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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Apr 26, 2024

In this episode, Mark interviews Kevin J. Anderson about his writing and the new approach he is taking to incorporate Kickstarter into the launch strategies for some of his indie-published titles.

Prior to the interview, Mark shares a personal update, comments from recent episodes, and a word from this episode's sponsor.

Learn more about this self-publishing/WIDE-publishing focused cruise.


In their interview Mark and Kevin talk about:

  • How Kickstarter has completely upended (in a good way), Kevin's book release strategies
  • Kevin's first novel coming out in 1988 and all the various publishers he has worked with over the years
  • The "Perfect Storm" that was brewing in the book industry when indie publishing became a realistic and viable option
  • Starting to publish his own books (mostly backlist titles he got the rights back to) in 2009 after founding WordFire Press with his wife Rebecca Moesta
  • Kevin's belief that this is the best time to be a writer
  • How Kevin does a little bit of everything. He has a New York literary agent, he works with several major publishers, he indie publishes, and he continues to explore new opportunities that digital publishing offer
  • The way that Kickstarter didn't just open a new door, it completely blew it down, along with a few walls too
  • Dean Wesley Smith's perspective that helped to change Kevin's mind about what Kickstarter was all about
  • Kevin's "Adams Family meets The Naked Gun" series of Dan Shamble Zombie PI novels, and the history of how it started off as a series with a major publisher, flopped, then Kevin got the rights back and did something truly stunning with it once he applied Kickstarter
  • Kevin's first Dan Shamble Kickstarter which brought in 23 times the intial amount he was asking for, and that it paid him more than 6 times the advance he'd rec'd from a major publisher for the last Dan Shamble book he'd done with them
  • The Dragon Business (The Princess Bride meets Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) Kickstarter that brought in 20 times what he'd been asking for
  • The Persephone Kickstarter that Kevin did with Writer/Director Jeffrey Morris
  • Kevin's latest Kickstarter which is a 7 Volume Set of over 130 of his published short stories published over 50 years
  • Writing his first short story when he was 8 years old
  • Publishing his very first short story when he was 14
  • The personal introductions that he wrote for every one of the stories in this 7 book collection
  • The various levels and Kickstarter rewards he is planning for this Kickstarter
  • The remarkable fact that, despite having published 180 novels with 58 of them being international bestsellers, no publisher would ever even consider publishing a 7 volume hardcover set of Kevin's complete short stories. That he can do this via Kickstarter is a significant paradigm shift
  • How Kickstarter can replace the old "advance" model from traditional publishing
  • The special thing Kevin is doing for all the backers of this latest Kickstarter
  • The Kickstarter will be going live on April 30th for 3 weeks and 2 days
  • And more . . .


After the interview Mark reflects on Kevin's use of short, effective and very clear log lines to describe two of his series.


Links of Interest:


Kevin J. Anderson has published more than 180 books, 58 of which have been national or international bestsellers. He has written numerous novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune universes, as well as the unique Clockwork Angels steampunk trilogy with legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series, the Wake the Dragon and Terra Incognita fantasy trilogies, and humorous Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. series and The Dragon Business series.

He has edited numerous anthologies, written comics and games, and the lyrics to two rock CDs. Anderson is the director of the graduate program in Publishing at Western Colorado University, and he and his wife Rebecca Moesta are the publishers or WordFire Press.

He worked on the recent films Dune Part One and Part Two from Legendary Entertainment, as well as the forthcoming Dune TV series from MAX, and other films in development, including Persephone and Karousel.

He has 24 million copies in print in 34 languages. His most recent novels are Bats in the Belfry, Skeleton in the Closet, Persephone, and Princess of Dune (with Brian Herbert).



The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0