My name is Leo McKay Jr. I live in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada, where I have been a writer and a high school teacher for eighteen years. My 2003 novel, Twenty-six, a fictionalized account of the Westray mine disaster, was a national best seller and in 2010 was chosen through CBC Radio’s Canada Reads as one of the 40 most important Canadian books of the preceding decade. My short story collection, Like This, was a finalist for the Giller Prize in 1995. I’ve been a literary magazine editor and I’ve written many articles for publications such as The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald.
Roll Up the Rim, my new novel, is a comic tale of obsession, redemption, divine intervention, and Timbits. Posterity may or may not decide to call Roll Up the Rim The Great Canadian Novel. With its main character employed at Tim Horton’s and obsessed with rolling up the rim to win the prize car he must park his own rusted out Escort beside every morning, Roll Up the Rim is already, even before publication, The Great Canadian Tim Horton’s Novel.
This Indiegogo campaign is not just about the book, it is part of a larger story. By fundraising in this way to publish and promote my own creative work, I am one of the first Canadian literary writers with an established record in old school publishing to make the giant step in the direction of going Indie.
You can help make this happen.
Where the Money Goes
To make this publishing venture a success, I’m going to need about 8500 dollars in start-up money. The bulk of that total (about 6000 dollars) goes to pay for a professional editing of the manuscript and for a 1200 copy print run of the physical book. On top of these costs, I have to pay Steven Berry, the professional video artist who shot my campaign video, and Ben Brush, who has done artwork and graphic design. Both of these generous souls agreed to do work ahead with their payment contingent upon the success of this campaign.
I also have to pay for set-up costs of an online merchandizing store, for sundry small formatting issues involved with ebook production, for stationery and postage to mail out copies of the book, and for the production and mailout of promotional materials to advertize the book once it’s been produced.
What You Get
What you get in return for your contribution to the campaign depends on which level of perks you choose. At the very least, you get a signed copy of the book, and you get it a couple of weeks before it is available to others. You get the ebook if that is the format you prefer, and you get that in advance as well. You get original hand printed artwork by Ben Brush. You get a live Skype reading. You get me, the author, to appear in person for a private reading and discussion. You get your contribution recognized by having your name mentioned on the website. You get your name printed in the pages of the book. One ambitious contributor gets a whole page at the front of the book, under the title of Publisher.
The Roll Up the Rim Indiegogo campaign is called a Fixed Funding campaign. That means that I have 30 days to reach my financial goal. If I reach that goal in 30 days, I get all the money minus the 4% that goes to Indiegogo.com, and the project goes forward. If the goal does not get reached, 100% of the money gets refunded to contributors.
The campaign for Roll Up the Rim is important for three reasons.
1. Reflecting the Culture This new novel is a comic take on a vital aspect of the culture of the Canadian East Coast. Roll Up the Rim is the first work of fiction in Canada to celebrate, explore, explode, and excoriate the weirdly central place that Tim Horton’s plays in the cultural life of this place.
Tim Horton’s plays as big a role in East Coast life as primary industry, celtic music, and the legacy of the Bluenose II, and Roll Up the Rim is the first novel soaking ringing drenched in Tim Horton’s. The main character works in Tim Horton’s and the Roll Up the Rim to Win contest plays a central role in the plot of the book.
2. Making an Artistic Statement On a personal level, this book is important to me because it is a comic work. People who know me well are often puzzled by my first two books, telling me: “You’re such a silly, humour-oriented person, but your books are so serious.” I feel I’ve rectified that divide between serious and silly with this book.
3. Going Indie The final thing that makes this campaign stand out is that it marks my move from the established literary publishing world in Canada (my first book was published by one of the premier small presses in Canada, my second with THE prestige literary publisher) and signals my foray into the realm of being an Indie writer.
The music industry has been transformed through electronic media in the last 15 years, allowing artists to step creatively and entrepreneurially out on their own. This same shift, from massive, centralized vetting and distribution to smaller, de-centralized, independently managed artistic output is just beginning to arrive in the literary world.
I am the first literary writer I personally know of to take this step, but I will not be the last. So few people have done what I’m doing with this book that all of my role models, all of the people I’ve consulted with who’ve made similar moves, have been musicians.
Your support of this campaign will not only help me achieve my goal, it will help blaze a trail for those writers who follow me down this path. We’re at the absolute rock face with this project, and that feels exciting.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you are unable to contribute to the campaign with money, please, spread the word. Share the link to this page on Facebook. Tweet it on Twitter. Post it on your blog. Email your peeps. Talk to people. Online funding depends on networks of interconnected humans. Please help this campaign by bringing it to the attention of others who may be interested in helping.
There are tools at the bottom of this Indiegogo page to help make that easy.