Talking Pulp: Creating > Bitching

I posted a thread to Twitter the other day with a quick rundown of these points.

However, I wanted to marinate on the thread. Especially, after getting some feedback. I wanted to expand more on this because Twitter gives you very limited space to express yourself.

So, in an effort to elaborate and get more into the details of what I wanted to say, I figured that I’d write this article on the subject.

The thing is, I’m really getting tired of those who constantly bitch about all the new stuff that comes out in entertainment. Not because their commentary on the shitty films, television shows, comics, and books is inaccurate, but because it is all most of them do with their platform. They say they want good shit again, but there is very little focus on the good things that are actually out there.

Truth be told, I was guilty of the same thing for quite awhile. However, I am able to create and with that talent, I’ve decided to start making the stories I want to read. I wrote for no one else. That’s not to say that I didn’t hope that my books wouldn’t connect with other people. I was just so damn tired of having this void of good, quality, fun escapism and I filled that void myself with the type of stories I needed. Seeing the reactions to my books, I realized that I have also helped to fill that void for other people, which is a humbling, satisfying, but also strange feeling.

As I put my shit out there, I’ve come across many others doing the same; those who make really good stuff that further fills that void. The point is, there are those of us working really damn hard at creating alternatives to the mainstream IPs that are mostly pretty fucking dead. If they haven’t murdered your favorite thing yet, it’s coming.

The thing I find somewhat irritating about the loudest voices that express their disdain over their beloved franchises being ripped to shreds, is that they don’t turn much of their attention to the creators that are trying to give them what they (and their audience) claim they yearn for.

I get it, though, tearing the new Lord of the Rings trailer to shreds is going to get YouTubers a lot of views, and I’m not saying to stop if it feeds your family. However, feeding that fire, ultimately, isn’t going to be productive in the long-term. It also isn’t going to help give the culture what it needs to move forward again.

Sure, we know those things suck and we know why and how they suck, but what about the flipside of that? I guess what I’m asking for is more balance.

If these very opinionated critics and fans put that much energy into building something new, we could truly put the nail in the coffin of the mainstream. YouTubers like RazörFist, Shadiversity, The Critical Drinker, and Eric July are putting their money where their mouth is. They critique but then they create.

After releasing two books this year, my platform has grown. It’s still really fucking small, I’m not kidding myself, but I’m getting an increased amount of engagement and support from like-minded creators and a fresh, quickly expanding fanbase. And man, that feels weird to say, as I’m still not used to people being interested in the IP I am trying to build.

This is why I keep pushing other creators and their projects so damn hard on my Twitter feed (and possibly on a YouTube channel soon, as I’m starting to see the need for one). Those using the “IronAge” hashtag (more on that here) and seeing it as an emerging, unified front that wants to move forward, deserve to be entertained again.

To be frank, I (and many others) don’t give a fuck about the vast majority of these legacy IPs, anymore. Sure, I care about the “culture war” and I do think it is important to point out what is happening to mainstream entertainment, but these things have been such a focus for so long now, that I don’t need to be bombarded with constant reminders that Hollywood is trash. I know it’s trash and I’d rather not pay it any mind anymore because Hollywood will not change and I’ve got to get to work. I have to look ahead and as these IPs burn and the void they leave behind widens, I need to have my shit ready. As does everyone else that has the ability to make something good.

need escapism. The world needs escapism: real escapism.

I need new things to emerge. I need to be excited again. That starts from the ground up, though. I want to move forward with hope and to be inspired by those around me looking towards a bright future. I don’t want to stare angrily into a past that’s been raped, pillaged, murdered, and burnt to the ground by weirdos that don’t live in the real world and hate the real world.

I want to see everyone else, that truly wants to work towards making something better, succeed. I want the best creators to thrive and lead the way.

For those who don’t create, stop giving the things you hate your attention. Look elsewhere. Being pissed off, eternally, at a corporation that hates you is pretty fucking dumb. You can find what you’re looking for, you just have to look away from the train wreck.

The quickest way to make these bastards irrelevant, is to walk past them like they don’t exist… and then go give your money and time to the thing you actually want. But I get it, pissing on Disney, Amazon, Warner Bros. and Netflix is fashionable and profitable. In time, though, no one will care anymore. We’ll all “get it”. Then what?

I just can’t fully embrace negativity like that 24/7 and I can’t ignore great new things in entertainment when I’m seeing so much of it, lately.

As I look to my left, there are so many books from emerging indie authors and publishers in my read pile that I just don’t have time for the garbage.

Great stuff is out there, you just have to look.

Talking Pulp: The Iron Age of Pulp is Upon Us

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

Recently, YouTuber, published author, metal expert, lover of film-noir and Death Wish movies, and all around awesome guy, RazörFist, championed in the birth of the Iron Age (see here). He was talking about grabbing the bull by the horns and just making your own shit. Fuck the gatekeepers and the mainstream, they’re roadblocks to the stories we not only want… but need. Fuck asking permission! Luckily for me, I never have… but neither should you.

While this point was spun-off from RazörFist talking about the success of Eric D. July’s first crowdfunded comic book (which has made well over $3M, at this point), this applies to all creators in the realm of entertainment media. Beyond gamergate, comicsgate, the Fandom Menace, the Rebellion, and every other counter-mainstream movement that has pushed back against the retardation, wokeness, and utter destruction of beloved franchises with legitimate legacies, the Iron Age is all of that coming together and becoming the new culture.

Specifically, in regards to pulp, there is a pretty strong foundation of new authors already. Most, if not all, just started creating their own thing in their own way without being aware that other like-minded creators were doing the same thing.

In my case, I was sick of everything that the mainstream was pumping out and I decided to write the book that I wanted to read: short, fast, action-packed with likable, cool characters, villains that were total bastards, big monsters, and a real sense of brotherhood and kinship.

I didn’t want stories crammed full of political and social allegory. As the real world burned around me, I needed an escape from it, not a constant reminder of it to lecture me and attempt to make me feel bad. If I couldn’t find those stories or real heroes to keep me above the fray, it was up to me to create them. In doing so, and in putting my work out there, I’ve come to discover many others who have essentially done the same.

The main reason I write this, is to express the sense of hope I have that things are improving. I have learned that I am not alone in my attempts at trying to create good stories and good art in a world that severely lacks that stuff, right now. My only fear is that others don’t fully grab the horns of this bull, because I know that together we can do great things and conquer the vile bastards that still have a hold on mainstream entertainment.

In a lot of ways, we have won already. We’ve started to find one another. We have our differences and our own preferences, but ultimately, we all want the same thing as far as the big picture goes.

The best way to success is to cross-pollinate with one another. Cross-promotion and support goes a hell of a long way and since this movement has started to become somewhat defined and been given a name by RazörFist (thankfully not another fucking “-gate”), a rallying cry has been heard by many.

There’s just something in the air now and it’s as if the beacons of Gondor have finally been lit and the merging of great forces have come together to form a grand army against a seemingly unconquerable darkness.

For now, those of us in this thing need to keep working and to keep supporting one another. We need to grow our platforms, just as much as we need to create quality stories and art.

The mainstream has taken nearly everything we’ve loved away from us. If they haven’t destroyed your favorite thing yet, it’s coming. The thing is, all this dismantling and murdering of once massive, great franchises created a void that better writers and artists can and will fill.

Eric D. July’s immense and incredible success only proves that people want and need good stories and characters that they can believe in. While I don’t think that pulp is on the same level of popularity as American superhero comics, who’s to say that it can’t be if the creators have the talent to forge vast worlds and mythos that people will want to escape to.

It’s on all of us with the skill to make this happen.

Going back to what RazörFist said in that video and what I’ve always believed since I was a kid in the ‘80s making my own comics, writing my own stories, and designing my own video games… fuck asking permission. Make your fucking art!

It’s never been easier to create your own work without mainstream publishers. Frankly, everyone I’ve met in this community is always willing to help and offer advice on how to get shit done. If you want to know how I self-published or need guidance or advice, just ask. (My twitter handle is @R0B_DMC)

As I said, we’ve already won. However, it’s not on the world to see that, it’s on us to show them.

Some of the Social Media Marketing for “Atomic Beasts and Where to Kill Them” – Phase Three

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

I figured that I’d post some of the GIFs and JPGs I’ve made to promote the second book in the Barbarians of the Storm series. Mainly, because those here, probably don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

So with that, BEHOLD!

Some of the Social Media Marketing for “Atomic Beasts and Where to Kill Them” – Phase Two

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

I figured that I’d post some of the GIFs and JPGs I’ve made to promote the second book in the Barbarians of the Storm series. Mainly, because those here, probably don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

So with that, BEHOLD!

Some of the Social Media Marketing for “Atomic Beasts and Where to Kill Them” – Phase One

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

I figured that I’d post some of the GIFs and JPGs I’ve made to promote the second book in the Barbarians of the Storm series. Mainly, because those here, probably don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

So with that, BEHOLD!

“Atomic Beasts and Where to Kill Them” is Officially Released!… and “Dan the Destructor” has a new cover to match!

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

While my Memorial Day weekend was wrecked by shenanigans and frustration with Amazon’s KDP platform, I have finally gotten everything right and the new book is now out for purchase as a paperback or in the lamer Kindle format.

I only kid, but c’mon… paperbacks are cooler than e-books and my whole inspiration for this book series are the old pulp paperbacks of my youth. Plus, I get more royalties off of the paperbacks and they will continue to exist when the grid goes down.

Now that the production of this book is behind me, I have more time to dedicate to this site and a few other projects, while the ideas for Book III take shape in my brain. I know where the next book needs to go, generally speaking, as a civil war must come to an end. However, once you read Atomic Beasts, you will see that many characters end up in very different places, in very perilous situations, and I have to find a way to bring them out of that (or not) and eventually bring them all back together.

For this “phase” of the series, its first, I see Book II and Book III as a two-part second act of the story I want to tell. The eventual Book IV will most likely close out the first phase of this growing franchise. And yes, I do have plans for a big second phase of stories.

Additionally, I need to start working on a few different short story anthologies. I want to do one (or two) collections featuring Fenrik stories, as well as an anthology of origins for the important, core characters. Additionally, I want to do a book (possibly three) that cover Frank Murdock’s time in this world from when he arrived, all the way up to the events of the first “saga” book, Dan the Destructor.

For now, I hope you check out Atomic Beasts and Where to Find Them and that you enjoy it as much as Dan the Destructor, or even more so. It’s a bigger story, more ambitious, and grows the mythos of this franchise quite a bit.

And who is that badass chick on the cover? You’ll have to read and find out!

The Genesis of the “Barbarians of the Storm” Book Series

Part I: From Idea to Comic Script to Book

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

The final version of Dan the Destructor is very different from what it was originally intended to be and with that, the Barbarians of the Storm series is a bigger and much more refined vision of what I initially set out to do.

For those who have already read the book and know the characters, the original story that I had in my head revolved around Frank Murdock. There wasn’t a Dan, and Fenrik only came into it about halfway through, as an ally that was actually a king and married to a warrior queen (Vasilia).

For those who haven’t read the book, Frank is an important but fairly minor character in it. He’s also a decade or two older than what he would’ve been in my original idea. Although, a much closer version to that original idea is in the pipeline, as I am planning either a short story anthology or a separate series that will focus specifically on Frank’s time between his arrival in this strange world and the events of Dan the Destructor. Let me get back on topic, though.

The original concept came from my love of Italian rip-offs of the Mad Max and Conan the Barbarian movies. I was high one night, having a marathon of these sort of films, when a friend and I started discussing their origins and how we both thought it would’ve been neat if the Italians had combined the two things together in a sort of Mad Max meets Conan flick. It would have been a strange blend of those worlds but they are very similar, apart from some technological differences. However, both are barbarous, take place in a desert expanse and feature a badass hero, against all odds, doing battle with an enemy force that is much larger than himself.

The idea became something that I wanted to do in a comic book style. Initially, I wanted a four-issue miniseries, drawn in a late ‘70s/early ‘80s style and printed on newsprint, unlike comic books these days. I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve this, as I wouldn’t be the artist, but I started to bullet point out what the script would be.

I sat on this idea for about a year but new things popped into my head and I ended up having more focus on Fenrik and a new character, Dan. I didn’t even know what to call Dan but I like alliteration and wanted something that worked with “Destroyer”, which itself was an homage to 1984’s Conan the Destroyer, a movie I adored as a kid.

When the COVID shit kicked off and I had a lot more free time on my hands, I cranked out the script for what was then called Dan the Destroyer. In the time since I started that script and got the final book out, though, another novel had come out with that title, so I switched it to Dan the Destructor. I actually have some press proofs of the book with the original title on them.

Getting back to the comic book script, I figured that I’d write it out as a four-issue miniseries of traditional floppy comics. I was also toying with the idea of doing it as a graphic novel, as it was my first attempt at a comic book project professionally and that seemed like a lot less of a headache.

The problem came when I was trying to find the right artist and nothing materialized and the few artists that did respond, fell off the face of the Earth or had such shitty correspondence that I knew that I didn’t want to work with them.

So, I sat on the script for another year and I’d periodically re-read it. However, each time I did, I got new ideas and I realized that it would serve the story better to flesh out some sequences, get a lot more action heavy and to speed up the pace of the storytelling. And really, this got me thinking of the pulp novels I loved as a kid, whether they were all the cool Conan and Tarzan paperbacks I’d check out at the library because of their badass covers or those Louis L’Amour western novels (also with badass covers) that my grandfather would let me read from his collection.

Through that lens, Dan the Destructor came to life for me in a way that it hadn’t before and I decided that it would be best for the story if it were written as a short, fast-paced, action-packed, buddy adventure that stayed focused on the main plot.

However, many of my ideas grew beyond just this story, so some minor world building had to be worked in. I didn’t want that to overpower or dilute the story, and based off of feedback I’ve gotten, I think I succeeded in that. Most people who have discussed the book with me, are already pretty eager to see where certain things are going to go. Honestly, as a writer, that makes me happy, as I obviously want people to enjoy the book and be left wanting more.

So this is how everything came together in regards to reaching what became the book, but I do plan to write more about this, as I wanted to discuss other influences I’ve had over the years that also contributed to what became Dan the Destructor. I figured I’d address this part of the book’s creation process, though, as it’s the question I seem to get the most.

Part II: Discussing Influences – Television & Film

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

Just as I was turning 5 years-old, there was one thing that was released upon the world that was bigger than everything else combined. That thing was the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon. To say that it captivated me, is the understatement of the century.

I watched the show constantly and I wanted every single toy, which wasn’t possible on my mother’s budget. However, she did buy me a lot more Masters of the Universe merchandise than she could probably afford.

So, while I already discussed how I came up with the concept for what became Dan the Destructor, I can’t dismiss all the other things that had a large enough effect on me to actually influence and seep into the creative process of developing and writing the book and its future sequels.

Masters of the Universe was huge for me, and even though I moved on to G.I. JoeTransformersStar Wars, and other franchise that weren’t too close to the sword & sorcery aesthetic, it still served as the foundation to a lot of what I would like in entertainment, going forward.

Other animated shows that I loved, that were also very fantasy based, were the Dungeons & Dragons animated series and ThunderCats. Additionally, He-Man had a spinoff featuring his sister called She-Ra: Princess of Power, and even though that was geared more towards girls in how the toy line differed, I still loved the show and I also had some of those dolls “action figures”.

As I got older, though, I was completely engrossed by the badass action films of the time. I discovered Conan the BarbarianThe Road WarriorBeastmaster, and so many others that blew my little kid mind. Many of them I probably shouldn’t have seen at the age that I was, but the ‘80s were a different time and for a parent to deny their ‘80s kids these cultural landmarks would’ve exposed them to the other kids as “pussies”, “dorks” and “dweebs”.

Besides, we always found ways to watch the things our parents didn’t want us to. For me, I had my friend Brian, a few doors down, and when I was staying with my dad, there was Greg, across the street, whose father dubbed every movie the video store had.

By the late ‘80s, my dad was pretty cool about letting me watch a lot of R-rated action flicks. This is when I discovered the greatness of the Cannon Films library from the American Ninja movies, the Ninja trilogy of films, all the Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme epics, and so many others. My dad also showed me cooler, hipper and funnier action flicks like the Lethal WeaponBeverly Hills Cop and 48 Hrs. franchises.

While action films like these might not seem like they influenced Dan the Destructor on the surface of what they appear to be, it was their fast-paced style, witty dialogue, and in the case of the ‘80s buddy cop action/comedies, it was that buddy element that worked its way into the relationship between Dan and Fenrik and how it evolves over the story.

I also have to talk about my general love of adventure stories and how spoiled I was with those in the ‘80s from the Indiana Jones movies, their many knockoffs, and also a lot of the cheaper sword & sorcery flicks that were pretty prevalent and not just the ones from Italy, Spain and Argentina. Some of this influence also came from my mom, as she loved watching things like Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile.

This probably all seems like a lot, but as I wrote the book and these things subconsciously worked their way in, I wasn’t initially aware of it. It wasn’t until I started proofreading the book, as a full body of work, that I could see these specific influences and where they were coming from, which I found to be kind of neat.

I initially set out to make a mash up of Italian Conan and Mad Max rip-offs. What I ended up creating was a smorgasbord of a lot of my influences, but I do like how it all came together. It wasn’t what I intended to do, it just kind of happened. At the same time, I don’t think that Dan the Destructor is overly derivative or overstuffed by pulling bits and pieces from so many very different things.

The reason I even share all of this, is that I want to be transparent about where my ideas and influences come from. I think it’s important and writers should probably share these things with other writers (and their fans), especially for those who are younger and who really want to take a crack at creating their own worlds.

Plus, I always hate when successful writers pretend that everything comes from them when it’s clear that something specific inspired them at some point. Plus, our influences should be celebrated because they are the foundation we pull our inspiration from. They’re the things that shaped us into the creators that we are.

Part III: Discussing Influences – Comics & Books

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

While I have already pointed out how the initial concept for Dan the Destructor came from the idea of what it’d be like to see Italian rip-offs of Conan and Mad Max blended together, there are a lot of other things that have helped influence me over the years.

I talked about the movies and television shows that inspired parts of the book (and budding series), but I also wanted to continue to give credit where credit is due in regards to other forms of entertainment that did their part. In this installment, I wanted to discuss comics and books.

Similarly to how the Frank Frazetta book covers for ConanTarzan, and the Pellucidar series blew my little mind when I saw them on bookshelves, so did the painted covers for the comic book magazine The Savage Sword of Conan. In fact, it blew my mind so much that I own about half of the comic’s 235 issue run from 1974 to 1995.

While I also dug the hell out of the regular Conan the Barbarian and King Conan comics, it was Savage Sword that really spoke to me because of the painted covers and how it was also much more adult in content and boasted exceptional black and white art inside. I especially loved the issues done by Barry Windsor-Smith.

When I was writing Dan the Destructor and decided that I needed to beef the story up with a few more monster battles, I found myself flipping through my issues of The Savage Sword of Conan, where I found inspiration. In fact, many issues gave me some ideas for encounters in the next few books.

Beyond my adoration for Savage Sword, I also loved the Solomon Kane and Red Sonja comics that Marvel put out in their original runs. The Solomon Kane material that was printed in black and white magazine format is incredible and frankly, some of the best stuff that Marvel Comics ever produced, especially outside of their standard superhero material.

As for Red Sonja, more than seeing her in a chainmail bikini, I always loved her spirit and how badass she was. There was something believable in her ability to fight bigger men, bigger beasts and find ways to survive through her drive, fierceness, savagery and cunning. Even at about seven years-old, I’m pretty sure I was saying to myself, “Damn, that’s wifey material, bruh.”

There are other comics that used to peak my interest in a similar way as well. I liked whenever Marvel did their Weirdworld stuff, and I wish that they would’ve explored that territory more. I also liked those ‘80s Dungeons & Dragons and Dragonlance comics.

One specific character that captivated the hell out of me is Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik of the New Mutants. My love for her was born out of the cover of the fourth issue of her original miniseries, Storm and Illyana: Magik.

The story and art in that miniseries was just so cool and I reread the four-issue miniseries almost quarterly for several years. My love of Magik and all the things hellish that were tied to her character, propelled me into being a massive New Mutants fan. I also loved everything that led into and was tied to the X-Men mega crossover event, Inferno. Illyana’s influence will probably be felt greatly in a character that is debuting in my second book.

Moving beyond comics, if I wasn’t reading Find Your Fate books for G.I. Joe and Indiana Jones, I was reading a lot of fantasy. In many cases, these books were the sword & sorcery novels that featured Frazetta art, be they books by Robert E. Howard or novels from a plethora of other authors.

It was always Frazetta’s art that sold me on books, though, as I honestly was too young to really know how much of the art I saw was from one guy. Anything that kind of captured that same sort of energy, usually meant that I was going to give it a shot, though.

It was this kind of art that inspired me to pickup a Kull book for the first time, and even though it was written by Howard and featured a character that one could easily mistake for Conan, Kull was very different and it made me realize that not all “barbarian” characters had to be the same. One thing that I wanted to make sure with my barbarian character, Fenrik, is that he wasn’t a carbon copy of Conan or what people assume is a somewhat generic archetype.

In more recent years, I’ve found myself influenced by authors who themselves were influenced by Robert E. Howard. Yet these are writers that produced very different heroes and with that, inspired me as well. These are authors like Michael Moorcock, Charles R. Saunders, Karl Edward Wagner and Fritz Leiber.

I should also point out that I was greatly influenced by other writers like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, H.P. Lovecraft, Andre Norton, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Jules Verne. I’m pretty sure all of them have already influenced things that have come out of my brain and made it into print.

Part IV: Discussing Influences – Pinball & Video Games

Growing up when I did, it’d be hard to not be lured in by the flashing lights and cool electronic noises of the pinball machines and video games of the time. Whenever my mum went shopping at the mall, I was in the video arcade spending her money, one quarter at a time. However, I made a pretty good friend in the arcade manager and he used to give me quarters after I ran out. While he probably wasn’t the best manager because of that, he’s had half a lifetime’s worth of appreciation from me, whenever I look back on his kind and awesome deeds.

Honestly, though, I think he knew that my mum didn’t have a lot of money and he was a bit smitten with her. But whatever, he was cool and he constantly gave me great movie recommendations, as well. I hope he’s still alive, well and happy.

There were three pinball machines that I remembered playing all the time, and funnily enough, they were adorned with badass sword & sorcery style art, which is what drew me to them in the first place. They were GorgarLost World, and Catacomb. The only one I’ve played in recent years is Gorgar, but I would actually like to own all three machines if I’m ever financially able to. Plus, I need a house but the current real estate market in Florida is making that exceptionally difficult, right now.

I think that Gorgar had the biggest effect on me, though, as it has given me inspiration in the book I’m writing now. Plus, I own a replica of the scoreboard, which sits next to me at work, along with the scoreboard from the Creature From the Black Lagoon pinball machine.

Beyond pinball, I played video games and I leaned more into them as I got older and they got better.

When it came to arcade games, there were truly awesome ones like the Golden Axe series, the Gauntlet series, Altered Beast, and this bizarre fantasy fighting game I liked called Hippodrome. Man, I sucked ass at Hippodrome.

As far as console games at home, I was captivated by the first two Legend of Zelda games. However, it was the Dragon Warrior series that consumed most of my time, overall. And there are definitely things about the Dragon Warrior games that stuck with me, especially in regards to long, epic adventures and monsters.

These are just a few of the fantasy games that I played but they’re the ones that stand out the most and that I still think about. When I started writing the chapter that featured the dragon-men in Dan the Destructor, in my head, they resembled the dragon form that the player can take in Altered Beast. And since my brain settled on that physical look, it’s kind of hard to shake. Although, I did give them golden scales like King Ghidorah from the Godzilla franchise, so they are an amalgamation of those two things.

Part V: Conclusion

In the end, I honestly don’t mind sharing what my influences are and I wish more authors would do the same, instead of just acting like it all just came from them or in some cases, flat out denying that they borrowed from something obvious. It’s impossible not to be influenced by things you love, especially when writing pulpy fiction.

I think that the real magic of writing is how these things are processed and eventually come out on the page in a way that works. Besides, if things create wonder in your mind and your spirit, why wouldn’t you want to let it inspire you and hopefully others through your work?

Talking Pulp: Probably Going to Move Off of Substack

I started this Substack newsletter as an experiment. I do like writing it and it’s important for me to write about my creative process, as it helps me and could potentially help others. I still stand by the ideas and objectives I outlined here. However, this platform is ineffectual and feels pointless, unless you already have a massive following and are able to pull people here from elsewhere in an attempt to monetize your content.

As a place to write or grow an audience, Substack is pretty useless. Unlike some of its older, better competitors, there is nothing within Substack that is better than the platforms it wants to pull its creators from. Can it get there, though? Sure. But it has a long way to go.

Being that I was frustrated with a lot of the things being forced upon its users by WordPress, I felt like it was time to find an alternative. I came here because on paper, it sounded like a cool platform to jump in on and those who love it, LOVE it.

On WordPress, however, I was able to grow an audience pretty easily and naturally, as the platform pulls readers into your content and has the sort of backend tools that help people discover you.

Substack relies on you doing all the work. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do the work, but an assist would be nice, otherwise, why should I use a platform over another one that gives me an edge?

Since I’ve been using this, around the start of the year, I haven’t gained a subscriber beyond those I added to get started. I also haven’t had any engagement: zero. Since I’ve left WordPress (or paused it, really), I’ve gained a few dozen more subscribers and still had some engagement. And over there, I haven’t done a thing.

Maybe this isn’t the right platform for me because I don’t have any interest in monetizing my words. That’s what my book series is for, but that’s also a different animal and I’m not doing that to make a living. Although, that’d be nice some day.

If Substack wants to survive like very few ambitious platforms do, it needs to help its users. It needs to make them excited to use the platform because ultimately, they’ll be more effective than any amount of money dumped into marketing and promotion.

Additionally, I hate how this platform works. It’s obvious that it’s made by designers that can’t think outside of their own box. It’s overly minimalistic to the point of not being user friendly. It lacks options, it lacks style, and it certainly lacks the most important element a writing platform needs: creativity.

All that being said, Substack is frustrating and it feels like it’s been a waste of my time in regards to getting my writing beyond just my own eyes. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, as I want to continue to chronicle the creative process of the Barbarians of the Storm series, but maybe I’ll just go back to WordPress, despite my issues with it. At least, over there, I can get traction, engagement, and actual feedback.

Talking Pulp: Some of the Social Media Marketing for “Dan the Destructor” – Phase Two

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

I figured that I’d post some of the GIFs and posts I’ve made to promote the first book in the Barbarians of the Storm series. Mainly, because those here, probably don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

So with that, BEHOLD!

Talking Pulp: Some of the Social Media Marketing for “Dan the Destructor” – Phase One

*Originally posted on the Talking Pulp Press – Substack.

I figured that I’d post some of the GIFs and posts I’ve made to promote the first book in the Barbarians of the Storm series. Mainly, because those here, probably don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

So with that, BEHOLD!