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I have an unpublished novel, Vika's Avenger, sitting around unsold. It's a science-fantasy story with detective elements and a revenge motive. Two different editors have been interested in buying it, but were overruled by higher-ups who couldn't figure out how to market it; a third editor turned it down but had some useful comments about it. While it may have other failings, the largest problem seems to be that it doesn't fit any current known market niches.

I thought about self-publishing it, but my track record there is less than stellar. I thought about sending it to a smaller publisher, such as Wildside. I thought about serializing it online, as I've done with recent Ethshar novels. I haven't ruled any of these out, but none of these options has me wildly enthused.

And I've also thought about trying to launch it on Kickstarter.

If I do that, I'll have some interesting options. For one thing, if it makes the basic amount I set (which would probably be $10,000), I could then set stretch goals that would include such things as commissioning a David Mattingly cover painting. I'd probably rewrite it -- some of the creative choices I made when writing it were based on my perception of the market at the time, and obviously didn't help sell it, and that third editor's comments, along with some other events, have me thinking of ways it could be improved.

But if it doesn't make the nut, that could be embarrassing. Not to mention that running the Kickstarter and then publishing the book would be a significant amount of work. And that $10,000 would need to cover producing and distributing the various incentives, so my net proceeds wouldn't be all that much.

So I'm waffling. Do I try to Kickstart it, or not?

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lwe

May 2017

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