About this project
Finally, a literary journal you don't have to be ashamed to be caught reading! I don't have a problem with stories that make you think. I like thinking. Here's the problem: I also like to have fun. Sometimes I just wish I could pick up a magazine and have every story in it be exciting and enjoyable.
StoryHack Action & Adventure is that fun literary journal you and I have been waiting for. This campaign is to help launch issue #1.
It all started a little while ago when I started listening to various fiction podcasts and reading modern literary magazines. I'm not going to name names here, but I was shocked at how little excitement there was in the stories I was reading. Now, I don't mind thinking a little, but I would prefer not to become bored and drift off to sleep every time I sit down to listen or read.
So what's a action adventure fan to do?
Meanwhile, in shadowed and dusty corners of the internet, people have discovered the great pulp authors of yesteryear. I'm talking storytellers like like Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Leigh Brackett. Writers whose stories have life and action and passion. Stories with characters like The Shadow, Doc Savage, and Buck Rogers. It's almost like people have rediscovered the fact that reading short stories can actually be fun.
Every time I ran across other pulp-era fans my love for that type of fiction was rekindled.
At some point it occurred to me - maybe there are great writers out there still writing this stuff - perhaps there's just no where to publish it.
This thought birthed a dream. That dream devised a plan. That plan is conjuring itself into reality. That reality has a name:
StoryHack Action & Adventure.
And you can help make it happen.
Like I said StoryHack Action & Adventure is a literary journal that publishes action adventure fiction in any genre.
To be more clear, by action I mean that there are characters actively engaged with an antagonist who represents imminent physical danger. Fistfights, car chases, vine swinging over alligators or spikes, jungle insects, ruthless mafia bosses, all that. But the protagonist must have an active role in it, rather than just having stuff happen at him/her.
By adventure, I mean the character does awesome things (is proactive) in a exotic (not mundane) situation. Heroics often enter in. The protagonist can be in a cool time period, a fantasy world, or have a bizarre profession, something about his/her situation transports the reader out of the mundane world.
And I’m serious when I say any genre. Space opera, sword & sorcery, lost world, high-seas swashbuckling, occult detective, treasure hunt / explorer, western, technothriller, anything that has both action and adventure.
If you'd like to see what to expect, you can! I've have put my money where my mouth is and produced a sample issue. For at least the duration of this campaign, you'll be able to read this "Issue 0" as an ebook for free. Just visit http://storyhack.com/issuezero to get your copy. Also, I'll do what I can to make it free (or at least super cheap) on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks. I think it's worth noting that early March of 2017 I decided to make the preview issue, so I posted a call for submissions. By the first week of May, the magazine was available.
The goal, then, is to launch the greatest modern pulp magazine in the world.
To that end, I have determined that a meager $1,300 will be sufficient to produce Issue #1, which will have approximately 60,000 pulse pounding words. This is enough to pay:
- The authors at least what I paid to produce Issue 0
- The cover artist
- Printing and shipping of the physical magazines
- Kickstarter fees
- Processing fees
"So what can I do to help?"
I hear you asking right now.
Make a monetary pledge by clicking one of the buttons on the right hand side. If enough money (at least the goal amount) is pledged, then at the end of the campaign every one is charged and I set off at a dead sprint to produce Issue #1. Within 3 months or so you'll be reading about space pirates getting kicked in the ribs, or something equally as awesome.
"And if I help, do I get anything?"
Yes! Of course pledging money earns you rewards. What you get depends on the level of your pledge.
I had several people ask me if they could use Paypal when I launch the campaign. Unfortunately, you can't use paypal directly. However, if you have a paypal account, you can sign up for a free debit card from Paypal that draws from your paypal account. You can use that card to pledge. It's a pain, I get it.
Because printing stuff is expensive. Especially short runs. But printed stuff also is collectible, doesn't need batteries charged, and I hear it tastes better.
Also, apparently shipping internationally is expensive.
I have a number of stretch goals in mind, things like including interior art, getting a whole second issue, and a higher rate for the hardworking authors. Once we hit the base goal, I'll start announcing these.
Risks and challenges
There are a lot of moving parts when putting together a magazine. This is why I put together a whole issue first before launching a crowdfunding campaign. I wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting into. Along the way, I've discovered many of the possible pitfalls.
Cover artist doesn't deliver - I've hired a few artists in the past that disappeared completely after starting a gig or simply took a long time to deliver. I may hire someone I've worked with before, or I'll use a site where I can escrow a payment. That way, if the artist does not deliver, the money is not lost. And I will start that process early, so that I have time to get a second artist, should the first one fail. Worst case scenario is that publishing is set back a week or two.
Expensive printing - Printing and shipping books can get costly. I'm basing my numbers on a worst case scenario where I would get no volume discount whatsoever using a digital press, which is far more expensive than an offset press which requires *high volume* orders. In other words, my costs for printing can only go down.
Technical layout problems - I've written extensively on formatting and self publishing books. In my production of Issue 0, I've found and ironed out a lot of technical glitches that can occur. Also, I am a supernerd with a computer science degree, unafraid of technology.
Nobody submits a thing - Well, I got about 100 submission for issue 0, and I capped payments for that one. No cap this time and a track record of paying authors means I should get at least a similar number of submissions. Also when I put together Issue 0, I had to reject a lot of excellent stories. I could have filled at least one more issue. Plus, I suspect there are several authors who are in Issue 0 who will be submitting similarly awesome works.
The magazine gets to be too awesome - Other magazines might have to close their doors. Major awards will have to have radical changes implemented just to prevent StoryHack from winning everything. There is nothing I can do about this. Everyone will just have to adjust to the new status quo.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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