1. Sarah Grimm says:

    Great points, Ben.

    I’m proud to say that I have backed this campaign. One reason is because I figured I’d buy the books on the list anyway. Another is because, as a Christian writer of speculative fiction, I want to see this genre succeed. I want to see it grow within the Christian community. This marketing effort, this ability to support a publishing house who wants the same things for the Christian spec fic genre, sounds like a great way to try and reach those goals.

  2. Another happy supporter here!  I didn’t really have any suspicions about the campaign.  I was excited to support a company I love as they rebrand, and plus – discounted books!  😀

  3. Josh says:

    I’m happy to be supporting this project. And I wholeheartedly agree with what all y’all have said.

  4. Ben Wolf says:

    Enclave sparked a major FB debate on whether or not this was an outright scam or something legit, but for anyone who actually knows Steve and Thomas, we know they are two of the most upright, noble, respectable guys in the CBA. It’s silly to point fingers at people for wrongdoing when there is no wrongdoing being done, so E. Stephen asked me to write this post since I felt so strongly about it.

    • That’s crazy!  I guess some people just don’t know what Kickstarter is, or what crowdfunding means.

      • Ben Wolf says:

        No kidding, Bethany! It’s comparable to getting a loan from a bank, or to getting someone to invest in your company. Instead, it enlists multiple people to help support the company, which increases Kickstarter’s overall value because it directly connects people to the company running the campaign. Marketing + fundraising = win.

    • dmdutcher says:

      I don’t know why people would think it a scam. You could debate about the ethics of preordering as basis for kickstarting, but few projects would be as rock solid as this.

  5. dmdutcher says:

    I’m not doing the kickstarter, mostly because it’s more of a pre-order thing for established books. I mean, it’s not like he’s asking money to do it, or that if he failed to meet his goals they’d not come out. There’s not even any stretch goals like the early release of another novel; it’s all preselling. So there’s less of a sense of urgency, and it’s more an appeal to people who want a good deal on books.

    This isn’t bad at all; honestly it’s a great deal. But I already own two of the five books; Knox’s Irregulars was self-pubbed before Steve picked it up, and I have the annotated Firebird. (By the way, the annotated version is worth buying; the insights into Kathy’s mind are actually better than the book itself.) There’s Failstate legends, which I intend to buy along with the earlier books, and then there’s the two original books.

    I hate to say it, but I’m not really keen on them enough to preorder.  I really am jaded on “girl on the cover” fantasy or (rarely) SF. So I’ll probably pick them up later.

    I didn’t participate or know about the facebook thread, and Steve seems like an okay guy. I wouldn’t advise against supporting the Kickstarter at all, but for me there isn’t enough desire to participate.

    • Ben Wolf says:

      Thanks, dmdutcher. Steve is an AWESOME guy. Choosing not to preorder because you don’t want to preorder is totally a valid reason, as opposed to some of the Enclave-hating reasons that have been floating around.

  6. Great thoughts, Ben! When I saw your article title, I laughed because I wrote something similar last week. It was refreshing to hear your thoughts, since you came at this with your own personal experience with Umstadd’s other Kickstarters and addressed concerns that I hadn’t come across in the Facebook threads I’d participated in.

    I supported the campaign and am looking forward to getting the books. I’ve only just started reading fiction again in the last year or so. As a busy mom and freelance web designer, my pleasure reading had taken the back burner. Some years I might have only read 2-3 new books the whole year, with a smattering of re-reading favorite chapters of certain favorite books now and then. In the last 12 months I’ve managed to read books from the library, books on my Kindle, and even a few paper books I purchased here and there or won in online contests. Feels good to explore new worlds again.

    I’m looking forward to seeing whether I connect with the sorts of books Steve wants to publish. If nothing else, I want to support the genre whether or not these particular books turn out to be favorites. Sure would be great to see more Christians finding this stuff and enjoying it.

  7. HG Ferguson says:

    Resistance is futile.

    • dmdutcher says:

      What would you resist, man?

      I’m often critical about Christian culture, but I don’t get why people would hate on this.

      • bainespal says:

        HG’s comment could merely be a jibe at the hyper-enthusiastic marketing. The campy marketing combined with the blatant capitalism of the Kickstarter campaign is enough to make the whole thing <i>feel</i> kind of gimmicky, like an infomercial. At any rate, in light of the “Never give up! Never surrender!” HG’s comment is funny.

        They should have named it “Collective” instead of “Enclave.” 😉

        • Ben Wolf says:

          I sense some disdain from you, bainespal, about this campaign. What makes you consider it “hyper-enthusiastic marketing?” And what about it is “blatant capitalism,” and why is that bad? Inquiring minds (brainwashed or otherwise) want to know.

          • bainespal says:

            Not specific disdain. Marketing and capitalism are not bad.  Sometimes, it just seems a little silly.

            But, I do have a tendency to support the minority opinion. I actually paused for a long time before submitting my previous comment. I wasn’t sure that I was going to submit it, and then I accidentally tapped my laptop’s touch pad and clicked the button.

            I kind of wanted to support HG’s “resistance,” because it appears that pro-Enclave is the Official Position. It’s so official that Speculative Faith is doing free PR for it. It makes it seem like everyone who reads Speculative Faith is implicitly supposed to be a big fan and customer of Enclave. The sanctioning makes it feel a little more silly. 🙂

            Sorry. I really didn’t want to be divisive. But HG kind of started it, and then you asked for clarification.

            • Ben Wolf says:

              Hey bainespal, I hear you, and I don’t think you’re being divisive. I do want to clarify a few things for you, though–I’m not employed or connected to SpecFaith except that I know E. Stephen through a conference we both attended last year. I generally HATE blogging, in fact, so I typically don’t even do this sort of thing.

              My post was really more of a reaction to the Enclave-hate that has been swirling ever since Steve purchased Marcher Lord Press from Jeff Gerke. Then more hate from when he changed the name from MLP to Enclave. And now more hate because he’s using a Kickstarter to raise funds.

              Suffice it to say that “pro-Enclave” is not the official position of any organization except for Enclave and its authors. If SpecFaith wants to make a definitive statement one way or another, they can, but I’m not one of their official reps in any capacity, so don’t view my blog as their stance on it. They just appreciated my unique perspective (as I know Steve and Thomas and know what’s going on from having spoken with them a bunch) and they asked me to post that perspective here.

              As to your comment about SpecFaith fans being Enclave fans, I suspect there is plenty of crossover. The history here (and maybe you know this already) is that MLP had a massive nerd/Christian spec fic reader following, but now that Steve purchased it and is rebranding it that following may be in jeopardy. My hope is that the following won’t segment and will rally to support Enclave, as Enclave is still carrying he banner as the leader in Christian spec fiction from what I can see.

              In any case, thanks for commenting.

What do you think?