Hi, I'm Doyce Testerman.
You may already know about me and my book — Hidden Things, published by HarperCollins — and if so, you've already met Calliope Jenkins and Vikous and you know about the things that lurk somewhere just past the corner of your eye and the back of your mind.
Just in case you haven't, please come over and visit me at doycetesterman.com, or check out Amazon's page on Hidden Things, where you can read about the book in some detail and find out what other readers like you thought of the story. Welcome!
On the other hand, if you are already familiar with the world of Hidden Things, you're probably more interested in what we have going on right here, right now, so...
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE PROJECT
Hidden Things was first published in 2012, but it did not release with an accompanying audiobook version.
I want to change that, and thanks to the fantastic people at HarperCollins (who graciously returned the audio rights to me), I can now proudly announce the Hidden Things audiobook, to be read by the author, available DRM-free, and released on as many platforms and formats as possible in the first half of 2014.
This project has a few simple goals that we want to deliver to you at the highest quality possible. They are:
- A Hidden Things audiobook, read by the author, professionally produced, with a cool new cover.
- Distribution of the audiobook on as many platforms and formats as possible.
- Distribution DRM-free whenever and wherever possible, to ensure the widest possible accessibility for listeners.
- [If we hit our stretch goals] New Hidden Things stuff – new stories, new audio versions of those stories, and ultimately a bigger, weirder world.
Here's what that's going to look like.
Hidden Things, the Podcast
First, the Hidden Things audiobook will be released as a serial-broadcast-style podcast, for free, under a Creative Commons license. Each podcast will be approximately ten to twenty minutes in length (whatever makes the most sense for that section of the story) and will come out every Tuesday and Thursday.
So, right from the outset, there will be a DRM-free audio version of the story coming out. As a backer at any level, you’ll get immediate notification when one of the twice-weekly podcasts goes up, which will let you experience the Hidden Things story as something like a serial drama (albeit with only one reader).
Hidden Things Six-Packs
Every few weeks during the podcast schedule, we will release “six-pack collections” of the broadcasts, reformatted into single file with the individual podcast introductions removed. These will be made available on as many formats and platforms as possible, for as low a price as we can manage without losing money to the distribution costs.
The goal of the Six-Packs is to give our listeners another way to match the story with their listening preferences: 10 to 20 minute podcasts might be great for someone with short daily commutes, but an hour or two could easily be a better fit for others.
Hidden Things Audiobook
Those backing at the Hidden Things Audiobook level or above will (in addition to everything already mentioned) receive the complete audiobook several months before it becomes publicly available.
WHERE IS THE FUNDING GOING?
Everything I’ve already mentioned is part of the baseline funding level for this project: $1200, which we’ve determined will pay everyone involved and maintain the best possible production levels. The breakdown of resources looks like this:
For me, this is a pretty big project. If I were funding it entirely on my own, I'd have to make cuts to the scope of the project in terms of distribution platforms and formats. (I'm not willing to cut down on audio production.) By using Kickstarter, I'll be able to deliver the audiobook exactly as I envision, and involve all of you throughout the process.
(Or: "What if we get overfunded?")
I want to avoid a problem I see with many Kickstarter projects: the project gets significantly more money than expected, the creators drastically increase the scope of the basic project, and the production schedule slides out by months or more. (Worse, some projects underestimate how much a new feature will cost, and run out of money before they fulfill their promises.)
So, while I've laid out stretch goals (see below for details), I want to make sure that they in no way affect the delivery schedule for the core product: Hidden Things in podcast, Six-Pack, and full audiobook form.
Each stretch goal introduces a separate "mini-project" — self-contained, and thus incapable of hurting our schedule.
Check out the video for more detail, but the short list of stretch goals includes:
- The Little Things short story collection — text and audio.
- "The Hidden Things in Hidden Things" audio recording.
- A Hidden Things novella, The Summer After Amy — text and audio.
- A themed short story anthology, The Nine Mile Store — text and audio.
Now, while I won't allow any of these to have a negative effect on the audiobook itself, I'd be very happy to meet these stretch goals.
The reason is simple: Every one of these goals means new stories, audiobook versions of those new stories, and in some cases even bringing in other writers. In short, it means I get to play around in the Hidden Things world some more.
Best of all, I get to involve all of you.
THIS IS WHAT YOU DO
Think about a project that creates cool stuff, and puts it out into the world in a way that improves the connection between the creator and the reader, instead of hurting it.
Imagine being a part of that.
Take a look at the backer options on the sidebar, and decide what you want to do.
Watch out for the Hidden Things.
Risks and challenges
Every project obviously has some risks and challenges, and this project is no exception. I have a full-time job, three kids, two dogs, other writing projects, and a faculty commitment to the Whidbey Island Writers Conference, so I'll be undertaking this project in what is laughably referred to as my "free time."
Am I worried? I am not.
All of that might give someone else pause, and sure, there is the chance we could run into unexpected snares and holdups during production, but to be honest, managing multiple deadlines and commitments describes most of my adult life.
For me, this project just sounds like a normal day.
More than that, it sounds like FUN.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)