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Monday, April 25, 2016

Progress Report

The first quarter of 2016 has been a busy one for me. I’ve been working hard on writing projects like I’ve been working at a 9-5 job.

Unfortunately, the SJS DIRECT 2016 Cover Kickstarter didn’t get funded. But with the help of people on YouTube, eBay and a payment from Google, I was able to raise enough money to pay Bill Walko for the Isis: Bride of Dracula cover.

And it is a masterpiece. It’s one of Bill’s BEST pieces, and it’s gotten a positive response from everyone who has seen it. People have shared the cover on their Tumblrs, and Facebooks, and it got dozens of Facebook likes on the day I debuted it.

Thanks to Bill’s cover and my writing, the launch of Isis:Bride of Dracula has been a successful one. Isis: Bride of Dracula has gotten the best reception an SJS DIRECT book has ever received. People are giving the story a look and it’s getting some sales.

I’d love to work with Bill again on another Isis series project, and I’m hoping to get the money together to pay for a cover for Isis: Imitation of Life. That’s a book I really want to put a GREAT cover on because the subject matter of Black heroes in the Golden Age of comics and Pulp fiction is a story I want readers to take a serious look at. That’s why the book will be delayed. I want to pay respect to all those brothers and Sistas by presenting a great book telling a story of what happened in that Pre-Civil Rights Jim Crow era.   

I’d also love to put a Bill Walko cover on Isis Samurai Goddess. That story was inspired by Quentin Tarentino’s Kill Bill and has a cool grindhouse vibe I think readers will enjoy. I’ve got a cool concept I’d love to see him draw out. (Imagine Isis facing off against Three Go-Gos wearing Catholic school uniforms, wielding Meteor Hammers, Nunchcks, and fans!)

Both Isis: Imitation of Life and Isis: Samurai Goddess are edited, have their pages laid out and have their PDFs uploaded to CreateSpace and Kindle. Just trying to get the money together for the covers.

I’m hoping to build on the strong momentum Isis: Bride of Dracula has with next month’s The Man Who Rules the World. The sequel to The Temptation of John Haynes has been getting positive responses to the cover and the sample chapter I posted up on the blog.  If you like movies like those in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s basically like an Avengers Movie, but featuring an all-Black cast.

The SJS DIRECT 2016 fantasy catalog is gonna wrap with E’steem: The Witches of Eastland. I wanted to publish Isis: Samurai Goddess, but I’m gonna put it on the shelf until I can raise the funds to pay for a quality cover. I want to keep the standard for Isis series consistent so readers can see that I’m making efforts to continue to raise the bar in terms of quality. 

Spinsterellhas been getting an incredibly positive response since it debuted on Smashwords. On that platform the book has gotten over 500 downloads in two months! That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen one of my books get downloaded on that platform.

I was really happy to see Black Goths and Nonblack Goths sharing the eBook with each other and getting the word out about it, and I’m more happy to see regular people pick up the book and enjoy it.  Spinsterella is a book I really enjoyed writing and it makes me happy to see the positive response it’s gotten from readers.

With the success of Spinsterella, I’ve been really busy on writing its prequel Spellbound, which details Matilda’s entry into the Goth subculture. I’m practically working on 3-5 five chapters a day on this novel and having fun while writing them. My goal with Spellbound is to create a story where kids and adults can learn about Goths and the Goth subculture. A lot of Goths focus on literary classics like Edgar Allen Poe, Frankenstein, and Dracula, but there really needs to be a Goth YA fiction story out there so that parents and kids (BabyBats) can see a positive portrayal of the Goth Subculture and the people who participate in it.

 I’m doing my best to keep Spellbound a PG, PG-13 novel so that tweens and teens can read it and their parents can read it too. I’m writing Spellbound to dispel many of the negative ideas and generalizations people have about Goths and the Goth subculture, and so people can see the girl behind the ghoul who is Mad Matilda.

Hoping to have Spellbound’s first draft finished by the end of 2016 and ready for publication by 2017. But I make no promises.  I’d love to do a Kickstarter to put a Bill Walko cover on Spellbound, but we’ll see.

On the Nonfiction front I’ve been working on another installment on the Stop Simpin Series. After the positive response I got on the Why You Should Never Hire a Mangina series I decided to put together an eBook on Workplace Simpin & Trickin so men could understand why this paradigm could cost them their jobs and careers. I’m halfway through the book and I should have it out by the end of the year.

I’ve been writing a lot of Comic blogs lately, most roasting DC Comics. But I’m looking to work on Men’s issues pieces. Lately most of the content I do with men’s issues has been going to YouTube and that’s because the bigger audience is there. A Men’s issues blog will take years to get as many reads as a YouTube Video.

Plus with YouTube Partnership I make money on those videos discussing men’s issues. It’s more profitable to me to make a video than write a blog, so that’s why I make videos. But I’m gonna try to write a couple more men’s issues blogs.

The first quarter of 2016 had its challenges. While I had a setback with the Kickstarter failing, I managed to adapt and keep moving forward. I’m trying to build on momentum, and hoping it’ll turn into a big break…

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