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  • Where Projects Stand a Couple of Weeks into 2020

    January whiteboard
    Part of the whiteboard listing projects and deadlines in the studio bunker here at the Central.

    Where Projects Stand a Couple of Weeks into 2020.

    Time is flying by. It felt like it was New Year’s last week.

    It was two weeks ago.

    Pretty sure I’m stuck in an accelerated timestream.

    Anyway, I set out into 2020 with specific goals now that all my prelim work is pretty much done. (All discussed in my newsletter.)

    And so . . . here is where some projects stand a couple of weeks into 2020:

    Project Rebuild: First batch of second editions are my Undead World Trilogy. The new cover style–which looks incredible–is almost done. Layout to begin soon. Here is the original announcement.

    Patreon: New tiers and options to be added once some second editions come out. Gigantigator Death Machine is the current feature playing as a serial novel with a new installment every two weeks. This will run until May, if I counted out the installments correctly. A new serial novel will start up after this first one is done. Please go here to start reading the previous chapters so you’re ready for the next episode.

    Artwork: Putting the final touches on a commission. Have permission to share it on-line once the client receives it in the mail.

    Freelance: In the middle of a project for someone and still have my client that requires two days a week. (Which slows down my published work output but, hey, need to keep the lights on somehow.)

    New published work: This involves all the various projects I mentioned in previous blog posts and in the newsletter. As of this writing, the plan is to do a few second editions first then release something new then more second editions then new work, and so on. This plan keeps me at a pace I can manage, which in turn benefits you by giving you a pattern for 2020 and something to look forward to.

    YouTube: The channel is growing and content is going up at, on average, a video a week. Your subscription to the channel helps keep the writing and art machine running so please subscribe if you haven’t already.

    Daily blogging: Still on the Monday-to-Friday schedule. I’m doing my best to give you something each day that entertains or informs at least one person. Check back daily for new entries. If you check back and the blog hasn’t been updated, check back again later. Lately, my blogging hour has been shifting for various reasons.

    Vacation: Though I took a break over the Holidays, it wasn’t really a break. In the end, I had a few days for a breather because it took me until Boxing Day to finally slow down and just relax. Throw in some Holiday activities during that relax time and I didn’t end up having a genuine break. I was back at it on the 30th. So, things are in motion for a legit winter holiday, but by the time all is arranged, that won’t be until February sometime. Watch this space.

    Conventions and public appearances: One convention has been announced. I have irons in the fire in others and am waiting to hear back.

    Posted through my social channels this morning:

    “Hoping to find new inroads in the publishing world (books and comics) in 2020. I’m convinced the current standard system is terrible. That said, it’s up to creators to create the market, not companies. We need to get that straight first otherwise it’ll be same old, same old.”

    I stand by the idea that creators create the market. Read my essay, “Why I Quit the Publishing Industry and Opted to Just Make Books Instead,” to find out my thoughts on the current climate and my general attitude toward it. If you’re a creator reading this, please check out the essay. We’re not at the mercy of various companies to get our work out. They’re at your mercy to provide them work to distribute. They don’t have a business without you. Take that to heart. Stand strong. Make new roads. Find out new ways to share with your readers. You and your readers are the ones in control, not these companies.

    Okay. That’s all I’ve got for now. Thank you for checking in.

    See you tomorrow.


  • It’s ThankYouPatrons Day!

    A.P. Fuchs Patreon Thank You

    Surprise! It’s ThankYouPatrons Day and you guys get center stage!

    Today across the globe, Patreon creators are thanking their patrons for their support and I’m proud to be one of them.

    Thank you, patrons, truly, from the bottom of my heart for your support on my Patreon journey, and though my journey is still fairly new, it’s been a fun ride and I have more fun planned for you in the coming months. It’s not easy to be the first to support someone or take a chance on something less familiar, yet that’s exactly what you have done: Stepped out and had been the first to support this writer/artist from the north on the platform.

    Again, thank you.

    Right now, my Patreon includes various tiers, all of them having an ongoing serial novel–Gigantigator Death Machine is playing right now, a homeage to late-night creature features–as a base, with essays, behind-the-scenes stuff, a book club, and more at other tiers. Please go here to join myself and my patrons as we travel the road of imagination.

    And so again, patrons, thank you for your support. I hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve brought to the table so far and I hope you enjoy the things coming up around the bend.

    Best,

    A.P. Fuchs

    Note: This notice is posted in its own variation both on Patreon and on my blog because I want my patrons to be acknowledged and thanked publicly and know they are appreciated.


  • 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.


  • Reflections on Patreon after a Month on the Platform

    A.P. Fuchs on Patreon

    On September 14, 2019, I launched my first Patreon page. It was a thrilling day and one filled with hope and excitement. Sure, part of the reason to create the page was to supplement my writing and drawing income, but, having been part of Web culture since close to the beginning of my career (circa 2000), it was an opportunity for me to create a place on the Web to share cool stuff with people in a kind of “club” format.

    See, I have this problem of creating a ton of stuff for free and putting in on the Web whether via this blog or social media. As of today’s date, I’m on here blogging articles, essays, and musings Monday to Friday, my free weekly newsletter goes out on Saturdays, I started up a YouTube channel again, and I’m doing Inktober and sharing those sketches on social media (see the icons on the right). I enjoy entertaining people and, if I was in a place where money was no object, I’d gladly share all my work for free. But I can’t. I need to eat, need to buy supplies, need to cover costs, etc. so I have no choice but to charge for my work hence adding Patreon as part of my platform.

    If there is one major aspect of Patreon I truly enjoy, it is the idea of having a special place on the Web where people use a key (money) to unlock a door (my Patreon) to get stuff only available on the other side of that door. It’s an opportunity for me to virtually sit down with a group of people several times a month and go, “Look what I made. Hope it entertains you. Hope it educates you.” Almost like show-and-tell but, hopefully, much more entertaining. And, in the end, that’s what Patreon stands for for me: My patrons. They’re a special group of people who were willing to shell out a few beans to help a northern jackass like myself keep making entertainment for them and others.

    (Side note to explain what creators mean when they say buying their work or supporting their Patreon enables them to keep creating. They are not saying that without the support they can no longer create. A creator creates and always will. Just how it is. What they are saying is your support buys them the greatest and most precious of all commodities: Time. Time is the most valuable thing on the planet. Once a moment passes, it’s gone forever. No going back. No storing it up. It’s not even in abundant supply because we all die. If a creator spends their time doing everything but creating–I’m talking surviving life stuff not blowing hours on social media–then we’d have no entertainment. By supporting a creator, you’re filling up their Time Bank Account instead of them spending their Time Dollars on things that hinder the hours needed to create something. Even if ten hours a week can be supplemented, if the creator is responsible, they now have ten extra hours to make stuff for you. It’s win-win on both ends.)

    I’m only about a month into my Patreon journey. It’s been wonderful so far and I look forward to the days that are scheduled to upload new content. Right now, a new chapter of my creature feature serial novel, Gigantigator Death Machine, airs every two weeks (a new chapter went up today). On the off weeks, I put up essays on the creative industry and also treat patrons to behind-the-scenes stuff here at the Central. Of course, there are also extra blog posts for everyone as well as patron-first announcements where my patrons receive news before the general public. I’m still finding my footing regarding what else to offer. I have a plan for an ongoing special something for patrons but it’s not ready yet. Perhaps in the New Year, perhaps sooner. Regardless, I’m pleased with my current offerings and am excited to share more as time goes on.

    My patrons are my special group. They are those who’ve gone the extra mile by way of monthly support, and for that I am grateful. I want to publicly thank them here and I want to offer a thanks to future patrons as well.

    My Patreon journey has just begun. Would you like to come along? Here, take my hand. I have something to show you.


  • 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?


  • Going Dormant – Broadcast Mode Reinstated

    It’s that time of year again where I withdraw from having an active social media presence and switch over to broadcast mode. This begins today and will carry on throughout the winter, which in Manitoba means at least five or six months.

    My plan for the winter season is to release all the manuscripts I’m sitting on–some of which were created last winter broadcast season–and get them into your hands as quickly as possible. The plan also calls for creating new work, whether writing or drawing.

    The best way to keep up with me is to watch this blog and sign up for my weekly newsletter, The Canister X Transmission.

    To contact me, please use email via the contact page on this site.

    I hope everyone has a great winter. Try and stay warm, and to you creators out there, get stuff done. I know I will.


  • Why You Need a Newsletter

    The Canister X Transmission Years One and Two
    The Collected Editions of The Canister X Transmission Years One and Two
    This article was originally published November 28, 2016 on the Operation Awesome Blog.

    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.

    The benefits:

    ▪ 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.