Meet Olivia Zack, neuroscientist, pharmaceutical consultant—and murder victim.
It’s Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones meets Carl Hiaasen’s Nature Girl (with a dash of Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money) as Olivia embarks on a post-mortem quest to deconstruct the events that lead up to her mind-altering death.
Olivia Zack might be dead, but her story deserves to live! With your help, we can make that happen.
Welcome to my Kickstarter. After publishing two books conventionally, I am trying to raise seed money for my first venture into self-publishing.
A comic satire of the influence of the psychopharmaceutical industry on American life, HEAD CASE takes Olivia and her estranged friend and roommate Polly Warner on a collision course involving ethically challenged executives, spotlight-hungry celebrities, third-rate mobsters, and drug-dealing babushkas. A smart and savvy page-turner, HEAD CASE explores the meaning of personal relationships, emotional intelligence, and mental health while taking the reader on a synapse-stirring, neurotransmitting rollicking ride.
HEAD CASE was originally set to go to press in early 2009—cover created, pages proofed and all—when suddenly the publisher canceled about half of its titles because the economy was tanking and the market for new fiction was going down with it. HEAD CASE was one of those titles. They reverted the rights to me, and I spent the next year revising the manuscript some more.
After a few more attempts to sell it to another publisher ("Endearing!" they said. "Flawlessly written!" and then passed, for want of famous authors and guaranteed hits), I stuffed this labor of love into a virtual desk drawer.
But then... the world started to change!
After reading story after story about once conventionally published authors having lots of fun (and occasionally great success) in the brave new world of digital self-publishing, I realized that an eBook would be the perfect publishing platform for this somewhat unconventional book.
It turns out, however, that to do it right, it's not as simple as just clicking "upload" and kicking back to watch the book start to sell.
Some of this doesn't cost a lot. Like the video. Girl Puppet comes from Fiverr.com ($5!), and some friends and I did the rest.
But to do the whole e-book self-publishing thing right, it adds up.
- $200+ for the cover
- $500 for a professional proofreader
- $250 for ISBN registration for more than one platform
- $36 for copyright protection
- $200+ for website design
- $ Sky-is-the-limit for publicity and marketing
Risks and challenges
The book is almost ready to go. My plan is to have Head Case available for purchase on Kindle (other formats to follow) by mid-December (in time for the holidays!), but as Olivia Zack knows all too well, not everything goes according to plan.
Here are some of the potential risks and challenges I might face that could delay or compromise the project:
1. Editorial Emergencies.
The book is so close to done. So close! I am assuming I will need to take a little time to address any additional issues the proofreader might flag, and have scheduled accordingly. But while I don't anticipate any substantial changes, she could find something that demands more time and attention than I have allotted time for. (Plus, if I need to write in a few new characters—thanks to some of the rewards from this campaign—it could take an extra week or so to work them seamlessly into the story.)
It might also take a few more tweaks to finish the cover, update my website, and gear up for my outreach. Again, I have scheduled accordingly, but things do happen. Which leads me to...
2. Technical SNAFUs.
I know my own technical skills well enough to know that I need to outsource some of the demands of formatting for Kindle and other eReaders. I've been told that the turnaround on this is usually quick, but again, there could be a crazy coding bug that does some crazy dance on my pages. Or something. You never know.
Likewise, my website www.jenniferoko.com needs updating to promote Head Case. That is also mostly accounted for in terms of time allotment, but as I am no programming wiz, the site will be an ongoing work in progress.
3. Punishing Publicity.
Not all press is good press. I fear even putting these words on the screen, but the book could get some bad reviews. It happens. Not every book is for everyone. My hope is that the good reviews will outweigh the bad. I know they will. It's a great book!
As Girl Puppet said, my first two books got great reviews.
They also got thousands of dollars of publicity support (some from me, some from the publisher).
When self-publishing, the challenge to get noticed is even greater, and it falls completely upon the author to make it happen.
I can do this. I can make it happen. I've done it before.
I will blog/tweet/Facebook until my fingers cramp up. I will study all the tricks of the trade in order to best place the book in the digital store windows.
It will NOT be easy, and I will be looking to my friends and fans for a lot of support.
Funding help is a wonderful start, but the real magic will be in having friends and fans spread the word once the book comes out. I will owe a lot of people a lot of gratitude when this is done. Hopefully, the pleasure that people will get from reading HEAD CASE will at least partially help to "pay it back" to those who have helped bring the book into the world.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)