Bookwright, game designer, gamer, collector of too much stuff. Want to discuss a project, idea or send hate mail just email me!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Week in Review 5/30/13--Late Edition

Finally recovering from a wicked cold/flu, still not 100% but close.

Less than 10 days left for our anthology on Kickstarter-Click Here to check it out. Please pledge if you can, we really want to write more books.

King of Thieves is moving along nicely, more art is coming in and more playtesting.

A new Kickstarter project was born and looks like it will be the first one done by Samurai Sheepdog, Fall of Man, an RPG set in the distant post apocolypic future.  Dwarves with shotguns, sold!  It is almost done being written and has some interior art and a cover, so it is an easy thing to get ready for a Kickstarter.

Sam the Hanukkah Dragon is slowly getting some art and an edited version was sent to Jeff.

Gearing up for GenCon looking forward to seeing a lot of old and new friends.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week in Review 5/21/13

Let's see......

The Kickstarter for The Awakened is doing well, would love for it to be doing better, if we can get to $8k, we are guaranteed another book for 2014, if we get to $11k we are guaranteed The Awakened: Modern for 2014, I would love to have two more books locked in for next year from Dark Quest Books.

Had a fun Google Hangout, met some fans and had some of the authors "meet" for the first time, we even got a brief cameo from Bruce Cordell and Torah Cottrill checking in from the opera.

Sam the Hanukkah Dragon is getting edited!

Board game #1 has a released name now-King of Thieves.

I have started Darren Pearce on his bonus story for the Awakened Kickstarter backers and ordered the first of what I hope is many interior drawings for the book, this one done by Tony Szczudlo of TSR fame.

Life is good!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Why Buy Our Book On Kickstarter...

Someone asked me:
Why buy now instead of when it is available on Amazon?
-hardcover is only available through Kickstarter and then conventions until the balance are sold. All sold after the KS will not be signed/numbered.
-if you buy a physical copy you get a bookplate signed by all 16 authors
-six month exclusive additional short stories
-art in the physical copies
-if we hit certain goals, more book are guaranteed for next year, so if you like the setting you know more will come
-if more books are made the publisher committed to more original covers and an increase in pay rates to the authors
-it is a small indie publisher's first hardcover and it is nice to support the little guy.

Click Here To Be a Part of the Event

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sometmes Freelancing and Publishing Get Blurred

So I have spoken about freelancing and publishing before but sometimes it becomes a blur.
First let me say one of the flaws/great things is that gamers/geeks/nerds have passion.  It means we will give it our all, we want it to succeed, we think it will, call it delusions of grandeur or just a good imagination.  We have so much passion that sometimes it can be a bad thing.
I am that passion guy, if I am working on a project I am all in which is great if needed but I am probably a pain to publishers, these works are my babies and I need to make sure my kids are at the front of the class and get to cut in the lunch line.
I am sure most of the times, they mumble, man he is annoying but thank god he reminded me of xxx.
In the case of The Awakened anthology, I was fortunate enough to have complete control until the turn in.  I was allowed to choose the writers, the cover artist I already had the logo/map and setting ©, so it was mine.  Because it was mine I have a vested interest even if I do not make any additional money off of doing so.
This is a blessing and a curse for the publisher because I am all in his business asking when things will be done and we need to do xxx by yyy .  This would have never happened if I did not feel so close to the project. 
So I am working all angles of the project even though it is not my project, it is quite exhausting and when delays come, quite heartbreaking, I do understand he has a lot of other books he is working on but this one is important, it is mine!
I want him to make money so we can make more books so we can get these great stories to more people so we can get an RPG, then a spinoff of books, then a graphic novel, then a movie….*poof*  OK, I am back, but that is how I feel, I want this thing to be great I want to do it right, I want others to be as excited as I am.
I am feeling some of that from some of the people really excited about the setting and the animals with sapient abilities when awoken.  I just want the publisher to be as passionate and excited as me, and that is not realistic but when I am working so hard on something so personal how can you not do everything you can to make is a success.
OK, next time, a look into publishing.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What is Kickstarter?

People have seen me posting about stuff I have purchased (backed) on Kickstarter or when I share what friends have created, and now people are seeing what projects I am involved in.
So what is Kickstarter? 
From their webpage:

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects.
We’re a home for everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you. Since our launch in 2009, more than 4 million people have pledged over $608 million, funding more than 41,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now. 

Each project is independently created.
The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control over and responsibility for their projects. Kickstarter is a platform and a resource; we’re not involved in the development of the projects themselves. Anyone can launch a project on Kickstarter as long as it meets our guidelines.

Together, creators and backers make projects happen.
Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. All-or-nothing funding might seem scary, but it’s amazingly effective in creating momentum and rallying people around an idea. To date, an impressive 44% of projects have reached their funding goals.

Kickstarter to me is a way to crowdsource new and interesting ideas, to get the funding ahead of time before you start spending thousands of dollars on it.

We have ideas we want to see made, we ask for you help and in doing so if if funds you get the item but usually more as well.

In our resent campaign: The Awakened you get the opportunity to get a signed bookplate (sticker) with all sixteen authors names on it with every physical copy purchased, the hardcovers will be signed and numbered by the publisher and no other hardcovers will be made, all backers of $5 or more get the eBook as well.  So you get cool exclusive stuff and we get the funds to make it and possibly more books depending on how far the funding goes, that is what the stretch goals are for, yes we made enough to make it BUT do you want more stories, art in the book, and an audio version of said book???

If you have not been there go check it out here: Kickstarter

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pre-Weekend Update

Let's see The Awakened is funded, and shooting towards its first stretch goal-interior art and a bonus eStory.

We got more art for a preview of boardgame #1, looking smart.  Title and basic information coming soon.

Jim Pinto's Toolcard Kickstarter went crazy the last few days so I am working with him on one of his upcoming card decks.

Sam the Hanukkah Dragon sketches are coming along and just spoke to another type of artist that I have not spoken to in 20 years and he may be doing something for this project as well.  All I will say now is Jeff Easley is an amazing artist, his sketches would make some artist cry for that to be their final.

My gaming group is finally getting back together on Saturday and I could not be more thrilled, it has truly been far to long.

The Awakened on Kickstarter

The Awakened on Facebook

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Marvin the Mage takes on The Awakened!

Jim Wampler takes Marvin the Mage into the world of The Awakened!

Jim Wampler is the creator of the Marvin the Mage webcomic and is the Art Director for Gygax magazine. Jim’s cartoons and art first appeared in Tim Kask’s Adventure Gaming magazine and Judges Guild’s Pegasus magazine in the 1980s. In 2006 he formed Mudpuppy Games and published Metamorphosis Alpha 4th edition, and wrote and illustrated the GALACTA•3 miniatures game. His work has also appeared in game aids produced by Faster Monkey Games. Jim also still picks out his breakfast cereals according to the prize inside.

Week in Review and Kickstarter Status--5/7/13

We got the logo and some are for boardgame #1, it is looking very nice.

We are still working on rules for boardgame #2

I got a dragon from Jeff and waiting to see it in color for the childrens book.

No updates on Bluffside C&C

Was asked to AD a game, and said yes.

Little project is going well, about half way done with my part.

Hrmmmm anything else?????

The Awakened hardcover is a reality.
Thank you, thank you to all who pledged, liked, and shared this project, now onto the really cool stretch goals--art, more stories and more books!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013


 My publish vs. freelancing post got a lot of hits and discussion so I thought I would talk more about my feelings on both.
Freelancing is nice, it is very cut and dry for the most part.  I need XXX words by this date or I need this book approx. this long (word count) by Y, or I need 4 pieces of art 2 half page and 2 full page by Y.  You have a set job, a deadline and you can just go for it.
For writing it can be easy, what makes it tough if you are not doing the whole book is everyone writes with their own voice so it may be tough not to jar the reader when flipping from chapter 8 to chapter 9 in a game book.  For an anthology like we are currently doing it is a lot easier because when the characters change the flow may change but that makes sense, like the personality of the story changes as well, it feels OK.
Art can be the same, most books like a similar feel, your art directors job to make sure it all works together but a good art director also wants each artist to shine as well,  bring a little of themselves to the art, I love good art, I have bought gaming books simply because the art was awesome.  I may be in the minority here, but I feel art can bring a book to life.
Ok, back on topic, freelancing also has the advantage that you can say no to more work if you are busy and it does not affect you directly, obviously if you can do more, the publisher may come to you first because you helped but it is not a necessity, if you cannot do it someone else can.
It is freeing, because once you are done it is gone and you can start to write/paint the next subject.
Also there is no out of pocket expenses (unless you freelance like me, and invest into each product, grrr), just time, so if something does happen it is not your checkbook on the line.
Some of the disadvantages are, potentially low pay, delay in payments can happen or worse, the item is canceled.
The lack of control that can be freeing can also drive you bonkers, you have had my stuff for months why do I not have any updates on a release!!!!  Where is the book?  Why is it delayed?
Your freedom to move on may also be your biggest stressor at times.
You may have a period in time where you have no projects, so if this is your sole income, not having work can be just as devastating as having too much work.
Being a freelancer is not easy, you need to make sure you do not make anyone angry always do your work on time or at least communicate to the publisher if there is an issue and why but if you can garner a reputation and a “need” to have you as part of a project then you should be OK.
Some good examples of this are Stan! and Matt Forbeck amongst the many other, I always see them working or associated with products, I have worked with Matt and he is a pro 100% and a super nice guy, and Stan Brown is always willing to give you advice if he cannot help with the project that you offered him, top notch guys-there are many others but this is not a commercial for freelancers.

Next week I will talk about the blurred freelancing work I did for my anthology and how that made me more passionate about it.
Want to see how the anthology Kickstarter is going-CLICK HERE
Want to see the FaceBook page for the anthology setting-CLICK HERE

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I was thinking about this the other day, priorities are very important in the big picture.  I left a job I really enjoyed in law enforcement because they were giving me grief about how I could not work some nights and some weekends because I was a single father and my kids are more important than my job. 
I now work at a job that is not the best in the world, not does the pay reflect that but I have a house, car and can buy cool things when I want and it helps fund my projects that I work on and at the same time they are cool if my kids are sick and I need to leave early or take them to the doctor and that makes this job priceless.
They also give me the flexibility to take time off on my terms (like going to GenCon).
So no matter if you work for the man or that man happens to be yourself make sure you determine what is important and make sure there is time to do that.
So take a few minutes when you can and spend time with your kids, reading a book, playing a game or like me working on books and games when I am not spending time with my kids, but just make sure you take that time.