Almost a Third Funded Already!

Took a break from cooking to check on the Kickstarter — you guys, we’re almost a third funded already, only about 6 hours in. πŸ™‚ That’s what you like to see in a Kickstarter!

This is also why you set your goal to the minimum of what you actually need. Much better to add stretch goals later, once you’ve funded, than risk not funding. If I’d know that with my first Kickstarter, I could’ve saved myself a lot of stress — we finally funded in the wee hours of the morning on the very last day.

Some Business Questions / Job Opportunities

. So far, my Serendib staff have all been part-time, and they all have healthcare through other avenues, so I haven’t had to think about putting in for their healthcare. But in 2022, one of them will be aging off his parents’ healthcare, and assuming we don’t have universal healthcare in America yet, I’ll want to start providing that as part of his compensation. I am honestly not even sure where to start with learning about this — can someone point me in the right direction?

Relatedly, I have two part-time business-related needs:

– our bookkeeper (for Serendib and the SLF) has gotten a full-time job, and is going to need to cycle off working for us — we’ll miss you, Cara Bogehegn! I’m not positive of the weekly time commitment for this gig, but I think it’s generally less than 3 hrs / week.

– I think we could use a part-time business manager? I’m honestly not so sure what the job would entail, and it’s probably just 2-3 hours / week for now, though possibly more down the line. What I’d like is someone who can look at all of our finances and give me a monthly report, and ideally someone who can help us decide what are good things to spend money on (Facebook ads, for example?) month to month. Right now, it’s all kind of seat-of-the-pants / instinct, and I’d like to be more strategic. We have a local accountant who we’ve consulted for legal advice on various things, but I’m picturing someone who’d be more involved with the business, I think.

Both gigs pay $25 / hr; if you’re interested, drop me a note at mohanraj@mamohanraj.com, with subject line BOOKKEEPER or BUSINESS MANAGER. I have a mild preference for someone local enough that they could come to an occasional in-person meeting, but that’s probably not such a big deal.

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Cara has kindly written up the bookkeeper job descriptions for me below — we’re looking for someone who can take care of both the Serendib and SLF accounts. The work is very similar.

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Serendib Bookkeeper Job Description

Job Responsibilities:
– Categorizing bank transactions monthly. Currently using QuickBooks Desktop and open to switching to QuickBooks Online or another software.
– Track Sales from Books, Writing Royalties, Handmade food and other items such as Scarves, Face Masks, Tea Towels, Candles, Soaps. Most sales come through our Shopify Site.
– Transfer Incoming funds in PayPal from Sales into the Bank Account.
– Complete Monthly Bank Reconciliations
– Provide basic monthly Financial Statements and summary written report.
– Monthly Financial Meeting over Zoom.
– Generate hours worked reports for four Independent Contractors (including yourself) Bi-Weekly in Clockify and Process Payments to Independent Contractors Bi-Weekly.
– Very Occasionally Process Payments to Vendors
– Process Annual Sales Tax Returns for the State of Illinois

Produce and File Annual 1099’s.

Experience Required:
– Ideal candidate will have at least two years Prior Bookkeeping experience for a small business and have experience with clients in both Service and Retail Sales. Experience tracking and processing Sales Tax Payments in MyTax Illinois.
– Proficient in Excel and QuickBooks.

– Must be able to work independently.

Other Details:
This is a part time position and an ideal role for an experienced bookkeeping professional looking to add another small client.
Work from home.
Must have your own computer and printer.

$25 / hr

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SLF Bookkeeper Job Description

Job Responsibilities:
– Categorizing bank transactions monthly. Currently using QuickBooks Desktop and open to switching to QuickBooks Online or another software.
– Track payments from Monthly Memberships to SLF as well as Donations received throughout the year from various donors.
– Track Grants awarded to SLF.
– Transfer Incoming funds in PayPal into the Bank Account.
– Complete Monthly Bank Reconciliations
– Provide Annual Financial Reports.
– Generate hours worked reports for five Independent Contractors (including yourself) Bi-Weekly in Clockify and Process Payments to Independent Contractors Bi-Weekly.
– Occasionally Process Payments to Vendors
– Process Payments to Grant Recipients, Grant Jurors and Administrators.
– Process Payments Quarterly to authors / artists of a non-profit literature magazine. Update Spreadsheet where these are tracked. Communicate via e-mail with administrator of these publications.

– Produce and File Annual 1099’s for Contractors and Qualifying Grant Recipients.

Experience Required:
– Ideal candidate will have at least two years Prior Bookkeeping experience. Experience with a small non-profit a plus.
– Proficient in Excel and QuickBooks.

– Must be able to work independently.

Other Details:
This is a part time position and an ideal role for an experienced bookkeeping professional looking to add another small client.
Work from home.

Must have your own computer and printer.

$25 / hr

Just Short of Loony

Sent a quick note to my department chair updating her on my book publications, because I’m going up for promotion (to full clinical professor) this spring. I was having a bad writing day yesterday, sort of frustrating on various fronts, but then this morning, got some good writing news, and was reminded that overall, this is all going just fine. There will be some bad writing days. It’s okay.

I’ve been writing a long time — about 25 years now, since I first started seriously trying to publish my work. Not bad, not bad. I don’t usually count them all up like this — I feel a little like Miles Vorkosigan in that moment when he’s going to talk to Emperor Gregor in Memory, and pulls out ALL his medals to put them on. “The effect was just short of loony,” or something like that. πŸ™‚ (Gosh, that was a great book.)

Oh, Wikipedia editors, can I get a correction? I was cross-referencing against that page, and someone put Kathryn in the City and The Classics Professor in the Edited Books section, but those aren’t anthologies — they’re choose-your-own-adventure novels, written by me, so they should just be under the top category of Fiction, I think. [Editing to note, I just got this wrong, it’s in the right section, I’m super-confused, but never mind.]

Wikipedia also doesn’t list Three Kings, which I would put as a co-written book (mosaic novel with several authors), but that’s more of a judgement call.

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Fiction & Nonfiction Books:

Jump Space (short stories), forthcoming 2021, Riverdale Avenue Press & Constellation Press
Three Kings (co-author), 2020, Tor Books
Perennial, 2018, Lethe Press
The Stars Change, 2013, Circlet Press
Without a Map (co-authored with Nnedi Okorafor), June 2010, Aqueduct Press
Bodies in Motion, July 2005 hardcover, HarperCollins (also translated editions in France, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Germany, and Serbia), July 2006 paperback
Silence and the Word, 2004
Kathryn in the City, 2003
The Classics Professor, 2003

Torn Shapes of Desire, 1997, Intangible Assets Manufacturing

Edited Books:

Sri Lankan Speculative Fiction anthology, forthcoming 2021, Serendib Press (publisher)
Survivor, ed., 2018, Lethe Press
Invisible 3 (co-edited with Jim Hines), 2017, Amazon
WisCon Chronicles: Volume 9, 2015, Aqueduct Press
The Best of Strange Horizons: Year One, 2003, Lethe Press
Wet, 2002, Three Rivers Press

Aqua Erotica, 2000, Three Rivers Press

Nonfiction:

Vegan Serendib, forthcoming 2021, Mascot Books
A Feast of Serendib, 2019, Mascot Books

A Taste of Serendib, 2003, Lethe Press

Childrens’ Books:

Fingers and Spoons (picture book), forthcoming 2021, Mango and Marigold Press
The Poet’s Journey (picture book), 2008, Serendib Press

HUGE BUNDLE DIGITAL BOOK SALE, TODAY ONLY

Submitted the challenge by Spoonflower’s deadline, so hey, back to HUGE BUNDLE DIGITAL BOOK SALE, TODAY ONLY. πŸ™‚

Also known as: I Can’t Believe How Long the Last Day of the Trump Presidency Is, I Really Need Some More Books to Get Through The Day Flash Digital Sale

I don’t think we have bandwidth to set up a Shopify page and all that today, but if you’d like to get in on this, let’s just do it via PayPal (which also takes credit cards).

I just need to know if you want:

a) just 3 books of fiction ($11.99) (Bodies in Motion is immigrant fiction, The Stars Change is a science fiction novella, Perennial is an illustrated romance story)

b) fiction + Feast ($34.99)

c) fiction + pre-order of Vegan ($34.99)

d) fiction + Feast + pre-order of Vegan ($60 –> bargain, but note that there’s significant overlap between Feast and Vegan; you’ll be getting about 40 new recipes in Vegan)

PayPal to m@mamohanraj.com or Venmo to @MaryAnne-Mohanraj, noting the e-mail address you’d like the books sent to. Will default to PDF + Kindle when I have it, but if you’d prefer ePub or PDF instead of Kindle when possible, let me know that too. If you can comment below, I’ll know to look for it! Whew!

I only slept three hours last night, but I think tracking PayPal and sending files back out is within my hazy capabilities. πŸ™‚

Writing / Press Release Calendar for 2021

So, making a writing / press release calendar for 2021, as I try to move Serendib Press towards producing more texts. It’s complicated! Some things I need to confirm schedule with other people before locking it down, but trying to figure out an optimal schedule can’t hurt. If I have the release dates planned out, then we can then work backwards from those to figure out production and publicity schedules for all of them.

One big thing I’m planning to add is a Patreon tier aimed at supporting RPG modules in my sci-fi universe, with a goal of sending Patrons the base game in January (I’m going to give it a revision pass today, but it’s in pretty good shape now, so I should be able to send it out tomorrow), and then a new module (each one set on a different planet, I think, ideally each tied to a different short story), every month in 2021.

That should serve a triple purpose for me — helping to build up the Patreon support (with the goal of moving towards more writing, less teaching), helping to keep me focused on that world and those stories, doing more world-building, and serving as publicity for the forthcoming Jump Space anthology. Also, RPGs are fun. πŸ™‚

We’re also bringing out the MRAH podcast, Vegan Serendib, a digital edition of my very first book (for the first time), an expanded edition of Marshmallows of Serendib (since I’ve come up with a bunch more recipes), possibly with a picture book, and coordinating publicity with a picture book and the SF collection from other presses.

Calendars. The master calendar is my friend.

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January 1: Jump Space RPG: (Patreon-only)

February 1: Mohanraj & Rosenbaum are Humans podcast launch (video access for Kickstarter & Patreon supporters only)
Jump Space module: (Patreon-only)

February 7 (tied to Valentine’s Day): Torn Shapes of Desire (erotic fiction and poetry, reissue of my very first book in its first digital edition)

March 1:
Feast of Serendib book birthday
Jump Space module: (Patreon-only)

April 1: Jump Space module (Patreon-only)

May 1: Jump Space module: (Patreon-only)

June 1: Vegan Serendib
Jump Space module (Patreon-only)

July 1: Fingers and Spoons picture book

Aug 1: Sri Lankan SF/F anthology
Jump Space module: (Patreon-only)

Sept 1: Jump Space book (Constellation and Riverdale Avenue presses) — Jed Hartman, is this the timing we’d planned on?
Jump Space module (Patreon-only)

Oct 1: Jump Space module: (Patreon-only)

Nov 1: Jump Space module: (Patreon-only)

December 1: The Marshmallows of Serendib expanded edition release
+ possible Marshmallow picture book?
+ Christmas Star story as picture book?
Jump Space module (Patreon-only)

Chock-Full

The last of the December treat boxes have gone out, at the top Interstellar level, and I have to say, it’s pretty impressive how much I can jam into a large Priority Mail box. Chock-full! I couldn’t fit it all into one photo — there’s a sweets layer, and a bath layer, and a textiles (infinity scarves, tea towels) & stationery (greeting cards) layer. I hope the recipients are delighted. πŸ™‚ The next boxes go out in March — theme: Unicorn Garden.

I’m limiting the number of these I offer, because I want to be sure not to exceed my capacity, so there’s only 2 subscriptions left at this level currently.. Reminder that if you sign up at any of my Patreon levels for a year (what a great gift!), you get 4 quarterly shipments sent to you, AND 10% off for the annual subscription. πŸ™‚

Tentative Publishing Calendar for 2021:

January: Mohanraj and Rosenbaum are Humans podcast launch

February: re-release of Torn Shapes of Desire: Internet Erotica, digital edition, Serendib Press, just in time for Valentine’s Day. My first book, coming back — blast from the past. πŸ™‚

June 1: Vegan Serendib, woot!

Fall (or maybe August, so we can have it out in time for classroom orders? I’m not sure what the ideal timetable is for picture books, when teachers and libraries are placing their orders): biracial child picture book

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TBD: Jump Space collection (Constellation Press)

TBD: Assuming You Survive Fantasy Graphic Novel, Volume 1 (co-authored withMargaret Treanor Frey)

TBD, but I’m thinking December 1: Sri Lankan speculative fiction anthology