John Robin's Epic Fantasy Syndicate discussion

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Voting on our month title > January 2015 Recommendations (picked: Seven Shards)

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message 1: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
In this thread, please put the links to any Inkshares book project that fit in the epic fantasy / high fantasy category that you think might be great for us to back. Mention what stands out about them. At the end of the month, I'll run a poll based on all the titles we've discussed, and we'll use this poll to help inform our decision which book we're going to back for December 2015.


message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Orneck (amandaorneck) Do you know if there is a way to search by keyword? It would make it super easy to pull all the epic or high fantasy books and aggregate them onto a spreadsheet or something so we can discuss them thoroughly.


message 3: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
That's a good question, Amanda. I'm not sure. I've been just selecting the "fantasy" filter then manually browsing. For the most part right now what I'm doing is looking for authors to invite in to our syndicate / Goodreads group. Once we can collects as many author members as possible, we'll look at getting authors to reach out to their readers.


message 4: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
I also wondered what other people thought about putting our own books out there? I only bring this up to stare the elephant in the face, because realistically many of us are epic fantasy authors and if we follow our principle of bringing as many in the epic fantasy sphere here, then soon our group will represent a great deal of the epic fantasy authors on Inkshares.

Personally, I think it's fine to recommend your own book, since this thread is meant to lay on the table ALL the options out there. At the end of the month, I will use this and our discussions to make a group poll that we can all vote on. Since members of this group are syndicate members and affilated syndicate members, the vote will represent that larger epic fantasy collective and not necessarily the actual voice of the syndicate (those who put $$ toward our monthly vote). For this reason, I'd like to also run a poll specifically to syndicate members, perhaps following up from the initial poll. (I'm actually quite open to how we might do this polling and will start a thread where we can discuss some more to develop a system that's fair.)

So, please do put your book here (with the link) and a bit about it and how it fits in with our group's interests / objectives. You can recommend other books as well beyond your own (ideally, we should be contacting those authors too and inviting them in using the EMAIL TEMPLATE https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...).


message 5: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Arnold I'm going to be honest in that I probably won't push my own book in the syndicate, just because I hate promoting myself(which is admittedly a fatal flaw on my part in this whole "crowdfund my book" endeavor). I would however gladly vote for my own work if someone else decides to push it.

As for attempts to recruit other authors, I was already planning to return to using Sundays to try to get word out about other Inkshares projects I like, so I'm probably just fold it into that by contacting the authors of said projects at that time as well.


message 6: by Elan (last edited Dec 05, 2015 06:48PM) (new)

Elan (bonbonelan) John wrote: "That's a good question, Amanda. I'm not sure. I've been just selecting the "fantasy" filter then manually browsing. For the most part right now what I'm doing is looking for authors to invite in to..."

Perhaps there's a system we can devise whereby members' books are the monthly purchase—I think it's a great idea to leverage the syndicate to self-support, as well.

Edit: perhaps I should clarify. If this syndicate grows the way we want it to, there'll likely be many people who want their own work to be a monthly feature. A system whereby those decisions are fair (and not *every* month) might be a great way to nip issues that might arise in the bud.


message 7: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
Elan, I'm right with you on this. I think it's totally fair if everyone here who is an epic fantasy author puts their project forward in the month's suggested titles thread, since those are epic fantasy books on Inkshares. Where it would be unethical, I think, is if we didn't have a fair voting process and it ended up that only syndicate members were picking their own titles, versus allowing the collection of authors + readers to have a say. I'm hoping this syndicate will be as much part reader as author, which means authors in the syndicate putting their books forward, in addition to the titles readers/authors pick from non-syndicate members are only a small portion of the voting population.


message 8: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Arnold John wrote: "Elan, I'm right with you on this. I think it's totally fair if everyone here who is an epic fantasy author puts their project forward in the month's suggested titles thread, since those are epic fa..."

I so wish there was a like/agree button, since most of my comments come down to, "I agree with what he/she said before me... nothing new to add."
I'm so unoriginal, sigh.


message 9: by E (new)

E (em166) | 18 comments Thomas wrote: "John wrote: "Elan, I'm right with you on this. I think it's totally fair if everyone here who is an epic fantasy author puts their project forward in the month's suggested titles thread, since thos..."

Ravelry, the online crafter site I browse occasionally has 5 buttons to click. Like, Love, agree, disagree, and one other. It's pretty amazing.


message 10: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
It would be great to have a better platform for these discussions, but this seems to be the best fit for what we are doing. I also like using the Goodreads platform since this is a public group dedicated to epic fantasy so there is the potential to bring in any reader on Goodreads for epic fantasy and thus increase the Inkshares exposure. It's a good place to be. @Thomas and @K.E. nothing wrong with a quick "like that" comment response.


message 11: by Byron (last edited Dec 08, 2015 11:45AM) (new)

Byron | 4 comments Well, I'm joining in on the conversation a little late, but I've gleamed some stuff by looking at other syndicates. Jeremey (Inkshares CEO) had some good points on his page, where he basically stated he'd like to push syndicates to support books closing in on their 250 Quill spots.

Aside from the fact that I'm currently hovering near that (I promise, that's the only time I'll push my own stuff) I think we should aim the syndicate at promoting strong works that are struggling for attention. Perhaps make a list of all stories that fit the mold for this page, then vote on them.

We could post a "top 10" on this and the syndicate page every month, rotating out books that we decide to group-fund. That way, even when the majority don't get the sales, they still get some added exposure.


message 12: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
Byron wrote: "Well, I'm joining in on the conversation a little late, but I've gleamed some stuff by looking at other syndicates. Jeremey (Inkshares CEO) had some good points on his page, where he basically stat..."

Byron, I think adding your book to the list is a great idea! Members are most welcome to put their own works forward.

Here's the link for reference:
https://www.inkshares.com/projects/th...


message 13: by E (new)

E (em166) | 18 comments Byron wrote: "Well, I'm joining in on the conversation a little late, but I've gleamed some stuff by looking at other syndicates. Jeremey (Inkshares CEO) had some good points on his page, where he basically stat..."

Ohmybob I can't believe I haven't ordered your book yet!! *goes to order now*


message 14: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
I'm going to add Andrew Wood's Storm of Fury: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/st...


message 15: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
Here is the link to the S&L 2 page of submissions. Anything catches your eye for epic fantasy, please link it here along with a bit about what stands out for you:

https://www.inkshares.com/contests/th...


message 16: by Byron (new)

Byron | 4 comments In no particular order....


1). The Children of the Forest (Yours truly)
2). The Animal in Man (Joseph Asphahani)
3). Prophecy of the Stars (Melissa Berg)
4). Blood Dawn (John Robin)
5). Exile, Magus (Thomas J. Arnold)
6). Storm of Fury (Andrew Wood)

Those are off the top of my head, I know I'm missing a bunch. At least that's a good start, I hope.


message 17: by E (new)

E (em166) | 18 comments Byron wrote: "In no particular order....


1). The Children of the Forest (Yours truly)
2). The Animal in Man (Joseph Asphahani)
3). Prophecy of the Stars (Melissa Berg)
4). Blood Dawn (John Robin)
5). Exile, Ma..."


Looks like a good list :D.


message 18: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
Great! Let's keep the discussion going. Closer to our choosing date, I'm going to put all suggestions together and create a poll.


message 19: by C. (last edited Dec 09, 2015 08:40AM) (new)

C. (cbrennecke) I'd love to add my book to the list for consideration. I'm never quite sure if it qualifies as Epic Fantasy since it's more political/character-driven/literary, but there is a war, some low level magic, prophesy, and shapeshifting. That should count, right?

https://www.inkshares.com/projects/se...

Let's see...things that make it stand out. It has a large, diverse cast and each and every character has a fully developed arch. Different philosophies, religions, family structures, types of love, economic structures, etc. are explored. Magic is used very subtly in this world, making it easy to settle into, but later on some really cool old magic is discovered in a pretty fun way. I've gotten a lot of good feedback about the use of descriptive language, so I guess I can say it has that too!

Oh! And it's close to the Quill mark :)


message 20: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Arnold Byron wrote: "In no particular order....


1). The Children of the Forest (Yours truly)
2). The Animal in Man (Joseph Asphahani)
3). Prophecy of the Stars (Melissa Berg)
4). Blood Dawn (John Robin)
5). Exile, Ma..."


Good list, I'm honored by the inclusion. My preference will always be for books I haven't gotten around to ordering yet, and further those with the closest end date will win out. Everything on that list is either something I've already ordered or had on my short list of books to order when money allowed.
The ones I haven't ordered yet on that list (excluding my own) are The Animal in Man, Prophecy of Stars, Blood Dawn, and Storm of Fury. I also only just now realized I haven't followed or ordered Seven Shards, but I was sure I had done at least one of those things in the past. I've become such a senile old man. Gotta update my short list now.
Using my triage technique Storm of Fury or Seven Shards would get my vote since they end the soonest. Even if we don't go for it as a syndicate though they'll still be getting an order from me before their end dates.
I have admittedly slacked off in finding new titles, mainly due to my newfound lack of time. That unfortunately means I don't have anything new to contribute to the list.


message 21: by Mike (new)

Mike Slade (mikeslade) | 2 comments Some notes on how the syndicate conducts business if you all don't mind advice from a newbie:

First, I've seen both here and on CEO Syndicate that a lot of times where people say something like, "I vote for book 2 because I already pre-ordered book 1".
I understand the not wanting to lose the $10/$20- but the vote SHOULD be for the book you feel deserves the backing of the group. I would put it to the admins/INKSHARES folks to try and figure out a way where individual syndicate members aren't out their membership fee if the group backs a book they are already buying. Possibly they get that $$ back as a credit in the system or something. I just don't want the "best project" to not get the win and push from the group simply because 4-5 people backed it individually already.

Second, to speak to the allowing of people to nominate or promote their own projects within the syndicate. I think it is perfectly reasonable for the authors to do so, and they should be allowed to. They can also vote for their own book to be the monthly choice, no problem. I think the only issue comes in if they are being annoying/spamming their project within the group, and the group itself can then regulate the actions and govern itself. Tell the member to tone it down, possibly remove the member after repeated annoyances, things like that.

Anyway, just my two cents. Thanks all.


message 22: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
Thank you Mike! (And welcome here!)

These are great points.

On the first, I think there's nothing wrong with backing a book twice. Yes, you might get two copies, but then guess what? You give it to a friend who you think would enjoy epic fantasy and help spread the word about that title. Adding our vote for the book we think deserves it for the month adds that much more pre-orders to the given book, and boosts it's changes of publication.

On the second point, I'm all on board with people throwing their book forward. No problem. I don't mind if you do it every month. Obviously, if it gets pushy or the requests are abusive, then we'll have to maybe have some back room discussion ;)

Because our syndicate started a bit later, we won't vote until January 15th, so I'm going to continue our conversations here and hope we can spread the word and get more people into our group, then we'll do a poll to get a sense of where everyone's interest lies. I will do a poll for the entire group (using all titles we've put forward), then I will make a new thread and ask all syndicate members to weigh in on how they feel the poll matches their expectations. I'll try to be as democratic as possible so that everyone has a chance to speak and I can go with majorities, and I'll make the best decision possible so that we're all happy.


message 23: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Arnold Mike wrote: "Some notes on how the syndicate conducts business if you all don't mind advice from a newbie:

First, I've seen both here and on CEO Syndicate that a lot of times where people say something like, "..."


Definitely agree on all points. So far all of the books I've seen recommended here are ones I want to back, and when that's the case I'm naturally going to default to those I haven't already ordered. With that said even if the syndicate where to choose a book I've already ordered from the current list of possibilities I would still be happy because I think they're all great choices (especially that Exile, Magus one even if it is full of funny sounding names).
I still need to stop slacking off and see if I can find anything to add to the list. Beyond trying to get more orders myself I've been mainly focusing on building a list and thinking on some reviews for the Review-a-thon, so still slacking on the syndicate duties as a result.


message 24: by Craig (new)

Craig Munro Would love to put mine forward for consideration as well.

https://www.inkshares.com/projects/th...


message 25: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
Thanks for adding this Craig!


message 26: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Gerard Berg | 4 comments One question that I don't think came up here. Tho if it did elsewhere, I apologize for being redundant ;)
What happens when a book is chosen that is by one of the authors in the syndicate? Since technically we aren't allowed to buy our own books? Just wondering...


message 27: by Byron (new)

Byron | 4 comments Also, and apologies if this was mentioned somewhere as well, but perhaps when it comes time to vote we do something on here instead of using a poll. Perhaps John could create a new page each month to ask us to put the title of the book we are choosing to vote for.

I'm thinking we could use a rule that authors cannot vote for their own submission. This way we don't end up with the majority voting for their own novel and 1-2 people tipping the scale. Having everyone vote for something other than their own story would probably end up with the strongest (hopefully) choice being given the majority vote.

It's just a thought, but it feels like this might be the best way to choose.


message 28: by E (new)

E (em166) | 18 comments Byron wrote: "Also, and apologies if this was mentioned somewhere as well, but perhaps when it comes time to vote we do something on here instead of using a poll. Perhaps John could create a new page each month ..."

That's a good point, it doesn't work if authors can vote on their own submissions.


message 29: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
I will be creating a new thread for each month's vote. For now, this is for the January 15th vote. The next thread will be to prepare for the Feb 15th vote.

Regarding voting for books already in the syndicate, if authors can't vote on their own submissions then in polling the group I won't include books by authors who are paid syndicate members.


message 30: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
Folks, it's time to vote for December, which will be placed Jan 15th.

Because Melissa pointed out we can't vote on any of our own books, I've combed through the titles put forward. I've excluded books that are over the Quill mark. Looking at this, I see that Christine Brenneke's Seven Shards https://www.inkshares.com/projects/se... has 12 days left and is at 219 orders. If we vote, she is up to 232. This vote could really help!

What do you all say? Syndicate members, how about we add our support? Is there another title you think could use it more that I'm overlooking? Let me know here. I'd like to place a vote in the next few days.


message 31: by Craig (new)

Craig Munro I think that is an excellent idea. I may not be a full syndicate member but I will be putting 10$ credit up and pre-ordering a copy as well.


message 32: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Arnold I would definitely be up for supporting Seven Shards again, especially with it so close to Quill with so little time left. Then surely between the lot of us we can get enough of our own followers to order it so that it will get the other 18 orders needed after our Syndicate order.


message 33: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
Thanks for your input folks. I just voted for us, especially when I saw that Christine got up to 238 order.

WE PUT HER INTO QUILL! Which I think is AWESOME way to kick off our syndicate.


message 34: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Arnold Yeah, the CEO syndicate supported her as well, so with the two syndicates combined we pushed her right over the mark, and I must admit to a little bit of a joyful exclamation at seeing that happen.


message 35: by Craig (new)

Craig Munro awesome!


message 36: by C. (new)

C. (cbrennecke) I'm still a little delirious, but I wanted to make sure I popped in here to say thank you; THANK YOU!!!!


*thud* <----(the sound of me fainting)


message 37: by John (new)

John Robin (john_robin) | 60 comments Mod
When you revive, we'll celebrate with some wine in whatever shades you desire!


message 38: by C. (last edited Jan 12, 2016 01:33PM) (new)

C. (cbrennecke) XD

Hey, in all seriousness, there's going to be a party once there are physical copies in my hand, and everyone's invited! Keep your calendars clear for some time TBD, haha :D


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