The Sheriff's Catch

By James Vella-Bardon

A man forced to join the Spanish Armada must flee fatal capture in 16th Century Ireland

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Another whirlwind day in a campaign that nearly gave me a heart attack! 

100% in 5.5 days. I can't believe it. Actually make that 103%! My head is still spinning, and that's not only from the champers I smashed after work with a few wonderful friends and patrons who also work in the Sydney CBD:

Truly the best thing about writing is the people you meet, as well as the interactions and adventures that you have along the way.

Which is why I think that I, for one, will sort of miss the campaign. A few friends and patrons have already commented on how exciting it all was. Like the famous Spanish victory at the 16th C battle of Pavia, it was brief, fierce and decisive, and I think we all enjoyed the adrenaline and the twists and turns, as well as the sheer drama of it all. If this process is not the future of publishing, then I'm not sure what is!

It was also a bit like a friendly football match, a taste of the even more exciting process that will follow pre- and post-publication.

Easy to forget now, that only last Thursday I was girding myself for a long, gritty and tough three months of relentless pushing and shoving to raise the initial funding. We had no pre-planned media strategy and no advertising paid, not to mention that everyone back in Malta is distracted by the impending snap election! So all in all, it is a phenomenal, breathtaking  result.

I cannot thank all patrons enough, including those who contributed today, and who are called out in the following Facebook update: 



And finally, some news from Unbound

A junior editor at Unbound who was of great assistance to me pre-launch just wrote me the following message that I hope might bring a smile to the faces of a few patrons:

"Woop woop woop 100+% for The Sheriff's Catch. Amazing and so quickly too!"

Great to see that the publisher is also happy, so it's a feel-good story all round really! That said, it's a bit hard not to be at least a bit excited about the following statistics:

A few of you have already also asked me: 'so when can we read the novel?' ('so what happens next?' my sister instantly asked upon receiving the news that we'd hit 100%). The answer is contained in the following FAQ page:

But given that we managed to complete what was meant to take three months in 5.5 days, it might be the case that the novel could be published before the expected timeframe. I'll certainly keep you all posted in this space about developments in that area. ​Believe me when I tell you that 10 months seems like nothing compared to ten years! And on a more imminent note, I can't wait to be put through the traditional process of publishing that now kicks off thanks to your generous patronage. I'm sure it will be a steep learning curve, and I can't wait to be put through it. What a great education: thank you all so much again! :)

It's also why I felt a tingle of excitement down my spine upon reading the next line of Unbound's email:

'We'll be sending you details of the next steps of the editorial process outline in the the coming weeks'

Lastly, another question which has been put to me a few times today: what happens to pledges made after the 100% mark has been achieved? The answer is as follows: the first 100% (4000 quid) will be exclusively used to finalise the novel that will be published in electronic and hardcopy (i.e. structural edit, copy edit, line edit, any other designs etc). Beyond 100%, the proceeds from the presales are shared 50/50 between Unbound and me. Believe it or not, I might finally see some financial return for my writing! Needless to say, patrons purchasing these presales beyond the 100% mark will also have their names inscribed in the special edition of the book (the one created for patrons) post-publication.

I can't wait for you to receive a copy of 'The Sheriff's Catch' in coming months. I hope you'll find it thrilling and enlightening in equal measure: certainly full of vivid descriptions and a bit different from most other reads out there, and I mean that in the best possible way (with four more sequels waiting in the wings!)

On my part I look forward to further debates on history with everyone (we had a good one on the Armada earlier tonight) and I'll ensure that you are regularly updated with progress on the book. Do let me know if you have any further questions on the publishing process, and many answers can also be found on Unbound's FAQ page.

Have a great night, time for me to finally grab some sleep before midnight!

Best wishes & thanks so much again everyone





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