2015 Year in Review
Normally I start out the New Year with my goals. But I’ve been super busy. In between YouTube videos and the editing work on this year’s four (possibly five) new books I haven’t had much time to write blogs. I’ve been working so much on my own projects it’s like I actually have a full-time job these days.
To my surprise I made a lot of progress in 2015. I wasn’t expecting to do much this year, but with God’s help and the support of people online I was able to get a lot further than I planned.
In April I got the Kickstarter funded for the Isis/E’steem Crossover. Thanks to the help of brothers in the community I was able to get the funds to pay Bill Walko of the Hero Business to design the covers for Isis:Night of the Vampires and E’steem: Undercover.
Bill’s covers had a tremendous impact on both books and left a powerful first impression on readers this Summer and Fall. In numerous Facebook Groups both covers left a strong first impression on new readers. And on Smashwords Isis: Night of the Vampires got over 200 Facebook likes and E’steem: Undercover got over 60. Most Books with my own covers usually don’t get those kinds of numbers on Facebook likes. But with a great cover many were willing to give the crossover a try and a few who read the eBooks came back for other titles in the Isis series. A handful even went back to buy all the books in the Isis series.
Both Isis: Night of the Vampires and E’steem: Undercover even managed to get some paperback sales. It’s rare for me to have a paperback sale these days on a new title, but a few readers decided to pick up hardcopy versions of the Isis/E’steem crossover.
Along with the Isis/E’steem Crossover I published the SecondEdition of Stop Simpin. The Second Edition of the first book in the Simp Trilogy was a strong seller (Well, SJS DIRECT wise) on Kindle and Smashwords. Men all over the world picked up the book and came back for the other two book: Manginas: They Look like Men but Act like Ladies and The Misadventures of Captain Save a Hoe.
And I published Lawrence Cherry’s sequel to Commencement TheAtonement this summer as well. Another strong performer, The Atonement managed to not only pick up new readers but bring back readers to buy the other two novels in the Commencement saga: Commencement and School of Hard Knocks: TheRe-Education of Jim Reid.
I spent the summer promoting this year’s books and writing next year’s. Since July I’ve written the first drafts for five new books. Right now all the pages of 2016’s books have been laid out and formatted. I’m in the process of doing edits on the final drafts of them. If I can get this years’ Kickstarter funded, they’ll be ready for an April/May/June release.
I also spent the summer making lots of YouTube Videos. In my second year of making videos, I’m building an audience there. The reason why there haven’t been as many blogs is because many of the blog subjects I present like Men’s issues or issues in the Black community actually get more views and hits on YouTube.
For example my video on Halle Berry got over 1,000 views in three months. While a blog on the same subject got only 20 or so hits.
And a video I did on the Justice or Else March got over 1,000 views. While the blog on the same subject only got 120 or so hits.
And when I produce YouTube videos people friend me on Facebook and a few even buy books. Currently I have over 1,100 subscribers to the Shawn James YouTube Channel and I’m planning some great content for 2016 for all my viewers.
If anyone has noticed, Blog has become a lot more comic and fantasy centered these days. And that’s because comic fans and fantasy fans read the blog on the regular and look forward to the articles I write. Plus I have a lot more fun producing that kind of content.
I’ve been getting back into writing Men’s issues, but from here on in I want to focus more on men working on improving the quality of their lives. I think men need to start focusing on themselves and putting themselves first. I’d rather write about the little things men can do for themselves like paying themselves first. I believe if more men started focusing on themselves and putting themselves first it could change the culture in America for the better.
In October I launched my sixth novel, Spinsterella. Spinsterella is a Tim Burtonesque romantic comedy featuring an African-American Goth heroine. From responses I’ve gotten from readers on Twitter and YouTube people enjoyed the story and they love Mad Matilda Crowley.
Spinsterella is the first romance I’ve written applying techniques from MRAs/MGTOWs and many of the relationship approaches I’ve written about in my Simp Trilogy books. If one reads the book they’ll actually see that there are no player lines, games, fancy dinners, or wining and dining in Spinsterella’s love story. The man and the woman are equal partners in the relationship. And instead of “falling in love”, the characters take responsibility for their actions and look for intangibles in each other relating to character such as respect and cooperation. In Spinsterella I wanted to show what the foundation for a healthy interdependent relationship looked like.
Spinsterella was the first book I wrote to target not only Black audiences in America but nonblack and foreign audiences as well. I’m well aware of my audience of nonblack and foreign readers and I wanted to offer them a story that would appeal to them too. The Goth subculture is bigger in foreign countries than in the United States and I wanted to tell a story that readers in other parts of the world could relate to and identify with.
I’d love to do another story featuring Mad Matilda, but I want to see what the response will be to Spinsterella. I’ve got an AWESOME YA prequel planned for the character in her high school years, but I need to see if there’s an audience for the book.
In November I did my first radio show The Men’s Advocate Show with Linda Gross. In that hour we discussed my 2012 blog Ways Single Mothers destroy their sons. I had a great time on the show and I’d love to do another show with her again.
I’m working hard to build on much of the progress I made in 2015 this year. I have a new Kickstarter planned for this year’s titles and I’m working on expanding my presence on YouTube. I’m working hard towards getting to the next level and I’m hoping to take some more steps on that journey.