Four Projects Which Pique My Interest

Dear Reader,

As you may (or may not) remember, this time last year I won the funding for Haunting Miss Trentwood by pitching a campaign via Kickstarter. That 40 days of promotion was a whirlwind of stress, exuberance, and exhaustion, which led to the success of the project. Because I was blessed to get funding, I do my best to support other writing/publishing/local projects as a way of paying it forward.

So far, all six of the projects I’ve backed have been funded, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Today I’d like to highlight other writing and publishing projects that piqued my interest, and might pique yours as well. If you find these projects interesting, back the projects by choosing a reward tier and the amount you would like to pledge.

Four Creative Projects

Blood Sex & Cogs interests me because my masters thesis was about the Steampunk craft culture. Here, the author is crafting their own book, with your help. Check it.


Children of Earth and Star interests me because it’s going to be a digital and physical illustrated book. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the story intriguing… what happens when an earth child and a star child meet and fall in love?


The Gremacht Episode is about a family of Victorian archeologists by author/illustrator Ruth Lampi who encounter demons, immortals, etc. My favorite part? The author is dressed like her characters in the video. Talk about dedication!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/298867900/the-germhacht-episode-an-adventure-serial-by-ruth

The last one I just found out about yesterday, and isn’t on Kickstarter, I assume, because Kickstarter is only available to those living in the United States at this time. It’s a historical by Dubliner David Doughran called A Storm hit Valpraiso. I’m interested to see how his project goes, since I have no experience with any crowdfunding other than Kickstarter.

I’m a big fan of supporting the little guy, and maybe you are too. If so, I hope this post helps.

Everyday I’m Tumblin’

Also, don’t forget that I’m on Tumblr these days! I’m becoming more obsessed with the platform hourly, and am finding all sorts of quotes, images, and funnies to share with you. Make sure to hop over there from time to time.

I feel like Tumblr is a great way for you to see my personality (well, sense of humor, really), more than a blog. I don’t know. We’ll see. Fact is, I love it, and I’d love to see you over there to share in the nerd love.

Best,

Belinda

Following Through

Dear Reader,

kickstarter-logo-lightPeople should deliver on their promises. End of story.

This is in response to a comment Kait made about indie authors using Kickstarter but not following through on their promise of a well-designed product, etc. I find this, in a word, disgusting.

Indie authors are small-business owners, as far as I am concerned. We have a product we develop, produce, distribute, market, and more. Our customers are our readers, and we depend on their word-of-mouth to keep us in business. Nothing tops the word-of-mouth. Nothing.

So when Kait told me there are indie authors using Kickstarter to raise funds but don’t follow through with a good product, I got really angry. So angry, I had to wait a couple of days before writing this post.

What gives anyone the right to not fulfill a promise, especially a promise from a merchant to a customer?

With no semblance of apology or explanation?

I am all for supporting indie authors, especially since I am one myself. My twitter bio says I enjoy “paying it forward,” and I do. I will retweet anyone who is putting forth a good effort to make a good product, with pleasure. But when I hear about people cheating others, indie authors et al, it makes my midwestern blood boil.

You make a promise, you make it happen. Or you give a damn good explanation why you overestimated your abilities.

Best,

Belinda

P.S. Warning: completely unrelated. If you’re in the Columbus area, I hope you’re able to make it to my book launch tea tasting party!

Indie Methodology

Dear Reader,

Let’s talk about the indie methodology. That is, the method in which an author decides to indie publish. This is largely inspired by Kait Nolan’s recent post about Kickstarter (I’ll admit, my heckles were raised), but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

I realize I am taking a very different path along my indie publishing journey. Let me break down the “traditional indie method” for you, as I understand it.

Author wants to self-publish. Author has little-to-no money, and no followers. Author decides they need to cut corners in self-publishing. How? By releasing to eBook first (or only). Maybe hire an editor. Maybe hire a cover artist. Use free services like Amazon DTP, Smashwords, PubIt. Send out coupons and giveaways to attract readers. Solicit reviews. Attract followers through social networking. Earn money from purchases. Save up to maybe release a print book, set up a micropress, etc. Or not.

This works for many indie publishers like Kait Nolan, Zoe Winters, Susan Bischoff, Amanda Hocking, etc.

It doesn’t work for me. Why? Because I published in high school and made a profit even though I used a vanity service. I continued to write for the next seven years, but put schooling first and didn’t publish.

Now I’m back. I’ve been at this for three concentrated months, and I decided to use Kickstarter to build up venture capital because I intend to indie publish a little differently.

Author wants to self-publish. Author has little-to-no money, and a number of followers. Author has a print book out, and short stories on Scribd. Author wants a micro-press and to dual-release the eBook and print versions. Author needs venture capital. Author applies to Kickstarter to reach new readers, gain support and excitement for new book. Buy ISBNs. Design cover and interior layout. Register micro-press. Use services like Amazon DTP, Smashwords, PubIt, CreateSpace. Send out coupons and giveaways to attract readers. Solicit reviews. Attract followers through social networking. Earn money from purchases.

The process is very similar. But the reason why I’m talking about this is because there was a lot of questions, even negativity, about authors using Kickstarter, as if they were trying to cheat the system. As if they’re clinging to the traditional method of getting an advance and then receiving royalties, etc.

Independent, as I understand it, means to go your own way. Do your own thing. March to the beat of your own drummer. Who cares if I’m using Kickstarter to raise money? Who cares if I decide to go print and eBook, rather than just eBook? As long as I follow through with my promises, it should be all gravy.

I admire and respect Kait, Zoe, Amanda, and Susan. I love what they’re doing for the indie publisher reputation. I’m taking my own spin on the indie publisher’s path, though, because that’s what an independent thinker does.

What am I trying to say? I guess all I’m trying to say is that if you’re deciding to go indie, read up on it. Learn who the big names are, and study how they are doing it. Make note of the methods that will work for you in your situation, and throw the other methods away. The indie world is too small for negativity about how you’re doing things if you’re producing quality work.

All the best,

Belinda

P.S. We made the Kickstarter goal! Huzzah! We’re still accepting pre-orders for Haunting Miss Trentwood through Thursday Oct 14.

Highlighted in the Columbus Dispatch

Hey everyone, If you’re in the Columbus, Ohio area, I hope you didn’t miss this week’s Arts Section in The Columbus Dispatch! If you did, you missed a great article about Kickstarter and the local projects which are utilizing the website. You can see it online at http://bit.ly/cY7oZC. By the way, we now have 27 backers. We are a mere $10 away from the halfway point! I’m both super excited and super nervous about this. Did you know that even though we’ve passed the dreaded 25% mark, half of the projects on Kickstarter never reach their goal? We have ELEVEN DAYS LEFT. Batten down the hatches, we’re in for a wild ride! hmtEdits I’m deep in the editing trenches with Haunting Miss Trentwood, and wanted to share what a manuscript looks like when an author attacks with red pen. Call me a masochist, but I love the editing phase. I’ve added a photo to show the progress. And my library is finally coming together! I’ve taken a photo and annotated it so you can see the method to my madness. myLibrary

Do I Pass the Page 99 Test?

Dear Reader,

We have 22 amazing backers, bringing us to the 40% funded mark. Thank you! Your support spurred me to complete the current draft of Haunting Miss Trentwood in record time.

So in the writing world, there is this test called the Page 99 test. The basic idea is that you turn to page 99 of the book you’re thinking of reading. If you like the page, you will probably like the book.

There is an entire website dedicated to seeing if this test is a valid way of judging a book. I’m interested in putting Haunting Miss Trentwood to the test, so here we go! I give you page 99.

Hartwell figured he should have been more afraid of Mary at that point. Instead, there was the oddest sense of admiration and respect welling inside him, which felt ironic and perverse, to say the least. And satisfying, to know he had broken her shell. She had spirit. He couldn’t fault her that, especially when she applied it so unlike his sister.

“All right,” he said.

Mary stopped. She rounded on him, mouth open to spew another litany at him. “What?”

“I agreed to look over your paperwork, so I shall. I’ll admit I wanted to do so originally because I wanted to confirm you were or were not the blackmailer.” He smiled. “At least now I don’t have to pretend otherwise.”

Mary’s hands bunched into fists.

Hartwell wondered if Pomeroy* had taught her a thing or two.

When her fist connected with his jaw, he had his answer. In spades.

Do I pass?

All the best,

Belinda

– – –

* Pomeroy is the butler with an interesting past…a rather successful boxer.

** This is cross-posted at my Kickstarter project.

Worderella Needs You!

Dear Reader,

This has been a craptastic week. I’ve been having nightmares about being in a car accident, so I took my car into the shop just to check it out. The car needs major repairs. It’s drivable, but only until the parts break off. The repairs cost the price of the car. So now I have no car, and there isn’t public transportation to my job.

Dearest Reader, I try not to ask for much. Just your love and adoration.

Heh, kidding. Kind of.

Seriously though, I need your help. The money I’m spending on the replacement car is the money I would have spent to hire a copy editor and publish Haunting Miss Trentwood. Never fear, I have a plan. And you, Reader, are a part of it. If you wish to be, that is.

I submitted an application to Kickstarter. According to the website, Kickstarter is…

A new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors. We believe that a good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide. We believe that a large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.

Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.

Get this: I was accepted! This gives me thirty days (once I launch the project) to drum up some excitement and raise $1,200 (or more!). This is money that I intend to spend on hiring a professional copy editor ($$?), buying a pack of ISBNs ($500+), registering a sole proprietorship, buying marketing materials, etc.

My Kickstarter award system will be the following:

  • Pledge $1 or more
    Do I shout how awesome you are to Facebook or Twitter?
  • Pledge $3 or more
    Not only do you get to pick where I shout how awesome you are (Facebook or Twitter), but you also get a PDF copy of Haunting Miss Trentwood.
  • Pledge $5 or more
    PDF of Haunting Miss Trentwood as well as a permanent place on my website stating how amazing you are.
  • Pledge $10 or more
    PDFs of Haunting Miss Trentwood and Catching the Rose; a permanent place on my website stating how amazing you are; a handwritten note from moi.
  • Pledge $15 or more
    Print copy of Haunting Miss Trentwood; PDF copy of Catching the Rose; a place in the acknowledgment section of the book; a handwritten note from moi. Canada + $3; Europe + $10.
  • Pledge $25 or more
    Signed print copy of Haunting Miss Trentwood; PDF copy of Catching the Rose; a place in the acknowledgment section of the book; a handwritten note from moi; a surprise. Canada + $3; Europe + $10.
  • Pledge $50 or more
    Signed print copy of Haunting Miss Trentwood; two extra books for your friends/library (you pick the combination of Haunting Miss Trentwood and/or Catching the Rose); a place in the acknowledgment section of the book; a handwritten note from moi; a surprise. Canada + $10; Europe + $20.

I’m not asking that you help me out by pledging. I’d rather you help me by spreading the word that I need help; that I am happy to accept the smallest pledge possible, one dollar.  Plus, how cool is it to say that you helped an author make her book happen?

Think of me as your resident artiste, and I’ll think of you as my lovely, lovely patron(s).

I’ll post more details once everything is up and ready to go. I have to post a video and make sure my bank account is verified, which takes time. Thanks so much for the help, whatever you’re able to give.

In the meantime, would you mind helping me get a buzz going?

All the best,

Belinda