With the major landmark of From Unseen Fire’s publication passed, it seemed like a good time to spruce things up around here!
Here are the things I’ll be hoping to put Patreon money towards in the coming year:
--A website upgrade. I currently run cassmorriswrites.com through WordPress, and while I quite like the platform, there’s a lot I can’t do at the level I’m at. I’ve been wanting to upgrade to a Business account so I can add on all sorts of fun plug-ins. But, I’m also looking into some other platforms like SquareSpace and Duda and considering a migration, if those end up being better and more economic options. Either way, I hope to invest such that I can make the website really swish and a better experience for readers!
--A new laptop. Mine is slowing down in terribly frustrating ways, and it’s making Scrivener challenging to use. Since I write my novels almost exclusively in Scrivener, this is a bit of a problem. I’d like to upgrade to something with a solid state drive rather than a hard disk drive. SSDs hold up better to the near-constant use I subject my laptop to -- but they’re also pricier.
--New swag. The postcards I made advertising the release are now both outdated and all gone! But the need to promote From Unseen Fire continues. I’ve already ordered more for distribution, and I hope they’ll go fast and I’ll need another lot. I’d also like to make up bookplates to send to folk who want a signed copy of From Unseen Fire but whom I might not be able to reach in real life. And then there are all sorts of fun doodads I’d love to be able to give out at events. I've got an idea for buttons so that readers can proclaim their elemental affiliation...
--Canva paid membership. Which will help with creating said swag. I had one of these for several months last year and loved it, but I gave it up when I started living on a lower income. I’d love to be able to justify the expense of getting it back!
--Royalty free music to use in the background of my videos. It's getting really dull just having the iMovie presets! But lots of the good ones either require a one-time fee or a subscription to the platform they're hosted on. I believe in paying artists for their goods and am eager to do so.
--Kitty upkeep. Having recently said goodbye to my beloved Princess, I want to make sure that I keep Ptolemy in tip-top shape! He’s prone to dental problems, which all pet owners know can eat a hole right through your wallet. I’m also going to be looking to find him a new buddy sometime over the summer, since he's been acting a bit lonely and forlorn, and whoever she ends up being, she’ll need care as well.
--Sirens Conference. As many of you know, I love this conference dearly, and I’ll be going there no matter what -- it’s a priority. But it would be lovely if the penny-pinching to get there wasn’t as painful, and lovelier still if I could build in an extra day or so for workshops, networking, meeting up with fellow writers and industry folk, and so forth.
--World Fantasy Con in Baltimore, November. An important con for my genre, and with it being in Baltimore, the costs are lower than they might be otherwise! But there are, of course, still costs. I hope I’ll be able to swing this one by November regardless, but hitting the next Patreon goal would certainly make it easier! Next year it’s way out in Los Angeles, which would be a bit trickier to arrange.
--SFWA Nebula Conference -- SFWA stands for Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and at this convention, they give out the coveted Nebula Awards -- so it attracts a lot of the big names whom I would like to meet! It’s being held in Pittsburgh this June, but it’s a long shot indeed that I’d be able to make it there with such little time to plan. I’d love to make it in 2019, though! I intend to formally join the SFWA (which also costs money) once From Unseen Fire is out, and being able to be at the conference would be a wonderful networking opportunity.
--WorldCon (yes, it’s different from the World Fantasy Con). This is the conference where they hand out Hugo Awards, so lots and lots of important folk will be there. Similar to the Nebulas, it’s super unlikely I’ll be able to make it to to this year’s, in San Diego in August, unless the book and Patreon alike both start doing very well indeed, but I’d like to be able to plan to go in 2019. When it’s in… Dublin. So there are quite a few pence I need in my pocket to make that feasible! International travel is a hell of a stretch goal
--Another research trip. The biggest stretch goal, really. If I were to make it to Dublin, I’d then hope to be able to take another research trip to help me with continued work on the Aven Cycle and/or another project that’s bouncing around in my head.
Changes to Rewards
Fear not! Not much is changing. I mostly want to adjust the ad information to what folk are actually getting and requesting. Since no one’s chomped at the bit for analysis or editing, I thought I’d shake things up a bit. (Though if you're at a reward level entitled to one of those things now, just let me know and I'll make sure you get it!) Now, supporters at the $25 and $50 levels will also get a nine-card Tarot reading from me -- themed around the Aventan elements! You can see an example of this on my website. Supporters at the $15 level will get a three-card past-present-future reading. If you’re currently pledged at any of those levels, I’ll be sending it to you sometime in the next few weeks!
I also want to start doing some more exciting things when we reach new goals! So, for this next one, when we hit $500/month, I will hold a giveaway among my lovely patrons for an ANNOTATED copy of From Unseen Fire! That’s right, a special copy with my own (hopefully legible) comments in the sidebar, pointing out Easter eggs, historical references, quirks of publishing, and things that just tickle me. Potentially with some marginal doodles and stickers as well.
And, to reward my current patrons, if you refer someone who joins up, I’ll put your name in the hat a second time!
Thanks again, everyone, for all of your support! It means the world to me.
All the best,