Been a bit, right? Sorry, kids. In the independent publishing business, I consider a lack of news updates evidence for only one of two things: the business is going down the toilet or we are simply too damn busy. Thankfully, it has been the latter. I have had more work at Asylum817 Productions than any year in its existence so far. I know that news updates are a priority, but when you're the captain, co-captain, the navigator, the deckhands and even the fucking janitor, sometimes things tend to take a little while longer than it would take most businesses. I run this thing entirely by myself and though sometimes it feels like running a months-long marathon, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Anyway, the novel my mother and I are working on, 'Kindred Spirits' is starting to near the end of its first draft. AWESOME, RIGHT??!!! We are literally three chapters away from completing the first draft of this novel and, if you have ever worked on a book with us or published with us, you know that the process from the first draft on is a very quick one. Editing is easily my favorite part of the process, because it doesn't feel like work to me. It feels like just reading. Exploring something created by this company. It is actually pretty exiting, but this is the reason why I don't read my own books. By the time a book comes out, I will ave read it over ten times. Kindred Spirits is currently holding a record, even in its first draft. I have already read this book about four times and the first draft isn't even finished yet. This is my mother, Ruthie Amos Colley's debut novel, but she is by no means new to this stuff. Now only has she published before (poetry), but she has been writing since I was crawling around the shag carpet, shitting in my diapers and watching Sesame Street. VERY exited about this one.
The trailer for Kindred Spirits just got released today via Facebook and Twitter. Why not YouTube, you ask? Well, ask any content creator that has been making that platform their home any time since the big boom of monetization back in 2006-2007. YouTube and their ridiculous policies, plus their penchant for bending over and spreading their butt cheeks every time an advertiser gets offended has something to do with it. Another reason is that I wanted to keep things more personal with this one. A love letter to those who support us. YouTube isn't the platform it used to be, and I am exploring other areas to advertise Kindred Spirits in a way that will make the book succeed.
Lots of other things in the works that you will just have to wait and see about, but I wanted to touch on what is going on with Kindred Spirits first and foremost. I do not have a release date yet, but when I do, I will let all of you know ahead of time. Thanks for reading and keep coming back!!!! Love you all.
-Billie Dean Shoemate III
CEO, Asylum817 Productions
ps. Oh, oh I almost forgot. I have been getting asked about submissions lately and the news that came out via Twitter and Facebook this past month about Asylum817 Productions becoming a private company. Like I said in the video, you all will see no difference in Asylum817 Productions. We will still take submissions like normal, when they are open. At the moment, they are not due to the extreme workload, but they open up all the time. When submissions are open, I am proud to say that the slot is filled up within hours. So, keep checking in :) If you have ANY questions, contact me, okay? I will respond as quickly as possible. With the company going private, the only people that felt the difference and even noticed it were the people who work here. It did not affect the world at large, our authors or our future clients at all. Just did a little housecleaning with the people who 'ran' the Asylum. Suffice it to say, the people that didn't do shit to earn their keep around here. It is back to just little ol' me, ladies and gentlemen. And I couldn't be happier.
What is next for Asylum817 Productions?— Asylum817 (@asylum817) October 24, 2017
VILLAIN IV IS OFFICIAL!!!!
After much debate, speculation and even Billie Dean Shoemate III himself saying he doesn't know if this book will happen, VILLAIN IV was officially announced via Twitter this morning and the cover art was released by the author along with it!!!! Billie Dean Shoemate III, the author of the fan favorite series thus-far, says that VILLAIN IV is in active production as we speak.
Check out the cover!!! You saw it here, peoples of the internets!!!!
We are all hands on deck around here gearing up for the Skies of Madness release. Skies of Madness is our first ever compilation of independent authors from all over the United States and it is nearly out!!!! Things have been crazy around here as you can imagine, but just a quick blurb of info for all of you regarding submissions.
Submissions have been closed for awhile, mostly because of Skies of Madness and the massive undertaking that it was. There were other factors at play there as well, however, CEO Billie Dean Shoemate III announced just yesterday via YouTube that he will be taking a year off of writing. He has written nonstop for over a decade now and this break is much deserved and long overdue. He stated that during this time off, he will open submissions again very, VERY soon. By the middle of October for sure. He will be working with the Asylum just as much, probably, just not on his own stuff.
That doesn't really count as a vacation there, buddy.
But hey!!!! At least submissions will be open, right??!!! Just joking, Billie. Taking a jab at ya, buddy. It's what I live for ;)
Webmaster, Asylum817 Productions
Hiya, kids!!! The release date has been announced as September 14th, 2017 for the much-anticipated compilation 'Skies of Madness' and just letting you know that the ebook edition is ALREADY LIVE!!!! So, if you want to read it now, it is only $.99 on Amazon in e-book form! Preorders are open, so if you want to order a paperback physical copy of it (we at the Asylum are all physical book kinda guys . . . no hate to the ebooks though), you CAN right now, but you will not recieve the book until on or after September 14th. The book is finally DONE after two whole years in development (actually, a little over two years) and the Limited Author's Editions have already come in. Some of the authors have already stopped by to pick theirs up and the others to the authors living out of state will be mailed to them within the coming week.
Congratulations to all the authors in this compilation. It has been an extremely long wait, but we FINALLY DID IT!!!!
SKIES OF MADNESS IS DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey guys, we are having a HUGE giveaway tomorrow and Thursday for my books! Guys, this is the biggest giveaway we have EVER done as a company, so please check it out! Here's a link to the announcement we posted via YouTube just now:
Love you guys!
-Billie Dean Shoemate III
CEO, Asylum817 Productions
Just today, Asylum817 Productions posted a YouTube video, discussing a lot of future projects! Founders of Asylum817 Productions Charles Smith and Billie Dean Shoemate III wrote a small note to their fans and friends via social media today, along with a link to the video:
Greetings! We at Asylum817 Productions have just posted this brand spakin' new video for all of you where we discuss some announcements, new and upcoming projects you will be seeing soon, Skies of Madness which is due out this summer, as well as answering some of your questions. Enjoy and if you have any questions or topics you would like to see us tackle in future YouTube updates, visit us at asylum817.webs.com!
Keep coming back for more news!!!!
Here is the link to the video. Just copy and paste it into your browser:
Just this evening, CEO Billie Dean Shoemate III announced something awesome via Facebook. Here is the letter he sent:
I have a HUGE announcement, ladies and gentlemen
I am having the biggest mass sale of my books EVER. This month, just a couple days from now on June 14th - June 15th, 8 of my novels will go on sale for FREE. Yep, I said FREE. The ebook versions.
Just go to Amazon or use your Kindle app (download it if you dont have it, the app is free and AWESOME) and you can get nearly my entire catalog for zip. zilch. nada. nothing. If you are a collector of my books and don't mind the ebook format, this sale is for you. REMEMBER!!! June 14th through the 15th ONLY!!!
Love you guys,
-Billie Dean Shoemate III
CEO, Asylum817 Productions
Make sure and check out the sale! It is only going on for two days, so get 'em while you can!!!!
Version 4 of the website is currently under construction!!!!! We will start testing on it soon :) God knows how long bug testing and working on all the new features will take, so keep checking back in!!!
Just tonight, CEO of Asylum817 Productions Billie Dean Shoemate III made an announcement via Facebook and Twitter that Return to LOT 150, based on the 2012 bestselling novel, will be cut from Skies of Madness. In a letter to his readers, authors and fans via Facebook, Billie expressed his reasons for the cut. We at Asylum817 Productions would like to extend our gratitude to Billie. His bravery in his transparency and not being afraid to admitting his failures, faults and shortcomings. It takes balls and the rest of us here commend him for that. It is unfortunate that the story got cut, but in reading the letter Billie sent out tonight, perhaps some light will be shed on the news.
I have a Skies of Madness update. Sorry folks, but Return to LOT 150 will not be appearing in Skies of Madness. The reason is . . . the story sucks. lol plain and simple. I am not satisfied with it and I think it takes away from the mythos of the novel, it doesnt add anything to the original story, the characters are lame, the dialogue wooden and stiff and I feel like I am forcing it. Every day I work on Return to LOT 150, i feel like I am cracking the stone and it is not because I normally hate sequels, but this story just plain sucks and does not meet my quality standards. LOT 150 was the bestselling novel from Asylum817 Productions as a whole, like for the whole company and aside from that fact, when I feel like I am dreading every time I turn on my laptop, that is a problem. I am not inspired enough to continue working on it because in all honesty, if it were a submission from any other author, it would get rejected.
Why bother to post this on here? Why tarnish my reputation as a good writer? Because not everything published novelists write, not all bestselling authors or people who have "made it" independently in writing write flawless work every time. People know damn well that when I get sent something that is crap, I call it crap. I do not patronize people or pat them on the head. And the same goes with my own stuff. I have a standard of quality and when it does not get met, even with my own personal work, it gets scrapped. I have hits and misses just like the rest of us . . . and I have fallen into the trap before where I published a book just because people wanted it or I thought it would sell by name alone. I have done it and I have regretted it. I won't say which novels of mine I am talking about, but I will not do it again. So, this post is for everybody. A show of humility. Also, an apology to everybody that wanted to see the spiritual sequel to LOT 150. I know that a lot of you were exited about it, but let me tell you. You aren't missing much. At all. I will not force this story, nor will I try to polish a turd. I do not "go back to the drawing board" with stale and uninspired ideas. Again, I am sorry that Return to LOT 150 didn't make it. I do have a story in Skies of Madness for those of you who enjoy my work, but as far as this one goes, it will be scrapped.
I do not delete files, no matter how bad they are. I have full, complete novels going all the way back to 2009 that never got published because they didn't cut it quality-wise. A lot of people would read these stories (and this includes Return to LOT 150) and tell me I was nuts to scrap it. Some examples include the prequel to the first Villain, called VILLAIN: The Sharpe Conspiracy, Hourglass II and the scrapped three-part trilogy to A Madman's Jury which had the titles Jury, Judge and Executioner. This may very well be that they would either sell well or be fan-loved, but a person needs to feel good about their work, to know it was THE best it could possibly be. I have published work that I felt either unfinished, unrealized or uninspired and I wish I had never, ever done that. I have worked very hard to keep my artistic integrity and I have a very good literary track record. Sorry, but I have no wish to tarnish it just to get my bibliography one line bigger. Return to LOT 150 will always exist, but in what I named my redlighted book folder.
Anyway, I just wanted to let all of you know that sadly, Return to LOT 150 did not make the cut. These things happen. I told you guys and made a promise a long time ago that I will always be transparent with my readers, fans, associates and fellow Asylum817 owners. The story sucked and I axed it. It happens WAY more than you think it does.
I just hope that Polybius doesn't end up a big pile of shit like Return to LOT 150 did. I like that idea.
A big piece of advice for writers. Don't just publish a story because you can. Keep your integrity and only publish what you consider your best. If its not your best, suck it up and axe it. No sense forcing something you're not digging. The readers will pick up on it. Guaranteed.
As always, thanks for visiting and stay tuned for more news!!!!
Webmaster, Asylum817 Productions
You would think that updates on the website aside from Facebook or Twitter would be priority over social media, but that is a change I need to make, huh? I find it easier (and more professional) to do updates on the site and just link them to Facebook or Twitter. A lot of the updates I post are in video form, so I am teaming up with the people that designed Asylum817's HD cover art software to do a little website-based video player for us. Either that, or we can just post them to YouTube. With YouTube being a pain in the ass right now and demonetizing everybody on the planet that made YouTube what it was in the first place, ehhhh nevermind. That is another topic for another time. We are working on revamping Asylum817's YouTube page anyway and trust me, that is a very real goal for us. On top of that, ALL future updates will be posted on the website and I will link to it. This is not a way to clickbait Asylum817 or get more views. I think it is more professional-looking and everything is right here in one central spot. No scouring the internet, looking all over the place to find news about what Asylum817 Productions is up to. So, what do we have in the works right now?
Skies of Madness: I am working on Jared Borum's story at the moment. He had some alteration he wanted to make and has not approved his submission yet. No problem :) in fact, I am happy when the writers do not approve of something I edit. I respect it. That means that the writer wants their own voice clear, and though changing a story is NEVER the intention of editing, Jared found more of a middle ground between what was edited and fixed and what he wanted to say as an individual . . . the feeling he had for his setting, how his characters think and react, that kind of stuff. So, I am currently wrapping his final edit up. I am about halfway through it and should be done middle of next week or so. Then, shoot it back to Jared and if he approves it, onto the next story which will be Trenton Miller's submission. I know that this is a slow process, but editing a good book usually is. We make progress on it every single day no matter how I feel, so rest assured that the book is moving right along at a pretty darn good pace. Actually, a quicker pace than I initially thought.
Polybius: Still writing on it here and there everyday. This one is a little while out yet.
Vermillion: My new album with the new band is going to be out sometime late Summer, I think. I am having to upgrade A LOT of studio equipment lately because the stuff I had, I have had sitting around since Salvaged was still making demos in a basement. That is literally how old my current mixing board is. Just need to update a few things to get ready for vocal tracks. I have decided that I'm doing vocals myself. I enjoyed all the auditions, but nobody was quite the fit for the sound I was looking for. The band suggested I sing it because I was getting kind of depressed in having to reject so many great singers. It was not a matter of anyone being "bad" or anything like that. If you suck, I have no problem telling you. I have been a musician my whole life and I will not let anyone cheapen what I have worked my whole life doing. You were all good in different ways, but unfortunately, not the way I was looking for. After trying to weasel my way out of it for months, I will be singing on the album. The new band I put together ROCKS, man and you will really enjoy what we have put together for you. The album is completely recorded music-wise. Just waiting for the new mixer and some new odds and ends to ship to my place and the vocals will be underway.
Everything else? Not worth mentioning at this point. These are the major projects that are in full production at the moment. If any of you want to know anything more, have any questions or anything regarding Skies of Madness, please feel free to contact me.
God bless and take care of yourselves.
-Billie Dean Shoemate III
CEO, Asylum817 Productions.
Well, holy shit!!!!
Yep, Skies of Madness is finally underway. Your humble neighborhood CEO is currently editing together the first draft for Skies, compiling the stories and fixing them up - editing them as I would any story. It has been a hell of a lot easier editing stuff other people write, so it is going to be a pretty quick process compared to one of my novels (haha). i do expect Skies of Madness to be released sometime in the spring of 2017, but we have never done a compilation before. On top of that, any kind of book project, especially large and ambitious ones like this, tend to be up in the air as far as exactly when the release date is. With something like this, I guarantee I will know for sure only within days of its release. I am sorry if that is an invonvenience for anybody who worked on the project, but this is simply one of the things that come along with this kind of industry. The way the cookie crumbles, as Bruce Almighty would say. This will be one of those books. I will know like a week (if that) before it is actually in print what the release date is. I do think it will be late spring 2017, though. Due to vacations, illnesses, system upgrades and all the trappings of running a small business, I haven't done many updates, but one of my New Year's resolutions for 2017 is making A LOT more updates for all of you. Especially on this news page. It will be my mission to keep you in the loop more, reinvigorate the Asylum's Twitter page and COMPLETELY revamp our Youtube account. Possibly do a monthly upload regarding questions we are asked . . . tips and tricks of indie publishing, what to look out for, getting started and tips/tricks for working on books . . . that kind of stuff. I have wanted to do some kind of vlog-style series on Youtube for aspiring as well as seasoned independent authors. Just stuff about what we do, funny behind the scenes stuff (it happens all the time), instructional material about indie publishing and how you as a writer can learn certain tricks to make your labor SMARTER not HARDER.
These are my goals for 2017 and we have A LOT of work to do. I want to get Twitter back up and running, the webste updated more often and make more of a presence on Youtube. We can do a lot more to reach out to all of you and I look forward to taking the first steps into this new year with all of you.
Keep an eye out for more Skies of Madness updates!!!! We are about four stories in right now, completely edited and it is FANTASTIC so far. Trying to figure out which order the stories should be in is a bitch, but I think we are doing awesome at it so far. It has a really cool flow to it which I think everybody will enjoy.
Anyway, more updates coming soon. take care of yourselves and be seeing you real soon.
Billie Dean Shoemate III
CEO, Asylum817 Productions