Hey y’all! This’ll be a long post, so, abbreviated version: Rejected Princesses posts are going to be less frequent from January to about May of next year, since I’m taking a short job in Canada doing visual effects.
Still here? Okay, here’s a peek behind the curtain of what goes on here (exciting!).
If you don’t follow this real closely, you may not know it, but pretty much everything is done by one guy. My name’s Jason. Hi! RP has been my full time job for a while, and it’s a surprising amount of work! While I do other stuff with my time — including secret projects to try and grow out RP into other areas which I can’t tell you about until/unless they pan out — it’s certainly the primary thing.
Which leads us to the number one question I get in conversation nowadays:
How do you make money?
Short answer is: I kinda don’t. I saved up a whole bunch before quitting DreamWorks Animation — I didn’t just flip a table and run out the door — in order to have the freedom to do my own thing without having to worry about money for a while. This let me grow as an artist remarkably, find my own voice, figure out what the heck RP actually is, and generally things have been rad! Plus, since I got a book deal (with some money) pretty early in the life of this project, this plan seemed like it could go on for quite some time!
However, I’m new to publishing. And parts of it move slower than I’d budgeted. So plans had to be adjusted. Hence: VFX gig.
Well, how long does this take you really?
An average RP entry takes 20-25 hours of research, writing, and artwork. Comic entries can be more like 40-50. I read a book or two per entry (just check the “citations” portion, yo), and spend a fair bit of time making the art (self-taught = still slow).
But you’re really only seeing the tippy-top of a pretty deep iceberg. On top of the web entries, I do book entries (which includes redoing art on early entries); book edits; book design; the aforementioned secret projects; maintaining the Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, main site, and email accounts; and now, preparing for a move to Canada! I also try to have a social life sometimes.
To give you a sense of my hours: my intimidatingly-accomplished astrophysicist roommate ranked me as one of the top ten hardest workers she’s ever met. This is a woman who’s worked with SpaceX, NASA, and is likely to be the first person to die on Mars of old age. I took it as a compliment, although I’m unclear if I was supposed to.
Yikes. So now what?
Well, to keep things going, I’m taking a short job back in the pixel mines of visual effects for a couple months (January through April). The idea is that this will refill the coffers before I return to RP full time in May. After that I plan to keep full time through the book launch (currently scheduled for Fall 2016) and past.
(this also helps renew my resume in visual effects, if I ever need to use it as a Plan B again)
But what if you got a collaborator to handle artwork?
Been looking into it. It’s a little complicated by copyright, and my diehard need to properly compensate anyone who works with me (exposure is not pay, y’all). But if you feel you’re a good fit and you want to do it, drop me a line at [email protected]
So… are you gonna stop posting?
Nope! Probably will just slow down a bit. Truth is, I don’t know what my situation will be. Some VFX jobs I’ve had in the past were 45 hours a week, a total walk in the park. Others were 60-100 hours a week, which makes for a walk in a pretty shitty park.
I also don’t know what the Vancouver library system is like! It’ll be an adventure.
Why don’t you do a Patreon/Kickstarter/more merch/etc?
Basically, the audience numbers aren’t there yet. I think we’ll get there, probably sometime after the book launches, but for now, no. I don’t want to do it unless I can do it right.
What about putting ads on the site?
I hate ads, though. Don’t you? And plus, doesn’t everyone use ad blockers nowadays?
What about sponsored posts?
Hard to find a good fit. The Shaw Brothers series worked great, but can’t see it working for, say, audible.com.
But… I don’t want you to go!
Don’t fret – I’ll be back in May!
What can I do to help?
Aw, that’s sweet of you to ask. Spread the word so the audience grows! Suggest interesting women for me to cover! Send in stories of cool modern-day women! Or hey, just toss over funny weird stuff that will help this Californian pass the Canadian winter! (I love weird stuff!)
But bottom line, all I ask is that you stick with it – which I know most of you will. You’re a fantastic audience and I’m thankful every single day for you all.
(princess post up later today!)