the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘Kickstarter

As you all know by now, my Kickstarter for The Best of Little Red Reviewer did not fund.  Of the $5000 I was asking for, I was at less than $2000 when the campaign ended.

 

Those first 24 hours of the kickstarter were amazing! I was a “project we love” on Kickstarter.  Amazing people (you know who you are!) put in $50 or $100 right out of the gate to give me a good start. At work that day, I refreshed my phone incessantly, and didn’t know if I was going to happy cry or puke.  The last time I was this excited/happy/nervous for something was the day I got married.

 

My kickstarter didn’t fund, but I had an amazing experience, and more importantly  I have the best, kindest, most supportive friends in the world. All day on February 1st, my phone was blowing up with text messages, e-mails, twitter DMs, and phone calls from my friends saying how sorry they were that the KS didn’t fund.  Those messages? That support? People saying how much they cared about me and my project, and saying they hope I try it again? Those messages are worth more than $5000 could ever be worth.

 

My KS did not fund,  and I am not devastated.  The KS failed, but I did not.

 

Let me say that again:  I do not equate a kickstarter failure with a personal failure.  There were a lot of things I feel I did right, a lot of things I missed, and about a million things that I learned. I accomplished more than I expected. I have always viewed blogging as a journey, not a destination. The kickstarter was the most interesting, most intense, most emotional rollercoaster place I’ve ever been! Just doing it was an accomplishment I’m proud of.

 

Did I want it to fund? Yes.  Was I a little intimidated of what funding would mean, in reality? Absolutely.    Am I a little relieved that the stress is ending now, instead of months from now? Yeah, actually.

 

Do I still think this is a good idea? Oh hell yes.  Do I have a ton of work to do before I’m ready to go at it again? Oh hell yes.  I’m happy I did the kickstarter, I had an incredible experience. This was quite literally an experience of “what have I got to lose by trying this?” and the answer was nothing, so why not give it a try?

 

I have  a very long list of things I’m proud of accomplishing, and a rather shorter list of things that I will do differently next time, and a list of things I need to accomplish (some very easy, some more complicated) before I’m ready to go at this again. I won’t bore you with the lists, because they are very long. and boring.

 

One thing I will share with you about what I won’t do next time:  I won’t run a Kickstarter in January, during a polar vortex. Having a social media presence was made even harder when my daily commute was doubled from crappy driving conditions. What the hell possessed me to do this in freakin’ January??

 

Alright my friends, I have a lot of e-mails and message to return.  I love you all, the public support you’ve given me these last few months means more to me than you can ever know.  I had described this kickstarter as a viability test: are book reviews viable outside the internet? Are pixels on a screen worth becoming ink on a page? And the answer I got was “not yet”.   Which means one day, the answer will be yes.

 

Until then, it’s back to book blogging!

 

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Hello!   I am at ConFusion Science Fiction Convention this weekend,  mingling with my nerdfamily, making new friends, and wearing a sticker on my shirt that says “Ask Me About My Kickstarter!”.

if you are visiting Little Red Reviewer for the first time because we just met at  ConFusion,  Welcome!  This website is eight years of what I’ve read, what I’ve enjoyed, what I didn’t enjoy, and more. To meet the Andrea from eight years ago, use the archive thingy on the right side of the screen (I have no idea what that will look like on mobile, by the way) to travel back to 2011 or 2010.  To meet today’s Andrea, just keep scrolling down, or hit up the Review Index in the menu.

Obligatory Promo Post

I am Kickstarting The Best of Little Red Reviewer,  a print book of my best book reviews. I am super excited about this project,  can’t wait to hit my funding goal!  Backer reward start at $5,  you can get the print book for a pledge of only $15 (plus shipping), and there are some really cool backer rewards starting at $35.  The cool stuff is going really fast, btw.

Here is a link to the Kickstarter page.  I am super cute and dorky in the video. #justsaying

Click here for more info that you ever wanted about the project, and links to all the guest posts and interviews I have done about it.

Thank you for stopping by!

 

Remember those tweets about a sooper seekrit project I was working on? Did you get a “you may be right, I may be crazy” e-mail from me?

Well, I can finally talk about it, and you can too!

 

In January of 2019, I’ll be running a Kickstarter for a print book of The Best of Little Red Reviewer. This volume will contain my best reviews of the last eight years. I’m excited and kind of terrified!

 

Currently,  my reviews exist only on this website. When the internet evolves into something new, when blogging is no longer a thing, my work will cease to exist. But will it cease to have value? This kickstarter is a viability project to see not only if my reviews have value outside the internet, but if the products of the blogosphere have value outside the internet.

The Best of Little Red Reviewer started out as a crazy 3am idea, and when I told a few people about it, they didn’t think it was crazy at all.  So I figured, why not?

The Best of Little Red Reviewer will contain the work I’m most proud of. It will be a reflection of who I am as a reviewer. Can you find all that same stuff on my blog? Of course you can. Have you scrolled through my review index lately? Good luck figuring which reviews are worth reading.

 

I will be asking for $5000 to cover the costs of copy editing, interior book layout & design, cover art, printing, and shipping supplies. There might even be a few hundred bucks in there for a snazzy Kickstarter video.

a pledge of $15 gets you the print book.

pledges of $35 will get you things like a customized book, or writing the introduction to your favorite review.

Until the end of January I’ll be all over the internet talking about this project and asking you to pledge your $15 or your $35 or your whatever to help make The Best of Little Red Reviewer a thing that exists!

 

I’ll be posting all over the place over the next two months to promote this project. If you like my blog, but really don’t want to hear about this project, this is your cue to mute me on twitter and unsubscribe to my blog updates.

 

See that fancy new “The Best of LRR Kickstarter!” tab up top?  As I do guest posts and interview and other fun promotion posts, I’ll link to them on that page.   Updates posted to the Kickstarter site, will also be posted to that page.

 

I’m excited.

I’m terrified.

What if this is a terrible idea?

What if is a brilliant idea, it funds beyond my wildest dreams, and suddenly I have 50 boxes of books being delivered to my apartment? (Dear delivery guy: I’m sorry!)

What if this starts a trend of other bloggers doing the same thing with their best work?  (actually,  that sounds like the best thing ever)

 

 

 

As of the writing of this blog post, The Apex Publications “Do Not Go Quietly” Kickstarter is just shy of 70% funded, with 15 days to go.  Jason and Lesley have let me annoy them with e-mails and tweets and Q&A’s.  I have to admit, I am fascinated not only by this particular kickstarter project, but by the behind the scenes of crowdfunding in general.  This is the fourth (fifth? I’ve lost count) Kickstarter that Apex has done, so crowdfunding projects must be fun!

 

Well past the 50% funded mark, the DNGQ project is now open to unsolicited submissions, through Sept 19th. They are looking for stories of Resistance. Of Revolution. Of standing up and demanding to have your space, your say, your right to be. Even if it means pissing people off.

 

Looking for some inspirational music? On the DNGQ blog is a Playlist of Resistance with more suggestions and music links in the comments.

 

But you came here to hear what Jason and Lesley have to say about resistance, voting, this anthology, and kickstarter, right?   Onward!

 

Andrea:  You’ve got voting information on the Do Not Go Quietly Blog. Um, why?
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Jason: Lesley and I aren’t violent people. We certainly appreciate the sentiment behind punching neo-Nazis, but we don’t want to endorse any action that would see someone be harmed (particularly those who aren’t neo-Nazis). The simplest and most pain free way to resist in a democracy is to vote the assholes out. We want you to use your power to cast a ballot for those who are not racist, who does not suffer xenophobia, and discriminates against religion.
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Lesley: Jason’s right. The best way to fight back and to resist is to be knowledgeable of what is going on in politics. So many people seem to feel like their vote doesn’t matter, like they can’t make a change by going, but that isn’t true. I would encourage everyone to pay attention. Know who your representatives are and what they stand for. If they don’t represent your beliefs or are actively trying to take away the rights of people they’re supposed to be representing, VOTE THEM OUT. The fastest way to get the attention of people in power is to take that power away when they abuse it.
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Andrea: I am LOVING this cover art by Marcela Bolívar! What else can you tell us about her? Will she be creating any more artwork for this project?


. Read the rest of this entry »

You like anthologies of all original fiction, yes?

You think Kickstarter is cool, Yes?

Oh, are you going to love this!

My most excellent friends at Apex Book Company, Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner, have launched their Kickstarter for a new anthology of original fiction about resistance and revolution. Called “Do Not Go Quietly”, the anthology is already nearly 50% funded!

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This is an all or nothing deal, which means when the funding is reached, the anthology happens with a table of contents that includes Seanan McGuire, Catherynne M. Valente, Rebecca Roanhorse, Sheree Renee Thomas, A. Merc Rustad, Maurice Broaddus, Cassandra Khaw, Laird Barron, Karin Lowachee, Rich Larson, Fran Wilde, and more.  For those of you keeping count,  I’ve just listed authors who have won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, World Fantasy, Prix Aurora, Mythopeoic, Andre Norton,  and Shirley Jackson awards, and I’ve not even gotten through the entire Table of Contents yet.

 

Click here to visit the Do Not Go Quietly Kickstarter page to learn more about the project and all the amazing authors who are involved so far. Even if you have no intention of supporting this project, click on the link anyways, just to watch the kick ass video.

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Lesley and Jason were kind enough to take me behind the scenes of this project, and if I’m really lucky, they’ll let me ask them another set of questions! What questions do you have?  Leave ’em in the comments, maybe you’ll see the answer posted later this month!

Not interested in kickstarter, but interested in some of the essays that are being published around this anthology? No problem, there is a Do Not Go Quietly Blog with everything you’re looking for, including information on voting.

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Andrea: What made you decide to create this anthology? I imagine it took a while to get this group of authors together, explain to them what you were doing. Had you already been working on this for a while before you started the Kickstarter?

Lesley: Jason and I have known that we wanted to edit another anthology together, but coming up with just the right theme took a while. After the last presidential election we saw a lot of people we care about feeling scared and unsure about the world around them. Things … have not gotten better since then. That’s where the initial inspiration for Do Not Go Quietly came from. We want to put together an anthology that will energize people, that will lift them up and encourage them to stand up for their rights and fight back against those trying to take them away.

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Coming up with the list of contributors who we would solicit stories from wasn’t as hard as you might think! Separately, Jason and I made lists of authors we felt would be a good fit – authors we know are not only amazing writers, but who we felt would have a unique voice and standpoint on the theme. Resistance, revolution. This isn’t a single-sided issue. There are a lot things going on not only here in the United States, but around the world. We aren’t looking to put together an anthology that only represents one issue or one viewpoint. Resistance is complex and nuanced, and we’re hoping that once the anthology is complete, it will be represent that complexity.

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So we started with two lists and then put them together so we had one GIGANTIC list of fantastic writers we would love to have on board. From there we had to narrow it down, try to put together a mix that was diverse in viewpoints and voice, but that would fit well together to become a cohesive whole. After that, we sent out invites, explaining the project. Not everyone we approached said yes, but I’m incredibly proud of the list of contributors we have onboard for the project.

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Andrea: What are some of the stretch goals in the kickstarter? I heard a rumor that there are . . . patches?

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Lesley: There are patches! But you don’t have to wait for the stretch goals to get one! We’re sending out “I Will Not Go Quietly” patches to every backer who backs at the $15 trade paperback level and above! I know, I’m awfully excited about patches, but I’m a Girl Scout leader! Patches go along with a lot of things that I do. So that was one of the very first things that I wanted to make sure we got when coming up with goodies to pack into the reward tiers.

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Lynne and Michael Thomas

Ya’ll know Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, right? Even if you’re not sure if you know who they are, I’ll  bet you know their work. Editors of Apex Magazine, Chicks Dig Time Lords, Glitter and Mayhem, Queers Dig Time Lords, among others, it’s no surprise these two amazingly talented editors have a brand new project up their sleeve.

Lynne and Michael were kind enough to answer a few of my questions about their newest venture, Uncanny Magazine, which they are funding the first year of via a Kickstarter campaign.

uncanny logo

 

LRR: Your newest venture is called Uncanny Magazine.  Tell us all about it!

L & M: We’re a professional Science Fiction and Fantasy online magazine, dedicated to sharing the kinds of work that stays with you after you’ve read it. We think that the best Science Fiction and Fantasy literature combines strong characterization, elegant prose, and diverse voices from around the world. We love stories that make us feel.

LRR: How did you decide that now was the time to start a new speculative fiction magazine?

L & M: Well, we stepped down from Apex Magazine due to our daughter’s major surgery in January of this year. She’s completed her recovery, and we felt ready to get back into the industry that means so much to us.

LRR:  You are currently doing a kickstarter to fund the first year of the magazine. When can readers expect the first issue, and will readers who missed out on the kickstarter still be able to subscribe or purchase single issues?

L & M: We plan for our first issue to go to backers and subscribers at the beginning of November. Readers who missed out on the Kickstarter after it closes August 28th will still be able to subscribe or purchase single issues, hopefully through all of the major online ebook retailers (we’re just beginning to work on that now, but we’ve already committed to working with Weightless Books (http://weightlessbooks.com/) for example.)

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julie dillon taking flight cropped

“Taking Flight”

Wanna hear this month’s best news? Of course you do!

One of my favorite artists, Julie Dillon, is making an artbook! Her Kickstarter for Imagined Realms: Book 1 was fully funded during it’s first week! It contains 10 all new pieces of fantasy artwork!

ok, that’s three really good pieces of news.  Also, you should totally head over to her Kickstarter page, and if you like what you see, put your  money where your mouth is and get yourself a copy of her book (and one of the print packs!).  If you can’t tell, I’m pretty excited about this.  I’ve been seeing Julie’s artwork here and there for a few years now, and it was always her images that pulled me in, asked me to trace the outlines, to triangulate where the person would be next so I could meet them there, to find something new in the piece every time I looked at it. Her artwork is full of movement and colors that stretch the spectrum, and characters that are yearning, reaching, and guiding. An opportunity to have some of her artwork in my home? To financially support her venture to create more of these visual anthems? Shut up and take my money.

Julie was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about Imagined Realms Book 1, and that there is so much more going on here than just a kickstarter about selling some artbooks.  Artwork can be and is so much more than just a cover on your book, frame on your wall, or a desktop background on your computer.  Let’s get to the discussion, shall we?

"Sun Shepherdess"

“Sun Shepherdess”

LRR: As I’m writing these interview questions, your Kickstarter has crashed through it’s first stretch goal of $20,000.  What made you decide to go the Kickstarter route for Imagined Realms, and do you have any advice for people looking to Kickstart a project?
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J.D.: Originally I was going to attempt to do it without the Kickstarter, and just take a chance with printing up a bunch of books and putting them up for sale. But that got progressively more cost prohibitive and risky, since I didn’t know how many books to get or how many people would want them. A kickstarter started to make more sense in terms of getting funding together. Plus, a Kickstarter campaign would let me gauge how much actual interest there was. I could print as many books as were ordered, rather than making a guess and hoping I didn’t print too many or too few. That said, setting up and running a Kickstarter has been a lot of work in itself, more than I’d even anticipated. I find myself just wishing it was done already so I could get on with things.

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My main piece of advice is that you really need to have a marketing and publicity plan. In my case, I have a modest following, and friends and industry connections who were able to help me out by spreading the word. I also got lucky getting features on major websites like Tor.com, TheMarySue.com, and io9.com. Some people have even bigger followings and do exceedingly well, and others don’t have enough of a reach yet and have a hard time gaining traction. Make sure you have a product people actually want, and a way to reach people who might want to buy it.

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"Scholars' Tower"

“Scholars’ Tower”

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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