I’ve developed a feelie story: A cozy murder mystery that is told through letters, postcards, objects, and artworks—all of which will be posted to the reader over the course of eight weeks. There’s a bit more info about the story itself, Murder in the Mail: A Bloody Birthday, here.
A standard story will cost just $30 including postage so it’ll be accessible to the kind of person that can’t afford to spend $100 or $500 on something purely enjoyable. During the Kickstarter campaign, there’ll also be a digital-only version for just $5.
The forum will be a place where people can talk to the authors and artists (directly, in some cases), discuss clues and theories with other readers week by week, and post their own art (which the publisher will scout for future Murder in the Mail stories).
A lot of the readers will be pure luddites, possibly even people who’ve never been on a forum before (including underage readers). So I want a very simple interface that is self-explanatory with easy navigation and good image support. It also needs to be easy to get rid of trolls and have limited-access sections (like the Published Authors section here). Something even simpler than this forum (and with less features, but keeping the ability to PM people).
So I’m looking for recommendations of how to set up the forum, and what system to use (I imagine there’s plenty of options online).
The publisher can pay for web domain etc if necessary.
[Forgive me if I don’t join in discussion for a while; I have a big operation and long recovery starting in a coupla days. Do feel free to talk amongst yourselves. I’ll check in when I can.]