Evan Graham's latest update for Proteus

Jun 28, 2017

Now is the winter of our campaigning
Made glorious summer by this contest’s end;
And all the stress that lour’d upon our heads
In the deep bosom of the internets hid.
Now are our books bound with the Nerdist imprint;
Our bruised keyboards hung up for gaming;
Our Facebook wall posts changed to memes and kittens,
Our begging pitches to delightful “thank yous.”

But I, that am not shaped for placing third,
Nor made to win at funding competitions;
I, that am bad at sales, and worse at strategy
To get people to want to buy this book;
I, that fell behind in this second contest,
Beaten by authors with prevailing campaigns,
Defeated, passed by, sent before my time
Out of these top three spots, scarce half caught up.

And therefore, since I cannot prove a winner,
To entertain these fair post-contest days,
I am determined to prove an author
And use the idle pleasures of these days.
Plans have I laid, ideas dangerous,
By half-mad ambitions, wishes and dreams,
To keep my book Proteus on the site
To fund the hard way like Tantalus Depths…

Well...we didn’t make it to the top three. I kind of knew that was going to be the outcome yesterday: all week, in spite of making significant gains in pre-orders, we simply could not close the gap with the competition. You might have noticed that we didn’t really move at all yesterday. I sensed the end, so I didn’t really try that hard to catch up.

Instead, I spent much of the day in thought about what to do next. I mentioned when I launched this campaign that my intention was to either win or let it end immediately after the contest. Even as of yesterday I still planned to let the campaign die after the contest’s end.

But I’ve thought better of that. As of right now, we have raised 224 pre-orders, in just three weeks. That’s crazy. When I entered the contest, I never thought I’d get that many; in fact, the only reason I entered at all is because it looked like the top three might not end up being more than a hundred orders. I thought it would be an easy win. Clearly, I was super wrong about that. But also, I was wrong about how well I could compete beyond the level I thought I’d have to. We got so much farther than I thought we would with our campaign, I had to re-evaluate my next step.

At 224 pre-orders, we could reach Inkshares’ Quill light publication deal with just 26 more pre-orders. I decided way back when I was campaigning Tantalus Depths that Quill wasn’t right for me, but the standard goal for full Inkshares publication (the goal we reached for Tantalus Depths) is 750. We are already almost a third of the way there! After just three weeks of campaigning, without any help from syndicates or people ordering extra copies.

So I’ve decided to extend my campaign. Heaven help me, I’m going to try and fund Proteus all the way to the 750 pre-orders mark, just like I did with Tantalus Depths.

I’m doing this very differently, though. I’ve extended my campaign enormously: the new deadline is now nine months from now. I have several reasons for this. The primary reason is because my last campaign nearly killed me. I found myself under so much stress towards the end it was seriously affecting my emotional, mental, and physical health. I sacrificed my entire social life and alienated myself from friends and family. So this time, in order to reduce the amount of pressure I’m under I’ve given myself a lot more time to gather the orders I’ll need. Whereas in my Tantalus Depths campaign my daily goal for pre-orders was seven a day, every day, this time it’s more like one or two. This will give me time to spend with family and friends and doing the things I enjoy without filling me with dread for falling behind in my campaign.

It will also give me time to focus on Tantalus Depths. Any time I have work that needs to be done during the production process for Tantalus Depths, that’s where my focus will be. I’m not going to let Proteus get in the way of the book I’ve already funded, and I intend to make as big of a splash with Tantalus Depths as I can. I am so excited to get into that process, I can’t even describe it. So do not worry, Tantalus Depths is going to be the number one priority until well after it’s come out.

Which, incidentally is another reason for the long Proteus campaign. Since I’ve set it for nine months, Proteus should still be funding by the time Tantalus Depths is released. That will give me a unique opportunity to cross promote the two. Any time I’m set up at a release event or book signing, I’ll have two books to offer instead of one. That was always the plan from the moment I decided to enter the contest, and by setting this campaign as long as I have, it’ll still be a possibility.

I realize that some of you may be frustrated that I’ve changed my mind about how I’ll conduct this campaign. I did say originally that if I did not win the contest, you would get your money back. If that is something you still wish to do, I entirely understand. If you would like to get a refund for Proteus, you can still get one. Simply send an email to the Inkshares staff at hello@inkshares.com asking to cancel your pre-order for Proteus. They are friendly and helpful people, and they will happily do that for you.

Otherwise, your support is still very useful! Keep telling your friends and family about Proteus. You can order another copy or two now, and it’ll help, if you’re so inclined. When we hit our ultimate goal, you will get the book you paid for; it’ll simply be a very long time in coming.

I’m not especially looking forward to the long road ahead, but I already know I can do it, so I might as well. Jacob Sicarius spent 75 years in stasis waiting for his time to come, so I figure I can handle nine months. If you choose to join me on this voyage, welcome. I promise you where we’re going, no one else has gone before...