East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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cookI’m currently reading Kicking It by Monte Cook and Shanna Germain. A nifty little guide to crowdfunding projects, that goes to complement the crowdfunding course I followed two years ago.

The book came with a nice bundle of game-design related handbooks, and is the right book at the right time.
The text is clear, and offers examples and pointers and instruction on how to plan a crowdfunding strategy.
How to think about crowdfunding, if you will.

I have two crowdfunding campaigns under my belt – the first, started as a lark, that resulted in a huge success, and the second, accurately planned, that failed to reach 50% of the target.
It is time to rethink my strategies.
I still believe that crowdfunding is the way to go for a lot of small creators – a category in which I think I belong. Crowdfunding a project is a great way to try and dare a little more: better cover art, professional editing, extra contents.
But for me, right now, crowdfunding requires more work, and more study.
So, let’s try and learn from the best.

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Crooks in history

I have just delivered a 33.000 unproofed manuscript to all those that last summer supported my crowdfunding for the fist Italian-language outing of BUSCAFUSCO.
The book is called La Storia Fatta coi Cialtroni (literally “History made with slobs”) and it is a first collection of eccentrics, adventurers, loose women and other assorted crooks and cranks across the last three centuries.

The proper book will come out (hopefully) for Christmas or (more likely) for Twelfth Night, and it was a hoot to put together and a cow to edit.
That’s why I sent off an unproofed version.

My Patreon supporters will probably get new excerpts of a second volume, and some English-language snippets of the first.

Because it’s fun.


Two weeks into my (first?) crowdfunding

I mentioned a while back that I was starting a crowdfunding for a story I’d be writing – the idea came from a few friends, and it sounded like an interesting experiment.
Two weeks have gone by as I write this,since the beginning of this experiment, and I thought some of you might be interested in a quick overview.

I’m currently 8000 words into a story tentatively called Santi & Fattucchiere – that is, Saints & Witches.
A thriller with some occult elements.
My friends offered as a story seed the idea of writing something set here in Astigianistan, and just as I was digesting the idea, something happened that offered me a story idea on a silver platter: somebody stole the holy relic of St. John Bosco from the church in which it was kept, a few kms from where I live.
The holy relic being the saint’s brain.

Sort of gives you ideas, right?
It certainly did give me ideas.
Continue reading


Crowdfunding for fun and profit

I am about to launch my first crowdfunding.
Everything’s set, everything’s ready.

As I mentioned in a previous post, some friends had this idea, of setting me up on a crowdfunding platform (Produzioni dal Basso, an Italian website) and then sit back and watch as people throw me change while I write a story.


It was a shock treatment to get me move my backside – I’ve been toying with the idea of crowdfunding or Patreon for almost two years now, and without a good push, I’d probably still be fidgeting.

Instead, now the deed is done.
Or at least, the whole system’s been set up. Continue reading

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A birthday gift: writing on-demand

So it went this way.
For my fiftieth birthday, a lot of friends decided to conspire to get me a birthday gift.
They operated in separate groups, pursuing different aims.
One of the gangs of knaves I call friend had this idea: commission me a story (in Italian) and offer it on a crowdfunding platform.
Neat, what?

And so this is what I will do in the next two months.
In the next ten days, I will study the crowdfunding platform handbook and see what I can and can’t do.
I’m thinking of perks for the backers, extra contents, the works.
If we want to do it, we might as well do it as professionally as possible. Continue reading


Firing Up “Ignition”

I’m posting a short ad, here.
My friend Marco Siena is crowdfunding the English version of his novel Ignition (in Italian, Ignizione) – the first installment of a quirky, highly entertaining steampunkish trilogy.
Marco plans to get enough to hire a professional translator and other help, then hit the English-language market full tilt.
He already has a very good story, and a great cover (here’s a detail):


The novel is well worthy of the effort – and it would be a nice opportunity for international readers, to learn about a different approach to imaginative fiction.

So, take a look at the Indiegogo page, and if you feel like, do your part.