Drew Wagar wants you to help fund a big pledge to the Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter so he can write and release a royalty-free book based on the game.
For a pledge of just £4500, which translates into a little more than $7200, supporters of the Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter will be rewarded with "The Writer's Pack," which gives them the right to write and release a single piece of written fiction, "subject to reasonable approval of the content," set in the game world. Frontier Developments will incorporate components of the work into the game and, if you can finish the book before the game is released, will even help you publicize it. What a deal!
That's some action that Drew Wagar, a U.K.-based author you've never heard of, wants a slice of. Alas, he doesn't have £4500, so he's gone to Kickstarter to raise the money. That's right, he's Kickstarting a Kickstarter pledge.
"I want to write an official Novel set in the Elite universe. The working title is Elite: Reclamation. It's going to be a full length story - I reckon on between 70-90k words," he explained on his Kickstarter page. "I'll write the story and get it to a publishable state. With the basic funding achieved I'll be able to publish an ebook (multiple formats). An obvious stretch goal is the ability to produce paperback copies. We'll need another £2,500 for that. Passing the £4,500 goal will also allow for professional cover design, type-setting and editing."
Wagar has previously written fan-fic novels set in the Elite-inspired open source game of Oolite and while he admits they're "deliberately a bit light-weight," he promises that Elite: Reclamation will be "written of sterner stuff." He's also written some short stories and self-published a full-length novel in 2011 entitled Torn. He estimates that with a two-hour daily commute to and from his job in London, he'll be able to dedicate "up to eight hours every week, most weeks" to writing the book.
"I know how much I can write in a given timespan," he said. "I've done 120k in a year before, that's with a full-time job and a family on top. I can do this. It will be a mission, but I can do it."
Amazingly, with 38 days left to go, his Kickstarter is well past the halfway point, with pledges of £2756 thus far. That puts him in better stead than the Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter itself, which has 39 days to go and is still well short of its £1.25 million goal, leading to the obvious question of what will happen if Wagar's Kickstarter is successful but the videogame fails. The original plan was to pull the plug just prior to the end of the Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter so nobody would lose any money, but now he says the book is going to happen either way.
"David Braben (no less!) has indicated that the license for a piece of Fiction in the Elite universe will be available for £2,250 in the event that E:D fails to meet its goal," he said. "Thus, if we're successful here, they'll be a book regardless."
Hey, I've heard worse ideas. Get all the details at Kickstarter.