Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Publishing My Book

As some of you may know, I've been working on a book for the last few months.  I think the bulk of it was written in a very short period of time.  I've added to it, deleted bits and now seem to spend most of my time re-reading, editing and tweaking with it.  I think it's time for me to pass it on to Luana to proof-read and edit before I mess the whole thing up. 

I considered trying a crowd sourcing campaign to pay for the publishing of my book.  I've got it pretty much finished and I've chosen to self-publish.  The self-publishing choice has come about for a number of reasons - I saw a friend publish a book through ECW quite a few years ago and I saw her heartbreak when she had no say in the fonts, cover art or even the title of her book.  I am not interested in giving up that kind of control, I don't even like it when an editor changes a few words.  I also struggle with where to send my book if I was going to submit it to a big publishing house.  Llewellyn might take it, but have such an auto-fluffy label with serious pagans that while I may have a book selling lots, my name would be banded together with the likes of others that I do not wish to be associated with.  I don't believe I'm scholarly enough for Avalonia.  Print on demand seems like the best option, that way, if I only sell a few to good friends, then there aren't several hundred books floating around looking for their way to the bargain bin.

My best self-publishing option costs approximately $1,000 NZD.  I made jokes about giving my first 10 copies (signed with a personal message) to anyone willing to buy it for $100 (first edition and all).  I thought perhaps trying the crowd sourcing would give me an indication of whether or not people would be willing to buy my book, it would potentially show interest (or lack thereof).  Thing is, I might buy a book, but wouldn't contribute to the concept of a book in a crowd sourcing campaign.  If not enough people contributed, I would make the assumption that no one wanted my book and probably can it with no further thought.

I put it out there to the Universe and my Deities.  If this book is meant to be, I need the money to publish it.  If the money comes through, I'll give up smoking. (There I've finally said it publicly, so lots of you can hold me to it).  The next day, I received $10 for some of my writing.  That felt like a message.  I need to work harder to increase that amount (I'm now seeing $10 every month) but it feels less like a handout and more like inspiration.  That source has currently gone offline (again!) so something else was needed.

Something else has happened.  We sold our other house, currently we're between it going unconditional and possession by the new owner.  There will be some left over after mortgages and debts are sorted.  My husband subjected me to a fierce grilling about my options, what I've looked into and given me the go ahead to use some of the proceeds to publish my book.

I've been talking about it to some people, so far to positive responses and hands up to please get one when it is published. But I'm starting to doubt.  I am starting to second guess it all and feel that it's a naive and superficial work instead of the common sense, stripped down, mechanics of folk magic book that it is intended to be.

Crowd Sourcing

Lately it seems that crowd sourcing is the way to go if you want to get a project off the ground.  I've heard of several and wish at the moment that I had more disposable income so that I could contribute towards one of these worthy causes.

Well, I say worthy, but one of the first times I ever heard of this type of thing was when pagan blogger Star Foster tried to convince the world that we needed to pay her to write her blog. That fell rather flat and since then Star has decided she's not Pagan after all and appears to have given up blogging.  I'd never heard of Star before this, although, I've since heard plenty and little of it nice.

But then another person I have come to know first through her books and then online in groups where we are both members is Tamara L. Siuda.  Also known as Her Holiness Hekatawy I of the Kemetic Orthodox faith and Mambo Chita Tann of Haitian Vodou. 

I love Tamara's works in Egyptology.  I've been following them for many years.  It's her work we refer back to for the Egyptian festivals in our calendars.  So when I heard of her Ancient Egyptian Daybook as a kickstarter project, I shared it all around.

Another online friend, Houngan Matt is using Indiegogo to fund a shop opening with two friends. 

And a subject dear to my heart is where does the money we donate to disaster relief actually go to.

I've been looking through the Kickstarter and Indiegogo websites and notice that for the most part searches for "pagan", "wicca" or "witchcraft" show very few projects and those were mostly unfunded when they reached their time limits.

Each project has rewards or perks for those who pledge money.  Some are pathetic (undying gratitude and a personal letter) and some are truly fantastic (mention in movie credits or a fully paid trip to meet people).  Perhaps this is one difference between success and failure, well that and whether the cause is actually worth donating money to.

Star Foster's campaign finished without coming close to her goal.

Tamara Siuda's campaign raised more than $14K more than her goal, in fact reaching two of her stretch goals - 50 Daybooks to be sent to 50 libraries of the backer's choices and a special edition coil bound DayBook for backer's rewards.

Houngan Matt's campaign is still running and as of today, is nearly at a quarter of it's goal with over three weeks left to run.  The rewards are great, check it out.

The Relief Project still has a long way to go and if you're not sure about this, 50% of all readings from KiwiMojo during this campaign will be donated to this cause.

This is community.  Let's work together for stuff instead of complaining about what we don't have.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Cauldrons PaganFest 2014

We're all go!

We are returning to Journey's End, the venue for our first festival in 2009.  It is a little more primitive than Eyre Lodge where we held the two in between, but it's half the price, the managers are actually sensible and even respond to communications (without trying to say it must be a fault with MY email) and it is by far a more beautiful setting, with no concerns about having sheep wander into ritual space.

Houngan Liam (Papresse Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Hougan) with Hounfo Racine Deesse Dereeyale - the only traditional Haitian Vodou society in the Australasian region will be presenting our Saturday night ritual, as well as an Ancestor Workshop and a Vodou 101 talk.  More information about them can be found on their website - KiwiMojo

Why Vodou this year?  I hear a lot of comments regarding Vodou, usually suggesting that it's something dark and evil.  I know this to be untrue, but in New Zealand there is so little exposure to Vodou, there are few opportunities for us to learn the true nature of this beautiful and rich tradition. I became friends on Facebook with Houngan Liam and thought I'd offer the chance for more people in New Zealand to become aware of what it truly entails, to experience the richness of the religion and to  have any questions answered by Houngan who really know what they're talking about.

Many of you were asking about the PaganFest last year and it's true, we did skip a year.  This is because I got married and one big event to plan in a year was quite enough thankyouverymuch.  Although, after three Pagan Festivals, a wedding was easy.

For more information, check out our website and join our facebook page where there are already discussions about transport and car pooling going on.