An #IWSG post for my Birthday – Crowdfunding for a Novel

It’s still June 7 for a big portion of this blog’s audience, my 41st birthday.

When your kids choose your birthday cake.

It’s been very encouraging to see my Facebook feed go crazy, and my family treated me to a cake and some other yummy goodness. A pretty good birthday all around!

This post will talk a little about fundraising for books

Some friends even pre-ordered my book from my campaign – a great birthday present!

For IWSG folks visiting today, I’ll put in a little advice about crowdfunding so that this isn’t a total hijack of the hashtag and group just to promote my campaign.

So I’ve been crowdfunding for a book…

I jumped into crowdfunding for Far Flung because of a contest at Inkshares (a crowdfunding site specifically for books). I wouldn’t have started otherwise – the book is in its third draft, and could really use beta readers and other revisions for the best shot. However, this contest will award a publishing deal for the top 3 books in terms of pre-orders. Normally, a book would need 250 preorders to get a basic publishing deal on Inkshares, and 750 preorders to get a fully, professionally edited and promoted book deal. This looked like a chance to get my foot in the door with a lower number of pre-orders.

What to expect if you crowdfund

Unless there’s a contest like this one, you’ll have to get a whole lot of pre-orders for your book if you decide to do it this way. Whether you use Inkshares, Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, or whatever, it takes a lot of funds and a lot of promotion. Tell everybody you know, everybody you’ve ever contacted about the campaign and why you are doing it. Tell people you don’t know too – use Twitter, Facebook, your blog (Hello!) and whatever else you can think of. Lose the shame.

At first you might feel like you lose self-respect – but actually, as you work to craft your pitch and look at ways you can engage your contacts personally, you gain self-respect. You realize you are just working on a big project and need help – that’s it. You’re not begging, your genuinely asking after your contacts and their projects, and then explaining how you can finish yours. No shame in that.

Don’t take it personally

If friends and family don’t seem supportive, one thing I’ve figured out already – don’t take it personally. It doesn’t necessarily mean your project is bad or your campaign was a bad idea or poorly timed. It more likely means that your friends already have their attentions divided among work, personal life, and helping other people who are fundraising, volunteering, or whatever.  Ask politely, and make it clear that no is a perfectly acceptable answer.

 

And now the plug – Far Flung, an epic journey for sci-fi fans

I don’t need that many pre-orders to win this. At this time, 30 pre-orders would put Far Flung in the top 3 of the current contest. If I’m in the top 3 on June 25, Far Flung gets a full publishing contract. Hardcover, paperback, e-books, signings, the whole deal. Maybe you can see why I’m shameless about this!

Have a look at the details of Far Flung, and read some sample chapters. I think it’ll be a real treat for fans of episodic sci-fi who like some danger and character arcs, along with discovery and exploration of the unknown. Your support means this book gets done a lot faster!

Far Flung is in the Nerdist Sci-Fi Contest on Inkshares!

nerdistcontest

The Nerdist and Inkshares are having a party, and my readers are all invited!

Far Flung, my sci-fi novel draft, is going into the Nerdist Sci-fi Contest!

In 2169, Ulysess Spaceflight begins a private mission to colonize the Tau Ceti system. William Flynn, a rising star among the reporters for The Galactic Observer, is aboard with a unique opportunity to record the life of the colonists aboard the Tereshkova colony vessel. Instead of arriving at the fourth planet of Tau Ceti, however, the ship jumps to a new and unknown galaxy billions of lightyears from Earth.

Flynn and the crew are forced to survive in a war-torn region with no help from other humans. As they flee from hostile aliens, the crew is forced to trust the strange beings who offer aid and shelter. With no hope of returning to Earth, they must seek a new home among the stars.

pre-order far flung

Why should anyone be interested in Far Flung?

Did you ever watch Star Trek: Voyager and wish there were more danger and consequences for the crew’s actions? Did you ever watch the Battlestar Galactica revival and wonder what what happen if the crew met other beings and civilizations aside from the Cylons?

The story of Far Flung draws from episodic sci-fi and blends in a multiple point-of-view structure. See the story unfold through the eyes of five different characters on the colony ship Tereshkova – a rookie reporter, an upstart navigator, a brilliant engineer, an ex-military security chief, and an alien scientist. Their stories tie together the trials and dangers of a search for a new home.

Why put this on Inkshares?

I need a metaphorical kick in the butt to get this done. Maybe a real one too. Various issues have led to this book taking a long time, but this contest does not require a finished novel. If I win this, or get a minimum of 250 pre-orders, Far Flung will get finished. It will get the best possible attention that I can give it, along with the editorial talents of Inkshares and the publisher they hook me up with.

Why should anyone pay $10 for an ebook?

You aren’t just getting an ebook – you are contributing to a pool of money that will be used to secure editing, publication, and promotional deals. That’s the big difference between this an a Kickstarter – if I did a Kickstarter I would have to find an editor and a publisher, and handle all of my promotion by myself. At least this way, I can get help from industry professionals who know what it takes to get a book out there.

You get the satisfaction of helping an indie author make his dream come true. If that’s not worth $10, I don’t know what is!

What if Far Flung doesn’t win?

If I do not win the contest and I fail to get enough pre-orders, you get your money back. 100%, no questions asked, easy as that. I will find other ways to get this book done.

If I don’t win but I do get the minimum required pre-orders, I will have help from Inkshares with editing, publication, and promotion.

How close to finished is the book?

The second draft is complete from beginning to end, and the book stands at about 60,000 words in length. You can see samples from the third draft when you visit Far Flung on Inkshares and read the sample chapters.

If I win the contest or get enough pre-orders, I will be able to finish this book much faster than I would otherwise. I’ll have money for the services I need and help from industry professionals.

What are you waiting for? Pre-order Far Flung and let’s explore the universe together:

pre-order far flung

Creative Assets – Advice for Writers

This is a reblog from Lateral Action – a very good blog for creative types that I recommend you check out.

latact

This post talks about how content creators have to keep, well, creating content in order to survive. The traditional ways of getting a job don’t work for many creative types (God I wish someone had sit down with me and explained THAT 20 years ago …), so we have to get ourselves noticed through different means.

When you follow a creative path, you won’t find any of the usual milestones of success.

Unlike your friends who enter traditional jobs, with clear routes to promotion, finely calibrated pay grades and impressive job titles, there is no ‘career ladder’ for people like you and me; no incremental markers to indicate your progress.

So if you compare yourself to them, it can be easy to feel left behind as they climb higher and higher, from promotion to promotion. It’s obvious to all the world that their career is ‘going somewhere’.

Meanwhile, what are you up to?

On bad days, as you wrestle with another project that stubbornly resists your efforts to turn it into a masterpiece, with no fancy job title, and no promotion or pay rise in prospect, it can feel like you’re going nowhere fast.

If it’s a really bad day, you may be on the receiving end of some well-intentioned sympathy from a friend or family member, asking if it isn’t time you got “a real job”.

Have a look at the full article at this link!

 

Resources for Writing Teachers

http://thewritepractice.com/teachers/

My own lessons on the basics of writing are based on my class for ESL students, most of whom have only written some university essays and lots of text messages in both their first language as well as English.

This link here has some good ideas on reaching a broader base of learners, and so is extremely useful as I seek ways to spice up and improve my writing and how I teach.

 

Another writing lesson will go up soon!

#IWSG Follow-up & New Writing Exercises

Hey folks, here’s a quick round up of some of the visitors I received from last week’s Insecure Writer’s Group Post:

James Pailly came over from Planet Pailly, which combines post about real science with a love for science fiction.

M.J. Fifield posted a quick comment, and it turns out she has a book out called Effigy that looks great.

Shari Elder writes steamy genre romances such as Race to Redemption and seems to be quite active in the IWSG.

Arlee Bird of Blogging from A-to-Z fame stopped by. I’m sorry to say my participation is still a “maybe” this year as editing my novel takes priority.

I also had quite a few visitors hop over to my other blog, which was nice to see. The rendition of Far Flung over there is due for some big changes, the first of which is coming very soon – the currently-available version won’t be there much longer.

Thank you to all who visited, and I hope my new series of writing exercises proves of some use to my visitors. I love you, IWSG and all my readers.

iwsg

 

Read ‘Empty Coffee Cup’ over at OMNI Media – #amwriting

OMNI just started a new online publishing venue, and I’m in it!

They are accepting non-fiction, fiction, and blog-style posts, and it was easy for me to submit. It looks like there’s a system to earn money from posts, based on how many views or how much interest they generate.

I submitted and odd piece I wrote – a one-act play called Empty Coffee CupThis work also appears as part of the Daejeon Writer’s Group book called Fleeting, published at the end of last year.

It features a conversation between an artist and his future self regarding the girl he hasn’t yet met. Fellow writers who’ve read through my edits and rewrites have given me very positive feedback – I hope you enjoy it too!

Read Empty Coffee Cup on OMNI Media now!

Reading Radar – The Life Engineered and Witherfist

Two books from Inkshares reached my radar this week.

Why Inkshares you ask? It might just be the place to launch my own book in the near future!

The Life Engineered by J.F. Dubeau

I loved the sample of The Life Engineered so much that I went ahead and nabbed the ebook. I would have got the paperback, but alas, international shipping fees would have tripled the price. The story opens a vast, detailed universe with A.I. characters that are as compelling as humans. The prose moves quickly, making it a fun read and an excellent introduction to Dubeau’s writing. The story follows the Capeks, a race of sentient robots left behind by humanity (humans are nowhere to be found). The robots were given the tools to build a better society than humans could ever manage, but once an important Capek is murdered, everything changes.

I’m still reading this now, but it won’t take long to finish. It’s only 150 pages long, and $0.99 as an ebook – so go check it out!

 

 

Witherfist by J. Graham-Jones

The sample for Witherfist is really, really cool. I’ve been enjoying the exploration of a fantasy world not centered on European culture and mythology. Instead, Witherfist draws on Asian characters and presents a world where the true name of a person or  being allows you to hold power over it. The book follows multiple characters, but most interesting for me is the character of Irusai. She’s a warlord (warlady?) who gained power by tattooing the name of a dark spirit on her arm. She gained its power and skill – she can drain the life force of her enemies through her cursed touch. Now she wants to redeem herself and get rid of this evil spirit, so that she can be with her husband and daughter.

Just in the preview, this story really drew me in with its worldbuilding and interesting characters. I think this is a project worth funding.

 

All right, just what are you reading this week?


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