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Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Year In Review (Progress Report)

2016 was a lot more productive than I expected. In spite of the obstacles I ran into I made a little bit more progress in this struggle to keep moving forward.

I started the year with a Kickstarter to pay for the covers for much of the SJS DIRECT 2016 catalog of books.  Unfortunately, it didn’t get funded. And I had to quickly change course in order to get this year’s books out!

Isis: Bride of Dracula starting the launch of the SJS DIRECT Catalog to a strong start.  Thanks to Bill Walko’s great cover, Isis: Bride of Dracula was one of the best-selling Isis series stories to date, selling well in both e-readers and in paperback. 

The Temptation of John Haynes sequel The Man Who Rules The World also performed well. The Man Who Rules the World was well received by audiences across the world and was also a strong seller in both paperback and e-readers.

The Man Who Rules The World also got lots of critical praise from readers. To my surprise readers really like John Haynes and some are starting to connect with the character. That strong response is why I’m pondering getting to work on a John Haynes series.

Thanks to the strong performance of Isis: Bride of Dracula and The Man Who Rules The World, readers went looking for older SJS DIRECT Universe titles like The Temptation of John Haynes and Isis series books like Isis: Wrath of The Cybergoddess and Isis: All About the Goddess.

For some reason people really like Isis: All About theGoddess. Seeing the consistently positive response to that title, I’m pondering writing another mystery featuring the goddess next door in the future.

E’steem: The Witches of Eastland performed OK, with some sales, but I wish it could have done better. I’m planning something major with the E’steem character next year as the first story arc in the E’steem series comes to a close. Big changes are coming to the Devilish Diva next year!  

Spinsterella continued to sell strongly on Nook and in paperback over the summer. Many people seem to love the Goth N’ Lovely romance. Spinsterella is getting closer its way to its 1,000th download on Smashwords, and that’ll be the fourth time I’ve had a eBook go over 1K downloads on that platform!

Over the summer I got a donation from a reader on Paypal to partially pay for the next Isis series cover. I spent the fall working hard to raise the remainder of the funds to pay for that cover and met that goal in September.

Hoping to release this in 2017!
Over the Summer I also gave my test copy of Isis: Imitation of Life to a reader to try. From the incredibly postive response it got I’m eager to bring it to print for readers. Unfortunately, I still don’t have the funds to pay for its cover. If I can get the money together for a cover, I’m hoping to bring it to print in 2017. Imitation of Life is a Great story set during the Golden Age of Comics and Pulps and if the positive response I got is any indicator, I think I’ve got a hit on my hands!

The fall campaign for SJS DIRECT was supposed to feature Isis: Imitation of Life and Isis: Samurai Goddess, but due to a lack of funds for the covers, I had to put both those titles on hold and put the Spinsterella prequel Spellbound on the schedule for a fall release instead. Spellbound wasn’t supposed to be published until 2017, but to my surprise things worked out for the better.

Spellbound has been one of the strongest selling titles in the SJS DIRECT catalog this fall and has been praised by readers. Goths and brothers and sistas and men and women of all races have enjoyed Spellbound and are making efforts to get the word out about the book on social media.

I gave Spellbound a heavy promotional campaign on YouTube and social media. Before any of my videos started, I put ads for the book letting everyone know the book was coming on Halloween. And I put pre-orders on Kindle and Smashwords for the title.

I had so much fun writing Spellbound I wouldn’t mind writing another Goth YA fiction novel. I’m running ideas in my head for one. Either The Legend of Mad Matilda to complete the Spinsterella Trilogy…Or something featuring Lilith from Isis: Night of the Vampires. Anyone interested in a YA comedy about the first days of a Vampire?

Another book I hadn’t planned on putting on the fall schedule was STOP SIMPIN in the Workplace. In fact I actually hadn’t even planned on writing this book at all! However, after seeing my series of videos on Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Mangina do well, I decided to do an eBook on the subject of how Simpin on the job can cost a man his reputation on the job and his career.

STOP SIMPIN in the Workplace has been a strong seller and has been incredibly well received by men and many appreciate the information and advice the book has to offer.

Around Christmas, the blog passed its 1.8 millionth hit! The blog has come a long way from when I started it in 2007. When 2017 comes, I’ll have been running this blog for an entire decade.


I can’t believe I’ve been writing this blog for ten years. That’s longer than most paying jobs I had.

I’m also working on building up my YouTube channel. So far I’m at 2,700 subscribers and counting. Some people say I should have over 100k subscribers, but I’m working on building up the channel the same way I built up the blog, quality over quantity.

Still don’t have a full-time job. But in my struggles I’m making progress with promoting titles in the SJS DIRECT imprint. With me getting closer to publishing my 50th book, I’m planning some fun things for 2017 for SJS DIRECT. Everything kicks off next year with Isis: Samurai Goddess which will feature a Bill Walko cover! 

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