Pirate Reviews: 20th Century Boys

20th Century Boys

They world may not end with this manga, but it would be worth it.

So: confessions. I was going to draw something else, but I was reading this manga until just now. And by reading it, I mean all of it. ALL OF IT.

All 249 chapters, at around 16 pages per chapter. That’s nearly 4,000 pages of art. It took me…10+ hours. Worth it.

So, I’m instituting a new feature for the blog which I might make permanent: reviews.  Let me begin the review.

20th Century Boys is a manga about the world coming to the end. No, it’s a manga about childhood. Actually, it’s both. And it’s confusing. The manga skips around in time, so that the average reader will have trouble following some plot points. In addition, the names and faces of the characters can appear similar, so that viewers may also become confused.

I found the ending slightly abrupt, and at parts, the manga did drag on quite a bit. I also disagreed with several of the plot twists. In conclusion, I rate this manga among the best series I’ve ever read. If you want a thrilling manga that manages to tie in the experience of being a child with the drama of the end of the world, read this.

Library Sales

No, but I'll take a heart attack.

No, but I’ll take a heart attack.

A few days ago I talked about marketing books to readers like myself. After much thought, this was the only viable option I could come up with. I need help.

Pirate is to me, a cute kid with serious moments, especially in her book. But I think if I saw anyone, especially a child peering at me through the bookshelves at night I’d freak out.

That said, if I could put posters and small pictures of Pirate in libraries across the world I totally would. In fact, I should just to that — just start leaving pictures of Pirate hidden wherever I go. Heart attacks for everyone!

Bad Marketing

Bad marketing is better than no marketing. Too bad I don't have a marketer.

Bad marketing is better than no marketing. Too bad I don’t have a marketer.

So I finally figured out how to find how many book sales I’ve made today. All nine of them, which is a number which is disappointing yet not cripplingly sad either. That’s just what happens with self-published books with non-existent marketing strategies.

Aside from telling you lovely, invisible folks on the blog and Facebook friends and family, I’ve done no promotional stuff. And word of mouth isn’t that great if you don’t have a lot of mouths.

Putting it generously, if I added up blog followers (some of which may or may not still be following or have existed in the first place), as well as friends on Facebook who probably don’t all ready my posts and family, that would be roughly 200 people. Even if each person went out and told ten more people (not going to happen), that’s 2000 people, only 10% of which might actually want a book like mine.

It’s better to aim your book at a specific audience. My audience would be people like me, who like young fantasy with characters like Pirate. But if I thought about how to market to myself…it’s hopeless.

I found my books browsing through the library, or if people were raving about it as the bestselling book of the century. And even then I might not buy the book. As a kid and even now, I pick up new books very slowly and usually only ones I can buy in bookstores or in print. But if I’m the target audience, I’d better find out a way to find me or else the me now won’t ever be able to sell books to me. If that makes any sense.

Book Bites

It's hard to catch readers.

It’s hard to catch readers.

Some days I feel like I’m fishing in an ocean for readers. As a writer, I have made my bait — my book — and I’m looking for the right audience, or rather, fishing hole.

Problem is, I’ve only caught one fish in my entire life and that was pure luck. I don’t know anything about writing, and even less about angling. I just do what I like to do, and try to make it work.

Ah well, maybe someday I’ll land a whale. Until then I guess I’ll live. I hate seafood, anyways.

Desperate Measures

Please don't actually do this with any book.

Please don’t actually do this with any book.

I can’t stop making book-related pictures. Somebody stop me!

…Besides that, I’m grateful people have started leaving reviews on Amazon! I’m impressed — some people must read pretty fast or have more time on their hands to get through the book so quickly.

Myself, I can’t read nearly as much as I want to. Between work and ironically, writing, my reading time has been cut down to almost nothing. I also need to start reading the Game of Thrones series since I hear it’s amazing. I’ll also take notes on how to write epic stuff.

Violent Verdicts

Not for kids. Except for Pirate. And Knight.

Not for kids. Except for Pirate. And Knight.

About genres. I call Pirate’s Story a Young Adult story, but there are heavier themes inside of it. And nicer things, but who cares about them?

My point is: I chose Young Adult because I feel Middle Grade might be too young for some of the themes. Well, then again, I do remember reading GRENDEL by John Gardner when I was fifteen. Maybe not the best idea.

But I hope adults will like this kind of story as well. Mind you, I still classify Robert Jordan’s WHEEL OF TIME as Young Adult that both adults and not-adults can love. I hope CITY OF MISTS can be half as good.

Selling Stories

No one likes paperback anymore.

No one likes paperback anymore.

I’ll try not to harp on about the same topic, but the novel’s my big focus right now, and I draw what happens in my life. I hear one effective tactic for self-published authors is to sell their books very cheaply, or for free in order to raise popularity.

My thought on that was to write the short stories (they take time to revise and edit, alright?), as a free sample of my writing people can enjoy. I thought about promoting my book for free at first, but I don’t have a sense of how many people would be interested either way.

On that note, I can tell people are buying the novel…or at least one person is. Without reviews it’s hard to tell, and Amazon will only let me know how many books were sold after a week, so until then I live in suspense! Back to drawing, promoting, and sleeping!

PS: To anyone patient enough to read down this far, do let me know whether I write too much. If you read my book (shameless plug), you can tell I can expound on subjects with verbose commentary for quite some time, but I try not to overwhelm people with text on my blog posts. Like now, for instance.

City of Mists – Available Now!

The City of Mists - Available on Amazon now!

The City of Mists – Available on Amazon now!

And it’s done! Amazon works quick when there’s a good book to be sold (not really true), and The City of Mists is now on sale on Amazon for the Kindle! I’d like to take a moment and thank everyone who visits this blog, my family and of course, Pirate and her friends for making this book possible. I hope you enjoy what I’ve written and find something worthwhile in Pirate’s grand adventure.

I know Amazon provides a free sample chapter for readers, so I highly encourage you to read that before buying the book. I also would love if you left a review — good or bad — of how you like the story. If I can also ask you to recommend the novel to anyone you think might be interested in it, I’d be exceptionally grateful.

There’s not much for me to say with words that can express how nervous and excited I am about this event. I just really hope you all like it, and hope there’s people willing to buy and read a book about our small, brave hero from the sea.

The book can be found at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017WV4FRS