UPDATE: Let's get this project across the finish line! If we meet our goal, every backer will also receive a PDF, EPUB, and MOBI copy of the second issue when it is published in June 2015!!!
Also, every backer at the $20 level and above will receive a 9" x 12" print of an original piece by graphic artist Michael Artman based on The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells!!!
UPDATE: On 2/7/15, a new reward level (Digital Copy for $1) was added! All higher reward levels will also include this standard digital copy in addition to the limited edition PDF.
All reward levels at $5 and above have also been upgraded to include a custom shout-out on a future episode of The Independent Publisher, the podcast of 33rd Street Digital Press.
Nonlocal Science Fiction (www.nonlocalscifi.com) has been a dream of mine for a long time, born of a love for the genre and an interest in writing, editing, and publishing. I started thinking seriously about how to create a digital short fiction magazine last summer, and I began laying the groundwork for the magazine and for 33rd Street Digital Press (www.thirtythirdstreet.com), the parent publishing company, soon after.
I put out a call for submissions in early October, and in the three+ months since then, I've received over 50 submissions from independent authors around the world. I've been blown away by the response.
Today, I have all of the content for the first issue assembled and ready to head into final proofing and formatting, but to really do things right, I need a little help from you, the Kickstarter community.
Why science fiction?
I fell in love with science fiction literature when I was very young, reading copies of golden age classics like Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy and Stanley Weinbaum's short story A Martian Odyssey that my father had on a shelf in the basement.
Science fiction short stories have always captured my imagination and transported me in a way that no other genre or format can duplicate. Whether it's the hard logic of Asimov's robot stories or the you'll-never-see-it-coming twist at the end of everything Philip K. Dick ever wrote, I'd spend all of my time reading and re-reading the classics and every new published piece as it came out if I could.
Why create a digital science fiction magazine?
I decided to create Nonlocal Science Fiction because I think it is the best way to broaden the landscape of modern science fiction literature. With skyrocketing overhead costs, fewer and fewer quality science fiction print outlets can make it, and authors who don't already have a solid resume full of awards and past successes find that they are largely ignored.
Several years ago, when I was first exploring the boundaries of my talent as a writer, I was frustrated by how few paying options there were for new authors. More than that, I could see no clear path for how I, an amateur, could learn from my mistakes and grow as a writer as editors sent me nothing but stock rejection letters. Probably a bit too swiftly in my youthful impatience, I turned away from fiction writing for a while, though I always knew that I would be back.
I've turned to digital publishing because, as it exists today, it eliminates the overhead of printing and distribution that is dragging down so many in the industry. It also consolidates the workload. I've been able to collect all of the content for the first issue and lay some groundwork marketing on my own. Anywhere that I have needed help, like with cover art, I've easily found talented freelancers online who can produce high-quality work on short notice and for significantly less than if I had needed to hire someone on as an employee.
The relative ease of digital publishing has allowed me to focus on my role as an editor. A few of the stories in the first issue of Nonlocal are there because I reached out to new writers whose talent and creativity were apparent, even though their stories were still rough. The part of this whole experience I've enjoyed most has been making suggestions and helping to polish pieces to help these new authors find their footing.
I'm creating a digital science fiction magazine because I have a passion for the material and for working with new and talented authors who can't always find an outlet for their work in the mainstream and I have a vision for what digital publishing can be in the future.
Why share profits with your authors rather than paying a flat rate?
Most short fiction outlets pay a flat rate per word up front for stories. Even the most prominent typically quote a starting rate around 8 cents per word. That means that for a 6000 word story (a 20-25 page manuscript), an unknown author would make a one-time profit of $480 and would see no direct benefit if the issue sold thousands and thousands of copies because of his or her story.
This makes some sense when you consider the tremendous costs of running a print magazine, but it still stinks for the author who walks away with the ability to pay a bill or two, a line for a resume, and nothing more.
With a profit-sharing model, authors become partners with the publisher rather than just being a commodity, purchased at the lowest price the market will sustain. They are incentivized to stay active and participate in marketing initiatives because they directly benefit from each sale.
As the publisher, I can keep overhead costs down because I don't have to hire a marketing department, which means I can give more of the profits to the authors. The authors get a crash-course in Internet marketing and make connections with peers, all of which they can take with them and utilize for future projects.
Why do a Kickstarter?
I've been working hard for more than six months on this project. I've done it all without spending much outside of some basic website hosting and a few incidentals. But I won't be able to do the first issue justice without support from the Kickstarter community.
My ongoing costs include hosting fees for both the 33rd Street and Nonlocal websites, the costs for maintaining an LLC, and my time, which at this point has gone beyond the bounds of a normal full-time job. (My wonderful wife has a good job, which is how I've been able to get to this point while maintaining only a part-time gig as a freelance editor.)
Costs to bring Nonlocal Science Fiction #1 to life properly include hiring an artist for cover artwork, registering ISBNs, copyrights, and trademarks, and consulting with lawyers and accountants on legal and tax issues.
Costs after Issue #1 is published will include paid advertising, various marketing activities, equipment and software for creating marketing materials like the podcast, and business software to manage sales and profit distribution.
NOTE: A wonderful company called Bioblossom Creative has created gorgeous cover artwork for the first issue and is delaying billing until after the Kickstarter is complete. The artwork, which will be made into limited edition prints for all supporters who give $20 and above, will be revealed on February 1st.
What are your plans for the future?
Nonlocal is planned as a quarterly. I've already begun collecting stories for the second issue, due out in June, and the lineup for the second issue is looking every bit as strong as the first.
I'd like to explore expanding the Nonlocal format into other genres eventually, likely bringing aboard another editor or two so that I can make sure each new genre is represented well by someone who knows and loves it.
I look at Nonlocal as both the cornerstone of my new publishing company and as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. I'd like to publish novels, pulling talented authors from the ranks of Nonlocal and working with them on full-length projects.
I do not see myself expanding into traditional print publishing. The costs there almost always necessitate marginalizing digital in one way or another, and I never want to stop working with new and independent authors in a sustainable way. However, print-on-demand publishing has come a long way, and I could see that as a definite possibility for immediate expansion.
More than anything, I am looking forward to working directly with authors and continuing to push the boundaries of digital publishing.
Thank you so much for your support! The full list of stories and authors for Issue #1, pictures of many of the rewards, and our stretch goals and rewards appear below.
Issue #1 Story Lineup
Us and Everybody Else by Valery Amborski
In the future, we'll be able to escape, very literally, into our memories. But is it a good idea to live for the past?
Delivery to Venus by Robert Paul Blumenstein
The Earth has become a ball of ice as the sun slowly burns out. A team of scientists must face the ultimate questions of existence while they sow seeds on Venus.
A Thin Atmosphere, Chapter 1 by Dan Colton
Mars City comes under attack by tunnel-dwelling Rebels in the first chapter of this old-school space adventure serial.
Mazep-fal by Daniel J. Dombrowski
A man who is both the youngest and oldest member of his tribe makes a terrible discovery on a pilgrimage to meet his gods.
Marigold's Memory by Reva Russell English
In a future where human memory is stored on microchip implants and bad memories can be erased, a young woman faces a terrible fate.
Catalyst by Aaron Hamilton
A daring escape in a stolen spacecraft and a mysterious and alluring rescuer leave a smuggler wondering what will happen next.
Deal Gone Bad, Chapter 1 by Thad Kanupp
Jack survives in a post-apocalyptic wasteland by scavenging guns and ammunition. His life is about to get a lot more interesting.
Shoot the Devil by Nicholas Rossis
What would you do if you could travel back in time? If you had the devil in your sites, would you pull the trigger?
The Assistant Assistant Port Keeper by Jim Rudnick
Life as an Assistant Assistant Port Keeper in a space port on the Rim has its highs and its lows. A visit from a particularly difficult species of traders presents an opportunity for both.
In The Days Of Still Pictures by H.C. Turk
In an alternate wild west where cowboys ride zebras and elephants pull wagons, a pair of traveling salesmen appear and stir up trouble with their magical wares.
Issue #1 Authors
Stretch Goals & Rewards
If we surpass our initial funding goal, we have a huge lineup of rewards for our stretch goals that includes copies of future issues of the Nonlocal and previously published books from our authors:
$3500 - The Power of Six by Nicolas Rossis
If we reach $3500, every backer gets a PDF copy of The Power of Six, a short story collection by Nicholas Rossis!
$4000 - Nonlocal Science Fiction #2
If we reach $4000, every backer gets a PDF copy of Nonlocal Science Fiction #2 (due out June 2015)!
$4500 - A Book That Ends With Me by H. C. Turk
If we reach $4500, every backer gets a PDF copy of A Book That Ends With Me, a novel by H. C. Turk!
$5000 - Nonlocal Science Fiction #3
If we reach $5000, every backer gets a PDF copy of Nonlocal Science Fiction #3 (due out September 2015)!
$6000 - Perseus Trilogy by Nicholas Rossis
If we reach $6000, every backer gets a PDF copy of the Perseus trilogy, a set of three novels by Nicholas Rossis!
$7000 - Nonlocal Science Fiction #4
If we reach $7000, every backer gets a PDF copy of Nonlocal Science Fiction #4 (due out December 2015) - a one year subscription for everyone!
$8000 - An Atmosphere of Angels by H. C. Turk
If we reach $8000, every backer gets a PDF copy of An Atmosphere of Angels, a novel by H. C. Turk!
$10,000 - LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION FOR EVERYONE!!!
If we reach $10,000, every backer will get a PDF copy of every issue of Nonlocal Science Fiction produced by 33rd Street Digital Press from now until the end of time (or until you change your email address and forget to tell us)!
Risks and challenges
Putting out a new publication amidst the cacophony of the current eBook market is a challenge no matter how prepared you are. The biggest challenge will be getting noticed, which is why I've been laying the groundwork for this project for months on social media and on the 33rd Street Digital Press website.
The biggest possible setback will be if the magazine fails to find its footing initially and goes largely unnoticed by the readers of the world. Marketing momentum will be a huge factor. I am a student of Guerrilla Marketing, a marketing strategy that focuses on diverse, smart, and cost-effective techniques, and I will always be ready to try a new avenue that will allow me to identify and effectively target a new audience.
I am not currently involved in any other projects, and serving as the editor and chief marketer for the magazine will be my main form of employment.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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