• Tag Archives business
  • Creator Breakfast with G.M.B. Chomichuk and Jonathan Ball (Publishing Business)

    Publishing venture sketch by G.M.B. Chomichuk
    Publishing Model Visual Documentation by G.M.B. Chomichuk

    This morning I once again met with writer/artist G.M.B. Chomichuk and writer/editor Jonathan Ball at Clementine Cafe in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. On top of the outstanding fried chicken on toast I had for breakfast, we got to work talking about the publishing business.

    See, I have a major advantage over other writers: I’m tapped into both the book publishing world and the comic book publishing world. While there are similarities in the overall business side of things, there are distinct differences and, I believe, it’s a merge of these two models that are the future of publishing.

    What’s happening in the book publishing world at present is an old archaic system at war with the new digital paradigm. While some adaptations have been made, for the most part book publishing is operating on an out-of-date system that doesn’t work in today’s reading climate which is why most writers cannot make a living from their craft. What compounds the problem are publishers–big and small–stuck in the old way of doing things and writers who don’t want to do anything but write. This is a major problem that hurts both publishers, creators, and readers.

    Ground was gained this morning in coming up with a new way of doing things that merges the best of the book publishing world and that of the comics publishing industry while setting aside dated systems that hinder bringing books and comics to the reader. Some of the ideas put forth were new (to me) and others were in line with the bomb that went off when my workload exploded.

    The above photo–a visual documentation of our little meeting created by G.M.B. Chomichuk–shows how three creators think when hashing out how to create a publishing system that benefits both the creator and reader. Yes, the image is hard to follow without explanation, but will serve as a future reference point for a venture that was brought up during the meeting (details still to be ironed out).

    The main goal with these meetings outside of spending time with friends is to learn something new, have discussion, and then apply those lessons to see what works and what doesn’t.

    In the end, it was a productive morning and one that will stew in my brain for a while as I retool things over here.

    (Please also see my first entry about my breakfast with these two creators by going here.)


  • Creator Breakfast with G.M.B. Chomichuk and Jonathan Ball (Networking)

    A.P. Fuchs writing by G.M.B. Chomichuk
    Sketch of A.P. Fuchs at the keyboard by G.M.B. Chomichuk

    This morning I had a wonderful breakfast at Clementine Cafe here in Winnipeg with writer/illustrator G.M.B. Chomichuk and writer/editor Jonathan Ball. And while networking wasn’t the reason I chose to see them, it was something that inevitably happened given that all three of us work in the business.

    I usually see these dudes at book signings or on the convention circuit, but since I’ve been away from events for a season, it was a pleasure to have a sit-down with them and talk shop and catch up after so long. It was also an opportunity to share work habits and pick each other’s brains over how we do things and what works and what doesn’t, tell stories, and learn a thing or two.

    Today I came away with two wins, and in order of occurrence they were: A dynamite breakfast. Had the Turkish eggs and it was brilliant. The second was a writing gig. I’ll reveal more details about that here on the blog when I’m allowed to.

    Most creators would rather be holed up in their studio or office and just work. And while that has its charm and is important in order to get things done, it’s also critical time is spent with those in the business. First and foremost, it’s a chance to simply be friends with like-minded people and realize you’re not alone in the universe regarding your creative quirks. Secondly, it might lead to opportunities to use your craft you might not otherwise have had.

    In summary, go have breakfast with other creatives when you can. It yields positive friendships and, sometimes, a job.

    Networking, man. Networking.


  • A.P. Fuchs Novelist Memoir

    In June of 2020, I will have been writing for twenty years. Though I was creating before that–primarily comic book art–it was in June of 2000 that I decided to make books my living. I was originally aiming to be a comic book artist but life threw me a curve ball and through various circumstances books became the order of the day.

    I’ve been giving thought to a memoir for a very long time. It would be an opportunity to share with readers my creative journey and, when appropriate, my personal journey as well. It would also be a chance to lay my creative life out in front of me where I can see it and visit time periods I haven’t been to since they originally happened. A partial journal effort, so to speak.

    Regarding publication, no doubt there would be a formal release of a paperback and eBook, but I’m also thinking of airing it on-line first, whether here at Canister X or on my Patreon or both.

    It’s been a wild ride to get to the present day. I started out crafting stories completely naive as to how this business worked and hit many roadblocks along the way. The plan for this project will require further thought but I think I’ve already settled upon the process so I can create it without it overloading my already-hectic schedule.

    Now I just need to settle on a title.

    Watch this space for more news as this develops.


  • On Scheduling

    It’s important for every creator to make a schedule for their creative time. The idea of “creating when inspired” or “in the mood” doesn’t work. (Been there, done that.) Not very long ago I was mocked on-line for suggesting a creative schedule to someone who was having trouble creating. The answer I proposed to their problem was to treat it like a job and just do it. Most seasoned creators will tell you that you have to create whether you feel like it or not if you want a career in this business.

    The formula is simple: Approach this casually, you’ll get casual results. Approach this diligently, you’ll get diligent results.

    There is no way around this. And, usually, once you get going on a project after deciding to start working, the project starts to flow on its own anyway.

    Schedule out your time. Schedule out your projects.

    It’s worth taking the time to do this step. In fact, it actually saves you time later in a multitude of ways.


  • On Creative Headspace

    October has just started and I had to spend some time thinking about what this month will look like in terms of work (roughly). If I’ve learned anything from my years in this business, it’s that one needs to be organized. Fortunately, my natural thinking process involves putting everything into lists under various headings and then looking at those items and breaking them down day by day. Some stuff is written down on paper, other stuff is written down in my head. Regardless, those items are then transferred to a calendar—both real and mental—thus informing me what each day entails. For the most part, I’ve learned to leave tomorrow in tomorrow, even parts of today in their respective parts of today. All that matters come nightfall is that the day’s tasks are done.

    This eliminates confusion and keeps a rein on anxiety.

    So what does my October to-do list look like?

    So far:

    – regular Web upkeep like this blog and backlog SEO work

    – edits for a client

    – finding out the finer details for a job I’m signing papers for tomorrow and then doing the work thereof

    – Inktober until the end of the month (daily ink drawings posted to my social media channels)

    – Ship off Kickstarter rewards for the Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm campaign to Jeff Burton (this includes getting things done at the local printer for the paperback; my part of the lettered edition hardcover is done)

    – posting the Gigantigator Death Machine serial novel, behind-the-scenes stuff, and essays to Patreon

    – writing and sending out The Canister X Transmission every week

    – writing . . . something

    – drawing . . . something

    – business admin

    – anything else that comes up (to be sorted into the list depending on the item’s timeline)

    Welcome to my October.


  • On Moving On

    Note: This entry is from that file I found and is a reflection of how I felt at the time I was originally going to post it. I’m entering it here in the interest of archival purposes.

    I’ve spent a great deal of my career offering as much advice and knowledge I could about how this business works. I’ve given everything from writing tips to marketing ones to going against the grain in some circles only later to be proven right. Upon reflection, I’ve pretty much said everything I have to say about this business. All of it is chronicled on this website, my newsletter archives (and collected editions), Canadian Scribbler, and social media posts.

    I think it’s time to step back and let others discuss those topics and just focus on my own work. See, I love this business so much it upsets me when I see something poorly handled or writers being misled and I’m compelled to say something. I think that season is coming to a close now. Will it be permanent? I don’t know. But will it be for right now? Yeah.

    The Canister X Transmission newsletter archives contain info upon info and can be accessed here.

    Thanks for listening to me all this time, but it’s time for me to move on. Stories to tell. Pictures to draw. Books to make.

    Cheers.


  • On These Self-help Posts

    Just trying to help, is all. Lots of creators ask me questions because I’ve been in this business for so long. These little posts I’m broadcasting are meant to answer some and also provide encouragement to those who feel like throwing in the towel. Are they annoying? Maybe. Are they helpful? Maybe, too. Hope they are, anyway.

    Time to keep working. If you have questions about any aspect of publishing, send me an email and I’ll do my best to answer in a timely manner.


  • On Competing

    It’s easy to get competitive in this business and try and match the success of your fellow creators. While healthy competition is good, when that competition grows dark and is borne out of jealousy, resentment sets in. It’ll suck the life out of you and your mental and emotional energy will flow to those dark places instead of to good places like creating more work and promoting it accordingly.

    Your fellow creators aren’t your competition. At most, it can be a little bit of friendly sibling rivalry, but anything south of that and you’re looking for a world of heartbreak and anger.

    Put your energy into your work instead of into competition. It’s that simple.


  • On Writers and Emails

    Every writer’s inbox is different. Mine is sitting at 1883 unread messages as of this writing. Some are from fellow creators, others from family, others from friends, and others from fans. That’s just from people, as in, people who took the time to contact me. Then there are the emails that help me with marketing in publishing, emails on my spirituality, folks’ newsletters, and emails pertaining to my business. I’ve pretty much maxed out Gmail’s space since I’m an archivist and archive everything. To keep up with it all, all I can do is read my email when I can and, hopefully, eventually catch up.

    It’s both a burden and a blessing to have that many unread messages in my inbox.

    My favorite emails are from fans, of course, like any other creator.

    What’s in your inbox?


  • What Happened with my “Retirement”

    Without giving the finer details, the bottom line is one thing happened: I crashed.

    Crashed and burned.

    In some ways I’m still burning.

    It was a cumulative thing, years of being a one-man band publishing house and a writer. In my career since 2004 I published over a 100 books for other people plus around 30 of my own never mind some comic projects. Most of them were since 2009. That’s a lot for any person in terms of all the work involved for each project plus all the work the administration and logistics side of things demand. It basically got to the point where I was spending so much time running the business that keeping up with my own writing was difficult.

    I’m grateful for the career, to be sure, and have learned many lessons and made many friends along the way, but it became too much.

    I realize it was all self-instigated as I wanted a career in this business so badly I was willing to go the distance to get it. I’m like that: willing to move mountains to get what I want. A good trait and bad, depending on how you look at it.

    But last year was a turning point. Leading into the summer I buckled down hard and produced a bunch of titles, five of them personal, the bulk of the writing for them being done on top of everything else. I started pulling away from the business before then but after the C4 Comic Con in the fall, it became too much. That’s when I totally burned out. Still tried working through it, but if you’ve ever gone through a burnout, you know how hard it is.

    Fast forward to the beginning of February this year and a traumatic personal event happened that rocked my world and led to a three-day panic attack with trouble breathing, violent shaking and a complete meltdown and, well, given the circumstances, I had to shut everything down completely.

    Only so much one man can handle.

    About a month and a half later is when I restarted some things, having finally got some stuff sorted out, but in the end, what happened was beyond just being overworked.

    It cut deep, it got personal, and the only choice given all that happened was an utter pulling of the plug.

    I feel bad and I know I let some people down. I’m sorry for that. Was never my intention for things to fall apart. Thought I could handle it all.

    I was wrong, and I’m so very sorry.

    So here we are, still in recovery mode, trying to get some stuff done from a new perspective and a new stance on the type of work I’m willing to get behind. There’s a spiritual component to all this as I’ve preached on here before, and for years I struggled with the type of material I was putting out. See, I wanted this job so bad I made certain compromises to get it. I’ve been writing since 2000, and having been aiming for a career in the creative field since 1995, first comics then books. The obstacles and trials I’ve been through to make it happen–I could tell you stories. Things finally came to a head in February and I had to make hard choices.

    I suppose in the end all this only adds to my writing and publishing experience, having now added “complete shut down” to my resume.

    I’m in a rebirth stage right now, still sorting through things, still wrapping up loose ends.

    It’s my hope that–because all this book stuff is such a public endeavour–my years of working in the small press and the reputation I’ve built will be enough to help cover this bump in the road.

    It’s also my hope this entry has helped those who looked on and wondered what was going on get some clarity as to what happened. I hope those I let down will cut me a break and we could still be friends.

    I hope that as time passes and life goes on, we can all look back on this and say, “It was a wild time, but we’re in a better place now.”

    Thank you to those who’ve shown support along the way. Thank you to my readers for reading my material. Thank you to my friends in the business who helped make me the writer and publisher I am today.

    Thanks for listening.

    Onward.