My Involvement with Fae Fatales: A Fantasy Noir Anthology

Over the past 11 days, Fae Fatales: A Fantasy Noir Anthology has been up on Indiegogo, doing nicely with contributions from people who want to see the book in print. As I write this, it is at 80% funded, with 19 days to go. We’d really love to see it fully funded early so we can start organising stretch rewards – additional perks that everyone can get once we reach higher goals.

It’s been an interesting experience for me. Last week Jax gave me access to editing the campaign details so I’ve been a bit more hands-on involved than I had been in the beginning. I had sought some advice on a writer’s forum about marketing and how to attract interest, but the advice tended toward the content on the campaign page rather than how to find people or what to say separately from that.

Having said that, it did help us to come up with more information for people, which you can now read about on the campaign page. If you had a look at the link before but weren’t sure if it was something you wanted to support because there wasn’t enough information up, now’s the time to go back. Since I previously wrote about the campaign, these updates have been made to the campaign:
* The book now has a title and a tagline.
* The page count has been listed (it’s approx. 270 pages).
* 7 of the 10 writers have contributed information about themselves and/or their stories which feature in the book.
* New perks have been added, including a $1 raffle ticket for a chance to win a copy of the book, specifically designed for those who want to help out but can’t afford to buy the book at this time.
There are also a few writer-specific packs. I’m personally quite fond of Jax Goss’s pack where you can get a copy of Fae Fatales along with a signed copy of her collection of short stories, The Edge of the Map, and a personalised short story written by her. I myself am offering to either draw a cartoon of you, much like the examples I have on my artwork page, or write a short film screenplay for someone, like the ones I have posted on my writing page.

During the week I also had the opportunity to read Jax’s story in the anthology, and I have to say I was very impressed with it. This doesn’t surprise me, since I enjoy Jax’s spin and voice when she writes fantasy (that being part of the reason I submitted something in the first place), but I felt very fortunate to have that sneak peak. She writes with a very clear voice that works well for the genre.

For me, being as personally involved as I have been in the developing the campaign page and promoting on social media, I liken this as a helpful learning experience. When it comes time to raising money for marketing and releasing my novel, Adrift, this is how I want to go about it. Yet, I worry about my ability to get people on board. Fae Fatales has thus far been more successful in receiving contributions from people who know some of the other writers rather than myself, and it’s hard for me to deduce why. Are my people holding out for my novel instead? After all, I have been talking about that on Facebook for over a year. I have a list of 50+ people who want a copy of that, but they’re not buying this book. Or is it that I’m not saying the right things to the right people? As someone who has often struggled with social interactions, I worry that this might be the case. And then I wonder, if I can’t personally build interest in an anthology I’m in, how am I going to make sure my novel is successful? On that note, I’m probably more likely to get my book out sooner if I can see more of my people supporting this one.

Perhaps it’s simply that I’ve not done a good enough job of explaining to people how crowdfunding works, and why it’s important to contribute within the period that the campaign is up. After all, my promoting the link around various parts of the Internet has drawn in 170 clicks (so far), yet I can only claim 3 of the pledges. It may be a case of me being too familiar with crowdfunding now that I don’t know how to explain it to others. But this is the most important thing for you to note: often times, if a campaign does not reach its goal by the target date, it does not receive any of the pledges, and backers do not get their perks or rewards. This ends up disappointing both the people running the campaign, as well as everyone who pledged money toward it. We all want it to be successful.

I’ve been supporting crowdfunded projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo for over a year, with a total of 26 projects backed between them (plus 1 on Pozible). Very few have been unsuccessfully funded, in part due to Indiegogo’s flexible funding option. The Kickstarters I backed that didn’t get funded gave me an opportunity to support them separately, and still get the perk I selected. I could probably write a whole post about what works for me as a backer and why I’ll decide to fund something, but I’ll save that for another time.

For now, what I’d like to hear from you about is, if you’ve been involved in crowdfunded projects before, what are some of the lessons you learned, both pitfalls and successes?

Alternatively, if you’ve had a look at the Fae Fatales campaign page, I’d love to hear from you to find out if there’s anything else you’d like to know about the anthology or writers, or any of the reasons why you may choose to either support or not support it. It is through this kind of feedback that I find it easiest to learn what’s going on, so that I don’t have to extrapolate reasons.

The link to the campaign for Fae Fatales, in case you missed it before and want to check it out, is here.

Another crowdfunded anthology you might be interested in supporting if you like the idea of Fae Fatales is Long Hidden, which is being marketed as speculative fiction from the margins of history. That means they’re focused on the non-mainstream stories, with characters who aren’t predominantly the straight rich white men who get written about most in history. This anthology isn’t in any way affiliated with Fae Fatales (though one of our writers, J.M. Templet, was published by Crossed Genres in their Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction anthology), I just like sharing the things I’m supporting that I think others might also enjoy. This is exactly the sort of thing I like to write and want to read more of.

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