Sunday, November 24, 2019

A Week in Writing #274

It's amazing the difference a week can make. Our Kickstarter is doing much better. We're up to about 60% funded, so there's still hope that we will fund.

Otherwise, it was a big week for Powers Squared. On Monday, I was interviewed by Adam Torres for his Money Matters podcast. He was really easy to talk to and was not only enthusiastic but also very professional. We talked about the comic book, the Kickstarter as well as let me plug our own YouTube channel and podcast, On the Air With Powers Squared. He also did us a solid and moved the broadcast to the next day to help us with the Kickstarter. A really good experience.

On Tuesday night, we opened a surprise package from Artithmeric, our on-demand publisher. They publish a magazine, Artithemeric 9, the 9th Art and there were two articles that involved us. One was a very impressive story about Powers Squared, which makes us sound like the important comic book we want to be.

The other story was about a promotion Artithneric is doing with Canon printers. Artithmeric uses Canon for their printing because they meet their high standards. Apparently, Canon was also a fan of Artithmeric and wanted to use some of their creators in a promotion with their customers. As a result, Powers Squared was one of three creator-owned comics chosen. As a result, 1500 copies of our first issue will be sent to Canon customers in the United States. Hopefully, that will lead to new readers.

In addition, we received new pages from both our artists, pencils for four pages in Issue #13 and four colored pages from our colorist from Issue #12.

As if that wasn't enough to report, our colorist, Nina Gaillard, is leaving us after she completes work on Issue #12 and we're beginning to look for a replacement colorist. Not sure how we're going to fit that in before the end of the year, but we will try.

In between sending emails to practically everyone I know to mention the Kickstarter, I did manage to do some more work on The Runaway. Got about three chapters done but that was about all the other writing I could manage. It's nice to have the release and I really feel bad if I don't actually write during the week. I don't know what I would do if I didn't.

No new reviews this week from me. Trophy Unlocked did publish one of Paul's for the animated Tarzan (1999).

Well, that's about all from me this week. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

A Week in Writing #273

I try to write these with a positive point-of-view but sometimes that's hard to do. This week, in particular, has been particularly hard. Our Kickstarter is underperforming, despite our best efforts to get support. Our mailing list feels like a waste of time, as so few open the emails on a weekly basis and even fewer of them have supported the Kickstarter.

I don't mean to blame this on our "fans" but most of those on our mailing list have never purchased a second issue and apparently have no desire to help us with our need for funding. Our need is somewhat artificial, in that I've been paying for it to be made and can probably continue to keep doing it but it comes at a cost. We don't go on vacation because we have a comic book, we don't save money because we have a comic book. The hope of the Kickstarter is to help out with that and hopefully get new readers and buyers in the process.

I feel like what we're doing is good work and unique in comic books, though not so unique that it has no place for it. It seems to me that when people actually read it, they like it. Converting that into sales has been hard, if not impossible. This has been our best year for sales and I don't think I've made back more than a couple hundred dollars.

The work is good enough, even the earliest book that we were chosen to have it reprinted by a major printer company as a promotion for what their product can do. And that first issue is nowhere as good as the later ones we've been working on.

I'm not giving up, in fact, against the advice of other Kickstarter creators, I've hired a company with hopes that they can get us funded. They have a 21-day plan and we have 21 days to go, so I'm cautiously optimistic that we can turn it around. If we do, then we'll have to reconsider a lot of things going forward. I'd love to re-examine our mailing list and perhaps some of the promotional work we're doing. But that's probably going to wait until the new year.

While the Kickstarter has been weighing on me, I've been able to do some other work as well.

I've been happy with the time I've been able to spend on rewrites of The Runaway. I recently had a thought during the night that would help with the story and plot. Not a major update but one that made what happens later in the story make more sense. I  like those little moments that make the work better.

I also wrote a future review of Trophy Unlocked, one for Treasure Island (1950), the film we watched on Friday night. This week's Saturday Morning Review was one that Trevor wrote for Accounting+,
a VR videogame that Justin Roiland of Rick and Morty fame wrote and voiced.

Well, that's enough kvetching for one week. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Week in Writing #272 - Kickstarter and Other Writing

Big week for me as well as for Powers Squared. We finally launched our Kickstarter. If you've never done one, there is a lot that goes into it and I was fortunate to have a good team working with me, my sons, and the co-creators of the book with me, Paul and Trevor. I don't think I could have done it without their help.

I feel compelled to let you know that you can help with the Kickstarter if you want. Please go to We have a wide range of ways that you can help, from $5 to $100 and from digital to print issues, t-shirts and a hardcover trade. If you've been reading about the book here in this blog and have wondered what it's about, then this would be a great time to start. Well, I hope you decide to anyway.

Throughout the campaign, I will discuss how it's going and what is working and what isn't, should you ever decide to do one for yourself. So far, we've notified the people on our mailing list, posted on Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and on various Facebook pages, including our own and groups I'm members of. So far, the response has been slow but it is still early.

Last week, we had started work on the next story arc, The Imposter, and this week we had some feedback from the artist, which is always good to get. Even though we may be the co-creators, we're not artists and her feedback and questions are usually very good.

On Friday night, Paul and I recorded and posted our 10th On The Air With Powers Squared on Podbean. For some reason, it didn't show up on iTunes. There is surprisingly little support available on iTunes or Apple Podcasts. I tried to go back to Podbean but got some confusing "help" so I had to write to their Support. Seems our forever free account has expired? Hopefully, we'll get that worked out in short order.

In other writing, I managed to do some more rewrites on The Runaway going through several chapters as I work to get back to where I left off to work on Broken People. I think I'm working through what had been some rough spots for me.

I did not, though I plan to soon, send out any queries for Broken People. There really wasn't any time for that this past week.

On Saturday night, I did manage to write a future review for Trophy Unlocked. On Friday night, we watched The Most Dangerous Game (1932) and I wanted to get it down on paper while there was some quiet time.

My review of Thieves' Highway was the Saturday Morning Review. We published it in honor of Noirvember.

Well, that's about it. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

A Week in Writing #271

Sometimes weeks don't go as planned or one aspect takes over for the others. This week, for the most part, was spent working on the Powers Squared Kickstarter. I don't know if you've ever done one but it has been a learning experience. Not hard so much as time-consuming.

Given the limited time I have every day to actually write, a lot of that has been writing and, of course, rewriting things like Our Story and Shipping. But that's not to say that I'm the only one working on it. Both Paul and Trevor have been helping as well. Paul, who shot, edited, re-shot and re-edited our Kickstarter video has also been editing the copy. Trevor has made many of the graphics that we're using to show off the Tier Rewards we're offering.

The software you have to use on the Kickstarter site is a bit wonky if you ask me. To begin with, it's one long page and though it allows you to add whatever you want to, including images, it doesn't act like say Word. If I delete a line at the bottom of the page, all the lines of text above it seem to be adjusted, though the images seem to stay pretty much where they are. The same is true if I add a line at the top, all the text gets adjusted below it. There seems to be a constant re-editing of the page with every change you make. Gets a little old.

I think we're very close, probably one more run through the content and then it's off to Kickstarter to approve. After that, we'll be up and running.

That wasn't the only thing I worked on this week, though it did dominate things.

More on Powers Squared, we got the final inked pages and the cover for Issue #12 from our artist, Rachel Wells. I made a final pass through the script for the next story arc, The Imposter. I hadn't looked at it since July. A few minor edits, like correcting the wrong character name once and adding "Hmm" to the beginning of one line of dialogue.

On Friday, Paul and I did our weekly podcast, On The Air with Powers Squared. On episode #9, we discuss putting together the first creative team for the comic book. You can hear it on Podbean and on iTunes.

Did some more rewrites this past week on The Runaway. I don't know if you've had the experience but sometimes when I go back through something I've written, I get into a better groove with the story. Phrasing I thought was good is made better or thrown out altogether with the goal of making the writing better. Looking forward to getting more back into it when time permits.

No new reviews from me this week but that doesn't mean there weren't several in Trophy Unlocked from Trevor, both video game reviews: SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom (PS2) on the anniversary of the game's release; and Catherine: Full Body which was this week's Saturday Morning Review.

Kickstarter promises to be a big factor next week as well but I'm hoping to get back to other writing as well next week.

Keep writing and I'll see you next week.