I’m at Wit’s End . . . Help Me

January 26, 2011

I’m at wit’s end right now. I’m at wit’s about everything but I’m not going to talk about right now. Not the personal stuff. Maybe some of it will slip. Ok a lot of it will because it’s all connected. I’m thinking out loud so to speak. Or should I say I’m thinking on paper or ..well “I’m thinking on a word document so to write.”

 

I am frustrated about money, creativity and various projects. I have a lot going on at the same time and between my ADHD and being Bipolar my focus and follow through is all over the place. Top it off with the Trigeminal Neuralgia popping up now and then and it’s difficult to even finish writing a blog sometimes.

 

Ok. Hopefully you’ve been reading my blogs so I don’t have to repeat myself. I probably will anyway.

 

I am desperately trying to figure out a way to make money on the internet and or through my art specifically. I have books published for sale, art for sale, T-shirts for sale; I have affiliate programs with dozens of web sites and my own social network. I have made a little money here and there and don’t know what to do next. I keep doing what I’ve been doing. I promote on all of the social networks I belong to. I promote on my blog sites as you know and I’ll get to that at the end of the blog.

 

I have other options for the books. The publisher has several marketing packages that cost money. That option is out. I sent several press releases about my books and no write-ups except by my friend at the Philadelphia City Paper. Maybe I need to send more. I did one book signing and little success. I can also send the book out to more publishers because my publisher doesn’t have the rights to it. I do. Everything takes time and money. I have the time but not the money. Yet.

 

It’s weird how I post links to my novel, Yellow Socks and the Best of the Serial Killer Coloring Book several times a week. I think I am spamming sometimes or over kill it. I get responses that people like the post then they don’t buy it. I also get people that say how bad they want to purchase my book but they haven’t gotten around to it yet. They don’t. Then there are the people that ask me where they can purchase the books when the links are posted all over my profiles and blogs. I tell them politely and then they don’t buy anything. It’s the same with my t-shirt site. I lower my expectations but keep my hopes high. I end up with constant repressed frustration. People are people and I do the same thing sometimes.

 

I knew starting a new social network at the same time that the almighty king of social network’s prime. My social network, Novaboon, was created out of pure anger and rebellion from my own personal “persecution” from facebook. I kept falling victim to censorship and constant regulations on my profile. Facebook can be pretty controlling almost fascist like. There is a limit to how many friends you can request or have then hypocritically constantly post profiles suggesting you add them. There is a limit to how many messages you can send in given time. They remove images that they claim to violate their “terms” yet don’t say which one.

 

I don’t want to get into details about but I have a lot of complaints about them and was angered and decided to create my own social network. I didn’t expect to in anyway compete with facebook or even the dying MySpace. I wanted to create an alternative for those as frustrated as I am. I wanted an unrestricted social network with great customer service. I grabbed the best person I knew to partner up with me to do the back end. The technical computer knowledge to help me make this happen. He was into the idea and we wrote up a business plan and set our goals. Novaboon was born in October 2010 and was launched in November 2010. My duties are the promotional, system tester/user, creative and marketing end.

 

I started it to fill a void I suspected existed and to give people similar to me an alternative site to post what they want. We set out to make it the best we could. We also decided we want to make money through obtaining advertisers eventually.

 

The Novaboon promotion took off immediately and we grew pretty fast in the fist few weeks to a month. I promoted mostly on other social networks especially facebook. This of course got me into more censorship issues with facebook. Sending too many messages especially. I actually personally messaged 100s of people announcing our new site. I used groups, my blog sites and any other internet means I could promote through for free. It was frustrating on and off and still is.

 

The same things were happening like they did when I was promoting my books. People asked me questions about it then not signing up. Some people signed up then didn’t come back to the site. I overkill the posts about it and people still ask me what it called. I keep on pressing on. I have a vision and I secretly expect everyone to understand it and join me. They won’t. People are people.

 

I’ve come to understand that most people if not all people on facebook are either satisfied or addicted to facebook because that’s where their friends are. That’s what they are comfortable with. Hell, I still go on there as much as my own site. I also use it as a vehicle to continue to promote Novaboon. Novaboon has shifted from not only an alternative but a fun unrestricted supplement. We don’t expect anyone to abandon king facebook.

My partner and my enthusiasm have shifted up and down for the past few months but we’ve come to realize that Novaboon is actually doing pretty good. We are growing at a steady pace. I’m beginning to understand that slow and steady is better than too much too fast and too slow. I just keep getting stuck and frustrated.

Where do I go from here? Are we ready to get advertising? How do I get more people to join and use the site? These are typical and reasonable questions at this point. I’m frustrated mostly because of my need for money.

When I first published my Serial Killer Coloring Book I went through similar things. I built a huge underground following, distributed it internationally, sold thousands of comics and in the end I never made a living off of it. I made a lot of money spread over 3 or 4 years and if it was my only income I would have been screwed.

I am an artist first. I have never been into it for the money but sometimes I wish that I were. If you asked me a few month or so ago, in the height of my frustration, what was more important the art or the money I would have said the money. I love the fact that I have published and sold my first novel. I enjoy the praise but I would really love to have the money.

Most of my life I have had jobs, not careers, that required little work hours and I made a lot of money in the few hours. I never wanted to commit to a full time career oriented job. Sometimes I couldn’t figure out why. It was because deep inside I know that I am an artist. Whether I am writing, drawing, playing in a band or creating new websites and social networks. I am an artist and I want to one-day make the money that I deserve not as a person but as an artist.

Now let’s move onto my promotions.

My novel Yellow Socks: Confessions of a Non-Don Juan is available at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/richhillenjr

Or Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Yellow-Socks-Confessions-Non-Don-Juan/dp/0557562597/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296071667&sr=8-1

 

My Best of the Serial Killer Coloring Book is available at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/richhillenjr

 

My T-shirts are available at http://richhillenjr.spreadshirt.com/

 

Check out my videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/crawlspacebro

 

Don’t forget to join my free unrestricted social network NovaBoon now. http://novaboon.com

It’ll only take a minute to join and check it out. Don’t forget to say hi to me

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A Little Self Promotion

December 9, 2010

Damn. I haven’t written anything on here in a while. I’m a busy guy ya know… ha. I’ve been trying to promote the shit out of the new social network NovaBoon that I started with my partner a month ago. It’s tough to get people to stray from what they are used to. Try new things, I remember how hesitant I was to go to facebook when I had MySpace. Next thing you know I was on facebook as much as possible. I didn’t start writing this to promote NovaBoon but I will plug it any chance I get.

Since I haven’t been up to writing about what’s going on in my head I wanted to promote my upcoming “reading” of my novel Yellow Socks: Portrait of a Non-Don Juan next Saturday in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia City Paper is also doing an article about my books and myself next Thursday’s edition and I’m sure I’ll be plugging that next week. I even had a professional photographer for the paper shoot me the other day.

Ok So here’s the details

READING / SIGNING

RICH HILLEN, JR.

Rich Hillen Jr is an American artist, musician, and most importantly a writer most famous for his SERIAL KILLER COLORING BOOK and his band the World Famous Crawlspace Brothers, He just published his first novel: YELLOW SOCKS. CONFESSIONS OF A NON-DON JUAN and reprinted all five issues of his coloring book: THE BEST OF THE SERIAL KILLER COLORING BOOK.

 

Sat 12/18/2010 @ 2 pm

 

Germ Books + Gallery, LLC

2005 Frankford Avenue

between Norris and Susquehanna

next to Rocket Cat Cafe

Fishtown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

215-423-5002

http://www.germbooks.com

http://www.myspace.com/germbooksandgallery

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Philadelphia-PA/Germ-Books-and-Gallery/102519956464198

So that’s that.


Change and Serial Murder

July 21, 2010

Change. Like it or not I change. I grow even when I don’t want to. Sometimes I slip down and fall and have to climb back up but it’s still a change and it always leads to more growth. They say hindsight is 20/20 but I disagree. Personally, my hindsight is delusional. I look back and see things better than they really were. Thank God I’m a writer. Thank God I can look back and read what I was thinking and how I was behaving in the past. Thank God I have friends and family that remind me of what I was.

One of my close friends is always telling stories about things I did to him in the past. Not to put me down but because he finds the humor in it now. I don’t even remember half of the stories until he is halfway through. He was a less tolerant person full of anxiety and I apparently was an insensitive prankster. I won’t tell you the specifics because: a) they aren’t important and b) you might talk to him one day.

The reason this topic came to mind today is that I am going through my infamous Serial Killer Coloring Books and looking at these sometimes vivid drawings I did and the drawings the murderers have done and the crimes they have committed. I am compiling all of the issues into one book and have been going through them page by page looking and reading. I was shocked by some of the things that I’ve said and the drawings I’ve done. Imagine that. Me? Shocked. It happens. It made me question whether I want to re-publish it or forget about it. I worked so hard on those comics that I hate to see it go to waste. I poured my heart and soul into it.

I’ve spent years defending myself as to why I took an interest in serial killers enough to draw, write and form a band that sings about them. I understood why completely. Even in my delusional state of mind I have some awareness of what’s really going on in my head and heart. I always looked at what I did as an over the top exploitation of the exploitation of murder and true crime. I never thought that they were cool like I’ve been accused of. The truth of the matter is that I was secretly identifying with the serial killer. I didn’t identify with the desire to murder but with the common obsession and addiction. I have many addictions but most are harmful to myself. I have no desire or even fantasy of raping, murdering or cannibalism. I found it fascinating that there are real life “monsters” out there that not only fantasize but act out on it. Why? What makes them different?

I’ve believed that anyone could be a serial killer under certain circumstances. We are all just one gene or one spanking in our childhood away from it. I have mental illness in my natural family genes so of course I have a mental illness. A treatable one. A controllable one but I still have it. After being raised by a paranoid schizophrenic mother for 8 years I found  myself seeking other “crazy people in my life especially girlfriends.

As I grow older I find myself dealing with my issues and growing away from it. I’ve also lost interest in serial killers. I don’t write about them or draw them or even think about them except when I perform because most of my songs are about them. I look at it differently now. Now I’m going through some of my drawings and I can’t believe that I’m the same person.

The big question on my mind is do I abandon my previous creations? Ignore them like they never happened. My gut tells me to embrace my past and everything I’ve created good and bad. I don’t really think that anything I’ve done has brought any bad energy or karma into the world. I still don’t think that writing, drawing or singing about murder is going to influence anyone negatively or make them do bad things unless they are already inclined to do so. I used to say “serial killers don’t have time to read about or listen to songs about serial killers. They’re too busy serial killing.” It’s true. True crime buffs don’t commit murders. It’s usually the seemingly “nice” guy that lives next door to you, sits next to you at work, rides the train with you to work, cooks your food at a restaurant or maybe even your lover or family member.

There has always been an internal struggle with me as to letting go or holding back in my creative endeavors. I’ve mentioned this over and over. I always come to the same decision. I always do the same thing. I decide that I will be an open book and talk and write about anything and then I hold things back anyway. Sometimes I censor and sometimes I don’t. Hopefully, my work is appreciated either way. Hopefully, I keep appreciating my work either way. After all, I am my biggest critic and my biggest fan.


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