by Harry Connolly
Sorry Neal. Still waiting to hear back.
Any further word on the stretch goals?
I'll second the shared anthology idea down there somewhere. I love 'em, and it'd result in another product that could make money in an ongoing fashion (however limited the amount), rather than just converting cash into bookmarks or something goofy.
(also, somebody get this kickstarter mentioned on the black gate!)
I'm waiting to hear back from some people, so there will be a bit of a delay in posting.
Also, Saturday is a big productivity day for me and I can't skip it, so I'll be offline most of the morning working on book 1.
Apparently, Mr Hicks and I think alike, as his suggestion matches what I was going to say. Certainly the audiobook would be worth doing as some people prefer them (in the same way that some people prefer ebooks these days *holds hand up*) and farming the work off seems like a more sensible option as long as you're not being ripped off.
Also, am I the only one who had a little bit of a Squee moment on seeing THE Kurt Busiek pop up here?
Above all, I think. Whatever the stretch goals are, make sure that they're affordable in the grander scheme of the project. I've seen stretch goals on Kickstarter that eat the project's money - so that the add-ons damage the original project goals.
I agree completely with Jonathan Farrell, especially (1,3,5), and I don't particularly think an audiobook is a good idea.
Chrysoula is correct. Budgeting, ordering, printing, packing, and shipping all three trade paperbacks seemed like a big financial risk when I first launched the project. It still could be, honestly. As the Kickstarter blog post I linked above mentioned, order fulfillment can be a real budget-buster.
I also wanted the tpb to be a more affordable option for people; buying the second and third books once they are released will be much cheaper.
That said, it does seem like something I should rethink. That's what my wife is telling me, anyway. She's confident that she can handle any kind of production issues that might arise.
Something to think about, at least. Thanks, you guys.
I would like to say The Twisted Path, but I think that book deserves its own kickstarter.
When do you plan on having the artist start their work?
One thing a kickstarter project called Camelot Unchained did was create some signature graphics for forums. Backers would add a link to the kickstarter page on the signature. It helped bring in more backers.
As for stretch goals:
1. List the Twenty Palaces short story as a stretch goal what has been passed.
2. Release different resolutions of the artwork to backers. Resolutions for 1080, 720, and a few for tablets ect. This is what The Name of the Wind card game did. Will help us advertise the books for you.
3. Do a second short story for the Twenty Palaces. Always wondered what happened to the spell book he sent over the mail to his cousin.
4. Some art showing all the spells shown so far in the Twenty Palaces book.
5. Early post of the prologue or first few chapters of the first book in The Great Way.
6. In The Name of the Wind deck kickstarter, they had the artist livestream the drawing.
That is all I can think of right now.
I like Wes Detrick's idea, and will refine it even more.
1) Provide exactly the services we bid for, which will hopefully be covered by $10,000.
2) Use the rest for Xmas for the kid and wife, and to pay the bills, then write more books we will love.
3) The Twisted Path (like I said, contractually obligated).
1. Shop the audio book rights around like you said.
2. Shop KEY/EGG to a publisher if you can so you can make more money
3. Buy your boy and wife some awesome Festivus/Christmas gifts.
4. Buy some more Arrogant Bastard Ale
5. Keep the rest of the money and use it to write more books that I will buy in the future
How about publicity for the kickstarter? Such as banner ads on www.rpg net.com? Or a sponsored interview on YouTube?
Twenty Palaces is already done for FATE, with the serial numbers filed off, apparently:
How about an editor if you don't already have one.
How about an agent to help sell the book to publishers. I know you have already done this with the manuscript but you might get a different result with a successful kickstarter and amazon launch.
How about a publicist that specializes in Internet promotions, like "book bombs" (such as the ones Larry Corriea does)
How about author endorsements of the book? Do they cost much?
How about FATE game notes etc. for your other books/stories?
I feel the need to pour cold water on the Amazon promotion party some more, because I'm literally the Grinch.
First of all, I've never heard of paid placement on Amazon even being on the table for an indie author. Google seems to agree that it's not an option for small vendors. You can buy ads on Amazon, but only for physical products. You can also pay to be in an email sent to people who buy similar things, but it costs $1500 and I'm pretty sure it's physical products-only as well.
Second, the fees for paid placement are reportedly exorbitant even by the Big Six publisher standards:
Third, frankly, I am extremely skeptical of paid advertising of even being economically viable. How many of you reading this have actually bought a book based on an ad? Do you actually recall an ad for a book on Amazon that you saw and clicked on? The "Customers Who Bought This Also Bought" list is not ad-based, as far as I know - for books at least. There are many things one can do to promote a book, but the only option I've heard that even gives you the chance of earning your money back is BookBub.
Perhaps Harry knows more about this than I do, but I think you guys should probably think of other suggestions to give.
If you're going to have books 2 and 3 done on the heels of book 1, then that's all the more reason to have them as stretch goals, it seems to me.
You're already going to incur the expense of getting covers for them, and doing the editing and so on. Give the audience the opportunity to pay for all that in advance, and you've got a perfect stretch goal -- money coming in to support work you were going to have to do anyway.
Stretch goals that involve a lot of new work take time away from doing the stuff you want to do. Stretch goals that support work you already have on your plate means more funding for you, without lots more work.
Sending out those additional volumes is more work, yes, but not as much as, say, producing an audiobook.
Wow, I'm happy for you and happy that we WILL get these books.
I think an audio book would be nice but only if you can personally select someone who will do a good job. I didn't buy the 20 Palaces audio because the audio sample wasn't enjoyable (I did buy all the e books). I want to suggest one of the two narrators of the Dresden Files series if you can get either one of them to do it. The two series definitely share fans and they both did a great job.
Paying Amazon for promoting the books is another really good idea. We probably get more books in the long run that way, so yeah, that's good.
Of course! The other novel! Who wouldn't be happy with that?
Ummm....I can see I'm just looking at all of your proposals and saying,"Yeah! Do that!"
I am contractually obligated to suggest 'The Twisted Path.' Yes, I know. I'd chose not to if I could, but there are hefty legal fines and the potential for jail time. I'm sure you understand.
Being someone who wouldn't get much from maps or audio versions, I'd say shine up The Great Way with a extra nice cover then use the rest to buy that extra promotion from Amazon. Here's how I see it-
Extra promotion leads to a bigger audience, leads to more sales, leads to more people going through older works, leads to more 20P sales, leads to word of mouth, leads to sales boom, leads to HBO developing 20P project, leads to Harry writing 'The Twisted Path' while lounging on a pile of money.
Here you go: at $30k, you'll post a pic of you rolling around in a pile of cash.
Perhaps he doesn't want the extra work of fulfilling 3 TPB for some people and 1 for others? Or thinks it's unfair to charge people extra so he can fulfill the order rather than letting professionals do it!
On the one hand, I would say: you've met your goals, don't sweat adding bunch of crazy stretch goals that will sap your life and time away from working on the next big thing.
Here's the realistic goals:
* Interior artwork and cover art sounds great.
* Anything else you can do (marketing, packaging) to make this book a critical success.
Here things that appeal to *me* but may not have broad appeal:
* Expand the gaming supplement to be more "full featured". (Wasn't clear from the Tyr description whether this is electronic only; if it is, you could offer print as an option).
* Twenty Palaces roleplaying. (Arguably, somewhat addressed in existing FATE Core rules).
> Regarding the second and third trade paperbacks, I intend to have them finished at the same time as the first book. They'll be copyedited together and typeset together, too. When finished books are in the mail to backers, I plan to wait for the first couple "My books have arrived!" notices, then I'll put them up for sale online. So, for folks pledging at the tdp level, books two and three would be available as soon as you crack the cover on book one (and they'll be cheaper, too).
Then why not... add them as a tier?
First let me apologize for taking so long to jump into this thread. My browser has been hanging all morning.
Second, I knew it was a good idea to crowdsource my brain, too. Thank you all for your suggestions.
I'm not sure which way I'm going to jump just yet, but I think you guys are right about audiobooks; I should sell the rights to someone else rather than pay someone to make a file I can sell. I also think you're right about fancy book covers.
Two things I should clarify:
Regarding the second and third trade paperbacks, I intend to have them finished at the same time as the first book. They'll be copyedited together and typeset together, too. When finished books are in the mail to backers, I plan to wait for the first couple "My books have arrived!" notices, then I'll put them up for sale online. So, for folks pledging at the tdp level, books two and three would be available as soon as you crack the cover on book one (and they'll be cheaper, too).
As for paying Amazon for promotions, this is the online version of bookstore co-op. When you walk into a B&N and see a table by the entrance with a bunch of new books on it, well, the publisher has paid B&N for that placement. Along with good covers and a catchy title, it's one of the few ways publishers can break a book out beyond the author's fanbase.
Amazon has an online version of that, in which books pay to be on the landing page or to be featured in promotional emails. I'm still trying to price that out.
In fact, I have to price most everything all over again. My original budget was much tighter, and now it needs to be redone from scratch.
Also, I'd love to get KEY/EGG released to you guys.
Thanks, everyone, for the input. And keep it coming. I'll review it again when I get to a less horrible computer.
Like a lot of the other commenters, I'm happy with what I'm getting. I wanted books, I'm getting books. I say do whatever you feel you need to, to get your career and life where you want them. I'm just happy for the chance to support your writing.
My suggestions: don't set the stretch goals too low, and don't try to do everything at once. I'd agree with selling audiobooks rights off to somebody else (note that I don't care for audiobooks, so I may have bias here). Give it some time to let money build up before you start stacking work on yourself. People seem inclined to pledge now and get the level of rewards you've promised; let 'em do that before lining yourself up to do fifty bajillion things. I am really interested to read AKAEAAUR, but you might want to save that work for another Kickstarter.
High-end cover art is always awesome. Interior artwork, not so much, but who says it needs to go into the book? My suggestion: make stretch goals for commissioning promotional art -- wallpapers and the like of your characters, settings, and above all places -- since it's about the fall of an empire, you could commission before-and-after promo art, in the vein of Thomas Cole's "The Course of Empire" series. Art of beautiful throne room at the height of power, and then art of it torn absolutely to pieces.
Could be done with characters, too. I suppose you could have a web page with slidey images like they do for natural disasters, which might serve as linkbait.
Anyway: I would suggest going the promotional art route, do a bunch of it, and make it beautiful and unusual. Maybe have a book trailer as an epic ridiculous goal, because you could then use the promo art for it. (If you did one with live people, I'd suggest it be just one scene from the book that entices folks to want more rather than a faux-movie trailer that requires multiple sets, costumes, effects, etc.)
My main goal in pledging for this project is to be able to read more of your writing. Kickstarter is great as far as it goes, but its reach is limited. In the long term, the best way for me to see more Harry Connolly books is for there to be a mass-market demand for your work. That means getting these book out to as large an audience as possible, so that they can clamour for more.
I'd suggest being very careful of offering extra rewards that will cost you time and effort that might take away from the core of _this_ project. I am already perfectly happy with the reward I am already getting at my current funding level; I don't need anything more. It would make me much happier to see that you could use surplus funds to for marketing these books.
I know you must be happy about making the original target, and want to share the love. But don't give away all your seed corn!
High end cover art, internal art. :) I love audiobooks, but I think that should come from someplace else other than this particular Kickstarter.
Stretch goals are great, but... they can't cost you money, they can't take your time away from writing, and you've still got to pay for the year or so you spent writing this trilogy. And in any case, I signed up for three books; if I get three books, I'll be happy.
In other words, stretch goals aren't a great motivator for me.
Saying that, things like better cover art and short stories would be nice to have. I'm not sure that an advertising campaign is a goal to dangle in front of potential backers (though it's absolutely something you should spend the KS income on). More stories set in the Great Way universe, written by others, would be a nice goal to tempt people to give more. It might also pull in their fans.
Obligatory: more 20p! Now with that out of the way...
Improving the quality of the book is definitely a good direction to go with the stretch goals.
As a bibliophile: What kind of binding will the hard cover have? If it is a glued binding, I'd definitely look into a goal to get it stitched. Making sure the paper is acid free and thick enough not to be transparent or tear....for the covers is it dust jackets? Or...?
Artwork and maps are always nice, and can be help sell your novel. I've lost track of the number of books I've picked up for their covers. Personal preference is for simple classic, almost minimalistic cover art.
Regarding bookmarks... those could even be provided as a pdf...
Money for promoting the book should be included in, but not an explicit stretch goal.
Other Books or short stories: perhaps stretch goals to unlock, additional money to get a copy?
Add an avid gamer, the more rpg material the better. :-)
Frankly I don't that ordering more stories in the universe is useful before we've actually seen it. I've pledged because I have confidence in Harry's writing skills, not because of the premise itself and I probably wouldn't pay for other writers' (who I don't really care about as much) take on the same (so far rather vague) theme.
Audiobook, foreign editions... I would like to see them, but every one of this goals needs almost as much money and/or time as the original.
Most of them would only work if volunters are doing the translation, the narration...
...so why don't you provide an environment in which they can do exactly like that?
A stretchgoal in which several months (let's say half a year) after the publication of the final volume, the Great Way will be licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ ).
Since it is delayed, it will not cut into your initial sales, and the news of the CC licence might provide another boost.
Since it is a stretchgoal (and we will reach ist), translators, narrators (or fanfic writers) could start working on their projects knowing than after a certain time, they can publish the results.
Since it is noncommercial, no fear of loosing the "official" audio and translation rights.
Free books means more readers, more readers means more customers hunting down the other Harry Connolly titles.
And as for a stretchgoal, there wouldn't be any additional costs from your side - the extra money could be used on the original goals.
Someone else mentioned this too, but more stories in this universe. Maybe you could do like Evil Hat did and see if some other writers want to contribute to an anthology?
An e-grimoire (or three) of the spells of the 20 palaces. Describing the spells used (mentioned) in the books as well as ones you might have thought of appearing in the three original "spell books". Perhaps adding in a 4th grimoire of the spells that were given to Peradaini over the years.
I figured these might be easy enough to create and at a minimum amount of effort and cost and could be something that's appropriate for both 20 Palaces and The Great Way.
Don't feel obligated to do stretch goals at all.
If you do, stick with things you think you would want to do anyway and that you wouldn't be cannibalizing future projects with. Another already-written novel would be great, but that may be undercutting other plans you have for that novel.
I'd love to see a little gazetteer or summary of the world. Otherwise, I'm with Fred.
Audiobooks would be my choice. My wife and are avid audiobook listeners, and she greatly prefers that over any of my ebook versions. Also, I'd say if possible you really should have audio format available from the get-go right beside the hard-copy and e-books. I don't know about others, but we immediately check for both ebook and audio options when a new book interests us. As for advertising, we spend more time browsing on goodreads and sword-and-laser, than on Amazon or the like.
There's lots of market for audiobooks but yeah, I think you should leave that to Audible. Get your agent to work out a deal with them and let them produce and pay for it.
More fiction is good. Extremely high end cover art would do double duty as rewarding us and further promoting the book.
I don't know anything about paying Amazon to promote the books. You can pay Amazon to promote books? That seems like maybe a good idea.
I'll say this until I die, but, I want a Twenty Palaces book 4...5...6.. :) great stretch goals, and I'll even wait for a while :)
(I know this isn't a reality most likely due to contracts or whatever, but I really really liked that series, it was so awesome ad I was so bummed I didn't discover it until the cancellation had already been decided)
I'd be happy with whatever stretch goals you want, I just want the books and looks like I got that :)
I'd like to see some additional content that can be delivered beyond the books. Delivery of the books first, then additional stretch goals.
- A separate print of the map (included in pledges)
- Book of artwork based on the settings (add-on item)
- Further stories in the same setting: aiming for ananthology maybe, adding stories as stretch goals
Translation into multiple languages (I'd suggest Spanish and German, possibly Italian and Russian): This is a great idea and I wish I'd suggested it.
Mentioned but not explored: Perhaps at the 30k mark a limited book tour? Seattle, Portland and then somewhere in California (San Francisco or LA?) It's about $70 round trip if you drive to Portland in a really gas inefficient car. Granted, it's a long day if you don't stay overnight. Maybe include Las Vegas because there are often deals on flights. Alternatively, how about promising an appearance at a convention? Emerald City Comic Con would be my suggestion. Or perhaps PAX? Anyone can submit panel ideas for PAX and I'm certain you could find something to talk about for an hour.
I also approve of the bookmark idea. Bookplates too, might be nice.
I'll continue to mull over other ideas.
For me, the written book would be top shelf. I agree with the comments that your writing is great, and more of it would be awesome.
Expanding the Fate translation of the game would be pretty neat, as well. Not really a fate player myself (more because i don't think it would suit my group) but i think the setting stuff is easy to translate into a setting of one's choice.
I would also say that a chunk of the money should go into promoting the heck out of this project. take the chance to really spend some on getting the word out there!
Alternate stretch goals that sell the book (cover art, promotion— means we get more books from you in the future) and goals that give us more goodies now (the novel, short story collection, a Fate Core supplement for 20P).
I'll have to think about what I want in a stretch goal, but I wanted to say that I'm very happy to see you smash your goal with 29 days to go. You deserve much success in your writing career.
In the meantime, I shall consider stretch goals. Come to my house and read the first book to me while I'm in bed? Hmmmmm......
For audiobooks, I'd worry that including that in this Kickstarter would add a metric crap-ton of expense and effort for relatively little reward... If I'm wrong and there's a huge market for audiobooks, others have offered suggestions. Bookmarks sound like fun but that leaves the folks at the lower tiers out unless you want to blow all your profits on shipping bookmarks... Really good professional art would benefit all existing backers and make it easier to sell to new readers. Additional stories / novels, as big stretch goals, would be absolutely delightful!
Another thing I'd love to see would be a comic book / graphic novel story linked in to this... You'd need to find the right artist (I highly recommend Tom Fowler given his talent and love for drawing monsters - although full disclosure, he's a friend of mine so I might be biased here) and I'm sure there's a ton of extra info you'd need... Ask John Rogers (aka kfmonkey) if he has time to help you look at the logistics, he's done a lot of comics and he's a huge, huge fan of yours. I don't know if it would make a great stretch goal but I'd love to see it someday... Might also help to give people another way in to your work...
Anyway. Overall, my vote is: Things that will potentially help your overall financial success from this project. I'm already getting what I want out of this project - more of your writing! :-)
Payments to Amazon to promote the books
Also: Since the "Blessing" level sold out so fast...more of those, or variations thereof.
I put this in the main comments section, but how much would it cost to do a book trailer? I suspect would be a *stretch* stretch goal. Are book trailers deemed useful?
More to read for us, the better. :)
I'd vote against the "money to Amazon," not because you don't want to do that, but because that's a goal for you, like money to print the books, not really a stretch reward that your audience can receive. You want to raise money to do it, but it's a cost, not really a reward.
High end cover art (and professional design), you bet. The other books, sure, yes. Interior artwork? Sounds nice. The audiobook? I'm tempted to agree with whoever said you should see about selling those rights, rather than taking on the hassle of producing the audiobook yourself.
But so far, unless I'm missing something, the only printed book editions you're offering are a TPB of Book 1 and an HC omnibus of all 3. How about TPBs of books 2 & 3? How about individual hardcovers, for them what like those but don't want to wait 'til Book 3 is done to read the first two?
I really, really want these books. But if I can ask for anything, I'd up my pledge for (not in any particular order)...
1. Another novella/short story, more story is always appreciated.
2. Audiobook. I like to read the books but it's nice to have an audio version for my very long rides to/from work.
3. Sticker, just love stickers on my drawing board