Watch out for the Clan!


Ok, ok, enough teasing. You want the trailer? You got it.

Here it is.

Please remember to like the trailer (if you do indeed like it…dislike if you think its crap) and leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you think.

So this trailer should leave you in little doubt about the direction the new website will be taking. Those who receive the newsletter will be learning a bit more about the backstory of the Clan and I’ll be releasing a lot of new content with the website when it re-launches.

Podcast

Commander's Log Cover art
After a bit of an hiatus I’m proud to announce episode eleven of the Commander’s Log.

In this episode, Commander John Harper retreats to the south-east frontier to get some peace and quiet to finish the novel and bumps into an australian with same firm views on recent Elite:Dangerous game design.

So come on in and have a listen to: Podcast # 11: ‘Discourse at Veedze’

Thanks once again to Stellardrone who provides the intro and outtro music.

Hope you enjoy it.

(Music courtesy of Stellardrone)

Newsletter

As hinted at above the newsletter is underway. I usually have a section on backstory, which is quite hard as most characters backstories are intricately linked with that character arc and to give the backstory would ruin the story. This newsletter will have backstory on the Clan itself and should provide some good interest without excessive spoilerage. (spoil? spoilage? spoili?)

I also write a section on engineering (because I’m a Mechanical Engineer) and how it relates to the Elite:Dangerous universe. Is there anything you would like a bit more understanding of? Previous engineering articles include structural design of gas refinery platforms, heat dissipation in space ships and how to make zero-gee luxurious. If you have an idea let me know in the comments or email me at john_at_andherethewheel.co.nz

Kickstarter

It’s only two days away. I hope you have your F5 key shined and polished and your index finger duly exercised. It’s going to be another exciting one. Fantastic Books along with myself and the other Elite authors are putting together some pretty great content to make it worth your while. And remember: Anyone who has supported ANY crowd funded Elite:Dangerous fiction to receive an ebook and then backs our kickstarter will get a SERIOUS upgrade to compensate. Don’t hold back. Let’s make the Fantastic Four (novels) the biggest, baddest book set this side of the Empire!

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Hope your enjoyed the content tonight. Looking forward to kickstarting with you all.

Cheers

John

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Crowd Funding: Looking back at the Campaign

It feels like a long time ago. . .

It feels like a long time ago. . .

I recorded my interview with Allen Stroud (of Lave:Revolution fame) for the Lave Radio earlier in the week and something we talked about got me thinking.  We discussed my kickstarter, the reasons for starting it, the process I went through to get it ready and the journey to completion.  Which led to a question we didn’t discuss:

Would I have done anything differently?

It’s not a fair question in a way as I started the kickstarter with to real undestanding of what was needed for a kickstarter and what the followers required from a kickstarter.  I was a rookie, a first-time-Timothy, thrashing about in the deep end simultaneously trying not to drown while winning some kind of money laden race.

In that kind of situation, I think you do ‘The Best You Can With What You Got’.

Perhaps a better question would be:  “What would I do differently next time?”

On that question I do have some answers:

1) Move to the UK.  If I had been a UK resident, I could have used kickstarter instead of Indiegogo (which allowed campaigns from anywhere in the world, unlike kickstarter).  This would have eliminated a large barrier to the main Elite audience and would have made my job a whole lot easier

2) I think I did pretty good in terms of the wordage on my campaign page.  concise details leading to the more detailed synopsis at the end.   What I didn’t do enough of was providing information in  the other medias.  Video, Audio, Images.  I relied on the community to begin with for video and images.  I should have made my own videos from the get-go.  Purchased that video editing software straight away and opened with my introduction video.

As all Elite fans and hangers-on for the main Elite kickstarter will know:  There is nothing like a lacklustre opening to kill your campaign.

3) From this starting point of strength I should have continued on with videos.  In hindsight it is clear how much the pledgers and followers demand, even need, updates.  Videos are something the internet users seem to require to keep breathing.  I did some videos, but I think I should have done more.  More of myself, more full of pretty imagery from Elite, more general video updates to keep the pledger’s hunger sated.

4) Half way through my campaign a supporter asked about an audiobook stretch goal for my campaign and suggested that I read the story.  Having watched my videos he must have thought that I spoke with some base kind of elegance.  Although I did add the audiobook as a stretch goal I didn’t really take that opportunity by the throat.  There were many options.  I could have created audio only feeds, akin to Lave Radio.  I could have (cheaply) made one of my existing short stories into an audiobook and either added it to the site as advertising or given it away to a special pledge tier.

5) Having watched some of the other kickstarters it made me realise how narrow my focus was.  I came up with what I thought were some pretty good pledge tiers for my supporters but I could have cast my net in completely different directions and maybe caught a few more supporters.

6) Finally, I would go back in time and create a following BEFORE I needed it.  Not afterward.  I had some small semblance of notoriety because of the Huge Plasma Accelerator, but that only reached a small portion of the Elite community and wasn’t really enough to create that critical mass you need behind you for one of these campaigns.

—-

The crowd funding experience was like no other and something I am glad I did as it’s something I’ll never forget.  It was a lot of work, it was quite nerve wracking through out and in the end it was extremely exciting and satisfying when I crossed that finish line.

Would I do a kickstarter again?  Yes, I think I’ve learnt quite a few lessons to make future kickstarters more effective.

Do I think I’ll actually do a kickstarter again?  Probably not, but who knows?  A production run of paperbacks or a professional quality audiobook are always attractive options, for both “And Here The Wheel” and the future.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

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A quick tibbit of novel news:  Still keeping to my daily goal of 1000 words a day so right now I’m sitting on 41,000 words and rushing head first toward the Mid Point / Contextural Shift where everything changes.  EVERYTHING.

But in a good way.

For the reader, anyway.

The protagonist sure ain’t going to be thanking me.

Never mind.