I normally do a mid-week video of what is happening in my world as a publisher. This week Shetland, where I live was hit was hit by a snow storm of exactly the wrong type of snow. This was the same stuff that hit Canadaa few years back when the pylons were buckling under the weight. For us, the weight of frozen water accumulated on the windward side of the wood telegraph poles, and the transformers atop them, until the weight plus the wind was too great and the telegraph poles simply snapped.
Since Monday afternoon, until Saturday evening we have had no power. The cell phone masts worked for the first few hours until their backup batteries died, and then we had no power and no Internet access.
For me, this meant that I had every set up to launch my latest solo booklet, sent out the links to my patrons, and then lost power before I could make the book public on DTRPG.
I was also in the middle of drafting my email to Meredith at DTRPG to request her to send out a last reminder for my Kickstarter campaign. We are supposed to give them at least 48hrs notice, and Monday was 6 days to go, and I wanted the email to go out just as I had 48hrs to go.
As the week went on, I knew the countdown on my kickstarter was running out and there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t send out reminder emails, I couldn’t post updates to the kickstarter backers, and I couldn’t do any cross promotion with other kickstarter project managers.
As from Saturday evening, we have power restored, but only cell phone Internet. My router did not survive the powerspike when the power first went down.
My project Light Fantasy Solo was a success by every measure. The success/failure to fund was almost a given. I was asking for about $50. I had tiers as $5, $10, $20, and $50. I would have been mightily upset given my following on DTRPG, my own mailing list, and youtube subscribers if I had not found 10 backers.
Related to that small dollar goal was that I wanted another successful kickstarter on my profile. I have now run two, succeeded two. As those numbers increase my projects will look more low risk to potential backers sitting on the fence.
I had also wanted to test if I could launch my style of solo booklets on kickststarter, and the answer is yes, they will attract backers.
I had also wanted to reach organic Kickstarter fans. These are people who are not already followers on my other platforms. The answer is yes I have. 24 of my 62 backers found my project organically via Kickstarter and not through my other platforms.
I will invite those 24 backers to join a mailing list just for my future kickstarters. This time round I was really starting from near zero as I had never run a solo focused kickstarter. Next time I will have a non-zero base line.
The total pledges came to £697. Considering that I pretty much lost a third of the campaign duration and could not do any additional promotion, I am quite happy. I had set the goal to $50, and I secretly would have liked to have walked away with $500. I cannot actually see the dollar amount (KS will only show me Pounds Sterling, but I think the pledges come to about $830. That is pledges, not what I will actually receive. There are platform fees and payment processing fees to come off that total. But, I will certainly have beaten my $500 wishlist.
So far, I cannot see any downsides to running my style of Kickstarter. It funded in under an hour, and once I had hit that milestone all the stress goes away. That was the point of the mini-goal. I am all in favour of no stress.
Reading, Writing, & Playing
I had, by chance, downloaded a couple of rulebooks onto my Samsung tablet at the weekend. The battery life is pretty good and I managed to read Survive This! Fantasy, and Cepheus Delux while confined to the house. What I couldn’t do is write any books. My laptop gave out after just 3hrs and I had no way to charge it.
Cepheus Delux is earmarked to be a new year Kickstarter. Omer G. Joel of Stellagamma Publishing is very keen on the idea, and I am never one to look a gift horse in the mouth!
I had no problem entertaining myself with Survive This! Fantasy, and I now have a well tested set of rules that I can type up this week. I have a working title of Solo This! Fantasy for the rules booklet.
In a week of almost enforced inactivity, I think I made the most of it. Away from gaming, writing, publishing and all of that… When we moved to Shetland, our neighbour was full of stories of doom and gloom. It is quite possible that she was just trying to put off another set of ‘incomers’. She had shared stories of the year that the harbour froze and there were no supply ships and the shops were all empty, then stories about being snowed in for days. We never knew if this was doom mongering or sage advice, so took it as the latter. We have a shelf that runs around our kitchen at head height, it is very practical for every day use so we have used it to store rice, pasta, noodles, flour, tins of tomatoes, sweetcorn, tea, coffee, UHT milk, etc. We also keep our camping stove up there with spare tins of butane. We were well stocked with batteries and LED lights.
When this power outage hit, we were never cold as we keep about a month’s worth of wood in the woodshed, and two or three days worth in the house. We were never without hot water as our wood burner also heated our water. I have a power bank with a car battery inside it. It is intended to jump start vehicles but also works pretty well at charging cell phones and handheld devices. We have a battery radio which gave us entertainment and local news. We could cook as long as you could be creative with an odd assortment of ingredients as after four days the freezer was starting to defrost and we had to try and use up food that was otherwise going to be wasted.
I don’t know if it was doom mongering or advice, but taking it as advice meant that we weathered this storm with barely a scratch. There was nothing I could do about the internet access. Even if I had a diesel generator, which would have been the next level of preparedness, it would not have helped as the router fried. The lesson is a better surge protector on the next router.
The joys of island life.