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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Progress Report

The summer reading season is wrapping up. And I’d have to say many of the new SJS DIRECT titles did very well. Made a little progress in my struggles and I think I’m moving in the right direction.

Isis: Bride ofDracula performed strongly from its initial release. Right now it’s one of the best-selling Isis series book to date. Many on social media loved Bill Walko’s cover and many more enjoyed the story where the goddess next door and John Haynes teamed up to take on the Dark Vampire Lord.

Bill Walko’s MIND BLOWING cover left a strong impression on readers and really helped the book catch the attention of readers all over the world. As the leadoff title for the SJS DIRECT 2016 catalog Isis: Bride of Dracula hit a home run.

I would love to hire Bill to design the covers for Isis: Samurai Goddess (I have a KICKASS concept planned in my head for that one) and Isis: Imitation of Life, but…I don’t have much money left. We’ll see what happens next year.

The Man Who Rulesthe World was a BLOCKBUSTER with strong paperback & eBook sales, especially on Nook. Many who read the story loved how fast paced and action packed the Temptation of John Haynes sequel was.

With the success of Man Who Rules The World I’d love to do a John Haynes series. But with my plate full of Isis and E’steem series stories we’ll have to see. I’ve got some stuff outlined and few ideas for stories. Again, we’ll see.

E’steem: TheWitches of Eastland performed okay. It wasn’t as strong a seller as Isis: Bride of Dracula and The Man Who Rules the World but it did have some sales. 

Both Isis: Bride ofDracula and The Man Who Rules The World built up strong word of mouth. People told others about the stories and shared them with other readers. And it seems many have no problem following the continuity between the titles. Many readers who picked up Isis: Bride of Dracula, The Man Who Rules The World and E’steem: The Witches of Eastland returned to pick up backlist titles like The Temptation of John Haynes and older Isis series books like Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess and older E’steem Series books like E’steem: Demons Anonymous.

Spinsterella continues to perform strongly. The Goth N’ Lovely romance has over 800 downloads on Smashwords and continues to get sales in paperback & eBook. What makes me really happy is to see Black and nonblack Goths sharing the story, and more people are learning about the Black Goth subculture.  

I’m hoping to build on Spinsterella’s strong momentum with a chronicle of Matilda’s babybat days in Spellbound, which will be on sale this fall. I wrote Spellbound for teens, tweens and their parents so they could get an understanding of what the Goth Subculture is about and why kids want to be a part of it. I’m working on the second draft right now and this one is going to be very family friendly. Yeah, there’s some violence and a little profanity, but teens and young adults should have no problem sharing this story with their parents. Readers who enjoyed The Thetas will definitely enjoy Spellbound.  Like The Thetas, Spellbound is a Coming of Age story that showcases the strength of character a Black girl has to stand up and be herself in a Black culture where conforming to Black stereotypes is considered the norm.

The Thetas continues to perform very well. The sophisticated sorority story continues to sell well for a three-year old book. Women and men of all races seem to enjoy the story and it continues to build an audience.

Depending on how Spellbound does I’m really pondering writing a book detailing Mad Matilda’s days in the mid 1990’s Goth scene. I figure a trilogy would chronicle all three stages of Mattie’s Life as a Goth. While Spellbound chronicles her babybat days as a teenager in the late 1980s, and Spinsterella features her as an Elder Goth today, some readers may need that third book showcasing her in her Goth Prime to see the whole lifecycle and lifestyle of a Goth. The rough title I have in my head for the book is The Legend of Mad Matilda. But The big question I have to ask is myself is do I want to write it about Mattie’s days in the club and rave scenes in college or her early days as a Corporate Goth at Amalgamated Consolidated?

In spite of all the progress I had some setbacks. Some Isis series books wound up delayed. I planned on releasing Isis: Imitation of Life and Isis: Samurai Goddess this year, but due to money issues, I just didn’t have enough money to pay Bill Walko to design the covers for them. So they’re going to have to be part of the 2017 catalog. Both books are edited and uploaded to Kindle and Create Space and are ready for release.  If I can get a full-time job or any job or a couple of thousand sales to pay for their covers. I can expedite their release.

My original plan with the Isis series was to have the books come out quarterly, with three modern adventures and one flashback tale. But due to money issues I had to cut back the schedule for the series. Spellbound was supposed to be released for 2017, but wound up being pushed up to the fall schedule because it had a cover ready and is flowing together in edits.  

On the Nonfiction side, the Simp Trilogy continues to perform well, along with Why 70 percent of Black women are single. Men and women are learning from the Simp trilogy and that makes me happy. The more men learn how to Stop Simpin the better life will be for both men and women.  

I’m putting together a book to help men STOP SIMPIN in the workplace. This one is based on everything I learned working in the STRIVE job readiness workshop and my experiences working in places like City College of New York. My goal with this book is to teach men how to deal with women in the workplace and to avoid doing things like doing their work for them and giving them a pass for things like coming in late.

A lot of people are probably wondering what happened to all the Men’s issues content. Well, it’s all on my YouTube Channel. Now that I’ve passed the 2,000 subscriber mark I get a lot more views on that content there than I do reading the blog. here, a blog about a men’s issue will get maybe a hundred hits in a day. However, a video on the same subject will get 300-500 views. Some like Why Real Men Avoid Single Mothers will get 7,000-8,000 views. Plus, Google pays for that content with ad revenue. And with me still out of work, I have to go where the money is. Plus the comic related blogs seem to do a lot better these days than the Men’s issues stuff does. Comic blogs can get anywhere from 150-500 hits in a day and some have gotten over 1,000 hits.

The SJS DIRECT 2016 catalog performed strongly (Well, for an indie POD catalog) and I’d love to continue building on the momentum. In addition to Spellbound and Stop Simpin in the Workplace, I’ve got a couple of titles ready in the queue like Isis: Imitation of Life and Isis: Samurai Goddess.
However, I’ve also got some big plans for the E’steem character. After E’steem: The Witches of Eastland her character transformation arc is heading towards a climax.  And the upcoming E’steem: Ascension is a MAJOR turning point for the character. That story is completed and ready, but I am planning one more tale for the devilish diva before she gets to that turning point.

I’d also love to have Isis and John Haynes take on Dracula again. An Isis: Bride of Dracula follow-up is DEFINITELY in my plans. I’m just working out the plot in my head. Maybe this story will be set in Transylvania. We’ll see.

Still struggling, but still making progress. I think I’m finally getting the hang of managing a publishing catalog and managing a publishing schedule. Every book I published this year came out on time.

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