Ever since Automatism Press published the first volume of Death’s Garden: Relationships with Cemeteries in 1995, I have wanted to put together a sequel. I wanted the second book to range farther abroad, to include more diverse voices, to be more beautiful in design and execution.
I also wanted it to be a full-color hardcover with glossy pages.
I knew I could assemble the contributors and pull together some amazing, lovely, powerful text. In order to make the books everything I envision them to be, however, I needed funding.
I’ve been a patron of Kickstarter since 2011, when I funded Mark Ballogg’s glorious hardcover book about Pere Lachaise Cemetery. I’ve backed more than 60 campaigns, mostly books. I’ve learned all I could from the backer side of the site.
Last year I started doing as much research as I could. I took a couple of online courses from people who’d successfully run kickstarter campaigns. I read as many articles as I could find aimed specifically at writers and small presses who wanted to fund their books. I solicited as much advice as I could from people I knew who’d been involved in Kickstarter campaigns from every angle.
Last month, I finally started building my campaign page. There are so many moving parts: from making a video to pricing out reward tiers to calculating postage on a book that won’t exist outside a computer for six more months.
Then the world started to come apart at the seams. What with everything going on in the world right now, I wasn’t sure this was the best time to raise money for a book of essays about visiting cemeteries. I turn to graveyards when I am feeling lost or sad. The green grass, the wind in the trees, the birdsong, and flowers always lift my heart. But would other people feel that way, especially now?
Then Brandon Sanderson began his campaign to fund publication of four new novels. By the end of the first day, he’d raised $15 million. As of today, the campaign is at $26.5 million and still climbing. He’s got 21 more days to go.
The Death’s Garden Revisited campaign isn’t going to raise anything approaching that. I’m grateful to Sanderson for another reason: the success of his crowdfunding campaign showed me that people are still hungry for books. They’re still willing to fund art and stories. So I set the date for Death’s Garden Revisited to go live and the countdown began.
You can click on the image below to be taken to the Death’s Garden Revisited pre-launch page. There you’ll see a button that says “Notify me on launch.” If you click on that, Kickstarter will send you an email on March 17, the day the campaign goes live.