April 11, 2016. That is my new deadline for Blood Dawn, thanks to some exciting correspondence with Jeremy Thomas at Inkshares, a hybrid traditional-independent publishing model I became aware of last summer through Writer’s Digest. Inkshares is one of the leading examples of the publishing partnership model that has arisen due to some of the great opportunities in our evolving digital book market, and has recently seen great success in sales for fantasy and science fiction titles. Its print book distribution includes Ingram and numerous independent bookstores.
Inkshares offers the same quality editing, design, and marketing as the traditional publishers to authors who want to exercise full control over their product. It represents a mediocrity, where authors are independent business owners, providing a partnership between traditional services and authors who are the executives of their own production.
Up until now I’ve been holding off on any thoughts of publication until my manuscript is completely polished. However, after some in-depth research and strategic thinking, I’ve decided that spending the next year trying to connect to readers and build excitement about my project as I complete it is a great idea, especially if this process can lead to a final product published with the same quality as what I would receive from a traditional publisher.
In order to publish Blood Dawn through Inkshares, I have to achieve a certain funding goal to cover the cost of editing, design, and marketing, as well as my advance. A quick word about the advance, since I want to remain transparent with my readers. I’ve chosen $15,000, based on a few things. First, in order to complete my draft, I will be investing approximately $5000 in the Author Accelerator program to pay for high-quality editing that ensures the draft delivered to the Inkshares team is solid. Second, the remaining $10,000 is what I feel as a writer I have earned for the hard work I have done. By the time Blood Dawn comes to print, it will be more than two years that I have committed every weekend of my time to bringing it to life. Beyond that, having this payment will also allow me to allot the period of time following the end of the campaign exclusively to editing with the Inkshares team so that I can focus on bringing you a spectacular book. I will also use the momentum to drive forward on a second novel, a sequel to Blood Dawn which at this time I’m calling A Thousand Roads.
So, all that said, reaching my funding goal equates to pre-selling 2,501 copies. However, I am really excited about this opportunity to finally bring my dream to life and to connect this story I am so passionate about with readers. So my goal is to connect with 10,000 prospective readers by April 11, 2016, sale or no sale.
Now, I realize this is ambitious, and, being an avid chess player, I always like to consider counter-strategies. What if I don’t achieve my goal? First of all, anyone who has pre-purchased a copy of Blood Dawn will receive their money back. My project will only move forward if the funding goal is reached. Second, I will not abandon Blood Dawn. At that time, I will begin to seek out agents and look for a home for Blood Dawn among traditional publishers–provided other opportunities do not evolve with Inkshares. For everyone who I manage to connect with during this time, I will continue to update you on my progress and will not give up on my goal to bring you a high-quality final product.
At this time, if you are interested in supporting me with this project, there are a few things you can do.
- First, go on over and check out the Inkshares page for Blood Dawn. I have a jacket summary, sample of the opening, and you can follow me there for updates on my progress, which I will try to post weekly.
- Second, if you like what you see and think this is a book you want to read, then you can pre-purchase a copy. There is even a package deal if you not only want a copy, but want to have your name mentioned in the back of the book as a supporter.
- Third, if this book isn’t for you but you know some people who would enjoy it and want to support me–or if you love it and want to spread the word–then you can recommend it to your friends, either through email, through reblogging this post, or sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.
- Finally, you have a wonderful opportunity to earn some Inkshares credit. For every person you refer to Blood Dawn who makes a purchase, you will earn a $15 credit for your own purchases of Inkshares titles. You can do this by simply following me, then sharing on Twitter, Facebook, or directly by emailing the link to my page to your friends. In fact, you get $5 credit just for following regardless of whether or not you refer others to my book.
I appreciate all the help I can get, and really look forward to the opportunity to connect with epic fantasy readers this next year as I converge on the final form of the tale I’ve set out to tell.