Ackerly Green Town Hall: May 12th, 2018
—Ackerly Green Secret Society:
Right now, we’re only through about 10-15% of the Secret Society content!!!
We originally thought it would go until the end of June, but now it’s probably going to go through the summer. This means it will coincide with the release of The Monarch Papers and end just before the release of The Book of Briars.
We’ve tweaked some narrative to play with the idea that The Monarch Papers will be available to read at the same time, and it’s also given us a chance to explore the narrative a little more. We anticipated you guys plowing through it, but we’re so happy you’re savoring the experience. It gives us some breathing room, so we can tailor it to your creativity, just like during TMP.
At this point, Augbro asked about the role the ARC (The Monarch Papers advanced reader copy) would play in the Secret Society. CJ explained that ARC may very well inform some character motivations and backstories, but that until the July release, we’ll keep them out-of-world. For example, readers will know more about Marty before it’s revealed in July or in the Secret Society. CJ went on to say that ARCs are a necessary evil, and this is the best solution, to release them really closely to the release date. They’re used to encourage reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc.
—The Book of Briars:
In connection to ARCs, CJ also noted that originally, part of the pre-order of The Book of Briars included a week-by-week, chapter-by-chapter reveal leading up to the release in September. CJ made the hard decision to instead create a separate ARC for The Book of Briars that will release the month before release in August. The reason for that is twofold.
First, the publishing grind is INTENSE. TMP is only now being put to bed, The Forest of Darkening Glass is still with the editor, covers and formatting are still being tweaked. It’s a major undertaking, and CJ wants to give BoB as much breathing room as possible, editorially. So pushing the “early access” of BoB will give CJ an extra month to finesse it with his editor. CJ is very excited about it but is only now able to focus his attention back on it, so that time will help. Also, if BoB were to be released chapter by chapter in July, it might spoil some things for the Secret Society.
We have the finalized covers for TMP Volume One, Two, AND The Book of Briars. CJ is SO incredibly happy and proud of them. In June, Saberlane is going to host a complication/puzzle of his own to reveal the covers on Instagram. Readers can be a part of it if they follow the Ackerly Green Book Shop account.
At this point, James Rimor asked if the AG Instagram is part of the Secret Society. CJ responded, saying “it is in-world.”
Catherine is going to be manning an out-of-world account for Ackerly Green, for merch, news, publish dates, out of world behind the scenes, etc. Her instinct is to use Twitter, and we already have a Facebook account. We just need to decide on one, and if you have opinions, please feel free to share them below. CJ noted that we could use Twitter and have the content mirrored on FB automagically. This is probably what will end up happening. There’s a poll on the forum so you can vote on which social media platforms you want to use! CJ continued, saying that eventually, a subreddit wouldn’t be a bad idea, but we have to moderate it and right now, we don’t have the audience density.
We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this one. We’re going to keep it as is, for now, and then in the fall, on The Day of Change, we’re going to soft reboot it.
You can keep the character/content you want, and also use it as an opportunity to create new character/content if you’re so inclined… because… CJ and Devin have come up with an idea to better integrate PRSFNE into the rest of the AGverse.
It will take a soft reboot to work it in. GoN will still roll out. It will help explain what you’re doing there, why you’re doing it, and what you’re trying to accomplish. Think…MISSIONS. There will be freeplay, like now, but you’ll also have things to accomplish/find/do and reward will be commensurate. We just need some time (and patience) so we can roll it out.
So we’ll keep you up to date, but look for that in the fall! Frankly, CJ can barely keep up with the awesome stuff happening in PRSFNE right now, and sometimes has to have Devin summarize and bring him up to speed because he is beyond overwhelmed with meeting these publish dates. But as the books go out for publication, he will have more breathing room.
We’re COMPLETELY rebooting Patreon with the help of Dev and Catherine’s amazing work and new ideas.
We really want to offer some awesome bonuses for helping support AGP. Think…a monthly mystery digital box (a Patreon tier that’s basically a digital "Loot Crate”—Special wallpapers, special reading, art, etc.).
AND… Catherine’s idea for…"The Guild Cup” Monthly game/trivia night where Mounties play together, and compete quarterly for bragging rights by earning something akin to "a guild cup”!!! There will be rewards, special badges for the forum, etc. We’ll do HQ style trivia contests, group bar-style trivia, board games, etc. So be sure you read TMP and brush up on your AGverse knowledge.
Furthermore, we’re going to rework our Patreon goals. Like the one we created to fund the guild pins. The quiz program, for example, costs a bit of money to run. So we’ll have monthly goals. Right now, Patreon supports us with just shy of $700 (!!!) a month. That helps pay for the server, the forum, helps pay Dev (he thanks you) etc. So we may have, for example, a Game Night Monthly Goal. If we meet $700 for the month, we’ll be able to afford the digital mystery box, game night, etc. So the goal will help inform what we’re capable of doing for the month.
Even $1 gets you access to the Patreon feed, but also helps the entire community. What CJ never wants to do is put something like Game Night behind a pay wall, so that only those who contribute get to experience it. That’s not our community. So there are individual tiers that you get personal rewards for, and community goals that everyone gets to experience. It felt like the most “AGP” plan. Even things like the Publisher’s Diary… patrons get to see it first, but everyone gets to see it at the end of every month.
This has been MONTHS in the making…
In July, we’re going to start selling blind packs of pinback buttons based on the AGverse. Three 1-inch buttons per back, domestic shipping included, for $6. International will be $1-2 more, which we’ll lock down in the next month. The first set of buttons will have over 120 unique designs, in common, uncommon, and rare quantities. Maybe even…mythic rare.
Best of all, CJ has paid Revenir to license his TMP emoji, which will ALL be included as buttons! There will be a page on AGP where, as you all collect the buttons and post about them on the forum or social, the entire set will be revealed. And we can even have the Penpal community become a trading community, too! Everyone who buys a pack in the first month will also be entered to win this button keeper from the Pretty Useful Company! CJ would also love to sell an AG banner…stay tuned.
We’ll do new sets with new books, experiences, etc. There might be some secret buttons….not only from CJ…But Revenir as well.
CJ got to see a demo of the AG e-reader, which will be in the app in time for TMP’s release and guys…it’s cool.
It has built-in access to the wiki, among other cool elements… and CJ can sneak free e-book reading into your accounts whenever he wants. Remus Quinn asked if there was an update about being able to log into the main app. CJ answered that we’re super close, but still working out the kinks. The only thing that signing in gets you is you’ll be logged into the shop, really, but we want to finish it.
We’re also experiencing a weird bug where Google Pixel phones aren’t getting notifications. But we have a dev team working on both issues.