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The indie small press Crossed Genres wants to publish at least 6 titles through 2013 - let's make it happen!
Created by

Bart Leib

397 backers pledged $15,611 to help bring this project to life.

What next? A question for you!

As we approach the halfway point of the Kickstarter, we've been thinking hard about how best to proceed. There's so much we'd love to do, so many projects we could push to fund with new stretch goals. We've already accomplished so much, our heads are spinning! 

Mainly we want to make sure that whatever goal we aim for is something that our readers want – it would be pointless otherwise! You're the people making this possible, so whatever extra goal(s) the Kickstarter pursues, we want them to excite you!

 So we thought we'd put it to you: What should our next stretch goal be? We've already funded a full load of titles through 2013 AND resurrecting CG Magazine for 2013 – what's next? Is there anything you'd jump at the opportunity to help make a reality?

 Some ideas we've considered:

 1)      The 2014 year! Stretch the KS to fund our publications even further into the future, guaranteeing even longer-term stability and awesomeness.

2)      Professional-rate titles! If we could afford to offer pro rates to authors it would draw many more submissions, giving us a much deeper pool of work from which to select our stories – this almost always means higher quality writing! There are several ways we could do pro rates:

- One or more pro-rate anthologies

- Pro-rate online flash fiction

- We could even shoot for the moon & aim to make every 2013 title pro-rate!

What are your thoughts? Would any of the above ideas thrill you? Is there something else we haven't considered that we should? Please comment or message us and tell us – we really want to know!

Thanks,
Bart & Kay

Comments

    1. Creator Bart Leib on June 8, 2012

      Sonia, that's an idea, and some anthologies are handled that way. But we prefer to pay new writers the same as we pay established ones. Still, it's something for us to consider depending on funding.

    2. Creator Sonia on June 8, 2012

      How about a number of pro-rate stories per anthology, rather than separating pro-rate anthologies and um... amateur-rate anthologies. It could give you bigger names to draw more readers, while giving unknowns exposure.

    3. Creator PizzaGirl on June 7, 2012

      I agree with previous commenters that using this kickstarter to give yourself as much of a shot at becoming sustainable is the best course of action. Pro-rates seem to be the way to do that.

    4. Creator Bart Leib on June 6, 2012

      Jo, that's an interesting thought. We could certainly look into that!

    5. Creator Jo Thomas on June 6, 2012

      Hi Bart,

      Something that it just occurred to me to ask but do you only use a POD service based in the USA? Might be worth setting up (investing in?) agreements with overseas companies that could save you and your customers some postage money. I know that Mark Deniz of Morrigan Books (http://www.morriganbooks.com/) has something set up for the USA and Australia, although he's based in Sweden. Might be worth getting in touch with him and finding out more.

    6. Creator Amy Sundberg on June 6, 2012

      I'd be really excited to see Crossed Genres offer pro rates. I agree with other commenters that this would increase your visibility in the larger community, and I'd love for the work you do to reach a larger audience.

    7. Creator joseptrd on June 5, 2012

      Pro-rates, 2014 is too far away.

    8. Creator Bart Leib on June 5, 2012

      Sabrina: Yes, pro rates could lead to becoming an official SFWA market (not immediately, but soon), and that's certainly an important consideration. SFWA credit would draw a TON more attention, and submissions.

      As for the attention: Well, if we did reach funding for pro rates we wouldn't be publishing MORE than we currently are. There is certainly a concern about new writers getting noticed. But as I mentioned to Gill Shutt above, "If we do pursue pro-rate funding, it will be with the plan of putting extra effort into encouraging and putting a spotlight on newer authors, ensuring they grace our pages as often as pro writers... AND giving them their first pro-rate sales!" And the camaraderie and support... well that's just our M.O. That won't change no matter what we do!

      Conventions are fun, but they're a lot of work to reach a relatively small number of people. Of course the people are our target audience. But generally we've only managed to break even on conventions thus far.

    9. Creator Bart Leib on June 5, 2012

      yuellien, 2-3 cpw would certainly help. Tho as Sabrina pointed out, pro rates mean we could (eventually) become a SFWA market, which semi-pro pay can't really compare to.

      And we'd prefer to focus on one goal rather than splitting the attention between raising rates AND funding 2014. Unless we hit the first goal, of course, at which point we could add the 2nd.

    10. Creator Bart Leib on June 5, 2012

      Leonicka, there's the rub. At this point, no one really has a clear idea of a working model for sustainable revenue. We used to put money into traditional advertising and got almost no noticeable results. Reviews and giveaways work better for us; conventions aren't bad but are a lot of work to reach a relatively small number of people. What to do is tricky.

      As for sales channels, we're pretty well covered for ebooks, in just about every major distributor. So unless we wanted to try to move out of POD and get into more brick-and-mortar stores (which takes a very large investment/risk), I don't see much more we can do there either. We're open to suggestions though!

    11. Creator Sabrina Vourvoulias on June 5, 2012

      I'm of two minds (of course ;-)).

      On the one hand I think pro-rates would put you (and your writers) in line for a number of perks and well-deserved recognition, including SFWA market (right?) and probably award consideration on a number of levels. Plus, as many others have noted, would blast open the submission process. I wouldn't know but I would guess that the larger the number of people who submit to the magazine or anthologies, the larger the pool of likely supporters for all of your ventures.

      On the other hand, I have to wonder whether my work would have ever caught your attention if you had been a pro-rate market, and then whether the level of camaraderie and full-on support I got from CG as a writer thereafter would have been likely (or even possible) if you had been swimming in hundreds of more sophisticated, "name" submissions. And, since it's hard for me to picture my trajectory as a writer without CG ... the prospect makes me shudder a bit.

      What about stretching to fund CGP's presence at more cons? Not having been to one I don't know what kind of actual sales opportunities they represent, but I can't imagine there is anything more ready-made for increasing brand recognition and familiarity from readers and writers.

      Anyway, there you have it - I believe it might be worth about two cents. ;-)

    12. Creator yuellien on June 5, 2012

      Another vote for pro rates here, but even a respectable 2-3 cpw could do wonders in drawing the attention of talented up-and-comers, if you'd like to compromise and send funds toward 2014 too.

    13. Creator Leonicka on June 5, 2012

      In light of this discussion maybe the next goal should go towards expanding your revenue plan. How does CG generate income? do you need funding to increase your marketing and publicity budgets? do you need funding to increase sales channels/avenues?

    14. Creator Karina @KrakenMaiden on June 5, 2012

      I vote for pro rates.

      I haven't submitted my fiction to any of the SF&F publications yet, but I can say the options I consider for when-the-time-comes showcase great stories regardless of the rates they can afford to pay. I don't think that offering pro rates will harm new writers, but quite the opposite. I agree with Cat Rambo: more authors will be encouraged to submit.

    15. Creator Bart Leib on June 5, 2012

      Gill, your concern is something we're wrestling with too. We've always been proud to publish new/undiscovered authors and we don't want to squeeze them out. ANY plan we pursue will be made with this in mind. If we do pursue pro-rate funding, it will be with the plan of putting extra effort into encouraging and putting a spotlight on newer authors, ensuring they grace our pages as often as pro writers... AND giving them their first pro-rate sales!

      Having said that, we certainly haven't decided what goal to pursue. There's a very interesting discussion going on here and we're listening to all opinions.

    16. Creator Cat Rambo on June 5, 2012

      My suggestion would be pro rates. It significantly upped the number of subs we were getting at Fantasy Magazine when we did that, and it also brought in some more established writers.

    17. Creator Bart Leib on June 5, 2012

      Catherine, excellent points. You articulated one of our main fears about funding 2014: it doesn't help with true long-term sustainability, just short-term. Since we've never been profitable, doing things the same way *could* leave us in this same position at the end of 2014.

      You, and Kelly above you, pointed out that pro rates mean better critical attention and respect, which are key to sustainability. It increases the chances that the titles will sell better; it increases the odds that our publications will get reward recognition. So while the funding would be shorter-term (which admittedly makes it feel a bit of an "all-in" situation), it's a calculated risk to push for a different model that's more sustainable than what we have.

    18. Creator Gill Shutt on June 5, 2012

      As a writer and a reader I would vote for the 2014 aim, there are plenty of writers waiting to get their foot on the ladder or a few rungs up from the bottom. Far better to give them something to aim for and more chances to do it than to pay higher rates which would mean less chance for them to achieve it.
      A copy of a magazine with a story with your name on it is sometimes all it takes to give a writer the boost they need to go on to bigger and better things. Shed loads of rejection letters have just the opposite effect.

      Please think of all the 'little' people out there, don't aim for the stars.

    19. Creator Andrew W on June 5, 2012

      It depends on which area you feel needs more help in your long-term strategy. My urge is to vote for professional-scale pay in 2013, on the theory that drawing even more amazing work will lead to Crossed Genres becoming more "known" in the publishing world and therefore self-sustaining. You can't run a Kickstarter every 2 years without burning people out -- this one is going to have to last you.

      On the other hand, what if you paid out professional rates in 2013 and Crossed Genres was still not turning a profit? What would happen in 2014 then? I feel it might be wise to keep some $$ in the bank so that you can ensure Crossed Genres' continued existence not just 1 or 2 years from now. But is $6K really enough for that?

      Contests tend to draw a lot of publicity. Would running a contest with a large(ish) prize help get Crossed Genres more exposure and therefore more dollars from the public?

      I just worry that in 18 months you'll be right back where you were -- out of money to make the magic happen. You need a strategy to make Crossed Genres self-sustaining, and I can't give you that because I have no idea. In fact, the entire industry is trying to figure this out right now. ;-) What do people want most? I believe they crave a sense of community. If you could find a way to give people more of what they want (online forums? contests? more contact with authors / editors?), I believe people are willing to fund it. This Kickstarter proves that there's a lot of interest for what you do. We believe in you!

    20. Creator Bart Leib on June 5, 2012

      Matthew, as awesome as both would be, each is a pretty lofty goal by itself! We want to focus on one at first, and if we make that we can always pursue another, time allowing.

    21. Creator Kelly Jennings on June 5, 2012

      Pro-rates would be a big draw, I think -- one because it would get the zine more critical attention. But also, as you say, because it would draw many more writers. I know I've submitted to places simply because they pay pro-rates.

    22. Creator Matthew Hemphill on June 5, 2012

      I love the idea of pro-rates, but I would rather see the 2014 year goal first! I believe both can be reached.