Record Keeper

I think this will be the intro to the read stories. Maybe? I don’t know. Figured I should be narcissistic and show up in these episodes in some shape or form.

Welcome, welcome to the Cavern of Records. My name is Alexander and I am the official record keeper for the Island of Tilly. You may not konw this, but every land, peninsula, archipeligo, even pen island, has a Cavern of Records... you just may not know where it is. Personally, I would prefer if this were a Hall of Records or even a Ball Pit of Records, but you get what you get, amirite?

It is my job to record every little thing in this book, as mundane as it may seem, to perserve the history of this land for one day, there may be a great reset, and we will need an instruction guide, a cook book of sorts, to recreate the very existance we know.

It is an interesting time for you to come and listen, my friend.

Organ Donor

Just a short, short story. I’m planning to narrate this somewhere someday.

Sadie Cat opened the newspaper and turned to the classified ads. She needed to make a little bit of money for the upcoming holiday season. It was getting colder. She really wanted a new coat as her current one was turning a strange shade of brown, which was odd because it started out green.

Her eyes scanned the page and stopped at one particular ad that seemed quite interesting and up her alley. It read: "Organ Donor - $$$"

"Interesting! I could use three dollar signs worth of money. It's certainly more than two!" she exclaimed.

Sadie Cat left the house and made her way to the garage. Dust had settled all over the different boxes and junk she had left there years ago. She had meant to unpack completely when she moved last, but unpacking boxes always seemed like something you push to the next week when life starts getting busy. Then it's the next week and the next. Before you know it, you're dead in your grave. Better than alive in your grave, I suppose.

"I know that organ is around here somewhere," she said to herself as she shoved an old lamp to the left and threw piles of old magazines to the right.

"Ah ha!" she said out loud. She flipped the switch and the organ came to life. It had been a while since she had played, but she cracked her knuckles and sat down on the bench. Her fingers floated across the keys and her feet stomped out a walking bass line. Everything sounded wonderful. She left a message for the person who open the ad that she had a like new organ she was willing to part with. Sadie Cat felt very confident that the person on the other line was going to be very happy.

Case Closed

Still trying to figure out the right “formula” for the Sadie Cat and Mao comic strips. The tone isn’t right and I’m not quite sure of the audience I’m trying to reach. I can certainly start identifying audiences I’m not trying to reach, but that’s a fruitless exercise.

You can read it over on Instagram.

080 - Building the Children's Brand from Scratch

Why build it from scratch? What does that mean?

I've decided that the next few products I'll be making (books, stories) will be practice for me to try to understand and navigate the waters of building a new children's character and its associated branding. I will be using the upcoming products to also understand the type of work I'm comfortable with building the feel that comes with it.

Simply writing a story isn't enough and it not the ultimate direction I want to take Sadie Cat and Mao.

There are a lot of things to learn here:

  • How to use iBooks Author to create media rich experiences for iPad and iPhone
  • How to format the same story and illustrations in a physical format for print on demand services
  • How to format the same story and illustrations (again) for other digital distribution, like KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)
  • Am I happy with character drawings with little to no backgrounds in my art? Is that too much "blank space" for a picture book? Do I stay with hard black outlines with solid colors or do I go for more textured and "natural" looking illustrations?
  • What is the right market and demographic I'm aiming for? Is it children's picture books (i.e. Jamberry or Pete the Cat or Curious George) or is it youth chapter books (i.e. Geronimo Stilton)? Do I just shoot for the "I Can Read" level of books or start with chapter book length and trim it down to fit that style?
  • Learn the Facebook ads ecosystem and how to promote the work effectively for brand awareness and eventually, one day, conversions

Here's to the journey and I hope you follow along!

077 - Sadie Cat and Mao (new title)

I've decided to rename the product to Sadie Cat and Mao (originally Sadie Cat Stories). I'm also going through the process of really paring down the scope of the stories. To compare, the first short story I wrote was over 7,000 words. This most recent one is only 800. It's more like a vignette if anything. It is, however, getting me closer to what I'm trying to create with regards to brand awareness of the characters.