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  • Newsletter Delay; The Canister X Transmission Issue 252

    Just a note to inform you there is a newsletter delay this week due to TinyLetter’s site glitching. Until it’s resolved, I am unable to send out the most recent issue so I’ve blogged it here in the interim and will send it out proper once I am able to, which might mean this week you’ll be getting two editions of The Canister X Transmission close together. If the problem persists due to possible staffing shortages on their end, then we’ll just air the newsletter here until things get back to normal.

    There’s a first time for everything.

    Here is the latest edition. It is dated yesterday.

    Newsletter:

    Issue Two Hundred-fifty-two – April 18, 2020

    Hello and welcome to the 252nd issue of THE CANISTER X TRANSMISSION, a weekly newsletter from a schlub up north who offers you strange ramblings every week.

    How is everyone?

    It has been a busy week. Lots of tasks. Lots of work. Lots of prep. Lots of thinking. Lots of stress. Lots of accomplishment. Lots of, well, lots.

    And here we are.

    Oh, and I made bread.

    Work log:

    PROJECT JACKASS (title reveal below); uploaded a sneak peek to the Behind-the-Scenes tier on Patreon showcasing one of the opening pages of PROJECT JACKASS in full color (link below); shot and uploaded a new video to YouTube, which announces PROJECT JACKASS’s real title and quickly takes a glimpse at the artwork and offers a brief premise (link below); blogging; and administration.

    Quick note regarding this newsletter: Issue 260 is the final issue of The Long Year Five. We will do something special at that time. As always, the invite is there if you want to see something particular in that double issue. Just shoot me an email and I’ll see what I can do.

    In blog headline news—and once information known only to my patrons on Patreon—the title of PROJECT JACKASS was revealed! PROJECT JACKASS was a place-holder name for an upcoming webcomic from me called FREDRIKUS, which is about an anthropomorphic dog in a dystopic sc-fi world. Phew. Now I can finally refer to it as an actual thing and not some project document (which is actually a combination of multiple documents including a notebook for the stories).

    Blog headlines:

    Various Bits from the Net – 041220

    Status Report – 041420

    Project Jackass Title Revealed: Fredrikus

    Fredrikus Social Media

    New Fredrikus Behind-the-Scenes Post on Patreon!

    On Art and Never Arriving

    Fredrikus Webcomic Announcement

    Status Report – 041720

    As you can see from the above headline, you are invited to like and follow FREDRIKUS on social media so you can be notified when the strip airs. Please do so. More details about the webcomic to be revealed in due time. Watch the blog to stay current. I will admit, it’s high time new things started to roll out from me and warming up the machine for FREDRIKUS is part of that journey.

    I’m thinking that the next thing to roll out from me is the Inktober 2019 sketchbook I mentioned in a previous issue. PROJECT REBUILD is taking some time due to elements beyond my control and I don’t want to leave you hanging.

    Side note: As much as my blog has been retooled on the back end, sometimes the theme acts up and reverts to black text on white rather than white text on black. If you come across this, don’t worry. I’m still troubleshooting the issue with the hope of taking care of it once and for all in the near future. Just check the blog as per usual and you’ll be fine.

    We’re also gearing up for the new serial novel to air on Patreon because GIGANTIGATOR DEATH MACHINE is almost complete. Watch the blog for the announcement and be sure to get in on the ground floor by becoming a patron today for just a buck. The entirety of GIGANTIGATOR DEATH MACHINE will remain on the site so come time for the new serial novel, you’ll have two novels to read for the price of one. Awesome deal. Please take advantage (it also helps keep me fed). Link below to subscribe to what is essentially the Netflix of literary entertainment from a book and comic guy like me. Thank you in advance for your support.

    Also going on, but not worked on this week, is PROJECT COBALT. This is a big one and an important one, and a lot of thought, trial and error, and work has already been put into it. I’m suspecting a latter 2020 rollout, but keep that fluid for the moment. The world is in upheaval on multiple levels and things are in constant flux as we combat this invisible enemy (amongst other things). But yeah, PROJECT COBALT, man. Onward.

    For a good while I’ve had the marketing materials for a YouTube subscription drive, but we’re not quite there yet in terms of the channel’s relationship to other things. However, I’m a firm believer in groundwork and foundation and I’d like you to be a part of all that’s planned for the channel plus what’s already there. Please use the link below and subscribe. Your subscription will eventually lead to me monetizing the channel, which in turn will fund more comics and books and the stuff I put online for free. But it all takes time and time, in order to do this job full time, requires money. The subscription costs you nothing other than 5 seconds—which I recognize is your valuable time hence why I try and create interesting content in the vein of Heroes and Monsters—and will go a long way toward keeping the media machine running. Thank you in advance again for your support.

    With Year Six of this newsletter fast approaching, I’m getting eager to see how the new format will work, how it will flow, and, ultimately, what it will do for you as my reader. I hope you enjoy the new format in 8 issues.

    In other newsletter news, Year Four was obviously completed a long time ago but was never published. It is still the plan to release it along with The Long Year Five. Also soon, my how-to book, GETTING DOWN AND DIGITAL: HOW TO SELF-PUBLISH YOUR BOOK, will be going out of print. Please grab your copy now. The principles and methods apply to both books and comics. It is also ideal for creators on a budget who are unable to afford fancy formatting programs. It walks you through formatting in MSWord for both print and electronic editions in a tried-and-tested procedure that is quite simple to follow.

    We’re also noodling with the social media broadcaster for FREDRIKUS because I’ve never run a broadcaster for anyone but myself and since good ol’ Fred can’t work the thing himself due to his paws, I’m stuck with the job. Hopefully it all works out. Speaking of which, the broadcaster has run out of broadcasts from that time I loaded ’er up good so that will have to be addressed in the coming week or two as well, but I’m toying with some new ideas. Not that the old ones were bad, but as it is with this game, doesn’t hurt to try new things.

    Okay, I think the above about covers it for this week. Lots of commercials, I know, but we’re at that stage in the grand plan.

    Rollout soon.

    We’re finally getting there. Isn’t that a thing?

    Take care of yourselves and each other. In the end, it’s on us about how we treat people.

    Have a good weekend. Make bread. Send me some.

    – A.P. Fuchs

    All the New Things, MB

    As usual:

    Patreon – Where I post an ongoing serial novel, essays on the creative life, behind-the-scenes secrets, and general jackassery.

    Canister X – Where I’m blogging during the week.

    YouTube – My channel that needs your subscription and views to help it grow.

    Ko-fi – A Tip Jar designed to cover the costs of the free stuff I put on the Web (daily blogging, this newsletter, YouTube videos, and artwork).

    End transmission


  • On Juggling Multiple Projects

    I used to work on one novel, one short story, and a poem at the same time. Then I switched to working on one book and/or item at a time. Now I’m back to working on multiple things at once. It’s a stretch of the mind, to be sure, but also a method of getting a lot done because you are multitasking. These days I usually have one personal project, something freelance, and something art-related all happening at the same time. Thus far, things are working out okay. This will probably change in the future as the project schedule changes, but until then, I’ll stick with this method of working.

    On a personal note, I am looking forward to things slowing down a bit. Can only go hard for so long until you burn out and, frankly, that’s already happened several times over. Gonna need time to recuperate but this going hard is all part of my masterplan so you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Onward.


  • Remote Update

    This update is coming to you from the middle of the bush where the fish-flies are dreadful. However, it won’t be posted until I return to the city where there’s an Internet connection.

    It is Saturday, July 15, 2017.

    Hope I remember I have this entry on my smartphone otherwise I’m writing it for nothing.

    This post is to notify you I’m still working and, as of this writing, have completed two penciled images for a client, with the third page needing the finishing pencils. All three will then be inked and the job will be complete.

    AXIOM-MAN/AURORAMAN: FROZEN STORM is also in progress, and I’m aiming for a mid-September release so the book can go out to the Kickstarter backers.

    Also in progress are a plethora of small art pieces which will eventually show up on my Instagram account. Search “#apfuchs” to be connected for when the viewing takes place.

    Reminder: Continuous weekly mayhem can be found via my newsletter, THE CANISTER X TRANSMISSION, at www.tinyletter.com/apfuchs

    Still running on fumes, but am getting things done.

    Remote update concluded.


  • Coming Up for Air – Work Updates

    This week’s newsletter, first draft.

    Writing this to “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult. A classic song with profound meaning.

    The last book I published was the tenth-anniversary edition of Axiom-man. That was way back in October of 2016. Unless you’re a subscriber to my newsletter, The Canister X Transmission, then it might seem like I haven’t done anything since.

    The opposite is true. It’s just that nothing’s out yet. However, 2017 will see an avalanche of releases because the following are written and are awaiting production. I just need to write one more book, then away we go.

    1) Secret Project No. 1 (Newsletter readers know the title)
    2) Secret Project No. 2 (Newsletter readers know the title)
    3) Flash Attack: Thrilling Stories of Terror, Adventure, and Intrigue
    4) The Canister X Transmission: Year Three

    The publishing order has yet to be determined, but I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to do.

    Also written is Secret Project No. 3, a prestige-format comic book, and the graphic novel Fox, which has been in the thumbnailing stage since time immemorial.

    There are a couple of more projects close to completion, but I’ll save those for another time. Point is, 2017 is going to be a big year and it’s going to start happening soon.

    Okay, that’s enough for now. Heading back down into the mines. I’ve found a tunnel I wasn’t expecting and need to explore it.


  • What is Coming Up in 2017

    A.P. Fuchs 2017

    I commit to nothing.

    Bwahahaha.

    Post over.

    Kidding.

    However, I meant the above: I commit to nothing.

    Instead of doing the usual writer shtick of announcing what projects are coming out and when, I’m simply going to announce them as I complete them.

    There are only three confirmed titles coming from me in 2017 thus far. They have already been announced on this blog, but I will mention them again and mention why I know they are guaranteed to be released.

    The Canister X Transmission: Year Three – This is being written week-to-week and, like Years One and Two, the collections have been published within a couple of months of that newsletter’s year having ended.

    Untitled Flash Fiction Collection – This is part of the Year Three experience, so each week a new piece of flash fiction is sent out to readers. A total of 60 pieces of flash fiction will comprise this collection–52 from the weekly newsletter, a 53rd from the collected edition of the newsletter–and the remainder to be written afterward.

    Axiom-man and Auroraman: Frozen Storm – This is a novel I will be writing for a kickstarter project that begins in March. Since it’s being kickstarted, and assuming Auroraman creator Jeff Burton and I hit our goal, this book will be published on time for backers.

    Regarding Secret Project No. 1 and Secret Project No. 3–projects mentioned in my newsletter–they will be announced upon completion. What about Secret Project No. 2, you ask? Since it ties directly into Secret Project No. 1, I can’t say anything about it just yet.

    As for other works in various stages of finishing, same deal: they will be announced upon completion.

    Commit to nothing.

    I have also restructured my 2017 on-line marketing efforts and just today finished automating the whole year. There will be some manual posts but the rest will be the social media bots doing my bidding.

    Your best bet in keeping up-to-date on things is by regularly checking this blog or subscribing to my newsletter.

    Have a safe and Happy New Year.

    See you in 2017.


  • Canister X Book Review #16: The Hospital Suite by John Porcellino

    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
    The Hospital Suite
    by John Porcellino
    5 out of 5

    This book is, quite simply, amazing. I’ve been a fan of John Porcellino’s work for several years and when this book arrived in the mail, I got to reading it as soon as I could. John’s honest portrayal of working through his illness and the aftermath that followed struck a chord with me on several levels. In fact, I just sent an email to John going into those things more in depth.

    On the cartooning front, John is a masterful cartoonist and storyteller. This book kept me gripped from beginning to end and the art within complimented the story John was telling.

    This book is highly recommended. Do yourself a favor: read it.


  • A Note on Facebook Pages

    Presently I’m running two Facebook pages, one a fan page, the other a personal page. They each have their purpose and there is minimal overlap of content.

    The fan page – presently, it’s straight-up broadcast. This is where I share only writing/book-related items pertaining to my career.

    The personal page – this gives you the broadcasted items plus me making comments about whatever and being an idiot on a daily basis. I also interact the most here.

    Depending on your cup of java, either of the above might work for you, or even both if you want to show extra support.

    Hook up:

    Fan page
    Personal page

    See you there.

    Thanks.


  • And Then There Was Comics . . .

    Mech Apocalypse has hit Kindle and in a few days will be popping up on-line in paperback form. The book is almost out and then I can start marketing it. Now, with that project out of the way, I’m free to focus on other things so this week I came up with a graphic novel concept I’m eager to delve into. I wrote up a treatment for it–basically a story overview sans any specific details–and am about to hunker down and outline the thing scene-by-scene. Once that’s done, I’ll go back over it and expand the scenes by adding in dialogue, captions, camera angles and all the rest. It’s going to be a big book, over a hundred comic pages when done. The plan is to draw it once it’s written. I’ve wanted to get back into comics for a while and this seems like a good opportunity to do so. Don’t worry. It doesn’t mean I’m abandoning prose. Just taking a break from it. The sequel to Mech Apocalypse is half-written so it won’t take long to finish that up and bring it to you guys in the New Year. I’ll follow up with the third volume in the trilogy later on in 2015.

    Thing is, I want to do an “in-between” project, something to keep me busy while I let the Mech Apocalypse world of mech-bots and exo-suits percolate in the back of my head. Comics seems a good place to do so. I also plan on doing an in-between project between Mech Apocalypse 2 and Mech Apocalypse 3. I have a book that’s already 3/4 written. The problem is it’s horror and since I don’t do horror anymore, it’d be an awful shame to let so much of an already-written book go to waste. So I’m going to retool it into a sci-fi, which, given the story, would be quite easy to do. More details on that project when the time comes.

    In the meantime, I’m going to make some comics.

    I plan on giving more details about this graphic novel project, along with its title, once I script the thing. At that point, with the script locked down, it becomes official and I can then start talking it up to get you interested.

    Besides, I’ve been itching to draw comics again for a good while now.

    Now’s a good time.


  • Top Ten List of Truths for Self-publishers Part Two

    Getting Down and Digital DrivethruTop Ten List of Truths for Self-publishers Part Two
    by
    A.P. Fuchs

    Also published at BadRedhead Media here

    6. Long gone are the days of just writing and nothing else.

    Like I said before, unless you catch a break or find yourself in Amazon’s “also bought” loop and bestseller lists, you’ll have to market your work. This goes beyond just having a website and telling your friends on Facebook and Twitter about it (though those items are a good start). Even if you score a traditional deal, you’ll need to put in the time to market your work until you have such a large fan base you know they’ll pick up everything you write regardless of what it is and all that’s needed is an announcement.

    A suggestion is to dedicate at least one day a week to marketing or, if you can spare it, do a minimum of two things a day to tell others about your book, two things that involve both the on-line and off-line worlds. Marketing on-line is harder, actually, because you’re competing with so many more voices. Local off-line marketing is much easier—unless there are two hundred thousand authors all shouting about their books in your local bookstore.

    Take the time to set up things like:

    – newspaper/radio/magazine/blog/website interviews
    – book signings
    – convention appearances
    – social media efforts
    – trunk-of-car sales
    – magazine ads
    – other

    It takes time. It takes work. But that’s what it takes. Simply uploading your book to one or two platforms doesn’t cut it anymore.

    7. Utilize both the on- and off-line worlds.

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing solely on on-line sales. I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it, and I’ve had good times and bad times with it.

    Like I said about diversifying, you need to be both on-line and off-line with your book.

    My book, Getting Down and Digital: How to Self-publish Your Book, walks you through both processes step-by-step with your average self-publisher’s budget (a few hundred bucks). It gives a well-rounded approach to publishing and emphasizes using both the virtual and real worlds.

    I will admit, however, there is an on-line bias and that’s because of the off-line world’s system of book returns. You can be in every bookstore in every country, but unless your book sells and stays sold—bookstores allow customers to return books after all—you face the potential nightmare of having a ton of books returned to you at your expense.

    At the same time, off-line sales pose the chance to make a good buck per book. Like I mentioned about my convention experience—and I’ve been doing conventions steadily for seven years—I net $8-10 a book. Can’t do that on-line because even books sold through on-line retailers require the retailers get a cut.

    The following should be part of a self-publisher’s arsenal on top of on-line sales through the usual suspects, whether those on-line sales are for eBooks or paperbacks:

    – book signings
    – convention signings
    – book events
    – public readings
    – direct sales to family, friends, co-workers, strangers

    8. Publishing costs money.

    A lot of writers struggle with cash. I totally get that. I was once homeless because of me chasing this dream and have lived close to the breadline a few times as I pursued it. It’s hard when you look in your cupboard and there’s not much there and you have a family to feed. It’s hard when part of your income is walking back alleys looking for beer cans to cash in. I fully sympathize with any writer struggling right now and those who have struggled. However, the one thing that has always been consistent is it costs money to publish whether one is struggling or not. You need to either save up, work a few extra hours at the day job, get a second job, sell some stuff, do pre-orders or something else to raise capital.

    Some people you’ll need to pay:

    – an editor
    – book cover artist and/or book cover designer
    – printer set up
    – office supplies
    – paper and ink to print out your manuscripts
    – marketing expenses
    – other

    It costs money, too, if you want to get in books for events, signings and other things. However, you can quickly make it back if you get in small quantities like, say, twenty books a pop. (i.e. print books at $4 a book, sell them at $15. I’ve made back my $100 printer bill and then some after the tenth copy sells. Copies eleven through twenty are all gravy.)

    9. Stick to your own thing.

    Like I mentioned earlier, trends come and go. Recently, there was a huge zombie boom in literature and doing zombie books was like printing money. Now that bubble’s burst and the sales aren’t there like before. I know this from personal experience and from talking to those in my publishing circles.

    Vampires were huge for a while and those books were moving like crazy. Now, not as much on the whole. Urban fantasy is the new thing. Those are moving like hotcakes at the moment. But you know what? That’ll change, too, so unless you’re willing to write whatever is hot at the moment, you’re better off just writing what you enjoy. While it’s true some genres sell better than others (i.e. romance has always been a solid seller), you’re better off just doing your own thing. Your joy in writing whatever your genre is will come through on the page and make a better book. You’ll build your brand as “that guy/girl who writes thriller/mystery/superhero/weird” fiction and will develop your following of readers who love that stuff as a result. That’s the trick: finding that niche market of readers who’ll support you for each release. The goal after finding them is to grow that group and sticking to one or two genres goes a long way in making that happen.

    If your genre isn’t hot right now, odds are it will be at some point. I never thought I’d see the day when superheroes were all over popular culture. Thanks to Marvel’s efforts at the box office—and if DC gets their act together, them too, and Man of Steel was a sign their new shared universe is off to a good start—they’re everywhere, more than at any other point in history, and it’s put a spotlight into my main genre: superhero fiction (The Axiom-man Saga). Good deal for me. I stuck to my thing and now it’s poised to pay off.

    10. Have fun.

    Nothing kills creativity like discouragement. When we first start out writing, we’re all gung ho and looking to make a career. We’re hungry for it and sacrifice anything to get it—I was homeless trying to make this happen, remember? Sometimes success comes right away, other times you got to toil away for years and years. Look at J.A. Konrath. He put in around twenty years before things really came together. I’m sure there were times the fun stopped and, dare I say, he even considered quitting. But he didn’t. He made it work, made it fun and kept on going. Now it’s paid off.

    Writing is an art form above all else and there are many writers who never catch a break and just toil away at it their whole lives. They’ll say it’s because “they can’t help themselves but write,” but what does that mean? It means they’re having fun regardless of payoff. Writing is a source of joy for them and completes them in some way. Whether you publish or not, there needs to be a fun element. Very, very few writers write solely for money.

    Publishing should be fun, too, even if success doesn’t happen right away. Transforming a book from a manuscript into an actual book with two covers is also an art form, a fun art form, and should be part of the joy of creating something from nothing just like writing the story is. In fact, it’s becomes highly addictive after a while.

    Writing should be about honesty and good times. If it’s not, why bother?

    Anyway, thanks for reading my Top Ten List of Truths for Self-publishers. There are more, but these are the big ones. Others can be found in my book, Getting Down and Digital: How to Self-publish Your Book, which walks you step-by-step through the publishing process for print and eBooks, formatting, cover design, marketing and more. It’s an entire self-publisher’s education between two covers, one that covers multiple eBook and paperback markets, and is meant to be the ultimate go-to guide for the career indie author.

    Thanks again.