Kickstarter Process: part two!

Hey, so in response to several questions I’ve had about why I haven’t released a book for a long time, I explained in my last post how and why this Kickstarter campaign came about. Just a quick recap in case you missed my last post explaining what’s involved in this campaign.

I commissioned a fantasy cover for Veil of Souls from the very in-demand Amalia Chitulescu back in 2019. Because it took a long while to get this cover in my hands, I decided to wait until I had all three book covers for the series before writing and releasing VOS. This took another 2 years. In the meantime, I’d started to write the Shadow Sentinels. I don’t like to leave a series only part done so I decided to continue with that. I adored these fantasy covers as soon as I saw each one and knew I wanted to make a hardback version for them. On top of wanting to complete the Shadow Sentinels, I wanted to wait until I had the time to dedicate to such a project. About 18 months ago along came Kickstarter (for me) and here we are. To read this part of the story in more depth, just hop over to this blog post and you can read it there.

So, part two:

What have I done so far? In addition to writing and editing three 110,000 + word books, I’ve spent a lot of time researching Kickstarter and following some amazing bookish campaigns. My ideas are off the charts, but I have to be realistic. Producing foiled hardbacks with sprayed edges is expensive, and so is all the art and swag that readers love.

Over a year ago now, I started to research artists that I liked. Many of them are booked up months in advance and I needed to weigh up what I wanted with what I could afford to commission. I listened on social media and discovered who was reliable in addition to being affordable and talented. I now have full-body Dexalion and Zahlia character art by Lauren Richelieu. I’ve edited these into gorgeous portraits and will use them on the dust cover. For an exclusive first look at Zahlia scroll down! I hope you like her!

I was also lucky enough to work with Ellie who is @mageonduty after winning an art giveaway she did last Christmas. I asked if I could pay for a bigger piece and she agreed to do a Not Safe for Work, (NSFW) couple art. So I am now the proud owner of a beautiful NSFW image of Dex and Lia which I can’t wait to show you!

On top of these art pieces, I have researched and commissioned two gorgeous little chibi character arts of Dex and Lia, which I’ll make into stickers for physical backers.

I have contacted 3 different printers and am in more discussions with SESE printing in China, who are ready to help make these beautiful books a reality if the Kickstarter campaign funds.

I am also working with Samaiya Beaumont who is doing the naked cover art, page edge design, and some more chapter page art for the book. I feel really lucky to work with her as she’s experienced in what works well for authors doing Kickstarter campaigns and is so talented I can’t wait to see what she creates!

I even attempted to draw some chapter art that reflected the book. I love what I created but I think I’ll leave that to the professionals! I’ll still be using Dex’s axe that I showed you a few weeks ago as a temporary tattoo in the stretch goals for this campaign if we get that far!

Other things I’ve done towards this campaign: Downloaded & learnt Inkarnate map-making software. I’ve designed two full-colour world maps; one for the Mortal World and one for the Nether World. As the series progresses so do the maps! How exciting! They will evolve and more places will be added for each book! Which I think is really cool!

Don’t worry I’ll finish this installment soon! The last thing I want to tell you about is the dust jacket. Amalia stopped creating book covers a number of years ago now. This meant that although I have the finished ebook cover, I only have the example render for the paperback/hardback. I have had to find ways around editing the images she sent to produce a gorgeous dust-jacket with the art from the covers. I am so pleased with how it’s turned out and can’t wait to share it.

In part three learn about what’s still left to do, what beautiful swag the campaign will offer, and when the cover reveal will be! If the naked hardback design isn’t ready, we’ll do a separate reveal for that!

Once I have the cover out in the world, I can get the Kickstarter campaign up for you to follow!

Thank you so much for your support with this, I can’t do these books without you!

As always scroll down for books for your tbr. For now, meet Zahlia! What do you think? I think she’s gorgeous and fierce, just as she is in the story!



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