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$885 pledged of $13,000 goal
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By Kate Norlander
$885 pledged of $13,000 goal
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About

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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank you! Each supporter will receive a personal email from me, updates on the project, and recognition on my website for this book (www.geekculturebook.com). If you wish, I can leave your name off my website.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    An 8x10 photo from the book of a cosplayer dressed as a 1920's style Weeping Angel.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A hardbound copy of Geek Culture and an 8x10 photo from the book of a cosplayer dressed as a 1920's style Weeping Angel. Photo will be shipped with the book.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A hardbound copy of Geek Culture autographed by author Kate Norlander and photographer Emmerlee Sherman and an 8x10 photo from the book of a cosplayer dressed as a 1920's style Weeping Angel. Photo will be shipped with the book.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above rewards PLUS your name will be listed as a backer in the acknowledgements section of the book.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The CONvergence tour package: Great for people who have never attended CONvergence! All of the above rewards PLUS I will pay for CONvergence registration for you and a friend, take both of you to lunch or dinner, and give you a personal tour of CONvergence for part of one day of the convention. We will work together ahead of time to determine what to include on your tour. Transportation, lodging and additional meals are not included. CONvergence veterans are welcome to select this package if they wish.

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Funding period

- (30 days)