About this project
As a member of the Kicking It Forward movement (http://kickingitforward.org) I will donate 5% of all profits from sales of Stray to Kickstarter projects by other creators.
Here we are so quickly.
A year ago, I self-published a dystopian fantasy novel called Mutt. Since the day it went live, I’ve been working to promote it in every way possible—giving free copies to local coffee shops, vandalizing several cities throughout the mid-Atlantic with stickers, copying the first page and leaving it places for people to find, and of course managing the whole suite of social networks that constitute an independent artist's real presence. I've received some awesome blog reviews from some super awesome people, and customer reviews for the book are overwhelmingly positive. And in the past two months, I’ve seen an amazing boom in distribution—in October and the first half of November, I’ve gone from 200 readers to 1,500.
There’s another thing I’ve been working on this whole time: since before Mutt was even published, I’ve been writing a sequel called Stray. Stray is a bigger book (100 pgs longer), early readers say it’s a better book, and it’s just about ready to share with you.
What's this book all about?
Mutt, if you haven't read it, is set in a distant future where most of humanity has died out and the survivors are building a new civilization from the remnants of the old. Like many civilizations, it's a divided one, and the book centers on that division and the people who try to circumvent it. The protagonist is Emery, a student inside the affluent city of Rittenhouse who harbors refugees from outside it. When a boy named Timothy comes to Emery with a fatal illness, the two embark on a dangerous errand to secure the medicine he needs.
[SPOILERS for Mutt's ending] Stray opens a few months after Mutt’s final chapter. Emery, still coping with the loss of a friend, is to build a new route into Rittenhouse when he hears word of dealings between the city’s black markets and the crime lord Leon Zakarova outside—dealings that, if intercepted, could provide a wealth of the medicine he has struggled to secure. For Emery, the search is a chance at redemption; for those around him, his boundless determination is becoming dangerous. [/SPOILER]
While the action of Mutt was focused outside Rittenhouse, Stray takes a deeper look at the world within the walls. Expect a larger cast of characters, more mystery, more adventure, and more "preemptive defense tactics."
Mutt was published out-of-pocket, and while support for the book has been awesome, I’ve had a lot more free ebook downloads than actual sales. The money from your pledges will fund a number of crucial steps in publishing the book. First, It’ll cover the entire first pressing of books--as well as the cover art so the illustration for Stray doesn't end up like my concept art for Mutt...
And maybe most importantly, it’ll help me hire a publicist to promote Stray and take the saga to a new level. Right now my publishing company is me at Good Karma talking into a microphone on my laptop (I do this in many public places and get many priceless looks). Almost everyone who’s read Mutt has loved it, and I believe that with enough visibility, the series is going to go stratospheric.
And here's a visual map of the incentive packages (SHIPPING INCLUDED for all packages that require it):
Thanks in advance for backing Stray! The success of this project rides on your support.
Risks and challenges
The key challenge of running a one-man publishing house is that everything comes back to me. I can outsource certain tasks insofar as I can afford to, but ultimately, the success or failure of the book is my sole responsibility.
Thus far, this has also applied to promoting and publicizing the release. I've labored for a year to get Mutt out there and am just beginning to see results from that effort. With Stray, I want to hire someone who does publicity professionally and whose reach is substantially greater than mine. With Mutt, the challenge has always been getting the book to readers; having accomplished that, I've always been pleased with their response to it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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