The Brandon Blakely

"Saviors" Kickstarter reaches 124% In first week with 50 backers - Now "Stretching" for Stretch Goals

By Holon New Media Staff, Brandon Cook

Holon author Matt Seidel launches Kickstarter campaign for novel “Saviors”

Just over three days ago, Holon Publishing began crowd funding to publish and distribute Bloomington author Matt Seidel’s psychological thriller, “Saviors.” The novel, Seidel’s eighth though his first published, explores themes of morality, taking as one of its protagonists a serial killer, Tobias, who views the murders that he commits as the execution of a divine justice.

The project’s goal of $1500 was met in a little less than two days.

Since then, “Saviors” has earned a total of $1860 and 124%, funds that could lead to a high-end mock trailer for the book, promotional events, and a graphic novel. While these additional projects may sound a bit ambitious for a book that only recently received the go-ahead, they and its enthusiastic Kickstarter response bear testament to the power and innovation of “Saviors’” character and narrative.

Emerging Author Matt Seidel says that he will make the first chapter of his book LIVE before print if the Kickstarter reaches $2,500

Emerging Author Matt Seidel says that he will make the first chapter of his book LIVE before print if the Kickstarter reaches $2,500

Rather than use Tobias as the figure of a mystery novel: the genre in which serial killers feel most at home, Seidel chooses to write a moral fiction that challenges the reader’s basic concepts of good and evil.

Complicating these notions further is the character of Emily, a young woman in the middle of a quarter-life crisis who is, for all intents and purposes, normal. It is during this time that she meets Tobias: “everything that she needs,” Seidel explains in his Kickstarter video.

At this moment, most other writers would keep Emily ignorant of Tobias’s dark habits, suspending the reader in dramatic irony. But Seidel is not most other writers. Emily remains with Tobias, her savior, though, as the author said with a cheeky wave of the hand,  “this creates complications.” As if.

Though its premise echoes vaguely that of TV’s Dexter, Seidel’s narrative is not gore and flash-bang so much as it is a real exploration of Tobias’s tormented condition. Channeling his hero, Dostoyevsky, Seidel develops Emily and Tobias’s relationship alongside the concept of sin and the delusion of goodness, touching on philosophy and religion while still providing engaging narrative.

“Saviors,” the exciting debut for an up-and-coming talent, marks also Holon’s most ambitious approach to date in creating the writer’s community, that is, a community based around each individual writer, rather than the writers as a collective. With each additional goal of Seidel’s Kickstarter campaign ($2500, $3500, and $5000) leading to bigger and bigger promotions, Holon endeavors to both strengthen its relationship with the author and to build an even greater audience for his work.

Stay tuned to hear more exciting updates about Matt Seidel’s “Saviors!"

Click here to contribute to this Kickstarter and pre-order your copy of "Saviors": 
http://kck.st/ZyOdXF

Brandon Cook is the editor of the Live Buzz and a new media journalist with Holon Publishing
http://www.idsnews.com/blogs/livebuzz/
 http://holonpublishing.com/

Why Self-Publish? A quick glance...

Why Self-Publish? A quick glance at other publishing opportunities.


Anyone who has glanced at the hefty list of pre-publishing requirements has likely had something bordering a heart attack. Generally, our fantasies concerning publishing resemble young and hopeful writers sending off their manuscripts blindly into the great melting pot of big-name publishers. More realist fantasies might include the inevitable rejection letter and the returned manuscript scribed bloody with ink. The process, while necessarily heartbreaking, is still rather simple.

Self-Publishing, Photocredit:  ProBlogger

Self-Publishing, Photocredit: ProBlogger

What our fantasies don’t account for is the thousand factors which lead up to this step; query letters, cover letters, synopses, follow-up letters, and then of course, the eventual rejection of a perfectly clean and hardly read manifesto of three or more years’ labor. There is also the matter of agents to deal with; the publishing houses that will reject due to lack of solicitation; the exhausted editors who take but a glance at the opening sentence before dooming the pages to the rejection table.

In short, mainstream publishing is such a heavily guarded field that it’s a small miracle that people even submit their pieces to the big houses anymore when they have a 1/19,000 per cent chance of seeing any actual feedback.

In lieu of publishing’s fortifications however, scribbled pages can still see clean dust jackets and even bookshelves without the added emotional turmoil. This is of course the avenue offered by self-publishing, a long-chastised and still relatively small market which has nevertheless allowed for authors such as Edgar Allen Poe and Oscar Wilde, and books such as Eragon and (of course) 50 Shades of Grey to make their way into the literary limelight (for better or for worse).

The arguments for self-publishing’s less-than-glowing reputation is relatively simple: everyone can do it. This is of course true, and yet it’s an answer that begs introspection. Everyone can self-publish, yet not everyone can write, much less write a book. For anyone who has tried, the process is tedious to say the least. To say the most; it’s barbaric, heart-rending, emotionally fulfilling and emotionally flushing; and beautifully satisfying in ways only writers can know.

Unfortunately, what writers feel or what writers know is seldom on the agenda of big-name publishers, whose concerns are business foremost and literature secondary. Editors and publishers can’t afford to make personal connections with the writer or the piece for fear that prejudice will muddle the true question: will it sell? (A question which goes very well explored in a recent Paris Review article: http://www.themillions.com/2012/08/a-right-fit-navigating-the-world-of-literary-agents.html)

Too often, writers forget this golden rule when submitting their manuscripts. The romanticism of writing takes precedence almost always for the writer, and when the coldly formal rejection comes, it is seen as a vindictive affront, which the writer might coolly disregard only after muttering the artistic cliché they just don’t understand me.

Editors, publishers, and agents however understand you and your work only too well. It is their job to understand your fit and to tell you when the fit won’t work, and for this reason one might as well bear the sting of rejection within the frame of “I think you should see other publishers.”

Self-publishing bypasses this process in favour of personal relationships and the quality of the piece itself, and not the quality of the piece on a global market. Because the manuscript is self-invested, publishing’s lavish display of formality is rendered superfluous, and the process becomes centralized upon the piece itself. In so many words, self-publishing is the writer’s market.

Unfortunately even in the writer’s market, writing doesn’t count for everything (or else the world would be far too simple a place) and the author feels particular concern for his audience; namely, whether or not there will be one. It’s a concern every writer faces and one that has but one remedy: confidence.

The best writing will infallibly speak for itself, regardless of where or by whom it is published. History comes to the author’s aid here more than anywhere, positing such notable self-published authors as Proust, Austen, Blake, Twain, Cummings, and Shaw.

It’s a tragic reality to think that, in the society of contemporary publishing, the world might never have seen A la recherché du temps perdu or Huckleberry Finn because of an editor’s bad day. Self-publishing is ultimately motivated towards the belief that this ultimatum needs not be completely encompassing. One may draw the distinction between two questions: big publishing’s can it sell, and self-publishing’s is it worth selling

By Brandon Cook, Staff Writer @Holonpublishing & New Media Journalist http://brandonblakely.wordpress.com

"The Casual Vacancy" book review: Past the Point of No Return

"The Casual Vacancy" book review: Past the Point of No Return

By Brandon Cook, New Media Journalist @Holonpublishing & Student at Indiana University.
​See his blog, The Brandon Blakely: http://brandonblakely.wordpress.com

​J.K. Rowling has become accustomed to a certain lifestyle. Following the release of her final series novel, the authoress of the ridiculously successful “Harry Potter” septet threw herself back into public controversy just months after the release of “Deathly Hallows” with the announcement of Dumbledore’s homosexuality. Late last February she announced a skeptically anticipated first ‘adult novel’, which she referred to as “new territory” that the success of “Potter” has afforded her. Being in the rare position of having both power and choice, Rowling must be respected for her choice to close Hogwarts and turn her attention back home.