Friday, June 28, 2013

A Fool Like Me

Keith Raffel here.

There’s an old Japanese saying that I’m very fond of. It goes something like this: “Every person should walk to the top of Mount Fuji, but only a fool would do it a second time.”

Color me foolish.

I spent three years working as a full-time novelist. I had just finished my fourth book, A Fine and Dangerous Season, when I went to a New Year’s Party. The host asked me what I was going to do next. I told her I didn’t have an idea for a new book. She asked if I would consider going back into the Silicon Valley fray and taking on a day job. I told her maybe, it depended on the job, and poof! – a few months later I was working at a DNA sequencing company. Fascinating work but that company was just purchased and so now I’m ready to give full-time writing another whirl no matter how ga-ga a Japanese sage might consider me.

I’ve tried publishing the traditional way and I’ve tried publishing e-books myself. Both ways worked fine, but I want to expand my readership. To quote another sage, Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

So I am moving to full-time novel-writing for a second time, but am trying something different.

When Rob Thomas wanted to make a Veronica Mars movie, he raised $5 million from fans to get the project kick-started. Now I am not looking for that kind of money, but I do want to kick-start publication of my fifth novel, a thriller set in Jerusalem titled Temple Mount. I am terrifically excited at the prospect of building a groundswell of support for Temple Mount among readers of my novels, both past and future. I’m even ready to rely on supporters to crowd-source the editing of the manuscript.

I just hope others will join this possibly foolish, but probably sane author in getting Temple Mount published using a new crowd-publishing model. You can check out what I have in mind here. Don’t know if it’s going to work, but I’m going to give it a try. Please don’t be shy in offering advice and wish me luck!


Grant McKenzie said...

Wishing you all the best, Keith. Sounds like a very intriguing idea.

Shannon Baker said...

Really interesting concept. Let us know how it works.

Alan Orloff said...

Keith, I admire your entrepreneurial spirit and will be watching and rooting for you. If anyone can pull this off, you can--I mean, you're smart, resourceful, determined, and a damn fine writer. What could go wrong?

Kathleen Ernst said...

Interesting! I'm a full-time writer and I've worked with publishers big and small. I also have a couple of books in mind that I will likely self-publish. Nothing is simple in the publishing world today, but that does mean there are all kinds of new opportunities for creative types. Big applause to you for going for it in a way that makes sense to you! Keep us posted.

Keith Raffel said...

Thank you, Grant, Shannon, Alan, and Kathleen. I'll let you know how it goes! So far so good.

Beth Groundwater said...

Interesting concept, Keith. Has any author used crowd-sourcing before to publish a novel?

Unknown said...

Beth, if you search on various crowd-sourcing sites you will find novels and other types of book projects. Keith, on my computer for some reason I cannot see the link to your crowd-sourcing info because the right edge of the video is covered by all our books. Could you post the link?

Keith Raffel said...

Beth, crowd-sourcing seems more popular for graphic novels.

Sheila, here's the link: