For those unfamiliar with this segment (here’s the last one), it’s basically a round-up of a few items from around the Internet that I found interesting and thought were worth sharing. Do with them as you please.
First up, my friend and cartoonist, Max West, has a new Kickstarter starting up soon. It’s for Dominic and Claire Circus. I have the minicomics from the previous Kickstarter and they are a hoot. Go here to learn more about Max West and watch the video below to see the comics from the previous Kickstarter.
I missed sharing this on social media at Christmas time–thanks Broadcast Mode–so I’m going to share it here. It’s a parody of “Let it Snow” called “Make it So.”
As you know, I love newsletters and prefer them as a solid form of communication from creator to reader. Piers Anthony–whom I had the privilege of publishing in the Bits of the Dead anthology–has a monthly column that acts as his newsletter. He’s always up to something interesting even if his views and mine don’t always line up. His newsletter can be found here.
Lastly, Wil Wheaton’s blog is quite good and, while he’s well-known in fandom, he’s also a really down-to-earth guy so I check in on his blog now and then to see what he has to say. Please visit Wil here.
In personal news, the week is coming along. Finishing up things so I can move on to new things. All this is logged in my weekly newsletter, so if you haven’t already subscribed, be sure to get on board and join me and my other subscribers on Saturdays to wind down from the week. Hope to see you there.
Here is the last installment of this recap series. It is called Recap Tunnel: Catch-up Time and it’s very simple: I’ve done a lot of blogging over the past few months here at Canister X, your Realm of Heroes and Monsters, so you’re invited to poke around the blog and check out the various pages as well as scroll through previous blog posts to ensure you’re all caught up before we head into 2020’s blogging year.
Some ways you can make sure you don’t miss a blog update are to use some of the subscription boxes to the right of the screen, which enable you to subscribe to the blog via email and/or to the RSS feed and/or to my weekly newsletter, The Canister X Transmission. My YouTube channel is also regularly updated.
Reminder: Today is the last day to book me for your project in 2020 and receive 2019’s rates. Please shoot me an email so we can lock something down because the fees go up effective tomorrow. Please go here to see what services I offer.
It’s been a hard slog this year with recovery from being ill and getting my career back in order, but it was time well spent despite how difficult some days were. And so we march onward down the Timeline of All Things into 2020.
Pps. Thank you for reading my recap series of posts, starting with this one here (or technically here, if you want to go back to the series’ first mention) and ending up here with Recap Tunnel: Catch-up Time.
Project Rebirth: Final Update and Announcement given this sixth day of the twelfth month in the year 2019 AD.
It’s been a long, busy journey, but Project Rebirth is complete up to the point where I can transfer out parts of the project into the “things I need to finish” category, in other words, what’s left to do is the “more” part that I’ve mentioned in previous updates.
So, as always, a recap of what’s complete and what that strange “more” is all about.
The following list is taken from the last update on Project Rebirth.
Resumption of my newsletter, The Canister X Transmission: Goes out every Saturday and has been for a while now. Please subscribe here and get yourself a free thriller e-novelette as a thank you for joining me.
A Patreon account with special content just for patrons: All systems have been in go mode for a while now, too. By becoming a patron, you get access to an ongoing serial novel, essays on the creative life, a look behind-the-scenes, and other fun stuff. Joining the journey supports what I do and keeps the projects alive. Please join my patrons and I on my Patreon journey here.
Order fulfillment of the Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm Kickstarter: All the books are printed up. Special piece of exclusive art to the Frozen Storm lettered edition needs a final touch, printing, then into the books.
Publication of projects that were temporarily put on hold: See the “more” section below.
Bigtime expansion and growth of The Axiom-man Saga and associated products: Transferring this portion of the project into the “things I need to finish” category. Keep an eye on this blog for news and updates as we bring the Cobalt Crusader into 2020. I really want to get that long-awaited Battle of Power Trilogy storyline done and published.
Revving up public appearances and media again: Best place to keep up to date with these is via the Convention and Book Signing Schedule page on this site. Please go there to check out what’s booked so far. Regarding interviews and whatnot, those will be announced on the blog when they happen and will also be listed under the Interviews section of this site.
New YouTube channel: Been running for a short while now. New videos uploaded regularly. Please subscribe here so you don’t miss the latest video.
More . . . : A Web presence redesign along with a retooling of the social media pages was part of this and is complete. There is more SEO stuff to do to properly bring the blog into the New Year, but that is a pick-at project for when I have the time and there’s no real deadline other than, say, by spring or something.
The big part of “more” is this: Book redesigns!
A good chunk of my book covers are dated and need an upgrade so many are getting one. I also need to adjust the distribution system for a pile of titles to keep them available and searchable at various retailers. Presently, all first editions are still available so if you’re a first-edition collector, please head over to my Book and Comic Shop and stock up. If you’d like a signed copy, please email me directly and we’ll make arrangements.
As the titles begin to transfer over to their new form, I will post notices here as to which books are being redone and when so you can keep current with what’s what. This book redesigning effort is a large project and is going to take time because there are so many titles. My aim is to do them in chunks. At the time of this writing, my plan is to update my backlist before releasing anything new (despite new titles already being complete behind the scenes). It’s better for my books’ overall quality that I stay in one kind of headspace (re-releasing the backlist) before switching into another (releasing new titles).
But have no fear for new comic book releases are scheduled! I will announce these in a separate blog post when the time comes.
So there you have it. This is my winter and what’s coming down the pike. I’m not joking when I say I’m busy.
Thank you for your patience as I got the media machine up and running again. Thank you for your support reading this blog and watching my videos. Thank you for grabbing the first editions of my monster and superhero books.
Lots of comics on the brain these days, both the creation of them and the publishing of them (the latter being the most difficult in the context of distribution; publishing them in general is a non-issue). I’m basically living in my head on the matter and have written notes where and when needed. An overall plan is starting to congeal but there are still a few missing elements which will no doubt present themselves the further I get into the process.
I’m still waiting to hear back from some people on something that will dictate the winter schedule. I expect I’ll be hearing something soon thus helping things on my end.
Resumption of my newsletter, The Canister X Transmission: This has been back up and running for a while now and is just as enjoyable now and it was all the years I’ve been doing it. Please subscribe by going here. You get a free novelette as a thank you.
A Patreon account with special content just for patrons: This has also been running for a bit now. It’s a lot of fun and I’m thrilled to provide exclusive content to my patrons. Please join the Patreon journey and get access to an ongoing serial novel (plus other things, depending on the tier you select), by going here.
Order fulfillment of the Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm Kickstarter: The paperback is coming off the line at the printer’s right now so a pick up is in the near future. I will sign the books then send them to Jeff Burton for his signature before they go out to backers. The lettered edition is printed and signed on my end. I’m in the process of inserting a piece of exclusive art into the book. Once this is done, these will also go to Jeff Burton for signature then to backers. If you missed the kickstarter but want a copy of the book to complete your Axiom-man and/or Auroraman collection, please go here.
Publication of projects that were temporarily put on hold: A list is made, but this is tied into the “more” below, so as it stands right now, I’m not moving on them just yet.
Bigtime expansion and growth of The Axiom-man Saga and associated products: In process.
Revving up public appearances and media again: To be looked at over the winter.
New YouTube channel: The channel has been up for a short while with more videos being added as time goes on. Please subscribe here.
More . . . : This “more” is tied into the “hearing back from some people” statement above. This step is a big part of my winter so I’m in a holding pattern until I know what’s going on. Watch this space for more info once I have it. I think a Web presence redesign was part of my original plan for “more” so that’s also complete both here on the blog and on social media.
And that pretty much sums up where things are at with Project Rebirth. More news to come as things progress along.
Reminder: A Tip Jar was set up yesterday on Patreon and on Ko-fi. The tips are meant to help fuel the free stuff I put on the Web (daily blogging, YouTube videos, a weekly newsletter, and artwork). Thank you in advance for any beans you throw my way.
The winter season is nearly here, which means this week I’m putting the final touches on getting ready for Heavy Broadcast Mode, which starts November 1. Believe it or not, a lot of planning and organizing goes into making books and comics for public consumption. It’s not just me writing a story and sending it out all willy nilly. Every creator works their own way, but on my end, I need to have certain mechanisms in place so I can publish a story and get it into your hands properly. This ranges from the actual publishing machine itself to the promotion side of it to even making sure I have copies here at the Central for you. Then add on the need to make and have all those systems in place all the while keeping a roof over my head and, well, yeah. Busy times.
This isn’t over-complicating it. It’s just planning things out so, once all is up and running, I have the greatest resource of all when it comes to creating stories and sharing them: Time.
Everything takes time. Some things take a mere minute, other things take hours or days, and the only way to have that time is do all that I’ve been doing behind the scenes here at the Central. (Speaking of behind the scenes, a new behind-the-scenes entry is going up on my Patreon this Friday. Join the journey to check it out.)
To find out more of what it takes to keep the creative machine running, please join my free weekly newsletter, The Canister X Transmission. It’s a letter from me to you week after week. It’s a chance for all subscribers to have a common meeting point each week to take a load off, escape the stress of the world, have a read (maybe even a laugh), and just breathe after busting butt all week. It’s also a chance to bring you up to speed on all that’s happened here at the Central, things not always covered on this blog. Pull up a chair. We always have room for one more.
This week I’ve been growing my Patreon. More people have come on board (thank you) and more content has been added. Friday saw the new chapter of Gigantigator Death Machine go up along with something from behind the scenes. Other items have been added to it since it first launched. Though I’m still at the beginning stages of my Patreon page, I’ve learned that it’s meant to be tended to like a garden, with water (content) and sun (people) making it grow. It’s thrilling to watch the page find its footing. I have a lot planned for it and it’s important to me to make sure my patrons are happy as much as is reasonably possible.
In other news, most of my Web mechanisms are now in place for the winter months. There was a lot of work and a lot of setup required to get the creative machine running again. I’m glad the bulk of it is behind me because now I can focus on creating new things and adding to the groundwork that has already been laid. Watch this space for news on upcoming releases.
Shortly, the new issue of The Canister X Transmission goes out. Don’t forget to take part in that. You get a free novelette as a thank you for joining us.
The weekend is now here. Take some time for yourself over the next two days. Go for a walk. Read a book. Sit outside and take in nature before it freezes over. It’s good for you.
Last Saturday, my free weekly newsletter, The Canister X Transmission, resumed. After that issue was sent, it was like no time had passed. Earlier this week I wrote the new issue, which will go out Saturday.
To find out what we talk about, archived issues can be found here.
I invite you to join myself and a host of others week after week as we get on with the Long Year Five.
Please use the subscribe box to the right or go here.
Announcement: A.P. Fuchs’s long-running newsletter, The Canister X Transmission, will be returning in the near future.
Once I get a few more things done here at Axiom-man Central, my weekly newsletter will once again start going out on Saturdays. We were in the middle of Year Five when I had to take a break to take care of life stuff. Year Five–now dubbed “The Long Year Five”–will resume quite soon so make sure you’ve signed up for free either via the signup box on the right or by going here.
The newsletter is the only place you will find unique behind-the-scenes information, advance news on releases, and a lot of jackassery as I dump out my brain each week.
Remember, subscribers get a free copy of The Dance of Mervo and Father Clown, my creepy clown novelette, upon signup as a thank you.
The Internet is a painfully crowded place, especially these days. I remember in the late nineties when the Web was starting to take shape. There were some basic websites and, well, that was about it. Communication on-line was pretty much email. Now look at us—everyone’s on-line, we’re all shouting, and social media is the main form of communication.
Unfortunately, there’s just too many people and these days, with every one and their monkey writing a book, there’s too many authors and it’s near impossible to get noticed. Sure, it happens, and some authors build a sizable and—keyword: pragmatic—social following, but for the most part, many struggle in this area.
Newsletters bypass all the number games associated with social media, the whole like-for-like and I-follow-you-you-follow-me tactics, and all the rest. (Which are pretty much useless because those are about quantity not quality.)
Productive numbers are where it’s at and newsletters, by their very opt-in nature, cater to that. Do you want to know who is truly invested in what you do? Start a newsletter.
It’s focused marketing: sending out communication and information to people who have chosen to hear what you have to say. Actually, I don’t even like to use the word “marketing” in this case because that totally devalues the point of a newsletter, which is connecting with readers who genuinely care about you in return.
Look at the word itself: newsletter. It’s a letter, not a brochure.
Sure, your newsletter numbers might be smaller than your Facebook likes, but they’re quality numbers, which have more value than just a high like count. The people who have chosen to receive a newsletter from you are the same people who are more likely to get a copy of your book because a genuine interest in you has already taken place.
There are so many ways to go about doing a newsletter, some of which are:
▪ The Plain Jane promo newsletter.
This is the kind that only goes out when an author has a new release. It’s not about communicating with the reader, but simply selling to them. I find these shallow; see the newsletter work breakdown above.
▪ The monthly update newsletter.
Typically something sent out once a month, this is the newsletter where the author says what’s going on with them, where what project is at in the production process and to promote a book(s) or event or something.
▪ The weekly newsletter.
My personal favorite and the kind I run, which I’ll get to in a moment. The weekly version can be like the monthly one, just sent out weekly. Or it can be about creating a dialogue with the readers and talking points of interest, usually to do with writing or books or entertainment.
My weekly newsletter, The Canister X Transmission—presently in its second year—has four main points: writing/publishing/marketing tip of the week; book/comic spotlight from my catalog; creator spotlight focusing on indie and mainstream creators who’ve impacted my career; rant of the week, which is basically a positive or negative thing depending on what’s been heavily on my mind for the past seven days.
I also offer a free thriller e-novelette download if you sign up.
▪ regular connection with readers who actually want to hear from you
▪ exercise in self-discipline to maintain the newsletter schedule, which then trains you to keep deadlines for other projects like, um, your books
▪ an opportunity to market work to readers without spamming, which can lead to sales options outside of the usual channels
▪ a chance to encourage and inspire others
Ultimately, newsletters make the on-line world a smaller place and, frankly, in today’s obscenely overcrowded rat race society, it’s sorely needed. It’s a chance to quiet down, meet with a reader, and open up about what’s going on on your end. And you’d be surprised. Readers respond to newsletters with their thoughts, questions and more.
Beats an overcrowded social media channel any day.