Red Light Bytes: 10-6-2023
Sharp-Clawed Sci-Fi, Running on the Redline
Welcome back friends to the FINAL season of Red Light Bytes for 2023. For the months of October, November, and the tip of December, we’ll be talking all about the latest with in the series, the latest in the indie sphere, and the finest in classic and cult media, with plenty of stories to be told along the way.
This week’s is going to be more stripped back than usual. Partly because of time constraints on my part, and partly because of the poll results, but we’ve got some big indie productions to tip you off to, and something very special. So, without further ado, let’s begin!
The Results Are In!
With the survey wrapped up yesterday afternoon, we have both the final results and what they could mean for the future of 365 Infantry in 2024. Because some participants abstained from certain questions, I’m going to keep our analysis to percentage figures for the sake of clarity.
How do you read 365 Infantry? — Most readers experience the series via the Substack platform, with 47% using the desktop browser version and 41% using the mobile app.
How often do you read 365 Infantry? — 66% of participants have either kept up on every story and post, or have read the series on a weekly basis. In third place are the 27% who read 365 Infantry infrequently.
How often do you read our Red Light Bytes newsletter? — 40% check in every week to see what’s going on while 33% read the newsletter on an infrequent basis.
Which series from our quarterly magazine is your favorite? — In a landslide share, The Urban Avenger took home 42%, while second place was a three-way tie between The War, The Hunt, and Tales from the Front Lines at 17% each. The remaining 8% went to The Speedfreak Files.
Which of our other series is your favorite? — In another landslide, the Red Light Bytes series took home 70% while audio production Alan Firedale took second place with 20%. The remaining 10% went to Solar Joint Stories.
Which is your favorite segment in our Red Light Bytes newsletters? — To my genuine surprise, RLB’s old op-ed series “Battlefield Thoughts” took home first place with 40%. Indie showcase “From the Frontlines,” curation series “Streetwise Caviar,” and the “Byte of the Week” all tied second with 20% each.
What do you like most about 365 Infantry as project? — Voters loved the style and aesthetic of the series above all else, rewarding it 38%. Second place was our wolven ensemble of characters at 23%. 15% liked the worldbuilding most and 8% the multimedia approach. For one of our top Generals, Weefy, he described his love of the whole series like this:
“I was the one who put "other" as what I like most about 365. My official answer for what I love most about it is quite complicated, but I will summarize it as succinctly as I can: Yes.”
What is the biggest problem with 365 Infantry as a project? — In another landslide, 62% of voters said that the biggest problem with 365 was that there are too many series to keep track of. 8% of voters were either confused by the series timeline, considered the newsletters to be overlong, or took issue with the proofreading.
What do you want to see more of on 365 Infantry? — 50% of voters do want more stories from the series. 30% want more comics, and 20% want more interactive content, such as our ongoing ARG project ACC VULT.
Which is your preferred method of supporting 365 Infantry? — 58% prefer books as their main way of supporting the series. 33% prefer paid subscriptions to our Substack, and the remaining 8% prefer conventional merch available through Teepublic and Redbubble.
What products do you want more of in 365 Infantry? — In our last landslide of the poll, 62% of voters want more books from the series. 15% are interested in more music releases such as our single Wolves of Steel and our Alan Firedale soundtrack albums, and other products like audiobooks, paid content on Substack, and merch designs all took home 8% each.
So, what do all those numbers mean at the end of the day?
The biggest takeaway for me is that 2023 has been a year of so overflowing with content, it has overstuffed the website, leading to reader confusion. There’s a great love for the series, its look, its characters, and for the auxiliary things brought to it by the newsletter, but there is such a thing as too much. And as my recent behind-the-scenes piece on Steeled Spies goes to show, it has taken a bit of a toll on me to meet the goals I had set up for myself. The good news is that the solution to this is a win-win for us all:
There are way too many series being hosted on the website, but readers do still want more 365. Customers prefer and want more books from the series as a primary method of support. I want to give certain projects more time to simmer, and without having to meet monthly or weekly deadlines, those projects can have the time they need. Therefore, after this year, we will move towards making more print-exclusive projects. This will start with the collected novella of Steeled Spies, set to be released early in 2024.
While I work on sorting the rest out, you can grab our currently available book, the 2022 Annual Collection over on Amazon in both paperback ($10) and eBook ($5). All 24 of last year’s riveting tales filled with the fuzz-faced hard-ass characters you love and a bonus novelette starring the ice-cool spy Roger Steele!
From the Frontlines
Amaranth Angels Vol. 1 — From inveterate sci-fi novelist Yakov Merkin comes an exciting star-bound manga of grand adventure, gripping suspense, and a lovely cast of lady starfighter pilots thrown headlong into a tremendous conflict with alien forces. Beautifully illustrated by Philip San Gaspar, this humorful and heartfelt 200-page epic is crowdfunding now on Kickstarter. With two weeks left and over $5800 left to raise, only YOU can help the squadron over the finish line.
Michael Tierney's Wild Stars: Orphan of the Shadowy Moons — From Cirsova Publishing comes an adventure decades in the making. The latest in creator Michael Tierney’s world of interplanetary intrigue and high drama, Orphan of the Shadowy Moons tells the tale of Strazis, once an infant left to die on a flooded planet, now the adopted son of the planet’s most powerful warlord. In becoming an heir to his father’s world, Strazis finds himself at the center of many mysterious and deadly plots. Featuring the dynamic art of Jesse White and a breathtaking covers by Anton Oxenuk and Tierney himself, this illustrated sword-and-planet epic is now funding on Kickstarter.
The Curse of the Star Wraiths: Steel & Stormbright Book 1 — I think I’ll let the description do the talking on this one: “In a world where gods walk alongside mortals, and humanity is cowed into submission by the empire of Alcaron, two brothers find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Taken from their homes and subjected to terrors that would drive any man insane, Serithas and Zolan will have to learn just what it takes to be men, in a world that appears indifferent to their very existence.” Illustrated by the talented Neutronboar, the fantasy debut of Iron Age revieweris currently available for preorder on Amazon as an eBook. The adventure begins October 15th.
Byte of the Week
This week marks quite a milestone that ought to make at least 30% of our readership very excited, for we are finally presenting, after months of hard work (and months of getting interrupted by life and other projects) the first page of our short comic “The Avenger’s Creed”
This is Page 1 of 4, serving the part of a street poem relayed by Lita, and set against the favorite past-time of Haven’s live-in vigilante: wasting automated cop cars. We’re still hammering away at the rest of it, but with the first sheet completed, I simply couldn’t resist sharing with you all. Do enjoy.
As always, May God Bless You and this Force. See you next time!
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