Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Steel Road ~ weapons out of Africa, Europa, India, and more

Sjambok from Africa   Art by: Zachary Viola
From: The Steel Road





















My first published rpg source book.  I like the sound of that!

It's not as easy as one might think. Picking weapons, looking for weapons that haven't been used before, and building descriptions for both the mundane version and the enchanted version is a good bit of work.  I have to say, I'm enjoying it!

As you may have noticed from past posts, we've put together a few weapons from each area we're touching on.  It's not meant to be a comprehensive list of all weapons from each area.  Instead, each weapon is native, historically speaking, to the region or continent in question.  The Sjambok above, is native to Africa. Its a painful device still in use this day.  Used like a whip and capable of inflicting horrible pain as well as injuring the target, the Sjambok sees use in modern day for crowd/riot-control.  A terrifying weapon, particularly if you have ever been on the receiving end!

The Talwar, from India
Art by: Zachary Viola




















India has a long, rich history and has seen remarkable weapon development throughout the ages. The Talwar is a fantastic weapon, and is iconic for far eastern, and exotic locations.  Wherever spices may have flowed in the ancient world, so to the Talwar would be known as a weapon to be respected.

A weapon well suited for broad flourishes and quick slashes, the Talwar is light enough to be used by the common foot soldier yet heavy enough to cleave through bone.

The Tanto from Japan
Art by: Zachary Viola




















From the earliest development we intended to cover weapons that had not been seen in rpg source books.  Japan has seen a great deal of weaponry from it's history covered in other books, so we focused on weapons that we hadn't seen, or that were iconic and deserving of attention (particularly if I felt the weapon deserved more attention).  The chisel tipped tanto was one of the first weapons I knew we wanted to include. Too often this fantastic feat of weapon engineering has been given short shrift as "equivalent to a dagger" when in truth daggers vary tremendously, and few are as remarkable.

With its chiseled tip the tanto is excellent at punching through armor, while it's keen edge can cut through tough hide and hard muscle with surprising ease.  The tanto requires exacting skill to forge, and is a valuable weapon in close quarters.

*****

Zachary spend a great deal of time on the sketchbook style for these weapons.  Each is illustrated to give you a genuine depiction of the authentic weapon, and then the enchanted "legendary" versions were embellished for thematic effect reflecting their special powers.  Intriguing, isn't it?

The Steel Road will be released in both a 5th edition and Pathfinder compatible versions.  Art and production will be funded through a KickStarter campaign, which will launch after fulfillment of Comet over Echo Rock (Tarot Adventures, Book Two).

For the KickStarter we'll be offering a really special backer reward level for the first 72 hours of the campaign.  Backers will be able to get PDF and a print on demand code (a code that lets you pay only the printing cost and shipping cost for a copy... this is facilitated through drivethrurpg.com) for only $8!  Even better though, all backer rewards with print on demand codes are eligible for the stretch goals we currently have formulated. {So once we launch, come out soon to support this book and get your copy at the lowest backer level I can offer!}

I'm hoping to reach a thousand backers for this campaign, or more.  That's a HUGE goal to reach, so I hope you'll come out when the campaign launches and support this great book, and help spread the word! So please share this with other gamers to help build the momentum we're looking for to reach our goals! Keep your eyes open, and watch here for more art to be teased and more information on this exciting resource.

As always, thank you for coming along with me on my adventure into game design, self-publishing, and writing.  I hope to see you next time.


(Coming to KickStarter soon!)

All art provided by : Zachary Viola
Each illustration is copyright (c) Zachary Viola


Friday, February 16, 2018

A few notes on growing your audience (some basics) *edited*



I am the first to admit that I'm a novice blogger.  I dove into blogging to share my experiences as a writer, game designer, and as a publisher.  It is my hope, that by sharing my experiences I would help others to avoid the pitfalls I find (and often fall face first into).

One of the issues in common with each (blogger, game designer, publisher, and writer) is the need to grow your audience.  That imperative to reach out and draw people to your work. In many ways, I've been reinventing the wheel quite a lot.  I've read a little, spoken with another, far more experienced, blogger, and tried to learn what I can along the way.  I've made mistakes which could have been avoided, and I've learned a little bit along the way.

My largest mistake as a blogger has touched each element of my efforts.  I failed to do a small thing, and it made things much harder than they could have been.  What did I do?  I didn't make intelligent efforts to grow my audience.  I call this a mistake, because I think it may be a flaw in my own approach.  Since launching my blogs and beginning the publication of my books, I have wanted more interaction with my audience and wasn't much concerned about the number of people I reached.  This was a bad decision. I failed to take simple steps to get the word out about all I've been doing. I think the truth is that in growing your audience you promote the kind of interaction I was hoping for.

This isn't going to be an entry on "how to be a good blogger".  I'm not particularly well qualified to give such advice, yet.  This entry is more on, "how not to make a few ridiculous mistakes", sprinkled with a bit of "things you can do to grow your audience".

Mistakes you don't want to make:

1) Failing to share your work ~  I know it sounds incredibly foolish, but when I started blogging I didn't share my posts.  As in I literally didn't use the share feature, nor did I use the share to social media feature.  Once I finally worked up the nerve to share an entry from my blog, I finally had people reading an entry.  As rudimentary as this sounds, don't be afraid to share your work with others.

2) Poor use of social media platforms ~ I knew remarkably little about social media a year ago.  Using social media to share your work isn't as simple as posting it on your Facebook wall, tweeting it to your followers, or making snappy comments on Instagram.  You need to target your audience so they can see your work.  You also need to illicit help.  So ask others with interests similar to your, to share your work.  Use appropriate hashtags.  Use hashtags that are truly relevant to the material you are sharing. You don't want to be "that guy" who tags things incorrectly, because your audience engagement will be minimal.

3) Writing fluff ~ Seriously!  You cannot just post links to your crowdfunding campaigns and expect people to flock to your banner. No, you need to build your audience by creating  engagement through the content you provide.  You need to produce content that has value to your audience.  You need to produce things that people in your audience want to see. You want to provide value because, if you do, you'll find that you have more people paying attention to you.

4) Abusing your audience ~ If you've been reading this blog you've seen me mention time and again how your audience isn't your personal money machine.  Don't treat them like they are.  Be honest, respect their intelligence and interests, and create content that is useful and fun.  In other words, don't be a jerk.

Steps to growing your audience:

1)  Join groups, chats, and channels that share interests in the type of material you provide~  Enjoy the company and companionship.  Learn, participate, and be a person. Be real, and honest.  Your participation in these communities will draw people to you.  Create content with an eye toward what is wanted and/or needed by these communities.  Be ORIGINAL in your vision, pleasant and precise in your posts, and honest. (This is your social media work... its IMPORTANT)

2)  Garner help from those who follow you ~ Any time a person will share you work with others, you increase your potential audience.  Share to them and ask them to share as well.  Spread the word and show people that your content is interesting, useful, or otherwise valuable in some way.

3) Respond to comments, questions, and emails ~  Before you set up a blog, set up a new email account specifically for that media.  Answer questions honestly, use professional language, and accept feedback from your audience.

4)  Continue to hone your writing skills ~ Create interesting, original content, and don't be afraid to admit it when you make a mistake.  Take feedback from your audience on what they might like to see from you.   Keep your content as interesting (and honest) as it can be.  I will recommend, however, that you stay away from low brow shenanigans as you will lose audience members through attrition as they mature. Keep things interesting and classy.

5) Be careful of the links you embed into your pages ~  As you may have noticed I have only a few items embedded on this blog.  You will see that I feature a crowdfunding campaign (either one of mine, or one I found interesting, or because I know the people conducting the campaign) on the page.  Such as I'm doing now ~




I do this to help promote the campaign in question.  Which is to say, to support the team behind the project by making it easier for people to find them.  One or two is enough (in my honest opinion).  I also place affiliate links to Amazon.  Those are to items or services I thought were cool and/or related to the blog in question.

If you're going to use such features, make sure they are for things that your readers would find interesting.  You aren't trying to sell the world to each and every person, you're really just helping people become of aware of cool projects, or goods and services they may enjoy.

{Note:  I was not financially compensated for posting the link to Ghost Assassin.  I'm actually a backer for that campaign, because I think the art is awesome and I'm really looking forward to having a copy in my collection}.

But, be mindful of the links you use.  Make certain they work, and check them periodically.  I like building them onto the page layout, so I can easily update them across the board.  Its also one reason I almost never post links within the blog (but that is just my thing, the above link is used as an example and to promote a campaign I'm very impressed with).  Broken links get people nowhere, and don't do anything for you.  Keep your blog and its features operating, and your audience will be more likely to stick around and grow.

6)  Have fun ~  Don't make blogging a chore. Enjoy the writing you do, the research you conduct, and the people you interact with. People react to joy in others.  Its contagious so start an outbreak of joy.

7) Define your audience ~  I had to edit this point in, as I failed to point it out originally (Thank you Aaron!).  You have to know who you are writing for in order to provide content for them.  I write this blog for a small range of people.  As I've posted before, I hope you can use the information provided in these entries to avoid the mistakes I make, and use those things that have worked for me.


That's pretty much it for my present understanding of growing your audience.  Many of you know I have multiple blogs now, addressing children's books, book reviews, and blogs where I post my own fan fiction (I'm such a nerd).  This is my effort to create content of value for my readers.  I recommend it for anyone who has a lot of creativity they need to utilize, and a lot of ideas they want to explore.

This is it for today.  I hope you enjoyed the post.
If you did like this content, please do share it with others (see, growing an audience!)

Thank you for accompanying me on this adventure.  I hope I'll see you next time.

W.S. Quinton


I wish to extend my thanks to : Beloch Shrike and Aaron McLin for their feedback.


Note One:  This entry has been edited.  I received some nice feedback and made a few changes to clean this up a bit. Changes included rewording the lead-ins for "mistakes" and inserted point #7 and removed clumsy sentence from #2 Garner help from those who follow you.

Note Two:  Always edit your work before you publish it 😁  I wrote this last night, and published it after only a brief read through, and I missed some grammatical errors.  (Yeah, don't do that)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

"When you're a writer people say the damnedest things!" OR "Not everyone likes chocolate" I had title trouble today...


Art by Zachary Viola
From: "The Steel Road" an rpg source book

When you set out to write and self-publish, you will find that many of your friends will have questions and opinions about your endeavors.  You are likely to hear both negative and positive responses, even from dearest friends and relatives.  I believe this is not unusual, as I've experienced both and I've spoken to a number of other authors who have  experienced the same phenomena.

So lets take a look at some opinions I've heard, and I'll tell you my thoughts on each.  To get them out of the way, we'll start with the negative or dissuasive things I've been told.  For our purposes here today, I'll call them "Pessimistic" opinions

Pessimistic Opinions:

1)  You'll never make any money ~  I have heard this more than once.  You may hear this from people for a number of reasons.  Some people are trying to be kind and curtail what they perceive as unrealistic expectations.  People may have their own baggage that is coloring their judgement (maybe they are frustrated writers themselves).  Still others are simply envious of your daring to put yourself and your talent on display.  Regardless of the motivation, lets take a look the argument on it's face.

What people are usually saying when they make this argument is that you won't make a living as a writer.  They don't believe, or don't want you to believe, that you can earn money to sustain yourself by writing out your ideas for the consumption of others.  While, for many people, it is true that they do not earn enough money from their publications to support themselves, it is certainly not true of all authors.  I firmly believe it is no one's place to decide whether you will make enough money writing to make it your career, other than you.  I'm not going to tell you "You can't do it".  You may have the next 'Harry Potter' series on your desk for all I know.  I'm also not going to tell you 'Quit your day job and write all day', because that may do horrific harm to you.

What I am going to say, is that you, and really ONLY you, can make that determination.  Write well and often, do your due diligence in whether you want to seek out a publisher or self-publish. In other words, write because you want to and because you believe you can.  It doesn't matter if you've found your premiere, break-out story yet.  It matters that you are writing and developing your skill, and that you aren't giving up.

2)  You're not a good writer ~ I think every writer has had this happen.  I think the best thing to remember when someone decries your writing, your stories, or your capabilities is to realize that not everyone in the world likes chocolate.  Its true.  I work with a lady who doesn't like chocolate and it amazes me.  The same is true with writers. Not everyone likes Jim Butcher, or Charles Stross, or Tolkien; but MANY people derive great enjoyment from the works those authors have produced.  So take it with a grain of salt, and when someone says "You suck.... your work is terrible.... your plot has huge holes in it..." or whatever else that may be hurtful to hear; remember that 'not everyone likes chocolate'.  The next thing you should do is take a look at what they say, analyze your work critically and see if you need to improve.

3)  There are too many writers out there and no original ideas ~ I've heard people who claim they want to be writers make this lamentable statement.  They are wrong. There isn't a lot of ambiguity here.  People who argue this point are simply mistaken.  Maybe they haven't been able to find an idea they want to write and conclude that no original ideas remain.  While that is terribly sad, it should shine light on the fact that what they are going through is a drought of ideas. Work to inspire these people by example.  Write what you may, and prove them wrong.  Who knows, you may inspire greatness in them.

4)  Being an author isn't easy ~  This is true.  Its not easy.  It is, in point of fact, a great deal of work.  It is even more labor intensive when you don't have the benefit of an established publisher to market your work for you, to see to printing, schedule promotions/book signings, edit your work, and bring the finished product to market.  Each of the tasks listed above, are done by people.  As a person yourself, you can learn to do each.  It is a great deal of work, but writing the book is just the first step.  To get people to read it you have to make them aware of it, and convince them to read it.

5)  When will you find time to write? ~  A question begs an answer, and this is a simple question with an equally simple answer.  You find time to write when you can.  For me, its on my phone at work while I'm taking a break, or at home after the kids go to sleep or before they wake up in the morning.  You can make time for you to write in.  You simply have to willing to.  So rather than watch a television show or Youtube and lose track of your day, put pen to paper or fingers to keys and write.  You will surprised at how much work you can accomplish by writing even a small amount each day.

There are uncounted additional reasons people may throw at your to dissuade you from writing.  The five above are simply the ones I've most commonly encountered or have discussed with other writers.  The rationale to keep writing remains the same, however, because if you ever stop writing you may lose years before you decide to take up the pen again.  That is what happened to me.  I wish I had continued to write, even if it means I was writing badly the entirety of the time, rather than having stopped.  I lost many stories that I never got to tell because I stopped writing.  Save yourself the regret, and keep writing.

As for positive responses, we'll call these items "affirmative" for purposes of this discussion.   Don't let kind words over inflate your ego, or let your commitment to excellence lapse.The following are some of the common things you may or will soon encounter.

1)  You're such a good writer ~ Fans are awesome.  Don't let it go to your head.  I've been remarkably fortunate with my first two published adventure modules, to have had people tell me those books were fantastic.  I've also had the joy of people telling me they intend to follow each book I write.  Those are high compliments.  Don't let them get in the way of your best work.  You should want to earn your reader's respect and loyalty with each book you write.  A book is never really "good enough" for you as a writer.  It should either be done to the best of your ability, or not done yet.  There really should not be room in your creation process for 'good enough'.

2) I bet you'll make lots of money ~ Great thought.  I've not accomplished that, but you very well may.  I know writers who make enough from their publications to supplement their income nicely, and I know of several who make a modest living from their books alone.  Don't count on making lots of money, until that money is in your custody (I.E. its in the bank).  There also needs to be more to motivate you aside from monetary gain.  If all you are wanting to do is chase money, there are much more reliable avenues for you to explore. If you should make lots of money, I will be very happy for you.

3)  I wish I could write like you ~ That person probably can.  Let them know that.  There are a lot of inspirational and flowery ways to say it, but talent thrives when it is cultivated.  Encourage people to try.  They can only succeed if they will make the effort.


*****

Shameless self-promotion:

The art above was created by Zachary Viola for a coming project of mine "The Steel Road".  That book will be coming to KickStarter for funding once fulfillment for Tarot Adventures, Book Two: Comet over Echo Rock has been fulfilled.

"The Steel Road" is an rpg weapon source book filled with fifty (50) exotic weapons from around the world.  Each weapon entry also details an enchanted version, to provide new and exciting magical weapons for your campaign.  Zachary Viola has illustrated each weapon in a sketch book style, reflecting the theme of the book.

"The Steel Road" will be released for 5th edition game mechanic as well as in a Pathfinder Compatible version.

Spoiler: For the first 72 hours of the KickStarter campaign I will be offering PDF copies and Print on demand codes (to print at costs + shipping) for Drivethrurpg.com at a sweet rate of $8. I'm hoping to reach 1000 backers or more for this campaign and I hope you'll join me, share the link, and pledge your support to bring "The Steel Road" to gaming tables around the world.

*****

Thank you for joining me on my adventure into writing, self-publishing, and game design.  I hope I'll see you here next time.

W.S. Quinton

*Edit* I just realized this marks the 70th entry on this blog... hard to believe how quickly they piled up.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

I believe, in YOU!

Writing is much like exercise.  The more often you do it, the easier it becomes.  It becomes habituated to your personality, just like running, karate, weight lifting, and yoga.  You begin to look forward to it, and that is a wondrous feeling.

I first launched this blog, chronicling my efforts in writing, self-publishing, and game development on March 8th of 2017.  I drafted and published my first ever blog entry, writing exactly what I wanted to say in an unpolished way.  I simply jumped in and went to work.  I should have read a book first 😂

I've made mistakes along the way as I worked to get my books released.  I can say that these were honest mistakes born of inexperience.  I'm still learning, and I accept that.  So to you who have been reading this blog and accompanying me on this great adventure, I think you for your patience.  This entry marks the 69th entry for this blog.  Time has flown by.

This blog has chronicled my work leading up to, and documenting my efforts to publish Tale of the Wizard's Eye.  It has recorded projects that are still in development, or on hold (primarily due to financing), and had provided some shameless self-promotion for the Tarot Adventures and other products I'm developing. 

I've learned things along the way.  I know now that it is imperative to promote your kickstarter campaigns AT LEAST a few weeks ahead of launch and to do so smartly.  I've learned that even when your files are right and accepted that there can still be errors that creep into the print run (yeah, that sucked).  I've met many people who are on the same journey, having similar adventures.  I've learned more about production scheduling than I care to mention, and about project management as a whole.  Its tough being the guy in charge, even if it is a one-man show. 

I've had three successful kickstarter campaigns, one which didn't fund, and I've seen my campaigns and my books reviewed online in several places.  Backers have given my books reviews, and have messaged me about what they liked and what they didn't (this is incredibly valuable data everyone, always listen to your backers).  I've made some good books, some smart decisions, and a few bad mistakes. 

I'm still here, and Sinopa Publishing LLC is still going strong.  (Still haven't made any money yet, really but it'll get there).

Next month will mark the one year anniversary of this blog.  I hope to be able to post something informative, something insightful, that you can use in your own endeavors in writing and publishing.  For now, I think I'll point you to the first paragraph in this entry.  Then I'll tell you "write" and do it all the time.  Write about your projects and about cool things you've seen other people do.  Write about your day and your triumphs and write about your failings and failures.  Own up to your successes and study your mistakes.  But first and foremost, "WRITE"!  Nothing else will put your words on a page.  Write, and create your stories, and your worlds.  Once you have written it, then work out the publishing, promotion, the funding etc. 

Write, because no one else is putting your words to paper yet.  Change that!  Write so that other people will review your work, for good or ill.  Give them something to write about. 

You've been with me on this adventure this long.  Keeping up with me each step.  I'm going to keep writing and I hope you will too. 

I believe in you!

_______________________________________________



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Steel Road: a weapon source book coming soon!

The Steel Road will soon be coming to Kickstarter.  From there its onto your game, to put exotic weapons from around the world at your fingertips.  Each weapon is fully illustrated in sketchbook style, as its traditional version and as an enchanted "legendary" version. Marvel at the art being developed for this amazing new book!


Iklwa, a Zulu spear
The traditional weapon (left) and the legendary version (right)
Art by: Zachary Viola
We have gathered a collection of weapons from around the world to create The Steel Road.
Whether you favor the idea of a heavy iron spear such as the famed Zulu Iklwa, or the devasting Akrafena, you'll find a selection of exotic weapons at your finger tips.

Arkafena
Legendary version (left) and traditional version (right)
Art by: Zachary Viola

Journey with through The Steel Road to the mythic lands of India.  Explore the devastating weapons of an ancient culture.  Wield the Trishula and strike down your enemies with divine swiftness.
Trishula
Traditional version (left) and the legendary version (right)
Art by: Zachary Viola
Or take up the Bagh Nakh, and rend your foes life away while you look him in the eye!
Bagh Nakh
Traditional version (left) and legendary version (right)
Art by: Zachary Viola

The island of Japan is home to an elite class of warriors, the samurai.  Their weaponry matches their own reputation for deadly efficiency.  Would you weild an Otsuchi to batter down barred gates and flatten foolish enemies who dare stand before you?
Otsuchi
Legendary version (left) and traditional version (right)
Art by: Zachary Viola
The samurai train diligently.  Take up the suburito to strengthen your strikes, condition your muscles, and hone your technique.  Or use it to strike down the enemies of your daimyo!

Suburito
Art by: Zachary Viola
Illustrated by Kubert School alumnus Zachary Viola, you'll find fantastic illustrations of these weapons of far flung lands. Written by W.S. Quinton and released by Sinopa Publishing LLC.

Journey with us on The Steel Road and play your game on the keen edge of an exotic blade!


See my previous post about developing The Steel Road
(To be made available for the 5th edition rules set and released under the OGL, and released in a Pathfinder compatible edition as well}














*all art presented here is copyright (c) 2017 - 2018 by Zachary Viola
*The Steel Road is copyright(c) 2018 by W.S. Quinton
*Sinopa Publishing LLC is registered in the Commonwealth of Kentucky

Friday, February 2, 2018

Role playing game project development: A few words


Art for The Steel Road by: Zachary Viola



















Fifty exotic weapons from around the world in one book, many of which have never been described in any role-playing game source I've ever seen (and I've been playing tabletop role-playing games since 1991!). This is the idea behind The Steel Road (formerly under the working title of Bare Steel & Drawn Blood).

Sounds simple doesn't it?

The reality is that this project has been in the works for months, with one artist devoted to producing the highest quality of art within the selected style.  Zach Viola has spent hundreds of hours producing art to simulate the theme of the book, that of a sketch book created by a traveling weapon merchant.  Developing content, coordinating art, laying out the project timeline, planning the crowdfunding, and making the release announcement have all been an exciting but busy job.

If you ever decide to develop such a sizeable project I hope you find it as enjoyable as I have.

A few things about project development for role-playing game material and crowdfunding it:

1) You should get estimates for completion dates from your artists.  I would recommend that you then add 20% to that timetable, to allow for any problems that come along with art development (illness, competing obligations, personal issues, etc.).

2)  Develop a realistic page count.  This is IMPORTANT!  Do NOT say, 'oh I'll create a 200 page source book and it will be awesome'.  Nope, therein lies problems.  Create an outline of the topics, resources, and materials you intend to include.  Develop your rough draft, allow pages for your art, and then look at what your expected page count will be (don't forget to include your copyright and any license statements you may need).   Once you have that, compare your art needs to your completion estimates and calculate your material development time.  Whether you have the art done in advance, or done once you know what your budget is from your crowdfunding, you MUST factor in the timeline for your crowdfunding effort as regards your fulfillment.  Don't be one of those guys who misses fulfillment because of poor planning.

3)  Budget your time for layout.  I do my own layout, then I correct it after feedback from my play testers and from my art director.  I allow about a week for every ten (10) pages of book, which is really much more time that I need.  This builds in more time in my project timeline for any difficulties I might encounter (software problems for example).

4)  Crowdfunding (oh boy)... firstly, let me state that I have had three successfully funded projects and one that hasn't.  I have some experience, but I'm not claiming to be an expert. (Disclaimer over) Some things you should remember from previous entries on this subject: use an email account devoted to your crowdfunding (because you will get marketing spam), promote well in advance and consistently, do NOT make grandiose claims (stick to the facts), be HONEST, and use your crowdfunding to make the product the best it can be and to fund its production.  Whether you use paid marketing/promotion or not is your decision (I've had little success with paid promotion and I stress LITTLE).  Target your goal for what it takes to produce the product, set any stretch goals to be realistically attainable improvements to the final product with a minimal increase to the cost of production (this is an ideal you want to strive for anyway).  Develop your kickstarter goal with a close eye on the math (do NOT forget to account for shipping costs, where applicable).  Treat your backers with the respect they deserve, be grateful for their support, and be genuine with your gratitude.

5) While your crowdfunding is underway you need to verify all your production points, complete any unfinished elements, and answer questions and respond to comment from your backers and prospective backers.

6) Fulfillment of your crowdfunding campaign must be timely. Do it right the first time so you can earn the respect and confidence (and, eventually trust) of your backers.  Admit any mistakes, remedy them, and be happy that you and your backers brought your project to life!

7) Once fulfillment is complete, bring your product to market.  I should have mentioned this well before now, but you must formulate how you are going to sell your product (if you intend to) after the crowdfunding is done. Put your marketing plan into action and keep working. Your business work load doesn't stop, so keep busy.

*****

Art by: Zachary Viola, from The Steel Road

















So, there you have a simplified outline for developing your project.  There are fine points I hope to cover in future entries, but that will at least put you on the path to getting your project, your dream, beyond the cool idea stage and onto the 'held in your hand' stage.


The Steel Road (formerly under the working title of 'Bare Steel & Drawn Blood' (by: W.S. Quinton / Illustrated by: Zachary Viola)
(c) 2017 by W.S. Quinton {all art is copyright (c) by Zachary Viola (2017-2018)}

Now, here is a little insider news for you:

The crowdfunding campaign for The Steel Road is going to launch after fulfillment is done for Tarot Adventures, Book Two: Comet over Echo Rock (on kickstarter as of this writing). Please do support that project.  Its a cool adventure.

When I launch the campaign for The Steel Road it will have a really fantastic backer reward available for early backers during the first two days of the campaign.  (Yes, shameless self promotion)

So, here is what I'm doing for the campaign:

Its going to have PDF copy as well as POD code for backer rewards (the POD code allows the backer to order their hard copy at the cost of printing plus the shipping cost, this makes lower backer pledges possible, reduces costs, and should make fulfillment run quicker).  During the first two days, backers will get both for the bargain pledge of $8 and those backers will be eligible for the stretch goal rewards (yes, this is really what I'm doing).  After that early backer period is over, the PDF backer reward will be set at $10 and the PDF plus POD code will be set at $15, so early backers are basically getting the whole thing at half the pledge amount!

Stretch goals: Stretch goals will add a second POD code for hard cover edition of the book to all backers pledged for POD code backer levels.  As a second and, most likely, final stretch goal I will include a full description of the merchant caravan the narrator of the book operates.  This will give you a great NPC resource for your fantasy campaign.

Social Goals:  I've seen this done on a number of campaigns lately and I like the idea.  So, if we reach 1000 backers or more, I'll produce a third cover which will be specifically limited to KickStarter backers.  I'll send a POD code for that edition to all backers who backed at pledge levels with POD codes.

This campaign is designed to be simple to fulfill while providing fantastic value for backers.

So far, the largest number of backers I've had support a project has been 143.  For The Steel Road, I'm hoping to reach 1000 backers or more.  To do that I'm going to need your help!

So I'm asking this of each of you who are joining me on this adventure in self-publishing, writing, and game design; please do check out my KickStarter campaigns, support the projects you like, and share the links with others.  Doing that helps immensely.

Please do also +1 this entry, and share it with others to help spread the word.

*****

Thanks again for coming with me on this adventure.

I hope I'll see you here next time.

Comments and questions are most welcome!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Blood, Pain, and Power: Stygian Necromancy

In the history of the practice of magic there have often been those who bent their powers to evil.  Many a wizard has delved into the necromantic arts to garner power over death and the undead.  Their crimes mar the centuries in blood, suffering, and tragedy. The sum of their sins pales in comparison, to the horrors perpetrated by the Necromancer.

The Necromancer was a master of the darkest arts of magic.  By dint of power he possessed, he attracted followers of the most fearsome sort.  Among his followers the most powerful, and feared, were the Acolytes of Death.  These thirteen magicians were masters of the arts of necromancy and murder. They lent their power to the Necromancer's darkest and most secret rituals.  Through these rituals the Necromancer bought secrets of the arts of death and magic with the blood of his victims.  Those fell secrets, dreadful arts of the magic of death and souls, elevated the Necromancer and his Acolytes to new heights of power.

The Necromancer would go on to assemble a blasphemous tome of the darkest arts, which he used to instruct his followers.  This book, "Whispers of Persephone", contains secrets of the dark arts that had never before been known to mortals.

Among the secrets possessed by these practitioners of the darkest arts were the secrets of ritual sacrifice.  Through blood and pain, these magicians were able to enhance their power and become even more dreadful. Their path to power, paved in the suffering of their victims, drove them to commit unspeakable acts.

Curses upon those who seek the power of this tradition, and woe be unto those who fall victim to its adherents!

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Whispers of Persephone is a rpg source book and spellbook detailing the arcane tradition of Stygian Necromancy.  Illustrated by the remarkable Christian Martinez to be dark and beautiful, this book is a great resource for your campaign and looks great in your collection.  Whether used by players or against player characters, Whispers of Persephone is book for any campaign that wants their dark arts to be DARK again!

Coming to KickStarter Summer of 2018!

Thank you for joining me on my continuing adventure into writing and self-publishing.  I do hope you find these entries useful for reference and of aid to you in your own endeavors.


*If you have questions please comment below.

Copyright Notice:  Whispers of Persephone is copyright 2018 by W.S. Quinton
This blog entry is made as an introduction to the subject matter of that book, and no rights to the copyright of Whispers of Persephone are conveyed, implied, or otherwise transferred or commuted to any other person or entity.

Written for mature audiences and released under the Open Game License (as detailed in SRD5.1)