Amazing! Fantastico! is an urban fantasy/ horror short story collection. This is my first Kickstarter project, so I wanted to start with something that would be easy to put together and deliver on. Most of the short stories have been previously published in magazines, in anthologies, and on the web. I will also be using this project to launch a new small press: Suicide Oak Press. (There is a tree in City Park in New Orleans called the Suicide Oak; I wanted to connect an element of the city to the darker themes of what I plan to publish.)
Most of the short stories in the collection were written about New Orleans; I moved to the Big Easy to work on my graduate degree, so even the stories not about New Orleans have largely been inspired by the city.
While I was selecting stories to include in this volume, I came across a short short I wrote for a contest put on by Kyle Cassidy and Erin Morgenstern; the story ended up winning. After deciding to add it to the story line-up, I contacted Kyle about including a picture of his superstar cat Roswell, which sparked interest in a few of my writer friends to include their own stories in the collection.
Though I don't think it's standard to include a bunch of works by guest contributors in a personal short story collection, I've decided to push through the hesitation and open up submissions to people I'm personally contacting about sharing their own stories. As someone who is almost finished with an MA in literature, I have to wonder why more people don't experiment with form and collaboration in an age where we can crowd fund the projects we really want to make.
What started out as a vanity project is now going to be something else, something I hope is much more fun to put together and read. The stories I accept will fall into the horror and urban fantasy genre, and I am offering payment to the authors and artists who contribute.
I am asking for $500, though it will actually take more than $500 to produce what I want. The money will go towards cover art, author payments, and printing costs as well as final editing. I will have stretch goals, if it comes to that.
Speaking of stretch goals:
***Stretch Goal #1: If we meet $750, I will write a short story for the anthology about space dinosaurs.***
More stretch goals and rewards may be added as the campaign plods along.
I will also add guest star credits as I talk to people about contributing. I am currently working on a simple contract for contributors.
Risks and challenges
I have some experience in the publishing industry, as a reporter, fiction author, and editor. I have written and edited for print newspapers and magazines and for the web. My short stories have been published in a few zines and magazines, and a couple have won some minor contests (besides the one mentioned above, I won an award from St. Leo College a long, long time ago). All of the short stories are written and plugged into a template, ready to be edited and submitted to a press for printing. I just need funding to finish the project. If the project isn't funded, I will publish it anyways, using my own funds.
I am facing challenges more than risks. I know a number of people in the industry who can design the cover and edit the book for me, once I'm finished with my edits. The people I'm contacting for inclusion are people I know and trust. Even if everyone who has expressed interest backed out, I could still publish my own stories by themselves. The book is going forward, no matter what.
The challenges that I face are in the realm of self-publishing. I want to see how much it costs to get the final product and if getting physical books printed is worth the cost. I want to see what is involved in the process of printing a book every step of the way. I want to see what the process of creating a Kickstarter is like. I want to see whether or not this works for me as a viable method of distribution. In short, I am challenging myself just to see what happens because that is the kind of person that I am.
I actually expect that I will be doling out rewards well before the expected June date. I just feel that it is better to overestimate time and cost and get things done earlier than to underestimate and not produce the awards you paid good money for.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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