Kickstarting The Peacock King after the serial's website's been down for months

3 years ago | irk (Member)

Kickstarter is one of those things that I always thought I'd approach when I was totally ready. Now that we're knee-deep in the middle of it (check out our campaign!) I'm surprised by how unprepared I feel now. The campaign is really successful so far, but the support has mostly been family and friends - we lost most of Peacock King's readers because our site broke! So here's how we've been handling that.

We hadn't been updating the story on the site for over a year because we'd decided to rewrite the serial from scratch before publishing it as a novel, but we used the site as a way to connect with our readers, and as an archive of all our interactions with them. The plan was to resume serial updates once we published the book, using the new novel as the source for the rebooted serial. Unfortunately our site's database had always been glitchy since it's the first one we ever built using its CMS (Drupal). After several hosting moves and upgrades, it finally just stopped functioning. Of course it did so just months before we'd scheduled the Kickstarter to start. What with finishing up the last revision on the novel's draft, I had a choice between focusing all my efforts on the story so we'd have it done before the Kickstarter, or splitting efforts to also build a new website.

I ended up compromising - we put up a temporary website and pointed the old PK urls to redirect to this tumblr site which collects our Peacock King news and is basically a "book site". So now fans can keep track of the project there, and get wind of the Kickstarter. Still, we're not connecting with a whole lot of people. We've managed to get the registered user contact emails from our mungled database, and I plan on sending everyone an email letting them know what's going on. (And then giving them the option to opt-in to a mailing list, since I don't want to keep their emails on a list they didn't join. It's just a one-time emergency bullhorn.)

Eventually we'll have a proper website again, but we've had to make a lot of compromises to get this all to work. Basically all our efforts are on creating content now. Secondary efforts are on getting word out about the Kickstarter so we get our following back. Tertiary efforts are on the new website.

I'm not sure if anyone else has gone through this. PK's basically been evicted from its house and is sleeping on tumblr's couch while still working a full-time job! The website troubles and such meant not focusing as much effort on publicity and marketing as I could. I think by the time we publish (June is our target), we'll have a better balance of creation and marketing. And I really want PK up as a serial again. I miss our readers so much!

The Peacock King - Is a mere servant a match for the ruler of half the known world? Probably not.

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  1. Stormy (Moderator)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Do you know what's wrong with the database?

    Are you able to do an export straight from mySQL and upload it to a fresh Drupal site?

    I used to keep RC on Drupal, but I found that it would get laggy, slow, and just refuse to do anything - I moved over to WordPress last year (I used http://www.cms2cms.com/ - it took about five minutes, and remains $70 well, well worth it).

    As to the reboot/rewrite...I know that pain/pleasure all too well. You have my sympathy and my well-wishes.

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