Pow! Pow! And the hits keep on rolling! Just two weeks after releasing our newest original book, Famous Drownings in Literary History by Kevin Haworth, I'm extremely happy to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for CCLaP's coming deluxe oversized holiday book has just begun! Entitled The Kickstarter Letters by David David Katzman and now over a year in the works, its origin is an exercise in meta that was a main reason why we decided to publish it in the first place. See, last year David self-published his latest novel, A Greater Monster, by running a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign of its own, one that got featured right on the front page of the main Kickstarter website; and one of the rewards he offered was a brand-new stream-of-consciousness letter written to each of 128 donators. And these turned out to be so interesting on their own, David and I started talking back then about turning the 50 or so best ones into a book itself; and to complete the self-referential cycle, we decided to raise the money for its oversized budget through a second Kickstarter campaign, one which has already made the staff picks there at the main Kickstarter website! It's like a xerox of a mirror, man! AND NOW WE ALL GO BACK IN TIME!
One of the big reasons for A Greater Monster's success was a slickly professional and hugely entertaining video shot by a friend of David's; and we were lucky enough to have him come out and shoot a second one for this project as well, down at the great Chicago Comics in the Lakeview neighborhood, which you can watch at the top of this post. (Keep an eye out for a cameo from yours truly, about halfway through. And note that it was David's idea to show me reading a copy of Gothic Beauty magazine.) Like last year's holiday book, The New York Stories by Ben Tanzer, The Kickstarter Letters will be larger than our usual paper books (7 by 7 inches) and use higher-quality material (including a faux-leather spine); and much like how Laura Szumowski did for Ben, in this case artist Mike Wilgus (creator of the stunning psychedelic cover of A Greater Monster) has stepped in and made a total of 25 illustrations for The Kickstarter Letters, including twenty black-and-whites, four color inserts on vellum sheets, and that jaw-dropping cover you're seeing above. (And note that to fill those other four vellum sheets within the manuscript, we're printing out four of David's letters in their long handwritten form, taping the pages together scroll-like, then gluing them foldout-style into the book; but see the video for a more dramatic display of what I'm talking about.) And as usual, we have a whole variety of different donation levels over at the main project page, from $10 for the ebook version to a full $700 for a private improv show at a public Chicago venue for just you and your friends; and those levels include a coming 16 x 20 inch poster of that amazing cover, like you're seeing directly above this paragraph.
As regular readers know, I am not much of a fan of arts organizations that overly beg for money from their audience, which is why I try to limit CCLaP's fundraisers to just two a year; and this is the only one we're doing in the entire second half of 2012, which makes this an absolutely perfect time to send along a little end-of-the-year compensation for all those free ebooks you've been downloading from us over the last twelve months, all those free podcast interviews you've been listening to, all those free book reviews you've been reading here at the blog, all the free Chicago parties you've been attending. And you not only get something really cool in return in this case, but you're actually getting a really sweet deal; because with The Kickstarter Letters eventually retailing for $40 once this campaign is over, but selling for the next month for only $25, you're getting almost half off merely for the act of buying the book before its public release. This is the very last new thing CCLaP is doing in 2012, and I'm really hoping to end the year on a big note, so I hope you'll have a chance to stop by the main project page (and/or tweet its URL of bit.ly/KICKLETTERS to @cclapcenter), and help us make this funny, thought-provoking, very deserving book as big a success as it can be.