Update! Just a short one today, but a worthy one.
Proteus has finally passed 300 preorders! We officially have more pre-orders than the Somnambule has crew members (conscious ones anyway. We still need to sell about 49,700 copies to match the number of colonists in stasis. We’ll get there). This is solid progress! We’re slowly crawling up on the halfway mark, and I’m hoping to reach it within the next two weeks. We’re slightly behind schedule, but not by very much, and progress has still been pretty steady overall.
I’ve mentioned it before, but the stretch between 250 and 500 pre-orders is a vast, empty wasteland for a pre-order campaign. We’re right in the middle, so we don’t get to feel the surge of excitement that accompanies the first couple weeks of a campaign’s launch or the similar surge as we see the finish line approaching. Right now, nothing seems to make an impact. But I assure you, it does.
Please keep showing your support by liking and sharing Proteus on all your social media. Tell all your family and friends about this book, online and in person. I know I say that every time, but I can never overstress how important it is to spread the word. If you haven’t yet pre-ordered a copy, or if you think you’d be willing to order a second or third one to support the project, I implore you to do so. Proteus only becomes a book with your help. I’m just the writer here; you’re the ones who can turn it from a concept in the notes on my computer to a printed book on shelves worldwide and in your own hands.
Thank you as always for your support, it means more to me than I’ll ever be able to express. I cannot wait to share this book with all of you.
Greetings friends and supporters! I am pleased to say that in the first few days of my return to the Proteus campaign, we have pulled in a healthy amount of support. Thanks to your help, we’ve reached 286 pre-orders already! That puts our ultimate goal at 464 orders away, which does seem daunting, but if you think about it, we’re also only 89 orders away from the halfway mark. That’s my next goal, and it’s definitely within sight.
Keep up the good work! Tell all your friends and family, about Proteus, and if you have the means to do so, please order a copy.
Now with that order of business out of the way, it’s time for another of my famous lore updates!
In Tantalus Depths, you were introduced to the Colonial Hegemony; the massive, multinational alliance responsible for establishing humankind’s presence on worlds throughout the galaxy. But the Hegemony is not the only such alliance. Now, Proteus introduces the Expansionary Coalition. The ambitious, multi-generational Bella Rosa expedition is the greatest undertaking the Expansionary Coalition has ever attempted in the pursuit of its goal of finding a better home for humanity. For the Coalition, this is not merely exploration for its own sake. It’s an imperative for their future survival.
The Coalition has hung its hopes on the fate of the Somnambule and its 50,000 colonists. Have they placed all their faith on a doomed voyage? Only one way to find out. Support Proteus today!
"Cry ’Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war!"
The time has come at last. It has been almost a year since my first attempt to fund Proteus. In that time, I have spent most of my time and resources working on my development draft for Tantalus Depths. I severely underestimated how long it would take for me to finish that first round of heavy edits (I fully thought I would have had them done well before the end of the year), but at last, they are finally done. I sent the manuscript back to my editor about a week ago, and while I wait for him to work through my revised manuscript, I finally have nothing I have to do with that manuscript.
Which means it’s time to switch gears again.
For the next month or so, I am free of any responsibilities with Tantalus Depths, and I plan to take advantage of that opportunity to finish my Proteus campaign, which I started almost an entire year ago. I am still very determined to secure a publication deal for this second book, and thanks to my extension, I still have all the progress we made the first time I campaigned this book. There is still a long way to go, though.
At present, Proteus has 275 pre-orders. It needs 475 more to receive the publication deal I’ve already earned for Tantalus Depths. As of today, I have 97 days to get those orders. This is very doable, but it’s going to be a big challenge. I’ll need as much help as I can get, from all of you.
If you ordered a copy of Proteus last year, your order is still active. You’ll receive your copy when the book eventually comes out. I could not be more grateful for the support you’ve all shown Proteus and Tantalus Depths already, and I absolutely hate having to ask you for help yet a third time. If you have not already ordered a copy of Proteus, I would be extremely grateful for your support: you will be helping me establish my new career as a published author. If you have already ordered a copy and want to help more, you can absolutely do so by ordering a second or third copy. I would be eternally in your debt, and I simply cannot understate how much such a gesture would mean to me.
If you’re not in a position to support the book directly by ordering a copy, you can still help. I’ll be posting a lot more Proteus content soon, and I need to get it in front of as many people as possible. Please like and share as many of these posts as you can, and tell all your friends and family about this book. The more exposure we get, the better!
Thank you for your support, and I look forward to sharing a lot of exciting new content with you very soon.
Happy Halloween everyone!
In honor of the scariest of holidays, I’ve prepared a special gift for you that I hope you’ll enjoy.
I’ve felt bad about the fact that, just over a year after the end of my Tantalus Depths campaign, my many incredibly loyal supporters haven’t yet seen any return on their investments. The editing process moves much more slowly than I’d realized it would, and although I think taking the extra time will make for a much better book, I easily empathize with those of you who are growing impatient waiting for the book you paid for to materialize.
So, to tide you over while the development edits continue, I’m releasing a special treat: a new horror short story, written by yours truly, now available for you to read in its entirety for free right here. I first wrote The House of Chaos in 2012, and after a bit of polishing I feel it’s finally worth reading. As a traditional horror story, it’s very different from Tantalus Depths and Proteus in style and setting, but I’m confident some of you will enjoy it nonetheless.
This is NOT the Tantalus Depths prologue that I promised I’d write last year. That is still coming (believe it or not), it’s simply taken a back seat to the editing process for Tantalus Depths.
And in other news, as most of you know, next month is National Novel Writer’s Month! Many Inkshares authors will be working on different projects for NaNoWriMo, and I’ll be among them. For my purposes, though, I’m only working on existing projects this time. My first priority will be editing Tantalus Depths, and I plan to have the full development draft finished by the end of the month. Any time I have left after that’s done will be spent on Proteus.
I plan to send updates once a week during NaNoWriMo to keep you up to date on my progress. I hope to get a great deal accomplished next month, so prepare to be impressed.
Also, best of luck to my fellow authors who are working on their own projects next month. You can do it! We’re all in the same boat, so let’s do it together!
Good news everyone! Proteus has received the honor of its very first syndicate selection!
The Fantasy Syndicate has selected Proteus as their pick for the month of July. Why the Fantasy Syndicate? I...have no idea. Proteus is definitely science fiction, through and through. But I’m not going to question it! It’s a good thing! Plus, Proteus is an adaptation of Shakespeare, and Shakespeare goes hand in hand with fantasy, so...there. I found a connection!
Regardless of the reasoning, I am incredibly grateful and honored that the Fantasy Syndicate would consider Proteus a worthy selection, even from across genres. With the contribution of their support, we are within arms’ reach of the coveted 250 pre-order milestone: the one-third marker towards full funding.
More will come soon as I make more progress with Proteus, both in writing and campaigning. Stay tuned, and remember to keep telling everyone you know about Proteus. We’ve got a lot of ground yet to cover!
Now is the winter of our campaigningMade glorious summer by this contest’s end;And all the stress that lour’d upon our headsIn 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 strategyTo 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 timeOut 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 authorAnd 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 siteTo 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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...
This will be the last update I post before the contest ends.
Proteus remains in fourth place. We’ve been absolutely tenacious in keeping up with the top three. We’ve more than doubled our overall orders over the course of this week, and I have it on good authority that we’ve scared the pants off the competition. We are the charging bull. They are fleeing us.
They’re still probably going to win, but at least we’ve given them a really, really good chase.
It’s not impossible to win from where we stand. The last day of my Tantalus Depths campaign I brought in something like 80 pre-orders, so I know that’s a thing that can happen. But I’m also not going to sweat it if we don’t. The top three books have earned their spots, and I won’t be sorry to see any of them win. In any case, I’m already looking forward past the end of this contest. I didn’t get as far as I’ve gotten by not thinking several steps ahead.
Win or lose, I’m enormously grateful for all of you. You really came through in a big way, and I’m proud to have friends and supporters as loyal and enthusiastic as you are.
A few more hours remain in this contest. We might win, we might lose, but either way, let’s make them work for it.
Guys...this is it.
There’s only one day left in the Nerdist contest, and we are STILL in fourth place, despite seeing some absolutely remarkable support the past few days. Our competition is simply seeing as much success as we are, if not more. We were able to close the gap between our position and third place down to just twelve pre-orders...right now it’s climbed back up to 17 and still rising.
Remember: third place is as good as first for this contest. All three get the same prize: that coveted full publication deal. If we place in fourth, though...nothing. I could campaign the hard way and gather 750 pre-orders like I did for Tantalus Depths. But I won’t. I can’t. The last campaign was the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do by far, and I do not have the energy, stamina, or resources to do it again. My physical and mental health probably would not allow for it. Not any time soon. I knew that from the start when I entered the contest: I either make it, or I don’t.
It’s all or nothing, folks. I want to tell this story, but if we can’t place in the top three, it’s going back on the shelf indefinitely. You’ll get refunded, but the book won’t see the light of day for who knows how long.
So I’m appealing to you all one more time: if anything in Proteus seems interesting to you, please support it with a pre-order. If you already have, please get a friend or loved one to do the same. Remember, referrals will get you a commissioned art piece if you want it! Win or lose, I’ll honor that promise.
Thank you all, for everything you’ve done for this campaign so far.
Now cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war.
My friends, we’ve made another strong push for progress today. We’ve narrowed the gap between us and third place down to only 18, and I’m still pushing to reduce that further. As much progress as we’ve made today, though, a lot more remains. Our competition is still moving forward relentlessly, and I fully anticipate a last-minute surge. We are down to the last two days, so if anyone’s been holding out to the end, now is the time for reinforcements.
No long update today, because I’m honestly too busy trying to drag in pre-orders to write one, so here’s this instead. Share it with your friends! This is not a story about heroes. Nobody comes out of this one with clean hands. This is a story that deals in shades of monstrosity. If you’re ready to see some deeply messed-up characters deal with some even more messed-up situations, hop on board and pre-order this thing.