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Last Chance to back my Two New Books 😳
Robert Wringham here. Thank you for reading my stuff and for being a member of this TOP SECRET (not really) mailing list.
There's one week left of the Kickstarter campaign to help me write and publish two new books. We've already crossed the finish line so I'm happy to report that the project has been a success and that books will go ahead (huzzah!), but you can still back the project if you act within 7 days of this email. Sure, you could buy either book upon publication, but why not get in on the ground floor? You'll get your copy ahead of the distribution schedule and you'll have your name engraved on the ETERNAL TABLET that is the Acknowledgements page.
The money raised will serve as an advance, buying me the time I need to get on with the work (though I am already quite deeply into it) and help me get some independent publishers on board. You'll also get the occasional exclusive production update through the Kickstarter system as we go along. I'll explain a little more about where your money will go later in this email and indeed at the campaign page itself.
But let me tell you a bit more about the books themselves. One is a novel and the other is a miscellany.
The miscellany is called STERN PLASTIC OWL. It's a collection of arch and wicked short humour pieces, much like what I did with A Loose Egg in 2014. It will contain around thirty short first-person stories and reveries, each imbued with a sense of pre-pandemic urban life. Most of the pieces have been published before and improved for book form, but some are brand new and just for the book. A Loose Egg was never designed to sell gangbusters (your line: "no kidding!") but it met with some nourishing critical acclaim and I still get email from readers who tell me it's their favourite book or their go-to book in dark times. I want to create more things like that.
The novel, meanwhile, is tentatively titled RUB-A-DUB-DUB. It's not yet finished so I have to be careful what I tell you about it, lest those details not make it into the final work or I give the wrong impression of it. But, in brief, it's a story of one man and his bathtub. That man is not me. It's a properly new character. This is my first novel but it's not a "First Novel." That is, it's not one of those largely-autobiographical novels that cannibalizes the author's real life. It's very fictional. You'll see. So far, it involves trains, some cans of premium-strength lager, and a shop that sells only wooden scrubbing brushes. No more clues.
So why do I need your hard-earned dough? Well, it's for a few reasons:
1. I want to pause my bill-paying work for ten weeks in order to work exclusively on these projects, hopefully issuing the killing blow to them. A chunk of the Kickstarter money will let me do that.
1a. As someone who started in stand-up comedy, I like to be able to see the audience. Not the whole audience necessarily, but the first couple of rows. By investing in my books while I'm still writing them, you'll give me some illuminated faces to play to. That is extremely valuable.
2. I want to pay Ryan Vance to do the covers. He's a top-notch designer and I've long wanted to have his work on the covers of my books. The models you can see on this Kickstarter and in this email are his preliminary work. Ryan recently quit his day job because the social distancing measures in place were dangerously poor, so now's the time to give him the gig. (To help explain how good an egg Ryan is, see how he inadvertently made the news a few years ago).
3. I don't like the direction in which money is flowing in this pandemic: While Serco and Tesco and Amazon do fabulously well, free-wheeling artists are denied a living. I want to do what I can to help (a) myself, (b) my hapless, job-quitting designer friend, and (c) some independent publishers.
4. Yes indeed, indie publishers are among the companies faring badly in the pandemic. A chunk of the Kickstarter money will be given to one or two indie publishers in the form of pre-sales, probably in exchange for stock (with which to fulfill your book orders). The demonstrable pre-sales and Ryan's design work will hopefully also make the books additionally appealing to the publishers I approach.
So you see, as well as the project being A Fun Thing, it's financially and logistically a perfect plan. It's quite a small sum of money really but the way I intend to use it will enable a huge amount of leverage. A small number of you, my readers, could bankroll the following wonderful things:
time for a writer (that's me) to do what he was put on Planet Earth to do
a small audience for a writer (still me) to write for
a gig for a designer (that's Ryan) suddenly cast asunder on the stormy waves of the freelance ocean
two excellent book covers
one or two new books for your shelf
your name in the acknowledgements pages
the logistical expenses of the Kickstarter campaign covered
proof to a publisher in the form of pre-sales that someone actually wants to read these books, and
some direct financial assistance for either one or two independent publishers run by identifiable human beings who, despite everything, are still passionate about books.
You know it makes sense. Pledge, pledge, pledge. And thank you.
Onwards! Upwards! Outwards!