Tuesday 26 February 2019

Beowulf Beastslayer - your last chance to back!

Some of you may have seen pertinent pieces of Russ Nicholson's artwork for my ACE Gamebook Beowulf Beastslayer online recently. If you have and it's made you think, "I wish I'd backed the Kickstarter" you still have a couple of days left to place a Late Pledge via Indiegogo.

In Beowulf Beastslayer, you take on the role of the eponymous hero, and play through the major events of his life, from his battle with the monster Grendel in King Hrothgar's mead-hall Heorot...

To his hunt for Grendel's mother, the Sea-Hag, in her lake-bottom lair...

Through to his final epic battle with a barrow-dwelling dragon...

The adventure has been illustrated by fantasy art stalwart Russ Nicholson and you can place a Late Pledge to back the book, and receive backer-only perks, here. But hurry - the Indiegogo project page has to close on Thursday, 28th February!

Monday 25 February 2019

Thought for the Day

"Half my job as novelist is to convince myself that the book will be worth reading, otherwise I'd give up. The other half is convincing the readers."

~ Rod Duncan, author

Monday 18 February 2019

Thought for the Day

"Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it."

~ Robert Frost, American poet

Monday 11 February 2019

Thought for the Day

"I fear the phrase "kill your darlings", while of some merit in certain cases, may also have been responsible for a glut of mediocre writing. Instead, let them breathe, let them fly. Keep them and ditch the rest. Chances are, they're your voice."

~ Gareth L Powell, author

Thursday 7 February 2019

Scrooge and Marley (Deceased)

Today is Charles Dickens' 207th birthday, so it seems like an appropriate time to remind you that I have written two stories, riffing off one of the author's most famous creations - A Christmas Carol.

“I come this night to ask for your help, Ebenezer,” the ghost said.

A year on from the events of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge finds himself visited once again by the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley, who brings with him a new proposition. Just as Marley helped Scrooge to avoid the cruel fate that the last of the Three Spirits foretold, Marley wants Scrooge to help him reduce his time in Purgatory.

And so begins an epic adventure that will see the former friends face off against all manner of phantasms, freaks and fiends, with only one thing at stake… Everything!

"An entertaining, well-written sequel to 'A Christmas Carol' with plenty of fun twists."
Fantasy Book Review


“The layers of the dead lie deep here,” the ghost said.

Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghost-hunting partner Jacob Marley (already a ghost himself) visit the cathedral city of Cloisterham in order to investigate the disappearance of a young man... A certain Mr Edwin Drood.

The second book in the new series by award-winning author Jonathan Green.


Tuesday 5 February 2019

Tie-in Tuesday: Tin Man Games Steam Sale!

Tin Man Games are having another sale of their games on Steam, and among the titles on offer at a knockdown price are The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, which I worked on, and my Warhammer 40,000 gamebook Herald of Oblivion.

Monday 4 February 2019

Thought for the Day

"The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time!"

~ Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Friday 1 February 2019

Gamebook Friday: 'TWAS Kickstarter Post-Mortem

Now that the dust has settled on the 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas Kickstarter, I thought it timely to share a few thoughts I've had about the experience. (The Kickstarter did fund, I'm pleased to say, and thank you to everyone who supported it.)

January, i.e. straight after Christmas, is not the best time to run a Kickstarter. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's the worst time of the year to run a Kickstarter, seeing as how nobody has been paid since mid-December and everyone has blow all their disposable income on Christmas. Which is, obviously, why Kickstarter created the Make 100 initiative, encouraging creators to launch new projects in January that offer at least one reward that is limited to 100 backers. Clearly, it's not only Kickstarter creators and backers who have cash flow problems in the New Year. (Apparently the best months to run crowdfunding campaigns are March and October.)

I have now run ten Kickstarters and only two of them didn't fund. One of those was a campaign to fund production of the short story anthology SHARKPUNK 2, which was part of the original Make 100 programme. That particular project attracted a grand total of 31 backers and raised 8% of its £9,000 funding goal.

So I took a calculated risk launching 'TWAS in January, but it would also then give me time to write and publish the book by Christmas 2019. And I was delighted when it reached its funding goal just over halfway through the campaign's run. But it was from then on that things became a little stressful.

The project plateaued. That's not uncommon for Kickstarters. Generally, most money is raised in the first week and the last few days. What was unusual, in my experience at least, was how many people either reduced or cancelled their pledge altogether after the funding goal was reached, to the point where I was worried that it wouldn't be funded anymore when it got to the end of January.

It was at this time that another series of Kickstarters, run by one company, went from being very late to, apparently, undeliverable, and they were all run to fund the production of gamebooks. Of course, I can't prove that this had any effect on the 'TWAS campaign, but I do know that one backer burnt by the experience dropped his pledge to my project.

And at the risk of biting the hand that feeds me, these failing Kickstarters revealed a weakness in the Kickstarter model; it doesn't actually make any difference if you report a project to Kickstarter. I suppose it might stop the company from being allowed to launch anymore Kickstarters, but there is no real accountability. Unless backers want to take those creators who don't come up with the goods to court, which would probably cost more than the money lost due to the Kickstarter not delivering, there isn't really anything anyone can do. It relies on the creators managing their funds effectively and, at the end of the day, coming up with the goods.

I am acutely aware of this, at the moment, as people have put their trust in me on numerous occasions, and currently backers are waiting on three ACE Gamebooks. But don't worry, we are about to press 'Go' on the printing of NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!, Beowulf Beastslayer will be going to the play-testers by the end of this weekend, and 'TWAS is already planned and under way, and the illustrations are already being produced.

I'm pleased to say that the final 48 hours saw a rapid rise in backer numbers again (probably because people had clicked the 'Remind me' button, earlier in the campaign), and 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas actually ended up being my third most backed ACE Gamebook.

Despite this success, I won't be running another Kickstarter for a while. I want to clear the decks regarding the books I've already committed to first, and am toying with the idea of writing my next gamebook before I crowdfund it (although that carries a big risk, if the Kickstarter doesn't fund). I'm also waiting to see what impact Brexit will have, particularly regarding overseas postage costs.

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will doubtless be aware of my personal views about Brexit, but putting that to one side, one thing I can tell you is that production costs of the hardbacks of YOU ARE THE HERO have doubled since the second edition was printed in 2017.

Gamebook Friday: 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas Late Pledges


Just to let you know that even if you missed the Kickstarter for my latest ACE Gamebook 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas you can still put in a Late Pledge*.

Here's what you need to do if you would like to make a Late Pledge to the Kickstarter:
  1. Look through the list of reward levels below and select the one you would like.
  2. Look through the list of add-ons and decide if you would like to add any of these to your pledge.
  3. Add the cost of any add-ons to the cost of the reward level you have selected, finally adding the correct postage for your country, to calculate the total amount you will need to pay.
  4. Email info@jonathangreenauthor.com, making the title of your email 'TWAS Late Pledge and listing the reward and add-ons you have selected. I will then get back to you with details of how to make your payment via PayPal. Postage will need to be paid later, via an external pledge manager.
Please note - you can find out more about precisely what comes with each reward level by visiting the 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas project page here.

* Probably until the end of February. I will inform everyone when Late Pledges are closing.