I’m sure, in your internet wanderings, that you’ve checked out Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, or at least heard about them by now. You’ve probably backed at least one campaign. Every week thousands of new projects are launched through these websites, and many creators have found that this is a great way to bypass the regular publication/distribution model, to get their projects directly into the hands of their fans.
It really is a bold new era, where creators come to you directly with their wares, and properties sink or swim based on the whims of the fans instead of editorial edicts and profit margins.
But seriously, crowd funding has been a game changer in its few years as a viable publication model, allowing many projects that wouldn’t necessarily have seen the light of day come to life because of fans like you. In a lot of ways it has become THE new distribution system, getting unique product directly into the hands of the consumer. Now, there are so many different campaigns being launched on a weekly basis, with a little something for everybody. But where do you start?
Let us be your guide to the thrilling world of crowd funded comics, art books, film, and associated geek and sundry. Each week we’ll scour the aforementioned websites, and profile those projects that we feel are worthy of your Paypal fees. Those projects that are offering something different than what you get at your local comic shop. Projects that defy classification, ones with interesting backer rewards, books that you might love, but would otherwise probably not happen without your support. Plus, you get cool stuff!
This week we have a special column, including a short interview with one of the creators, who also happens to be the publisher/editor.
This week’s journey takes us to the mountains of madness, with 01 Publishing’s Whispers from the Abyss horror anthology.
Full disclosure here, Kat and Josh over at 01 Publishing are friends of mine, and have published work by other friends we have in common. They are the creators of the amazing graphic novels Utopiates, Titanium Rain, and the upcoming World War Kaiju, and each of these books are exciting, unique, and most of all really well written with fantastic art. That said, even if they weren’t friends of mine I’d still be promoting this particular Kickstarter campaign. I love reading horror, I love anthologies, and I love the works of H.P. Lovecraft, so this book is right up my alley.
I thought I’d ask Kat a few questions before getting into the campaign itself, and she agreed to a short interview. Check it!
First off, what is 01Publishing, and why did you start it?
I started 01Publishing after spending several years in the industry under other publishers. After one too many bad experiences (and not getting paid) I said “To hell with this!” and launched my own company. I figured, if my husband and I were going to break our backs to get our projects out there, why do it for somebody else?
01Publishing is dedicated to producing quality novels and graphic novels for fans of science-fiction, fantasy, and horror. Besides our own cyberpunk title, Utopiates, we have also published John R. Fultz’s sword and sorcery book The Revelations of Zang, and our latest release, World War Kaiju featuring the artwork of of Patrick McEvoy, best known for his work with Call of Cthulhu and Game of Thrones.
Why an anthology based around the Cthulhu Mythos?
Lovecraft created such a rich world, how could a horror writer NOT want to play in it? And with the goal of Whispers being for commuters and people who don’t have a lot of time to invest in a long story, it’s the perfect setting because many of the rules are already known by the reader. Or if they aren’t, they are easily picked up.
What is it about H.P. Lovecraft’s writing that makes it so timeless and endearing to horror fans, yourself included?
Honestly, the idea that there are beings so beyond our comprehension that we would perceive them as gods. I am fascinated by the idea of perception and how it shapes reality. The atheistic landscape that Lovecraft created of these otherworldly creatures and aliens combined with the horror found in books by Poe, Shelley, and Stoker is simply enchanting to me. It’s a rich and fully developed reality that he has created and I’m not surprised that some people have mistaken his writings for fact rather than fiction.
How do you balance your time between being a creator, editor, and publisher?
Though I do write and draw, I have found that my talents are best suited running 01Publishing and serving as Editor-in-Chief. My experience with the creative side of things helps me to work with our creators and keep everybody on track. I do have a few projects of my own in the works… but you’ll find out about those later. For now, we have this current Kickstarter and our most recent book, World War Kaiju, created by Josh Finney with art by Patrick McEvoy should be available in stores and Amazon.com in early August.
You have many successful Kickstarter campaigns behind you. Why Kickstarter?
I think Josh Finney put it best with “Kickstarter is wonderful because it is a direct connection with the fans. If an audience exists for a book, it will find funding. There’s no worries of a big publisher stepping in and “adjusting” the work to be more “accessible to the mainstream.” As a creator I have no interest in writing books for the masses. It may sound elitist, but when I tell a story I write for an educated audience who wants to be challenged. Kickstarter allows me to do that.”
What are the benefits and downsides, in your opinion?
Kickstarter is full time job. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. You have to have an air tight plan going in, and you have to work on promoting it every day till the campaign is done. It is a lot of hard work, but well worth it. Through Kickstarter I have met many awesome people and new fans of our works have found us. It’s great to talk to everybody both digitally and personally. Fans also tend to have great ideas for helping to improve your campaign as it goes. I love Kickstarter and I can’t think of a better way to share projects in this current age.
Any last words for our readers?
Support the writers and artists you love. Don’t pirate independently created projects. Try to always buy directly from the creators. They need you to continue on.
Now, on the the campaign details.
“On the subway, during lunch, or even under the fluorescent glow of your cubical—there is no escape! Now your slow descent into madness can follow you through the day, as well as the night. The WHISPERS FROM THE ABYSS ANTHOLOGY is the first ever H.P. Lovecraft inspired collection created specifically for readers on the go. All 33 spine-chilling tales are concentrated bites of terror which include works by Greg Stolze (Delta Green), Nick Mamatas (Shotguns v. Cthulhu), Tim Pratt (Marla Mason), Dennis Detwiller (Delta Green), Greg Van Eekhout (The Boy at the End of the World), and Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Future Lovecraft).”
“The anthology was released last year for the Kindle and was well received. Of the entire 01Publishing catalog, we have been consistently asked by fans to bring this title to print. What we need is a $5000 from you (essentially pre-orders) to pay for the printing and shipping of this title.”
This anthology is over 200 pages of exciting and terrifying short stories by a collection of new, established, and rising talents of the horror genre. Many of these authors are already familiar with the works of H.P. Lovecraft, having novels or short stories inspired by his works published in anthologies such as Fungi and Future Lovecraft. Each author has their own take on these most famous of horror mythos, giving each story its own distinct flavor, while remaining familiar at the same time.
But don’t take my word for it, here’s what others have to say about Whispers from the Abyss:
“All about that moment I love, the moment where something approaches. The moment where you close your eyes and hope it goes away. It will. But there’ll be another story right behind it. And another. And another.” -Alasdair Stuart, host of the PSEUDOPOD podcast.
“The disturbed clown working his television studio audience of children into a primal frenzy – and the horror that follows – are the most vivid and memorable from this accomplished collection” – SFFWorld.com
“A great, engrossing and varied anthology of Lovecraftian fiction…” – HellNotes.com
“…this is a solid anthology front to back” – Innsmouth Free Press
As noted above, this anthology has been available in digital format for a while now, but here’s your chance to own a copy in the flesh. For just fifteen dollars you can do just that with a high quality paperback of Whispers from the Abyss of your very own! Who needs sleep anyway?
But that’s not all, your pledge money can get you all sorts of doomed goodies, such as a DRM-free digital copy of the anthology, bookmarks, a creepy poster featuring the cover art, a signed or sketched on exclusive bookplate edition, a Rules of Survival poster, membership in the Esoteric Order of Dagon, an Elder Sign or Sigil of the Gate pendant, and even your name printed on the first page with the caption “This tome of sacred knowledge brought to you by ________! With numerous successful Kickstarter campaigns behind them, 01 Publishing knows what they’re doing, so there’s no risks involved.
You’ll probably go mad at some point in your future anyway, why not do it while reading some fantastic short stories? The Dark Ones and Old Gods win if you don’t pledge. Probably. I can’t be sure, I went mad a long time ago.