 2012

      I like the idea of keeping the places so I can visit them in the game, but I trust your judgement if you decided to spend the additional money elsewhere.

    5. LUAP on December 21, 2012

      My vote would be to keep the naming rights with the book, would provide options for backers to meet up online in familiar surroundings.

    6. Chris Booker on December 21, 2012

      If you can do it, keep the naming rights etc to tie your book the game - both will be richer for it. I fully understand why you put them up for grabs though (I have done the same, just to try and get my book over the funding line). Edits and covers are good things; but you have some extra in the pot to pay a little bit, and without doubt this community contains people with the right skills (or links to such people)? They could make a bit for their troubles; and they love Elite - so would be the best people for it.

    7. Brodie on December 21, 2012

      *dont care a jot (my keyboard must be broken :P)

    8. Brodie on December 21, 2012

      I would just like to add to my previous comment, i personally care a jot about any moral implications, i just want to see a good book produced and for me good proofreading and editorial is required for that too happen.
      In an ideal world the author would keep all the rights the writers pledge provides and have a professionally edited book, but then again in an ideal world i'd be married to Bianca Beauchamp (dont google her if you are using a work comp!).

    9. John Cobb on December 21, 2012

      I would prefer you keep the rights to insert the names from the book into the game. That connection with the game, for me, is very important, and why I backed the project in the first place. You still have a little time in the campaign to raise more for your stretch goals, and you're already funded (congrats on that BTW!)

    10. Slawkenbergius on December 21, 2012

      The moral implications of this are indeed a little complex, and it would be interesting to know what the Kickstarter rules allow.

      Certainly a tier description can be changed if no-one has pledged at that level. It seems that T. James is well within his rights to remove the privileges he was offering the £2,500 level.

      If selling those privileges affects the ~500 that have already backed, in terms of the book not tying into the Elite Universe (which I think would be a real shame), then maybe the moral thing to do would be retain the rights.

      I think putting the question out to the existing backers is the right thing to do, rather than crafting a behind-the-scenes deal.

    11. Brodie on December 21, 2012

      Also consider the moral and possible legal implications of this.
      T. James offered a Pledge package to a potential backer, one has come along and chosen to back his project to that level. Not honouring that pledge level now its not needed to meet the goal could be seen as dishonest and possibly even a breach of Kickstarters code of conduct.

    12. Crispy Leper on December 21, 2012

      FD state "will cooperate" but that is not to say that our authors have a commitment to using the naming rights in line with their book.
      They still have the right to name them whatever they want whether relevant to the fiction or not.
      So if offered for sale the correct moral stance is to sell them and hit the stretch goal.
      BTW I have no personal preference as I am backing @T.James out of respect for his commitment to the E:d project and community.

    13. Thomas Schwarz
      on December 21, 2012

      You should not sell the rights to the names!

    14. Steve Jeyes on December 21, 2012

      I would have to say keep the in-game locations in the book (or is it vice versa) and use anything necessary over the £5000 for editing. You're at £607 as I write so maybe its enough.

      Also, you might get someone to design cover artwork for free, and for the kudos. I recently won the competition to design the logo for next year's Can't Stop The Serenity campaign, and was very happy even though there wasn't a 'prize'.

      And finally, congratulations. It's great to know we get some fiction created and get closer to the E: D goal.

    15. Jurriaan Wittenberg on December 21, 2012

      I'm from the Netherlands so let's compromise: Ask the 2500 backer what his whishes are for the names and use these in the book and have them in the game... Extra fun for the 2500 backer as he will have a book written around his in-game persona ;)

    16. Crispy Leper on December 21, 2012

      Please can you post the original wording of the £2500 pledge tier so we can review what is the official reward offer?

    17. Martin Hjerne on December 21, 2012

      Ok, so I must have misunderstood. I thought the right to use names of systems from the game was being sold, I didn't think that the writer's of these books were getting to name stations and systems in the game. Then it actually becomes a different question, even though I still maintain the same answer; Then this mysterious backer is actually trying to pay £2500 to get to name stuff in the game, whereas the game itself has tiers for this sort of thing, but where you only get to name one thing at somewhere around the same pledge level. So they are trying to cheat their way into getting to name several things in-game? Is it a private person or a company? I'm sure many companies would consider £2500 a bargain for the amount of PR that naming a system, some planets and stations would mean, and I'm pretty sure that FD would like to have a say if that is the case. So, what I'm saying is, if the book will still be able to use names from the game (including the mysterious backer's or not), then Editing suddenly looks more attractive, but I'm still concerned with the moral implications, and would like to hear that it's all fine with FD. I mean, as an author of this book, I'm sure one wants to be on friendly terms with the game's creators :)

    18. TFG on December 21, 2012

      @Crisp Leper. I think FD's intention was that the Writers pledge comes with naming rights for planet/space station etc, and that the author would use those rights to provide a tighter link into the Elite universe. It says: "Frontier will cooperate to allow the system name, commander name, planet name, planet description, space station names to be positioned and used in a way to support the fiction within the game. " If those rights are sold with the book's £2500 pledge, then they cannot be used to tie the fiction within the game, although it could still be written using any existing assets within the game (Lave etc) and take place in the Elite universe.
      For my point of view, I'd rather see if the normal funding can hit the Professional Editing stretch goal first, which is looking hopeful. I'm not bothered about the professional artwork.

    19. Crispy Leper on December 21, 2012

      BTW I'm am over the moon that this project as a success well done @T.James & well done all backers!

    20. Crispy Leper on December 21, 2012

      I think there is some confusion regarding what is being asked?
      Some comments are referring to the book being linked to the game and this link disappearing along with the rights to name planet/space station.
      The point of the writers pledge is to gain the rights to set one piece of fiction in the Elite:Dangerous world, this will still be the case irrelevant of planet/space station naming!
      @T.James Surely the integrity of your KS takes precedent over our personal views (although I appreciate your intentions), so if you offered the pledge my take on it would be you honour the pledge.
      However if the private backer is trying to negotiate specific terms outside of the boundaries of the pledge and you are uncomfortable with that it is your right to refuse the pledge.

    21. Dave Allan on December 21, 2012

      I would very much prefer that the link to the game remains. I was hoping that some missions would be scripted that are in relation to this book too. I'm not too fussed about artwork, I've already bought this book, but I feel the link to the game is important.

    22. Jedra7609
      on December 21, 2012

      It sounds a little like the spirit of the enterprise is lost by doing this. However, I don't have a strong opinion either way,

    23. Brodie on December 21, 2012

      @martin all it needs to be set in the Elite Universe is for the hero to be flying ships from it and flying them to previously established systems

    24. Chris Humphrey on December 21, 2012

      Keep the connection to the game. It is, after all, a tie in with the game. Good luck!

    25. Brodie on December 21, 2012

      Does in the first line = doesn't

    26. Brodie on December 21, 2012

      You guys do know even if the author does get to name a few planets and stations it will be still set in the Elite Universe, he can still set the book around established systems such as Lave etc

      I couldn't give a stuff for artwork, editing however is very important, this is a book after all that we are pledging for.

      why not just use this mystery backers names, surely he won't object as he gets the best of both worlds, the ability to name a system and station and gets to have them in a game, plus has a book set around them.

      Again, I'm buying a book here, and its one which will be marked as an official Elite Dangerous book, because of that it needs to meet a higher standard than any regular fan fiction.
      Professional editorial for me is a must.

    27. Garthyre on December 21, 2012

      I'd go for the professional edit.
      I know, I know. Part of the fun is visiting the places mentioned in the books - but if the book is unreadable, that point is moot anyway. You want to create something people will read, don't you? These aren't vanity projects we're involved in and we're not just raising money for E:D. so make it the best you can.
      I really don't know what was in the tier - a case of tl:dr (it was a wall of text I seem to remember), maybe in your negotiations you can retain some naming rights or use your mysterious benefactor's names, but I think this is too good an opportunity.

    28. Martin Laver on December 21, 2012

      A good tie in book gives the reader the chance to explore locations mentioned in the game. It's a shame the private backer wouldn't agree with that. If the locations don't exist in the game I'm unclear how it is a book set in the Frontier universe.

    29. Missing avatar

      Peter Drake on December 21, 2012

      I'm fine with whatever leads to a better book. I also wonder if Frontier might put book details in the game anyway. Universe richness that they don't have to write is great for them.

    30. G3LF on December 21, 2012

      I would feel cheated if the locations were no longer in the game

    31. Drew Wagar on December 21, 2012

      Locations in the game for me, I want to go there myself and have a poke around...

    32. Martin Hjerne on December 21, 2012

      At this point in time I think it's time for T. James to answer some of the raised questions before the discussion can really continue.

      Is this ok with FD?
      What exactly does the mysterious backer get?
      Do we have any clue as to what they are planning to do with it?

      It kind of seems to me like you're selling the very thing that you needed to raise money for to pay FD.

    33. Pyros on December 21, 2012

      I can do without he professional editing and artwork, prefer to visit the places and planets :)

    34. Jonathan Hammond on December 21, 2012

      It's a tough call but I would also like to keep the ties to the game. I think you'll have enough for professional editing and I suspect FD will help with cover art (eg an in game image of a key place in the story).

    35. goettel on December 21, 2012

      Escapism beats eyecandy, for me, so let me visit the locations.

    36. Missing avatar

      CptSparky on December 21, 2012

      Isn't here the cat biting it's own tail? David Braben charges you a hell lot of money to have the rights to write a book about a specific theme. You raise the money and then cannot use the theme of the game because you sell it to a third party.
      So this mysterious backer is shooting his own knee here. What has he got by NOT having the connection from the book to the game? Here would be no winner at all I guess.

      The necessity of good editing was very good explaines by a collegue of yours writing Elite: Reclamation and I believe it would get a better book through professional editing.

      Unfortunately you erased the gain from the 2500 pound tier so we cannot read what the mysterious backer gets here and I don't know it from memory. But I cannot see a reason why anyone should be interested in cutting the connection for a fan based product to the original thing.

      Sorry, but I don't believe that your book is going to make more money than the game itself ;) So there's no point in having the rights to a niche product. Or am I wrong?

    37. Michael Horne on December 21, 2012

      I'd definitely want to visit the locations in the game, so that's my preferred option. In terms of professional editing, I'm sure you'll get volunteers to do this for you. I myself am an excellent proof-reader, for example.

    38. Albert Baumhauer on December 21, 2012

      names from the book in the game

    39. barry markwick on December 21, 2012

      *non- professionals

    40. barry markwick on December 21, 2012

      I'd prefer to see the names from the book in the game. Editing can be done by noon-professionals for free. I didn't pledge to this project for a New York top ten best seller, I did it primarily to help ED. I am confident in your ability to produce a professional piece of writing. That's enough for me. How about a third choice? All money received over the required amount goes into the ED fund? That would be my choice. Congratulations on reaching the goal.

    41. Martin Hjerne on December 21, 2012

      The whole point of this book is that it is set in the Elite universe, and that we all will recognise the places, having been there, and/or being able to go there if we want. Without it, it's no longer an Elite novel. I'm sure, if you can't get to the stretch goals, you can find plenty of volunteer alpha and beta readers among us backers. So I say keep the game in the Elite universe.

    42. Missing avatar

      Commander Kevin Jameson on December 21, 2012

      You said that the editing will cost between £500 and £1500 extra. I think if we keep pushing then we can raise those funds and then you can keep the rights.

    43. J.L. on December 21, 2012

      As other say, I am not sure. But as Brodie suggests, can you not use the names of your mystery backer? The best of two worlds, the tie-in and the editing?

    44. Niklas Modin on December 21, 2012

      There are no simple choices in life I guess. For me personally, I think having the names in the game would make for a more submersible script, but editing might improve overall quality. No chance of any compromises at all ? My fear is that it would just feel like a completely separate (but still good) novel. The tie in to the Frontier universe is why I put down my money, so I have to go with keeping the names.


    45. Marko Susimetsä on December 20, 2012

      I prefer a good book to a small detail in a game that I play. So, editing for me! :)

    46. Brad Roberts on December 20, 2012

      Editor, definitely. At a minimum a good set of trusted alpha and beta readers. A great idea is easily sunk by bad story telling and/or insufficient editing/proofing. I've seen it happen to too many books to not strongly urge going that route. Direct tie-ins are a bonus, not a requirement.

    47. Missing avatar

      S C Link on December 20, 2012

      On second thought go ahead and sell them, if it would help you make a better overall product and potentially sell more copies.

    48. Missing avatar

      S C Link on December 20, 2012

      I would say keep the locations in game, but I'm only in for 4 so I'm cool with it either way.

    49. Nick Banta on December 20, 2012

      Tough call. Without good editing Ill toss the book to the side never to finish it. Without the same names I'm just reading a sci-fi novel.

      Gun to my head, I guess Ill prefer to see the names stay in the book.

    50. Polaris Penguin on December 20, 2012

      Not sure, professional editing would be a good thing, but then we'd lose the connection between the book and the Elite Universe which would a sad thing to lose and who knows what the private backer wants to put in its place. Would Frontier also be OK with this?