In an effort to make sure the reissue and new release schedules are on track, I’ll be offline this week so no blog entries until I return. (I might post something if I need variety but that’s a maybe.) Feel free to check back every day just in case and/or surf the blog for past entries to get caught up on anything you missed. Also, my social feeds are on automated Broadcast Mode so I cannot be reached there. If you’re a Patreon subscriber, this week’s post for the Essays tier will show up in the Patreon feed on your pocket computer (or on the website on the non-pocket computer). It’s an essay on how to always keep your audience engaged.
If you are a client, please use email. If you are a reader and need to reach me, please use email. Please note that email is very low priority so unless I owe you a project (which I can identify by the sender), most likely emails will be replied to upon my return. If it’s an emergency, then you know who you are who has that kind of access.
Enjoy your week, everyone. See you on the other side in Saturday’s newsletter.
To keep busy while I’m away, here are some suggestions:
Read back issues of The Canister X Transmission and be sure to subscribe to receive a letter from me every Saturday in your inbox.
Review the social feeds to the right if viewing this entry on a standard web browser to make sure you and I are connected on your various social networks. If you are viewing this on your computerized telephone, type “A.P. Fuchs” into your social network’s search bar and you’ll find me.
Relax and take care of yourself however that might look like.
It’s been a long while since I wrote the daily schedule of a writer/artist (me, in this case). It might have been in one of the newsletters I sent out in the fall that I last talked about it. Might have been on the blog though I’m leaning toward the former. Anyway, regardless, a new layout of the schedule is probably due so here is what a typical day looks like for me at Axiom-man Central. Of course, like in any life, things happen that can throw a wrench into the following general workday. However, I stick to this schedule as the backbone of my whole operation and make time for it as able on days that get screwy. I’ve long advocated a schedule for creators as one of the important ingredients to making a successful career out of the arts.
Monday to Friday:
Wake up – Lately it’s been averaging between 8:30 and 9:30am. Next, roll around in bed for a short while to let the brain come online before checking the news.
Coffee – Go down to the bunker and turn the computer on. Go back up to the main level and get coffee while the computer is loading (older machine so takes a bit to warm up).
Patreon – On a day a Patreon post is scheduled, I do this first and get it done for my patrons. For example, today was the latest chapter of Gigantigator Death Machine so that was posted before writing this entry. Market Patreon entry.
Blog – Skip previous step if a non-Patreon day. Write and/or edit blog entry. Take any required picture(s) and post. Market blog entry and set up in the broadcaster a couple of extra notices about the latest entry to air throughout the day on the social feeds.
Break – Maybe around 15 or 20 minutes. Used to change mental gears. On the break I’ll either read something or play a game or fiddle with something around the house.
Email – Check email and respond, if needed/able to.
Work – Writing, drawing, editing, freelancing, book production, marketing, etc. Could be all of those or just one of them. Depends what’s on deadline and what isn’t. Work until 4 with a couple breaks thrown in there between tasks to rest the eyes and/or hands and get blood moving throughout the system. I’ve been trying to give careful attention to lunch because I get so wrapped up working I forget to eat then around 2 I start to feel real sick. A bad habit I’m working on. Back to the job: Pressing work is in my day planner so I consult it every morning so I know if I’ve set the day aside for something(s) specific. Whatever the day planner says I’m doing is priority one for the day. If the day planner shows the day as open, then I work on the next thing due. If things are due more or less around the same time, then I pick whatever I’m leaning toward at that moment.
End of day – Around 4pm. Start shutting things down; possibly do a couple small tasks that had to wait until the end of the work day for whatever reason (i.e. a quick marketing thing or a phone call or whatever).
Evening – Cooking is my thing so after the work day is done, I put on my chef’s hat and start thinking about what I want to make for dinner. This involves scoping out the deep freeze and scanning the pantry for ideas (though I usually start getting ideas mid-afternoonish). Then I cook dinner and let the day’s issues–if there are any–melt away. Once dinner is done, the evening is mine to do whatever with whomever (I usually hang out with author Melinda Marshall and this ranges from playing games to reading to TV to going for groceries, etc). On other nights, Melinda and I hang out with my boys.
Bed – 10pm or thereabouts.
Wake up – Somewhere between 9:30 and close to 11am.
Coffee – Enjoy a cup of coffee with Melinda.
Newsletter – Head down to the bunker to send Saturday’s newsletter.
The rest of Saturday and all of Sunday are days off, and it typically takes until late Saturday afternoon for me to put the week in my back pocket. Saturday evening and all of Sunday are used to do next to nothing and purposefully not think about work so my brain can heal from the week and be sharp for the week to come.
And that’s what a typical week looks like here in the Great White North.
To touch on what I said above about this schedule being the backbone on days things don’t go as planned, on such days I still let this overall schedule float in the background of my mind so that when a window of time opens up amidst that particularly goofy day, I can still do what needs doing or at least get a start on those things so the day isn’t a wash.
Right now, this schedule works well and hasn’t changed much since I last talked about it. It will no doubt change somewhere down the line since life isn’t stagnant, but this method works for the time being.
This post is to let everyone know I’m once again switching over to broadcast mode on my social media channels for a season. The reason? Getting rid of distraction and getting more work done. It worked well over the winter and I have a ton to do and a ton planned, so need to stay focused.
Social media is an addiction for a lot of people and it gets in your head, especially if you’re involved in a discussion or argument. It sucks up headspace and brain power, which are better used to create something. So deep into the mines I go. I’ll radio up to the surface via my weekly newsletter and, if you need me, you can send down a signal via email and we’ll see if the underground transmitters pick it up.
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.
Did you know now and then Axiom-man makes an appearance in my newsletter? In fact, he was just in there last week for the second time. You see, every week in Year Three of The Canister X Transmission is a piece of flash fiction–various genres–and Axiom-man likes to pop up from time to time.
These stories are canon and are part of the overall saga.
(For those not aware, The Axiom-man Saga in its entirety is made up of novels, novellas, short stories, flash fiction, and comics.)
To ensure you get the whole story, get a copy of The Canister X Transmission in your email every week.
Also note other superhero fiction shows up there as well.
You can subscribe to the newsletter using the subscription box on this site or go here.
Here is an updated listing of The Axiom-man Saga in reading order:
Axiom-man Char (short story in the tenth anniversary edition of Axiom-man) Episode No. 0: First Night Out Doorway of Darkness Black Water (short story) Episode No. 1: The Dead Land There’s Something Rotten Up North (short story in the anthology, Metahumans vs the Undead) City of Ruin Rite of the Wolf (short story in the anthology, Metahumans vs Werewolves) Episode No. 2: Underground Crusade Outlaw Episode No. 3: Rumblings The Split (flash fiction) Mercy (flash fiction)
Please be advised that effective November 1st I will be off social media for the most part for the 2016/17 winter season and am scheduled to be back in April.
I’ve been preparing for this for a long while now and a lot of work has been put into keeping you guys entertained while I’m away. My social feeds will remain active but robots will be doing most of the posting. Some stuff, like Instagram, has to be manual. Facebook and Twitter are the two main places I’m stepping away from.
Earlier this year, I was off social media for about two months and it was something I needed both professionally and personally. As part of my overall master plan for my career, this second, longer break from the on-line social world is also needed.
If you need to get a hold of me, please use email, which will be checked once a day, Monday to Friday.
The best way to keep current on my projects and get behind-the-scenes info is to sign up for my weekly newsletter, The Canister X Transmission. Go here to subscribe.
Also be sure to check in on this website when you can because things will be happening here as well.
There’s quite a few of you who have subscribed to this blog over the years and elected to receive my posts via email. Thank you.
I wanted to let you know that if you want another email experience from me, I have a weekly newsletter called The Canister X Transmission, which is presently in its third year. Issue 120 goes out this Saturday.
It’s free, and you also get a free novelette upon sign-up.
The Year Three format of The Canister X Transmission is simple:
1) Weekly creative recap of what I worked on the previous week
2) A flash fiction story
3) Weekly rant
4) Anything–where any topic or item(s) is brought up.
With some heavy deadlines looming, I’m gonna be buried for the next little while so if you need me, please use regular email as any social media notes will be left unread until next week. Any social media posts that do happen will be from the bots or done remotely from other places.