My newest book – Dragons: A Sketchbook – is coming to KickStarter soon. As in, in the next few days.
The trend of these sketchbooks started with Witches: A Sketchbook, which collected all of my Inktober sketches of witches from 2017. (Inktober is the artist challenge to draw with ink every day during October. Usually there’s an official prompt list. I ignore all of them.)
This year for Inktober, I’ve been drawing dragons and nothing but dragons. And I’m loving it.
And soon, they’ll be in a sketchbook.
In previous years, I ran a KickStarter campaign to fund book printings AFTER Inktober wrapped up.
This year, I wanted to start the pre-order ball rolling sooner, because November is going to be a bit of a schedule whack-a-mole for me.
So here’s the deal: email newsletter subscribers are the first to get the news of the Dragons: A Sketchbook KickStarter launch. If you are NOT an email subscriber yet, get on that ASAP. There will be early-bird backer rewards available, and the best way to get them is to be on the newsletter.
Then – I’ll be at New Dimension Comics this Saturday for Halloween ComicsFest. If you check out my table there and back the KickStarter campaign on the spot, you’ll get some goodies from me in person.
After that, I’ll be posting links to the KickStarter campaign on social media on Monday.
How long will the KickStarter campaign last? You’ll have to see the campaign when it launches to find out.
The initial asking goal will be to cover the basics to make this book project happen. Stretch goals after that include:
a KickStarter backer-exclusive miniprint
a baby dragon sticker sheet
an appearance at a large comicon (hopefully near you)!
Get on the email newsletter if you want to back this KickStarter ASAP and get your hands on an early copy of this book.
If you’re broke, though, don’t stress – just share the link to the campaign when it finally launches. Every share helps more than you know.
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.
For the sake of full transparency, I want to keep y’all in the loop. Considering that I missed the update for The Legend of Jamie Roberts on April 17, you should know what’s going on.
Patrons on Patreon already know the gist, but I don’t think I went into detail about it. And I may have mentioned this a few times here on the site, but…
In short, I got a side hustle working at a gas station in my town.
Back in September of 2018, I left the comic shop I was working at, due to some drama I will NOT get into here. For the next two months after that, I kept to making Validation, doing Patreon work, selling at conventions, getting consignment earnings, and freelance gigs.
With those income streams, I was able to pay for rent, groceries, and everything else I needed to live. However, it was not paying off my student loans at the clip I wanted, and my savings goals were suffering.
So I bucked it up and applied for part-time work at the local gas station. They needed someone to come in from 2 pm to 10 pm, which works for me, since I do my best creative work in the mornings. It also paid $9.50 an hour for the first 6 months of the job, and it’s set to jump up to $10 an hour after that period. Plus I could earn quarterly bonuses if the store kept up the friendliness and cleanliness ratings. And after working there for one year, I could open a 401K and get stock in the company – even as a part-time worker. That’s, frankly, unheard of around these parts.
That said, comics are still my full-time endeavor. I’m sticking to the gas station as a part-time side hustle to pay off the student loans faster, and save back a little bit for my savings goals… including a new laptop and tablet set-up. My current laptop is close to 8 years old and Clip Studio Paint tends to crash at least once a week on this thing.
Now, I wanted to talk about this because in May, there’s plans to run a Patreon Pledge Drive.
“But wait,” you might be saying. “Why have a Patreon Pledge Drive when you can keep working at the gas station part-time and use that money for your stuff?”
The gas station gig is to pay off debt and save back for some savings goals. That’s it.
Patreon earnings right now cover groceries, my phone bill, and one or two business expenses. And everything else I need gets supplemented by freelance gigs.
And I’m sticking to comics as a full-time job because IT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO.
My goal is to increase Patreon from its current $215/month rate to $500/month.
By doing that, Patreon can cover the groceries and phone bill, yes. AND it would cover rent, gas to conventions, website hosting, domain registrations, and art supplies needed for making the comics actually happen. By doing that, I would be less reliant on freelance gigs.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve liked (most of) the clients I’ve worked with. But freelance earnings are REALLY inconsistent from month to month. If Patreon earnings can go up, I can curb the need to do freelance work to bridge the gaps.
Also, fewer freelance gigs means more consistent comic updates. Because that way, I’m not trying to split my attention and time between the gas station, Patreon, and however many clients I’m working with on freelance projects.
So be prepared for the Patreon Pledge Drive to happen throughout May. The Pledge Drive will include: