Where do you go from publishing a best-selling historical fantasy novel?
The Shadow of Black Wings – the first in The Year of the Dragon series – is a historical fantasy novel with elements of steampunk, set in 19th century Japan. It’s got all of the things you could possibly want in a book: DRAGONS, magic, AIRSHIPS, battles, IRONCLADS, courtly intrigues and MYSTERIOUS PROPHECIES.
This book – and the series that follows – was born out of my passion for Japan and history, my love of Wales and dragons, my need to tell good stories and an urge to create complex worlds. It is a product of two years of my hard work – apart from the obvious job of writing and re-writing, there was the extensive historical and geographical research, editing, working with free-lancers on covers and proof-reading and, finally, formatting and publishing. Even before the release, it has garnered critical acclaim, reaching semi-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards with good reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Amazon Vine Voices.
In summer this year I released “The Shadow…” on Kindle and in paperback. It went straight to Historical Fantasy and Alternate History best seller lists, toenthusiastic reviews:
“The Shadow of Black Wings is a thoroughly captivating read and I was extremely surprised by how quickly I fell into it.” – Amazon.com ★★★★★
“This book was really great…it captivated me quickly after having read only a few pages. I’m really excited about the next book and the developing of the story.” – Goodreads ★★★★★
“The Shadow of Black Wings is a brilliant debut novel by James Calbraith, which blends fantasy with alternate history to conjure a Victorian world full of dragons and magic and derring-do.” – Amazon.co.uk ★★★★★
“James Calbraith’s writing is reminiscent of a classic, epic fantasy – immersive, and detailed to the letter. The real-world cultures he draws from are incredibly well-researched and truthful, and yet well-balanced with the fantasy elements he sprinkles in between. An intriguing and impressive series.” —Ben Galley, author of the Emaneska Series
“This manuscript is full of highly crafted detail that will make readers shiver at times with fear and delight (…) a familiar yet highly original fantasy that is a worthwhile read.” —Publisher’s Weekly
Since then I published two more novels in the series, which also landed on the Amazon best-seller lists. The books are all available in mobi (Kindle), epub (Kobo, Nook) and in paperback.
But there’s still something missing, something that could help me reach an even wider audience:
It is not an easy task. I couldn’t possibly read it myself – I’m not even a native English speaker. Not only is the main character born and bred in an alternate version of Wales, there is quite a lot of different languages and accents showing up throughout the story that need a professional voiceover artist to convincingly pull off. To this end, I have contacted Noni Lewis
, a “Welsh Voiceover Extraordinaire”.
Ms Noni has credentials that made me jump for joy the moment she agreed to work with me. She has worked with the BBC, read books and poems for TV and Radio, and gave her voice to a character in a Wallace & Gromit movie. Most importantly, she is a native of Wales, and speaks fluent Welsh! I could not possibly have dreamt of a better person to do the job. This is a first for her as well as for me – she’s used to working for big studios and agencies, rather than independently published authors.
As you can imagine, such talent – and the use of a professional recording studio – does not come cheap. So while I did manage to get my novels out as e-books and paperbacks on my own, I don’t have the kind of budget needed to create an audiobook. This is where YOU come in:
To fund the production of this audiobook I need 2,300 British Pounds (about $3,700) to cover the bulk of Ms Noni’s fee and studio costs.
The finalized audiobbok will be available for sale through multiple channels.
As a thank you for helping me achieve this task I have prepared some nicerewards for you.
This is what I have to offer in exchange for your hard earned cash (available in various combinations on the detailed rewards list):
- An e-book version of “The Shadow of Black Wings” or all three books in the series in the format of your choice (Kindle, Nook, PDF, etc.)
- A SIGNED paperback of “The Shadow of Black Wings”
- “The Shadow of Black Wings” audiobook as mp3 download
- “The Shadow of Black Wings” audiobook on a customized mp3 CD
- “The Shadow of Black Wings” audiobook on a customized USB KEY
- Your name on one (or more) of backers lists, in order of importance:
- – list of backers on my website
- – list of backers on the CD sleeve
- – list of producers READ OUT in the actual audiobook!
- And finally the GRAND PRIX – a character based on you in the next novel in the series! (see FAQ for details)
Anyone who pledges $20 or more will also receive the fourth e-book, “The Rising Tide” as soon as it’s published next year – ABSOLUTELY FREE!
By backing this project, you are supporting two hard working, independent artists: an author and a brilliant voiceover artists. You also help create a better world with my audiobook in it 🙂
So go on, click that button and make the dream happen!
Anything above £2,300 will go towards, depending on the outcome:
- distribution costs of the audiobook
- publishing my next book
- releasing the audio version of volume two, “The Warrior’s Soul”
James Calbraith is a 34-year old Poland-born writer, foodie and traveller, currently residing in South London. Growing up in communist Poland on a diet of powdered milk, Lord of the Rings and soviet science-fiction, he had his first story published at the ripe age of eight. After years of bouncing around university faculties, he moved to London in 2007 and started writing in English. His debut historical fantasy novel, “The Shadow of Black Wings”, has reached ABNA semi-finals; it was published in July 2012 and hit the Historical Fantasy and Alternate History bestseller lists on Amazon US & UK. Two more books of the series are currently available on Amazon and Kobo.
Click here and back this project!