This has been a long time coming, but finally I’ve launched a Kickstarterr funding campaign to publish my novel, Lunar Dust, Martian Sands, and its audio short-story prequel, Shalbatana Solstice.
I’ve been leading up to this for a while. In fact, for the novel, it’s been years. I believe now the timing is right, both in terms of technology and marketability of e-books, which makes distribution incredibly easy, and a better acceptance of books in general published by indie publishers. You can go to the Martian Sands project site on Kickstarter to find details about the campaign. Basically, I have a month to raise $6,000 to fund publication of the novel and production of the audio short story.
It will be a challenge, since you don’t just put up the project and people come running to give you money. If only….
A business article I wrote for an online service noted that most start-ups get their funding from the Three Fs – friends, family, and foolhardy strangers. Creative projects depend on the same Fs. But there has to be a passion for creating the project that drives someone to ask friends, family and strangers to give money for it. That’s the first hurdle.
I do have a passion for writing. That’s how I’ve made my living, some years more successfully than others. And while I’ve been a journalist too long to ever to leave those roots, I’ve also had a passion to write fiction. Not necessarily science fiction. There’s a book in my head that’s clamoring to come out, a book that has nothing to do with sci-fi. I just need to carve out some time to write it.
But science fiction has taken up most of my fiction reading, and a desire to write it. I did find time a few years back to spend a few months at a house on a northern Michigan lake to write Lunar Dust, Martian Sands. It’s been a complex journey from then until this point.
When it is published, I will publicize it here, as well as publicize Shalbatana Solstice. And I’m still looking for more sci-fi writers to at least produce a list of affiliate sales links to their works. I have a few, but it’s not very long, yet. For now, I just have the Amazon links based on that company’s criteria. I want to do better than that.
It’s important that science fiction writers, particularly those who are writing this style of science fiction that actually remembers science exists, support each other through their websites. I think some of our best marketing efforts are to surround our works with others written in the same genre or sub-genre. That’s why I made MartianSands.com not simply about my own books.
Once I gritted my teeth and decided to ask people for money in a public campaign, I faced a second hurdle of putting myself on camera explaining why they should contribute. There’s an old joke in media circles about having a face made for radio. I have a voice made for newspapers.
Speaking into a camera was extremely hard. I had to go from a script, even though the spiel was short, and in my first tries I’d start, “Hi, my name is…’ then look down at the script, “…Tom Chmielewski.” Like I forgot my own name!? And half the time, I’d stumble over it. Ok, maybe that doesn’t seem surprising, but it’s an easy name to pronounce. No, really.
I ended up with a good video by putting myself in front of the camera as briefly as possible, and used the help of a couple of friends, one narrating the opening of Lunar Dust, Martian Sands, the other singing part of a song he recorded for the short story. It’s a good song, too. Go hear it.
If you like it, maybe you’re one of the Fs I’m looking for.