Geek Culture is a coffee-table book about CONvergence, a sci-fi and fantasy convention in Minnesota drawing thousands of attendees.
Geek Culture is a coffee-table book about CONvergence, a sci-fi and fantasy convention in Minnesota drawing thousands of attendees. Read more
As a writer, I believe in the power of stories, and I believe that there are many untold stories out there that are worth sharing. The stories of the people who attend CONvergence are among them.
CONvergence is an annual sci-fi and fantasy convention in Minnesota run entirely by volunteers. It draws thousands of people each year. In 2013, I attended CONvergence along with photographer Emmerlee Sherman and her assistant, Russ Gamache. We gathered stories and photos throughout the four-day convention. Geek Culture is the result of our efforts.
This 8.5x11” hardcover book will cover costumes, parties, panels, volunteers, dealers, and other aspects of the con, including geeky yoga and a bat’leth tournament. It also includes sidebars on topics ranging from Asian ball-jointed dolls to the "fake geek girls" debate. I have striven for a balance between the text and photos so that you can get a feel for CONvergence both visually and through stories.
The chapters include:
- There Are My People -- an introduction to CONvergence
- Costumes -- Masquerade, the Lady Doctors, and interviews with special effects makeup artist Bill Hedrick and Rae Lundquist, the DreamStitcher
- Panels -- the "Moving Sweding and You" panel and general information about how panels are formed
- Parties -- covering several party rooms: the Ochaya, House of Toast, Worship the Goddesses, The Brass Falcon Airship, the IKV Rakehell, USS Nokomis, and Twin Cities Ghostbusters
- Volunteers -- featuring interviews with folks who volunteer at the con
- Dealers -- featuring interviews with Heather Luca of Scoundrelle's Keep, Amy Roth of Surly-Ramics, and Julie Bowman of Mythical Creations
- You Don't See This Anyplace Else -- covering YogaQuest and the bat'leth tournament
- Beyond Parties, Panels, and Special Events -- covering gaming and Connie's Quantum Sandbox
There are also sidebars scatted throughout the book, covering topics such as steampunk and dieselpunk, the "fake geek girls" debate, Asian ball-jointed dolls, the Snack Food Glory Hole, furries, boffing, and more.
As I looked at self-publication, two things were clear: (1) When photos are an important part of the book, it is important to present them in the best possible manner, so I have decided to pay a professional to lay out the book. (2) I could send everything to a printer on my own, but I would prefer to go with a self-publishing house that provides a little more service to ensure the highest quality product possible. After examining some options, I chose to work with Beaver’s Pond Press. This means that it will cost me more to produce the book, but I will feel more confident about what I have to offer to you.
Here’s what the Kickstarter campaign will pay for:
Copyediting and proofreading -- $1,315
Design -- $3,400
Printing 500 8.5x11” hardcover books -- $7,000
Total for the above -- $11,715
In addition, I will have costs for fulfilling the rewards, including shipping, and I will be paying Kickstarter 5% of what I raise plus an additional 3-5% for credit card processing. This brings the project to more than $13,000. I plan to make up the expenses above and beyond the $13,000 goal through the books I sell after this campaign is over.
Risks and challenges
The book is written and merely needs a little polishing. I have the photos from Emmerlee. The only real question is how many photos will be in the book; I estimate 90 will be included. I have permission from the vast majority of the people we met to use their photos, but I am trying to reach a few people I missed at the convention. This should have only a small influence on the overall number of photos.
The designer I have picked is someone I have worked with. I know her to be an excellent designer who works quickly, but she is pregnant, and her baby is due in November. It is possible that could slow down the publication process, but I did build a few extra weeks into the timeline, so I don't anticipate any serious issues with this. If the designer feels she cannot complete the project, I know she will tell me, and I will contact Beaver's Pond Press about using one of their designers, or I will contact another designer I know.
I estimate that the editing, layout and printing will be finished in six months or less.
In other words -- If you fund it, this book WILL be published. I'm still taking care of small details, but the bulk of the work is done.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)