Thursday, April 10, 2014


For April, Stone is celebrating the A to Z Blog Challenge with daily letter-themed entries. Taking a break from the world of the Stone Soldiers, today's entry deals with crowdfunding.

The STONE SOLDIERS need you!

Ever wish that you could make a difference with something you enjoy? Crowdfunding makes that a reality, giving enthusiasts and fans the chance to choose projects to help succeed--with their wallets.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are but two of several platforms that let creators virtually panhandle for funds to help their projects along. And Stone Soldiers is no different. The series needs your help.

You could follow the link to find out why, but I'll save you the time and maybe embellish it a little. 

Promotion is one of the hardest parts of indie publishing. Churning out product, even quality product, is not a guarantee of sales. People have to know you're out there to buy your stuff. That means ads. And good ads require good art. There's also print copies. The Luddites are alive and well in the 21st Century, sneering at e-readers and ignoring the 20th Century's plea to save the rain forest. They want print copies. And print copies are expensive.

That's where crowdfunding comes in. Art, Ads and Print. 

Sales where good in January and February, and moderate in March, thanks to Bookbub. But Lady Luck reared her ugly head in March, and all that hard work and royalties were used up. Now sales are falling away and the summer convention circuit is just starting. Stone Soldiers needs your help to get out there, in front of people. 

What am I looking for? $3000. But realistically speaking, even $300 would help. That's 50 hard copies to sell or send out to promote the series. Or 60 art commissions at love art and cool art has a way better chance of being circulated on social networks than buy-my-book links.

Why should you help? Well, if you like the series and want to see it continue, you should help. It eats up nearly all my free time. The children are not happy. Thus far, I've bribed them with a major portion of my royalties. But if sales continue to drop off because I'm not able to push the series, eventually I'll have to stop. 

If you don't like Stone Soldiers, don't help. There are lots more worthy causes. Like Jackie Goehner, for example. 

If you do want to see more Stone Soldiers, there's two ways you can help. 

1. You can spread the word, and the books. That's way better than throwing some virtual pennies my way. 

2. You can pop on over to Indiegogo and pledge something. If you do, you get something in return: For your contribution, you'll receive e-copies of the books and short stories so far released: for less than what it would cost to buy them from normal ebook distributors. All of your money will go to the series, instead of just a percentage I normally would collect as a royalty. Those of you inclined can also purchase print copies of the books, although those will go through regular channels as they'll be printed-on-demand.

I'm also planning on making some unique rewards for supporters, ranging from Ace of Spades Deathcard bookmarks to challenge coins (support allowing). There may also be unique Stone Soldiers t-shirts made available as stretch goals.

In the event I don't reach the fundraising goal, what I do collect will be used as best as possible. I place greatest importance on ads, to expose the series to more readers, but those can be pricier than editing. Cover design is also a way to improve the series as could be commissioned art of the series' characters, for release as cards or mini posters. Bottom line, whatever I can collect, I'm adding to the royalties I'm already generating to make this series bigger and better.

So there you go, or rather gogo. Help an Indie, get an ebook or three. Or just pass along the word. Either is greatly appreciated.

(Stone Soldiers encyclopedia entries will return tomorrow--I couldn't think of anything from the series that starts with an "I")

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