About this project
We're doing a live hangout for the last 48 hoursof the Kickstarter. Now in hour 28. Go here to see https://plus.google.com/events/cebufahibkvpji7a20l095a8sv4
We're here to change the standards for small presses. We've been at it for five years. Help us grow and find out what the future could be.
Haunted Futures will only be possible if this Kickstarter is funded.
If this project is funded on top of their other rewards all backers will receive Haunted Futures, a book that will only be possible if this Kickstarter is funded. A multi-genre anthology with stories by Warren Ellis, John Reppion, Liesel Schwarz, Chuck Wendig, Richard Kadrey, Stephen Blackmoore, Seanan McGuire and more, maybe even you! Illustrated by John Coulthart (Lovecraft's Monsters). The print book will also available in paperback and hardcover editions as a reward. Sound awesome? Help it happen! See below for details.
We publish primarily high-quality genre and crossover books, well-written fantasy, horror, sf, thrillers, and women’s fiction.
Red Phone Box. A dazzling tale of old gods and impossible places woven into an enthralling tapestry by 29 different authors.
Cthulhu Lives! A masterful anthology of chilling cosmic horror stories inspired by Lovecraft's mythos.
Out 21 October: How to Bake a Man. Becca lands herself neck-deep in office politics, clandestine romance, and flour in this charming story. Jessica Barksdale Inclán is the best-selling author of numerous other books, including In Her Daughter's Eyes.
Out 14 February, 2015: Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran. As Persia's Qajar dynasty sinks into decay, Afsar and her dark love embark on a journey of blood, wonder, glory, and death. This is the history that Gaston LeRoux only hinted at in The Phantom of the Opera.
SwitchFlipped by Greg Stolze: What happens when you fall through the cracks in reality? Jasper is about to find out...
Haunted Futures: Wild and beautiful stories of twisted worlds, by great authors you already love, some wonderful newer authors, and maybe even you. Illustrated by the amazing John Coulthart. ADD HAUNTED FUTURES PAPERBACK TO ANY REWARD CATEGORY FOR £15 + shipping (Message us to tell us you're doing the add-on.)
Some of these books are already here, but others will only happen with your help. Also, one of them will become an audiobook. Help us decide which one!
Want more books? We'll be selecting some additional novels during the course of this Kickstarter, depending on funding.
This project is run by Tim Dedopulos and Salomé Jones, assisted by our colleagues, Gethin Lynes and Gábor Csigás. Together we’re the village that helps raise books at Ghostwoods Books.
2009: Tim began planning Ghostwoods Books as an experiment in digital publishing.
2010: Tim launched Ghostwoods with a slate of four novels published as eBooks only.
2012: Salome joined the Ghostwoods team.
2013: Gabor began doing our covers.
2013: We published our first print book, in paperback and hardcover.
2014: Gethin joined our editing team.
2014: We will submit books for major award consideration. (Bram Stoker Award. World Fantasy Award.)
ALL our eBooks are DRM free.
In an article called “The Real Price of Self-Publishing“ Miral Saltar spells out the various costs involved in getting a book ready for market.
Low end: $4000
High end: $24,000
Few writers have that kind of money to spend on publishing their books.
We already provide top-grade editing, both developmental and copy-editing, along with cover design, and some marketing. These are things we can provide because of our experience and education, and because we love making books happen – but moving further takes a chunk of money, and we want to take Ghostwoods to the next level. We want to provide authors with a publishing option that benefits them beyond just a fair share of the profits. (To paraphrase John Scalzi, former president of the SFWA, half of nothing is nothing.)
What we mean by progress:
50% of profits to authors
Advances for books
Contracts that protect authors' rights in case of press sale or closure
Books in retail stores as soon as we can(Many small presses can't accomplish this)
Other author benefits such as advice, networking, crisis fund, and more*
*You can read more about our ethics and our long-term goals on our website here: Ethos.
The Society of Authors has openly said that traditional publishing is no longer fair or sustainable. (Link is to a recent Guardian article.) Maris Kreizman, the publishing category manager of Kickstarter, said in a recent Publisher’s Weekly article that she’d love to see a small press fund an entire list using Kickstarter.
We’ve been at this for five years. We’ve learned a whole heap of things about what publishing is right now. Last year we successfully funded an ambitious project (Red Phone Box: A darkly magical story cycle) and got a really beautiful book out to a lot of people. We have two more team members now: Editor Gethin Lynes, and Gábor Csigás, our genius artistic director who works with us on a per-project basis.
The truth is that there are a lot of not-so-great small presses out there. Some give authors a tiny percentage of sales receipts in return for doing nothing more than the author could easily have done alone. Others charge authors for things like having their books formatted, or for providing covers. Some hold authors hostage by refusing to market their books until after a certain number of sales have been hit, or until after an entire trilogy is written. Some not only offer a tiny percentage of the income, but then deduct massive expenses from the authors’ side of things before paying them.
Business is business, and it’s not easy making money as a small press, but... that’s not us.
We’re writers as well as publishers. We’re not here for a quick buck at naïve authors’ expenses. We’re here because we love books. Our standard contract was designed to be the sort of contract we’d like to receive for one of our own projects. It is good for authors, and we’re flexible on top of it. Our long-term plan is to continue improving the benefits that our authors enjoy when working with us. We don’t ever charge authors, not even a penny. More about our contracts
- Do note that the dates for delivering the rewards are approximate. Some of the rewards will start sooner but take longer to complete as well. Where the reward is all the books we publish for two years, for example, it will take, well, two years for you to get them all.
- Amounts in US dollars are approximate, as the exchange rates change constantly. Use a currency converter to get a more precise number.
Marketing budget – We’d like to have at least $1000 per book for marketing.
ARC (advance reading copy) printing and shipping – $300 per book, minimum – that’s 25 print ARCs plus shipping.
Extra editors – This would be on a per book basis, as needed. $800 per book, minimum.
Pay for cover design/art – $500 per cover, with a further budget for cover art and textures.
Paying authors advances – A few thousand dollars, depending on books and authors
Miscellaneous opportunities – A bit of spare room
Pledge rewards – These are going to cost upwards of $3000.
Kickstarter fees – 10% plus VAT (So about £1300).
If we raise just our goal of £11,111 – about $17,000 – we’ll be able to publish and properly market the two books on our schedule already, and up to five more books next year. The money will cover marketing, covers, advances, an additional editor for a couple of books, rewards, and Kickstarter fees.
If we raise a lot more than expected, we have plenty of other goals to achieve. But let's take first things first.
Have a drawing, painting, photo, scribble, or other art that screams out to you as something you'd like to find on the cover of Haunted Futures? Post it on Twitter (directly, or using a link) with the hashtag #HauntedFutures and the link to this Kickstarter. (Here's the link: http://kck.st/1yjuzo0) The competition will remain open as long as the Kickstarter campaign does.
The ten we like best will win special Ghostwoods eBook prize bundles, whatever happens here. Promise.
If we particularly love one of them, and our goal is reached, we are very likely to get in contact with you to negotiate using it as the actual, final cover – provided that it is at least 300dpi, and you own the rights. But we really, strongly recommend you don't go to lots of effort creating a great, brand-new piece on the chance that it'll end up being picked as the cover. This is primarily a competition for eBooks, not money!
You’ll have questions. We have answers. Find us on Twitter or via our contact form on our website. Or ask using a Kickstarter message or comment.
Thanks for your support. It means everything to projects like this one.
Risks and challenges
There's a serious learning curve in an industry that's changing so rapidly. We see this as an opportunity to change the publishing paradigm. But it means we have to be flexible, while still working toward a tangible set of goals.
Balancing a tightly stretched budget while overcoming the obstacles that small presses face when trying to work within an entrenched system that has traditionally excluded them will be our biggest challenge.
In our last Kickstarter, we discovered that postage was our biggest underestimated expense. We've tailored our rewards to avoid shipping as much as possible. (We spent £3000 last time, which after the fees were taken out of our total, was more than half of what we raised.) So note that we're offering a lot of ebooks. A challenge will be all your willingness to support us on the basis of primarily digital rewards. We'll add physical copies where we can. But you know the drill. We don't get to keep the money unless we raise the full amount. And sadly the amount added for postage counts against that total.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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