The folks over at Silence in the Library Publishing and a bunch of authors, including Gail Z. Martin who featured prominently in The Kindle Confiscation, have a little Kickstarter project going. Having been blessed with way too much integrity and propriety, they describe the project as follows:
Athena’s Daughters is a collection of short speculative fiction by some of the industry’s best female authors.
This anthology features stories written by women about women.
I, on the other hand, have no such boundaries and am free to describe the project somewhat differently: Holy crap, you won’t believe how many cool books, stories, art and music you get for a measly $5!
Seriously. If you had planned to buy any one of these books, fund the Kickstarter campaign instead. And if you weren’t already planning to buy any of these books, then for $5 you get so much stuff you can afford to buy it on speculation. Hell, if you love to read you can’t afford not to kick in $5. They arranged the Kickstarter deal in tiers with various stretch goals that are retroactive to all backers down to the $5 level. Join at any time and you get the new book plus all the rewards that have been earned by all the backers that came before and after you. They’ve already met many of the stretch goals so, as of tonight, here is what you get for $5:
- The original scope of the Athena’s Daughters collection project includes stories by Mary Robinette Kowal, Gail Z. Martin, Cleolinda Jones, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jean Rabe, Sherwood Smith, Janine K. Spendlove, Vicki Johnson-Steger, Cynthia Ward, and Jean Marie Ward and new and exciting talents like Maggie Allen, Conley Lyons, Doris Stever, and C.A. (Christine) Verstraete. This is the base reward tier and the basis for the campaign. It’s already succeeded it’s funding goal and will be published.
- Achieved! – Thanks to stretch goals, the book will now also include stories by Nisi Shawl and Tanya Spackman.
- Achieved! – Free digital download of Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s novel The Halfling’s Court.
- Achieved! – Free digital download of Gail Z. Martin’s short story bundle 3 Deadly Curiosities. This bundle includes the short stories “Vanities”, “Steer a Pale Course”, and “Buttons”.
- Achieved! – Free digital download of Naked Singularity’s album Last Call. This classic-rock and modern-day folk inspired band is led by author Maggie Allen.
- Achieved! – Free digital download of Danielle Ackley McPhail’s novel Yesterday’s Dreams.
- Achieved! – Free digital download of Cynthia Ward’s short story “Gabriella”.
That’s Athena’s Daughters, plus an album, two novels and four short stories and the project is only in its 4th day with a bit over $12k in backing so far. (I had to update these numbers even while I was writing the post!) That means your $5 investment will soon include some, probably all, of the other stretch goals.
The book will get bigger:
- $14,000 – We will also include a story by new and exciting author E.J. Lawrence. When not writing, EJ Lawrence is a forensic scientist and genetics expert who has practiced her craft at the Armed forces DNA Identification Laboratory and the Smithsonian Institute.
- $15,500 – We’ll include stories by talented new authors Tera Fulbright and Tricia Barr.
- $17,500 – We’ll add a story by author Jennifer Brozek.
That’s only another $5k and there’s 26 days left. You can pretty much count on seeing all of these. Then of course, there are more free add-ons of existing works. These include new artwork, stories, collections, novels, and even an audiobook, depending on the funding level:
- $12,500 – All backers at $5 or greater will receive a free digital download of Sherwood Smith’s novel Crown Duel.
- $13,000 – At this stretch goal we will replace the graphic design cover of the print version of Athena’s Daughters with an original art cover by artist Tietjen Alvarez. But don’t worry, you’ll actually get to have both awesome covers, as we’ll be keeping the original cover for the eBook version.
- $13,500 – All backers at $5 or greater will receive a free digital download of Jean Marie Ward’s short story bundle Four For More.
- $14,500 – All backers at $5 or more will receive a free digital download of the audio book of Danielle Ackley McPhail’s collection of short stories titled Flash in the Can.
- $15,000 – All backers at $5 or more will receive a free digital download of a bundle of three of Gail Z. Martin’s Jonmarc Vahanian short stories. Included in this bundle are the stories “Raiders’ Curse”, “Caves of the Dead”, and “Storm Surge”.
- $16,000 – All backers at $5 or more will receive a free digital download of the eBook of Janine K. Spendlove’s novel War of the Seasons, Book 1: The Human.
- $17,000 – All backers at $5 or more will receive a free digital download of Tera Fulbright’s short story “Fires Within the Blank Page”.
- $18,000 – All backers at $5 or greater will receive a free digital download artist Ginger Breo’s original illustration of the goddess Athena. Additionally, backers who purchase print copies of the book will receive a free 5×7 print of Ginger’s art.
- $19,000 – All backers at $5 or more will receive a free digital download of the audio book for Janine K. Spendlove’s novel War of the Seasons, Book 1: The Human.
So that’s the new book, four novels, 9 short stories, original art work, and of course the actual book project, all for $5 or less than $0.99 each.
When I was a kid in school we always talked about freedom of the press like it was every citizen’s right in a free country. In reality, freedom of the press belongs to whoever owns the press and before the Internet and the Web, that was a relatively small handful of publishers. Thanks to the Internet, everyone is a publisher and the incremental cost of distributing a work of authorship electronically is zero, or damn close to it. Kickstarter reverses the old funding model by raising capital on the consumer side rather than the vendor side. Projects like this were possible in the old system but the combination of new technologies make them practically inevitable. Now we readers and fans can directly support projects that gatekeepers in traditional publishing would not have taken a chance on ten years ago. Traditional publishing will increasingly turn to this model because it removes much of the risk they faced when funding books on speculation. It’s a new digital world, folks. Enjoy it! For $5, how could you not?