Unexpected Interest

Something unexpected happened as a result to my posting a poll asking about the potential interest in fund drive to raise money for an art budget for my upcoming Labyrinth Lord supplement. These past couple of days I have received a flurry of emails ranging from artists that may be interested in taking on this project to other self-publishers offering their advice. I think this is very cool, and I appreciate the interest. The great advice I have received is very much appreciated. Keep it coming.

I also want to that thank those who have taken the time to vote on this poll. It has only been a couple of days, and I have received more positive votes than I really expected to. I realize many of these individuals are other bloggers who in one way or another I have developed friendships with along the way. This is perfectly fine with me. I would support their projects as well if and when the time presented itself. Looking around the OSR blogosphere I am amazed at the talent and ingenuity that is out there, and I am proud to count myself amongst these do-it-yourselfers. I am taking all of this positive energy I have received and focusing it on the book, and I am sure it will be that much better because of it.


[Poll] Would You Participate In A Pledge Drive?

Taking a page from The Land of Nod and the Mystery Men! pledge drive that John Stater has going on over at Kickstarter, I am considering doing the same for my upcoming Swords Against the Outer Dark Labyrinth Lord Supplement that I am currently working on. I plan to release this supplement as a free PDF (no artwork will be included), and all dead-tree books will be print on demand with several options available for various formats and sizes.

A few months ago I was chatting with James Raggi on Facebook and asked him for some practical advice on small press game publishing, and the thing he emphasized to me was, "don't skimp on the art." This statement has haunted me ever since. I am handling all the writing, and I am planing to publish the book through Lulu, so the only budget I really need is for artwork. With almost no funds to spend on artwork I am afraid I have no choice but to skimp. Unless I can generate some funds through a pledge drive and hire a talented artist to supply top quality artwork for the project.

So what would you get with your pledge? Well, I am open for suggestions on this, but here are a few things I have considered:
  • Those who participate in the pledge drive will be acknowledged in the final book.
  • A hand written thank you note will be sent out to all those who pledge.
  • Top secret playtest documents will be made available to those who pledge as they become available.
  • Free full artwork PDF of final book (which will sell for around $8 I think).
  • A handmade Mangus original Cthulhu Mythos prop will be produced, numbered and sent out to participants (something in this vein).
  • Have an idea? Please let me know under comments.
I believe two levels of pledges will be the way to go, with the first being $10 and the next being $25+. At this point I am not sure what the pledge goal will be. I will be contacting a couple of artists to see if they would be interested and see what their price range is going to be. Dave Carson has supplied excellent Mythos art to this blog in the past, and it is my sincere hope that he will be available to do so with this project.

So, take a moment to vote and let me know what you think. As always, leave me some feedback on this, and please feel free to be honest with me. The more data I can obtain now the better this project will turn out in the future.


Birthday Gifts

Well, birthday number forty-one came and went with little a'notice. Being in a new town and not knowing hardly a soul here made it a very low key affair this year, which is more than fine by me. I have never been the type of person to keep up with or even enjoy my own birthday. I know, I am a giant stick in the mud!

Anyway, to my delight I found a package from Amazon on my doorstep this evening. Upon opening I realized this was a birthday gift from my fiancée Stephanie... and I thought she forgot! :-)

So, here is what was in the box:

All of these books were on my Amazon wish list, so Steph made me very happy man with this gift! These are collections of short stories by Harold Lamb, who was a pulp writer during the same period when H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard were actively pursuing careers in the field. Lamb specialized in historical adventures ranging from crusader tales (Swords from the West) to tales of the exotic East (Swords from the Desert) to high sea tales involving Vikings, pirates and explorers (Swords from the Sea) and many others. There are a couple of other books in this series that collect his Cossack tales (Swords from the Steppes) and his tales of Genghis Khan (Swords from the East), and I am sure I will be picking these up in the future.

(Yes, I realize I used the word "tales" an awful lot in this last paragraph, which is most appropriate because I believe these are not just mere stories, but they are TALES!)

What is very cool for me is that this will be my first exposure to any of Lamb's work. I have occasionally seen his name from time to time in articles dealing with high adventure pulp fiction, but I have never read any of his stuff. In recent years I have gravitated more and more toward historical fantasy and adventure, so these books are very appealing to me. I do not believe Lamb's work has much in the way of the weird or the fantastique in it, but who cares? Just looking over these books I can say this, it looks like Harold Lamb hit all the sweet spots in recorded history for his subject matter. From the cover art to the names of the stories, these books ooze ADVENTURE!

I am as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning! Now, which one should I start with? Vikings, of course!