Afternoon, folks. Been a few days since I updated here. I’ve been more than a little busy in the interim. Juggling multiple projects is a challenge, but it’s been fun so far.
Right now the Kickstarter Project to save ALT 2.0 is at the 35% mark with $700 pledged. This was all pledged within the first two weeks, which is incredible. I love you guys. Really.
I want to mention something about the pledges. I realize the tiers go up into the thousands. I do not expect to receive pledges in those amounts; I merely made them available in the incredible chance someone with the means to do so would choose to make that pledge. Don’t let that discourage you. The minimum pledge is $5. I’m cool with that. I would’ve made it higher if I wasn’t. I don’t want anyone to think that they have to give more than that. You don’t. I think the things I’ve planned for the Access posts are worth the $5 admission fee alone. Give or don’t give–that’s your call–but don’t think you’re expected to give beyond your means. I don’t ask that of anyone.
Today I have a new piece of flash fiction up at 365tomorrows.com. This story, like most flash I write, ran longer than the maximum 600 words. I kept two versions–the trimmed flash piece, and the uncut piece. Tonight I will make the uncut piece available to backers of my project, in the first truly “exclusive” Access post. I’ll be doing this periodically along with many, many other insights into the creation process of ALT, from the characters to the plot to the cover design and trailer. I’m going to go much more in depth with things there than I ever did here.
If you want to take part, your ticket is $5. Nothing more. And if the project earns out, you’ll get a nice, printable PDF of ALT 2.0 as well.
Now, as far as the other book is concerned, I’m halfway through chapter eleven. It’s a very intense chapter, with lots of action from the very start, and will end on a serious, somber note. The book stands at nearly 94k words right now. Unless chapter twelve runs short, it looks like I’m going to blow past that 115k word mark. Not a major deal, but it will mean more cutting later on. We shall see.
That’s all for now, though. If you’re one of the folks who pledged, look for a post later this evening, Eastern-Standard. I hope you’ll like it.
Until next time,
P.S. I’m still looking for suggestions on the next Word Machines feature. Shoot an email to suggestions [at] toddkeisling.com.
The last 24 hours have been a virtual whirlwind following my post over at Self-Publishing Review. It started with a re-tweet by the official Kickstarter account over on Twitter. Then the project became “recommended by staff.”
This morning I learned it’s today’s featured project:
I think I peed a little. Okay, not really, but I am so excited I could if I didn’t have better bladder control. So far the project has raised 27% of its required funding in a week’s time. Just one week. Everyone has been incredibly supportive, and I can’t thank you all enough for that.
I’ve come up with a number of cool things to post about over on the project blog. It’s going to serve as an “extras” sort of thing, with early notes, anecdotes about its creation, and more. This may also include further insights into the creation of ALT’s sequel, THE LIMINAL MAN.
Speaking of which, I’m working on Ch. 11 this weekend. It’s going to be a tense chapter, so rather than do the usual start & stop routine throughout the week, I’m saving it all for Saturday and Sunday to focus without interruption.
I’ve also finished a new piece of flash fiction. I’m submitting it to 365tomorrows. An “extended” cut of said story may also end up on the Access blog.
Sorry if this post seems all over the place. Things are just a bit crazy at the moment. I’ll post an update on TLM later this weekend.
Normally I don’t have much to warrant a “weekly recap” of things, but this past week was special for a number of reasons. In case you didn’t feel like showing up, here’s what you missed:
- Word Machines: Kirsty Logan – The first of a (hopefully long-running) feature series about fellow writers. Kirsty agreed to be the first, and it appears to have been a hit. Go read it and discover her fiction. It’s awesome.
- Call for Suggestions – I’ve already received a few suggestions regarding other writers to feature, but I’m still looking for more. You can email me right here and tell me why I should shine the spotlight on their work.
- The Last Four – I’ve outlined the last four chapters of THE LIMINAL MAN. It’s the home stretch. In fact, Ch. 10 will be finished this weekend, which leaves only three. Well, there’s an epilogue, of course, but we’re not counting that as a chapter. Otherwise it would be called “Chapter,” wouldn’t it? Don’t get sassy with me.
- Kickstarting ALT 2.0 – The latest post, in which I discuss my decision to retire the first edition of ALT and seek funding for a more direct, more polished, more prestigious second edition. We’re already 16% of the way to the goal – and there’s still plenty of time left to make your pledge!
Exciting things on the horizon, folks. Now I’m off to get some work done. Try not to melt in this June heat.
Until next time (probably next week),
I wrote last week about the incredibly disappointing, incredibly shitty quality of the ALT proof produced by CreateSpace. My plans for the second edition were derailed. I had to go back to the start and rethink things.
So I did. Here’s what I came up with.
Rather than utilize the services of a middleman company like Lulu or CreateSpace, I want to deal directly with a reputable printer. I looked into Lightning Source back before ALT was finished. I’d heard–and continue to hear– great things about them. They’re the best in the industry, often utilized by the big leagues, and there’s a good chance most of the books you own were printed by them. Thing is, getting started with LSI is expensive. Atop the set-up costs and the fees associated with the possibility of re-submitting artwork (which must always be considered), there is the cost of the ISBN block. Those numbers exemplify independence. Once you have those, you are officially your own publisher. And they’re not cheap.
I got some info and pricing schedules from LSI. I signed their contract. I went as far in the application process as I could without ownership of the ISBN numbers. How could I possibly come up with the cash to get this off the ground? After all, this would mean more than just making ALT 2.0 available; it would also mean establishing a publishing entity to back my own work and, potentially, the work of others. This could become something huge and, as a dear friend of mine often reminds me, great things have humble beginnings.
First thing’s first, though. It needs cash to get off the ground. When I published my first collection back in college, I paid for the offset run by accepting donations. Anyone who donated got a free, signed copy and their name in the book. Could I do something like that again? Yes, I think I could, but on a much larger scale.
I remembered reading about this guy, Robin Sloan, and how he used a site called Kickstarter to raise money to fund the completion of his novel. He gave away rewards in the form of free signed copies and other little things to anyone who pledged cash. As you can see from the link, he raised over $13k. I wrote a proposal to Kickstarter last week. This past Tuesday it was accepted. I have since retired ALT from Lulu (due to a non-compete with LSI), and in about 6 to 8 weeks it will be officially out of print across all distribution outlets. If you bought a first edition, congratulations–it’s now a collector’s item.
My intentions: Publish ALT 2.0 and subsequent works by way of LSI, completely independent of third parties, in order to guarantee creative freedom and the highest possible print quality in the industry. This means hardcovers and paperbacks. They will be available simultaneously alongside digital editions, across all distribution channels.
How I’m going to do it: Utilize Kickstarter to raise the funds necessary to make this happen and get it off the ground.
What’s this mean?: It means, starting now, I have the next 65 days to raise $2000 in pledges. Those who pledge get varying rewards based on the amounts they pitch in. If, at the end of 65 days, I’ve raised at least $2k, I take the cash and put it toward making the best damn book I can. The more that’s raised means upgrades for everyone. If we hit $5k, everyone gets a hardcover. If I hit $10k, I’m going on tour. And, if I can’t raise $2k, I get nothing, and ALT 2.0 doesn’t happen. At least not in print, but that’s a bridge we’ll cross when we come to it.
Now this is where I turn it over to you. I do not expect much given the state of the world’s economies. I know how tight things are. Even if you can only toss $5.00 into the hat, I will be eternally grateful. And if you can’t do that, then pass it along to a friend or relative, someone who enjoys books and supporting the little guy. I believe ALT’s message is important, and I do not want to see that message compromised by crappy presentation. With your help, this can happen. I know it can.
There ends my rousing speech. The link to my Kickstarter page is right here. Show some love.
P.S. If you have any questions, or want to give but don’t want to use Kickstarter, email me and we’ll figure something out.