Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Guest Post by Nick Kristof

I want to start this post by thanking Joe for offering the Tess Gerritsen blog post challenge.  You might not remember it, because it happened all the way back in July of 2013, but the gist was this:  If an individual donated $200 to a gofundme campaign by author Tess Gerritsen in support of Alzheimer's Disease research, Joe would allow that person to guest post on his blog.  Great deal -- and many people took advantage of it.  I immediately realized the potential in having that opportunity.  At the same time, Alzheimer's struck very close to home for me personally.  It is a cause to which I have donated money on many occasions.  Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity.

I have always wanted to be a writer.  I had not really considered it, having a full-time career and a family to look after, until I stumbled across A Newbie's Guide to Publishing.  Joe's blog inspired me to go for it.  My reading tastes cover the gamut, but I have a special place in my heart for science fiction and fantasy, so I decided to write some fantasy.  Now, 180K words later, I can at least call myself a fantasy writer.  The story, which I am going to publish as two novels, is called The Ramparts of Tharrenton Deep.

My intention in July of 2013 was to complete my novel, which I had been working on for over a year by that point, and then post about my experiences.  Needless to say, things did not quite work out that way.  My single novel grew to be two, and then life got in the way:  The writing came in fits and starts.  I relocated to another country across an ocean.  I started in a new position that required lots of travel.  And so on…

Well, two and a half years later, those two novels are finished.  In all, it took me four years to write them, and I am now in the final stages of preparing them for publication.

Quick aside:  I believe that one of the strengths of Joe’s blog is that he and his guest posters almost always include tips or advice for would-be authors.  Let’s face it:  That’s why so many of us come here repeatedly.  Well, here’s my advice:  Don’t ever quit.  Don’t.  Ever.  Quit.  I certainly didn’t expect my story to take four years to write.  But it did.  There were many occasions where I thought to myself, “Self, Just put it away.”  But I ignored that voice, persevered, and it is done; I am extremely proud of the result.

With the writing complete, I knew I wanted to produce a professional book for publication.  I knew that in order to do that, I needed to spend some money—professional editing, proofreading, E-book design, and cover art all cost money.  A glance to the right will show you who I am hiring for those tasks: 52novels for E-book design, Grammer Rules A to Z for proofreading, and You’re Published for print design.  I will also be purchasing original art for my cover.

These services do not necessarily cost a lot of money, but for someone on a tight budget, it is a not-insignificant amount.  It was for this reason that I chose to attempt to fund the publication of my novels with a Kickstarter campaign.  Kickstarter has its supporters and detractors, but I have watched numerous publishing projects successfully fund over the past few years.  My campaign is live right now; I don’t know if it will be successful, but I’m going to give it a shot.

If you have a spare moment, please go check it out.  And if you don’t, thanks for at least reading to the end of this post.

Now get back to writing.  And remember:  Don’t ever quit.

Joe sez: I've been out of the blogging loop for a month, working on some novels. I hope to get back to blogging soon. In the meantime, let's use this guest post as an opportunity to discuss funding campaigns for books.

I've never done a Kickstarter, though I've thought about it. Who reading this has tried Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or similar? What has you experience been?

Also, throw a few bucks Nick's way. His contribution to Tess's campaign was generous, he's a soldier serving out country, and someday you might be the one needing money. Pay it forward.