Hello, everyone! We're the editors at Chromatic Press, the independent publisher behind Sparkler Monthly magazine. This is our biggest, most important Kickstarter yet. We’ve got huge plans for the next year, and we want you to be a part of it!
Welcome to the Kickstarter for Sparkler Monthly Year 3!
Based off the Japanese manga model you might know from magazines like Shonen Jump, Sparkler Monthly runs serialized fiction in monthly chapters--so every month, you get a new piece of five different series at once. Most of our series are comics, but we also publish prose with illustrations, audio dramas, and one-shot short stories in any format. All of them are bundled together in the magazine so our audience can get a taste of everything.
Sparkler Monthly is targeted at women and girls aged 15 and up, or anyone interested in that kind of material--like the genres shojo and josei in Japan. In addition to all our series, we run features, podcasts, and bonus stories to give our readers more bang for their buck, and to help build a community. Sparkler is about Lifestyle through Fiction, and between our forums, social media, and contests, we invite our audience to become a part of Sparkler--something that literally happens sometimes, since we also run periods of open submissions in search of new talent!
Regardless of genre, the core of Sparkler serials is emotional content--we want FEELS. Interesting characters, loaded relationships, and shocking cliffhangers. Anything that will make our readers scream!
Here's a small sampling:
Most of our content is free to read online, so head to sparklermonthly.com to start binge-reading right now!
Paying Sparkler Members don’t need to read their content online--they get DRM-free downloads of the new stuff a month or more before it’s released online, as well as special bonuses to download to their computers and e-readers. Our paying audience is both supporting our content, and downloading it to keep forever.
We have two types of memberships:
- Normal: Get DRM-free downloads of the current issue(s) a month before the pages are available online, all Member Exclusives (20 and counting!), and early releases of the Sparkler Podcast. See all downloads here!
- VIP: Everything in the normal membership, plus series-specific ebooks of everything running in the magazine (so you don't miss a back chapter), plus our entire steamy Cherry Bomb line. See all downloads here!
Our Cherry Bomb imprint is for our older readers (we recommend ages 17+), and features sexy side stories and art for a number of Sparkler serials. We're always adding new Cherry Bomb pieces, so VIP Members have unlimited downloads to the entire line, including anything we add during their membership!
After two years of running our magazine and releasing over a dozen books from it, we're proud of what we've built. We pay our creators advances, give them veteran editors, and release their work in a number of formats, all while keeping copyright in the creator’s names. In an era where we have an industry-wide push to support more women in comics, the vast majority of the Sparkler family is female--from the owners to the editors to the creators to the staff. We hire all genders, but we’re also proud that the female perspective is the norm here--not the exception.
But while our fantastic audience is growing, it still isn’t big enough to support the entire magazine yet. We’ve come to Kickstarter to try and meet a new audience and offer exciting bonuses to our existing supporters. Through this special Kickstarter, we can raise enough funds to ensure that Sparkler Monthly magazine runs for an entire third year--that’s 12 more issues, packed with the content our readers already know and love, along with new surprises and endless possibilities as we keep experimenting with formats and distribution. Help us have our best year yet!
In addition to continuing the great series running in Sparkler Monthly right now, we have special plans we’ve been saving for Year 3. As this Kickstarter runs through the month of July, we'll update this space with announcements of Year 3 goodies! :D
Day #1 announcement: We'll be expanding our Cherry Bomb line beyond Sparkler spin-offs...and we're proud to start with a completely original story written by Kate Leth of Power Up!, Edward Scissorhands, and Kate or Die! Coming in Year 3, prose with illustration, queer, recommended for ages 17+.
Day #8 announcement (Fri, Jul 3): [see full update with images] Jessica Chavez and Irene Flores will be returning in Year 3 to do a direct sequel to Dead Endings! That's right--prepare for more Cailen, Gabriella, and Everett chasing ghosts and getting caffeinated/drunk in Year 3 of Sparkler Monthly!
We're also proud to announce that the exclusive Sparkler desktop in this Kickstarter will be in the theme of Knights-Errant, and drawn by creator Jennifer Doyle. <3 We've also added SEVEN new creator tiers, including getting yourself drawn into the background of Knights-Errant, Orange Junk, or even Dead Endings Volume 2 (!), an original music commission from Sparkler's head audio director/composer Rebecca Scoble, and original art from Studio Kosen, Aiwa, and Denise Schroeder! Get some one-of-a-kind creations in your support of Sparkler Monthly!
Day #15 announcement (Fri, July 10): [see full update with images] Sparkler Monthly Issue #024, our final issue of Year 2, came out this week! It's 250+ pages long and over half color comics, making it our most elaborate issue yet. New to Sparkler? You can also download our free, 300-page Year 1 Sampler Issue right now to get a taste of what this magazine is like!
Day #22 announcement (Fri, July 17): [see full update with images] In Year 3, we'll be doing another special audio project: a self-contained Situation CD, an immersive format (popular in Japan) where voice actors speak directly to the listener and lead her through a story. Our Situation CD will be Bad Chemistry, a high school scenario where you, the listener, are trying to pass your science lab class with a grumpy (but handsome) lab partner...and romance starts to bloom! Rated 13+, 20-30 minutes in length. The lab partner will be voiced by our most popular actor Alex O'Shea (Travis in Awake, Jo in Tokyo Demons Audio) with character design by Tumblr superstar Johanna the Mad! And look at Johanna's WIP of this cutie:
Other updates this week include some deluxe graphics for our $125 ebook backlist tier and our $200 paperback backlist tier (to clarify the MOUNTAIN of stuff you get with those) as well as subtitles for our video, which you can see by clicking the "cc" button. If you want to support this Kickstarter with a widget for your blog, our wonderful web admin assistant Pachi has written up a how-to. And on the Sparkler site, up through Monday you can vote in the next round of the Tokyo Demons Dakimakura!
Day #29 announcement (Fri, July 24): [see full update with images]
This week, Sparkler joined the Hiveworks Hub as an official partner! Hiveworks, as both a publisher and a network, is the backbone of dozens of incredible webcomics you're probably already reading. We're thrilled and honored to work with them.
Our strangest (and most awesome?) project, spurred by our concurrent Membership Drive, continues! Since Kiyoshi and Sachi won their respective bouts, the Tokyo Demons dakimakura contest now has them head-to-head. Vote for your favorite of these two handsome dudes before polls close next Friday night!
Day #36 announcement (Fri, July 31): [see full update with images] We have three days and under $2,000 to go! We wanted to unveil some Year 3 Knights-Errant keychains by Jennifer Doyle that have been in the works:
If we happen to hit our first Stretch Goal of $22K in this last flurry of days, everyone at the $50+ tiers are getting one of these free, and everyone at the $100 and up tiers are getting BOTH free! See Stretch Goal section below for details.
This Kickstarter is to help fund another 12 issues of the magazine, but here’s the best part--Sparkler fiction comes in a lot of different packages, for whichever way you like to read. Hate reading on your computer at all? We also have paperbacks! And some of our fantastic readers and creators have joined our tiers to offer you special bonuses, original art, and even commissioned illustrations!
But first, a few notes:
- If you want to try our magazine without a year's commitment, or download content without waiting for this Kickstarter to end, we have other options and prizes in the Membership Drive on our site. Check it out for cheaper, quicker gratification that still helps fund Year 3!
- If you already have a Year's Membership to Sparkler but want to pledge here for Year 3, once this Kickstarter is over, we'll credit you back for the overlapping months with a gift card to the Sparkler Shop. Contact us here or at email@example.com with any questions.
- If you want to see the online discussion of this Kickstarter with our readers, visit the special thread in our forums!
And now, the Kickstarter tiers!
First stretch goal: $22,000
- For our creators: a 10% pay bump in their pre-Kickstarter page/chapter advances!
- For everyone: We'll be working directly with Jen Lee Quick on a brand-new Off*Beat story in audio drama format!
- For pledgers to this Kickstarter: Everyone who's pledged to a $50+ tier is getting a Knights-Errant keychain sent to them FREE (including free worldwide shipping), and $100+ tiers will get BOTH free! Look at these cuties:
Risks and challenges
We've run three successful publishing Kickstarters in the past, and our staff has stayed the same, although we've also expanded and welcomed new staff members to help things run more smoothly. There are always risks when you're a small operation, but we're all ready to do this for another year, if you'll have us. Fighto!
(If a backer is concerned now or in the future and isn't satisfied with updates here or at sparklermonthly.com, our editors can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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