Sunday, February 24, 2019

A Week in Writing #235

This has been one of those weeks where Powers Squared has been dominating for me. I try to keep several balls in the air every week, but sometimes one will take precedence over another. This past week has been mostly about Powers Squared.

To begin with there are the pages of the current issue #10 (What's in a Name?). Rachel Wells, our artist, delivered us the final inks for pages 9-16. We received them in two sets and it took us a little while to look at them based on schedules. We try to get back to her or to Nina the same day we receive their work. We know from our own experience that waiting for feedback sucks, so our goal is to get back as soon as possible. Sometimes, however, there are times when we can't do that based on timing. But now we're down to the artwork for the final four pages and the cover.

Nina Gaillard, our colorist, sent us four pages this month, the first four pages of the same issue. She has a bit of a time crunch, with an upcoming convention, so we're not going to get the next four until next month. We want to be flexible and real-life does impact all of us.

With the first four pages in hand, we've sent them to Trevor to letter. So the beat goes on.

These are the usual activities but this has been a different sort of week. As I've written here, several times, that sales have never been what we want, which is a nice way of saying they're low. It's finally time for us to take control of our IP. Comixology has been supportive, in the past, but we don't have to be hamstrung by them and have the right and desire to get the product out there on other formats.

Being an independent comic book is a bit of a hindrance and it can be very hard to get traction but if we limit ourselves to only one channel of distribution, we're only hurting ourselves. We don't have the money to print a bunch of issues and warehouse them in hopes of selling them. The same with t-shirts and merch. To that end, we've been looking for some way to allow readers to print issues on demand.

This week, we've started working with our first partner in this,, which allows independent creators to provide physical copies and t-shirts on a print-on-demand basis. We've put up the first five issues and three t-shirts this week on the site. This website is out of the UK so the prices are in pounds and may frankly seem high for our readers in the U.S. but we are looking at other outlets both physical and digital and there will be more announcements soon.

But to make that happen means formatting pages in the site's formats, which can be somewhat time-consuming to put together. And then there is updating the website to handle as well as making updates to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to announce these. With time being a premium these all take away from other work.

I've also decided, that except for a select few people, I'm not going to give the book away anymore. The point of it wasn't to have a free to own comic book. What makes me tired of this process, is even then, it takes them a long time to actually read it. The final straw for me was someone saying they liked the artwork. While I certainly have nothing against artists, in fact, I love the two we're working with, the last thing a writer wants to hear are comments from someone you've given a free copy to of your work that sounds, at least through omission, that they don't like the writing. "The artwork is pretty good." That really sticks with me and hurts a little, too. I'm sure an artist would feel the same way if someone said: "the writing is pretty good." It feels like someone who saw you act in a play, comments to you, "Yeah, that was a play you were in."

One last thing, on Saturday afternoon, Trevor, Paul and I attended a two-hour seminar regarding Pitch Packets through the Ground Zero Animation Expo down in Stanton, California. I was there to see what I would need to do to someday pitch Powers Squared as an animated series. The seminar was led by Caroline Foley, who has worked in the industry. The parts about putting together a packet were quite helpful, as well as what to be prepared for when making a pitch. As with all of these, there is the gray area about how to set one up, which you're supposed to do that through your various contacts in the animation industry, that you have, of course, already developed. Well, then.

I did spend one night this week working on a review for Trophy Unlocked. I had made the commitment to doing reviews of shorts during the month of February and I was one short, so to speak. In one night, I watched Buster Keaton's The High Sign, twice, then researched and wrote the review for it, found images and uploaded all to the blog site. That review was published as our Saturday Morning Review.

In addition to that one, we published the review of Green Book on Wednesday as part of our effort to watch more of the films that are nominated for Best Picture. We watched Bohemian Rhapsody on Friday and will review it sometime after the Academy Awards.

I'm afraid to say that between the formatting, uploading, and promotions for the new comic book venture, as well as writing a review, I haven't spent any time on the novel, The Runaway. I really hate that I haven't. Nor have I had the time to chase down the editor on Familiar Stranger, though I will email him after writing this.

As far as Agent queries, there is another goose egg to report. I only have so many hours in a day to spend on writing and something had to give.

If we're hoping to work with other platforms on Powers Squared, then I'm going to have to spend some more time next week on them as well.

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