Saturday, June 2, 2012
Jesus Needs Help
Author: David Germain
How long it's been on sale: Paperback - November 12, 2010 Kindle - August 16, 2011
Current price: $1.99
Marketing: I have a Facebook Fan Page. I have some youtube reviews here, here, here, here, and here. I have a positive review and a negative review online. There's a strict fundamentalist pastor that really REALLY hates it. I had a spot at the Montreal Comic Con in 2011. I sold 7 copies there. I also had a spot at the Halifax Comic Con. There I sold 10 copies. I was interviewed on a local radio station about it. I attended a Liberal Party rally and gave Michael Ignatiev a copy of my book in front of TV cameras and other media. I made it look like Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church strongly objected to my book. I also made it seem like Bill O' Reilly and Dennis Miller were talking about my book on Fox News. I then made it seem like terrorist Anwar Awlaki put a Jihad out on me and my book just before he was killed. And, most recently, I made it seem like Rush Limbaugh accepted my book as a sponsor for his show but then reject it soon afterwards over paranoid reasons. Those are the really big ones.
Total sold so far: Paperback - 4 Kindle - 99
Link to book on Amazon: Jesus Needs Help
Jesus Christ runs afoul of some very ornery characters. Sadly for Him and for us, these characters are all too abundant in our society.
First 300 Words: (Note from the author: Keep in mind that this is a comic book. The words are only half the story. And really, in order to truly assess the book properly, you really need to read the whole thing.)
When Jesus had come down from the hill with the apostles, he stood on a level place with a large number of his disciples. A large crowd of people was there from all over Judea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon; they had come to hear him and be healed of their diseases. Those who were troubled by evil spirits also came and were healed. All the people tried to touch him, for power was going out from him and healing them all.
Jesus looked at his disciples and said...
Jesus: Ahem! Blessed are the...
Victorian Monkey: HOLD IT! Before any speech goes public we have to look at it. We don't want to usurp any traditional values now, do we?
Jesus: Madam, that was never my intention.
Psychologist Monkey: AHA! I found something already. "Blessed are those who mourn?!" Are you advocating massive clinical depression?
Jesus: What?! I'm trying to give comfort to anyone who may be saddened by the death of a loved one.
Psychologist Monkey: Well, I think blessing them is too dangerous. I'm taking it out.
Mother Monkey: Yes, take it out before my children hear it. I don't want them getting any bad influences.
Jesus: Um... madam... where are your kids?
Mother Monkey: Hmmm! They were right here a minute ago.
Jesus: Found 'em!
(her children are whipping Jesus' foot and throwing rocks at it too)
Jesus: Cut that out!
Kids: HSSSSSSSSSSS!!! Yipe! Yipe! Yipe! Yipe! Yipe!
Feminist Monkey: Hold it, mister! How about this: "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the KINGDOM of Heaven??!!" King-Dumb??!! So this paradise all us decent people are destined for is under some phallocentric tyrant?
Jesus: Absolutely not.
Feminist Monkey: Then why doesn't it say that?
Jesus: Okay, here. "...for theirs is the Kingdom AND QUEENDOM of Heaven." Happy?
Feminist Monkey: That's better.
American Monkey: What the... ? I can't find God Bless America in here.
Jesus: That's because I didn't put it in.
American Monkey: What did you say, Commie?
Comments: Keep in mind while reading this assessment that I write and study genre fiction, so I might not be the best person to judge a satire comic novel like this one. But I'll plug ahead anyway.
When I first looked at this book cover I tried to figure out if this book was written for Christians, or for those who are not Christian. (Maybe poking fun at Jesus or Christian beliefs.) I couldn't tell right away, so I studied the cover. The cartoon way that Jesus is portrayed made me think of a children's book, and yet the picture and title gave me the clue that this wasn't some "Read Bible Stories to Your Kids" book. I threw out the kids book idea, however I can see where some people might think it is for kids if they don't look too close.
I don't know too many Christians who believe that Jesus needs help, at least not in the way portrayed on the book cover, so this suggests the book isn't for Christians. And yet, it isn't very clear that this book is making fun of Christianity either, so I feel like the message of the cover is in conflict with itself. I would try to make the cover more clear as to who the target audience is.
Graphically, the cover isn't bad, I might just suggest getting rid of the hard shadow under the title. And I would change the font used on the Author's name, and get rid of the "By." We know the author's name means that is who wrote it.
The description is short and doesn't tell us that this is a graphic novel, something that is highly important. I would expand the description, and be more clear about what you're getting with this book. Readers need to know this is a satire, and that it is political in nature.
I don't see anything wrong with the text itself, as far as grammar issues. I do, however, believe there are going to be people who will be offended by the things in this book, for various reasons. I'm sure there is a market for a graphic satire about Jesus and censorship, however we are talking about a very niche market. You will need to find your audience. It won't be easy, but I do believe there are people out there who would buy this book.
After reading what the author sent me as for how he has marketed the book, I'm thinking there is a bit of a misconception what marketing is. Book reviews are not marketing. Giving a book to someone on camera is not marketing. (It might get you publicity, but this usually doesn't lead to sales.) Making funny videos and posting them on YouTube and your blog might be fun, but it's not marketing either. I suggest reading up a bit on Marketing. Right now I think the biggest problem is identifying who your customer is. Tweaking the cover and description will help.
I suggest revising the cover and description, and then trying to find those who would be interested in this type of book. What do you guys think?