Tag Archives: Kickstarter

#52 Open Call for the Arcane Arts Anthology

Well met, my friends!

On Monday my Kickstarter campaign to create and publish a science fiction and fantasy short story collection was successfully funded thanks to the generosity of family, friends, and other awesome people.

In addition to the contributions by the featured indie authors, I am looking for story submissions. Here are the details of the open call:

Stories can be submitted in either American English or German until the 31st of January 2016. At least three of the eleven stories will be contributions of this open call.

The length of the stories should be around 5000 words, but anything in the range of 4000-7500 words is acceptable.

We are looking for whimsical, family friendly stories that could be shelved in the fantasy and science fiction section of a book store. The theme of the anthology is “Arcane Arts,” which should be reflected by the submitted stories.

If your story is accepted we will buy non-exclusive world anthology rights in English, German, and translations, as well as audio and ebook anthology rights in English, German, and translations.

Since the Kickstarter campaign did not reach any stretch goals, the advance payment is €50. The advance payment has already been earned out by the Kickstarter campaign. Royalties will be based on 25% of the ebook cover price and 10% of the trade paperback cover price. Royalties will be paid out every June and December. The total royalties will be divided by the number of stories to yield the royalties per story that are paid out to the authors.

Please send your story to arcane.arts.stories@gmail.com with the subject line “[ARCANE] STORY TITLE – YOUR NAME” in Microsoft Word (.DOC), Rich Text Format (.RTF), or ascii text (.TXT) format.

Ideally your document should use the following settings: 1.5 times linespacing, 2 cm (0.7874 inch) margins all around, page width 15.24 cm (6 inches), page height 22.86 cm (9 inches), line indention 1.25 cm (~ 0.5 inch), font size 12 point, justified text, headings should be bold, centered, 18 point.

Here is a Microsoft Word File with the above mentioned format that you can use as a template: Arcane Arts Template.

Please include the following information in the body of your e-mail: the title of your story, your name, your pen name that will be used in the anthology, phone number, and short biography.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

EDIT#1: It was pointed out to me that other anthologies do not require exclusivity, so I removed that clause. It was only there in the first place, because I did not want to acquire infinite exclusivity.

#51 My Five Literary Projects

Well met, my friends!

I’m currently working on five literary projects:

1. Alien Artifacts Anthology

Joshua Palmatier ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to produce two anthologies. One is fantasy with the theme were creatures and the other is a science fiction anthology about alien artifacts. Both story collections are a mixture between submissions by invited authors and open calls.

Normally I prefer to write fantasy, but the excellent topic of the science fiction anthology convinced me to submit a story there instead. I’m particularly proud that the fourteen bullet points of my story equated to more than 5000 words. It’s a good size for a short story and I’m pleased that I overcame my minimalistic writing tendencies. I should hear back in early 2016 whether they are interested in my story.

2. Arcane Arts Anthology

Inspired by the above mentioned anthologies, I decided to start my own Kickstarter campaign. The money raised will be used to create and publish a science fiction and fantasy short story anthology. There will be a mixture of stories by invited indie authors and stories submitted during an open call.

Here is the link to the campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kaiherbertz/arcane-arts-sfandf-themed-anthology

If you want to help out, please spread the word, pledge any amount on the campaign page, and / or submit a story to the open call.

3. NaNoWriMo

Tomorrow the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) commences. The goal is to write a novel or rather a novella, but novel sounds better, of fifty thousand words or more during the month of November. The NaNoWriMo organizers recently changed the rules in the sense that fifty thousand words toward a novel count, whereas before you had to start a new project for NaNoWriMo. I welcome the change, because I always continue to flesh out my work in progress and therefore would not have been able to win before.

I participated in 2012 and added six thousand words to my novel Age of Torridan. In 2013 I did the same and managed another four thousand words. Last year I attended the NaNoWriMo real life writing sessions without adding any new words. One of the reasons why the previous years yielded an order of magnitude less than the goal stemmed from the fact that I only wrote during the weekends. This year I have penciled in twenty full days of writing and will also write a bit on the days when I’m busy. Since the conditions are almost ideal, I aim to win NaNoWriMo this year.

4. Blog Hop

A while ago one of my online writing groups hosted a blog hop of short stories. Each participant would write a short story, host it on their blog, and link to all the other stories. For example, I enjoyed reading Paula Maria de Carvalho’s story “Body Double.”

In November they want to host another blog hop and it would be great to participate with a short story set in my Age of Torridan world. I’m still in the planning stage, but a Leena origin story is the most likely candidate.

5. Seven Stories

One of the ongoing projects, which will be put on the backburner during NaNoWriMo, is my seven first chapters collection. The plan is to write the first chapter of seven different story ideas and to make them available (for free of course) on my blog and in the different writing forums that I frequent.

Hopefully people will read those story beginnings and provide feedback. Even though I would love to turn all of the different beginnings into novels eventually, I should start with the one that readers are most interested in. That’s why the feedback from the audience will be so important.

At the moment two chapters are finished and I’ve started to work on the third.

Let me know what you think and what you’re currently working on.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

#48 The 10 Kickstarter Dos

Well met, my friends!

After analyzing a few Kickstarter campaigns and running my own, I decided to write up a list of the ten Kickstarter dos and don’ts. However, since “don’ts” are too negative, I’ll only mention dos :D

1. Look at other projects in your category

Before starting my publishing project, I looked at other campaigns in the publishing group. It gives a good indication of what to expect regarding the funding goal and the rewards. I specifically looked at The Betrayal of Renegade X, which had a similar aim.

2. Have an impressive cover image

For the most part, the campaign image is what’s going to make people click on the project, so it’s a good idea to have a colorful eye-catching picture.

3. Pick the right funding goal

You need to tailor your funding goal depending on what kind of project you are running: film projects typically raise more than game projects, which raise more than music projects. Publishing projects are on the lower end, but since the aforementioned Betrayal of Renegade X had a funding goal of $2500, I knew that my funding goal of €1500 was realistic. It was also exactly what I needed, because I already had a quote from the artist and knew what the kickstarter share and taxes would amount to.

However, if you’re able to complete the project with less money, you could also pick a funding goal based on your clout. In my case, I would have guessed that I could reach a goal of about €300. The advantage of a lower goal is that you do not get anything, if you fall short of a higher goal, but might be able to attain a lower figure.

4. Take the generosity of kickstarter backers into account

I’ve backed a few projects and have always wondered about the $5 reward tier, which often times is just a symbolic thank you for backing the project. I disliked this reward tier, but I’ve had people not pick a reward in my own campaign. Others picked a reward, but increased the pledge by a multiple of the original figure. People, who are backing projects on Kickstarter, are not looking for a good monetary deal, but rather want to see creators succeed. Therefore, this symbolic reward tier, which I avoided, is not considered to be bad.

5. Start with few rewards, then add new ones as the campaign progresses

On the one hand, making people read and decide between many reward tiers is tiresome. On the other hand, giving people a choice is important. My proposed solution is to start with few rewards (1-3) and then add others as the campaign progresses. Perhaps there is even backer feedback that leads to additional reward tiers.

6. The limited reward should already fund the campaign

The very successful Karnivore Koala board game campaign started out with 2 rewards: the €20 early bird version of the game, which was limited to 250 copies and the €25 version of the game. The limited reward created a sense of urgency and since the funding goal was set to €5000, the campaign was already successful once the early bird versions had been sold out.

7. Provide updates throughout the campaign

To keep things fresh and interesting it is important to post an update at least once a week. Since most projects are not progressing at that pace, it is perhaps necessary to hold back a few updates and release them later. In my case, I recorded myself reading the first three chapters of the novel and would post a new chapter each week. Since this was a campaign to collect money for the cover art, the artist Zelda Devon provided some sketches as well.

8. Advertise in the correct channels

In order for people to be able to back your campaign, you need to make them aware that it exists. I looked through several message boards related to fantasy books to mention the campaign. Be respectful of the rules of those boards. In many cases they specifically mentioned that they did not want any “advertisement”. If you do mess up, it’s no problem – I accidently posted in the wrong section on fantasy faction, but they were kind enough to move it. In another board, I didn’t see that they don’t allow posts like this and they hid my thread. No big deal.

However, talking about my campaign in these new fantasy message boards was not very successful. I received the best response on social media (facebook, twitter) and on unrelated message boards where I was a regular. For instance, the Day[9] community, which is about Starcraft and computer games, was very supportive.

9. Be unobtrusive with your promotion

This is an extension of point 8 – you need to pick the right channels and sending messages to people, who you don’t know isn’t going to help. Even if you reference stuff they wrote, this will only be seen as spam and is not going to help in any way.

10. No matter the outcome, get something out of the campaign

Running a successful campaign can be rewarding, but there is also something to be learned about failed pitches. If Age of Torridan hadn’t peaked at €234, I wouldn’t have looked at it in detail and wouldn’t have written this blog post. Thus, don’t be discouraged, if the campaign doesn’t run as smoothly as expected. There is still something to draw out of running it.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

#46 Age of Torridan Kickstarter Campaign

Well met, my friends!

As of last Tuesday, Kickstarter officially allows German based projects. Since I am putting the finishing touches on my fantasy novel “Age of Torridan”, I figured this would be a great opportunity for me to participate in the launch. If you have a moment, please check out my project here:

Age of Torridan (needs new cover art) Kickstarter Campaign

Here is what the campaign is about: I wrote a medieval fantasy novel in the spirit of the old Dragonlance books by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. At the moment I’m putting in the changes that were suggested by the professional copy editor that I hired. Once that is done, all that is missing before the release in July (2015) is a cover and ebook formatting. With this campaign I’m trying to raise money for a new cover, which will be created by professional artist Zelda Devon (see her work at www.zeldadevon.com). My original estimation was that a cover would cost something around €500, but in reality the price is typically above $1000 (for reference, see this blog post by Rachel Aaron on the cost of a professional quality book).

As the campaign progresses, I will put up videos of me reading chapters from the book. I will also reveal Zelda Devon’s sketches as she sends them to me.

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration. If there are any questions, I’d be happy to answer them :)

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

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