Subcutanean Bonus Rewards and Social Goals

Aaron A. Reed
Nov 2 · 5 min read

Subcutanean, a horror novel where no two copies are the same, has gotten off to a fantastic start on Indiegogo, getting to 70% funded in its first four days! Some reviews have also started to appear in the wild: Jason Dyer says “While the plot begins as a slow burn, the horror and suspense start to multiply to be about as intense as anything you could read.” Carl on Goodreads says it’s “not a gimmick… everything in this novel is deeper than it first appears,” and also posted the lovely image below. You can start reading yourself if you’d like to check out what version 01893 of the book is like.

A few folks have asked if there will be Subcutanean stretch goals. The answer is yes, but… probably not in the way you’re thinking. While I don’t have ambitious plans to radically extend the book itself, I do have some fun bonus rewards in mind.

Rather than tying these to specific funding levels, I’ve created Social Goals you can help me unlock. My biggest challenge for the rest of the campaign will be to get the word out beyond my existing friends and fans. The social goals are some ways you can help me achieve this: some straightforward, some fun, some goofy.

But first, how about those bonus rewards? Here’s the list.

The Bonus Rewards

As social goals are achieved, bonus rewards will unlock in the order listed here. The “End Matter” rewards are for material that can appear at random at the end of each print or digital book, depending on available space in each copy: all unlocked End Matter items will also be available to backers on the project’s website.

1. Audio book podcast.
An audio book version of Seed 01893 of Subcutanean, shared as a podcast and released chapter by chapter along with the text version.

2. End Matter: Backer Thanks page.
At random, a credits page for Indiegogo backers will appear in the back of the book.

3. End Matter: Alternate version of a major scene.
At random, a book’s end matter will include an alternate version of a major scene, different from the version included in your book’s main text.

4. Competing Twitter bots.
I will create two Twitter bots that will tweet out, sentence by sentence, two different versions of Subcutanean. Follow them both and watch the texts diverge!

5. End Matter: Backer Ads.
Remember ads at the back of old books? If we unlock this reward, backers will be able to submit an ad for a project of their own: a random selection of these will appear in the end matter, and all of them will be showcased on the project website.

6. End Matter: Timeline.
Inspired by XKCD’s “Movie Narrative Charts,” a visualization of the complex path taken by the book’s characters as they weave back and forth between different realities — which will have to vary based on the particulars of each book’s text!

7. Open Source Code Release.
I’ll open source and release the .quant parser, Collapser and Latexifier source code, and all other project-specific code, within a year after the final book’s release.

8. End Matter: Map of Downstairs.
I’ll commission a map of Downstairs to be included at random in the end matter and also be posted on the website. (This will also have to vary for different versions of the book!)

OK, I hope you’re excited to see at least one of those! So what are the actual social goals that will unlock these?

The Social Goals

I thought you’d never ask. These have also been added to the main project page and will be kept up to date there: the bracketed number shows progress as of November 1st. Each time any one of these is achieved, in any order, the next Bonus Reward will be unlocked! If we can hit at least eight, all eight bonus rewards will unlock.

  • 250 @subcutanean Twitter followers [144/250]
  • 100 Subcutanean Facebook followers [44/100]
  • 100% Funded [61/100]
  • 75 Indiegogo backers [71/100]
  • 50 mentions of Subcutanean on social media by someone who isn’t me or my mom [14/50]
  • 25 Reddit upvotes on any post about Subcutanean
  • 10 pictures of ominous hallways on social media, tagged with both #CreepyHallway and @subcutanean (credit original source if not your own)
  • 10 creepy stories that happened to you shared on social media, tagged with both #Novembrrr and @subcutanean
  • 10 parallel universes that would be better than this one and why shared on social media, tagged with both #BetterTimelines and @subcutanean
  • 10 good blurbs for Subcutanean, like you’d see on a front/back cover, posted on social media or submitted directly to the author
  • 10 Goodreads reviews [1/10]
  • 5 posts on social networks other than Twitter or Facebook about Subcutanean. (How do these work? I’m old, I don’t know. Send me links or screenshots.)
  • 5 news stories about Subcutanean on sites that don’t have the word “Blog” in their title
  • 4 mentions on a podcast
  • 3 pieces of fan art or music inspired by any part of Subcutanean
  • 2 pieces of fan fiction inspired by any part of Subcutanean
  • 2 video reviews of Subcutanean
  • 1 blurb or review from a published genre fiction writer
  • 1 generative text project that remixes text from the first three chapters (maybe a ProcJam or NaNoGenMo entry?)
  • 1 multimedia video or art project that incorporates spoken words from the first three chapters
  • 1 video or audio recording explaining the concept of “a queer horror novel that changes for each reader” to an elderly relative

If you want to help make progress on social goals, please do one of the following to help me keep track:

  • Tag @subcutanean on Twitter or the Subcutanean page on Facebook in your post: I’ll see these and tally them
  • If you post anywhere else, send email to with a link to the content

Thanks for your support, and if you haven’t backed Subcutanean yet, find out all about the cool reward levels, read up on the design, or watch the book trailer on YouTube or embedded below.

Aaron A. Reed

Written by

Writer and game designer interested in the future and history of interactive narrative.

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