Firstly, Happy New Year to you, constant reader!
I hope your Christmas and holiday season was restful and joyful, and spent with loved ones. It always feels for me like a physical and mental trudge up a steep hill at the start of a new year, but I know that some brisk walking to shake off Christmas is what I need to get back into my normal routine.
The weather here in the UK is predictably dour and wet, and colder than usual, even for January. George Orwell in “Bad Climates are Best” wrote that “What the English climate needed was a minor operation, comparable to the removal of tonsils in a human being – just cut out January and February, and we should have nothing to complain about.” Orwell did recant somewhat, admitting that we need the damp and cold months to prime the land for the delights of our summer harvest. “There is a time”, he wrote, “to sit in the garden in a deck chair, and there is a time to have chilblains and a dripping nose.” I wish we could speedrun through the snotty chilblains!
I’ve been writing consistently since my last post, completing several short stories and progressing my novel. I’m currently writing two more short stories, one about a traveller who takes a wrong turn on the North Antrim coast’s Torr Road, and another cautionary tale of two hikers exploring the landscape deep within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Coincidentally, I stayed in both of these beautiful areas in 2022; their stern, rugged beauty is currently inspiring me with tales of beleaguered tourists!
Three of my stories are out for consideration with publications, and it’s been a while. Having followed up, they haven’t been tossed on the rejection pile, but they haven’t been published either. It’s hard for me to move on to new stories until at least some of my last batch of works have been placed, but that’s an inevitable part of the process, and I have to work through that. Time waiting to write is time wasted.
I want to share my short stories with a wider audience, and take that schedule into my own hands; my last published story, Shadows Under Leamouth, was featured in an awesome horror anthology, and I’m looking out for similar opportunities, but what if I self-publish my short stories in a collection? I’m aiming high; think Stephen King’s “Night Shift”, or Shirley Jackson’s “Dark Tales”!
These musings lead me to Kickstarter. I’ve supported other creators on Kickstarter in the past, but not previously considered it for my own work. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform, where artists, authors, and creators pitch their projects directly to potential customers or existing fans and supporters, to fund the process of producing “creative projects”.
Funding your project directly cuts out the middle men in big name traditional publishing, and the project backers benefit with early access, exclusive extras, or a special edition of the output; in my case a collection of already published and brand new short stories, autographed hard copies, and an exclusive short story just for supporters.
If I go this route I’ll need to arrange editing, formatting, cover art and distribution. The book (e-book and paperback) would be available on Amazon and the usual platforms after the Kickstarter project, but without the exclusive short story.
I’m still mulling over the pros and cons of this approach; if I proceed, you’ll read about it here first! Alternatively I may head straight for self-pub; if you have any experience of either route I’d really welcome your views!
George Orwell, “Bad Climates Are Best”, Evening Standard, February 1946.