One in Blue, the Other Green: Kickstarter Plans

© Scarlett Rugers
© Scarlett Rugers

With shipments of Beyond the Stars Beneath the Sea and A Star Filled Sea hopefully going out this week, I’m calling both Kickstarters to a close. This means I can finally sit back and take a moment to celebrate production, the beauty of the print copies and the art. The fact my spare room is now a place to sleep and not stash boxes of books and rolls of brown packing paper.

Most of the time I do my Kickstarters while manic. This isn’t great from an organisational point of view and mania tends to break any ability (which isn’t much to start with) I have with basic mathematics. As maths goes, next to PE, it was possibly my worst subject and I freely admit it. I’ve worked out I’m going to need about £2250 to get the project done. This is before any art and breaks down like this:

Screenshot 2016-06-12 18.24.21

I did have one plan which occurred to me, not just as a smart bonus but also as a cheap one. I could, quite easily, bundle my Zoe story Sweetness in Sorrow, at the back of OiB, tOG. The two stories intersect, with each protagonist appearing in the other’s tale, plus Sweetness has already been edited and published as part of BTSBTS. That means, aside from making the print copy a tiny bit heavier, there are no extra costs involved aside from the cost of the physical copies, which is something I can budget for.

The added bonus is people get an extra story and I can use it as the kick-off point for the relaunched Kickstarter for A World of Strange New Things (of which Sweetness is the first part). It’ll be easy enough to add in a custom Kickstarter link and time the relaunch to coincide with the physical release.

 © Scarlett Rugers
© Scarlett Rugers

My current task is, of course, to offically being my two active Kickstarters to a conclusion. This is, however, a given as I’m this close to shipping out. I’ve labelled all the labels, asked those who haven’t given me their addresses to do so. There will be, perhaps, one or two people who never get in touch. That makes me sad, especially as my autism means I like to make sure people get what what they pay for.

But there we go. I’ve done my best.

OiB, tOG is my nerxt choice for crowdfunding because it’s short and self-contained. It’s also the prequel to the final book in the Changing of the Sun trilogy and helps open up the modern period of the Ashteraiverse. It’s ultimately the story of two sisters and the problem with prophecy; as Harry Potter and Cersei Lannister learned, the moment you find yourself embroiled in one, it’s like being tied up in knots. The trick isn’t to escape, however, it’s took look for wriggle room.

Elyn is an old soul who remembers. That’s her gift. It’s not going to make her life easier, especially when her mother, Dene, the Mother of Visions, foresaw her wearing the blue of the Aian Order. Her twin sister, Kana, wearing the green of Ishvei’s priests. Of course, all her elder sibling wants is her ‘rightful’ place and the power it brings. Elyn, on the other hand, will become Regent of the Grear Kishai but she would rather run to Earth than live anywhere near Kana.

Along the way, Elyn will carve a life for herself. She will love, have a daughter and become the leader of a city’s alien population. But there will also come a day when she will have to look her sister in the eye and deal with their mother’s prophecy.

OiB, tOG is about 76k, so let’s say 80k once I’ve finished doing revisions. The novel itself is complete and will need editing, it’s something to think about Kickstarting, probably around August. This means I can hopefully have it done and with my backers by November.

This gives me plenty of time to redo the Kickstarter project page, do a video and what not. I’d love to get it done in time for a pre-Winter Kickstarter for World, even if it doesn’t start being serialised until January. At least I now have a plan for the second half of the year.

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Reconciling With Myself

Screenshot 2016-02-02 16.37.21
Betwixt and Between: Scarlett is updating the cover of A Star Filled Sea.

Scarlett, my awesome designer, is in the middle of updating the cover of A Star Filled Sea for me so I can get the final ebook and print versions to my ever-patient backers. I’m woefully behind but the edits on the manuscript won’t take too long, it’s just a matter of sitting down and doing them, then sending it off to Polgarus.

Except I’ve been trying to reconcile my past self with my new persona in the form of trying to decide if I need to update The Whispers in the Desert, The Changing of the Sun, The Parting of the Waters, Beyond the Stars Beneath the Sea and republish them under my new name. I’ve decided not too for two reasons: it’s a bit of work (aka, right now, I cannot be arsed, though this may change) and I wasn’t Asha when I wrote them. Going forward, everything including the Ashteraiverse novels will be published under my new name beginning with Star. This includes any short stories I publish or sell, any other series I write and by the end of the year Asha Bardon will become my legal name (and I can’t wait!)

I’m not burying Lesley, I’m just not her anymore but mine is an interesting quandary. When I have the time, I may well update the novels to reflect a unified brand but at this point it doesn’t really matter (especially as I have a number of short stories up on Amazon under ‘Lesley Smith’).

The thing is she’s not quite done yet. Last year I had five manic episodes, at least three bouts of depression and don’t even get started on my Generalised Anxiety Disorder. But, thanks to upping my meds, for the first time this year I feel in control. I’m taking steps to sort out my debt (which is going to take me the better part of the year to clear) and I realise now I over-reached myself with the Kickstarters. My intentions were good, my planning and budgeting not so much.

The good news is A Star Filled Sea will be going to layout this week and then I can order proofs, order in BTSBTS and get everything shipped off, hopefully by the end of March. It shouldn’t cost me more than £500 at most (worst case scenaro) and I’ll be glad when it’s done, if only as fulfilling orders calms me. I know people will be getting their books and that I’ve done what I promised. At the same time I’m taking steps to deal with the financial consequences of promising people things without thinking about the physical costs or not budgeting with enough wiggle room.

I suppose, at least, I won’t do this again. I’m lucky in that I have a good credit score and still have options for, at the very least, not being saddled with interest on my credit card repayments. So, for now, I’m focusing on finishing thing,

Then … I don’t know. I want to do more Kickstarters but the stress aggrevates my condition. Part of me just wants to spend this year writing and go from there but, at the same time, I want to be productive and so stuff. I want to get more books into the world, though it seems Asha is more of a short story writer than Lesley ever was.

So, for now, at least I have things to focus on.

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