First off, I launched a small Kickstarter in November.
It was successfully funded and you can keep up on the progress here.
Second, I got my Amazon Author Page
Spiffy! It's here.
And most majestically, I have opened up my Threadless Shop!
After much research, I decided that Threadless was the best avenue for selling my artwork. I'm really excited to launch this officially latter this month, but it is open for business in this pre-official launch phase too.
Expect bi-weekly graphic updates, and more fine art added to the store.
It's been quiet on here, but been loud in the workshop.
There are many MANY things coming out of the woodwork this year. I just finished scheduling production for the next few months, and the year is going to be one of the most productive yet. You won't see some of it until next year, but many things that have been in the works are coming together. It's both exciting and exhausting, which is a great place to be.
Let's keep moving forward.
I recently ran a Kickstarter for my books, Chime and The Fleetwood Skies. I learned a few things there in the trenches, and I have some stuff I'd like to pass on. Here's the skinny:
You better be ready to back your product %100
People can smell doubt. Why should they invest if you don't believe in it either?
Don't be bland and impersonal with marketing. It's boring and stupid.
Nobody buys crap that doesn't make them feel good. If you copy/paste marketing stuff you're better off saving your advertising dollars to buy your friends a cup of coffee. (Them telling their friends is better advertising anyway.)
Sub-Note-- book campaigns need to be finished and ready for retail. I have noticed from observing Kickstarter campaigns that book projects that are not finished or complete are usually the campaigns that are not even 10% funded by the end of their cycle. I can see the appeal of trying to fund a story before you are finished because it takes a huge investment of time and money, but the reality is that unless you have a very supportive fan base or a rich benefactor, no one is going to put money into a book that hasn't been completed, especially if you have nothing under your belt to prove that you can finish it and finish it well.
Connect with your backers
THANK YOUR BACKERS. They are giving you their hard earned money to take a chance on you. RESPECT THAT. IT IS A BIG DEAL. If you don't respect your backers, you are not only being a shish-kebab, but you are losing credibility and excitement for the next project.
Also, it's fun.
Connect using platforms you already have.
If you have Facebook, twitter, Instagram, deviantArt, Goodreads, YouTube, whatever, use that. It's fine to learn new things and branch out but you're more likely to confuse yourself and get distracted from your real goal while finagling with the politics of social media.
When in doubt, buy them coffee.
Do yourself a favor and research correct keywords for searches, however. This will get you free traffic and the most promising connections online.
You will get swamped with messages from marketing companies
Everyone wants a slice of that money you're working hard for. I would not recommend any of it, even if you're project isn't going as well as you planned.
Remember that the spikes in pledging are usually at the beginning and the end of the project. Don't fall victim to these companies taking your money out of desperation. Persevere and re-plan!
Ask your friends for help
And buy them that damn cup of coffee. People that care about your success want to help, and something as small as saying, "hey, can you share this?" can go a long way. Don't expect ANYONE to do anything for you, unless they are contractually involved in the project, but you never know what will make the right connection.
When possible, reach out in person.
(Further reading on this in The Art of Asking, which also houses a plethora of info on crowd funding.)
Start small, with an achievable goal.
Do something you can know you can finish, with a goal you know you can obtain, with a time frame and budget you know you can sustain. It sounds 'dah', but it's easy to over or underestimate things, especially when you've never done it before.
But, ultimately, and most importantly:
Get 'er Done.
Good luck, :)
In my house, on a special shelf, is a Lego pirate ship and a copic marker painting I did of Shackleton's Endurance.
One year we got one big Lego set for the entire family to build on Christmas day. Sweet hu?
Everyday I look at the Endurance picture and go, "Whoa! History is so cool! They were such badasses. Antarctica ice ships dogs...etc."
At the same time I look at the Lego pirate ship and go, "Whoa! Metal beard! Pirates! High seas Adventure! Awesome! LEGO!... etc."
They only have two similarities: they are both ships, and they both represent something epic.
How much of history is romanticized? It can be the same kind of joy you get from a toy; you get from it what your imagination puts into it.
"History is boring," says the kid who wanted to go home and play, not realizing stories of ships and seas ultimately lead to the creation of Metal Beard and the Sea Cow.
In my house, they're the same. Both ships, and both epic.
Seems like forever ago, but last month I finally put the last red scribbles to paper and sent The Chime off to my editor.
There's that moment of celebration, the HUZZAH I FINISHED A BOOK! But it's all to quickly filled with sadness, because you won't ever get to work on that particular story like that ever again.
I'd imagine some would say it's like watching your kids go off to college, but that's not it.
I think sending off your final draft to an editor is most like watching your dog go to the bathroom in the backyard on his own for the first time, knowing there may be mistakes to clean up in the future, but the big hurdle of getting him out of the door is done.
There is still shit to do, but it is very close now.
Stay tuned for pre-order details! I'm going to do a few things differently and I've very excited.
December 14th 1911, Roald Amundsen’s expedition sets foot on the last uncharted location on earth; The South Pole.
July 20th 1969, Apollo 11 lands on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are the first to set foot outside of our blue planet.
Humanity reaches Mars…. ?
"The Martian" by Andy Weir is important because it sates humanities hunger for exploration like a home cooked meal, and reminds how important it is to pursue challenging, dangerous, and uncharted territories of discovery.
Harrowing stories of survival and new horizons are more than entertainment we crave; they are tests of our soul, elations of spirit, and reasons to keep learning.
“Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.” – Ernest Shackleton.
Science Fiction isn’t just for nerds, it’s the frontier for the pursuit of knowledge, where questions can be asked and theories can be made before the technology, funding, and social acceptance exists. It promotes curiosity and discovery, asking the omnipotent question “Why?”
And more importantly, “Why not?”
This Friday will be the first Antarctic Friday! This week will be an article about Douglas Mawson, and the poetry he thought about while traipsing the desolate plains of George V Land, Antarctica. It's a really cool story with really cool connections to poetry. See you this #AntarcticFriday!
Available now on Kindle!
Very excited for this. And Stoked. (On facebook I used the word 'Terristoked' and it's starting to stick.)
This is the first story I have professionally published. I say 'Professionally' published, even though it's considered "self published" because I hired and editor and did a ton of research and it's a job to me now.
And you know what... I dig it. :)
Thanks for reading this post. Thanks for being around, thanks for sharing this crazy world with me. *Sobs in corner for a few moments.*
BUT ABOUT THE STORY,
I wrote this story over the span of a few weeks last summer. It was a difficult time, and I couldn't write about adventures in Antarctica any more (that's The Book), no matter how many episodes of The Munster's we watched (The main character in Fleetwood Skies is named after the Actress who played Lilly Munster.) So I sat down and pretty much wrote this story all the way through. Which is totally not how I write at all. But it came together beautifully, and it's been sitting on my shelf, waiting for something. My editor cranked it out on short notice, and I designed a cover, and it just fell into place. It's very special, and personal. It's hard to read sometimes, but that's alright.
I hope it entertains you, inspires you, makes you laugh, or perhaps even makes you feel like there's magic in the world. It does for me.
Thanks for being here, Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening.
I hope there's many more stories to come.