Be sure to visit this page on Saturday, March 25, at 8:00 p.m. PST, where I'll be live-reading the first four chapters of the book!
Thank you everyone for helping make The Waypoint audio book possible! Now let's see how high we can get before Monday!
The Waypoint is a science fiction novel that I began writing in February of 2016 and then (after several revisions, advice from friends, and a lot of proofreading) quietly self published later that year in October. It tells the story of one man’s abduction experience that begins with the realization that he and his captors are completely unable to communicate with each other. As a result, Gil is forced to rely on his memories of abduction movies, prime-time unsolved mysteries TV shows, and cheesy documentaries to try and figure out why he was taken and how to get back home. It's often tense, occasionally creepy, and there's even a few laughs in there.
I've managed to get the book into the hands of several dozen readers, and I'm quite pleased with the responses I've received so far:
Check out Goodreads for complete reviews.
Cody Parcell, the narrator, has recorded a short section of the The Waypoint to give you an idea of what to expect. This excerpt takes place in the first chapter, and covers the main character's last few moments before boarding the ship, followed by the first few moments after:
Want to experience more of the story? Click here to read the first four chapters.
You'd be right to expect that I'd like to make my book available to the largest audience possible--who wouldn't? But the biggest reason I want to pursue an audio version of The Waypoint is that platforms like Audible are how I personally consume most of my books. Whether I'm working, driving, doing dishes, mowing the lawn, shopping for groceries, or during pretty much any stretch of time when my hands are busy and I'm by myself, I'm usually wearing headphones and listening to a book.
That's not to say I don't love to sit down with my Kindle or a great paperback whenever I can--I do! (In fact, I just finished Wool by Hugh Howie on paperback, and I'm currently reading Saul by Brad Horner on Kindle.) But opportunities to relax and curl up with a good book are hard to come by these days. Instead, I listened to almost 80 books last year! I listened along as Randall Flagg wreaked havoc in our world and Midworld; as Martin met Philip and stopped Jimmy from turning medieval England into a fantasy land; as Wollard dealt with Hennick Hahn; as John Perry found out it wasn't easy being green; as the Trisolarans embarked on a 400-year journey to Earth; as Thad Beaumont's retired pseudonym came to life, defying logic in the most bad-ass way possible; and as sooo many other stories unfolded. So naturally, an audio version of my own book has been an aspiration of mine since typing the words, "Chapter One."
The money raised from this campaign would allow to hire a narrator to read and record The Waypoint. I would then be able to take that recording and make it available online in places like Audible and iTunes.
Once I knew I wanted to turn The Waypoint into an audio book, Kickstarter was the obvious choice to make that happen--the website has already allowed me to produce two board games with the help of over 2,000 individuals who believed in what I was doing. In fact, I'll be bringing another board game, Oaxaca: Crafts of a Culture, to Kickstarter later this year. Additionally, I've also backed over 150 projects from other creators. I've seen over a hundred board games come to life, as well as various books, toys, shirts, music projects, paintings, and even pancake mix.
So I suppose the question here isn't necessarily, "Why Kickstarter?" but rather, "Why right now, and for only one week?" Well, until recently (March 1, to be exact), creating an audio version of my book was something I merely hoped to do someday. Despite knowing I wanted to do it, how and when I would do it were details I hadn't worked out yet. What suddenly shoved the audio book to the forefront of my mind was an e-mail from Kickstarter on March 1: an open call to run a one-week campaign during the month of March.
I initially wrote the e-mail off--even if I did have an idea for a one-week project kicking around in my head, how could I possibly get it off the ground in just a couple of weeks? It wasn't until hours later, when I booted up Audible and started listening to Elan Mastai's All Our Wrong Todays, that I realized I might actually have a project I could run for a week: my book!
This project is uncharted territory for me in two important ways:
- This is the first project I've created that isn't a board game. Sure, the basic idea is the same (I want to make something and need your help to make it happen), but without any of the normal avenues I usually pursue to promote a campaign--podcasts, review websites, BoardGameGeek--I'm going to be relying mostly on word-of-mouth exposure. That is, my mouth, constantly telling everyone I come across about this campaign.
- This is the first project I've created (and might be the only project I ever have the guts to run) that will only last for a single week. I'm used to month-long campaigns with promising beginnings, surges, lulls, and that famous 48-hour rush at the end. Comparatively, a week is going to feel like a WarioWare micro game. Under normal circumstances, I would never dream of running such a short campaign, but Kickstarter has inspired a bit of boldness in me.
In the spirit of Kickstarter's All-in-1 push, I will be hosting a one-time event on Saturday, March 25, at 8:00 p.m. PST, where I will read the first four chapters of The Waypoint live, right here on this campaign page. If you're unsure about backing, please be sure to pop in to see if it the story piques your interest!
To be clear, I'll only be live-reading the first part of the book here for this campaign. The audio book will be narrated by the talented Cody Parcell:
It's starting to look like "obvious choices" is sort of a running theme with this campaign--extra-terrestrial life was the obvious choice for a subject as soon as I decided to write a book, an audio book was the obvious choice for a goal throughout the writing process, and Kickstarter was an obvious choice to try and reach that goal. Arguably the most important part of any audio book, though, is the narrator, and Cody Parcell has always been the obvious choice.
I first worked with Cody a few years ago when I ran a Kickstarter campaign for a game called Tower. He provided the voiceover for Tower's introductory video, and I felt he did a great job with it. Then I worked with him again a year later for Project Dreamscape's introductory video, which turned out similarly great. What impressed me the most, though, was his work on a short audio book written by Will Reed, one of Project Dreamscape's designers.
The story, titled Esporanzo's Dream, was a surprisingly creative novelette offered to backers of Project Dreamscape that loosely chained together the beautiful illustrations on the game's cards. One of the last stretch goals we reached in that campaign tasked Cody with narrating that short story, and the end result blew me away (it also had wonderful music throughout provided by the talented David Paterson). That was before I even had the notion to write, so when I did begin work on The Waypoint in earnest, Cody was the only narrator in my head.
Reward fulfillment for The Waypoint would consist of two phases. The first would take place in April, when I would be able to send the eBook out to all the backers, as well as the signed paperback for everyone who backed at the $25 level. The second phase would take place a few months later, in July (or possibly earlier), when I would send out the completed audio book to everyone who backed at $10 and above.
Risks and challenges
This is my third time on Kickstarter, and by far my least risky project. There will be no overseas manufacturing, no outsourced fulfillment, and very little shipping. The eBook and paperback are already complete and have been available online for a few months now. The only portion of this project that is incomplete is, of course, the project's purpose: the audio book.
This will be my fourth time working with Cody, and while it will definitely be the biggest project he's tackled with me, I'm very confident in his abilities and expect a terrific narration from him on time or perhaps even ahead of schedule.
This also won't be Cody's first time working with audio books, as he's engineered several and brought them to Audible.com. So after the audio book is recorded, I'm confident that the final product will be mixed and mastered to sound great on any device, whether it's your car stereo or your headphones.
In the *very* unlikely event that Cody would find himself suddenly unable to complete the project, I would seek out the best voiceover artist I could find with the available funds and see to it that the project is completed. But that is very, very, very, extremely unlikely.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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