Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Kick-Off

I wish everyone a happy new year 2013! I hope you all enjoyed the Holidays and those special days between the years where one starts to think about the events lying behind and the challenges waiting ahead. Just like last year, I'd like to kick this year off with a comprehensive overview of the Wormworld Saga project, where it stands and where it's heading.

First of all, the most amazing thing for me is, that during 2012 I was able to dedicate my whole time to the Wormworld Saga. I didn't have to take on any commissions in order to fill financial gaps. The only commissioned work I did last year was the variant cover illustration for the first issue of 'Finding Gossamyr' and that I honestly did for the pure enjoyment of it. Being able to invest all my time into the Wormworld Saga resulted in some great progress of the project. 2012 saw the publishing of Chapter 3 and 4, and the first images of Chapter 5. And I was by far not the only one working hard to bring the Wormworld Saga forward. It starts right of with my wife who dedicated most of her free time to develop the products for the Wormworld Saga Treasure Chest kickstarter campaign which was successfully funded just a few months ago. The good guys at Robot Media brought the Wormworld Saga App to the Android platform and a feature on Google Play attracted nearly 150.000 new users for the app in only one week. And then there's the incredible people of Tokyopop Germany who did a wonderful job converting the German version of the first three chapters of the Wormworld Saga into a beautiful hardcover book which had a great debut on last year's Frankfurt Bookfair. All these achievements wouldn't have been possible without the support of all those fans out there that were spreading the word, giving encouraging feedback, and supported the project financially by donating, buying prints, and supporting the Wormworld Saga on kickstarter. A very special 'thank you' goes out to the voluteering translators who have translated the first chapter of the Wormworld Saga into over 25 languages now and are continuing their work to make more and more chapters available in all these different languages. The very fact that most of these translations are already layoutet and published is due to the staggering efforts of a single man: my volunteering layout assistant Ivan Berov, who did the layout on ALL translations that were published in 2012. I can't even say how many translations that were and how thankful I am for his help. I'd like every single person addressed in this paragraph to know that your support means the world to me and that I'm seriously not able to express the level of gratefulness I'm feeling towards you all.

Being able to write these lines helps me tremendously to prepare for the challenges of this new year. My goal is to keep working full-time on the Wormworld Saga and to present you the chapters 5, 6 and 7 before the end of 2013. Together with Robot Media I'm going to offer an HD version of the story inside the Wormworld Saga App. And together with Tokyopop I'm going to approach publishers all around the world to make the book version of the Wormworld Saga available to you in as many languages as possible. These are the major goals for 2013.

The biggest challenge in reaching these goals will be to secure the funds for the whole year. I've never talked much about the financial situation of the project since its start two years ago. The last thing followers of the project might remember, was my pitch video for the Wormworld Saga App kickstarter campaign in early 2011. There I explained that my plan was to live from the earnings of the app as soon as it would be published. As far as that goes a lot of the fans are likely to think that the finances of the project are secured since the release of the app in October 2011. Well, that's not at all the case. Funding the last year was a pure adventure with a lot of luck and modesty involved. I won't go into the details just now because the first months of 2013 are already funded and I don't want to raise an issue before there actually is one. The app is generating money and so are the books. Foreign book deals might add to that. This month my wife and I will open up the Wormworld Saga Shop in which the fans will find lots of opportunities to support the project by buying merchandise and collector's items. It will be very exciting for us to find out how all these sources of income will develop and how far they will carry the Wormworld Saga. If there should arise a problem I will address it early enough in order to find a solution together with the fans of the project.

In the last few months I often wished that there were a point of security to reach. A point from which on I would not longer have to worry about the financial aspects of the project for at least some time. I guess I have a pretty naive image of the life of comic creators in my mind. I slowly start to accept that insecurity is part of the concept of an author's life. Something has to balance the advantages, right?

Alright, so let's get this year going! I didn't expect to make it through last year and it somehow worked out anyway. Why should it be any better this time? It's an adventure after all!

It's comforting to know that I'm not on my own on this one.


  1. My good friend, I wish you all the best for the upcoming year and the whole project. I hope the wormworld shop will give you the needed support to work more relaxed and will result in one of the fundamental parts of your project.

    All the best

  2. Happy new year! I'm glad to have been one of the translators last year, and I'm looking forward to translating more!

    I wonder, though: when you publish in other languages, will you keep the translations as they are? Or will you have another round of reviews? I for one, would like to review what we've translated, before it's getting published. Just to be sure there are no minor errors left.

  3. Thanks, Christoph!

    Jakoba, I don't yet have a standard approach concerning book versions of translations that come from volunteering translators. Of course I wouldn't just take a translation and use it without discussing it with the translator beforehand. I'd expect publishers to let an editor work on a translation before it gets printed though. Hopefully we'll get the chance to see how this works this year!

  4. We never know, what lies ahead. Jonas doesn't and so you don't :) I guess, it won't console you, that even financial securitiy (or safety? ehm...) is not a guarantee for a succeeding life, for that rather depends on what you make of (smartass mode off).
    Fortunately you are a creative, very dilligent, optmistic and lucky guy concerning business issues. And of course I wish you bags of money raining on your ambitious project, not least for egoistic reasons ;)

  5. Your blog is always such a pleasure to read! Your transparency and candor are always refreshing, and of course the art is fabulous! What can I say? You're a big inspiration.

    All the best.

  6. I ordered the hard cover version on Amazon and received it today. Gosh, it's beautiful. I'm so glad I got me a copy.

  7. Those are very brave steps and I'm absolutely sure they will be rewarded in the future, because this is so much more than just a comic story :) I love how it develops as the world around us develops every day ... new possibilities, situations - the feeling of you never know, but most importantly the hope that things can be better than they are!!

    All the best !!!

  8. Hi, what about putting the app into the Amazon store? I´d like to view it on my Kindle Fire, too :).

  9. Actually it's planned to bring the Wormworld Saga App to the Kindle Fire. I can't saya anything about the timing for that but it should happen this year.

  10. What about authoring a book to not only bring in more money but expand your audience even further then it is now!?

  11. @ Peter:

    Oh, there IS a book already ( The first book is in German language and I'm currently trying to find publishers in other countries.

  12. I cannot wait for an English version of your book. I will be buying it for my children (and me). And to see what other goodies you have in your store when it opens. I think you are going to be fine financially. Brilliant art and a great story, it will become a classic for children I am sure. :)