The email newsletter is back, and I’m happy to introduce some new things to it!
I had put the newsletter on hiatus for a few weeks because of a fatal design flaw in MailChimp’s system. This design flaw deleted all of my subscribers, with no way of putting them back on the list.
So I deleted my MailChimp account, and started shopping around.
It took a little while to find a good substitute – for a hot minute I was afraid MailChimp had monopolized the free email client market.
But I found two services: Moosend and MailerLite.
I tried to make Moosend work, but it kept rejecting every email I tried to use. See, when you send emails, you need to specify who the sender is. And Moosend kept rejecting every. Dang. Email. That I wanted to use.
“This email is from a free client.” “This email is invalid.” Bleh bleh bleh.
So I didn’t want to dick around with them.
After a little more research, I found MailerLite.
And, for what I need it for, MailerLite has been working marvelously.
It’s a bit of a curve for me to get used to: it has different terminology and layouts than MailChimp. And I had been using MailChimp for like 3 years. So it’s still a process to unlearn MailChimp’s clunky-ass design and use MailerLite.
That said, now that I’m getting the hang of MailerLite, it’s smoother to handle than MailChimp. I also have zero fear of accidentally deleting all of my subscribers. And that’s worth everything right now.
Now that the email newsletter is back, I can bring in some new ideas: like exclusive offers for folks I meet at specific events, and even a Patreon-only newsletter.
That said, here’s the thing:
If you were on my email list before, odds are high that you got deleted. My back-up files were very limited. Not everyone was able to get back on.
If you would like to get email updates from me once a week, you can re-sign up at this link.
So I HAD an email newsletter. The service I used was MailChimp.
I logged in this morning, thinking, “Hey, I should delete the unsubscribers from my contacts. That should improve the open rate on my emails.” So I go to the menu showing all of my subscribers, including unsubscribes and bounces. I go to check the box to select the unsubscribes on the page shown to me.
Little did I know: clicking the “select all” button selected ALL of my contacts, not just the unsubscribes shown on screen.
And, well, all of my contacts got deleted.
Active, inactive, and unsubscribed people – all gone.
THREE YEARS OF WORK. GONE.
Due to a clunky mechanic through my email newsletter service, I have permanently deleted all of my subscribers.
I can’t contact support to fix this because I was on the free member plan. Tech support is only available for people who pay for a monthly plan.
There is no way to get them back on again. So I have to start over. From scratch.
And I’m going to start over with a different email client.
Please bear with me as I get this fixed.
Words cannot describe how disappointed and angry I am at this.
HOLY BANANA PANTS, it’s finally here – The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 1 is now on KickStarter, looking for funding to get to print!
Patreon support has helped make the production of each individual page possible. But KickStarter will help cover the gap to get this first issue to print.
The book will include a never-before-published short comic about Captain O’Malley (just how DID she lose her arm?). Plus there will be behind-the-scenes sketches showing how pages for the comic are made.
Among the rewards available for backers, there’s commissions, WANTED poster-style mini-prints, and even a new 11 x 17 inch print!
So if you can back this KickStarter campaign, please do so BEFORE JUNE 20.
Broke? Share this campaign with your friends. Every share helps.
Want to back the campaign, but don’t see a reward you like? Hit me up via email at kelci(at)kelcidcrawford.com and I’ll work with you.
May and September are my busiest months of the year when it comes to conventions and shows.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered I have only one show in June, and one show in July.
If this were me of last year, I would be doing my best to get more conventions lined up. But this year, between working a side hustle at a local gas station, having freelance gigs, and making The Legend of Jamie Roberts, I’m actually not too keen on trying to book as many conventions as possible.
This year, I want to try to save my convention energy for September.
Of course, I have shows before and after September, but that month has my biggest show on my roster: Small Press Expo.
YES, I FINALLY got a table at SPX! It’s been a goal of mine to have a table there ever since I learned about it, and I can’t wait to go!
I’ve been warned by some fellow indie comics creators to bring as much stock as I can, because other vendors had sold out of books on their first day. To that end, I want to build up as much stock as I can in the lead up to the show.
Now, I won’t have a full table at SPX. So I won’t be bringing my usual six-foot or even eight-foot set-up. I’ll just be bringing my books, my zines, and one or two large prints. That’s it.
That said, I’ll be working on freelance gigs and making The Legend of Jamie Roberts in the time between shows. The funds raised through those endeavors will be saved back for SPX and its related costs.
So if you don’t see me online a whole lot, it’s because I’m working to get backlogs in all the right avenues in order to be prepared.
Before I go into complete work mode, though, there is ONE thing to do…
If I have noticed anything regarding social media platforms in 2018 – from Facebook constantly being pursued because they sell private data, to Tumblr’s crackdown on NSFW content – I have noticed that social media platforms aren’t exactly held accountable. They’re also always changing.
I want to have a space online dedicated for my art, sharing the art and stories of my life, and hearing from you, the reader. And the best place to do that is… this blog.
So, in the spirit of sharing in spaces that are NOT social media platforms, I’m going to start updating this blog once a week in January.
I want to start with once a week updates for two reasons: to not overwhelm myself, and because there’s a lot going on outside of the blog. There’s Validation, The Legend of Jamie Roberts, the projects detailed in the other goals for 2019, and now I have a new job outside of the internet. So, once a week updates it is… for the time being.
Still, I want to share art, news, and stories, and I want to hear your stories, as well.
2: Launch the Lazy Diana Podcast
Lazy Diana is a zine I make. As I like to pitch it at conventions, it’s Magic and Paganism for lazy people. Because not all of us in the field can afford going to the top of a specific hill three days before the first quarter moon and stand under a yew tree. RAVEN.
Lazy Diana: The Podcast will be very much about magic and paganism for lazy people. The plan is to have episodes last ten minutes or less, updating twice a week, with each season being about 16 episodes long. There will be a two-week break between seasons, to give me time to write and record new episodes, edit them, and all that jazz.
For 2019, I want to actually make this podcast a reality! The plan is to have a website for it where people can download new episodes or listen to them on the site itself. I may pursue other platforms (like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, etc), but… I’m not entirely sure how those work. More research will be needed there.
3: Launch the LGBT History Podcast/Radio Show
This has been a goal of mine since 2017, when I started Beyond the Rainbow. Beyond the Rainbow is an LGBT advocacy group in my neck of the woods. Because up until Ohio Valley Pride became a thing, there was no LGBT advocacy group in my neck of the woods.
I do still want to make the LGBT History podcast, for two reasons: a) it’s cool to read about LGBT figures in history, and b) the local radio station expressed an interest in airing it on their station. Their FM station. That broadcasts in the Wheeling, WV area. The mostly densely populated area in my neck of the woods.
This project (and Lazy Diana) had been on hold because I needed a half-decent microphone to record at home. Now, thanks to a Christmas present from my little sister, I have one!
The goal with this series is to update it once a week: this is to keep myself from being overloaded, and also because the radio station has only one time slot for this show to air. Episodes would be half an hour long, probably a little shorter to allow for advertising spots. Again, because that’s the length of time the radio station would allow.
4: Launch Indie Comics Hub
Have you noticed that there’s not a ton of indie comics coverage in the comics news hemisphere? It’s mostly Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and the like. The most indie it gets is Image comics and the occasional coverage of a webcomic that’s managed to garner more than 3000 regular readers.
Well, I plan to launch a website dedicated to indie comics.
Not Image comics. No.
I mean webcomics, small press, independent publishers, and the stuff you can only get at zine fests and comicons directly from the creators themselves.
The website will start with comic reviews and interviews. If you’re a regular reader, you may remember two blog post series’ I had running on this site before: Review Day Tuesdays, and Featured Artist Fridays. In fact, I did a Feature recently on a webcomic artist. Indie Comics Hub will be a website dedicated to just that.
(Plus maybe the occasional Top Ten list, and anything else particular to indie comics).
I hope to not only launch this site, but also grow it enough to bring on at least one other contributor. I hope to monetize it enough to actually pay this contributor, as well. But the first achievement to unlock is to make the dang site.
It will NOT be an online store. When I did my research, I discovered that there are roughly 6 billion online stores advertising themselves as “the hub to buy indie comics.” Indie Comics Hub will NOT be one of them.
5: Grow Patreon to $500 a month
This was a goal I had for 2018, but I neglected it. To be honest, I feel like I’ve neglected my Patreon page somewhat. I update it as consistently as I can, but I feel like I can do MORE with it.
So 2019 is the year I polish up the Patreon page and really drive for patron support. If you’re a patron on Patreon, you know I’ve already made a blog post asking for your feedback for what you would like to see more of in 2019. (And if you haven’t given feedback yet, PLEASE DO!)
If you’re not a patron on Patreon yet, why not? If you’re broke, that’s ok, there’s no pressure to pledge. But if you have the funding to pledge and you haven’t yet, I’d like to know why not. Is it Patreon as a system? Or are there rewards that are missing that you haven’t seen me offer yet?
Be honest and let me know. I want to improve my Patreon in 2019 and I cannot do that without your feedback.
6: Workout at the Gym at least once a week
(Insert joke about getting gym memberships and never using them here.)
Here’s where I disagree: I took weight training classes in high school. I was actually a weight lifter, believe it or not. My personal record is having bench-pressed 180 pounds. There was one time I did 210, but 180 was what I could bench consistently without straining myself.
Both of those weights are more than my own personal body weight. And I miss being able to lift and press things that were heavier than myself.
There’s a satisfaction I get in weight lifting that I don’t get in many other forms of exercise. That satisfaction is being able to see the progression and improvement of how much weight I can move. Being able to track that is a big part of why I like weight lifting so much.
The problem is: I can’t afford a gym membership at the moment. So the only way I can go to the gym is when my mom brings me along as a guest to Planet Fitness… whenever she decides to go. Or remembers to invite me.
However, my buddy and former Dungeons and Dragons player, Dana, was on the lookout for somebody who could tag along with her to the gym. She wants to get in shape, but doesn’t know how the equipment works. (Wee lamb didn’t even know what a bench press was).
And I was like, “TAKE ME WITH YOU, GRASSHOPPER.”
So the plan right now is, starting in 2019, I’ll be Dana’s plus-one at the gym. I show her how the equipment works and train her a bit, and I get to exercise. Win-win!
7: Start and Grow an Indoor Garden
Yes, I have a yard, but a) it’s tiny, and b) the enormous pine trees cast most of the place in shade for 90% of the day. The only space with consistent sunshine is the front of the house, and… we don’t have a front yard. We have a front sidewalk.
However, there’s a big freaking window in my living room that lets in a metric ton of sunlight every dang day. So the plan is to build a shelving unit and start growing some plants there.
I like green things, and I like having plants in a space. It’s aesthetically pleasing, cleans the air, and makes a space feel more alive.
Also, to be honest, I want to see if I inherited my late grandfather’s green thumb. He grew vegetables all year long thanks to his massive outdoor garden and the greenhouse porch he had built. He was most proud of his tomato plants – he was even buried with the tallest one that he had ever grown.
I want to see if I can start something like that.
The idea is to start with herbs and succulents – those are often the hardest to kill on accident. Especially basil. Basil is a surprisingly sturdy plant in my experience. I had a basil plant in Phoenix and it was exposed to constant sunlight. That sucker (his name was Nigel) never died. In fact, putting him in the shade was when he seemed sickly.
The other cool thing about growing plants indoors: FOOD. I want to be able to literally eat the fruits of this labor.
So those are my goals for 2019. There’s smaller ones, too, like drawing one sketchbook page a day, and writing one page a day. Those are connected to the larger goals for the year.
There may be a secret Part 3 of this post series. It would highlight my bullet journal and how I’m going to track all of these goals. But I have to get a bullet journal set up for 2019 first.
What are your goals for 2019? Let me know! I’d love to hear about them. Also, we can be accountability buddies – I want you to achieve your goals, too!