Why I’m raising funds for The Cupola Collusion:
How many of you have uttered Martin Luther King’s famous words: “I have a dream!”? Maybe it’s jumping out of a plane, maybe it’s winning Dancing With the Stars… or maybe it’s writing that great American novel. And not just a novel—a thriller! A thriller that takes a regular guy—like you and me—pits him against overwhelming odds, watches him succeed, and fail... and ultimately succeed. Or does he? That’s a thriller—it’s fiction that keeps you turning pages far into the night!
That’s why I wrote The Cupola Collusion!
How much do I love writing? So much that I’ve written four high-concept political thrillers—that’s over five years of my life writing full time—all to nurture my dream into reality. I’m a good novelist now—Robert Ludlum’s agent represented me, in fact—but only recently has technology and the marketplace allowed novices like me to self-publish a book that proves the same quality as the last John Grisham book you bought.
But let’s back up: maybe you’re wondering why I’m turning to you for help? Perhaps you’ve heard Richard Florida’s term “The Great Reset?” It’s what many of us are going through who no longer have the life we once had, nor the job—not even the career—we once knew, nor the resources we once depended upon.
And that’s why Indiegogo is so crucial to my own “Great Reset”—to pursue that lifelong dream of being a novelist. A published novelist. That’s why your help is so crucial… and so appreciated!
If you support publishing and writing endeavors here (or anywhere), you probably already know the anemic state of traditional publishing. Self-publishing is the new “bootstrap,” as newly-minted millionaire authors like E. L. James (author of erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, at left) will attest.
Remember, this is no first-timer you’re pledging to support, no Chevy Chase in Funny Farm, who can’t quite make it through his first novel, no matter how big his dream proves. I’ve written novels since 1994. Your help—at any level—will turn my hobby into a career: that’s the impact you can have on my life... and the world of publishing!
Supporter Rewards to "WOW" you!:
Sure, supporting a friend is great, and why not get some awesome rewards, too? Pledges and awards start at only $10 (you can read the rewards at right), but I’ll focus on the last few with the biggest WOW factor. And remember, every higher-level pledge includes the awards from lower levels, like the ebook and/or a paperback copy.
A Character Named for You! It's true, mom named me after Gregory Peck, but what if it was the other way around? What if a character with your name became internationally famous, like John Rambo? For this pledge, I’ll make you famous forever (hey, once it’s in the Library of Congress, it’s in the pages of history!). Pledge a little more than this award level—yes, you can do that!—and you’ll get a bigger character named for you. After all, you’d rather be the President’s Chief of Staff than an admin assistant, right? Remember, to get this specific award, you have to request this award, but you can pledge any dollar amount higher than the minimum. And remember, when Margaret Atwood did the same thing on her $94,000 Fanado Indiegogo campaign, this award cost her fans $10,000. I'm a bargain in comparison, so catch me now before I'm as successful as Margaret!
Be My (Conference) Guest! I’m blessed to live in an artistic community that boasts one of the best international writers’ conferences in the world: the San Miguel Writers’ Conference (the aforementioned Margaret Atwood spoke here two years ago). Local author Susan Page spearheads this conference, with the help of a billion volunteers. It’s geared toward readers as much as writers, so pledge this award level even if you’re not a writer. If you can get here, your standard "No Frills" level conference fee—and a gloriously sunny al fresco lunch—is on me, where I’ll personally deliver that custom-inscribed book. And if my campaign is successful, I hope to have books for sale at this conference!
Your Jane Austen Book Club & Me! That’s right—for this generous award level, I’ll gladly make time to talk with your favorite group: a book club, your Save the Whales group, even the Rotary Pancake Breakfast (hey, I love flapjacks!). Roundtrip airfare is on you, the rest is up to me (Tom Bodett, leave the light on for me at the local Motel 6!). I’ll address any topic you like, so if your club is reading Fifty Shades of Grey, I’ll just pretend to be E.L. James!
But here’s the biggest return: how many of you can say you’ve started an industry (besides you, Jeff Bezos—I know you’ll pledge some Amazon profits, right?)? With this campaign, you’ll have sponsored my Great Reset and set into motion a new career, just in the nick of time! Imagine: if William Faulkner had enjoyed an Indiegogo campaign, he wouldn’t have remained a postmaster so long.
Cost-Free Ways You Can Help:
Sure a pledge is ideal, but your active endorsement is priceless! If you’re on Facebook, click the little “Like” button above on this page, just beneath my video. Better yet, look me up here on Facebook (I’m listed as Greg Gunter, the one in San Miguel de Allende), find one of my postings on my Indiegogo campaign, and click “share” to spread the word to your friends. Believe me, I need more friends!
Another option? Like my YouTube video! If you liked the short version above, see my 7-minute video here for more chuckles and grins. You'll see how passionate I really am about this project!
If you browse in Mozilla Firefox and have the ShareThis add-on in the URL line (it’s that little orange "plus" symbol), it'll let you post this Indiegogo page to numerous social media sites. Remember, I’ve got to go viral (no, mom, it’s not contagious) to be successful—spread the word, feel the love!
The Nitty Gritty: What We Need
Let’s be clear: unlike some campaigns, I’m not asking you to fund my time to write a novel—hey, I’ve got skin in this game! My novel’s already written. In fact, The Cupola Collusion represents five years of effort to become a professional—and damn good!—novelist. That’s my donation to this campaign (well, that and a few thousand dollars already spent that you’ll see below).
Now what I need to do next is to turn this 400-page manuscript pile into a real book—one you can hold in your hands, just like that last John Grisham you took to the beach—or in your Kindle (or Nook). That small step, however, involves several people with more expertise in their respective fields than me.
Here’s the breakdown, in ascending order of when the funds you pledge get spent by me:
- A professional thriller editor has quoted me $3,000 for a full manuscript edit and a line edit. Ouch! I have already paid, however, for a developmental edit—you’re off the hook on that one!—which is why my novel is already well polished.
- Margot Boland, my professional book jacket designer: $625 for the jacket art design. Yep, that’s two sides and a spine!
- Bowker fees: my ISBN, my barcode & QR code, and Inside Widget (visit my Amazon page later and see what this is) will all cost $420.
- Stock photos for marketing—the video you watched above has several—at prices averaging ten bucks apiece. That'll run at least $200.
- Formatting the manuscript to ePub file format and P.O.D. (print-on-demand) formats, all of which will be done by the online firm 52Novels for their contracted quote of $850.
- The occasional graphic artist work—again, mostly for marketing—which could easily run to $500.
- The not-to-be-missed ThrillerFest Writers’ Conference in Manhattan this July (my second time—I paid for last year’s conference out of my IRA). This is where I pitch my book to a multitude of established thriller authors, agents and industry insiders. Registration is $1,061; flights run around $800; my friend’s sofa is free, but meals are… well, you get the picture. This is another $2,500 line item if I want to make it there (in New York), ‘cuz then I’ll make it anywhere, as The Chairman sang.
- How’s your math? You may have noticed that I’m up to $8,595 in expenses, and haven’t even reached the most expensive part yet!
- Now here’s the most expensive part: building a platform. That involves seeking blurbs for my book (printing the book, shipping it, and needing to beg, borrow, & steal to get access to folks like John Grisham); creating an above-average web site (for my last business, it cost me $4,000 to create a professional one); building really professional social media pages (remember those stock photos and graphic artists?); and ideally a good P.R. firm who knows how to get the coveted book reviews, the right exposure, the elbow-rubbing contacts. Now, this line item of my journey to The New York Times best-seller list could easily drain my entire campaign donations, so if you got a holiday bonus, please be generous (and really, wouldn’t your politically outspoken friend—the Rush Limbaugh fanatic—prefer the paperback over the ebook?). Let’s say that $4,300 will just get me started on this journey of building my platform after the novel is published.
Baby, You’re The Best!
Hey, Carly Simon may have stolen my line, but it’s dedicated to you! I can’t thank you enough!