Archive for December 2013

Crowdfunding So Far, According to Biggs

mytro stretch

Slushpile founder John Biggs surpassed the initial goal for crowdfunding his debut young adult novel, Mytro. Now, Biggs and his fanbase are working on making their stretch goals over at Indiegogo. Here is a quick Q&A on what he’s seen with crowdfunding so far.

Slushpile: What surprised you about the crowdfunding process so far?

Biggs: That it took so long to ramp up. I have a fairly big platform but even with that it was a strange, scary feeling. I’m glad it worked, but it was frightening. I’m also happy that my friends and family really supported me.

Slushpile: You surpassed your initial goal. As a result, how did you increase or change the scope of the project?

Biggs: I offered improved goals. It’s a book so there’s very little I can change but still it was something to offer signed books.

Slushpile: What is one thing you learned, or wished you had done differently?

Biggs: Nothing yet. I wish I had budgeted a bit more but it’s hard to do before figuring out how many books you need to print.

Slushpile: What is the next step in bringing Mytro to readers?

Biggs: A thorough cleaning by a hired copy editor, layout, and printing. After this it should only take a few weeks to really get rolling.

Then I have to write two more books…

Slushpile Founder Nears Goal of YA Novel Crowdfunding Campaign


John Biggs, the patron saint of, has launched a crowdfunding campaign in support of his young adult novel, Mytro. He is closing in on his goal, and offering some cool rewards, so contribute to the effort here. I’ve read the vast majority of this novel and it’s a great read, so I can definitely attest to the quality of the work.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting…

I’m a bit more of an old fogey in certain ways and I have my hesitations about crowdfunding and new mechanisms of getting literature out there. I’m no luddite by any means, but the jury is still a little more out for me.

John, on the other hand, spends his day job hours writing about the technology sector and he’s more accustomed to new fangled ways of thinking. Crowdfunding, as a way to raise capital as well as to serve as a test market for the viability of a concept or product, is almost second nature to him. He watches, and comments on, creators doing this on a massive scale all the time.

John has agreed to share all his experiences, good and bad, with us on this journey. Mytro is a real book, a real story, and one that people will enjoy. But it is also serving as an experiment for John to try out crowdfunding and releasing the book. So we will benefit from the lessons-learned.

You can read John’s explanation of why he chose the crowdfunding route to get caught up on the story so far. He’ll provide regular updates as things move forward.

LA Times Obit for Louis D. Rubin


The great Louis D. Rubin passed away recently. Perhaps most well-known for co-founding Algonquin Books, Rubin was also a fine and frequent writer.

The Los Angeles Times has a great overview of Rubin’s life. Check here to read the obit.

National Books Awards Held Tonight


The 2013 National Book Awards will be held tonight in New York City. All the finalists are great, but around here, we’re pulling for George Saunders, who has had a special place in our heart ever since hearing him read “Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz” from CivilWarLand in Bad Decline.

Fiction Finalists
–Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers
–Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland
–James McBride, The Good Lord Bird
–Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge
–George Saunders, Tenth of December

Nonfiction Finalists
–Jill Lepore, Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin
–Wendy Lower, Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields
–George Packer, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America
–Alan Taylor, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832
–Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief

Young Adult Literature Finalists
–Kathi Appelt, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
–Cynthia Kadohata, The Thing About Luck
–Tom McNeal, Far Far Away
–Meg Rosoff, Picture Me Gone
–Gene Luen Yang, Boxers & Saints

Poetry Finalists
–Frank Bidart, Metaphysical Dog
–Lucie Brock-Broido, Stay, Illusion
–Adrian Matejka, The Big Smoke
–Matt Rasmussen, Black Aperture
–Mary Szybist, Incarnadine: Poems

McKenzie to Appear at KY Book Fair


Slushpile’s Scott McKenzie will be at the Kentucky Book Fair on Saturday, November 16 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The event is being held at the Frankfort Convention Center. Stop by and say hello!

Almost 400k Self-Published Books in 2012


Galleycat points to the latest data that states more than 391,000 books were self-published last year. That’s an astounding 59% increase from the previous year.


Ferriss to Publish Audiobooks


Over at TechCrunch, Anthony Ha has a pretty lengthy look at bestseller and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss’ new audiobook venture.

Ferriss always seems to be trying something new, and this “book club” as he describes it proves to be an interesting enterprise. One thing’s for sure… He’ll certainly document every success and every setback with incredible rigor so it should make for an educational exercise.

Bestselling Author Michael Palmer Dies


According to report on the New York Times, bestselling author Dr. Michael Palmer has died at 71. Reports state that he suffered a heart attack while returning from an African safari.

What I find most interesting about the article is the way it focuses on Palmer’s writing as a therapeutic tool to overcome drug and alcohol dependence.

“I loved the feeling of being in control when my life was not,” the article quotes Palmer has having said.

Palmer was the author of Extreme Measures, Political Suicide, and many others.

Werewolves, Lawsuits, Copyright, and Huge Daily Word Counts

Fixed gavel and scale of justiceHere’s a headline for you:

“Nebraska author sues Texas publisher over books involving werewolf sex”

Got your attention? Check out the full article over at It’s an intriguing situation. But what really caught my attention was the statement that writer Erin R. Flynn churns out 15,000 words a day and can do a book in a week or two. Amazing output.

Funny, and Harsh, Review of the Zuckerberg Book


Sam Grobart has an amusing, and pretty harsh, review of Randi Zuckerberg’s new childrens book, Dot. over at BloombergBusinessweek.

I’d be curious to see the artwork of the book given that Grobart points out the sum entirety of the opus is a whopping 101 words.