Wednesday, January 30, 2013

0 Beetle Days: Guest Post by Gabriel Böhmer

I'm thrilled to have Gabriel Böhmer here today to talk about his Kickstarter project. Kickstarter is something that I have come across a few times but know very little about it. Gabriel is kind enough to come on To Read or Not To Read to explain how it works.


It’s a Kickstarter Project
My novel Beetle Days is not out yet. But as you’ve undoubtedly heard more and more recently: it’s a Kickstarter project.
Beetle Days is a satire about the greed and herd mentality one so often sees today. Told as a fable of talking sheep, people, and dissatisfied beetles.
I got in touch with Marcie at To Read Or Not To Read, and she was kind enough to let me write about what the Kickstarter experience has been like. For those who don’t know, Kickstarter is a crowd-funding platform.

So, Why Kickstarter?
If you take a look at the site you’ll find writers, musicians, and filmmakers you may recognize. But you’ll mostly see countless interesting projects by strangers. Since my first look at Kickstarter, I keep discovering inspiring projects across all facets of disciplines.
I backed a group that wanted to put up benches on NYC scaffolding, a writer in the UK who was creating a beautiful annotated version of Moby Dick, and some engineers in Boston that sought to make a better turntable. And there’s many more that I wish I’d discovered while they were running.
Often in exchange for pledges, backers are acknowledged for their help. I gave a fantastic looking stop-motion film a few dollars and now I’m going to be thanked in the credits. How amazing is that?!
Eventually I decided that not only did I want to fund ideas, I also wanted to put my own forward. Kickstarter has a home for the kooky but inventive. So I thought a story of talking Beetles in a humorous, but dystopian landscape, might just fit in.

How’s it been going?
As I’m writing this I’m 14 days in, and have 16 to go. Beetle Days is 46% funded.
So far, my main takeaway is that my network is unbelievably generous. To an inspiring level. I’m not talking about giving money (though that can only be classified as insanely generous). I’m talking about the willingness of people to spread the word. It’s exceeded my grandest expectations. Which has already made the experience completely worthwhile.
All this for a story about narcissistic beetles that steal stuff! (OK, I promise there’s a lot more to it than that, but still.)
If I could do anything differently I’d connect with people even more. Engage in my network to find out what individuals and their friends are up to. Not just now, but in the years before I launched this project. I’m sure there have been numerous interesting opportunities that I completely missed out on.
Our feeds are full of people trying to alert us… and kittens. Which I admittedly enjoy. But anyways, generally speaking we have too much information to sort through. And so it’s up to us to stay in touch with our network. Not just if you have a Kickstarter campaign! But also to know what interesting projects are kicking around. It could be something you’d really love to be a part of.
Please check out mine before Feb 15th!
Book Synopsis:
John just wants to work hard at the farm. With the talking and mute sheep. And the cats. And the restaurant. And the occasional coffee. All he really wants is a good coffee. But he is bothered by beetles. As is everyone.
Beetles are unbearable. They don’t stand in queues. They insist on free air travel. And they’re enthusiastic but horrible conversationalists. They steal things and mouth off while doing it. They want. And want. And want.
When the nearby townspeople become irate with the state of things the ‘Great Beetle War’ begins… which experts deem as not particularly great. But as the byproducts of this conflict begin to affect more and more of life, John has to decide how he can help those around him and, ultimately, himself.
Author Bio:
Writer Gabriel Böhmer was born in Zurich, and has lived in London, Buenos Aires, and Boston. He used to work in the consulting industry but left in 2011 in pursuit of his own work (a production company in its start-up phase) making things and writing. He enjoys long distance running, building fires (to cook things), and banging on random objects to see what sound they'll make.
Beetle Days is currently a Kickstarter project. The campaign ends Feb 15th. Official Site. Twitter.

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