Discover more from The Cascadia Chronicles
A Post-Kickstarter Era: One Month Update
The wheels keep turning and we're near the printing stage.
Dear friends of Cascadia,
We are nearly there! I still have trouble believing The Blue Beacon is a real book sometimes, so near to release into the world. And yet here we are! Day by day, steps are taken.
As such, I figured I’d apprise you of some of those steps. But before I do, a reminder: there’s still time pre-order The Blue Beacon, or change your existing order.
This option is only available for a few more days! On August 1, orders will be locked and shortly thereafter I’ll order the books from our Centralian friends at Gorham Printing.
What’s Currently Happening
The last week was spent making final edits on the manuscript. Through recording the audiobook aloud and reading back through the printed edition, I found over fifty changes, from typos to word alterations. I also added credits at the back of the book for Kickstarter supporters.
Then yesterday I sent those final edits to my typesetter, Hammad, at HMD Publishing in the UK. I found Hammad through Fiverr, which was an invaluable tool in building this book. Through Fiverr, The Blue Beacon’s production was international. I got cover design help from Serbia, the book’s map was hand-drawn in the Netherlands, and the final layout is happening this week in England.
I also ordered Eola and Bajo stickers and map postcards, and they arrived over the last two days. The stickers are super awesome, and I’m 95% happy with the postcards. They look great, they’re just a little too large to fit inside the paperback, and I hoped the map would serve double duty as a bookmark. I’m still mulling this over.
With the eBook expected any day, the print edition will be ordered in the first few days of August. While I will await shipment, I’ll record the last few chapters of the audiobook, and then get to editing and preparing to pack and ship when the First Editions arrive.
What I Learned from This Process
Kickstarter is a super-effective tool for launching a book. It mobilizes community, promotes authentic marketing, and, while a lot of work, was mostly fun to assemble. I definitely plan to publish this way again.
People respond to passion. The other day I watched an artist drawing sand art pieces at Seal Rock, etching massive near-perfect circles carved in the beach with a rake. How many years of dance and drawing went into developing her craft? Yet her passion was clearly evident, and we all marveled at her work. I can only hope The Blue Beacon is well–made enough to earn similar marvel. It’s no small risk to put on a show, and I feel honored at how many folks—both within my community and total strangers—have showed up in support. Your generosity of resources and attention strikes a hopeful chord within me. Thank you!
What I’d Do Differently
There were a few missteps:
Stretch goals unprepared. My friend Jer warned me to have stretch goals ready, and while I had them in mind, I wish I’d had a better idea of how to structure them. It was unreasonable to set goals at every $5k, and smaller steps would’ve felt more reachable. I will be further prepped on this next time.
Focus more on updates. This was more advice from Jer which I didn’t follow until late in the game. Proper updates provided the most efficient marketing by keeping supporters informed of the process, and that engagement apparently shows up strong on Kickstarter’s algorithm. While I got better at posting as time went on, being steady with updates toward the start would’ve built momentum through the campaign’s middle.
What I Did Right
Prepare most everything except Stretch Goals in advance. I planned this campaign generally right and even with missteps, most everything ended up better than I hoped.
Had videos made by Aaron Donley. The trailer and pitch video hit the exact right tone of what I was looking for.
Wrote a good book. After further reads, I still appreciate the steps and the details and I tear up most every time at different scenes. I helped birth this book so I know I can’t be properly objective, and I can’t say for sure it’s a hit, but I do know it’s a good story with cool characters and a fun introduction to the world of Cascadia.
While I await the arrival of the final First Edition files, I’m turning my attention to other projects. Like this update, for instance. Or the river cruise I’m taking up the Willamette later to research one of the story paths for Book 2. If you follow on Instagram, I plan to post about this journey there.
I’m also looking into where to release The Blue Beacon more broadly. From local bookstores to Amazon to setting up my own shop, there are a lot of options and decisions to be made about what, when, where, and how to get this book in front of buyers. What I’m relying on most is the quality and word-of-mouth among folks with whom the story resonates. They’re gonna be out there! I know it.