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A Few Overdue Updates
...as I've been sort of absent from Substack the last few weeks
I usually give updates on here as things happen. However, I’ve had a rough few weeks with the real job and since Fenrik 1984 - A Barbarians of the Storm Side Quest was released. So, I am going to try and cover what’s happened and what I have planned next.
Next Writing Project(s) & Current Conditions:
I have already said that the next book will be an anthology. My plan was to be working hard on it already, but life throws annoying f’n curveballs sometimes, and because of the real job, I’m pretty burnt out. But I get it, writing and publishing 5 books in 15 months is a hell of a feat. Especially, when it competes for my time and energy with my 60ish hour a week job as a creative director for a big, well-known company. I am also entering the most work heavy time of the year for that job.
On top of that, my living conditions suck with loud ass neighbors and legitimately no real options, as the real estate market in southern Florida is a nightmare since that shitbird flu of 2020. Being in a long-lasting crypto bear market hasn’t been helpful either. These are both temporary problems that should correct themselves, but their current status puts me in a situation where it is hard to focus on any creative endeavor when I am home. The loudest neighbor (the one upstairs) was recently evicted, thank fuck, but now I have to contend with all the destruction/construction noise, as the owner tries to repair the decrepit state the place was left in.
Any-f’n-way, I basically know what the stories will be for the anthology. However, I have now been given the opportunity to provide a story for another publication. While I’ve written an entire article about why I don’t publish and write for other publications than my own, this is a special circumstance. I can’t and won’t spoil anything until I’m allowed to and I know that the story is officially going into this other publication.
I have to get this story done before I start the next book. I was having a hard time getting some of the details worked out, because of my real job’s stress. However, I’ve figured most of it out now and I should be able to get the story done within a few days time, once I get it rolling.
YouTube (and Possibly Twitch):
I have talked about getting the YouTube channel rolling and I need to. My biggest problem is that I am exhausted by the time I get home from work. However, if I don’t start forcing myself to do it, I never will. I have to make the time.
In addition to that, I have a plan for another channel that is completely different. I don’t want to reveal what this other thing is yet. It will take some time to develop, though, and I will have to employ some other people that will be needed to get the project off the ground. It’s like nothing I’ve come across and trying to find the right people to help me with it could be difficult.
The second channel was something I thought I was going to do on Twitch, but the more I mess around with Twitch, the more I don’t like it and am annoyed by it. I think it’s just aesthetically ridiculous in how it is designed and how it functions. However, I will probably still provide content for it, as this other channel will need to crosspollinate between as many platforms as possible to gain the exposure. Granted, if Twitch is where that content gets the best traction, I will obviously adapt to it.
Getting back to the normal channel, if you are a creative that I know and exist in the same circles, primarily the Iron Age, ComicsGate, or that general sphere, hit me up and maybe we can get something going on stream.
Book Sales, Merch Sales & Amazon:
The release of Fenrik 1984 - A Barbarians of the Storm Side Quest gave me the best week in sales I have ever had. However, since then, everything has basically flatlined. Lots of people were asking for the Kindle version, which I hold off on releasing for a week when the physical books debut. However, since then, I haven’t sold a single digital copy… or Amazon is just fucking me. It’s hard to say because their system sucks and isn’t very transparent. You sort of just have to trust that they’re honest.
Also, people have asked for me to make specific merch, which I now have. That stuff hasn’t sold either.
I’m not mad about that, but I try to get fans of the book series the things they want, if it is something I can do within reason. This stuff takes a lot of time and honestly, I don’t make shit off of the merch, maybe like a buck or two per item. I do it though, so that people can have other things besides the books, and also it is good for marketing in general. I’m trying to emulate the branding lessons I’ve learned from George Lucas and Gene Simmons. Put your brand on everything.
I think the books will hit their stride again, but maybe I need to freshen up how I market them too. Looking at sales stats over time, though, book sales just have peaks and valleys. Luckily for me, the peaks keep getting higher when they hit, but I need to find a way to narrow those valleys.
But then again, I don’t wholeheartedly trust Amazon, as the way sales are recorded and shown are very wonky and inconsistent. I’ve witnessed books popping up as sold on a different day then when I’ve known they were sold. The problem with this from a marketing standpoint, is that it’s hard to pinpoint which marketing strategies are working or not working. I also don’t expect Amazon to really care about that, though.
…for now, that’s it. I’ve hit everything I think I wanted to talk about. My brain is fried at the moment, so I am going to go get some fried shrimp and try to survive this potentially long Friday.