Kickstarter, et al

Kickstarter (xkcd)

This. This is my experience with Kickstarter.

I saw this and, considering my brief experience with Kickstarter, I found it hi-larious. It’s not that I think that the nature of Kickstarter ruined my project, or even that I did everything within my power to make my Kickstarter project a success. There were a lot of things I missed out on, a lot of opportunities I passed up, and a lot of money I never earned… and considering what has happened since the failure of the project, there was no way I would have maintained the project on time, so it’s all for the best in the end, anyway.

But all that said, I still think that Kickstarter has gotten… commercialized. Sure, there are still plenty of folks who have nothing to their names accomplishing their dreams because of a successful Kickstarter project… but there are also video game companies, famous webcomic artists, and other people who already have significant fanbases using it as a means of collecting donations. Instead of saying, “Hey, you, give me money and I’ll give you stuff,” they’re using the established Kickstarter mechanism for it. I can’t really blame them – why reinvent the wheel? On the other hand, it tends to monopolize the funds available. I don’t imagine there are very many eccentric millionaires browsing Kickstarter who will give equally to famous and obscure projects. Most people are going to go with what’s likely to succeed… and what’s most likely to succeed is that thing which has succeeded in the past.

Not to mention that people on the Internet tend to donate to things on the Internet. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to use the Internet to its maximum efficacy in an attempt to produce, create, and advertise something which reeks of old fashioned and handle with care.

In short, people will give millions of dollars to make a video game, but can’t scrape together a few thousand for a book.

But I try not to be bitter.

At any rate, I’ve been inspired by a recent blog post to make something of myself, because I know people who know people who have already made something of themselves. So while I’m selling my soul in the retail world, and dividing my free time between trying to pack & to move and enjoying the company of my beloved wife, I will also attempt to complete the editing process on The Chimaera Regiment. I have begun my stylized stick-figure approximations of what I want for a cover, which will – hopefully – lead me down a path of artistic growth and personal development, since I sure as heck can’t afford to pay somebody else for the darn thing. Now, all that remains is making sure the book is actually worth reading. At the moment, I am utterly convinced of its shallow characters, poor plot development, inconsistent perspectives, limited depth of prose, and ultimately flawed nature (although I’ve been told that I’m harsh on myself). I have a great deal of editing and rewriting to do before it’s even remotely ready to be released… but I do still intend to release it as an audiobook, once I scrounge up the greenbacks for a quality microphone and audio editing software.

In other news, I am most of the way through the planning stages of a new novel, as yet untitled. It’s based in a science fiction universe devised (about six or seven years ago as of this posting) by the brilliant minds of D. C. and of myself. We mused about a possible science fiction future in which humans are not the biological underdogs they always seem to be in the Sci-Fi world, and in which religion and religious distinctions have not collapsed in some form of UFP-esque utopian development, but in which those distinctions have actually become primary among the peoples of Earth (or Terra – I haven’t quite decided on that yet). At any rate, this new novel is a space opera about pirates, exploration, human nature, intrigue, and linguistics. I have enjoyed planning it, I expect to enjoy writing it, and someday, I hope you will enjoy reading it. It really is quite excellent.

I also have more tentative, less established plans for a retelling of the myth of Orpheus, a sequel and a prequel to The Chimaera Regiment, and a retelling of the story of St. Telemachus (not to be confused with Telemachus, son of Odysseus), of which the last is the least developed (although it is also the oldest). If you were to place a wager upon the ordered release of future novels written by me, I would go with: TCR, space opera, TCR sequel, Orpheus, TCR prequel, other things, Telemachus somewhere in there.

Or something to that effect.