The Complete Creative
#theshowmustbepaused

#theshowmustbepaused

June 2, 2020

In response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black Citizens at the hands of police, The Complete Creative is joining with countless other podcasts to take a beat for an honest, reflective, and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community. Please follow @pausetheshow on Twitter and @theshowmustbepaused on instagram for updates and information.

-If you have been impacted by the recent events, take a break - there is a lot going on and sometimes we all just need a minute. Take that minute.

-Help the family of George Floyd - https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

-Fight for Breonna Taylor - https://justiceforbreonna.org

-Help the family of Ahmaud Arbery - https://www.gofundme.com/f/i-run-with-maud

-Want to help protesters? Donate to one or more community bail funds - https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bail_funds_george_floyd

-Visit Movement For Black Lives for additional ways you can help the cause.- https://m4bl.org

-Want to connect with leaders building grass roots campaigns? Go to https://www.untilfreedom.com

-Are you an ally and want to learn more? Here are some anti-racism resources - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/mobilebasic

#theshowmustbepaused

How to connect with people through storytelling with podcaster Shannon Cason

How to connect with people through storytelling with podcaster Shannon Cason

May 26, 2020

This week on the show we have seriously my last interview from Podcast Movement: Evolutions back in February.

I met Shannon at an afterparty during the show and then listened to him moderate a keynote and knew I needed to have him on the show. Why? I'll tell you after his bio. 

Shannon Cason has shared his stories all over the country. Shannon is a host, MainStage storyteller and GrandSlam champion with The Moth. He is a regular on NPR’s Snap Judgment; awarded their Best Performance Award. Shannon has appeared on countless podcasts and storytelling stages, including TEDx, RISK!, Third Coast Festival, Podcast Movement, and an upcoming television pilot.

He also hosts his own long-standing storytelling podcast, Shannon Cason’s Homemade Stories. Shannon also launched a podcast with WBEZ Chicago called The Trouble with Shannon Cason. His storytelling is featured in the anthology, The Moth Presents: All These Wonders. Shannon serves as the chief educator for the Brutally Honest Storytelling workshop series, where he has helped companies, pro athletes, celebrities, and everyday people tell their stories more honestly.

I talked to Shannon at the show for maybe 15 minutes, but during that time he was constantly deluged with people coming up to him and telling him how much they loved his show Homemade Stories. There was a visceral reaction people had to his stories that you don't see very often, and when I do see it I queue into it. He is a podcaster's podcaster, and when I listened to his show I realized he was also a storyteller's storyteller. He took these small moments and made them big and grand. I love that about his work. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to develop your voice
  • How to love the small moments
  • How to develop the feel of a story
  • How to be more vulnerable with your work

If you loved this episode, head over to https://www.shannoncason.com and check out his work. 

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to book media with celebrity psychic Laura Powers

How to book media with celebrity psychic Laura Powers

May 19, 2020

This week I have another episode with somebody I met at Podcast Movement: Evolutions. This time it's with celebrity psychic Laura Powers. If you think that's a little too out there for you, then I would urge you to listen because Laura delivers so much value in this episode. Before I tell you how, here's a piece of her bio: 

Laura Powers is a celebrity psychic who has been featured by Buzzfeed, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, Motherboard Magazine by Vice, and many other media outlets.

Laura is the author of seven books and her new book, Archangels and Ascended Masters is out now. She is working on the eight and ninth books, Celebrity Channeled messages and her work with Pets and Animals. 

Even if you are wary about psychics, you will still get a ton out of this episode as Laura is as much business and life coach as spiritual healer. She is a master at navigating a creative career AND booking media, which is something most of us have problems with. 

She gives us her step by step formula for booking media, which rocks and will totally revolutionize how you think about the press. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to manifest the career of your dreams
  • How to turn directions midstream when something isn't working
  • How to book media like a pro 
  • How to know when to quit and when to keep going

And much more. 

You can find Laura on her website at: https://www.healingpowers.net/laurapowers

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Creating a publishing company with Buno Books publisher Storme Smith

Creating a publishing company with Buno Books publisher Storme Smith

May 12, 2020

I've known about the story of Buño Books since pretty much the beginning when they had a deal with Magnetic Press, before they went off on their own to conquer the brave new world of independent publishing. So, when Storme Smith emailed to ask if I wanted to have him on my show, I jumped at the chance, and I'm so glad I did. For those of you who haven't been obsessively following this upstart company for years, here's their bio: 

Buño is an independent publisher founded in 2016, by Ulises Farinas and Storme Smith. We publish graphic novels and comic books by talented artists from around the world. We look for fresh and unexpected work, and believe in a diverse and dynamic community of creators, making work that connects cultures, experiences, and people.

I loved this conversation. I find the best conversations for this podcast come with people who've been on a similar journey as I have so we can dive deep into the aspects of commonality we both share, and Storme and I have both been fighting in the pits of publishing for years, which made this conversation as fun as it was cathartic and (hopefully) informative. 

Listen to this episode if you'd like to learn: 

  • How to build a brand from scratch
  • The perils of independent publishing
  • How to avoid being drowned out by the bigger players
  • How to design for markets
  • How to understand comics better

and much more. 

You can find Buño on the web at https://bunobooks.com and Storme Smith on Twitter

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to Make a World Class Virtual Convention with creator Wendy Shaner

How to Make a World Class Virtual Convention with creator Wendy Shaner

May 5, 2020

Earlier this year, before ANY of this COVID stuff happened, my friend Wendy Shaner put together a virtual comic book convention on Kickstarter called the Naughty Faeries Online Comic Con Experience.

I had no idea what she was thinking, and I was confused for just about the whole Kickstarter, but she raised over $13,000 so I knew she was doing something right. 

When the world ended, she seemed like the most prescient guru of all time, because she was WAY ahead of the curve on that one. 

Since then I've run three conventions, but while they've been well-received they have not even come CLOSE to making me $13,000. 

So, I thought it would be a good idea to have Wendy on the show to talk about her experience, and then dovetail it with my experience running shows. 

This is likely the future, at least in the short term, so we might as well turn into the skid. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to create a convention experience online
  • What swag has the best ROI
  • How to make money on an online convention
  • What you need to make sure your convention goes off without a hitch

...and much more.

You can find Wendy on Twitter or check out her Etsy store

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Getting on the Revision Path with podcaster and creative strategist Maurice Cherry

Getting on the Revision Path with podcaster and creative strategist Maurice Cherry

April 28, 2020

This week's guest is podcast Maurice Cherry, who I met at Podcast Evolutions many months ago. It feels like a hundred years but it was really only two months. He has an award-winning podcast called Revision Path, which is the first podcast featured in the Smithsonian. Here's his bio: 

Maurice Cherry works as a snior creative strategist at Glitch, the friendly community where everyone can discover and create the best stuff on the web. Before Glitch, Maurice was principal and creative director at Lunch, an award-winning multidisciplinary creative studio in Atlanta, GA.

These days, Maurice is perhaps most well known for his award-winning podcast Revision Path, which showcases Black designers, developers, and digital creators from all over the world. Other projects of Maurice’s include the Black Weblog Awards28 Days of the WebThe Year of Teaand the design anthology RECOGNIZE.

Maurice is the 2018 recipient of the Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary from AIGA, was named as one of GDUSA’s “People to Watch” in 2018, and was included in the 2018 edition of The Root 100 (#60), their annual list of the most influential African-Americans ages 25 to 45. 

I met Maurice just hanging out trying to get work done at one of the conference tables and we struck up a conversation. I really loved what he had to say about podcasting and finding your fanbase, so I invited him on the show, and he did NOT disappoint. He really brought the value about how to make something that resonates with an audience. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to get your show into the Smithsonian
  • How to use radial adjacency to your advantage
  • How to scale a podcast
  • How to give your project an identity that resonates with people
  • How to define success

And much more. 

If you enjoyed this interview, make sure to find Maurice on Twitter and check out his other work at https://mauricecherry.com.

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

 

How to make a winning webcomic with Tapas editor-in-chief Michael Son

How to make a winning webcomic with Tapas editor-in-chief Michael Son

April 21, 2020

Today's episode features a guest I've wanted to interview for a long time, Tapas editor-in-chief Michael Son. Here's his bio. 

Michael Son, Editor-in-Chief of Tapas Media, graduated from UC Berkeley where he facilitated a course on publishing creator-owned comics. Shortly thereafter, he joined Tapas, formally known as Tapastic, where he helped nurture a growing community of independent creators, starting with eight and growing it out to what is now over 50,000. As Editor in Chief at Tapas Media, he has helmed notable projects such as Cheshire Crossing with Andy Weir (author of The Martian) and Sarah Andersen (creator of Adulthood is a Myth), as well as Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, a modern adaptation of Little Women with an all-star art team physically published by Hachette.

I was introduced to Michael a couple of months ago, and we got along well from the off. We've both edited and created comics, and now were very focused on how to build an audience for those comics. 

However, while I'm doing it on a relatively small scale, he was handling it for hundreds of comics at once. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to create a popular webcomic
  • What editors look for in creator pitches
  • How to make your comic stand out from the crowd
  • How to build an audience for your comics

And much more. I really enjoyed this one with Michael, and if you've ever thought about creating a webcomic, or you have a webcomic that you want to take to the next level, you have to listen to this one. 

You can find Michael on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tapastic or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/coolbeanjeans

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Building a membership community with Glow.fm Founder and CEO Amira Valliani

Building a membership community with Glow.fm Founder and CEO Amira Valliani

April 14, 2020

This week's guest is Amira Valliani, founder and CEO of Glow.fm, a membership platform catering specifically to podcasters. Here's how it works: 

A Branded Page for Your Podcast

Your Glow page is a custom marketing webpage which you can design to match your brand.

Place your Glow Page URL in your Episode Notes, on your website, in social media, or wherever else you'd like. Then drive listeners to your Glow Page with calls to action.

Listeners can sign up for recurring subscriptions or send one-time payments through your Glow Page without leaving their favorite podcast streaming apps.

Payments are quick and easy with Apple Pay and Google Pay, or directly through Stripe.

I met Amira after hearing her present at the conference about building a membership and I desperately asked if she would be on my show. We talked once between the conference and this recording, and I am so fascinated by what she's been able to accomplish, and how she's able to help so many podcasters. 

Because of her experience working behind the scenes with podcasters in their membership communities, she knows A LOT about memberships, and this is something we're all trying to do right? Build a community of people who'll pay you every month to make things? 

Well, Amira has lots of hard data and experience, and she came on the show to talk all about it. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to turn your fans into buyers
  • How to build a vibrant community
  • Why building a membership community is like compounding interest
  • When to start building a membership community

And much, much more. 

Find Amira at glow.fm or Twitter @amiravalliani.

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Secrets of the world’s most prolific writers with author Sean McLachlan

Secrets of the world’s most prolific writers with author Sean McLachlan

April 7, 2020

Sean McLachlan is a member of my Facebook writer's group, Authors and Creators Making Money Selling Books, and avid listener to the show who pitched me a great idea for an episode. He recently released a book called Writing Secrets of the World's Most Prolific Authors, and wanted to come on the show to discuss what he learned writing the book. 

On top of that, Sean McLachlan is a freelance writer specializing in fiction, history, and travel, Sean's the author of numerous books, including the Toxic World post-apocalyptic series and the Trench Raiders WWI action series

I usually don't accept people's pitches for being on the show, but he tugged at the right strings, as I am all about writing faster and better. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • Why it's possible to write good books fast
  • How we are in the New Pulp Era, and what that means
  • How to stop the purple prose
  • What you need to master before turning out world-class books

And much more. 

Find Sean online at http://midlistwriter.blogspot.com/

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to produce an amazing podcast with To the Best of Our Knowledge producer Mark Reichers

How to produce an amazing podcast with To the Best of Our Knowledge producer Mark Reichers

March 31, 2020

I met Mark Reichers at Podcast Evolutions in February. He's one of several past and upcoming guests I've had on from that conference, which ended up being one of my last conferences of the year as things are working out right now. Mark is the digital producer for the radio show and podcast To the Best of Our Knowledge. Here is his bio straight from the site. 

Mark is the digital producer for the show, dreaming up ways to extend discussions on the show to the web and spark new conversations between ourselves, our listeners and guests via social media. He makes it his goal to give listeners a voice in editorial meetings. And yes, he really does read every one of your emails to the show.

He's worked for The A.V. Club, Madison's Isthmus weekly paper, and local alt-weekly Tone Madison, writing on beer, nerd culture, video games, film festivals, and the occasional op-ed on the economic value of reclining seats. He has formerly worked as a science communicator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Chicago, interviewing engineerscomputer scientists and Nobel laureate economists about their work and relating their discoveries to a mainstream audience.

In his free time, Mark dives into internet weirdness, plays with his two Boston terriers, and hangs out with his awesome wife — she gives him his best ideas

I met Mark at an after-party, and he immediately started to tear down my podcasting set-ups, chiding me for using a Blue Yeti and not having a mixing board...so of course we were fast friends because I love when people at the top of their game confront me about that kind of thing. 

When I got back from the conference, I immediately asked Mark if he would be on the show, to which he agreed, and I brought him on to talk about how to make a podcast right. 

We play a fun game where he gives me the RIGHT equipment, and then I give you my dirty equipment set-up. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • The equipment you need, and may want, to make your podcast set-up sound professional. 
  • How to interview better
  • How to edit an interview so it sounds perfect
  • How tech will help us survive the COVID-19 pandemic 

And much more. 

Follow @markonfire and @ttbook on Twitter, and check out To the Best of our Knowledge at: https://www.ttbook.org or on any podcast player. 

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

[REBROADCAST] 31 Tips to help you crush it on Kickstarter

[REBROADCAST] 31 Tips to help you crush it on Kickstarter

March 24, 2020

With our campaign coming to a close, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit one of the most popular episodes from our past to help you crush your next Kickstarter campaign goal. 

These are the best tips to help you plan and execute your next Kickstarter campaign. I hope you enjoy them. There is a bumper between each one where you will hear our theme music, just FYI. 

Tip #1: Start early.

You should be building your audience for at least three months before you launch a campaign. You can’t be successful in crowdfunding without a crowd.

That means showing off your project, starting a Facebook group, beefing up your social media presence, making press contacts, and building a newsletter.

The more time you have to build your network and prep them for a Kickstarter project that’s coming, the more likely they will be to back your campaign when it’s time.

Tip #2: Send individual thank you notes to backers.

When somebody gives you their hard earned money it is only polite to say thank you. It’s easy for us to treat our backers as money, but they are humans and adding the human touch will improve your connection.

On top of being the right thing to do, it will also stem the loss of backers toward the middle of your campaign because you are making a connection.

Tip #3: Stretch goals should always make your core product better.

Most people have terrible trouble with stretch goals. Once a project funds the backers fall off because there’s nothing more to keep their interest.

You can change that by making sure your stretch goals always improve the quality of your project. For instance, if you have a book that is a 100-page soft cover comic, you can add extra pages at the end as a stretch goal, you can add an extra story, you can make your soft cover a hardcover, you could make your book a bigger size.

Meanwhile, the original backer is still paying the same amount for their pledge, and they are getting a better product. Nobody cares about the bookmarks and prints. They just want the coolest project they can get.

Tip #4: Keep your rewards simple.

There is no need to add multiple options for similar items. Each reward should be targeting a specific buyer, and have enough space in between to clearly delineate the right buyer for that product.

I recommend you start with a $1, $10, $25, $50, and $250 for a standard book. Certain products will not fall into this range, but for a publishing product like a book or CD these five categories should be your base. You can always add more later.

Tip #5: make deposits into the good will bank.

Good will is a finite resource, and you will use it up when you run a campaign. In order to make running a Kickstarter palatable to your audience, you need to add value to people’s lives for months and months before you ask them to pledge to your campaign.

This could be from a webcomic, or free pages from your book, or a podcast helping them fix their biggest problems, or anything you can do to help add value to your audience’s lives. The more value you add, the more trust you will have with your audience and the fuller your good will bank will become.

You can’t be a take with Kickstarter, you have to give 10x more than you ask. You should be delivering 10x value to your audience so they will gladly give you money. In fact, they will consider it the least they can do after all the help you have given them.

Tip #6: Don’t overextend yourself on merchandise.

Especially once a project is funded, creators generally go crazy offering all sorts of merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, and other very high priced items. The problem is that they are eating into their own profit margins and eventually end up in the red.

Merchandise is unnecessary in almost all instances until you have a well-known product. Just focus on making a great single product (unless your product is incredibly high priced like many tech products are). If you must make merchandise, don’t make anything with multiple sizes. Also note that if you offer merchandise you can no longer ship your product media mail.

Tip #7: Keep your video under three minutes.

Your video is a commercial, and nobody can stand a commercial for more than a couple minutes, no matter how amazing the commercial. You can say everything you need to say in under three minutes.

Yes, you will have to edit yourself down. There are plenty of free programs like iMovie which can take out all the ums and ah. You need to make your case clearly and succinctly so people don’t tune out.

Tip #8: Add lots of images.

The average successful Kickstarter has 11 images in it. Even if you have something with a novel, there are plenty of images you can add besides your cover. You can add a photo of yourself. You can add some quotes from your book overlaid on top of a royalty free image. You can add silly memes. You can have somebody draw some illustrations of your book.

In whatever the case, your book needs images. Humans are visual creatures and picture help improve the quality of your page and make your project look more professional.

Tip #9: Keep your text concise.

People on Kickstarter love to use huge blocks of text, but that is ugly to the eye. They also love to muddle their paragraphs. Remember in school where we learned how to write a paragraph?

You have a main sentence, 2–3 sentences that support the main sentence, and finally a concluding sentence that ties together everything you said. The same thing is true with paragraphs. You have a thesis paragraph with your main point, then 3–5 supporting paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.

You don’t need much in order to get somebody to back, but it does have to make a compelling, clear, and concise case.

Tip #10: Send updates often.

Throughout the campaign you need to update your backers at least once every 3 days. The average successful projects have given more than 10 updates. These can be raffle giveaways, or stretch goal announcements, or just a great day that you had. I like to offer weekly challenges on my campaigns, so every week I upload a new video for backers.

The point is that the backers need to be involved in your campaign throughout.

Tip #11: You don’t have to do your dream project first.

If you’ve never raised money on Kickstarter before, then don’t expect to raise several thousand dollars, especially if you have no network. You are much better served doing a project you can complete and fund, even if it’s only $500 or less. Then you will have a baseline of your audience and be able to build from there.

Your goal is to get your feet wet and learn the ropes. It’s not to stress yourself out chasing an impossible goal. You have an entire career to build up to your dream project.

Tip #12: Pledge to other projects.

Kickstarter is a community, and people want to see that you are an active backer before you launch a project. Additionally, if you do back a lot of projects you can then email them during your campaign and ask them to introduce you to their audience. It might not work, but you are almost buying their time to consider your offer.

Tip #13: Consider your category carefully.

Some categories have a much more active community than others. Tech, design, and comics have very active communities. Publishing does not. You want to make sure you get a sense of the community

Tip #14: Start on a Tuesday. End on a Thursday.

Studies show that Tuesday is the best day to begin a campaign. However, Wednesday and Thursday are very close to Thursday. So much so to be within the study’s margin of error. However, Thursday is far and away the best day to end a campaign. Thursday blew all other days of the week away by a statistically significant margin.

Tip #15: Post more to social than you think necessary by a factor of 10.

Only about 3% of people see your Facebook posts. Twitter has a shelf life of 15 minutes. So the people you think you are going to annoy probably haven’t even seen your post. You need to post all the time in order to get word out about your project.

Post when people back your campaign. Post when you’ve hit a milestone. Post everything, but make sure to keep changing your imagery so it doesn’t get stale. It’s the same reason McDonald’s has 1,000 different billboards. The same image drowns into the background. People need new stimuli in order to keep engaged.

Tip #16: You need to raise 30% of your funding in the first 48 hours.

If you think you can raise $1,000, that means at least $300 needs to be raises in the first 48 in order to guarantee success. If you raise under 20% then your project will have a tough uphill battle. If you raise more than 50% it means your target was too low. 30% means you hit the nail on the head.

Tip #17: Convey the why.

Most campaigns are pretty good about describe what their product it. Some can even clearly discuss how they are going to bring it to market. Almost none convey why people should back their project or why they are uniquely qualified to bring the product to market.

The why is what makes people back, though. People are much more likely to back an unfinished product with a compelling why than a finished product that has none. The why is different for every product, but if there is no why you will suffer much fewer backers and risk your campaign not funding.

Tip #18: Bring the passion.

If you can’t show passion for your product, then nobody else will show passion either. You need to show extreme passion for your product to motivate others to get passionate about the product as well. Your passion is contagious, as is your lack of it. It needs to come through in your word, your social strategy, and definitely in your video.

Tip #19: Make sure to calculate shipping carefully.

Almost 10% of successfully funded products fail to deliver. The number one culprit in that failure is shipping. Sometimes rates go up, but sometimes it’s because stretch goals change the weight and size of the box. Still other times it’s because a product that was once media mail can no longer be shipped that way because certain incentives prevent it from being shipped in that way. Other times it can be because they didn’t properly check shipping rates to all countries, and international shipping ate into all their costs.

You need to be very careful with shipping. It can add an undue burden on the unprepared creator. However, with some planning you can make sure it doesn’t destroy your campaign and send you into debt fulfilling rewards.

Tip #20: Kickstarter takes 10% off the top.

Kickstarter takes 5% for their fees and 3–5% for all processing fees through their credit card vendor. Take this into account. Add a 10% buffer to your campaign to prevent failing to raise enough money.

Tip #21: Transparency is key.

If something is going wrong, or right, tell your backers. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t hide anything. People are very forgiving if you are honest.

Tip #22: Schedule posts before your campaign begins.

Buffer, Hootsuite, meet Edgar, Tweet Jukebox, and many others allow you to schedule a base line of social media posts before your campaign begins. You will have other things to post as well, but you want to make sure you get the bulk of your updates out of the way early so that you aren’t fretting about them when your campaign is live.

Tip #23: Double check your rewards.

You can’t change your rewards when your campaign is live. If you accidentally charge the wrong shipping price, or you need to change the tiers in any way once even one person backs, you can’t. This often leads creators to creating new tiers to try to fix what they screwed up. An ounce of preparation is priceless.

Tip #24: Give an early bird perk to your first-day backers.

The first 48 hours is critical to the success of the campaign, so reward those people who back early. It doesn’t have to be much. Maybe the first day backers get a free wallpaper, or maybe they get the digital rewards before anybody else. It doesn’t have to be much, but that little gesture will help push people over the edge to back early.

Tip #25: Make your Kickstarter campaign a spectacle.

Kickstarter is the closest thing to an online comic-con that I’ve ever seen. You should be treating it as such by offering super cool, exclusive perks, doing live chats, engaging with your fans, and giving people something they can’t get anywhere else. You could offer daily giveaways through raffles, or weekly videos.

You can do a google hangout or an AMA, but the simple fact is that Kickstarter is an event and the more you can treat it as such the more success you will have.

Tip #26: Set up a launch and close event for your campaign.

You can do this at your house, at a local comic book store, at a park, or a restaurant. The key is not to spend a bunch of money on the event, it’s to get people excited about your project. If you are an artist, you can hold a show at a local gallery.

If you are a filmmaker you can hold a trailer screening at a local theater. You should hold these events the first and last day of your campaign to help drum up the most fervent enthusiasm possible during the most crucial times of your campaign.

Tip #27: Build press relationships early.

Emailing press contacts the day your campaign launches is too late. The press may have up to a six-month lead time on getting articles into their pipeline. However, if you aren’t building your contacts well before then the press won’t even write a story about you.

You need to be fostering these contacts for months or years before you launch. Offer to do articles for them, meet them at cons, find them on social media, and treat them like humans just like you would for anybody else. The real question you need to ask is “how can I provide value in their lives?” When it’s time to email about your project, then you need to make it easy for them to publish.

Tip #28: Your backers will be mostly people you know.

No matter how many emails you send to the press or how many cold contacts you make during your campaign, most people that back your project will be people you know for months or years before the campaign launches. That means you need the biggest network of energetic friends and fans before you ever hit the launch button. Remember, you can’t be successfully on crowdfunding without a crowd.

Tip #29: Pledge levels should include rewards from all previous tiers.

You don’t want people hesitating about backing a higher tier because they don’t want to miss out on something they really wanted from a previous tier. You want it to be very easy for them to increase their pledge level.

Increasing existing pledges is a crucial part of the middle campaign lull, and any hesitation will prevent you from getting that extra pledge money.

Tip #30: Model success.

Hundreds of other campaigns have done Kickstarter better than you in the past. They’ve succeeded and failed thousands of times. Use that to your advantage. Look through them all and find the points of commonality between them. Make sure to take note of the words they use, the imagery, and the reward levels that are consistent among the highest performers. Then, you can model that in your own campaign for the highest chance of success.

Tip #31: The right title is critical for success.

With hundreds of projects to choose from, you only have a second to catch a backer’s eye. With the way that Kickstarter is set up, you basically get an image and a title to make a backer click on your link.

So you want to make sure your title is catchy AND that is uses all 60 characters to fully explain the reason somebody should click on your project. Almost all hyper successful projects use a colon after the name of their project to state what the project is about. Make sure to utilize all 60 characters in order to give yourself the best chance for success.

That’s it for our mini-season. If you liked this, please subscribe, rate, and review it wherever you download your podcasts, whether it’s ItunesStitcherGoogle Play, or any of the other wonderful podcast aggregators out there.

It’s the best way for us to find new people to help and to make sure you don’t miss any future episodes. We have some crazy stuff coming up that you won’t want to miss, so subscribe now.

Surviving the chaotic waters of creativity as a couple with Cthulhu is Hard to Spell editor Kris Simon and filmmaker Marcus Perry

Surviving the chaotic waters of creativity as a couple with Cthulhu is Hard to Spell editor Kris Simon and filmmaker Marcus Perry

March 17, 2020

This week I'm so excited to bring my good friends Kris Simon and Marcus Perry to the show. I've known Kris, well forever, and she is my all time favorite convention programmer I've ever met. I LOVE doing programming at her shows because it is always well thought out and amazing. I feel like I've been doing her shows forever, but it's been at least five years. 

What I didn't know was that she was also an amazing editor who had worked with everybody in the industry back when she was at Shadowline. Before I decided to do our latest book, Cthulhu is Hard to Spell: The Terrible Twos, I sat down with her and asked if she would please please please help me edit it. The first two books nearly killed me, and I couldn't do it a third time without serious help. 

She agreed, and I think we made an AMAZING book, which you can find on Kickstarter by going to www.cthulhuishardtospell.com, or typing Cthulhu is Hard to Spell into the search bar.

One of the great finds she brought into the book was her significant other, Marcus Perry, a filmmaker who has worked with just about everybody, and who used to be head of marketing at Paramount. Together, they make an amazing team, and an interesting interview. It's way more common for a couple to have one creative person or entrepreneur and the other has a stable job, which is the situation I have with my wife. 

I was really enthusiastic to have them on to discuss what it's like to both be in highly creative and unstable fields at the same time. Listen to this episode if you want to know about: 

  • succeeding as a creator
  • How to keep going in the face of overwhelming odds
  • how to pitch and market your project like a Hollywood studio
  • How to overcome imposter syndrome

And much more. 

If you liked this episode, find Kris on Twitter @kris_simon or https://www.geekchicpromotions.com, and find Marcus at https://vimeo.com/marcusperry

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

[REBROADCAST] Working Marvel and Working Indie with Paul Jenkins

[REBROADCAST] Working Marvel and Working Indie with Paul Jenkins

March 10, 2020

Today on the podcast I am going back to the archives to my interview with Paul Jenkins. Paul is one of the writers behind my anthology, Cthulhu is Hard to Spell: The Terrible Twos, and my first really big "get" for the show.

Kickstarter link

Paul is writer of all the things. Paul was the third employee on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, right when Eastman and Laird were about to explode into an empire. He’s worked with almost every known writer as an editor, and every artist as a writer. He’s written for Hellblazer, Spider-man, Batman, Inhumans (which won him an Eisner), and so much more…and that’s just on the comics side.

Paul is really a transmedia kind of guy. He works in every medium. Aside from writing movies, he’s written several video games including the Legacy of KainTwisted Metal Black and God of War series.Most recently, Paul is credited as writer on Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, created with RadicalEntertainment and The Darkness, created by StarbreezeStudios (source: Wikipedia).

On top of that he runs Meta Studios, and does his own creator owned comics Fairy Quest,which went on to raise $95,100 from 1,642 backers on Kickstarter, and is one of the prettiest books you’ve ever seen.

So long story short…Paul has some creds. And because of that we were able to go allover the map. He started by talking about his passion, which I found interesting…because he said he can find passion in anything. I love that idea,because it’s one that I use all the time. I hates marketing and sales before Istarted doing it, and by doing it I found something to love in it.

Paul’s big thing in that segment was in coming to work and doing it full force, and the idea that If you come full force at something, you’re going to be able to find something you love about it. Paul could choose anything to work on, and I’m sure he has people throwing projects at him, at least sometimes. He could phone it in, yet he still comes with the same work ethic that made his career.

Over and over it seems that these successful guys, talented as they are, come from a place of work ethic, and incredible work ethic. We saw this all the way back in the Les Garner episode and echoed in other episodes like Erik Lervold when he talked about every day being a fist fight.

These are incredibly talented guys, but there are thousands of talented guys. What separates the talent from the success is work ethic. It’s so much more important than talent. The world is littered with talented, lazy guys. If you can just outlast and out hustle, you will be a success.

Then we talked about Pixar’s 22 rules ofstorytelling, and how important they are. We touched on a lot, but mostly talked about endings, and how without an ending you have nothing. Lots of times people think they’ll figure out the ending as the go, but without an ending,Paul said, you are lost.

We also touched on some structure stuff. I talked about my way of designing a story and writing it sort of ends into the middle, where I take each issue and work from page 1 and page 20, toward page 10, and end on page 10-11.

What we really talked about though was whether writing comics gave him structure when he was writing his new novel, Curioddity,which I’ll plug now. Here’s the synopsis, pulled from Amazon.

Will Morgan is a low-budget detective after quitting his job and hardly ever has any work. When one day a mysterious man named Mr. Disndale, curator of an even more mysterious Curioddity Museum (a museum that houses legendary relics of history), visits him and asks him to find a wooden box made of teak, with a mother of pearl inlay that contains the world’s largest sample of levity, Wil thinks it is all a joke. He accepts the task and before long finds a worthy substitute to meet Mr. Dinsdale’s specifications.What Wil soon learns, however, is that there is a whole other world out there,a world he can only see by learning to un-see things, and in this world thereare people who want to close the Curioddity museum down. With the help of his new girlfriend Lucy, Wil will do everything he can to deliver on his promise to help Mr. Dinsdale keep the Curioddity Museum in business.

Curioddity is Paul Jenkin’s debut novel…exciting, fast-paced, and uncanny. A must-read.

Honestly, when I asked we sort of skirted around the question, because I was much more interested in his answer. He told me that most novelists and screenwriters have a hard time in graphic novels because so much is unseen and unread. I’m fascinated by that, because I found that comics made complete sense to me.

That’s when Paul dropped another truth bomb; he said it’s probably because I’m adaptable and not afraid to fail, so when I went into comics I was ready to figure out how to make it work.

And that made me think, because I always think that people are like me, but most people aren’t like me. They aren’t proactive, and in this business you have to be proactive. You have to be adaptable too. And when I went from movies to television to comic books, there was a comfort in that structure for me. I knew that every issue needed a cliffhanger, and every page and two page spread needed a cliffhanger, so I understood it all immediately, in fact I welcomed it.

Funny story,Paul blew me away when he told me writing for Marvel and DC is totally different, in that you can’t end every page on a cliffhanger. Why? Ads. You never know where ads are going to come, so you can’t rely on having every two-page spread end on a beat. That’s something unique to creator-owned books these days. The only way to guarantee you will get that beat you want is by doing a two-page spread, because then you have to run the pages back to back.

I always wondered, with digital, why people still did so many two-pages spreads, and now I think I have an answer. So when you write mainstream, you don’t have that freedom.

We also talked about Teenage Mutant Ninjas Turtles, and the phenomenon that accompanied it.TMNT is a violent book made for adults, and how it became a household name associated with children is fascinating. I’ll let you listen to the story Paul tells for yourself.

We ended on Paul talking about his creator-owned books, like Fairy Quest, and indie vs.mainstream. I still don’t think it’s possible right now to break in the wayPaul did, basically by asking an editor for a shot, but I love that idea.

And it’s in that idea that I want to end: asking. Paul was an editor who wanted to be a writer. So what did he do? Asked an editor for a shot…and he made the most out of it. But even if he didn’t get the job, the worst that would have happened was a no from that editor.

I love asking. I love Amanda Palmer’s TheArt of Asking, and I’ve pretty much built my career on asking for things. It’s the only way I had Paul on the show. It’s the only reason I had successful projects. It’s the only reason we’ve had success at all, and the more I do these shows, the more through lines I see. One of them being that asking is one key to success. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. 

Hope you enjoy the show. Go follow Paul on twitter @mypauljenkins if you do, and make sure to rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast app, too.

How to build a Marvelous career with Spider-Girl artist Ray-Anthony Height

How to build a Marvelous career with Spider-Girl artist Ray-Anthony Height

March 3, 2020

Welcome back to The Complete Creative, the podcast that helps you build and sustain a better creative business. 

This week we continue with our unofficial mini-season devoted to my new anthology Cthulhu is Hard to Spell: The Terrible Twos, which is live on Kickstarter now. 

Kickstarter link

This month I'll be highlighting some of the creators that helped create the book by dropping three interviews from them this month. 

First up is my friend Ray-Anthony Height. Ray is a wonderful artist who has his own very popular indie book, Midnight Tiger, which is also live on Kickstarter now. You can scoop it up by heading here.

Ray-Anthony Height is freelance comic book penciler, creator, character designer and Co-Founder of Write Height Media. He's done work for Marvel Comics, Image Comics, Alias Comics, Viz Media, Mirage Studios, Hasbro and various other companies.

I really enjoyed this interview. When I looked up to clock the time, I was shocked an hour went by, and I could have talked to Ray for another hour without even realizing it. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to push your own limits as a creator
  • Why you should stop switching between projects constantly
  • How to get over the fear holding you back
  • How to grab opportunity when it comes knocking

and much more. 

If you liked this episode, head on over to Ray's Kickstarter and check it out, or find him on Instagram.

And if you are enjoying the show please rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes by clicking here, or find us wherever you download your episodes.

Rising from the Ashes and writing over 75 novels with USA Today bestselling author Ann Gimpel

Rising from the Ashes and writing over 75 novels with USA Today bestselling author Ann Gimpel

February 25, 2020

Today on the show I’m talking to USA Today bestselling author Ann Gimpel.

Ann Gimpel is a USA Today bestselling author. She’s also a mountaineer and vagabond at heart. She’s stood on top of some really gnarly peaks, and discovered that Zen mindfulness comes in very useful when the only other option is screaming your lungs out or curling into a fetal position because you’re too scared to do anything else.

I met Ann at Loscon last November when we sat on a panel together, and I was just so impressed by everything she had to say about writing and building a career. I later found out that she’s written over 75 novels, and attained a level of success in publishing that most authors can only dream to achieve.

After the show, we became friends, and recently she put together an anthology of stories to support the victims, both animal and human, of the horrendous fires in Australia. I gave a story to that anthology, and since it’s now live on all platforms, we wanted to do an episode of the show to support it and raise funds for the project.

All proceeds go straight to relief efforts on the ground in Australia.

Rising from the ashes book link

 It just so happens that I have my own anthology launching next week, so anthologies have been on my brain, which makes this perfect timing.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • Why Ann will never go into Kindle Unlimited
  • How to self edit more effectively
  • How to maintain the stamina to write 75 books
  • How to research better

And much more. If you love this one, make sure to head over to https://anngimpel.com and tell Ann how much you appreciated her stopping by for a chat.

And if you are enjoying the show please rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes by clicking here, or find us wherever you download your episodes. 

Digging deep on anthologies with editor Terry Cronin

Digging deep on anthologies with editor Terry Cronin

February 18, 2020

Welcome back Wannabes and Creators to another episode of The Complete Creative. I'm changing up the show notes this week. I've been having my editor write these notes for the past few weeks, but this week I'm back at the helm. In two weeks my biggest project of the year launches, the second volume of my epic anthology series, Cthulhu is Hard to Spell. 

Because of that, I've got anthologies on the brain, and I'm going to be talking about them a lot in the next month. This week, I'm talking to Terry Cronin, editor of The Healing, which is live on Kickstarter right now. 

The Healing link

Terry Cronin is a writer, filmmaker, and the creator of the Horsepower G comic book. He is also the writer of The Skinvestigator novel trilogy, along with the editor of The Healing, An unforgettable superhero comic tale by a collaborative group of 10 writer/artist teams each telling a chapter of the story. It's an anthology series, but Terry had a huge part in forging the overall story, providing beat sheets to each creator, and pairing them up with superstar artists like, Larry Waits, Barry Kitson, Lee Oaks, Sergio Cariello, Ben Herrera, and more.

We dug deep on the process of creating an anthology in this episode, from finding artists to hiring writers to how to write a good piece of short fiction. Listen to this one if you want to learn: 

  • How to fund an anthology
  • Why anthologies are a lot like mixtapes
  • How to pace an anthology
  • How to get chosen to be in an anthology
  • How to write a great anthology story

And much more. 

Dealing with anxiety, depression, and burnout with New York Times bestselling author Dr. Debra Holland

Dealing with anxiety, depression, and burnout with New York Times bestselling author Dr. Debra Holland

February 11, 2020

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and Dr. Debra Holland (psychotherapist) as they chat about Dealing with anxiety, depression, and burnout.

By the end of this episode, you will learn much about how to properly deal with anxiety, depression and burnout. You will also learn a lot about writing different genre of books, and a lot of other great stuff from both Russell and Debra. Enjoy!

~

Debra Holland is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the award-winning Montana Sky Series (sweet, historical Western romance) and The Gods’ Dream Trilogy (fantasy romance.)

Debra is a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and one-time winner. In 2013, Amazon selected Starry Montana Sky as one of the Top 50 Greatest Love Stories.

When she’s not writing, Dr. Debra works as a psychotherapist and corporate crisis/grief counselor. She’s the author of The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving, a book about helping people cope with all kinds of loss, and Cultivating an Attitude about Gratitude, a Ten Minute Ebook. She’s also a contributing author to The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find Debra on...

https://www.debraholland.com/
https://twitter.com/drdebraholland
https://www.facebook.com/Debra-Holland-395355780562473/

 

Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

[REBROADCAST] Traditional vs. Self-Publishing with World Fantasy Award Winning Author Tim Powers

[REBROADCAST] Traditional vs. Self-Publishing with World Fantasy Award Winning Author Tim Powers

February 4, 2020

This week on the show we have Tim Powers, Philip K. Dick award-winning science fiction and fantasy author of Dinner at Deviant’s Palace and On Stranger Tides. I met Tim at Loscon and he made an offhand comment about how nobody should ever self-publish their book. I asked him to come on the show and make his case, and he agreed! This is his bio, straight from Wikipedia:

Timothy Thomas ”Tim“ Powers (born February 29, 1952)[1] is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Powers has won the World Fantasy Award twice for his critically acclaimed novels Last Call and Declare. His 1988 novel On Stranger Tides served as inspiration for the Monkey Island franchise of video games and was optioned for adaptation into the fourth Pirates of the Caribbeanfilm.

Most of Powers’ novels are “secret histories“. He uses actual, documented historical events featuring famous people, but shows another view of them in which occult or supernatural factors heavily influence the motivations and actions of the characters.

Typically, Powers strictly adheres to established historical facts. He reads extensively on a given subject, and the plot develops as he notes inconsistencies, gaps and curious data; regarding his 2000 novel Declare, he stated,[2]

“I made it an ironclad rule that I could not change or disregard any of the recorded facts, nor rearrange any days of the calendar – and then I tried to figure out what momentous but unrecorded fact could explain them all.”

Tim has been a published writer for a long time, and I really enjoyed his perspective on writing. Even though I don’t agree that there is never a reason to self-publish. He laid out his case very well for why somebody should look for a publisher, and even how to do it. I really enjoyed toward the end of the interview when he went through the step by step process for how to get a book published. It was a brilliant strategy, and even though he’s not a marketing person he clearly has some marketing in him because it’s genius in its simplicity.

I also really liked what he said about how to find an agent. Yes, he went through the exact process you should use to find an agent toward the end of the interview and it was great. There is a secret piece of the puzzle you need before getting an agent interested, and the way he talks about it is just fantastic.

The four publishers he talked about in this interview that accept unsolicited manuscripts are TorDawBaen, and Ace. I know I’m going to look into them and if you have a qualifying book then you should too.

If you liked this episode, please head on over to Tim’s Facebook page and website to say thanks. If you like the show, please head on over to iTunes. Rate, review, and subscribe today.

If you want to check out my Kickstarter Toolkit, the free resource I designed to help you launch your own project, filled with everything I’ve ever said about Kickstarter on my blog and podcast, click here.

Following your Hollywood dreams with filmmaker Kris Wile

Following your Hollywood dreams with filmmaker Kris Wile

January 28, 2020

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and Kristopher Wile (filmmaker) as they chat about Following your Hollywood Dreams and talk about other cool stuff related to film making.

By the end of this episode you will learn much about the film making industry, tips on how to become a successful film maker, and a lot of cool stuff as they share both their experiences in film making. Enjoy!

~

Kristopher Wile was born in Greensboro, North Carolina to Eric and Belinda Wile. He began writing at an early age and would often bring along pen and paper on family vacations, only to have filled them with short stories by the end of the trip. Kristopher attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he began studying History and Classical Archaeology with the intent of entering academia as a professor of Near Eastern Archaeology.

While at Chapel Hill, he stumbled onto the Carolina Production Guild, a student run production company devoted to the art of celluloid filmmaking. It was through his involvement with CPG that he filmed his first short film on Kodak Super 8mm film stock. The experience awakened his love of film and motivated him to pursue a career in entertainment. After moving to Los Angeles, Kristopher founded the production company Aureate Films with business partner Wally Schrass to produce commercials, music videos, and feature length content.~

 

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find Kristopher on...

https://www.instagram.com/kwiledirects
https://www.instagram.com/aureatefilms/
https://aureatefilms.com/

 

Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

How to build a personal brand and publish books with Humanoids senior editor Fabrice Sapolsky

How to build a personal brand and publish books with Humanoids senior editor Fabrice Sapolsky

January 21, 2020

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and Fabrice Sapolsky (Humanoids senior editor) as they chat How to Build a Personal Brand and talk about the right approach and mindset when building a brand.

By the end of this episode you will learn a unique perspective on the subject of building a brand, the right approach and mindset to be successful, and a lot of great stuff as they share both their experiences in brand building. Enjoy!

~

Born in Paris (France), in 1970, Fabrice Sapolsky broke into the comic book world as creator of the French magazine about American comics Comic Box in 1998. But in December 2006, he wakes up one morning with the idea of alternate reality Spider-Man set in the 1930s. After sharing his idea with David Hine, they both decide to pitch it to Marvel comics as Spider-Man Noir. The first mini-series, will be published between Dec.2008 and March 2009. A second series, Spider-Man Noir: Eyes without a Face follows a year later (Dec.2009-March 2010). Both series have been blessed with critical and commercial success.

On top of his numerous activities, Fabrice created and curated his own comic book convention! After meeting with President of the Kol Israel Synagogue, Fred Polaniecki, Fabrice decides to create a convention like no other: the Jewish Comic Con. This convention, not a Jew-Centric con, is as much a celebration of the founders of the comic book industry (where 90% of the creators happened to be jewish) as a place to bridge communities of Brooklyn around a fantastic medium (comics, of course). The first edition took place on November 13th, 2016. A second one happened on April 29th, 2018.Fabrice Sapolsky edits, designs, draws and, of course, writes. He has many projects in development and likes the quote : “To Be Continued”.

~

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find David on...

https://fairsquarecomics.com/
+1 (323) 405-9401
https://twitter.com/fabricesapolsky
https://www.instagram.com/fabricesapolsky/---

 

Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

Building the career of your dreams with artists Kristine and Colin Poole

Building the career of your dreams with artists Kristine and Colin Poole

January 14, 2020

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and Kristine and Colin Poole (artists) as they chat about building the career of your dreams.

By the end of this episode you will learn how networking can help you, use shows and social media to grow brand, get some pointers to stretch your mind to be more creative, and a lot of fun stuff especially in the world of entertainment. Enjoy!

~

Colin and Kristine Poole are partners in both art and life. Kristine, a sculptor and Colin, both a painter and sculptor, work both individually and collectively. As Colin describes their sculptural collaborations, “We are both completely involved in all aspects of the process from the beginning. There isn’t any part that we don’t both have our hands in, both literally and figuratively.” Kristine adds, “We both bring specialized backgrounds to the table – my extensive background in ceramic sculpture and anatomical study is the perfect complement to Colin’s 25 years of experience as a professional painter and sculptor.”

~

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find Kristine and Colin on...

Colin and Kristine Poole
http://www.colinpoole.com/
http://www.kristinepoole.com/
https://www.instagram.com/kcpooleartists

---

Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

Surviving Creative Burnout with Hugo winning author David D. Levine

Surviving Creative Burnout with Hugo winning author David D. Levine

January 7, 2020

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and David D. Levine (Hugo Nominated author)  as they chat about Surviving Creative Burnout and Give some tips on how to be successful with your writing career.

By the end of this episode you will learn survival tips from having creative burnout, define your own brand of success, and you’ll also learn how to balance your passion and business. Enjoy!

~

Although he has a long interest in reading and writing science fiction, he began as a writer of technical articles. He has primarily written short fiction; his first professional fiction sale came in 2001.

A long-time member of science fiction fandom and early member of MilwApa. He also co-edited a fanzine, Bento, with his late wife, Kate Yule, and has served as Convention Committee Chair for Potlatch. His short story "Ukaliq and the Great Hunt" appeared in The Phobos Science Fiction Anthology Volume 2 (2003).

Although he grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Levine now lives in Portland, Oregon. In 2010, he spent two weeks in a simulated Mars habitat of the Mars Society, in Utah.

~

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find David on...

Website: https://daviddlevine.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/david.d.levine.sf

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daviddlevine/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/daviddlevine

---

Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

[LIVE] How to dominate on social media in less than one hour a week

[LIVE] How to dominate on social media in less than one hour a week

December 31, 2019

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) as he talked about How to dominate on social media in less than one hour a week during a live show from World Fantasy convention in 2019.

By the end of this episode you will learn how to utilize social media properly, mastering one social media platform is much better using all social media platform at the same time, and spend less time while reaping the full benefits social media can give to you. Enjoy!

 

~

Hi. I'm USA Today Bestselling author Russell Nohelty. I write the books you read. Some of them at least. Well, I hope you read my books. I guess that's a bit of a presumption on my part. At least I hope you read my books now if you haven't already. That would be cool.

I like to think of myself as Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, John Green, and Chuck Palahniuk's love baby. If you like them, you're almost guaranteed to like my stuff.

The goal of my writing is to combine entertaining plots with thought provoking ideas. I hope to incite conversations with the stories that I tell, but without the impossible density some literary novels face when dealing with difficult subjects.

I love thinking about reality, perception, righteousness, justice, religion, piety, love and the origins of it everything. Since that's what I love thinking about, it's also what I love to write, but I try to do so in an entertaining way real human people can enjoy. To me, entertainment is paramount.

---

 

Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

Finding the rhythm of your creative career with composer David Raiklen

Finding the rhythm of your creative career with composer David Raiklen

December 24, 2019

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and David Raiklen (composer-producer-host) as they chat about finding the rhythm of your creative career and give their perspective on living a complete creative lifestyle.

By the end of this episode you will learn a unique perspective on how to advance your career through being creative, get some pointers to stretch your mind to be more creative, and a lot of fun stuff specially in the world of entertainment. Enjoy!

~

David Raiklen is a composer-producer-host. He was mentored by Oscar winner John Williams and Pulitzer Prize winner Mel Powel. Dr. Raiklen studied at USC and CalArts and later taught at those universities. He has worked for Fox, Sony, Disney, Sprint, Mattel, Warner Bros and PBS, plus many independent producers. Films he scored have starred Elliott Gould, Doug Jones, and Martin Sheen. David made the New York Film Critics Top Ten with the documentary Heist, the short list for an Academy Award® for Worth, and Mia, A Dancer’s Journey won the Emmy.

David Raiklen compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall. He is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club, where guests include Joshua Bell and John Williams; and is host and leader of The Academy of Scoring Arts seminars. David is currently producing and composing for Space Command, a series of epic adventures set in a hopeful future, and creating a Virtual Reality experience.

~

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find David on...

Be Friends https://www.facebook.com/david.raiklen

Space Command Pilot https://youtu.be/o9bDvJnrOyI

Sound Cloud https://soundcloud.com/cinematicmusic1

Website: http://davidraiklen.com/wp/

email: cinematicmusic1@gmail.com

youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzxmcE0I6UbomGFne0pb85w

---

Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

How to be successful writing in a niche with author Chrishaun Keller Hanna

How to be successful writing in a niche with author Chrishaun Keller Hanna

December 17, 2019

This week’s episode is Chrishaun Keller-Hanna. I’ve known Chrishaun for a while, and she’s one of my book marketing clients, but then I was listening to the Sell More Books show and heard her as the guest host, and completely went digging to learn everything I could about her.

She’s the real deal. Mentored by Michael Anderle, she learned from all of his successes and failures, and then went to launch her own successful series. Chrishaun talks about her journey to success including all the bumps along the way.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to be successful in a niche
  • How to diversify your offerings beyond just your core product
  • How to make sure your community functions like a living organism
  • Why geeking out about the things you love is so important to your success

And more.

If you liked this episode, go find Chrishaun on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram and let her know how much you enjoyed it. Also, find her Shaman States of America on this website.

Make sure to subscribe to this podcast, too, and visit www.thecompletecreative.com for tons of awesome resources that can help you build your own creative career.

 

Dominating the convention scene with artist Megan Risk

Dominating the convention scene with artist Megan Risk

December 10, 2019

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and Megan Risk (The Art of Megan E. Risk) as they chat about Dominating the convention scene and Tips to be a successful artist.

By the end of this episode, you will learn as an artist how to use your creativity to be successful in a convention scene, to do what you love and be successful, and how being adaptable can help you with your career as an artist. Enjoy!

~

Megan Risk has been an art student since freshman year of High School. As a kid, she was always drawing. None of it was miraculous or evidence of her being any kind of child savant in art, but it was always very detailed and people seemed to like it. She enjoyed making things, so it worked out for everyone

Then she started to understand the fundamentals and realized what she could actually do with a pencil and paper or a brush and canvas. Even clay. And it just never stopped. She wants to learn everything, knowing she never will, but as long as she’s learning SOMETHING, she is happy.

In 2014, she started my creative business online where she sold hand-dyed and handspun yarn as well as crocheted items for those who don’t have time. She took drawing portrait commissions at the same time and supplemented her income while she worked as a sushi chef, which is what she originally thought she would be building a career in. She realized one day that it wasn’t. Where she has a deep respect for sushi making and working in a professional kitchen and will never forget the discipline and friends (and family) She gained along the way, every second she spent away from my artwork of the non-food kind felt like she was that much closer to shriveling up. SHE NEEDED to draw.

In January 2017, Megan gave up my day job and went full time into freelance art. Her bread and butter has been conventions and it’s been an ABSOLUTE BLAST. She can’t even believe this is my life right now.

~

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find Megan on...

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meganerisk/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MeganERisk/

Website: https://www.meganrisk.com/

 

This is the Kickstarter she talks about for her super creepy short story art book:

 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marionette/marionette

 

---

 

Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

What it takes to make a living as an artist with Naomi VanDoren

What it takes to make a living as an artist with Naomi VanDoren

December 3, 2019

This week I talk to one of my favorite fantasy artists, Naomi VanDoren, about what it takes to build a brand that sticks and endures for the long haul. I still remember the first time I saw Naomi's art at Worldcon 2018. I literally stopped dead in my tracks because I loved it so much, and then spent the next 15 minutes gushing about it to her. In the years since, I've spent a lot of time with Naomi at shows and grown to treasure her not just as an artist, but as a friend and fellow artrepreneur. 

This episode we talk about how to build a brand from scratch, what it takes to make a living as an artist, and how to transition into authorship after years as an artist.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • Learn how to experiment with your art effectively
  • How to figure out what you’re passionate about
  • The secrets to growing your brand
  • How to evolve your brand over time

And more.

You can check out Naomi’s work at:

https://www.naomivandoren.com/

Make sure to go to her site b/c she has one of the most cohesive art brands you will ever see.

If you liked this episode, go find Naomi on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram and let her know how much you enjoyed it. Also, subscribe to her Youtube channel for some awesome resources and beautiful process videos.

Make sure to subscribe to this podcast, too, and visit www.thecompletecreative.com for tons of awesome resources that can help you build your own creative career.

 

How to raise $43,000 on your first Kickstarter with Melissa Pagluica

How to raise $43,000 on your first Kickstarter with Melissa Pagluica

November 26, 2019

This week’s guest is artist and creator Melissa Pagluica, writer and artist for the Above the Clouds series, which raised $43,000 on Kickstarter.

Oh, and did I mention that was her first campaign?

This episode, we dig deep into what made her campaign, and her career work, what she does to keep going, and how she found success.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to write comics where the words don’t overpower the art
  • How to plan ahead in your writing
  • How to create an enduring fandom
  • What’s most important for Kickstarter success

And more.

There were also a couple of books that Melissa mentioned on this episode:

-Invisible Ink by Brian McDonald (she said McCloud) can be found here.

-Wired for Story by Lisa Cron can be found here.

You can also read all of Above the Clouds at:

http://www.atcloudscomic.com/

If you liked this episode, go find Melissa on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram and let her know how much you enjoyed it.

Make sure to subscribe to this podcast, too, and visit www.thecompletecreative.com for tons of awesome resources that can help you build your own creative career.

How to build a sustainable hybrid writing career with Neo Edmund

How to build a sustainable hybrid writing career with Neo Edmund

November 19, 2019

This week’s guest is Neo Edmund, author of the Alpha Huntress series, several Power Ranger books for Random House, and animation writer for such shows as Kaijudo.

Neo has taught me so much over the years, and I am excited that I got to have this conversation with him. Neo taught me all about panels, and tabling at conventions, and what makes a book sell while I was just getting my feet wet as an author.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to take risks strategically
  • Why even if you’re scared you should do it anyway
  • How to interact with fans at conventions
  • Why writing a thousand books a year doesn’t matter much

And more.

If you liked this episode, go find Neo on Facebook at www.facebook.com/neoedmundauthorguy or Twitter www.twitter.com/neoedmundx and let him know how much you enjoyed it.

Make sure to subscribe to this podcast, too, and visit www.thecompletecreative.com for tons of awesome resources that can help you build your own creative career.

The free course I talked about in the intro can be found at www.thecompletecreative.com/fbc

 

How to sustain a 50 year comics career with legendary writer and creator of The New Teen Titans Marv Wolfman

How to sustain a 50 year comics career with legendary writer and creator of The New Teen Titans Marv Wolfman

November 12, 2019

This is my first new guest on my podcast in over 18 months.

I’m so thrilled to be back, and I’m excited to get back to it. This podcast has always been near and dear to me. It’s the one thing I always regretted giving up, so to be able to be back on the air is very special to me.

I wanted to give you a guest as special as this moment entails, and that was a tall order. I have been planning this launch for over a year, and almost immediately I knew who I wanted to kick us off.

My good friend Marv Wolfman. Marv is a living legend in comics and one of the most successful creators working today. I say that without an ounce of sarcasm, either.

Marv has had a 50+ year career. He created the Teen Titans, Deathstroke, Nova, Blade, and hundreds of others, as well as writing every character you can imagine. He was the editor in chief of Marvel comics for a time, as well as Disney comics, and more. He's also the architect of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, with CW is retelling through all five of their shows. 

This was a treat to record, and I’ve been planning this whole relaunch on this interview. I was a wee bit nervous, but I think it turned out amazing.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to develop a character that enters the public zeitgeist
  • The biggest change to creating in the last 50 years
  • How to break down a story that keeps readers guessing
  • How to build a sustainable career

And more.

If you liked this episode, go find Marv on Facebook, Twitter, or on his website at:

http://www.marvwolfman.com/marv/frontpage.html

Make sure to subscribe to this podcast, too, and visit www.thecompletecreative.com for tons of awesome resources that can help you build your own creative career.

The free course I talked about in the intro can be found at www.thecompletecreative.com/fbc

[NEW] Why I’m relaunching The Complete Creative podcast with USA Today bestselling author Russell Nohelty and Comixlaunch founder Tyler James

[NEW] Why I’m relaunching The Complete Creative podcast with USA Today bestselling author Russell Nohelty and Comixlaunch founder Tyler James

November 5, 2019

This is it. The first new episode of my podcast in two years.

I have been so anxious for the past couple of months waiting to officially launch this baby, and now it is up and out into the world. The response has been incredible for even the replays we’ve put out the last couple of weeks, but now this is the real deal, and I wanted to do something special for my first show back.

I wanted to do an episode that explains my journey over the past couple of years, and why I’m bringing the show back now. This is a crucial piece of the puzzle, because I was rather definitive when I walked away from it in 2017, so bringing it back is a BIG THING for me.

I don’t dwell on a lot of regret in my life, but I have always regretted giving up this show. In many ways, it’s the only thing I’ve ever regretted in my creative life.

In order to help me along in this episode, I brought in my good good friend, Tyler James from the Comixlaunch podcast. He’s a wonderful interviewer and a great friend. I couldn’t think of a person who I would rather have interview me, as he has interviewed me for his show more than anybody else.

Next week, we have my first new guest in two years, Marv Wolfman, creator of the Teen Titans, and a legendary writer, who has had more characters developed for the screen from his work than anybody in comics except for Stan Lee.

But for now, I hope you enjoy this episode. If you do, please head on over to www.thecompletecreative.com and check out everything else I have to offer on the site. And please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app today, on the right-hand side of the website.

You can find me on Twitter (@russellnohelty), Facebook (@russellnohelty), or Instagram (@russellnohelty).

Please also subscribe to the Comixlaunch podcast, and find Tyler on Twitter (@tylerjamescomic) or Comixlaunch on Facebook (@comixlaunch) to tell him how much you enjoyed the show.

[REPLAY] The Secret to getting ahead in comics with Marvel writer Jim Zub

[REPLAY] The Secret to getting ahead in comics with Marvel writer Jim Zub

October 29, 2019

This is it! The most popular show in the history of The Business of Art, back before the rebrand and the name change.

Today on the show we have Jim Zub (www.jimzub.com).

If you like this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review it wherever you listen to podcast, whether it’s iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or any other aggregator.

Jim is an icon in indie comics for the candid way he talks about the ups and downs of making stuff. If you don’t know him, here is his bio from www.jimzub.com.

Jim Zub is a writer, artist and art instructor based in Toronto, Canada. Over the past fifteen years he’s worked for a diverse array of publishing, movie and video game clients including Marvel, DC Comics, Capcom, Hasbro, Cartoon Network, and Bandai-Namco.

He juggles his time between being a freelance comic writer and Program Coordinator for Seneca College‘s award-winning Animation program.

His current comic projects include Dungeons & Dragons, a new series celebrating 40 years of the classic tabletop RPG, Thunderbolts, the return of Marvel’s villainous superhero team, and Wayward, a modern supernatural story about teens fighting Japanese mythological monsters.

So the reason I brought Jim on the show wasn’t because of Skullkickers, or his work on Thunderbolts, or even Wayward. It was because of an article he wrote about the economics of his book Skullkickers, and how much money he made on it over time. It was a fantastic breakdown of how even a book that is deemed successful might be losing money at the beginning as it builds an audience. I thought it was such a fantastic and candid look at the industry that I’ve been a fan ever since.

The weird thing is that we barely touched on that article. We did talk about it for a couple of minutes, but the thing we talked about most of all was treating people like human beings. Whether it’s your artists, or editors, or the press, or publishers, it seems more and more that people get forward by having a little empathy.

I’m dealing with this right now as I record my 31 tips in 31 days for the launch of my next campaign. A lot of my advice is on how to build an audience, press contacts, and connections. However, I have to make sure I include in every one of those tips that it doesn’t help if you are a douche.

If you are the guy that’s trying to game the system and find the most important person at a party, or using the tactics I show just to make a good impression. If you are doing favors just so you can ask for a favor, it’s not going to work.

Because the key of this whole thing is you have to treat other people like human beings because you want to do so, not because they can do something for you. That’s the way that most of these creators get ahead. Yes, they are talented. Yes they did the right things, but more importantly they were genuinely nice people because they wanted to be.

We talked about Charles Soule on the show. I met Charles when Renzo was penciling Ichabod and 27: Second set at the same time. We struck up a conversation and I just remember how nice he was. He had no reason to be nice. He didn’t know me. I was just some kid with a floppy, but he was nice. He even bought my book. It was so cool. I still remember it to this day.

Jim is the same way. He gives value all the time. He does it because he wants to help. He wants a better industry and gives without asking. In return, he has an enormous amount of people that like and trust him. Those people want him to succeed and are more likely to buy his book just because they like him.

There was a post on my Facebook feed about ways to get rich, and I had to comment about being “rich” is a byproduct of providing value. It’s amazing how much more you can get back if you give value first. If your position is one of value, you build empathy and people want to buy from you. In return, you’ll make money.

However, the key is you have to provide value for the sake of value, not in order to get ahead. The byproduct is that you get ahead and make more money. I don’t even know if Jim thought about the psychology behind it before. He was just giving back because he wants to help.  

In this world people say you have to be two of the following: nice, on time, talented. I think that’s horseshit. I think you should strive to be all three.

Look, you can’t just be supremely talented. That happens over time. You have no real control of being amazing. You can always control being on time and nice. Those are things you can control today, and should control today. Then, if you become talented, guess what…you’ll have all three and be in the driver’s seat.

Jim learned that long ago. He spent years making mistakes, but always being on time and polite. People knew he would get books in on budget and on time. He just kept hanging around doing the right thing, and opportunities presented themselves. Of course Jim is supremely talented.

But that supreme talent doesn’t come overnight. He wasn’t always able to write for Marvel. He grew into that role. But he was always on time and polite. It’s so important to control what you can control and work on those things you can’t.

If there is one wonderful example of that, it’s Jim Zub.

If you like this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review it wherever you listen to podcast, whether it’s iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or any other aggregator.

 

[REPLAY] Why Real Artists Don’t Starve with National Bestselling Author Jeff Goins

[REPLAY] Why Real Artists Don’t Starve with National Bestselling Author Jeff Goins

October 22, 2019

Whee!!! We’re still counting down the most popular episodes of this podcast from back when it was called The Business of Art. In just two weeks we’ll have our first new episode ever.

Whoa.

But today, we have the second most popular episode of all time, with Jeff Goins.

Jeff Goins is a national bestselling author of five books, most notably among them The Art of Work and Real Artists Don’t Starve.

I was in the launch group for his new book and I loved it. It was everything I wanted to say, except much more eloquently and cohesively stitched together. If you’ve ever struggled with making money as an artist, this book makes the strongest case I’ve ever seen, full of a hundred stories of people who’ve made a living as an artist, making every type of art, both historically and through to today.

Now, if you’re already in the right headspace to make a living as an artist if you’ve got a good relationship with making money, and if you’re ready to rock and roll, maybe this isn’t the book for you. However, if you’ve struggled with making money in the past, or you need to get in a better headspace to make a living as an artist and not feel guilty about it, then this is the book for you. Check it out in the link below.

Click here to check it out.

In this episode, Jeff talks about

-Why struggling as an artist isn’t required

-Why real artists don’t starve

-The biggest mindset shift you need to make a living as an artist

-The most important key to building an audience

-Why you are doing a disservice to your audience by not letting them buy from you

And much more. Make sure to head on over to www.goinswriter.com if you liked this one. You can pick up some freebies from Jeff once you buy the book. He also has a great podcast called The Portfolio Life, which you should check out.

If you haven’t joined our Facebook group to help you make more money selling books, click here.

Remember, www.thecompletecreative.com has all our archives plus tons of additional work, including the archives to this podcast, epic blog posts, and more.

And don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes if you liked this episode.

[REPLAY] The Secrets to Crowdfunding Success with Kickstarter publishing director Margot Atwell

[REPLAY] The Secrets to Crowdfunding Success with Kickstarter publishing director Margot Atwell

October 15, 2019

We’re still counting down the most popular episodes of the previous incarnation of this show, The Business of Art, on our quest toward new interviews!

This week, it’s our #3 most popular show, and it’s no surprise that it’s with Margot Atwell, Publisher of Gutpunch Press, writer of The Insider’s Guide to Book Publishing Success, and publishing director at Kickstarter.

I talked with Margot just a couple months before I shot to success with my first $25,000+ Kickstarter project Monsters and Other Scary Shit, and I credit a lot of the advice she gave me here with unlocking the last bits of the puzzle for me.

This interview is INVALUABLE if you ever want to run a publishing or comics Kickstarter because you are listening about what to do straight from the person who runs that part of the Kickstarter platform.

Here is her bio straight from www.emdashandco.com.

Margot Atwell is a publishing professional with over a decade of experience. She is currently a Publishing Community Manager at Kickstarter.com.

Previously, Margot was Publisher at Beaufort Books, an independent publisher of fiction and non-fiction. Under her leadership, Beaufort published four national bestsellers, including Hide!!! by Jeff Foxworthy, If I Did It by the Goldman Family, and a new edition of I’m Dancing As Fast as I Can by Barbara Gordon, along with many award-winning books.

Margot is a freelance writer, editor, and book reviewer. Her writing has been published in The Huffington Post, Moviefone.com, Publishers Weekly, fiveonfive magazine, and Derbylife.com.

Her first book, The Insider’s Guide to Book Publishing Success, was published in February 2013. Her second book, Derby Life: Stories, Advice & Wisdom from the Roller Derby World is forthcoming from Gutpunch Press.

I knew of Margot before we met earlier this year, I just didn’t know it. Before I launched my publishing company, Wannabe Press, I read her book. When we first started talking, I knew the name sounded familiar but I couldn’t place it. When she agreed to be on the show I did my research, saw the cover, and IMMEDIATELY connected the name with a very formative book from my past.

We started our conversation talking about her past and publishing as a whole. One of the things I quickly found out about Margot is that she is publishing through and through. Even before Kickstarter, she was a publisher and author. Since then, she has launched two successful book campaigns focused on her love of Roller Derby. Check them out here and here.

The conversation quickly turned to Kickstarter, as these things must. As much as I would have loved to talk about publishing books for hours, the purpose of having her on was to answer your pressing questions about Kickstarter…well really my pressing questions about Kickstarter.

The first one was one that’s been gnawing at me for years, since even before I got on the platform: how do you get to be staff pick? I’ve done five projects so far and only one has been a staff pick, since renamed Projects We Love.

While I wish I got a hard data answer, the truth is more subjective. While anybody can look through projects and flag something they like, it’s really the curation team that has the final say. One thing she told me is that tweeting at the Kickstarter people and sending them gifts DOES NOT HELP.

What does help is doing something cool and original, making sure your page is clear and concise. Make sure it tells a story and does something original. They specifically look for books that are told from a different perspective and featuring diverse characters. The end goal is that it’s unique and original. It can’t be something they’ve seen before.

If you look at the comic book team or publishing team at Kickstarter, one thing you will see is that they have very diverse tastes. They are almost all creators themselves (if fact Kickstarter encourages their team to run Kickstarters for their projects), and their tastes are diverse. Margot told me that they like to get a wide range of projects, from the $50,000 banger to the tiny $500 one.

Another thing she told me was that there is no limit. If 50% of projects are deserving, then they will all get picked. I always thought there was a limit, so it was nice to see there isn’t.

One thing people complain about is that Kickstarter doesn’t work like it used to even a couple years ago. There are fewer people on any given project, and people feel deluged with constant project updates. While Margot wouldn’t cop to this, she did say that there are many more fantastic projects today by sheer volume than ever before. Additionally, there are many more people using Kickstarter to find projects as well. There are 12 million backers on Kickstarter, and 3.5 million of them are repeat backers.

Margot said this is where you should focus your energy. 60% of all money raised is raised through repeat backers. It’s critical for you to find these backers because they are your best chance for success.

The last point she made before answering some listener questions was that Kickstarter is a community. That’s what they are trying to build and that’s what they are most proud of creating at the end of the day. Even though it’s overused, the word community really matters to them. Kickstarter works hard to build custom experiences for backers and works to get people to find new projects to back.

We talked about much more during our conversation, but I’m not going to spoil it all here. There was so much gold and I felt this was a more in depth conversation than most people get when researching Kickstarter. I’ve never seen or heard a Kickstarter community manager or director interviewed on a podcast before, so this was quite a thrill for me. I hope you get as much out of it as I did and that there is enough meat to pull a whole lot away for your own project.

Here are some of the links Margot mentioned during the interview.

Kickstarter Creator Handbook

https://www.kickstarter.com/help/handbook

Kickstarter on Medium

https://medium.com/kickstarter

Kickstarter Basics on Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/user/kickstarter

Kickstarter Campus

https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/welcome-to-campus

If you liked this episode, head on over to twitter and say tell Margot herself @MargotAtwell.

Don’t forget to find us on iTunes as well by clicking here to rate, review, and subscribe to the podcast today so you don’t miss any of our awesome episodes.

[REPLAY] Sustaining an art career for more than 30 Days of Night with NYT Bestselling author/artist Ben Templesmith

[REPLAY] Sustaining an art career for more than 30 Days of Night with NYT Bestselling author/artist Ben Templesmith

October 8, 2019

ZOMG!!! I am so excited to announce that there's going to be more of this podcast, now renamed The Complete Creative. 

I have been working on this behind the scenes for months, and I can finally, finally announce it is really true. 

In just a couple of weeks, I will have brand new episodes, but until then I thought it would be nice to revisit some of the most popular episodes from the past. 

So, I'm going to be counting down the four most popular episodes of my original podcast, The Business of Art, completely remastered for your earholes based on everything I've learned in the past few years about audio. 

Giving up this podcast was my #1 regret as a creative human, and I can't wait to bring it back. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be sharing with you a little bit more, and then I'm going to have an interview conducted by Tyler James from Comixlaunch where he interviews me about why I'm bringing the show back now. 

For now, though, sit back and listen to our #4 most downloaded episode of all time, Ben Templesmith. 

Nobody taught me more during their time on my show then Ben. I have tried to incorporate his entire business model into my own with varying degrees of success. 

Here is his bio, straight from his Wikipedia page.

Templesmith produced his first commercial American comics work in 2002, providing the art for Todd McFarlane Productions’ Hellspawn, which was published by Image Comics. He has gone on to create his own original works as well as contribute to many licensed properties at various publishers, most notably IDW Publishing, with which he had an exclusive agreement through most of 2008 and part of 2009 before returning to being a freelancer.

Other licensed properties that Templesmith has worked on include illustrating “Dark Journey”, a story in issue #17 of the Dark Horse Comics anthology series Star Wars Talesin 2003, and the covers to Devil’s Due Publishing‘s Army of Darkness: Ashes to Ashes #1 in 2004 and IDW’s G.I. Joe #0 in 2008.

Original works Templesmith has produced include the miniseries Welcome to Hoxford, the New York Times best-selling Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse [3] Tommyrot: The Art of Ben TemplesmithConluvio and Choker at Image Comics with writer Ben McCool. He also provided a number of covers for the Oni Press series Wasteland.

In April 2012 DC Entertainment announced that Templesmith will be one of the artists illustrating a new digital Batman series whose stories will be set outside of the regular DC continuity.[4]

Starting in November 2014, Templesmith launched Gotham by Midnight from DC Comics with writer Ray Fawkes

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

-Ben’s method of utilizing Patreon, Kickstarter, and the direct market to create a profitable business model for his art

-The trick to having a successful Patreon

-What to watch out for in a publishing contract

-Why he keeps coming back to comics even though other forms of art pay better

And much more.

If you liked this episode, go thank Ben online. He’s @templesmith almost everywhere, including Twitter and Instagram.

Please rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes by clicking here.

Finally, go pick up the first chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build Your Creative Career, by clicking here.

Unf*ck your publishing with publisher Joe Biel

Unf*ck your publishing with publisher Joe Biel

October 12, 2017

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to tell a good publisher from a bad one
  • How to work with a publisher effectively
  • Why every publisher is different
  • How to niche down your writing and publishing for massive success
  • How to 10x your book sales 

Listen:

Itunes

Stitcher

Podbean

Joe Biel is the publisher of Microcosm Publishing, and he’s been doing this a long time. In February, he will celebrate his 22nd year in business as an indie publisher. He’s had a lot of success in his day, but I know him from the 1607 backers he accumulated on his recent Kickstarter for Unfuck Your Brain.

I wanted to talk to him about that, publishing and making your way as a creative. Here’s a bit about his company, Microcosm Publishing, from its site, https://microcosmpublishing.com:

Portland's most colorful, authentic, and empowering publishing house and distributor, Microcosm Publishing is a vertically integrated publishing house that equips readers to make positive changes in their lives and in the world around them. Microcosm emphasizes skill-building, showing hidden histories, and fostering creativity through challenging conventional publishing wisdom with books and bookettes about DIY skills, food, bicycling, gender, self-care, and social justice. The then-distro and record label was started by Joe Biel in his bedroom in 1996 and is now among the oldest independent publishing houses in Portland, OR. Microcosm focuses on relating the experiences of what it's like to be a marginalized person. We constantly strive to be recognized for our spirit, creativity, and value. Our books are printed in the U.S. on post-consumer papers while we double the industry standard in our number of women authors.

Microcosm has lived in milk crates, in closets, in a mud room, in a windowless basement, in a church, and under a desk at a major credit card company. We've brought our brightly colored books to infoshops, zine fests, media summits, bicycle conferences, parks, street corners, house shows, dirty bars, all­night coffeeshops, art museums, and every corner of the mainstream where we can clear away a little space to set up shop. We set out to save ourselves from not caring, but out there in the margins we've found communities worth always doing it better for. Now we have contracts instead of handshakes, a warehouse instead of a fanny pack full of zines. We have a staff, we have relationships in the industry that send our books to places we wouldn't have dreamed we could walk into ourselves. We're not as drunk or dirty as we used to be. But still, at heart, we've got this milk crate strapped to the back of a bike and we're riding wildly across town to hand you the book that might just be the one that saves your life. We refuse to die. Get over it.

Microcosm is distributed worldwide by Legato / Perseus Books Group and by Turnaround in the UK.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter and/or weekly book blast.

We're on Patreon! You can join our Ebook, Book, or Zine of the Month Club on the Microcosm Patreon page and/or support the feminist bicycle publishing revolution on the Elly Blue Publishing Patreon page.

 If you like this episode, check out Microcosm on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Joe was also gracious enough to give his email. If you have questions about publisher hit him up, joe at microcosmpublishing dot com.

If you like this episode, head over to Twitter and find Matt @mattharrymh.

If you like free things, you can get the first chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build your Creative Career on Bookfunnel now at www.gosellyoursoul.com

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group at www.writingandsellingcommunity.com

If you are feeling generous, leave us a review on iTunes at www.thebusinessofart.us/iTunes

Thanks so much. Until next time.

Recommended episodes:

Gina Gagliano

Colleen Dunn Bates

Maytal Gilboa

Lee Kramer

 

How to build a rabid fanbase

How to build a rabid fanbase

October 5, 2017

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to build a rabid fanbase from scratch
  • The three mindsets holding you back
  • The secret to getting people to buy from you
  • How to get more people to notice your work
  • How to love selling your work

Listen:

Itunes

Stitcher

Podbean

This week I did a live presentation at Ontario California Comic Expo about how to build a rapid following. I talked about three mindsets holding people back right now, and the three secrets to building a rabid following. It’s been a while since I did a live presentation, and you know that the audio tends to be spotty with these things, but I hope you enjoy it.

If like free things, you can get the first chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build your Creative Career for free at www.gosellyoursoul.com.

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group at www.writingandsellingcommunity.com

If you are feeling generous, leave us a review on iTunes at www.thebusinessofart.us/iTunes

Thanks so much. Until next time.

Recommended Episodes:

How to build a rabid audience from scratch

How to build an audience even if you don’t have a product…yet

How to build an audience from scratch

Engaging your audience with Eva Sowinski

Be Forever Moved with entrepreneur Tara Massan

Be Forever Moved with entrepreneur Tara Massan

September 28, 2017

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to find your right mindset
  • How to achieve focused execution
  • Why it’s important to let your audience into your business
  • Why asking for feedback is so important
  • How to feel good about selling

Listen:

Itunes

Stitcher

Podbean

Tara Massan and I have been friends for a couple years now. She is one of the first people ever to take me up on my free coaching calls, and a 30-minute call ended up lasting 2 hours as we gabbed forever. Recently, I checked out her site and was thrilled to see not only did she listen to my advice but she IMPLEMENTED it! Her site is awesome now. When I met her it was all sorts of lame and now it’s amazing! Check it out at: www.foreverbemoved.com.

Here’s her bio:

Tara Massan is a life coach and a writer who has been featured in The Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Tiny Buddha and The Wall Street Journal.  She is the founder of Be Moved - a lifestyle company dedicated to helping others live their best life.  Her primary focus is to help others create a healthier and happier life on their own terms.  

If you like this episode, head over to Twitter and find Tara @taramassan

If like free things, you can get the first chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build your Creative Career for free at www.gosellyoursoul.com.

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group at www.writingandsellingcommunity.com

If you are feeling generous, leave us a review on iTunes at www.thebusinessofart.us/iTunes

Thanks so much. Until next time.

 

Recommended Episodes:

Jasmine Sandler

Dave Lukas

Angela Lauria

James Haick

 

How Wizards Sell Books with Author Matt Harry

How Wizards Sell Books with Author Matt Harry

September 21, 2017

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • Why publishers are still important to the book process
  • How Inkshares works
  • What a hybrid publisher can do for you
  • How to get excited for sales
  • Why writing is like dating

Listen:

Itunes

Stitcher

Podbean

 

Matt Harry and I have been friends since almost the time I moved to Los Angeles. He wrote movies and I wanted to write TV. I watched his career as a writer turn into a career as a professor, and he watched me struggle to make a living as an author.

Then one day I got a message from him that he wanted to publish a book, and I won’t lie I squealed a little. Finally, after years, I could help Matt with something. We sat down and chatted. A few months later he had a publishing deal with Inkshares, which is an alternative to Kickstarter for books.

I wanted to have him on to talk about his experience, publishing, and just shoot the shit. I don’t get to talk with Matt enough, and it was good to catch up. Here’s his bio, straight from Matt.

Matt Harry has been writing since he was 10 years old. He spent his early years writing newspaper articles for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, one-act plays, and some very serious short stories before finally discovering filmmaking at Ohio University. He graduated cum laude and was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Television Production. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he attended the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and received an MFA in Film Production. Since graduating from USC, Matt has worked as a reality TV writer, editor, director, and feature film producer. Projects include The Bachelor, Design on a Dime, Seriously Funny Kids, Rock the Reception, and Red Serpent.

As a writer, Matt’s screenplays have been recognized by the Austin Film Festival, the FOX/NYTVF Comedy Script Contest, the PAGE Awards, Script Pipeline, the Launchpad Manuscript Contest, and the Nicholl Fellowships. In 2006, Matt was awarded a screenwriting fellowship by the Writer’s Arc, a non-profit organization that searches for emerging talent. His first produced feature screenplay, Fugue, landed on several top-ten lists, won Best Horror Film at the Mississippi Film Festival, and was picked up for distribution by GoDigital. Matt has written also screenplays for the Flynn Picture Co., Primary Wave, Fishbowl Films, Co-op Entertainment, and director Todd Bellanca. His short film Super Kids, which he wrote and co-directed, has over 3.2 million views on YouTube. Recently, his animated TV pilot Monster Cops was awarded Grand Prize in the Second City Original Sitcom Contest, and is currently in development.

His debut novel Sorcery for Beginners has been described as “J.K. Rowling meets V.E. Schwab,” “an immersive and interactive adventure,” “amazing,” and “innovative in its telling.” It’s available for purchase on October 10 from Inkshares and wherever books are sold. The link to the Amazon page is here: https://tinyurl.com/y9apvs7y

If you like this episode, head over to Twitter and find Matt @mattharrymh.

If you like free things, you can get the first chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build your Creative Career on Bookfunnel now at www.gosellyoursoul.com

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group at www.writingandsellingcommunity.com

If you are feeling generous, leave us a review on iTunes at www.thebusinessofart.us/iTunes

Thanks so much. Until next time.

 

Recommended Episodes:

Pat Shand

Tim Powers

Colleen Dunn Bates

Amanda Meadows and Geoffrey Golden

How to Build your Press Contacts with Publicist Desireé Duffy

How to Build your Press Contacts with Publicist Desireé Duffy

September 14, 2017

Desireé Duffy is a force to be reckoned with in the publishing world. Aside from being an author herself, she has 20+ years of experience as a publicist. I know most of us have no experience with publicity and PR, so I wanted to bring her on to clear up some of the most common misconceptions about building relationships with the press. Here’s her bio for you. You can find out more at www.blackchateauenterprises.com

As the founder of Black Château Enterprises, Desireé Duffy has created a new way of promoting books and authors. Known as the Author Network, it offers the main components that independent and small press authors need—media interviews, articles about their books, book reviews, and social media buzz.

Focused on helping authors and creative individuals elevate their work, Black Château’s goal is simple: to give talented individuals and exceptional brands the exposure they deserve with flexible, creative strategies that deliver results.

Duffy is the chair for the Alliance of Women in Media’s Advisory Board and also writes for Equites.com as a contributor on marketing, digital media, technology and entrepreneurship. She lives in Southern California with her husband and two puggles—Spike and Teddy Bear.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to compete in an overcrowded holiday season
  • How to make SEO, SEM, and Google Adwords work for you
  • How to package your product like a best seller
  • How to drive traffic to your website
  • How to put together a press kit
  • Why buying a press list doesn’t work

And much more.

If you like this episode, head over to www.blackchateauenterprises.com to learn more. She's also on Twitter @Desiree_Duffy.

If you like free things, you can get the first chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build your Creative Career on Bookfunnel now at www.gosellyoursoul.com

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group at www.writingandsellingcommunity.com

If you are feeling generous, leave us a review on iTunes at www.thebusinessofart.us/iTunes

Thanks so much. Until next time.

 

Recommended episodes:

Eva Hartmann

Monica Leonelle

Cory Huff

Jeff Goins

Get your marketing game on point with editor and author Eva Hartmann

Get your marketing game on point with editor and author Eva Hartmann

September 7, 2017

Eva Hartmann (aka Jewel Quinlan) is a fiction editor and author with 15 romance books to her name. Romance authors are the most ruthless marketers in the game, and I wanted to have her on to talk about developing the proper mindset, building her brand, and developing her marketing chops.

I saw Eva speak at a LARA (Los Angeles Romance Authors) event a couple weeks ago, and she nailed it, talking about the advantage of using Instafreebie, Mailchimp, and Facebook ads together. She has two courses coming out next month through www.yourfictioneditor.com, but I couldn’t find a bio on that site, so here is one I found from her romance author site www.jewelquinlan.com:

Jewel Quinlan had an abundant imagination and strong desire to write novels since she was very young. She has a passion for writing paranormal and fantasy romance but often finds herself straying into new areas like contemporary and suspense because her imagination just won’t let up.

An avid traveler, she has visited fifteen countries so far (which she enjoys using as setting in her novels) and has plans to see more of the world. She has a particular fondness for Bavaria and studies the German language as one of her hobbies.

During the day, she work as a pharmaceutical sales representative and, at night, she writes romance. She currently lives in Orange County, California with her dog Penny. Jewel is kept in shape by Penny’s frequent demands for walks and squeak toy time.

 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to get your CPC down for Facebook ads
  • How to set goals and achieve them
  • How to get your mindset right for success
  • How to avoid overwhelm
  • How to use Mailchimp, Instafreebie, and Facebook ads together seamlessly
  • Why you should always celebrate your accomplishments

And much more.

If you like this episode, head over to www.yourfictioneditor.com or www.jewelquinlan.com to check how her work

If you like free things, you can get the first chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build your Creative Career on Bookfunnel now at www.gosellyoursoul.com

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group at www.writingandsellingcommunity.com

If you are feeling generous, leave us a review on iTunes at www.thebusinessofart.us/itunes

Thanks so much. Until next time.

Resources:

Amy Porterfield

Rick Mulready

Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA)

Episode suggestions:

Monica Leonelle

AG Billig

Colleen Dunn Bates

Alex Echols

Jasmine Sandler

 

Find Self Publishing Mastery with author A.G. Billig

Find Self Publishing Mastery with author A.G. Billig

August 31, 2017

Andreea (A.G.) Billig is the founder of www.selfpublishingmastery.com, an author, and motivational speaker. I am part of her upcoming Self Publishing Mastery virtual summit and wanted to have her on the show to talk about it, her career, and how authors can master self-publishing.

Here is her writing bio, straight from www.agbillig.com.

She began writing short stories at the age of 8. Imagining plots and characters became her favorite pastime, leaving little time for playing with toys and dolls. Soon after, she started taking part in national literary contests and children magazines featured her creations. The grown-ups acknowledged her gifts, speaking on radio, TV and in print about the 13-year-old writer. They also awarded her with several first prizes in the most important national writing contest for young people in short story, reportage and drama categories.

At fifteen, A.G. finished her first novel, a book she may decide to publish someday. She also discovered  that she could express her creativity as a journalist. She wrote articles and interviews for several newspapers and magazines, she was a TV host and a radio presenter. In addition, after gradutaing from University, she developed a career in communication, as a PR Consultant.

  1. G. Billig’s first collection of short stories is called Four Doors and Other Stories. It’s been launched as en eBook in November 2012 by  MP Publishing (U.K.). A  revised Romanian version was released in paperback and digital by Datagrouppublishing house in June 2013. She chose to self – publish her first non-fiction book. “I Choose Love!” was realeased on the 20th of March, 2016,  and became a best seller on Amazon in four different categories.

As the daughter of a French father and an Eastern European mother, A.G. is a natural born traveler.  Her trips took her across Europe, to the Americas. It was during a spiritual journey to Brazil to the magical land of Abadiania, at the end of 2010, that she found out that writing is her life purpose.

When she is not imagining things, she enjoys dancing, doing sports (skiing, skating and kick box aerobics), taking long walks, reading, listening to the music and being outdoors. She shares her flat with the lovely Oona The Yorkie.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • What authors can do to get more visibility on their work
  • How to find your ideal readers
  • Why it’s important to know your readers
  • How librarians can be your best friend
  • Why word of mouth is the best marketing
  • Why crafting a 360-degree experience for your readers is important

If you liked this episode, make sure to check out A.G. Billig on Instagram @ag_billig. Also, make sure to check out her site at www.selfpublishingmastery.com.

If you want a free chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build a Creative Career, just click here.

If you haven’t joined our Facebook group to help you make more money selling books, click here.

And don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes if you liked this episode at www.thebusinessofart.us/itunes.

Suggested listening: 

Sheri Fink

Maytal Gilboa

Sebastian Jones

Angela Lauria

Why the World Needs Your Book with Author Monica Leonelle

Why the World Needs Your Book with Author Monica Leonelle

August 24, 2017

Monica Leonelle is a force of nature. I heard about her before I ever booked her on the show, and then I kept hearing about her well after I booked her. She’s an author and speaker. She writes fiction and non-fiction books but is probably best known for her Growth Hacking for Storytellers series, one that I was told to buy over and over again in the past couple of months.

Here’s a bio, straight from her site, www.proseonfire.com:

Monica Leonelle was born in Germany and spent her childhood jet-setting around the world with her American parents. Her travels include most of the United States and Europe, as well as Guam, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and the Philippines.

She started publishing independently in 2009 and has since published over half a million words of fiction spread across four series, SocialpunkWaters Dark and DeepEmma + Elsie, and Stars and Shadows. In 2014, she published 8 books and one short story.

She writes about indie publishing at ProseOnFire.com. Her most recent non-fiction book, Write Better, Faster, has earned raving reviews from the independent publishing community for going deeper than anyone else into the topic of writing speed. She currently averages around 3,000 words per hour and writes 25,000+ words per week (most weeks).

Before becoming an independent author, Monica led digital marketing efforts at Inc. 100 companies like Hansen’s Natural and Braintree.

Monica is a lifetime member of Sigma Pi Sigma honor fraternity and was a 2007 Chicago Business Fellow, graduating with an MBA from the Chicago Booth School of Business at 25 years old. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in Physics from Truman State University.

She’s been an avid blogger of marketing and business trends since 2007. Her ideas have been featured in AdAgeThe Huffington Post, the AMEX OpenForum, GigaOmMashableSocial Media Today, and the Christian Science Monitor. In 2009, she was named one of the top 25 Tweeters in the city of Chicago by ChicagoNow, a subsidiary of the Chicago Tribune.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to get in alignment with your audience
  • How to win the CPC game
  • How to protect yourself from rising ad costs
  • How to build a value ladder
  • Why writing is marketing

And so much more.

If you liked this episode, please check out Monica’s new site www.theworldneedsyourbook.com. I’m so excited for the next chapter in Monica’s journey. You can also find her on all the usual platforms @monicaleonelle.

If you like this show, please rate, review, and subscribe to it on iTunes by clicking here.

And if you want to learn all about making more money as an artist, you can get the first chapter of my new book for free at www.gosellyoursoul.com.

Other episodes you will like if you like this:

Angela Lauria

Jasmine Sandler

Alex Echols

Dave Lukas

Jeff Goins

Cory Huff

 

How to be the Aggregate of all your projects with Drawing Blood artist Ben Bishop

How to be the Aggregate of all your projects with Drawing Blood artist Ben Bishop

August 17, 2017

BEN BISHOP is a comic creator from Maine. We’ve been friends online for a while but met for the first time in person at Emerald City Comic Con, where we did a signing together at this shop in Seattle.

I brought him on the show because his Kickstarter for Drawing Blood, with is written by David Avallone and Kevin Eastman (yes, that one) is blowing up Kickstarter as we speak (www.drawingbloodcomic.com) and I wanted to talk with him about that, his book The Aggregate, and how he’s made a living making comics. Here is his bio, straight from www.bishart.net.

Ben has wanted to make comics since he was four years old and wrote to Marvel, at age eleven, asking for a job. Finding out it was not only illegal to hire an eleven-year-old, but that his skills weren’t QUITE there yet, Ben went back to the drawing board and to Mr. Morley’s 5th-grade classroom.

Ben later moved to Portland, Maine, to attend the Maine College of Art. After one great year and some loans that didn't go through, he was forced to leave. Ben then realized that if he really wanted to MAKE COMICS, maybe he should just MAKE COMICS.

For the next four years, Ben worked at coffee shops and lobster shacks while writing and drawing his first graphic novel. In 2008 he released the 300 page, NATHAN THE CAVEMAN, which was soon followed by several other smaller works.

In 2011, Ben illustrated the award-winning LOST TRAIL, NINE DAYS ALONE IN THE WILDERNESS, the graphic novel retelling of Donn Fendler’s famous true story “LOST ON A MOUNTAIN IN MAINE.” LOST TRAIL led to illustration work for larger companies like Archaia, IDW, Darby Pop, Action Lab, Nickelodeon, and Hasbro. Ben also jumped at the opportunity to create comic cover art for some of his favorite characters like Batman, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and G.I.Joe.

After 7 straight years of commissions, work for hire, and freelance work, Ben was determined to get back to creating stories of his own. In 2015, he put together a KICKSTARTER campaign for his next big project, THE AGGREGATE. The book would be the first of a new kind of comic he’s calling, SPLIT DECISION COMICS. In this innovative new format, the reader makes decisions for the characters and ultimately dictates the direction of the narrative. With a goal of $10,000 which was hit in the first 24 hours, THE AGGREGATE book went on to raise 3 times that thanks to the demand and excitement of his friends, family, and fans.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to augment your Kickstarter to make sure you don’t run out of money.
  • How to start a fan club.
  • Why you don’t need a publisher.
  • How to go it alone and make comics even when every publisher tells you no.
  • How to finish projects

And much more.

If you liked this episode, make sure to check out Ben on Twitter and Instagram @bishart. Also, make sure to order his new comic on Kickstarter at www.drawingbloodcomic.com.

If you want a free chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build a Creative Career, just click here.

If you haven’t joined our Facebook group to help you make more money selling books, click here.

And don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes if you liked this episode.

How to be an Abundant Artist with Marketing Expert Cory Huff

How to be an Abundant Artist with Marketing Expert Cory Huff

August 9, 2017

Cory Huff is a marketing expert that specifically works with burgeoning artists and creative entrepreneurs through his association The Abundant Artist. I wanted to have him on the show to talk specifically about how to approach art from a mindset and marketing perspective.

I have found in my career that mindset trumps everything, and it’s the thing that artists have the hardest time overcoming. If they can overcome their mindset issues and become comfortable with money, then they can create a thriving company and dispel the idea of the starving artist.

Cory is great at that. Here a bio, straight from his site www.coryhuff.com:

In 2009 I started The Abundant Artist (TAA for short) as a way of teaching internet marketing to my artist friends who were asking me for help. Since then, I’ve helped dozens of artists go from never sold anything to now selling pieces monthly or weekly. Some of my artist friends and clients have gone on to sell their work for $20,000 or more.

I teach artists to dispel the starving artist myth by using the Web to sell art directly to your fans. If you want to get into a gallery or museum, the marketing skills I teach can help you do that. Building your own business online can be complementary to a gallery business for the right artists and galleries.

 Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

-What is holding artists up from having a successful career.

-How Picasso became successful during his life while Van Gogh struggled

-How to get out of your own way and achieve success

-What you can do to prove yourself wrong every day

-How to have a better relationship with money

And much more.

If you liked this episode, make sure to check out Cory on Twitter @agoodhusband. Also, make sure to visit all his projects at www.coryhuff.com.

If you want a free chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build a Creative Career, just click here.

If you haven’t joined our Facebook group to help you make more money selling books, click here.

And don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes if you liked this episode.

Finding your artistic pack when you start our a Stray writer with author Vito Delsante

Finding your artistic pack when you start our a Stray writer with author Vito Delsante

August 3, 2017

Vito Delsante is a workhorse creator. He’s somebody I’ve known about for a while, but only known a short time, but people were always talking about him. We had Sean Izaakse on the show last year, for instance (listen to the show by clicking here), to talk about Thunderbolts and Stray, and Vito is the writer of that book. There’ve been a lot of that moments for me over the years, and I’m excited to have him on the show to talk about his career.

Here’s his bio, straight from his wiki page:

Delsante worked for the Canadian comics company Speakeasy Comics in a public relations capacity prior to their closing doors in the Spring of 2006 and was seen by some as the only public face in the company's final days. He was also a creator at Speakeasy, with part one of the six part series Fallout with Dean Haspiel printed as a back-up to Beowulf #7 before the series was canceled as a result of the publisher's closing. With the closing of the publisher, the future for Fallout is uncertain.

His first major creator-owned title, The Mercury Chronicles with artist Mike Lilly, was rumored for publication in 2007.

In March 2006, Delsante began a weekly column called Random Shuffle on Comicon.com's comics news website The Pulse. He is a store manager at one of New York's largest comic book retailers, Jim Hanley's Universe.

In August 2006 The Chemistry Set, a webcomics collective of which Delsante is a member, launched. He produces the comic Stuck with Thomas Williams and is currently writing FCHS, a "semi-autobiographical look" at his high school days, with artist Rachel Freire.[1]

In 2007, Delsante was slated to write a three-issue JSA Classified arc with artist Eric Wight.[2] He has written a graphic novel for Simon & Schuster based on the childhood of Albert Einstein. The book, Before They Were Famous, was due out in July 2008.[3] It never was published, but in February 2009, Aladdin published Delsante's biography of Babe Ruth, illustrated by Andrés Vera Martínez, part of the same Before They Were Famous series.

This to this episode if you want to learn:

-how music influences Vito’s process

-the value of deep work

-why you should focus on people who like your work

-how to tune out the naysayers

-how to make a superhero that feels mainstream but still sells to an indie market

And much more.

If you liked this episode, make sure to check out Vito on Twitter @incogvito. Also, make sure to order his new Stray series as it enters the Action Lab Actionverse.

If you want a free chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build a Creative Career, which is sort of the companion book to this one, just click here.

If you haven’t joined our Facebook group to help you make more money selling books, click here.

And don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes if you liked this episode.

Sustaining an art career for more than 30 Days of Night with NYT Bestselling author/artist Ben Templesmith

Sustaining an art career for more than 30 Days of Night with NYT Bestselling author/artist Ben Templesmith

July 27, 2017

My guest this week is Ben Templesmith. He is a comic book writer and artist most recognized as the artist on the 30 Days of Night comic which was adapted into a motion picture with the same name. Here is his bio, straight from his Wikipedia page.

Templesmith produced his first commercial American comics work in 2002, providing the art for Todd McFarlane Productions' Hellspawn, which was published by Image Comics. He has gone on to create his own original works as well as contribute to many licensed properties at various publishers, most notably IDW Publishing, with which he had an exclusive agreement through most of 2008 and part of 2009 before returning to being a freelancer.

Other licensed properties that Templesmith has worked on include illustrating "Dark Journey", a story in issue #17 of the Dark Horse Comics anthology series Star Wars Talesin 2003, and the covers to Devil's Due Publishing's Army of Darkness: Ashes to Ashes #1 in 2004 and IDW's G.I. Joe #0 in 2008.

Original works Templesmith has produced include the miniseries Welcome to Hoxford, the New York Times best-selling Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse [3] Tommyrot: The Art of Ben TemplesmithConluvio and Choker at Image Comics with writer Ben McCool. He also provided a number of covers for the Oni Press series Wasteland.

In April 2012 DC Entertainment announced that Templesmith will be one of the artists illustrating a new digital Batman series whose stories will be set outside of the regular DC continuity.[4]

Starting in November 2014, Templesmith launched Gotham by Midnight from DC Comics with writer Ray Fawkes

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

-Ben’s method of utilizing Patreon, Kickstarter, and the direct market to create a profitable business model for his art

-The trick to having a successful Patreon

-What to watch out for in a publishing contract

-Why he keeps coming back to comics even though other forms of art pay better

And much more.

If you liked this episode, go thank Ben online. He’s @templesmith almost everywhere, including Twitter and Instagram.

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group @ www.writingandsellingcommunity.com

Also, please rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes by clicking here.

Finally, go pick up the first chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build Your Creative Career, by clicking here.

Thanks!

Russell

The difference between complicated and hard

The difference between complicated and hard

July 19, 2017

                This week I’ll be down at San Diego Comic-Con, and with all the hype around that event, I decided not to post an interview this week. I didn’t think it would be fair to any of our upcoming guests. So instead, I am doing something special. I’m giving you a sneak people inside my Facebook group, Writers and Authors Making Money Selling Books. It’s a completely free group I moderate that helps authors make more money by selling more books.

                This episode is the audio from a live video I did for the group about the difference between something being complicated and it being hard. It’s a really important concept I hear people confusing all of the time, and I wanted to clear it up for the group.

                If you enjoy this group, head on over to www.writingandsellingcommunity.com and sign up for free. 

                Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

-How to get off the fence and start doing the hard work of writing

-Why most advice is so complicated when it comes to making it as an author

-How simple the business side of writing really is

                And many more insights I hammer home along the way. If you like this episode, don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes, and if you want the FREE first chapter of my new non-fiction book Sell Your Soul: How to Build Your Creative Career, all you have to do is enter your email at www.gosellyoursoul.com

Thanks a lot!

 

Why Real Artists Don’t Starve with National Bestselling Author Jeff Goins

Why Real Artists Don’t Starve with National Bestselling Author Jeff Goins

July 12, 2017

Jeff Goins is a national bestselling author of five books, most notably among them The Art of Work and his new book Real Artists Don’t Starve.

 I was in the launch group for his new book and I loved it. It was everything I wanted to say, except much more eloquently and cohesively stitched together. If you’ve ever struggled with making money as an artist, this book makes the strongest case I’ve ever seen, full of a hundred stories of people who’ve made a living as an artist, making every type of art, both historically and through to today.

Now, if you’re already in the right headspace to make a living as an artist if you’ve got a good relationship with making money, and if you’re ready to rock and roll, maybe this isn’t the book for you. However, if you’ve struggled with making money in the past, or you need to get in a better headspace to make a living as an artist and not feel guilty about it, then this is the book for you. Check it out in the link below.

Click here to check it out.

In this episode, Jeff talks about

-Why struggling as an artist isn’t required

-Why real artists don’t starve

-The biggest mindset shift you need to make a living as an artist

-The most important key to building an audience

-Why you are doing a disservice to your audience by not letting them buy from you

And much more. Make sure to head on over to www.goinswriter.com if you liked this one. You can pick up some freebies from Jeff once you buy the book. He also has a great podcast called The Portfolio Life, which you should check out.

If you want a free chapter of my new book Sell Your Soul: How to Build a Creative Career, which is sort of the companion book to this one, just click here.

If you haven’t joined our Facebook group to help you make more money selling books, click here.

And don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes if you liked this episode.

Having a Young Justice for art with animation director Vinton Heuck

Having a Young Justice for art with animation director Vinton Heuck

July 6, 2017

Today’s episode is all about animation. I talk with animation director Vinton Heuck about his career trajectory, working up from a storyboard cleanup artist on X-Men and Spider-Man to an animation director on Young Justice season three.

I actually met Vinton without having any idea his resume. We were at a small convention called San Fernando Comic Con last December, and he was showing off his new book Mabigon, an original epic fantasy tale with Arthurian legend tones. We talked for a while during the show, and I friended him on Facebook later.

Then, a few months later they did the show again, and I was talking with Larry Houston, one of the directors of that seminal 90s X-Men cartoon, and he was talking about working with Vinton, and I said, hold up, the Mabigon guy?? That led me down the rabbit hole of asking Vinton all about his past and finding out he’s got a resume as long as my art.

We got to be friendly enough for me to ask him to come on the show and talk about his experience in animation, from a kid in Washington trying to work in comics (and getting a shot at drawing Green Hornet back when Now Comics owned the license), to driving down to Los Angeles to work for Saban on Captain America and Silver Surfer, to bouncing around Sony on Jackie Chan Adventures and Godzilla, until he finally found a home at Warner Brothers on The Batman show from the early 2000s, eventually rising to become an animation director on season 5.

Along the way, he’s worked with DC comics and made his own comics. If you’ve ever wanted to track an animation director’s career, Vinton gives a deep dive on exactly his step by step process to getting where he is today.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • The step-by-step of how Vinton went from living in Washington working as a security guard to directing Young Justice.
  • The secrets to surviving in animation for 20 years.
  • Why it’s so important to remain positive
  • Why success is all about perseverance
  • What he would tell himself to cut years off his career struggles
  • What he did right in his career to make him the artist he is today.

If you want to check out Mabigon, his original comic, head on over to www.mabigoncomic.com today. If you want to check out Mabigon on Facebook, click here.

If you like this show, please like, review, and subscribe to it by clicking here.

If you haven’t joined our Facebook group yet, now is the best time by clicking here.