The Changing of the Sun – Kickstarter
Today I have a guest blog by the very talented Lesley Smith, who is involved in a Kickstarter project to get her first book published.
Why I’m Kickstarting my debut novel
(a guest post by Lesley Smith)
I’ve been writing since I was ten but it’s only now, with the advent of indie publishing, e-books and print on demand that I’ve started my first Kickstarter to cover the costs – the covers and editing – for my debut science fiction novel, The Changing of the Sun. I wrote the book last year and it’s the first in a trilogy, each set in different time periods in the history of an alien planet. Changing deals with the theological, cultural and social ramifications of a massive solar storm which is about to be unleashed on a technologically primitive world guided by a sisterhood of blind seers.
Writing from a dozen perspectives, the story reads like fantasy but is actually science fiction and is set in my largest created world, my Ashteraiverse. This story is very close to me, there’s a frantic journey across a massive continent, the clock is ticking and forcing my characters to grow emotionally or perish. I especially enjoyed – as a visually impaired person and a theologian – being able to meld a religious lifestyle with disability. Both my ‘villain’ Jashri and my primarily heroine, Saiara, are blind, the price for their preternatural knowledge, and another of my cast, Jeiana, ends up losing one of her arms just above the elbow in what I can only describe as one of the most powerful scenes in the book.
However I purposefully wanted to set the Kickstarter funding goal as low as I could get it … people routinely ask for £10k and I know I can do it lower than that so I am beginning by offering an e-book only to my backers. I’m asking for £1250 to cover the editing but also to get a set of three covers designed by Jason Gurley (one for each book in the series). If I get 2k in funding that will then unlock a print run. Successive stretch goals will then unlock the second and third books in the trilogy in both e-book and print form. Regardless I have to meet my minimum funding goal or I get nothing.
The big challenge for me is that, because I’m disabled and have retired, my income is fixed; I live on a small amount which allows me to live relatively comfortably but means big purchases and personal projects can take a long time to come to fruition. I could have paid for all of this but it would have taken until the end of the year. Kickstarter allows me to not only establish pre-orders (so far the vast majority of my pledges have been the minimum needed to get the e-book and I’m more than happy with this) but also allow me the funding I need to publish the first novel in June.
Kickstarting this project has not only motivated to me write but has also restored my faith in humanity, even if it doesn’t fund – which while possible is a lot more statistically unlikely as I near 50% of my funding – I have a succession of backers who aren’t known to me personally and yet chose to back me based on just my pitch. That truly awes me. I want to repay that faith which a book which is as perfect as I can make, a strong story, excellent editing and beautiful covers.
I’ll be sure to let you know how I get on but for now, check out my campaign here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lesleysmith/the-changing-of-the-sun.
Click on the book cover to read a Sample of Lesley’s work.