OK, eleventy would be too many, so let me just admit up front that the headline was designed to suck you in. Welcome to Downworthy dot com. I’m going with a gimmick that involves what Math “People” call “Numerical Collisioning.” You’ll see at the end.
Like charismatic church services, these follow no particular order. [Winking emoticon goes here.]
Spurgeon’s General Warning: Thinly-disguised bragging follows and bragging cometh of pride, which is deadly.
1. We made a cool video. It’s a little long, yes, attention spans on-line being what they are (or aren’t). But it’s a good video, I think, and I’m pleased with it. It has a cool part you’ll want to stay tuned for. I won’t ruin it, but two hints:
My dear friend Brian Patton made it and he’s the man. I love his vision. The video is below!
2. It’s a story that grew out of our family life together. I began the stories that eventually became The Green Ember on our porch, telling our then-toddler tales of the rabbits that dashed around our yard. I didn’t write a rabbit story because of The Rabbit Room, or Story Warren, this story goes back long before either existed. So, it’s a tale that grew in the years of telling it to my kids. That may not mean much, but I hope that means it’s a story shaped by real interaction with real children I love. And if that carries over a little bit outside our family, I’ll be delighted.
3. The reception so far has been amazing. OK, not very many people have read the book. But we’ve had great feedback from our early readers and everyone who has read it has loved it. (Including this amazing kid in Tennessee whose dad sent me a video of his excitement after he finished the book. Made my decade!) Kickstarter has been bullish on our presentation since day one. That’s thanks to many people. Without a celebrity name to trade on (no one’s paying to have coffee with, or get a phone call from me) and without celebrity cheerleaders (unless you count early enthusiasts Randall Goodgame and Jonathan Rogers…and I should) or much organization (outside of a few in the Story Warren team), we’ve managed to make a little dent. We had so many friends from all over eager to support the project, including some fine Rabbit Roomers. We saw a lot of enthusiasm as we met our initial goal in 19 hours! It’s been a hoot.
4. Zach. Franzen. He’s an incredible illustrator and kind of a genius. Some of you met him and heard him talk at Hutchmoot. The man is a wonder and it was wonderful to partner with him on this project. I love his illustrations and the cover art he made. I think you will too.
5. It’s a family affair. Randall Goodgame sings with his wife and kids, Andrew Peterson has his family band, and I’ve always had a soft spot for family endeavors like that. This has been a family project. The kids have been involved from day one as audience, editors, and biggest supporters, urging me on. My 9 year old son illustrated a companion book available in some of the packages. (The version with his illustrations will only be available during this Kickstarter.) My daughter also did something cool that backers will receive, though it’s not listed in the rewards. It’s a surprise. My wife wrote about our journey here.
6. It’s Story Warren’s first book. We hope and plan to do more. Andrew Mackay, my amazing partner at Story Warren and a veteran of publishing, has been working a long time on his own publishing company. This is the first fruit of that labor. We want to do more. We had a conference last year, Inkwell, and thanks to a great team it was an incredible success! We are firmly hooked on incarnational endeavors. We love the web stuff, but we want to do things you can feel and touch in the real world, like books. We want to do things in the flesh, like conferences serving a few hundred kids in person. This project pushes us further into that kind of work.
7. Sarah Clarkson said this about The Green Ember. Sarah Clarkson knows books. (Do you have Read for the Heart? You should.) She knows children’s books and books for families. I was delighted when she said this:
“A captivating story with sword-bearing rabbits, daring quests, and moments of poignant beauty, The Green Ember is a tale that will delight and inspire young readers to courage and creativity and would make a perfect book for a family to read aloud.”
Super nice, right? Thanks, Sarah!
8. The Green Ember makes a great Christmas present. If you order through the Kickstarter, you can go ahead and take care of Christmas presents because it will all be at your house in time! If you want to give a bunch as gifts, there’s a higher tier where you can get ten extra copies along with most of the other stuff from the high tiers. Those obviously help us out a bunch and are too pricy for many. But even just getting the $15 paperback copy is great! Christmas presents? Check.
9. This is selfish. But . . . You’ll be helping me launch my career as an author. Many of you know that (almost) anyone who does this for the money is insane. I would have to sell more books than I’m going to sell in order to make anything close minimum wage, but that’s not what it’s about. When you back the book, it makes everything easier and removes obstacles to us doing this the way we believe it should be done (illustrations, hard cover, etc). You’re making this a joyful experience. Thank you!
10. The Green Ember is for every age group, except babies (I know this, man . . . tried and failed to impress mine). The Green Ember is a story aimed not just at a certain age group (though it is a long middle grade novel), but one we believe your entire family will enjoy. I know its a cliche. I know it. But it’s really meant to be for the old and young. “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the least.” —C.S. Lewis. I aimed for this. I hope I succeeded.
11-111: I think can sum up these last 100 reasons with just one reason that is worth a hundred reasons. (Hey, it’s less than ten-thousand reasons, thank goodness.)
Rabbits. With. Swords.
That’s right. Rabbits. With. Swords. I don’t think you need any more reasons. That is the best. That’s better than 100 reasons, better than 10,000 reasons, even if I sung them over and over and over and over and over again to you, so that you had zero chance of ever getting it out of your head no matter what.
Thanks for indulging me! I hope you’ll consider supporting our Kickstarter. We only have a few days to go. I hope the fact that we have met our “goal” (which was awesome, but was just an arbitrary number we picked) won’t stop you from getting your own copy of the book and sharing the project. Cheers!