What Are You Selling, Exactly?

The following is an excerpt from Theodore Jefferson’s Million Dollar Artist Book One.

This is the most important chapter in Book One, because it will probably change your ideas about what the real value of your business is. Again, this is not legal advice. I am not a lawyer. This is king to king advice. I’m not a barbarian.

Back in the mid-1980s, a man named Bill Gates sold an operating system called DOS to IBM. But instead of selling the whole thing outright he said “I will give you a license to sell my operating system on your computers, but I want to continue to own it.”

Bill Gates is now worth $76 billion. He founded a company called Microsoft. The operating system he sold to IBM became Windows.

Microsoft took advantage of copyright law to sell IBM something called a “license.” A license is permission to use your property.

When you draw a stick figure on a piece of paper, you have done something called “fixing a work in tangible form.” This means you put a drawing on paper, which is a tangible object. At the moment that happens, under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, a copyright in that work vests in you. That means you now own a piece of intellectual property, or IP. The same IP we discussed in Chapter Two-A. You own the copyright on that stick figure.

With that copyright, you now have certain exclusive rights. Exclusive means that those rights only belong to you. Nobody else can legally exercise those rights without your permission. Among those rights are: 1) The right to make a copy of the work. 2) The right to sell it or distribute it. 3) The right to publicly perform or display the work. Those rights all belong to you exclusively. Nobody else can make copies of your stick figure, sell your stick figure or publicly display your stick figure without your permission. If they do, they could be “infringing” on your copyright. That means they are unfairly competing with you and the market for your work.

Your stick figure might be the character some author wants to use on the cover of their book. In order to use the stick figure, that author will need the right to sell and distribute and to publicly perform your work. There are two ways that author can get that permission.

One, they can just buy the stick figure from you. They hand you twenty bucks and you hand them the stick figure and off they go. (There is paperwork required too, but we’ll get to that) This is known as a “transfer.” It’s just like selling your car. You sign it over and the buyer is now the owner of the car. With a copyrighted work, a transfer makes the buyer the new copyright owner. That means now they have all those exclusive rights that only they can use. You no longer have those rights, because you sold your work to them.

The other way that author can get permission from you is to buy the right to sell and distribute and publicly perform the work. This is called “licensing” your work. You are asking the author to pay you for permission to use your work in their book. Now, instead of the author becoming the new copyright owner, they become a licensee. You are still the copyright owner. You still have all the exclusive rights. The book author only has permission to exercise some of your rights and to get that permission they paid you.

The first step to building a Million Dollar Artist is for you to understand that selling and licensing artwork are two entirely different things. You must ensure that the maximum value is extracted from each creative you produce. If you sell it for a hundred dollars, you might be missing the chance to license it to ten different people for a hundred dollars each and make a thousand dollars instead.

Either way, you spent the same amount of time and used the same amount of materials to produce that creative. How much you get paid for that time depends on what price you get for your work. If it took you ten hours to produce that creative, and you sell it for a hundred dollars, you got paid ten dollars an hour.

But if you license it for a thousand dollars, you earned a hundred dollars an hour, and you still own it! Every time you license it after that, your hourly rate goes up!

Now this is not to say that selling art is always a bad thing. You just have to be aware of the value of the copyright itself vs. the value of the permission to use that art for some other purpose. With ownership of the copyright, that book author we discussed could go out and license your work to other book authors and make the thousand dollars for themselves!

In almost every case, it is better to license the work and keep the copyright. In those cases where a transfer makes sense, make sure the purchase price adequately compensates you for the loss of all the potential licensing revenue from that creative. Otherwise you are underpricing your services and that is a very effective way of attracting big armies of green guys to your castle gates.

Toonami and the Silver Age

The following is an excerpt from Theodore Jefferson’s book The Incredible Untold Story of Sailor Moon.

Gather ’round. I’m going to tell you a story of ancient times when the geeks of the world had to discover their animated television shows using strange technologies and great patience.

Television signals used to be transmitted on the same electromagnetic spectrum as radio. Channels were actually “frequencies.” Television sets were just big radio receivers designed to pick up those frequencies on certain pre-determined channel numbers and display whatever was transmitted on the screen. Televisions were big mobile phones. They even operated in roughly the same broadcast bands.

One of the problems with early television was a lot of companies wanted to build TV stations and broadcast their own programming, but there wasn’t enough room on the electromagnetic spectrum to fit the channels. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which was in charge of licensing television broadcasts, had only opened up frequencies in the VHF or “Very High Frequency” band.

But there was a second band called UHF or “Ultra High Frequency” that had roughly half the range of VHF and was only included on some TV sets. This was where everyone except the big networks had to go if they wanted to broadcast a television signal. It was the band for “independent” television stations.

UHF didn’t do very well until the All-Channel Receiver Act of 1964 mandated that every television set had to be manufactured with the ability to receive television broadcasts on all channels, including both VHF and UHF. Now at least those UHF stations could be certain their signal would be received by every new television.

PBS, foreign language channels like the precursor to Univision, various religious channels and other independent broadcasters sprang up all over the country. In 1970, a guy named Ted Turner acquired Atlanta, Georgia channel 17, which eventually found its way to satellite and became TBS, the “Superstation.” Fox Television was formed by assembling a number of disparate UHF stations into a fourth commercial network.

On the UHF band there was a station in Southern California called KBSC Channel 52. “This is Kaiser Broadcasting, KBSC-TV channel 52, Corona-Los Angeles.” They started their day at three in the afternoon and ran until midnight. The shows they chose to broadcast may very well have given birth to geekdom in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan television market.

Their headline show was Speed Racer.

They also had “The Underdog Show” which was a series of short cartoons. Underdog episodes bracketed a 30-minute show including intervening shorts starring Tenessee Tuxedo, Commander McBragg, Go-Go Gophers and various other characters produced by Gamma Productions. Channel 52 also had Kimba the White Lion, Three Stooges, The Little Rascals, Felix the Cat, Ultraman, Gigantor and Giant Robot.

If you are wondering why video games, animation, comic books and weird television shows have taken over entertainment, it’s because everyone in charge of the entertainment business now in 2014 grew up watching channels like KBSC Channel 52. When they got older, they all took up Dungeons and Dragons.

It is also where every single one of them discovered anime.

I know it’s hard to imagine, but this was a time when there was no such thing as an anime convention. There was no Star Wars. There wasn’t even recordable television. The VHS video recorder was years away. There was an Internet, but there were about 19 people with access to it and 18 of them were college professors. There was literally nowhere else in the world except Japan where a kid from Southern California could see anime.

But once they discovered it, they discovered something about cartoons they hadn’t previously realized was even possible. Cartoons weren’t just funny. They were cool. The Mach Five was a revelation to the average ten-year-old boy. A car with super-powers? Sold. They didn’t even care what the show was about any more. All they wanted to do was get to the next episode so they could see what else Speed Racer’s car could do. After all, there were seven buttons on that steering wheel!

Speed Racer also had a unique animation style. Viewers in America got it at once. They understood what the animators were trying to get across, and they responded by desperately wanting to become obsessive Speed Racer fans. This vaulted them into being fans of just about everything else from Japan, including all those great toys that were too expensive for their parents to even consider buying. That stopped none of them from wishing they could own the die-cast painted steel Mach Five with real rubber tires that was about the size of the average radio-controlled cars soon to be marketed to those same boys. Oh sure, it would cost $300 and have to be shipped on a cargo boat from some faraway land, but they didn’t care. It was the Mach Five!

What followed was rather predictable. Godzilla became a household name. Johnny Socko and UNICORN were sudden superstars. Everyone who grew up watching Channel 52 remembers the giant eye and the rolling iron ball with arms and legs from Giant Robot. Underdog was awesome. They watched the same nine episodes of Little Rascals for months. Why, they even became fans of roller derby, even though nobody seemed to be able to explain the rules. Nobody cared. It was on Channel 52. It was cool because it’s the same channel Speed Racer was on.

KBSC Channel 52 Corona-Los Angeles was the original Toonami.

Fast forward twenty years. It’s not broadcast television any more. Now it’s all about cable, and there was a fast-growing little channel called Cartoon Network getting ready to knock cable television on its ear.

In 1986, Turner Broadcasting (remember Ted Turner buying that UHF station in Atlanta?) bought the MGM Film Library. Included with it was a collection of cartoons like Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies and Popeye. Later, Turner Entertainment bought Hanna-Barbera and added Scooby Doo, the Flintstones, Yogi Bear and The Jetsons. They suddenly found themselves owning one of the largest animated television libraries in the country with 8500 hours of programming. So what did they do with it? Simple. They started a cable channel with nothing but cartoons.

Cartoon Network was by no means the only channel interested in capturing the ever-profitable children’s broadcast market. Nickelodeon had several successful shows of their own, including Doug, Ren and Stimpy and Rugrats. They would later go on to bring a certain sponge to animation, but that’s another chapter. The Disney Channel and the Family Channel had also thrown their hats in the ring. It was going to be a short, expensive and rather angry competition, but the late 1990s was shaping up to be the battle of the cartoons.

Except that one of the competitors had an insight and an historical perspective the others lacked.

Events in the early 1990s and the deal that brought Sailor Moon to the United States and the English-language television market had placed anime squarely on the radar screens of those who were taking the time to pay attention. By 1996, Sailor Moon’s syndication deal had run its course and the fortunes of the show were beginning to lag behind others of its type. What DIC and Program Exchange didn’t realize at the time was the transition of the television industry was about to give them an opportunity they couldn’t possibly have envisioned when the first plans to broadcast Sailor Moon in English-speaking territories were drawn up.

Cartoon Network’s first completely “ridiculous” idea was Space Ghost Coast to Coast. This was essentially the first YouTube parody. It featured a bunch of repurposed superhero animation footage intercut with live “guests.” It was snarky and silly and a gigantic hit with exactly the wrong audience: adults.

Turner Broadcasting was not a company terribly interested in the status quo. Ted Turner had always been a maverick, and his tendency to do things that didn’t make any sense to his colleagues or the rest of the industry was well known. He was the first to bring the world 24-hour news coverage. He was also the first to bring the world 24-hour cartoons. Some might argue one had more than its share of influence on the other, but nobody can argue with the success of either approach.

A note was made on someone’s desk in someone’s important notebook that maybe they ought to do a little thinking about this whole “cartoons for adults” thing. It didn’t take very long.

Cartoon Network Studios was the source of the What a Cartoon! show. It was 1995. The idea behind What a Cartoon! was to invite independent animators to put something new and interesting forward. Cartoon Network had actually taken a first step towards putting creative people in charge of being creative. “Lunacy!” shouted the other stations and companies. “Only executives and rich people are capable of entertaining the masses!” Well, said Cartoon Network, we’ll just have to see about that.

The first show they came up with was Dexter’s Laboratory. It was rapidly followed by Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken and later shows like Courage, the Cowardly Dog and The Powerpuff Girls. All of them were later combined to form Cartoon Cartoons. They would go on to make animation a prime time ratings powerhouse.

Cartoon Cartoons were an industry-changing milestone. The reason was the creators of these shows were able to synthesize animation entertaining for children with writing entertaining to their parents. This was a wild idea that would have been absolutely impossible to even discuss if Cartoon Network had been trying to program a broadcast network. But, cable television wasn’t regulated by the FCC, so they could get away with things broadcast networks couldn’t even touch.

Using this synthesis model, the first punch Cartoon Network threw basically knocked their competition cold. The reason was they weren’t trying to come up with programming for kids. They were trying to come up with programming for whoever would watch it. This forced them to think in ways that weren’t familiar to traditional animation production companies. That’s why they were able to create shows about flying five-year-old girls beating up villainous monkeys.

But more than this was the fact there was a unique energy to it all. Fans of one show were very often fans of several shows for roughly the same reasons. When an episode of “Dial M for Monkey” came on, a viewer could almost sense the echoes of the Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Laboratory in it. All of the shows benefitted from this effect. Johnny Bravo and Courage even saw increased interest. It gave these new upstart shows a sensibility and an edge that other animation seemed to lack. It was almost as if the creators of the shows understood their audiences. Well, it turns out they did understand their audiences much better than anyone thought.

With the success of these original shows and the growth of the network as a result, Cartoon Network had already caused a huge shift in the entire business of animated entertainment. Then, in 1997, at almost exactly the same moment Sailor Moon’s syndication deal had lost most of its energy, Cartoon Network aired a block of programming called Toonami.

Sailor Moon’s history in the 1990s was one of timing. The character set off a merchandising explosion in Japan at precisely the right moment to change the course of the American comic industry (and, as it turns out, everything else in entertainment), the show came to the United States at exactly the right moment to serve as the vanguard for the anime movement of the late 90s and early 21st century, and now, it was running out of syndicated mojo at exactly the right moment for Cartoon Network to say “hey, what if we put some anime shows in a new action block on our network in the afternoons?”

Every entertainment industry veteran knows their business is all about timing. As Bill Moyers pointed out in Empire of Dreams, a documentary of the making of the original Star Wars Trilogy, (paraphrasing) “If you bring Star Wars out too early, it’s Buck Rogers. If you bring it out too late, it doesn’t capture our imaginations. But if you bring it out right when the (Vietnam) war is ending, when the old stories have died. Suddenly, it’s a new world.”

Cartoons and animation have always prospered when their timing is right. In the 1970s and 1980s, the best cartoons were always on at about three o’ clock in the afternoon, when all the kids were getting home from school. That, or Saturday morning, when all the kids were eating breakfast. This was the golden age of the children’s television trifecta: breakfast cereal, cartoons and toy commercials.

Remember KBSC started its programming day at 3PM. That wasn’t a mistake. They knew their audience.

These observations were not lost on Cartoon Network. The idea of running cartoons 24-hours-a-day was incredibly silly from an advertising standpoint. Nobody is going to run a toy commercial at 11:30PM when every single kid in America is asleep. But they all knew a toy commercial broadcast eight hours earlier was a wheelbarrow full of solid 24-karat gold coins with pictures of money stamped on them.

Cartoon Network had taken two swipes at the “action afternoon block” concept before. It started as the “Power Zone” which was version two of “Super Adventures” which debuted when the network signed on in 1992.

In 1997, the Toonami lineup was pretty grim. Voltron, Jonny Quest and the Thundercats were scheduled alongside a witches brew of weird repurposed leftovers called Cartoon Roulette. The show was hosted by Moltar, a villain from the original Space Ghost show.

One year later, they discovered anime. More importantly, they put it on the air at 4PM nationwide. Leading the block was one Sailor Moon aka Usagi Tsukino and her 82-episode two-season show that until then had been obscured by unfortunate syndication scheduling. Anchoring the other half of the two hour lineup was Dragon Ball, an anime series consisting of about 18,000 episodes which was essentially Sailor Moon for boys.

Remember that first punch when Cartoon Network knocked all their competition cold? This time, they took an iron fist the size of Mount Rushmore and smashed the competition flat.

Once again, Cartoon Network was about to benefit from advantageous timing. While they were assembling the pieces of Toonami into a legendary weapon, Time Warner, the company that had purchased Turner Broadcasting (and Cartoon Network) in 1996 had been experimenting with its own kids programming block called Kids WB. It didn’t work out as well as Cartoon Network’s version, but it did feature a little show called Pokemon. The first broadcast of Pokemon in the U.S. was September 8, 1998, only a few months into Sailor Moon’s run on Toonami.

What Pokemon did was bring a marketing angle into the world of U.S. adapted anime that was simply brilliant. There was a collectible card game, video games and merchandise of every kind. The frenzy among the exact market sought by shows like Sailor Moon and the rest of the Toonami block created a positive feedback loop that resembled one of Dragon Ball’s five-episode power-ups. Pokemon was about pets, which appealed to girls. The pets fought each other, which appealed to boys. It had an “evil genius level 12” marketing plan, which was collectible pets. And it was a TV show, video game and merchandising campaign all at once. Pokemon swept the land like a push broom.

By 2003, Pokemon was worth more than the gross domestic product of Denmark. Thirty billion dollars. It took five years. Any fan of Pokemon looking for more anime to watch didn’t have to go far. Cartoon Network had coincidentally just started scheduling anime five days a week in the Toonami block.

The results were immediate, but not just because Pokemon was making a lot of money. Everything converged around Sailor Moon at exactly the right moment.

Sailor Moon had an unparalleled Internet presence, which meant anyone who “found” the show could find volumes of information about it.

Sailor Moon was also a top 100 Usenet group.

Sailor Moon was on at the exact center of kids prime time: 4PM weekdays nationwide.

Sailor Moon was on what was about to become the number one cable channel in the United States.

Add to these the fact it was the show that had spearheaded a ten-figure merchandising blitz in Japan, and you had the perfect set of circumstances for a breakout hit.

These events should not be too quickly overlooked, because they demonstrate something unique about the entertainment business. Toonami was Sailor Moon’s “Silver Age.” The Golden Age was its original run in Japan. In the space of one year, Sailor Moon had gone from a largely failed syndicated show to one of the anchors of the most dynamic programming block in all of children’s television. It was the second act to end all second acts. Toonami gave the show the visibility it needed, and Cartoon Network’s reach gave it clout.

Once again, the old adage about timing had been proven beyond all doubt. In 1997, it would have been very easy for the average executive to dismiss Sailor Moon as tried and failed. By early 1999, the show had over 100 million fans worldwide.

Then the ratings were measured, and the results floored everyone. Even Cartoon Network. By 1998, 82 episodes of Sailor Moon had been dubbed. This included the original 65-episode syndication package produced by DIC and the 17 episode balance of the second season.

During its run on Toonami, between 1998 and 1999, the 82-episode run was broadcast seven times. That means anyone who watched the show from the first Toonami episode to the last ended up watching the first and second seasons of the show seven times each.

Not once during that 560-plus episode run did the ratings drop below a 0.5. That means at least a half-million U.S. households sat through the same series of 82 episodes seven times. This was Star Trek level dedication that nobody was expecting, especially from an anime show most people had never heard of.

It proved there was a loyal fanbase in the United States that logically could not have come from Cartoon Network itself. These were fans that were already there and were already invested. Even if the television world didn’t understand it, the results were clear and could not be waved aside or dismissed. Half a million households. It was a tiny fraction of the audience that populated the Internet.

The 21st century was right around the corner, and Sailor Moon was in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.

Theodore Jefferson’s Nancy Drew Retrospective: Our Most Shared Article Ever

Back in April, our very own Theodore Jefferson wrote an article for The Mary Sue commemorating the 85th anniversary of Nancy Drew. It has now been shared more than 208,000 times on Facebook and has garnered almost 900 tweets.

Seems there’s still a lot of fans of the original lady detective out there.

Musical Stories: Jessica Halloran’s First Day of High School

kin-kan-one-1000Jessica walked through the glass doorway. The air was cool and the room had a faint “new” scent. The entryway floor was made of white and gray tiles, and carpeted hallways led in both directions. On the far wall was a huge trophy case as tall as the ceiling. Jessica peered inside.

Her wide blue eyes looked over silver and gold trophies and plaques. The highest two shelves of awards were too high for her to see, but there were four shelves below those.

The proud arrangements of achievement covered the wall. Green and gold ribbons flowed from each. Jessica moved sideways along the glass case as she read each the engraved plaques: First Place Band, Founder’s Day Sweepstakes Award, Best Showmanship, Battle of the Bands Open Division State Champion, Conservatory Trustees Award, Holiday Band Championship, Grand Marshal’s Award, Pageantry and Musicianship Award, Best Show Band, Host Honor Musicians National Merit Scholarship. Some were three and four feet tall!

In the center of the display was a polished wood and gold-engraved plaque. The face of a lion was emblazoned in its center. It read “Tree Shores High School Golden Lions Marching Band and Drill Team” across the top. Underneath the logo were the words “Scholarship, Musicianship, Excellence.”

“Wow…” Jessica exhaled in awe. Some of the awards had a picture of that year’s band. Every picture had at least three dozen gold sousaphone bells towering over the back row of formations of what looked like hundreds of musicians.

There’s more people in those bands than in my whole junior high school! Jessica thought. I hope I’m good enough to play in the band here. She looked down each of the halls, but didn’t see any people.

I must be really late by now. Seeing no other signs with directions to the band room, Jessica decided to try the hallway to her right. She walked past several classrooms, but they all had numbers above 100. She reached the end of the hallway and turned to the left, beginning to hurry as she looked for room 74.

As she neared the end of the hallway, she saw that one of the doors was open! Maybe someone was here!

Get the story of the Greatest Showcase Band in the Land at the Palace in the Sky Bookstore today!

What are Gold Monarchs?

Official LadyStar Bookstore Gold Monarchs are a bookstore-only currency you get free with every purchase! They can be redeemed for discounts, free books, special offers and exclusive bookstore-member-only goodies! You accumulate them in your Official LadyStar Bookstore account and you can redeem them in your shopping cart any time you like for nearly every purchase.

Be sure to check each book for its Gold Monarchs Reward (red font) listed just beneath the “Product Code,” and also check each book for its price in Gold Monarchs listed just under the price (in a small gray font). If you purchase the book (or download it free) you get the Gold Monarchs Reward automatically. If you want to use them to buy a book, you will need enough to pay the price in Gold Monarchs.

Also don’t forget that any book that is listed as Teko’s Daily Treasure earns you double the Gold Monarchs Reward if you purchase it on that day! Daily Treasures also often have a special price!

You will receive an e-mail notification each time you are awarded new Gold Monarchs, and you can keep track of how many you have earned on your bookstore member page. Be sure to watch for your awards, as they will tell you when you have earned enough to get a special reward!

See you at the bookstore!

I Write Things Total Strangers Pay Money to Read

Hello there.

Name’s Theodore Jefferson, but you can call me TJ. I’m a professional ghostwriter, journalist and author.

If you don’t need background information on what I do, you can find a list of my services further along in this article.

What I do is get and keep readers. It doesn’t matter if you have a Twitter account, a popular Facebook Page, an independent blog, a YouTube channel, a Twitch channel, a book business or a world-famous news site, what I do will make what you do better and more profitable.

Total strangers pay to read what I write. Every day. Let me put it another way.

When I write, money happens.

People respond to what I write. They don’t always agree with me, but rarely do I put cursor to screen and fail to get at least one person thinking and talking. Sometimes I get a lot of them talking. One of my recent non-fiction articles was shared more than 208,000 times on Facebook.

How does this help you? If you have a business that relies even a tiny bit on the written word, I can help you get more readers and keep more readers. Some of those readers will become customers.

I’ve worked with and written for more than 565 clients in the last four years. My clients have gone on to earn a combined $1.75 million+ at retail. Why, I even wrote a book about it. In fact, I’ve written, edited or worked as a story consultant on more than 50 books, four comics and eight story collections. My guildmates and I have published fantasy, science-fiction, romance and non-fiction.

Among my other work, I’ve written for or helped design more than 40 video games for platforms from Steam® to Amazon.com to Google Play™ to the iTunes® App Store. I wrote an animated television series and three dramatic audiocasts. I worked as a marketing consultant for a multi-billion-dollar anime franchise and for one of the most popular animated television series in Europe.

I’ve written comedy, romance, video games, technical references, novels, fantasy, science fiction, horror, comic books, sci-fi, resumes, non-fiction, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, you name it.

My work has appeared on world-famous web sites and even more famous Internet bookstores. I’m a founding member of the Lexicon Hollow Authors Guild. One of my best-selling books got its start in a record-setting crowdfunding campaign. I’ve interviewed Emmy® Award-winning Hollywood legends.

English is my native language. I have a four-year university degree in English. I am academically qualified to teach writing. Both of my parents were award-winning print and television journalists in Denver and Los Angeles. I started learning how to write a news lead at age six, and broke my first statewide story as a sophomore in high school. I come by my talent honestly.

So what can I do for you?


Consider this: If you are introduced to a new product, service or idea and the description of it is full of bad grammar, spelling mistakes, incomplete sentences and confusing vocabulary, what will your opinion be?

Nobody takes you seriously if you can’t communicate well with the written word. That is an inescapable fact no matter who your market is.

You can benefit from the services of a professional writer. I can provide you with writing that contains flawless grammar, perfect spelling, sentences that sing and vocabulary that will get attention. My writing will enhance your career, your business, your idea, your next project or all four.

My writing will make you money, just like many of my other clients.

I can help you make an emotional connection with your readers. That makes you memorable.

I’m also one of the fastest writers in the industry. I can compose up to 1000 words an hour if necessary.

Pitch Writing

If you are planning to put a project up on Kickstarter, Indiegogo or any other crowdfunding site, good writing is an absolute necessity. Persuasive writing is key. Writing that has a compelling voice is crucial. I can do all three.

I will write your pitch, compose descriptions for your perks or rewards and explain to your potential contributors why your project is important. I can do so in a casual storytelling style that will put your future fans at ease and let them get to know your idea gradually. I can also do intense hard sell and get your audience so wound up they’ll cheer. The choice is yours.

In fact, you’re reading one of my best pitches right now.

Web Copy

Need a steady supply of well-written articles to entertain and inform your web audience? I can write on virtually any subject with an authoritative voice. I have developed excellent research skills as a result of my education and I have well over 20 years of experience writing on the web.

In fact, my company launched one of the first 25,000 sites on the Internet. I had a blog when Windows 95 was being advertised on television. I’ve been on the web since the Earth cooled.

Video Scripts

If you have a presence on YouTube or any other site where video narration or presentations are important, you need a script writer. I can write commercials, introductory narration, review copy or skits for you to include in your short-form video presentations.

If you are looking to produce a longer work I also write scripts and screenplays and I have collaborated with clients on fiction development.

Good Dialogue

Dialogue with a distinctive voice is one of the rarest skills in the industry. I have that skill. Give me some time to research your characters and I will write words for them that will make your story, video or film much more entertaining for your readers.


I write books. Lots of them.

I can write your books. Lots of them.

You can put your name on them and sell them.

I won’t mind. I have a few of my own.

Sales and Cover Letters

As you can see by my freelance track record, I have no problem finding clients. The reason is I understand sales. I know how to get to the point. What I’m selling is less important than to whom I am selling. If you are applying for a job, I will explain to your future boss why they should hire you. If you are selling a product, I will turn readers into fans.

Selling Fiction

Do you write books? So do I. I also write better blurbs than most. Give me a summary of your book or books and I’ll compose blurbs that will turn browsers into readers.

I also do proofreading, title composition, editing, story consulting, script doctoring and treatments. Wherever you are in the development cycle for your next book, I can help you make progress.

Technical Writing

In addition to my writing and other project-based work, I have more than 20 years of professional experience as a senior software engineer, project manager, technical writer and game developer. I have worked as an Executive Producer on more than 40 PC and console game projects. I know eight programming languages and I have worked as an engineer for employers ranging from small businesses to world-famous PC firmware manufacturers and Fortune 50 international corporations.

One of the skills I developed early in my career was the ability to explain technical concepts in simple terms. As a technical writer, I can use that skill to introduce your technical project or idea to customers, vendors, co-workers and employers.

Finance Writing

My first full-time job was with a brokerage firm working as a portfolio analyst. I learned everything I could during my employment in the financial industry. As a result I have an above-average understanding of finance, investment and business-related topics. If you are looking for a writer who can explain these sometimes arcane subjects well, I have considerable experience.

Intellectual Property and Legal Writing

I’ve worked over half my career so far in fields and industries dependent on copyrights and trademarks, development contracts related to those two subjects and a wide variety of legal concepts. While I cannot offer legal advice, I can write competently about such subjects generally with an adequate understanding of the material.

In addition to my general experience in this field, I’ve written four books including considerable material related to intellectual property, business analysis, the animation and video game industry and the freelance market.

Professional Pages

Got a profile on a social media site? Does it make people want to know more about you and what you do? I’ll write a profile or bio for you that will.

Are You Trying to be Funny?

I write professional comedy too. If you want your audience to laugh, or if you just want your writing to have that elusive “raised eyebrow with a side of smirk” voice to it, I will get your message across with a little fun mixed in.

Resume Writing

Resumes are a challenge. A lot of people talk themselves out of a job before they ever get near an interview because they don’t know how to sell themselves. Don’t be fooled. Resumes are sales tools. If you need help turning yours into a deal closer, I’ve got the skills.

Game or App Developer?

Good writing makes games more fun and apps easier to use. Good writing means your customers are going to enjoy your game more and be better at using your app effectively. I can do everything from a short description of your game or app to a backstory about your characters, the world your game takes place in, or the story of how you came up with the idea for your app.

The overwhelming majority of developers completely overlook hiring a writer. Be the one who doesn’t, and you’ve just given yourself a dramatic competitive edge. Good writing gets you noticed.

I can also write game designs, treatments, instructions and technical requirements.

Let’s Talk

Shall we discuss your writing needs? If you’re interested in my services or have a question, please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail: t dot jefferson at ladystar dot net. I’m looking forward to working with you!

The Ajan Warriors Are Coming Home February 6th


Many of you may have noticed LadyStar has been fairly quiet recently, and that’s because we’ve been very busy.

I rebooted the entire franchise. I decided to retire all of the previous materials. This includes art, games and books plus audiocasts, animated episodes, web sites and even mobile apps going all the way back to 2000. In one week, a new series of books called Seven Rings of Ajanel will be launched in our own bookstore, and we’ll be telling a brand new story. This series will also establish an all new canon for LadyStar. We’re building on the past world, but we’re expanding it at the same time.

Jessica and her sister warriors are older and a little stronger now. (Jessica and Talitha are both 16 in the new series). The new books will have more romance, more action and will take place in a greatly expanded world, which I’ve been working on for the better part of a year. All of the girls look different, but will retain their basic personalities from previous stories. Jessica is still a goofball. Ranko is still a tough girl and Shannon is still a perfectionist.

However, all the old anime influences are gone. These characters are now literary heroines, and because authors like me have unlimited special effects budgets, they will get to participate in adventures that no studio can afford to film. Except maybe Peter Jackson, but I think he’s probably looking forward to some time off.

Each of the new books is going to be written more like a television episode than a novel. I’m going to try to keep word counts in the 15k to 25k range, which will make these new books quicker and lighter reads. We’ve had a lot of success with this format in other genres and I’m eager to see if serializing the story with this format will make romantic fantasy adventure more exciting and more entertaining. This new format will also give me the ability to include a lot of bonus material in each book, which I plan to take full advantage of. LadyStar takes place in a big, big world. It will take a lot of pages to tell you about it.

The first book is called LadyStar: With This Ring. It is the first “episode” in the origin story of the Ajan Warriors. Instead of different jewelry types like bracelets and necklaces, now all seven girls wear rings. Jessica and Talitha both get their rings in the first book. You’ll find that these episodic books are a little slower paced and focus much more closely on one or two heroes at a time instead of starting with the entire team on the same adventure. I have a really fun set of stories starring Jessica and Talitha as they set off to find the lost pets of the Empress of Fire that may follow the first three new books.

Jessica and Talitha are very powerful together. They are the original “sword and shield” duo, and they are also the perfect combination of energy and contemplation. Once they learn what the world of Aventar is like, they will form the core of a much more believable warrior team. Jessica discovers she carries all of the rings through her treasure Dawnsong, which is now not only her Sword in disguise, but also the armory that protects the other Ajan Rings.

Enken gets a much more substantial role in these books, mainly because he and Jessica realize very quickly if they don’t figure out a way protect each other, the fight for Aventar is doomed. They end up in each other’s arms early in the series, which will lead to all kinds of complications later as Jessica’s enemies realize they can get to her by threatening him.

The second book is LadyStar: Storyteller, which is primarily about Talitha’s new powers. The Warrior of the Forest was often overlooked in the previous versions of LadyStar, but here she is key to meeting the challenges presented by monsters and villains. Talitha is a healer, and once she and Jessica learn to work together you are going to see them grow in power and capability very rapidly. Talitha also gets an exotic magical pet which some might argue is even cooler than Teko, Kishi or Hikousen.

Reina makes her first appearance in Storyteller. For those of you who enjoyed her rather dark approach to heroism in the first series of books, you’ll be happy to know she gets a ton of new lore in this series, including two new weapons, a huge expansion of the Thesian First House and her very own ongoing subplot while she tries to manage and control her fast-moving and rambunctious team of girl fighters. Reina definitely has her own way of doing things, and she has no patience for nonsense. However, even she recognizes the energy and force her young team of go-getters brings to the battle against evil. When she begins to teach them more powerful battle magic, look out.

Next up is LadyStar: By Her Sword, which is the first chance for the fledgling Ajan Warriors to venture beyond the safe walls of their hideout and start to push back against the bad guys. Both Jessica and Talitha learn that just because you have a powerful weapon doesn’t mean you have an automatic advantage. They also begin encountering some of the more exciting new denizens of Aventar, and will certainly find their way to some very strange and scary places before they have their first chance to save the day.

These first three books combined will end up representing as much material as half of Dreamspeaker, which I found quite surprising. We’ll be bundling them together as the Jessica Fight! Collection and you’ll be happy to know all four titles will soon be made available as DRM-free audiobooks.

Because we are concentrating on the book series now, you will find few drawings, animations, art, comics or anything similar. This will give us a chance to really establish this world. It will also give us a chance to provide you with a lot more material than we could before. One of the problems with the previous version of this franchise was we tried to do too much at once. It is just a book series now, and that’s going to make it twice as good.

I can write a 25k word LadyStar book very rapidly. While I’m doing that I can also update this site, the bookstore and our social media sites with sneak peeks, new story previews and all kinds of lore and legends. You’re going to get to see a lot more of this world we’ve built because we aren’t trying to draw it, animate it and turn it into a video game all at the same time.

Over there on the left sidebar you will find a list of permanent links and features. Among them will be character pages and background stories on many of the main characters, villains, landmarks, treasures and monsters of Aventar. You will also find links to other places on the web where LadyStar is being updated.

So be sure to visit the Official LadyStar Bookstore in a week for the big release of the first three Seven Rings of Ajanel stories! Once Jessica and Talitha start the adventure, it won’t be long before the other warriors join them.

As Reina would say, let us prepare well.

Just What Exactly Is Lexicon Hollow?


“We’re the Authors of Lexicon Hollow. We have an unlimited special effects budget, and we’re not afraid to spend it.”

Far beyond the verdant living gardens of Goldenwood, on a mountaintop higher than the Aerie of Ultan, in a cave deeper than the Crystal Terrane and hidden behind a shining silver Lockvern gate is the enchanted land of Lexicon Hollow.

There, thirteen-and-a-half quills with feathers of emerald green circle and dance, marking letters and glyphs upon painted pages that tell of heroes, hallows and haints, and sunset lands guarded by dragons, applebats and sleepy cats.

It is where pretty girls fight for honor and handsome boys discover courage.  Where animals become pirates and three wheels are better than four.  It is where zombies drive haunted dragsters and fleets of tiny spaceships join in epic battle.  It is where strange beasts prowl, and feathered wings high carry owls.  Where priceless gems are hidden, and adventures are bidden.  This is where our writers roam.  It is the greatest realm of all.

It is the realm of imagination.

The Founding Members of the Lexicon Hollow Authors Guild Are:

  • W. Scott, author of the LadyStar Fantasy Adventure Series, Kin Kan Musical Universe, Zombie Salvage and Fat Guys on Tricycles with Bazookas
  • Lily Carwyn, author of the First Kiss Romances Series
  • Theodore Jefferson, author of the Incredible Untold Story of Sailor Moon
  • Phil Hark, Senior Editorial Writer
  • Lexi Hall, Executive Consultant for Speculative Fiction
  • Shane Black, author of The Adventures of Captain Jason Hunter and the Bandit Jacks Sci-Fi Action Series

Hi! You Can Still Call Me Jessie!

600-0042a-wI’m Jessica Halloran. I’m 16 years old and I have a really big story to tell.

I was dreaming one night while I was asleep and I met this ghostly boy who gave me a golden ring with a red heartstone in it. I thought it was a nightmare but when I woke up I was still wearing the ring!

Me and my friend Talitha walked through a portal called the Lockvern and found a hidden world inside called Ajanel. That boy I met was there and we found him just before he got into this huge battle.

Now I’m a warrior in a fantasy realm called Ajanel. I have a pet Sha-Ri that you might think was a white owl if you first saw him, but he’s pretty different from an owl. His name is Teko and he can make magical flowers appear in his beak! I have an enchanted sword called Aria. It has a golden blade and it’s made of a super-rare metal called celestium.

This is gonna be our site where we talk about all kinds of LadyStar stuff. We used to have lots of other sites that were kinda the same as this one except they were different too. Most of our story stuff had pictures and drawings and animation and things, but we don’t have that any more.

See, LadyStar was a game first. Me and Talitha and all of my other friends were in a video game that was released as a series of episodes. Can you believe that was almost fifteen years ago? It’s almost as long ago as I’ve been alive! Anyway, lots of people liked our game, so our story became a manga. Then LadyStar was a visual novel and some web sites and a comic and now we’re a book series. Of all the things we’ve done, people liked our books the best.

My story and my friends’ story is a pretty big one. We fight tons of monsters and go on tons of adventures. It’s almost too much to fit on one web site, so we decided the best way to tell our story was to make it a book series and build our own bookstore. We have LadyStar books and other stories too, like romances and science fiction and a huge amount of other stuff.

But then we found out some of what you want to know about our books and about our warrior powers and weapons are the kinds of things we should put on a web site. That way you can learn all about us and see if you like our adventures before you join in. (I think you’re going to love our adventures!)

The best part about a site like Seven Rings of Ajanel is we can update whenever we want, and we don’t have to worry about videos and music and all kinds of extra stuff.

Me and Teko got a Twitter that has zillions of followers, and if you read our site you should also follow us on Twitter because we’re going to put stuff there too. This site is all about our books and all about our story world. If you want to know everything about LadyStar, this is where we’re going to publish it.

Be sure to check back often, because sometimes we might even update more than once in the same day! See ya!