Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Announcement 1- "Self Publishing"
I have made the executive decision to self publish Heroes in the Night. Actually, self publish isn't entirely accurate. I will be working with a small, local publication house called Currents, inc. This company publishes the Riverwest Currents, a small community newspaper. They have been publishing the paper almost ten years now and gave yours truly many of his first gigs. They have a lot of social capital and experience, but things have always been rough for them financially. Most print media is crumpling up so just the fact that they are hanging in there is amazing. They are going to help me produce the book and I am raising funds to publish it through the site Kickstarter. More on that in a moment.
The reason I have gone this route is my interactions with agents and publishers haven't been fulfilling. Some of them just don't "get it." One agent told me he liked the book, but wanted me to completely rewrite the narrative and feature no more than five RLSHs in the book. The other day I walked through a Borders bookstore and kind of had a panic attack looking at all the crap on the shelves- teenie bopper vampire books and cat joke books- who wants to negotiate with people who produce that?!
I'd rather do it my way, creative control means a lot to me. That will insure that the exact book that I want to happen will happen. So that is the advantage of self publishing. The disadvantage is that it is A LOT of work. Fortunately, I've been assembling a X-Men style team to help me for awhile now.
This team includes editor Jan Christensen who is also the editor of the Riverwest Currents. She is going crazy with the red ink, correcting spelling, grammar, and continuity errors. Graphic designer J. Jason Groschopf is doing the entire lay out for the book. Besides the writing, I want Heroes in the Night to be very visually dynamic. It will almost be like a fun to read textbook. Comic book artist David Beyer, Jr. will be contributing some comic book style illustrations to the book, and there will be a lot of great photos from a variety of photographers including Peter Tangen, Paul Kjelland, and Pierre-Elie de Pibrac. Videographer Matthew Miller has been helping make promotional videos. I also have a team of two lawyers reading the entire book, a book keeper, someone working on a more official looking website, and for the last team member I'm looking for someone to handle my least favorite job- PR/ publicity.
These people are all doing work for free or at a discounted rate, but there still are expenses. It is impossible to think a quality job in producing a 250-300 page book is going to happen for nothing. I have to pay the lay out guys something, I have to pay the lawyers, I need a small budget for PR, etc., etc. I added this up and it came to approx. 8,000 dollars. I also want to do a large enough print run that I will have some copies to send out to people, including reviewers, as well as a stock to sell online and at bookstores, which will fund a second print run.
Matthew Miller pointed me in the direction of Kickstarter, a website that helps people raise funding for their projects (they take a 5% fee)- Kickstarter approved my project and today is day 1 of 35 days of fund raising. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing affair, you either get all of the funding or you get zip.
There are several levels people can donate at, with different incentives. I think the most sensible one is Level 2, which is basically just preordering the book.
Well, that is all I have to say on it now. I will have more announcements that I will be making this week, namely about the charity I am partnered with and some details on the book itself. I will also be writing about some of the books I've used to research my own.
I will be updating this blog with content as much as possible over the next month.
HERE IS THE LINK TO THE HEROES IN THE NIGHT KICKSTARTER PAGE
Bonus feature: Video of me speaking awkwardly about the project!
Please pass it on if you feel inclined.