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New Year, New Focus

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1 New Year, New Focus on Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:16 pm

kNuX_V1

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Guardian of Chaos
Yo team

I hope the new year is treating you well, hopefully the weather gets a bit warmer soon!

2016 was a good year for Chaos Nova. Thanks to BitViper, Kay and Lore, we've got a functioning website which allows us to share news, post story samples, eventually we'll have a shop and it serves as a friendly, easy-to-direct-to location.
We also have our Patreon supporters to thank for keeping the site running. It isn't cheap, but the additional support we receive certainly makes it much easier so massive thanks to Roo and Lore for that. We literally couldn't do this without you.

Work has also been progressing nicely on Seeker. It was an absolute pleasure to host Lore over Christmas, and we managed to get a sizable amount of work done. This included talking through a few chapters and working out replacements for previously written stuff that has changed since editing began. We went back through the Part 1 chapters too, and read them out, highlighting continuity errors and clunky text. As a sort of 'Patreon reward' I made the 'Behind the scenes' recordings available to our supporters, they range from chapters 1 to 9, with chapters 2 and 9 available as videos as part of the Chaos Nova Story Marathon we're running to support Kieyoties fund-raiser. If you haven't seen it yet, please check out https://www.gofundme.com/blueberrycreekrecovery and while we'd love you to contribute, boosting the signal by sharing the link is also massively appreciated. 
We also recorded a ton of other stories for the marathon, and they can be found here - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_z_K_bCWNq2ss5wNOkk-PR-6A4h1FWVR

I also took part in a couple of creative writing courses which I feel have helped improve my craft. This, along with some 'friendly encouragement' from Lore has put a lot of things into perspective. I realise now that back in the day, when it was just Kieyo and myself, or Roo and Cluster, we were writing just for fun, like there was no end goal and we just wanted to see where our characters would take us, and that was important, still is, and it was important that we recently made the specific distinction between Forum and Book Canon very clear, we've got specific goals in mind now. One example of this is the excellent section Kieyo has set up for story prompts, the goal of this section is to just have fun, throw stuff at the wall, see what sticks. If, over time, the stories could work in book canon with some minor tweaks then awesome, but we're not constrained by any rules here. On the other hand, elsewhere in places like Google Drive, I've been working on Character directories, Lore has been compiling her world-building notes and between us we've worked through a lot of material from the past. Picking up Trash is an entirely different beast now because we've worked out some background stuff. The people we run into in Seeker like our friendly Trelasi 'Bora Ranger' and the places we visit like the Harper compound, just feel more real because of the work being put into the Book Canon. In the forum, I've started a thread for the discussion of our next project, The Short Story compilation, and elsewhere we're working through details of certain worlds to try and align some of the Forum and Book canon so the basic building blocks are essentially the same.

So what does the future have in store for Chaos Nova? Or ChaosNova as the legal team are safely calling it. Well in terms of the 'company' we're approaching the conclusion of Seeker in the coming months. We're gonna remove Seeker - Part 1 from Amazon, and upload Seeker - Part 2, as well as Seeker (Complete Edition). We don't plan to release Seeker in paperback unless we can work out a better deal with the printers. Print on demand via FeedARead does not make economical sense in the long run, and we would most likely be better ordering in bulk from a no-thrills printer we can deal with on a more personal level. 
From Seeker, the next project is our first short story collection. We're looking at roughly 12 short stories set in the 'Early days' of Chaos Nova, the Split Personality and Seeker timeline to be more precise. 

By this time, our website shop will be up and running, this will allow us to sell directly without the need for Amazon or the like. While Amazon does have it's advantages such as a massive audience and easiness of purchasing things, it's important that we make the transition. With an active shop, it might finally be time to broach the idea of merchandise. I know a few Novakians have some ideas on this.

After the compilation of short stories, my focus will turn to the Split Personality line of stories. SP1 will be receiving a bit of a tidy up, and the first draft of SP2 will be undergoing much scrutiny before work can begin in earnest. 

I don't see SP2 being an easy task, and will most likely take a substantial amount of time before you hear of it again. I hope to have a sample chapter or two ready by the end of the year, but the usual caveat of 'not final work' will apply.

Outside of that, we have the YouTube side of our little community as well. We did some good with Quake-A-Thon, and I'm sufficiently 'relaxed' again to start looking into more charity gigs. Unfortunately my internet doesn't allow me to stream much gameplay, however Google Hangouts should work fine. Upcoming events won't be 4-Day events like QAT, but rather a couple of hours every few weeks for a charity we can all agree on. 
Another element I'd love to bring back is the Podcast. I really enjoyed working on it with the squad although I think some changes are in order. We'll need to discuss the particulars, but I hope 2017 sees the return of the ChaosCast. (Snappy, I think we can use that!)

So that's the plan. Finish Seeker, Release. Work on Short Stories, Release. Clean up SP1, Re-release, while working on SP2, while at the same time, developing the website, running charity hangouts and bringing back the Podcast. When I put it like that, it almost sounds easy Wink

Looking forward to an awesome 2017

Much love to you all!
Knux

2 Re: New Year, New Focus on Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:10 am

fafafabigben

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Guardian of Chaos
"legal team" - LOL


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3 Re: New Year, New Focus on Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:10 pm

fafafabigben

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Guardian of Chaos
To add a point from a bit ... less rose-tinted perspective ...
a major challenge - and thus a major goal - remains: gathering more viewers/readers, more people who care about our content; bluntly put, build a fanbase bigger than the perhaps-twelve-of-us (and that is a generous estimate) reading this.

So what are you gonna do about it? What am I gonna do about it?
Well, one thing I am going to do is to write to a little local sci-fi web-magazine and show them some "Seeker" materials as soon as the latest chapters come together. A small step that might very well yield nothing in return - also something tangible and doable within the time&energy&resources at my disposal.


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Do no harm (but take no shit)
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4 Re: New Year, New Focus on Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:51 pm

kNuX_V1

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Guardian of Chaos
Mhmm, and I loved your idea of sending copies to 'our size' channels on YouTube, that's an arrangement that benefits all involved. 
There are a fair few author events happening in Southend this year too, might be worth getting involved IF other opportunities haven't revealed themselves. 
The Story Marathon has generated some interest too, a viable strategy moving forward.

Building the fanbase is going to be an important part of 2017. We've got some awesome material now, but we need people to read it! Wink The website certainly makes things easier, but it's just the foundation for what's to come. We can load it with all the content we like but unless someone reads it then it was just for our own amusement. 

I have some ideas regarding advertising as well, small scale things for Seeker and Split Personality 2, as well as potential offers and special extras. I believe we need to further discuss our strategy, as I originally planned for my 'Ultimate Advertising Mega-Scheme' to be used for Taking Flight, using the lessons learnt from Seeker and SP2. 

On the social media front, I will hands up admit that outside of the Story Marathon, I have not made the best use of our Facebook and Twitter accounts. My ultimate goal is to shut down the Facebook front until such a time that I can guarantee regular updates and the like. I much prefer Twitter and will make it my personal goal in 2017 to make better use of the account.

So indeed, we've got a few ideas for making our work more accessible to a larger audience and I'm always open to suggestions and ideas as to how we can do more. The Story Marathon is a huge step in the right direction, and sending material to magazines is another solid idea. Google Hangouts and the return of the ChaosCast should also garner a bit more interest, and with the release of Seeker coming soon, it's all to play for. It's important I get this right, otherwise the mega blimp will just remain a dream Wink 

As always, thanks for your input, I need reminding sometimes that it isn't just about writing stories, we've got to get them out there if people are to enjoy them. So, 2017, game on!

5 Re: New Year, New Focus on Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:46 pm

KT McDermott


You know I'll help when and where I can, even if it's just tossing ideas into the cauldron...
Have you incorporated the brand yet? How far have you come on legalizing everything under it? (How can i help with the business side of things from here so no one can steal from you (us) again?)

This year is going to be a Writing year. We're going to MAKE the time for everyone here who is just as much my (our) family.

Nikki's about got me to just write cliff hangers. And wrap up many of my stories into a collection of short works...
Then create a second, "Over the cliff..." set of short stories when I get them concluded.

Whatever it takes to get some of my crap in print this year by Christmas!

So, I'm going to ask another thing of you...
Pester me until I get you something. A story a month, ready for group edit. Every time you think of it, buzz me and remind me I have ANOTHER job. With an international Publishing House, lol. And I'm about to get fired, if I don't show up once in awhile!
(Non-profits are the way to go here in the States. We've been looking into various ideas, especially since I' a pastor and can start a Church with a charity fund to eat up any profits we actually end up with.{We as in Nikki and I, not ChaosNova.} And we were wondering how far you've come along those lines.)

Thank you all so very much! This year is going to be much better for us all!

6 Re: New Year, New Focus on Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:28 pm

kNuX_V1

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Guardian of Chaos
While I appreciate the sentiment boss, nothing is gonna make you write but you. You'll always be Chaos Nova/Troubled Core regardless of what happens. As you say, we are family. I'm always here if you want to spitball ideas or working on something together. One thing I really miss is just the basic 'our characters, together' thing we ran at the beginning, the stuff that started all this to begin with. If I could get one thing back, it'd be that, which I have no doubts would lead on to publishable stories of their own. 

With regards to the 'business' side of things, especially the copyright, we're planning on using Creative Commons instead of copywriting everything. This still requires significant research on my behalf, and I've dropped the ball a bit here with it because it confuses and intimidates me. I'm gonna be truthful here, my strongest role at Chaos Nova is Ideas and Storytelling, I try to convince myself that 'Oh, we don't need to be a proper business just yet because it will incur costs that we can't cover with our current funding.' Which, while it has some truth in reality (Setting up a business in the UK has all sorts of costs from insurance, to public liability, to increased taxes and the like) is something that needs serious investigation. 

As for profits, there are none, Split Personality cost me more to send free copies out than we made back, and Shell-Shock didn't sell at all well, again costing us more in free samples than it made back. This was a costly mistake, the samples I've given to the world are not a good representation of what Chaos Nova is now, although the tiny audience it reached was mostly friends, family and some bookshelf libraries around the world. Our attack plan to advertise Seeker is going to be different, with free copies being sent to book reviewer YouTube channels, and author readings. 
Should Seeker generate any profit, and I really hope it does, 50% of it is immediately earmarked to pay Ze Editor, who has put me to shame with the amount of work she's put in to this story. Any profit I make is going straight back in to Chaos Nova to pay for the website, advertising, setting up businesses and trademarks, and encouraging the success of future works.
The only reason I've been able to keep writing for all these years is thanks to my family, supporting me, keeping a roof over my head. Chaos Nova will not fail, I won't let it, but it would be extremely nice to be able to pay everyone back for the incredible support they've given in the past. I joke about the Chaos Nova super blimp, or the Chaos Nova town, but in reality it would just be nice to provide a wage we can all comfortably live on from writing books.

We'll get there one day, and I won't stop writing until long after we do, but we just gotta hold on til then. 2017 is gonna be a full frontal assault. Seeker, Short-Stories, advertising, the start of SP2, the return of the PodCast and better use of our current resources. And I look forward to standing side by side with you all while we do it.

7 Re: New Year, New Focus on Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:50 pm

KT McDermott


I'll share some of my business research over to you privately then. We'll pick the country where it is the cheapest to get started and get ChaosNova up and going. We've been looking into every aspect of small business relating to international publishing along with all the work we already have going running this farm as a business.
I have other friends who are in the initial stages of getting published and what they're doing.
I am also working on picking up a contact who is a big scifi guru, (Hung out with Heinlein, for real.)
So, as soon as I can, I'll let you know what she says, and possibly introduce her to the group.
Writing for fun in my hobby. My goal is to write as an enjoyable job.

As far as Chaos Nova, All finances are yours to handle. I'm more of a consultant for everything related to your Brand. I also want to see it take off so it can be a brand I see at Barnes and Nobles. Whatever it takes.
Luckily, we have the option of setting up in the most favorable country, or more than one, as we have many addresses to choose from as a Corporate HQ, with subsidiary offices.
This is one of the things I need to get gathered up and talk with you about, if you are interested.
No matter how good our stories are, they won't get read if we can't get them out there.

This is going to be my focus this year over many other projects I have going. As you know, I have to get SOMETHING going. My writing still takes the backseat to much of our work, but it is getting getting bumped up.

***

Also, if this is not a current concern, I'll let it go until until you need it. I'm really trying to get things together so our stories can get published and to the public. They're good, and we need to get them on the shelves.

8 Re: New Year, New Focus on Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:52 pm

KT McDermott


I really like how you have other ideas using social media aspects I don't think of. (My age difference and location are showing...) I still use the methods that were in use 20 years ago for getting published: Magazines, articles, and print.
It helps me seeing what you come up with a great deal!

(Gotta go feed animals now... lol.)

9 Re: New Year, New Focus on Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:23 pm

kNuX_V1

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Guardian of Chaos
Always interested in chatting boss =D
And Magazines and articles still have their places. We've just got a better handle on YouTube, our other Social media campaign's are laughable. I don't have the ordered mind to keep track of twitter and facebook accounts, or the work-ethic to make daily or even weekly posts. If I could give someone else the details to these accounts, and keep them running, that would take a massive weight off my shoulders, as it stands there is no-one to fill this role and as such the Chaos Nova accounts do not get used. Like I said, my focus tends to be on Ideas and Stories. I write the stories, then with Lore's help, they become books, and occasionally we make a post on the website. Soon, I'll be working on advertising and seeking out people we can approach, and filming Seeker chapters for YouTube. 

As for where we can set up as a business, that's a long discussion for another day, and despite the costs, the UK is our best bet as it allows me to shake hands with actual people. Also, I don't know the legal basis on owning a business but registering it in another country. I'll keep doing what I'm doing, writing stories and tweaking background info, and I look forward to your research and notes, but this is a serious discussion that I think all active members of Chaos Nova should have a say in.

All the best man, have fun feeding ze animals!

10 Re: New Year, New Focus on Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:24 pm

KT McDermott


I agree, and will set it aside until everyone involved is ready.

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