Something fabulous has been happening over on Kickstarter… My first publishing and gamebook project last year raised around £4700, partly thanks to the generosity of friends and family who wanted to see my work in print and several of whom gave far more than the suggested pledge. In all, 189 supporters joined the project.
But this time, things have been different. Around 85 of last year’s backers have returned to order the sequel and almost a hundred new backers have joined in – and with a far smaller number of family and friends, the project has now raised more than £5100 towards the publication. This is very exciting for me as the project is really standing on its own merits now, appealing to readers on account of the recommendations of genuinely-interested advocates (which is why I prepared the new image above) and on the strength of Book I’s reputation.
This bodes really well for the ongoing project. With each volume I write, there will be an increasing number of readers who return to see the next book published – I hope – and the work will increasingly do its own publicity… Every now and then when I discover a mention of Steam Highwayman out in the wilds of the internet, my heart skips, like when I saw it on the front page of Demian Katz’s gamebooks.org – and if you haven’t visited that amazing labyrinth of dreams, head over there and find out about all the gamebooks you haven’t bought or read yet! Demian is a librarian (I believe) and a backer of book 1 and has a lot to share with you about the workings of choice-based fiction.
Well, I’m fairly excited about that! The generous support of several international backers overnight has tipped the Steam Highwayman project into the green-light zone: no longer just a plan or an intention, it is a funded publishing project. Fantastic!
I’m just as overjoyed to have gained the support of several gamebook authors along the way, chiefly Jamie Thomson and Dave Morris, who posted a feature on Steam Highwayman last night on their Fabled Lands Blog. The write-up means a lot to me, but I also hope that it will allow me to find out, like my dad said, how much steam this project has in it…
The process is pretty busy for me now. I’ll be green-lighting the first batch of illustration work with Ben May and sending him a brief I prepared the other day. I’ll also be looking for another round of proof-readers soon to make sure all the text is free from errors. I have to prepare some costume, too, as I’m hoping to make a couple of appearances in character to get the project some exposure at Steampunk events.
Please continue to share the project! I would love to meet my stretch goals, which will allow me to invest in Ben’s talent more significantly, as well as giving me a little breathing space to settle down to Volume II. I was world-building yesterday afternoon to distract myself from facebook and kickstarter: the next volume promises some new concepts, new plotting mechanics and lots of new characters to interact with.
Steam Highwayman launched last night at 8pm and already, around 12 hrs later, it is nearly 50% funded! Great news. I’ve had some generous support from friends but also have managed to secure backing from gamebook fans and international backers.
My Facebook page for the project is also steaming ahead: another 26 likes and I get to publish my account of the design process for the character of the highwayman. Can’t wait!
I’ve had some great social media support from the gamebook community, so I’m still waiting to find out how far this will go. It’s going to be a great ride.