Kick-starter Continues to be Used as a Publishing Strategy

LOLannual1imagepromo1About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post here at Amazing Stories about using Kickstarter as a publishing model. This seems to have become a popular way to raise the cash needed for publishing projects. The last two reviews I’ve done have been over books which have been funded using Kickstarter. (In case you don’t recall or were otherwise occupied and missed these posts, the books were Help Fund My Robot Army!!! edited by John Joseph Adams and Fiction River Fantastic Detectives edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch).

Today I want to take a look at three more Kickstarters. Two have been successfully funded, while one hasn’t reached its goal yet. All three are currently active as I write these words.

We’ll start with the newest of the three, with several weeks still to go on the fundraising. That’s Legends of Log. Log is a giant tree. A giant axe-wielding tree. A giant axe wielding tree with a battle cry of “Timberrr!” The irony is strong in this one. Clearly Legends of Log isn’t meant to be taken as heavy and serious fantasy. This is the type of humorous story that probably wouldn’t be considered commercial in today’s market. But it’s perfect for crowdfunding. Humor is highly subjective, which is why crowdfunding is such a good way for Log to find his audience.

Legends of Log is created and written by D. L. Suharski. He’s enlisted the following artists to help with the project: Erik Benson, Bob Berry, Simon S. Brom, Joel Gomez, Scott Larson, Kenneth Leinaar, and Ian Miller. All the artwork is done. The Kickstarter is to pay for the printing.

The second Kickstarter is Blackguards. This is an anthology of fantasy stories by some pretty heavy hitters, such as Mark Lawrence, Carol Berg, John Gwynne, Django Wexler, David Dalglish, Paul S. Kemp, Laura Resnick, and Michael J. Sullivan, just to name a few. The theme of the anthology is assassins, mercenaries, and rogues. Any actor will tell you that the bad guys are the most fun to portray on stage and screen. This one promises to be a lot of fun and one of the major anthologies of the year.Blackguards

Blackguards will be published by Ragnarok Publications. I interviewed the creative team at Ragnarok a few months. Ragnarok is shaping up to be a solid publisher. Their previous Kickstarter project, Kaiju Rising, is sitting on my deak. It’s also chock full of fantasy goodness, in this case monsters. Ragnarok seems to have adopted crowdfunding as a strategy, one that works for them. Both Kaiju Rising and Blackguards exceeded their funding goals.

And the final Kickstarter I want to mention is not one to launch a book, but a subscription drive. That’s coming from Fiction River. If you’ve kept up with my posts, you’ll know that Fiction River is one of my favorite publications. It’s a book length magazine that’s available in print and electronic formats.

Editors Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith launched the magazine using Kickstarter. They want to keep it going. One thing all magazines have to do is maintain a subscription base, as the number of subscribers will tend to decrease over time. This is a natural thing that doesn’t mean the publication is dropping in quality. Subscriptions can drop off due to readers dying or having financial difficulties. Those readers need to be replaced. Subscription drives are a good way to do that. Considering how quickly the project met its goal, there are a number of people interested in what Fiction River publishes.

These are only three Kickstarter projects currently out there. I’ve only mentioned three of them. I’m beginning to think I could read only Kickstarter funded projects and not have much time for fiction from other sources.

So let me ask you, what’s something you’ve read that was funded by Kickstarter that you enjoyed? Drop a note in the comments and let us know.

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  1. Hi Keith, I remember reading your post last year with a blend of optimism (hope for expanding markets) and skepticism (fear of reading crap). Since then, the optimistic side has taken over. This Wednesday I will be posting my review of yet another kickstarter (my third such review in a year) here at Amazing Stories. The quality of writing has been equal to that of traditional publishers in all three cases:

    Unidentified Funny Objects 2 – a humor anthology that I enjoyed so much, I ended up voting for it as my top anthology of 2013 in the Locus poll.

    The Hogben Chronicles – a collection of Henry Kuttner’s Hogben stories. It hardly seemed like a kickstarter because Kuttner is a known commodity and the project was pushed by Neil Gaiman.

    Unidentified Funny Objects 3 (review due out Wednesday) – Science Fiction and Fantasy’s first ever annual humor anthology continues. Clearly the traditional publishers never felt there was a market for a SF/F humor annual. Fortunately they were wrong.

    These are indeed good times (at least for reading – maybe not so much otherwise).

    1. Hi, David.

      I’m glad the optimism is taking over. While Sturgeon’s Law has never been repealed, there is plenty of good fiction being published through new mechanisms. I’ll be looking forward to your review.

      I’m not familiar with Unidentified Funny Objects, but I’ll have to check it out. Humor is hard to do, and I would love to find some good sources for it.

      I loved The Hogben Chronicles (, but then Kuttner is one of my all time favorites.

      Neil Clarke’s Upgraded arrived the other day. I’m looking forward to that one.

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