Archive for category Kickstarter

Unrelated: Bees and Kickstarter

Two unrelated items.

First, I mentioned in my post about the big storm that both our beehives were knocked over by a falling branch, and have since gotten questions about how the bees are. We reassembled the hives on the spot, but weren’t able to take a full look at the hives until this past weekend. I can report that both queens were spotted (get it, it’s a pun because queen bees are typically marked with a spot of paint) during the inspection, so all the branch did (to the bees at least) was put a massive dent in one of our outer covers and riled up the hives. They’ve been devouring sugar water at a high rate of speed, but that’s a good thing at this stage. Got to get the stores together to overwinter.

For now, we’re filling up the feeder jars as quickly as the bees empty them, both otherwise letting them live their lives. Once we saw both queens, we removed any need to go deeper into the hives for the next few weeks.

Second, anyone who follows Kickstarter is probably aware of the controversial new project wherein Penny Arcade is using the site to raise $250k (though they’re really looking for $1million) in order to remove all advertising from their site. No one has asked, but I still wanted to share my thoughts on the project.

Thought the first. I don’t believe this is within the spirit of Kickstarter. I’m not going to say that Kickstarter should only be for the unknown and unheralded, it shouldn’t. I’ve seen many established products and brands use the site as an end-round of the games making process (such as for Double Fine and Ogre) or drives to fund reprints (such as for Order of the Stick). However, the Penny Arcade project strikes me more as a company seeking business expenses, not creating a product. As quoted from the Kickstarter guidelines:

A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it. A project is not open-ended. Starting a business, for example, does not qualify as a project.

I can’t help but wonder if the name “Penny Arcade” is what got this project green lit by Kickstarter. Obviously I don’t know Kickstarter’s reasoning, and I won’t pretend that I have an encyclopedic enough knowledge of past Kickstarters to know the precedents. However, in spite of my thoughts on whether it should or shouldn’t be within Kickstarter’s guidelines, I’m not joining the outrage because…

Thought the second. I don’t believe that Kickstarter is a zero-sum game. That is to say, I don’t believe there’s a set amount of money that is going to be donated to projects on a given day, and that the Penny Arcade project is taking money out of the mouths of projects that are less ambiguous about their adherence to policy. The people who are donating the Penny Arcade are donating to Penny Arcade. Hell, it could even be a net positive if people are funding a Kickstarter for the first time, and finding other projects while browsing around the site.

There’s one exception to the zero-sum issue, the staff picks. Currently the Penny Arcade project is taking one of the three Staff Pick spots within the Comics section, an exposure that it clearly doesn’t need. So do I think that it’s strictly within the rules? No. Do I think that makes it inherently a bad thing? No.

But I’m just me.


Kickstarter Postmortem, Part 1

I’ve decided to split this postmortem into two halves.  This first half will focus entirely on my thoughts.  Part two, sometime next week, will include a back-and-forth with the editor of The Memory Eater anthology to talk about the decision to go Kickstarter, and what he thinks of it as a way forward for fiction and anthologies.

First and foremost, I want to say thank you.  From the absolute bottom of my heart, thank you.  I recognized several names on the donors list that I know are followers on Twitter, readers of this blog, friends in real life, or who I otherwise pointed to the Kickstarter.  It’s been overwhelming each time I see one of those names come up.  If you are reading this and you donated, or you helped spread the word, or you simply put up with me becoming a single-focused Kickstarter monster for 40 days and 40 nights, I cannot thank you enough.  I hope that the end product of our campaign justifies your faith in the project.

I didn’t want to go any further without saying those words.

The Kickstarter experience was a hell of a roller coaster, and I wanted to give people a look at what it’s like to be part of a project that doesn’t have A Name attached to it.  What do I mean by A Name?  Let’s look at some of the most successful projects on the site.  The same day we got funded, Steve Jackson was funded just shy of a million dollars to resurrect his classic game Ogre.  During our campaign, Amanda Palmer hit her $100,000 goal in a matter of hours.  The classic example, at least until someone beats its $3.3 million haul, is Double Fine Adventure, which got $300,000 in just eight hours.  In all of these cases, we’re talking about individuals (Jackson, Palmer, and Tim Schafer) who have rabid and devoted followers.

Who were we?  We were a rag-tag collection of authors and illustrators who combined didn’t have the prestige that any of Jackson, Palmer, or Schafer have in their pinky fingers.  In the end we became the 84th most funded Publishing/Fiction project in the site’s short history, well behind juggernauts like Dinocalypse Now and Steampunk Holmes.  Compare that to the three projects above, which all had two things in common when compared to The Memory Eater.  Both had more backers than we had dollars backed, and both had, and sold, rewards worth more than our entire project.  Hell, then some of our stretch goals, even.

There’s another Kickstarter postmortem out there, as web video legend Ze Frank broke down his experiences in funding his new show through the site.  His project and ours have a few differences, namely just about everything except that we both used Kickstarter.  He’s an established name online, with an established fan base, and he chose to go for an 11 day project largely because Kickstarter itself was interested to test short-term projects as they saw most money raised in the first and last three days.  In his postmortem he has a hunch:

:: HUNCH :: My guess is the shape of the blue curve is mainly defined by pretty basic network properties of information spread – a short period of exponential growth followed by exponential decline. The initial spike has to do with novel interest and many overlapping points of broadcast (initial marketing, retweets, blog posts, sharing) Once you are in the phase of exponential decline, you will have to fight to maintain interest, either by enlisting larger broadcast nodes (news articles, bloggers) or by creating shareable events (new reasons to share your campaign.)

My hunch, before our Kickstarter opened, was that the initial spike seen at the beginning of a Kickstarter from a known quantity, A Name, is due to a period before the information about the project is saturated.  It doesn’t take nearly as long for Ze Frank, Jackson, Palmer, or Schafer to largely exhaust their ability to mobilize an existing fan base.  The long tail is due to funding goals being reached, so there’s a decreased excitement.  Those trickling in at this point are those who are curious or somehow missed the opening blast trickle in, then the big finish is from those who were holding out but decided they really wanted to be in on the whole thing.  The concept of exhaustion and diminishing returned interested me as we went into a project where we were reliant on hard fought word of mouth and people stumbling upon our project being curious.  And one that likely wasn’t going to get 72-hour funding.  So, since I like being obsessive, and I like charts, and I like numbers, I put together The Infamous Graph.

Each morning at as close to 7:55am eastern time as possible (the time we launched, so our Kickstarter midnight) I grabbed the total contribution from the Kickstarter and scribbled it down.  They all went into an Excel spreadsheet, and I tracked the overall progress (blue bar, left axis) and the daily change in pledges (red bar, right axis).  The other extraneous lines are a green line tracking our overall goal and a purple line representing an even progression towards the goal, so I’d know if we were ahead of or behind pace.  Please note, this is unofficial in every possible way, and I know it’s flawed as I somehow ended up with 39 data points coming out of a 40-day Kickstarter project.

Yes, we did have two days where we lost money, including nearly $50 the last Saturday of the campaign.  We had three more where there was absolutely no movement.  Ze Frank raised 2/3 of his total in those first three days.  We raised just shy of 20% in our initial push.  Ze Frank had a “slight increase” in his last three days.  We raised over $1000, nearly 1/4 of our final total, in a frantic and wonderful last four days.  Ze Frank had a comparative drop off (though his worst day far outstripped our best) and never really shot back up.  Our project kept experiencing fits of activity that kept the blue line right around the purple line.

The projects, in short, couldn’t look much different.  Then again, they couldn’t be much different.  One wanted $50k, the other just over $4k.  One was a single person, the other was a team of artists and creators.  One was a known quantity, the other was more of a gamble for the contributors.

So we experienced some giddy highs.  At the end of that first week when we were on pace to double our money, we started talking stretch goals.  I like stretch goals, and we all had visions of The Memory Eater 2 swooping through our heads.  Yeah, we never even came close.  We were never in as good shape as our best days looked, we were never in as bad shape as our worst days looked.  I’ll be honest, after that bottom out there on day 33, I didn’t expect we would be funded.  Yes, I’d heard of last minute pushes, but I didn’t think they could be as powerful as I’d heard.

They are.  And then some.  I suspect it helped that we were at 80% when we started showing up on Ending Soon pages.  The last 96 hours featured people who were holding on to see if their support was needed, and those Kickstarter regulars who like to push a project over the top.

The project went largely as I expected.  We had a strong start, a strong finish, and some setbacks in the middle.  It took longer for us to reach a point of saturation, because it took our voices so much longer to spread.  We experienced some diminishing returns, but not nearly those represented by Ze Franks graphs.  But then…we also funded on the second to last day, not on day three, so there was never a point where we weren’t in danger.  Hell, up until about 7 hours left in the project there were two backers who could sink us by virtue of the size of their donations, and even up to the finish line there was still just one.  I didn’t expect they actually would, that would take an amount of spite that I would like to think doesn’t exist on Kickstarter, but worrying about things like that is one of my various unhealthy hobbies.  I don’t smoke, so this is what I get.

In the end I wanted to let people see what a Kickstarter project looked like when it had nothing but tenacity and the promise of some excellent short stories going for it.  Plus a couple dozen people who really believed in a thing and wouldn’t say die.  In the end, 166 people joined us for the ride, which is all flavors of exciting.  Where do we go next?  Well, our fearless leader CP has some questionnaires to put together and the rest of us get to take a deep breath and stop spamming our Twitter followers.  Which is one more thank you I owe, to everyone who simply put up with me talking about this project so endlessly.  Especially my wife, who got the best view of my mania.

I’m not sure I’m excited to go through another Kickstarter project.  I liked getting somewhat dragged into one, having a stake but not being the key figure.  It was fun, but it was also nerve-racking, exhausting, and focus drawing.  My writing productivity dropped precipitously near the end.  This isn’t a reason for writers in general not to do Kickstarters, it’s a reason only for writers who are me to never spearhead one.  Which…honestly…if this had gone a lot bigger and better, if we’d hit those stretch goals, I was considering two different projects I’d like to do that might benefit from a Kickstart.  Now, I might still do them, but they won’t be crowdsourced.

I’m looking forward to talking with CP a little more next week.  We’ve been in touch through most of the campaign, I know some of his thoughts on it, but I’ll be interested to get some more formal answer to what he thinks we did right, did wrong, and what lessons other writers and anthologists might take from our experiences before launching their own Kickstarter.  Keep an eye out, I hope to have it up by Friday of next week, but mine is not the only calendar for that.


An Ode…

…To The Final 48 Hours of a Kickstarter

By DL Thurston

F5 F5 F5.  Woo!
F5.  F5 F5.
F5 F5 F5 F5 F5.
F5.  Woo!
F5 F5.  F5.




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Unrelated Weekend Things

Thing the first: We are now officially beekeepers.  Saturday afternoon my wife and I picked up our nuc from one of our fellow members of the Beekeepers Association of Northern Virginia.  The bees were just chilling in the dining room when we showed up, well secured in their cardboard travel case and humming away like mad.  There are few things that make me a safer driver than having a hatchback full of bees, apparently.  The buzzing was always just a little louder than the radio, especially when a stop or turn made their little cardboard box slide around.

It was raining when we got home, so we immediately broke my first and most sacrosanct rule of beekeeping: no bees in the house.  The cats were exceedingly concerned about the box, I suspect the sound of the bees humming sounded different to their ears.  I picked up our younger, stupider cat and let him have a good look from about five feet away.  He wanted no closer than that, tensing as I held him and scampering off when I let him down.  The rain tapered off, so we took the opportunity to suit up and get the bees into their new hive.  This meant doing things faster than intended, so we didn’t have time to identify the queen, even though she has a little yellow dot on her back.  We’ll need to go in again by next weekend anyway, we’ll get another chance then.

We were told to expect productive and gentle bees.  True to form, they only buzzed around us curiously while we assembled the hive, and by yesterday were already coming back to the hive with huge saddlebags of pollen, even with a patty of artificial pollen sitting right in their hive.  We did come across one bee who was a little braver than her sisters.  This is the bee that will hover right at eye level with us, really staring us down and just daring us to come in closer to the hive.  We’ve long planned to name one bee “That Bee” who we could blame any problems in the hive on.  I think we’ve officially found That Bee.

It’s unusual to harvest from a hive in its first summer, but this colony apparently produced around 100 pounds of honey last year, so it’s not out of the question that we might, might, get a taste of some honey in late August.  Of course by then I’ll be beekeeping solo for a few weeks, so we might just let them keep all the honey this year so they have more than enough to overwinter with.

I have some photos, but I’m having a hard time wrangling them at the moment.  I’ll update this post later in the evening and send a ping on Twitter when it happens.

Thing the second: Late yesterday I got word of a short story sale to an upcoming anthology.  I’m never sure if I’m supposed to share details of just which anthology, so I’m going to hold off until I see something official on their website or get a green light on email.  I will say I’m one of two Unleaded contributors on the author’s list, which is awesome.  Because of that, it’ll probably be over there not over here that I give more details, when they exist to give.  This is my third sale since getting serious about submissions, which is fantastic.  Means I need to write more short stories so I can have more rotating through markets.  If you’re a fellow Cat Vacuumer, yes, it was that story.

Speaking of anthologies, we are in the last week of the Kickstarter for The Memory Eater, and what was once moving fast and furious is now stalled out just shy of 80%.  It’s not too late to get in and preorder a copy.  I’ve seen Kickstarters pull in impressive last week numbers, but there’s certainly no room for complacency.  If you’re still considering, time is running low.  If you are already in, please consider giving us a signal boost on Twitter.  Doing so can even earn you free reward-tier prizes, check out the contest here.  Our deadline for funding is Saturday morning at 7:55am eastern time.

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State of the Author: May 2012

Hermes and Maia

2012 Goal: Query Nickajack.  Big progress in April: the rough draft is complete!  It came in at 90,054 words, right at the lower end of my target range for the novel.  This is just the first step, but it’s a big first step, as the entire novel exists as a full length narrative.  The next step is turning it into a first draft.  Especially for something as long as a novel, I consider the rough and first drafts as two different creatures.  The rough draft is the first version of the story that takes the plot from beginning to end with no holes in the middle.  The first draft is the first draft we’re willing to let others see as a completed project.  There are three major steps between here and there:

  1. My wife and coauthor is taking three weeks to punch up Act Three with more description, as there were points in the narrative where I was concentrating more on getting to the end than stopping to smell the roses.  Or to look at, feel, taste, or listen to the roses either.  It’s largely about dividing the labor to play into our strengths.
  2. Rewrite chapter one to fit the theme and conclusion of the novel.  We want to make sure we’ve got good bookends after all.
  3. Redefine a character.  She was: a nurse.  She will be: a Luddite-style reactionary.  As she exists now, the first half of her appearances she’s the one, the second half (after we decided to change her character, and knew the new version would have a far different plot interaction) she’s the other.  So we need to make sure to unify her purposes.

Can we get this all done in May?  Maybe.  May-be.  See what I…nevermind.  Actually, probably not, but I’ll be thrilled if we get the first two steps done, and get the third done by mid-June.  Then we’ll actually consider something that’s altogether new and scary to me: alpha readers.  I’ve never had an entire novel beta read as a single unit.

This also means I’m going to be more hands-off than hands-on for the next two or three months.  Which is fair and I knew would be part of the process of coauthoring.  It makes me twitch a little, but I’m hoping to use that nervous energy to get a few other projects done.  So with that in mind…

Looking forward to May.  Yesterday was day one of the first hands-off period.  I’ve got four projects lined up, though I’m not sure what order they’ll get done in, and which will get pushed back to the month long alpha reader hands-off period.

  1. Find the next destination for Vampire of Mars and kick it out the door.  This one languished awhile before getting an entirely tacit rejection, which was harsh.  My first choice of markets is currently closed, so this will include some research and not just polishing.
  2. Finish the series of eight Nickajack side stories.  I’ve written the first three, my wife wrote the last one, so there’s four in the middle to fill in.  500-1000 words each.
  3. Create a novella-length outline for Ghosts of Venus.  I think it can take it, and I’ve got some ideas for potentially tripling the length.
  4. Create a novella-length outline for Unnamed North Carolina Time Travel War Story.  Plus…come up with a better title.  This is the story that had its origins in my accidental world building, though I may not use quite the same time period.

Novella-length stories will be an experiment for me, which is part of why I’d like to give them a try.  I’ve seen the market for them re-open lately (though largely through self publication) and I think the two stories I have in mind can support longer narratives but not novel length adventures.  I’ve also been considering them thanks to dipping my toes into one of the stronger novella markets of the 1960s, those Ace Doubles I’ve been snatching up (11 more inbound from an eBay auction, though one’s a duplicate).  If I like them, I might bundle them together and slap on this little logo that I made in a moment of insanity when things such as self-publishing something in the style of an Ace Double sounds like a good idea.

State of the Kickstarter.  I’ll be honest, we’re in the doldrums right now.  I don’t want to get pessimistic, but I’m certainly not as optimistic as I was when I suggested throwing some stretch goals into the mix.  I’m still excited about the project.  If you haven’t read the sample, give it a shot.  If you haven’t pre-ordered, please consider doing so.  We’ve got ten days left as of this writing, and still 30% of the project left to fund.  We’re exactly on pace, but that leaves us no margin for error.  I’ll put together a full postmortem, for better or worse, in two weeks when everything is done.

UPDATE: Since writing this earlier today, the Kickstarter is having a great day.  If you’re reading this and you’ve supported us, either today or in the past, I owe you a massive thanks.  We’ve still got a ways to go, but I’m a hell of a lot more optimistic at 3pm than I was at 9am.

State of the Writer’s Bees.  The first nuc arrives this weekend.  Expect a post about them next week.

Everyone have a productive month, and we’ll meet back here in 31 days to say what we’ve all done.

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Story Trailer

Fellow Memory Eater contributor Justin Swapp is working on a series of story trailers for the anthology.  Mine went live today, and includes Carly Sorge’s fantastic artwork for the story, which I’ve previously only shown to select people on my iPod screen.  So I figured I should show it off to everyone:

Before I talk more about book and story trailers, let’s go through all the standard ads.  We still need a lot of support to get The Memory Eater funded.  We’ve had an awesome first week and the 1/3 funding threshold is already in our rear view mirror, but it’s still a long road ahead.  $8 gets you an eBook, $15 gets you the print edition, cheap for either and both help support us.  There are also still four original pieces of story art available for purchase.  The sampler, including the start to my story Home Again, is still live.  There’s also an interview with the editor up.  Go check it all out.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around book trailers.  I’m not going to pretend I know the full history of these videos, I only know my personal history with them.  It’s a history of jealousy and distrust, just as all good stories should be.  Long before I was on the internet, the only book trailers I ever saw were those very few books that got television commercials.  They would be Tom Clancy books and James Patterson books.  Hell, Patterson still shows up regularly, even in commercials that aren’t actually for his books.  I’m not sure where the feelings first came from, but as I got older I rolled my eyes more and more at book commercials.  Something about the kind of books that were being advertised to the much lower common denominator of the television audience.

Yes, I was a snotty little brat at points in my life.  Perhaps still am.

Do I begrudge James Patterson of his success?  No.  Do I wish I had it for myself?  Absolutely.  Even if that meant feeling like I was selling my soul and engaging in the kinds of writerly activities that I’ve rolled my eyes at in the past?  You better fucking believe it.

But I don’t, and so I still roll my eyes whenever I see James Patterson threatening to kill of a character from a series of books I don’t read if I don’t read the new one.  Or using words like “unputdownable.”  Which appeared in two different commercials, so I suspect he’s trolling us.  Which I can begrudgingly respect him for.

I’m not sure when I first saw a book trailer on YouTube.  I do know it was recent, because I think the book trailer for last year’s Phoenix Rising was the first I actually sat down and watched in its entirety.  When I first came across these trailers, I lumped them in with the Patterson and Clancy commercials, and dismissed them as a whole.  However, there’s one very big element to the commercials that set them apart from the trailers.

How many authors can you name that get commercials?  Beyond the ones I already have in this post.  It’s not something that happens for a huge, vast, overwhelming majority of writers.  Seriously, the number of writers who get television commercials is a rounding error away from 0%.  It’s just an avenue of advertising not open for even the biggest name writers, and certainly not for those who are relative unknowns in the field.

I’m going to stop right there, because you all see where this is going.  This is me waxing on about how the internet democratizes communication, allowing individuals to reach out to individuals in a way never before possible.  Yes.  That’s exactly what I’m saying, and I know it’s not any kind of grand revelation.  Hell, this entire blog is one fledgling writer reaching out to people that he wouldn’t have any way of reaching out to before the internet.

So instead, as someone who has viewed a couple of book trailers now, some thoughts I’ve had.

  1. Use all the resources available to you.  If all you have is a program that lets you put up some simple animations with some clip art, do it.  If you have friends with any kind of film making experience who owe you favors, cash them in.  The better it looks, the more likely someone is going to stick with it long enough to see the publication date, or share it with friends.
  2. Remember it represents you.  Check the spelling, check the grammar, take some time to edit it and make it something you can be proud of, and something that will represent you positively.
  3. Get it out there.  Youtube isn’t going to send the link out for you.  Yes, the internet blah blah democratization blah blah.  It hasn’t gone THAT far.  Get the word out there.  Zero views does no one any good.
  4. Don’t spam.  I’m trying to be good about this myself during the Kickstarter campaign, and I certainly hope people will say something if I’m going too far (this is not only permission to do so, but an actual request).  I’m limiting myself to a tweet a day and a blog post a week, where the blog post has to use the Kickstarter to segue into another topic.  Diminishing returns are a real thing.  You’re talking to largely the same audience each time.  I have personally hit that unfollow button on the writer who keeps posting the same blog post or video four or five times a day every single day.

Get out there.  Self promote.  It’s the power of the internet.

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The Memory Eater, Kickstarter, and the New Patronage

First, the obligatory advertisement.  The Memory Eater anthology has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its initial print run.  This anthology features the works of dozens of both writers and artists, myself included.  Each story revolves around how a the ability to delete memories from an individual affects society, influenced history, and ultimately goes horribly wrong.  Each story is coupled with a full-page illustration, several of which are displayed on the Kickstarter page.  If you would like to see a sample of four of the included stories, including my story “Home Again,” the publisher has posted a sampler on the anthology’s website.  I hope you’ll consider pre-ordering a copy through the Kickstarter, and perhaps consider one of the premium rewards being offered.

I promise I’m not going to turn this blog into all Memory Eater Kickstarter all the time (not counting the sidebar widget), but I do hope my readers understand we’re in the critical first few days of the campaign.  In its first 24 hours, the anthology raised $343 towards its publication, or 8% of its total goal.  If we can average even half that per day the rest of the way, the anthology will more than exceed its funding goals.  I’m excited to take part in this campaign not only because I have a direct investment in the final project, but because I’ve been fascinated with Kickstarter for the past several months.  I’m doing my best to pick and choose my projects, but have made contributions to projects as big as the record smashing Double Fine Adventure, or as small as the Dinosaurs in Space role-playing game.  The most recently successful campaign I’ve been part of is a push to digitize old science fiction books that are largely forgotten and have no eBook formats.  I’ve never had my own idea, my own project that needed Kickstarting, so it’s fascinating to experience this from the other side.  I’ll probably make a few more blog posts about the experience as we go.  So far, it involves a lot of F5-ing and deciding if I want to be one of Those People who begs appropriately chosen celebrities on Twitter for Kickstarter retweets.

I’ve written about Kickstarter once before, over on my blog-away-from-home at Unleaded.  At the time I called Kickstarter the “Modern Patronage,” and I stand by that assessment.  It’s odd how modern technology reinvigorates old ideas and makes them new again.  Classic patronage typically involved going to a few rich individuals for a large influx of money to fund a creator’s creativity.  A painter, a writer, an inventor, someone who is trying to feed himself with ideas rather than through traditional labor.  Kickstarter represents the social media version of patronage, reaching out not to a few people but to everyone.  The goal isn’t to find one person to fund a year of a creator’s life, but to find dozens, hundreds, or occasionally thousands of people to believe in an idea just enough to promise a few dollars if and only if enough other people will also contribute just a little.  This is the amazing power of crowd sourcing, the idea that enough people doing little things can fund massive projects.  Get enough people to pitch in at an average of just $38, and suddenly you’ve got a company with $3.3 million to create the best video game they can.

In that Unleaded post from last October I said,

This isn’t the future of the publication industry.  I feel rather confident in saying that.  But it is an interesting take on the old patronage system, and could provide some deserving artists, writers, creators, and designers with the funds they need to get over the hump and see some form of success.  It can also provide an absolute kick in the teeth for that artist who falls just short or, worse, gets no support at all.

I suppose the better phrasing is that I hope this isn’t the future of the publication industry.  I don’t relish a future where all literary projects have to go through microfunding in order to exist.  However, I would like to walk back some of my cynicism from that earlier post.  While I would hate to see the entire industry go this direction, I’ve seen several individuals do it with fantastic success.  Chuck Wendig, he of the foul mouth and weekly flash fiction challenges, has had success in not one, but two recent Kickstarters for his longer fiction.  SFWA pro market Bull Spec successfully used Kickstarter to fund their third year of publication.  Laura Anne Gilman has successfully used it to fund publication of one novella, and is well underway on another project.  It’s a new step in self publication, and one fraught with all the same perils.  It requires a presence and a willingness to push and pimp and advertise.  I’m not going to post failed projects, but they exist.  Click into Ending Soon, and you’ll see plenty of projects with full green bars, but plenty more that have miles to go and only a few short hours left.  The free market giveth, and it taketh away.

I’m hoping not to get experience with that part, but this is all experience, and it’s all fascinating.

So wish us luck as we push forward.  Check out the samples.  Consider pre-ordering.  You’ll have our eternal gratitude.  Remember, it’s never a handout, there’s always something for the money.  Keep an eye on this space as I provide occasional look-ins on a Kickstarter project from the inside.

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