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Robert Batten

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Author

Tag: Blood Capital

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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Pre-orders now available for Human Resources

Pre-orders are now available as part of The Launchpad Competition
My sci-fi novel Human Resources, has been selected by the industry as a finalist in a major manuscript competition — but there is a public support element to getting further.
What do I need? Pre-orders!
That’s right — you can now pre-order my sci-fi novel Human Resources. There are two ways this can lead to me being published:

  1. I attract more pre-orders than the other finalists.
  2. I attract a minimum of 250 pre-orders (regardless of how the rest of the competitors go).

Pre-orders start at just $10 (eBook). If you can afford it, I would be hugely indebted to you — by pre-ordering you may just make my dream a reality.
I have a second ask (I know, I’m greedy).
If you can afford to pre-order my book, ordering early in the campaign is more helpful than ordering later in the campaign. To win this, I’ll need to attract orders from beyond my network. That will be much easier to do if people see a bunch of orders on my project page when they look it up. Getting a stack of early orders will help me build momentum and bring this home.
Please, take the time to check out the novel page — there are excerpts you can read to see if you enjoy my writing.
And please consider putting in an order.
You can also help by spreading the word:

  • Share the novel page on facebook / twitter / etc.
  • Share the novel with friends in real life.
  • Leave a review or recommendation on the Inkshares site.

Thank you for any support you can give, even if you can’t afford to order a copy at the moment.
Robert Batten

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The Launchpad Manuscript Competition- Top 75 Announced

Back in August I submitted Human Resources to The Launchpad Manuscript Competition. Today they announced their first round of finalists – the Top 75 – and HR made the list!
I’m still processing this news. The competition is a partnership between Scott Free Productions (Ridley Scott), Energy Entertainment, and Inkshares.
There are some heavy hitters involved in this contest.
Judging to select the top 75 involved industry professionals completing two reads of the submitted manuscripts and scoring the entries. Moving forward, there will be a whittling down from the top 75, to the top 50, to the top 25, then to a final 10.
I am humbled to have HR included in this group. Even if it doesn’t make it further in the competition, I have now received validation that the novel has potential to be successful.
I don’t believe The Tracking Board (who run the competition) have released numbers, but from what I have been able to tell (submission IDs) there were thousands of entries.
I have a feeling this is where the hard work begins, but I’m eager to ride the roller-coaster! Stay tuned for more updates.
You can learn more about my sci-fi Human Resources here.

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Writing Update - Human Resources

Human Resources is intended to be the first instalment in a series. I haven’t locked in how many books there will be, but there will definitely be two novels, with possibly a third. I have an additional prequel story planned that may become a novel, but will probably be a novella.
The world of HR started with a scenario rather than a plot – al a Steven King’s classic approach. Specifically, the novel started with a ‘what if?’ that evolved into the prologue – What if the zombie apocalypse came, and the ones who saved humanity were our enemies? What if they didn’t do it for us?
Ever since I sat down to capture that one scene, I’ve been unearthing a constant stream of revelations about the world I’m writing. This week, whilst coming to better understand the motivations of a secondary character (of all things), I made a discovery that may prove to be the most astonishing one of the series. In an instant the world – and particularly it’s destiny over the course of these books – shifted on its axis. I literally bounced in my seat as my brain deciphered the implications of this revelation and the monumental decisions it will force on my characters.
These are the moments I write for.
I can’t wait to share these events with you, but to tell you more right now would involve spoilers (emphasis appropriate). For now, let me say, “whoa.”

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