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Thursday, December 24, 2020
I'm paying homage to one of my favorite 90s films Keenan Ivory Wayans films A Low Down Dirty Shame with the cover for John Haynes: Taking Care of Business. Mike Williams did a fantastic job on this cover capturing the spirit of the classic A Low Down Dirty Shame movie Poster while telling a story about John Haynes and the two ladies in his life His girlfriend E'steem and his sexy new assistant Lilith Graves.
I love this cover, it's a powerful image that presents Black manhood and masculinity and Black love.
John Haynes: Taking Care of Business will be available in 2021. Still in the middle of final edits on the story, but I'm hoping to have it read by March to kick off the 2021 SJS DIRECT catalog! .
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Monday, December 21, 2020
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Friday, November 27, 2020
E'steem: Blast From The Past
Bad Girl gone good! Good Girl fights her Demonic Doppleganger! When Decadia’s plan to kill a teenage John Haynes in ancient Egypt fails, she sends the evil E’steem of the past to attack John and E’steem in the present day. Can Hell’s aspiring Angel and John Haynes overcome the most powerful she-demon in All Hell?
This Action packed follow up to E'steem: The Sands of Time has a FUN BOUNUS! An E'steem: No Good Deed Comic by Bill Walko! This is a sneak Preview of the kinds of stories readers will get in an upcoming Isis or John Haynes graphic novel!
And Blast From the Past is available on ALL Digital platforms!Get E'steem: Blast From the Past in Paperback & Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Esteem-Blast-Past-Shawn-James/dp/B08KR8QPBX/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Get it on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1055820
Get it on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=QQgLEAAAQBAJ
Get it on Gumroad https://gum.co/ESWJd
Get it on Barnes & Noble's Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/esteem-shawn-james/1138378617?ean=2940164739416
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Saturday, November 21, 2020
I just finished writing the first draft of the fifth John Haynes book John Haynes: At Death’s Door. And as I was writing the follow up to the bestselling and critically acclaimed John Haynes: A Conversation With Death I started writing a script for a comic book adaptation of the story.
With the script done I started doing model sheets and concept art of the characters.
The villian of the story, Thanatos is inspired by The Marilyn Manson-esque Riddler from Kids WB’s! The Batman, Goth guys I’ve seen on YouTube like Mr. Owl from It’s Black Friday’s channel and Sean Brennan from my favorite Goth band London After Midnight. I gave his greek toga look a Goth asthetic and gave him some New Rock Gladiator sandals. His color model should really POP when the chalk white skin contrasts the purple belt and black toga.
For Death I had to go in a different direction. The original Death from John Haynes: A Conversation With Death was partially inspired by DC Comics’ Death from the Sandman. But for legal reasons I couldn’t use that visual asthetic for the character. Plus it wasn’t very original or distinct to SJS DIRECT.
So when it came time to do the visual, I decided to stop making SJS DIRECT’S Death ambiguous and make her a Black woman. She’s still a Goth, However, I gave her natural hair to make her face visually distinct from DC’s version.
And she’s wearing a purple bathrobe for three reasons. One is to play on the old asthetic of The Grim Reaper and Marvel’s Death from the Infinity saga. The other is because I haven’t figured out what her outfit will be. The third is related to the opening chapters of the story (She just got out of the shower!). I’m not finished with the story between John and Death. She’ll be getting a new Goth outfit distinct to her in the next story!
John Haynes: At Death’s Door is in its first draft and I’m working on both the prose book and the comic script at the same time. I’m hoping to have the story out in either late 2021 or 2022. If things work out readers may not just be reading a prose book. They may be reading a comic!
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Monday, November 16, 2020
Friday, November 13, 2020
Friday, October 30, 2020
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Back in 2009, I published the first SJS DIRECT book All About Marilyn. And back then I didn’t have much money to pay for things like book covers.
So I drew my own.
Back then I didn’t know much about designing covers. And I didn’t know how much they left an impression on readers. I too busy working on building up the catalog of the SJS DIRECT imprint.
And while many of my titles like All About Marilyn got a lot of critical praise from Black book clubs and readers all across the globe, they didn’t have the impact they should’ve had due to the covers I drew.
Back in 2009 I wasn’t a fan of stock photos. I always thought they were kinda bland generic looking. And I always feared that the same image I used would wind up on another cover.
Worse, there weren’t many images of Black women. Back then almost all the stock images were of White women.
Fast forward 11 years and stock photos have come a long way. And after seeing how a stock photo I used on the cover for my novel Spellbound, led to an increase in sales and left a positive impression on readers I’ve changed my view on using them for certain projects.
These days there’s a lot more variety as related to stock photos featuring images of Black people. And that allows an author like myself to tell a great story on the covers of a book.
I’ve been working to replace many of the older covers I drew on books since 2019. And after searching through stock photos I finally found an image that I think fits Marilyn Marie and would make the book more relatable to readers. So after paying for the credits, and manipulating the image in Photoshop Elements I finally had a new cover for one of my most critically acclaimed books.
Will the refreshed cover lead to new sales? Will it lead to new readers discovering All About Marilyn? Will it lead to people discovering what makes the story of the faded former teen sitcom star an absolutely fabulous five-star read? Only time will tell. But when I look at the new cover I designed I see how I’ve come a long way from the days of 2009 when I was working from a Dell Latitude D830 laptop on a shoestring budget from my bedroom.
Friday, October 23, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Monday, October 19, 2020
Monday, October 12, 2020
Thursday, October 8, 2020
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Friday, October 2, 2020
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Monday, September 21, 2020
Even though the COVID Pandemic has been slowing business around the country, I’ve working hard all this spring and summer to keep the momentum going on the SJS DIRECT imprint.
John Haynes: The Man With Nothing To Lose performed well this spring. The book got extremely positive feedback from readers. Sales took a little dip in comparison to A Conversation With Death and Dark Succubus, but I’m working towards getting them back up.
People are coming back for the two previous John Haynes books John Haynes: Dark Succubus and John Haynes: A Conversation with Death. And a few are coming back for The Man Who Rules The World and The Temptation of John Haynes.
The strong John Haynes series sales are one of the reasons I commissioned Mike Williams to put a new Cover on The Temptation of John Haynes. I wanted all the John Haynes books to have a consistent trade dress and make it easy for readers to identify them. I want readers to have an incentive to pick up the book that started it all and Mike's art will get people buying Temptation!
I wanted to offer John Haynes: The Man With Nothing To Lose with a Josh Howard variant cover in paperback, but I was forced to discontinue it due to Amazon’s policies. According to Amazon, you can’t have two paperbacks with different covers. So for now instead I’m offering the book on Google Play and Smashwords with the variant cover.
So if you were one of those lucky ones who picked up the Josh Howard variant paperback in March you’ve got a collector’s item!
Unfortunately, Isis: The Main Event didn’t perform as well I expected it to. While it did get some sales in April, it didn’t perform as strongly as previous Isis series books. Maybe it was because it was related to the world of wrestling. Or Maybe people just didn’t like Nemesis or Umbuttra.
Due to the poor sales on the books in the Nemesis arc, Isis:
The Ultimate Fight, Isis: Power of the Princess, and Isis: The Main Event I
probably won’t revisit those characters again. While I wanted to do a follow up
story to continue Umbuttra’s feud with Isis, I’ll just put a period on that
story. No need to keep writing an arc that doesn’t sell. So for the third story arc I'll probably introduce a new bad guy.
Had some really good sales on the Spinsterella Trilogy books. Had quite a few people pick up Spellbound and Spinsterella. And I got some five-star reviews from readers in the Goth scene.
I'm really happy to see people picking up my Black Goth Fiction books, those are ones that mean a lot to me. I want more Black folks to know that the Goth scene has a lot of brothers and sisters in it, and that there is a place for Black folks to express their darkness.
Had a sale or two on The Thetas, some Isis series books like Isis: Imitation of Life and some E'steem books like Demons Anonymous.
On the Nonfiction front, The Man Crisis passed the milestone of 400 sales and 20 five-star reviews. While I’m happy to have sold so many books in two years, I’m more happy to see so many men having their lives transformed by The Man Crisis. Many of the men who have read The Man Crisis have learned why their lives are out of whack and are getting things back on track.
STOP SIMPIN continues to sell strongly in paperback and Kindle format. Like The Man Crisis it’s a book that transforms the lives of most of the men who have read it.
At Reader request I finally published a paperback version of Why 70 Percent of Black Women Are Single. In the six years where it’s been digital exclusive Why 70 Percent of Black women are single has had over 3,000 sales. The Paperback had strong sales in the month of August, and
The SJS DIRECT Fall 2020 books are 95% ready, I’m putting the final polish on Eternal Night and E’steem: Blast From The Past.
Eternal Night is Lilith Graves origin story and chronicles how she became an undead. This one lays the foundation for the vampire lore I established in Isis: Night of the Vampires, Isis: Bride of Dracula and Isis:Escape From Transylvania. It’s the fourth novel to feature a Black Goth Heroine, and the first horror novel I’ve written. Matilda Crowley from the Spinsterella books makes a cameo!
E’steem: Blast From The Past is a follow up to E’steem: The Sands of Time. The second part of the time travel arc, this one has the present day E’steem and John Haynes taking on the E’steem from the past. Inspired by John Byrne’s Classic Marvel Two-In-One #50 this one is FUN FUN FUN!
E’steem: Blast from The Past also features the E’steem: No Good Deed comic by myself and Bill Walko as a second story. Bill did an amazing job on the art for this comic and I think it showcases how easy my stories translate from prose into the comic book medium.
I’m hoping this sneak preview will get people excited for an upcoming Indiegogo or a Kickstarter for an Isis graphic novel. I’d love to offer that book to everyone sooner rather than later, but the only thing holding me back is money!
Thanks to the Patrons, Superchats and Paypal donors I have the art and letters done for the E’steem: No Good Deed backup story that’s supposed to be featured in the Isis graphic novel, now I just need to raise the funds to pay for the main Isis story!
And the SJS DIRECT 2021 books are in page layout right now. The books of the 2021 include:
John Haynes: Taking Care of Business. In this story John Haynes and Lilith Graves team up to take on a trio of hired assassins. In this story we learn a lot more about John’s influence on Morris Phillips and why executives working with him want to get him out of the company in a body bag,
Isis: Revenge of the Cybergoddess, where the Goddess next door throws down against the Digital Diva in a follow up to the events of Wrath of the Cybergoddess and building up on storylines set up in Isis: Samurai Goddess and E’steem: Ascension. This one is EPIC and has big intense battles on the level of The Man Who Rules The World,
And E’steem: #CancelTheKatian Where E’steem takes on colored haired SJWs who want to cancel her for continuing to enter a demon space. #CancelTheKatian Making a comical commentary on SJWs and Woke culture with this story and how people can overcome cancel culture and cyberbullying.
John Haynes will be making an appearance in Revenge of the Cybergoddess and #CancelTheKatian.
|Concept art for the Isis Pinup! |
I’ve commissioned artists to do the covers for John Haynes Taking Care of Business and Isis Revenge of The Cybergoddess. I need to sketch up the cover for #CancelTheKatian and the 2021 books will be pretty much ready to go.
Over the pandemic lockdown I finished the 2021 books and I’ve even started on some of the 2022 books. The Conclusion to the second Isis story arc, Isis: Legacy is finished and in page layouts and I’m getting ready to start the next John Haynes book, John Haynes: At Death’s Door. Yes, DEATH IS COMING BACK!
In addition to writing books I’ve Been real busy doing YouTube videos and livestreams. I get lots of requests to appear on livestreams. Over the last year I’ve been on quite a few shows like Soul Provider, Gboot2786 and Dennis Spurling, in addition to do my own livestream Fridays at 10PM. That's the reason readers of this blog have been getting vlogs instead of written blogs, I've been so busy with the YouTube channel and increasing my web presence.
So far I've got over 12K subscribers and I'm looking to further expand my audience. I was surprised to find out the creator of Blue Marvel Kevin Grevioux is a subscriber of my channel and has been watching my videos. That's the second celebrity I've found that watches my videos. Last year I found out Judge Joe Brown watches my channel and now it's Blue Marvel Creator Kevin Grevioux watches my content. I wonder what other celebrities watch my channel.
In spite of the pandemic I’ve been working hard to keep making progress. Haven't made a major breakthrough yet but I'm still building momentum.
Friday, September 18, 2020
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Friday, September 11, 2020
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Friday, September 4, 2020
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Friday, August 21, 2020
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Sunday, August 9, 2020
Thursday, August 6, 2020
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Monday, July 20, 2020
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Monday, July 6, 2020
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Sunday, June 14, 2020
For this follow up to 2018’s E’steem: The Sands of Time I draw inspiration for this cover from George Perez’s CLASSIC cover for Marvel Two-In-One #50. Since that comic dealt with time travel and taking on a past self, I felt it fit the story I was telling about E’steem and John Haynes taking on the demon E’steem of the past.
Bill did an AMAZING job on E’steem: Blast From the Past’s cover! I love how he pays homage to legendary comic artist George Perez while telling his own story. I love how he changed the figure compositions to reflect female body language (Men and Women’s bodies move differently) and made the action so dynamic that it looks like it’s moving. I feel like I’m watching a scene from an E’steem animated series!
E’steem: Blast From The Past will be available this fall in Paperback and e-reader formats. You’ll definitely want to pick this one up because it’s going to feature the first SJS DIRECT comic an adaptation of E’steem: No Good Deed by Bill Walko! Patreon Patrons will get that strip for FREE!