Friday, November 30, 2012

Kickstarter Kicks Off Tomorrow!

Well folks, we've come a long ways from where I was last year. I had 55,555 words of garbled story, written in 30 days with a full time job. Now, I have a book, beginning to end. There are many words, I cannot tell you exactly how many will be included in the book, but there will be between 55,555 and 100,000 words.

This story has taken over a year and a half of writing, planning, and drawing, and we're just about there.

Starting Friday, November 30th at midnight through December 31st at 11:59 pm, I will be running a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter to fund the production of my illustrated novel, Vicious Sun. The goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000. The more I can raise, the better quality of a book I can produce. In case you're interested, I wrote a few descriptions of things below.

What is Vicious Sun about?

Vicious Sun is  novel that centers around three dragons and their attempts to right the desecration of the true magic system by rogue dragons. This is book one of three, and there is plenty of high-flying action and adventure throughout!
The story takes place on a world called Triskai, and one of the main things to note is that Triskai has no humans. All of the characters in the book are dragons, and it's all from a dragon's point of view.

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website that allows people to create projects (such as novels) that others can choose to fund in return for rewards. Kickstarter is an all or nothing deal, if I don't make the minimum amount ($10,000) I need, I don't receive any funds.

What are you going to do with all that money?

The money I raise from the Kickstarter will be used towards the publication of my book. Here's a basic list of things donations will cover-

Book Printing
Purchase of a block of ISBNs
Backer Rewards
Kickstarter Fees
Emergency Buffer
Self-employment taxes
A salary so that I can focus on writing as a full-time occupation
Laying the groundwork to publish the whole series

So, what are these rewards I keep hearing about?

In addition to the ebook, paperback copy, and limited-edition hardcover copy, backers will be able to choose reward tiers that include-

Prints/posters/collectors cards
Signed original art featured in the book
Original custom art pieces

What do you mean by "illustrated novel"? Are you putting two pictures in and calling it good?

Illustrated novel means that I will be including at least one illustration per chapter, so there will be a bare minimum of 30 internal illustrations. As the amount of money I raise increases, I will be able to include more illustrations per chapter, and one full illustration per section (about 10 pieces). The stretch goals will be listed below.

What are your Stretch Goals? (aka what do you do with all the extra money you've raised?)

I have a long list of stretch goals for this project, and some of the possible upgrades for the book are quite fantastic.

$10,000 - Funded - You guys are awesome. Keep spreading the word!

$12,500 - An extra short story will be added to all versions of the book along with an additional 2 page internal illustration.

$15,000 - This is where the real fun begins. At 15k, I can afford a Wacom Cintiq Tablet which will enable me to more quickly produce digital art. All hardcover books will include 10 black and white full art pages and all backers will receive an additional Kickstarter exclusive art postcard. Backers at the $50 level and above will receive a color version of the eBook with color versions of the new illustrations.

$20,000 - All backers at the $10 and higher will receive both ebooks - one in black and white and the other featuring the color illustrations available in the hardcover version of the book. Backers at the $50 level and above will receive a small print of their choice from the new illustrations, and  2 new reward levels will be unlocked, one including a poster detailing the Marc system of Magic used in the novel and the other containing a surprise reward to be revealed if this stretch goal is hit.

$25,000 - Extra illustrations unlocked! Each chapter will contain a minimum of 2 illustrations and the 10 black and white illustrations will be printed as color illustrations in the hardcover edition of the book! Paperbacks will receive black and white versions of these illustrations, and will also include the 10 illustrations from the $15,000 level in black and white.

$30,000 - Triple illustration! Each chapter will contain a minimum of 3 illustrations and a full-color section of extras will be added to the hardcover (a total of at least 20 color pages). Paperbacks will receive black and white versions of these illustrations.

If we exceed $30,000, there will be more stretch goals. This project will fly high, and we may even be able 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My thoughts on Black Friday

For those of you who don't know, I worked in retail for over 7 years across a variety of stores. The only time that I did not work a black Friday was my last year in retail, but for those other 6 years I braved the insanity of the retail centers and went off to work. It wasn't really that bad, except some of the customers at the first place I worked at. They were less than fun to deal with, even less so during the holidays.

But to be honest, it wasn't that horrible, back in the days of working at 5 am for the ten people who had been waiting since midnight to get a few items for a couple dollars cheaper.

Nowadays, I'm no longer working retail, but I've seen so many commercials that I felt I had to speak out. When you're working retail for any corporation, there are only a few days during the year that you get off. Thanksgiving is one that is give and take, it depends on the company you are working for. I worked Thanksgiving at my first job, and typically we saw only a couple of people coming out because they needed one or two items for Thanksgiving dinner, or people who just didn't care that it was Thanksgiving. It was a quiet day for the few people working, and typically the company kept hours short so that the workers could go home and spend some time with their families, and they fed us (big thing when you're a high schooler/college student).

Now, with Black Friday now starting Thursday night, those same workers who would normally be getting an easy day are going to be forced to handle hordes of post-Thanksgiving dinner shoppers, and even in some cases pre-Thanksgiving shoppers depending on the store. There are some stores that are posting Black Friday sales at 6 am on Thursday.

In my opinion, this is just wrong. Why do we need 2 full days of "Black Friday"? Why do we even need to have 24 hours of Black Friday? It's fine if it's a retail giant that stays open 24 hours a day normally, but when you start talking about keeping up employees who normally work days having to get up at 11 pm to be to work at midnight, you're not only throwing off their normal schedule even worse than if you had them getting up at 4 to be to work by five. You're taking away whatever "holiday time" they were going to have with their families, or even just digging into the the time off they they need.

The holiday shopping season just keeps getting more and more ridiculous, and all to fuel the consumerist society. I have had more people than I could count come up to me and say they were sorry I was working.

If you feel bad about a retail worker working on a holiday the rest of America has off, don't go out shopping that day. Years and years ago, everyone had these holidays off, but the corporations are destroying what few days everyone should have off.


But otherwise, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving, eats lots of turkey and pumpkin pie, and gets to enjoy a little bit of time off.



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ah! A Post!

Sorry for the silence for so long! Life has been quite busy, so I'll keep this short and sweet.
First off, the move went well, and we managed not to lose many things, so that was good.
Second, Anime Fusion was a blast. Many hats went to their new homes, and I'm looking forward to seeing some people I met on the convention circuit next year.
Third, it's NaNoWriMo. For those of you new to this blog, it's essentially 30 days of frantic writing to finish a 50,000 word novel. I'm aiming for 100,000 words, so watch out world, here I come!
News about the Kickstarter to publish Vicious Sun is coming soon, I'll have a nice post about that once I've figured out and fine tuned the final pieces to that little game.