For a couple of years now, Mad Scientist Journal has provided audiences with tales from the world of mad science. But academia is more than just time travel, alien life, and deadly diseases. And so we are looking to work with historians of the past, present, and future to collect accounts of different regions and events.
For our debut effort, we are turning our eyes towards New England's Miskatonic Valley, with its squat brooding cottages and their low gambrel roofs.That Ain't Right: Historical Accounts of the Miskatonic Valley will collect letters, anecdotes, newspaper articles, and other narratives from the very people who live in this sinister little corner of Massachusetts. From the bustling college town of Arkham to the rickety piers of Innsmouth.
We've got seven stories already accepted from some amazing authors to sweeten the pot. And when the Kickstarter has ended, we'll put out an open call to add more stories based on our full budget.
We bring this to Kickstarter because we want to shoot a little higher than what we've done before, by offering a physical edition of the collection and hopefully paying contributors better. We've set a modest goal just to cover basic costs, but we intend on using any extra money pledged to pay the creative folk who help make this happen.
Who do we have already?
- The strange South Texas fiction of Sanford Allen.
- The oddly touching fiction of Folly Blaine.
- The smooth, soul stylings of Nathan Crowder. (Click here to check out a video review of an earlier Crowder tale, featuring Felicia Day!)
- The dark and oft-demented visions of Erik Scott de Bie.
- The strangely horrific weird horror of Jenna M. Pitman.
- The delightfully absurd fiction of Emily C. Skaftun.
- The clearly weird stories of Cliff Winnig.
And that's only half of the book. Again, we'll use the funds raised to recruit even more authors to make this a spectacular anthology.
What Will the Money Buy?
The basic $1,500 will allow us to pay our authors the usual token amount we pay for stories in our regular zine--$10 or $20, depending on length--and do a small print run to cover purchased books and contributor copies. It's a modest and conservative goal for our first Kickstarter. At this time we're looking at doing a 6"x9" trade paperback and publish future books for this via print-on-demand.
But there's also a tradition of stretch goals, which is where we hope this will go.
Stretching Up and Out
Cthulhu be praised, we've met our initial goal. So here are the stretch goals we have established. We have more if things go insane and money just keeps pouring in, but we wanted to start with these first.
You'll notice that many of our goals involve better payment for writers. For some of you, you might wonder, "Why should I care what the authors get paid?" If you aren't willing to kick in from the kindness of your heart, please consider this: If we can pay writers more, more writers will submit. A larger pool of writers means more options for creating the best anthology we can. So the more money we raise, the better the book will be.
- $2,500 - Entering the Semi-Pros: 1 cent/word for authors, extra payment for illustrators.
- $3,000 - The Darkness of South Texas: New reward tier featuring books and music by Sanford Allen.
- $5,000 - Semi-Pro 2 - Semi-Pro Harder: 2 cents/word for authors, extra payment for illustrators.
- $7,000 - Gods and Monsters: New reward tier featuring books from Cliff Winnig and Erik Scott de Bie.
- $10,000 - The Voice of the Master: New reward tier feature a roleplaying game one-shot run by Nathan Crowder.
- $12,000 - The Big Leagues: 6 cents/word for authors, extra payment for illustrators.
- $25,000 - Double Stuffed: We will accept and publish twice the number of stories (an additional 50k words).
- More stretch goals will be revealed as we get closer to the $25k mark.
If you would like more than one physical copy of the book, add $10 to your pledge for each additional book. If you pledge at a tier that gives you a signed copy of the book, the additional books will also be signed.
Limited Quantity Rewards
While some of our special reward tiers will only be unlocked once we hit stretch goals, we do have two that we can offer right now!
First: Folly Blaine, Podcast Manager of Every Day Fiction, will narrate stories for as many as two authors and provide them with a digital file of such.
Second: We have hand-made crocheted cupcakes made by my co-editor (and wife) Dawn Vogel of Scary White Girl Designs. They will look something like this:
Third, we have a limited supply of download cards for digital copies of the debut album from Sanford Allen's band, Hogbitch.
Fourth, we have a limited supply of Sanford Allen's debut novel, Deadly Passage, which is published as a Doubledown from JournalStone Books.
A Quick Thank You
Our friend Derrick Swedelius kindly donated his time to craft our video for this Kickstarter, and has politely declined all offers of payment from us. So we felt we should at least thank him as publicly as possible.
Thank you, Derrick!
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk we face is that we've never put out a physical book before. But we've already begun working to understand what we need and have experimented with some other projects we have in the works. We are also fortunate to know more experienced publishers that we can turn to for advice as needed.
The other risk is that we don't have all the stories for the anthology yet. We have a great start from our current roster, but it's not enough for a full book. But with our history of running Mad Scientist Journal, we have established ourselves as a market for writers and already receive a steady stream of submissions. With the possibility to venture into semi-pro and pro payment territory, we have the chance to increase the appeal of submitting stories to us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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