Michael Haase is the author of The Madness of Mr. Butler, winner of the Nerdist/Inkshares Space Opera contest and writes for Renderosity Magazine.

Inkshares is like Kickstarter for authors.

Here's the process.

You have to do your own marketing and promotion to get your novel at least to the point of gathering 250 pre-ordered copies...and then they promise to do a small-scale printing and distribution of your work. As long as you get to 250 pre-orders in the time they provided, you're in.

Your book will get printed and distributed. If, at any time after that, you get to 750 copies sold, you get the full backing, marketing, and distribution package they provide.

The question is about how to get there.

To me, the greatest lesson Inkshares provides is in self-marketing. You literally cannot get by as a novelist/author in this day and age without promotion. It does not matter what you do.

Prior to February 1st, I was a writer with a bunch of work that I had sent out to various literary agents and publishers...and invariably getting rejected. Inkshares is fairly democratic in nature in that people basically "vote" for your work to be published by pre-ordering a copy.

That sounds like a rough deal at first, sure. But in reality it's kinda what you have to do to get your work to be known in the real world anyway.

You have to drum up an audience, you have to be confident, you have to work your ass off, you have to interact with people as often as possible, and you have to literally tell everyone you know and then some that you have a book that needs support.

SO...if you want to give Inkshares a try, then I suggest putting your book up as a "draft," and then interacting with the community as much as possible.

Gather "followers." These are people who will receive your updates, messages, etc.

Start looking at other authors' books, make friends, leave reviews, give critiques...the entire place has a heartbeat that is new and exciting if used correctly.

You can't just put a project up on there and expect it to speak for itself. You have to keep pushing, interacting, and networking.

And once you've generated enough "buzz" and following with your work, that's when I would pull the trigger and move your work from "draft" status to "funding." At that point you have three months to sell at least 250 pre-orders. 

Once you get there, you get a little leeway. P.S.: Networking is a big deal in the world of authors.

Find Michael Haase on Twitter @sleepyheadwilly or email him at
And I say, if you're into the whole "book" thing, go buy his fucking book:
The Madness of Mr. Butler.