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Robert Batten

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Author

Tag: Blood Capital

Warbler Interview

The Warbler interviewed me about Human Resources and The Launch Pad Competition. You can read it here.

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Launch Pad Top 10 Announced

Today I received some disappointing news; the judges of the Launch Pad Manuscript Competition announced their Top 10 finalists, and Human Resources did not make the list.
Since entering the the competition I have been on an emotional roller-coaster, one which is not over. Whilst the novel doesn't proceed past the Top 25 finalists in the judging process, I have much to celebrate:

  • Human Resources is getting published.
  • Out of more than 3,000 entries from 24 countries, the novel was judged by Hollywood insiders as being one of the 25 best.
  • We are currently leading the crowdfunding competition.
  • I'm still in the running for three major prizes:
    • Human Resources could still be optioned by Scott Free.
    • I could still be signed by Energy Entertainment.
    • I could still win a mentorship.
  • The novel and I will be featured in The Tracking Board's Top Manuscripts of 2016 and The 2016 Hit List.

Over the course of the competition so far I have interacted with a number of the authors I have been competing against. Not only do they have some great books, but they have all been friendly and supportive. My sincere congratulations to the Top 10.
You can follow Human Resources on Inkshares here — there is still time to pre-order your special copy!

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Quill Target Achieved!

Today has been an another exciting one — Human Resources passed an important milestone; 250 pre-orders. This is important because it qualifies the novel for publishing under Inkshares Quill imprint. That's right, HR now has enough orders to guarantee publication!
What happens now?
The funding campaign continues, as does The Launchpad Crowdfunding Competition. The goal is still very much to win the competition. Quill publication is print-on-demand (not mass production), and misses out on a marketing budget. If HR wins the competition, it will get the full service — tailored design, more robust editing, mass production, and marketing.
The Launchpad Crowdfunding Competition ends 16 December. If HR doesn't win the competition, the campaign will continue until January.
You can pre-order your copy of Human Resources here.

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The Launchpad Top 25

Today has been a momentous day. Early this morning (Australian time) the latest round of finalists in The Launchpad Manuscript Competition were announced — The Judges’ Top 25.
I am ecstatic to confirm Human Resources has been included in this exclusive list! This competition started out with thousands of entries from twenty-four countries. To have HR selected by industry judges as being in the twenty-five best manuscripts from such an impressive cohort has me lost for words.
Moving forward, the judges will continue to whittle the finalists down. In a few short weeks they will announce the top 10 and the judges winners! In parallel to that, the crowdfunding competition will continue until 16 December (PST). The three winners of the crowdfunding competition are guaranteed publication, regardless of the results of the main judging process, so please go and support my novel if you haven’t already.

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The Launchpad Manuscript Competition announcement: date change

Overnight Inkshares sent out an announcement to competitors in The Launchpad Manuscript Competition; they have extended the duration of the crowdfunding competition. Originally, this competition (one part of the overall competition process) was due to finish on 8 November (PST), just four short days away. It will now finish on 16 December — for those keeping track, that changes the duration from approx three weeks to eight. At the time I’m writing this, there has been no public announcement, but I’m assuming it isn’t far off.
I can’t say I’m thrilled about this change. With only days left to the original deadline my position on the leaderboard was looking pretty good. Now, with an additional five weeks of campaigning, it becomes anyone’s game again. (more…)

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Human Resources Update — Campaign Week 1

Day seven of the campaign and the crowdfunding competition is now drawing to a close, and it has been an intense week. The support from my friends, family, and the community has been astounding. In seven short days, you have all ordered 125 copies of Human Resources! That is crazy — Human Resources is now 50% of the way to guaranteed publication! What’s more, that has been enough to push the book into first place in The Launchpad Manuscript crowdfunding competition!
Unfortunately, second place has not been idle, and are slowly eroding my lead in the competition, so we can’t slack off now! If you haven’t yet ordered a copy, it would be great if you considered doing so. Other things that are incredibly helpful are all the posts people have been making on social media, and the fantastic reviews and recommendations people have been leaving on Inkshares. Please keep it up!

Judges Top 50

Just today the The Tracking Board announced the second round finalists from the formal judges stream — the Top 50. Guess what? That’s right, Human Resources made the cut!

What happens if Human Resources doesn’t win the crowdfunding competition?

Well, that’s a little defeatist, but I’ll answer the question. If we don’t win the crowdfunding competition (but with all of you helping I’m sure we can do it), the story is not over. There will still be three other ways Human Resources could be published:

  1. The regular crowdfunding campaign will continue beyond the competition — if we gather 250 pre-orders, the book will be published under the “Quill” imprint. If we gather 750 pre-orders, the book will be given the “full-ride” Inkshares treatment. I have an explanation of the difference between Quill and full Inkshares publishing later in this post.
  2. Separate to the crowdfunding competition, the professional judging process continues. Human Resources is still in with a chance of being picked up as a result of this process fingers crossed.
  3. Wildcard prizes. Scott Free and Energy Entertainment have guaranteed to each pick up at least one project / writer. They can select these from any of the finalists, so independent of the first two options, this could also happen.

What happens when the campaign is successful?

A much better question — I like the positive attitude. So many people have jumped up to support me, and I can’t describe what that means to me, but many of them will not be familiar with the Inkshares model.
Right now, Human Resources is a draft. If the campaign is successful, the novel must go through the publishing journey. What does that mean?

  1. The manuscript needs to be finished. I have a first draft, and am approximately (as of the time of this post) 70% of the way through a major rewrite. I need to finish this before I can hand it in for publication. Rest assured I am working on arrangements to ensure I can dedicate the time necessary to complete this quickly. I would anticipate the re-write will be complete early in the New Year.
  2. Editing. Inkshares will need to assign me one or more editors (depending on the level of publishing — see below). I will turn in my manuscript to them and then we will collaborate on the polishing of the novel until it is ready for production.
  3. Design. The Inkshares team will take the manuscript and format it into a beautiful book for you. At this point, you will likely get access to electronic copies of the book.
  4. Printing and Shipping. Inkshares will print the physical books, I’ll sign them, and then they will be shipped to you!

The reality is, the publication process takes time. There are a lot of factors in how much time it will take, so right now I can’t give you a date for when you will receive your books. However, once publication is confirmed, the first thing Inkshares does with its authors is to collaborate on a publication plan and schedule. Throughout the entire process, I’ll keep everyone informed on where we are at, what is planned, and what our expected timeframes are.

What is the difference between Quill and Inkshares imprints?

Inkshares offer two different tiers of publication; Quill, and Inkshares. Quill can also be considered “publishing light.”
Books that attract at least 250 pre-orders qualify for Quill. These books receive a copy edit, are published on your major online stores, and physical copies are printed on demand. The books are available for bookstores to order wholesale, but aren’t actively marketed to bookstores. With Quill, the author is responsible for providing the cover art for the book.
Books that attract at least 750 pre-orders qualify for the full Inkshares service. These books receive multiple layers of editing, from developmental edits (which look at the overall story, character development, and plot holes) through to copy edits seeking spelling and grammatical errors. Inkshares also provides professional designers to create the cover and fully tailor the “interior design” of the book. Finally, the Inkshares marketing team gets author recommendations and markets the book to bookstores, arranges signing events, etc. These books go into mass production, rather than being print on demand.
Inkshares have more detail on their business model here.

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