So what have we learned? (Kickstarter edition)

Well, the zombie, writing, reading, and basically “Friend of Sean” communities truly stepped up and my Kickstarter project to create my zombie book, Reviva Las Vegas!, is now funded. This will allow me to concentrate hard on getting the remaining 50% of the book written. Working with my good artist pal, Putnam Finch, I think one of the stories is going to be done in graphic novel format. One is straight-up first-person fiction, a third is in screenplay format, and the final is going to be in a format TBA. (Any suggestions are welcome.)

So what have I learned from this whole adventure in (as a friend called it) Internet panhandling? Well, one thing is that I know some truly generous people, both in terms of money and in terms of love and friendship. Those who couldn’t contribute financially were sure to give me supportive messages and just generally be wonderful. The people who donated were generous again and again. Some donors went back to the well and dug deep again when it looked like I wasn’t going to make it. The only way I can repay the kindnesses shown to me over the past two weeks is to produce a goddamn AMAZING zombie book. It shall rocketh.

But there was an interesting wrinkle in the final day and final hours of my Kickstarter. I got a message from someone I didn’t know, asking the following: If he could get me $1000 in support (the amount I was down by with one day to go), would I consider licensing the work under Creative Commons? I has heard of CC, but I always thought of it in terms of music, like sampling. Anyway, what Creative Commons requires for fiction is that the work be freely available to download, and also for people to use the world the artist has created as their own “sandbox” to write new stories that they then can publish (under the Creative Commons license themselves, one would hope).

It was a bit of a dilemma. Like any artist who isn’t independently wealthy (and many who are), I didn’t really want people to download and share my work for free. On the other hand, I have made maybe $2000 in royalties total over the entire lifetimes of all my published fiction. So might this not be like getting an advance, one which might get earned back by sales, but might not? I decided that the opportunity to get this sucker written was worth it in any ebook sales that might be lost later.

In the end, I believe it was the right thing to do. The CC peeps stepped up, and funded $800 of that final $1000 I needed in order to get my project fully funded. And it wasn’t any kind of “selling out” to do it, because the Creative Commons folks had no limits on what the book could include or not include, its format, anything. All they wanted is that it would be available through certain electronic channels. And there were no limits imposed on anything to do with the hard copies that will be sold at the Walker Stalker Convention, on Amazon and BN.com, and so on.

Speaking of the Walker Stalker Con, they are kind of being jerks right now, refusing to return my messages and such. They were allegedly very much into my coming to give a talk when I was helping them reach their funding goal for the Con, and then afterwards … yeah, not so much. That said, if they give me problems about speaking and selling at their Con, there are excellent zombie conventions in Seattle, Austin, and other oases of cool in this country of ours. I will keep everybody updated.

I will be bestowing the most excellent investment rewards in November for all my donors. Stay tuned to your email and this blog!

And again … thanks, guys.

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