MF 306 : September updates
Today, we cover updates on Cobra Kai, books, and Poshmark. More at www.bemovingforward.com.
Cobra Kai: from underseen hit to worldwide phenomenon
If you’ve been following the show for a while, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of The Karate Kid films and its spinoff series Cobra Kai. The latter, I’ve been following since its debut in 2018. I’ve interacted with some of the creators and on episodes 303, 304, 305, I spoke with Peter Veunnasack, a content creator who has built a podcast, YouTube channel, and a fan community around Cobra Kai.
On Friday, Cobra Kai made its debut on Netflix, a much bigger platform than YouTube Premium, which is where it originated. In just a few short days, it became the number 1 show in the US and as of this week, it is the number 1 show streaming on Netflix, globally.
This is what happens when an already great program relaunches on a much bigger platform. Cobra Kai was already a hit in its own right, garnering tens of millions of views. This was no small feat in itself, especially on a streaming platform that didn’t have the content or resources to become truly competitive with the bigger players. Now that it is on the biggest streaming platform out there, it has gone from niche hit to cultural and global juggernaut.
Congrats to everyone involved and what better vindication for the “OG fans” who’ve been telling everyone for the past two years that they need to watch this show.
Books: taking the next steps
This year, one of my goals was to finish my next book on Poshmark. Of the books I’ve written or co-written, I believe this one, will be the most helpful and influential as retail businesses are struggling to survive as we’re still in the middle of this pandemic. My Poshmark journey is documented in last year’s mini-series, which I encourage you to check out.
I completed the manuscript in late spring / early summer, worked with Megan Prikhodko, a phenom of an editor who helped bring Making Fake Star Trek and Making More Fake Star Trek to life. Right now, I’m in the middle of the next steps. Unlike my prior books, I’ve decided to try the traditional route, which I discussed with Alissa Carpenter last year.
I loved self-publishing my prior books and I still believe it’s a worthwhile venue. It can save you time in getting your book out there while giving you complete creative control.
However, self-publishing means you are taking on every aspect of the book, including the post-publishing marketing. If you don’t have a large following, this can be a challenge.
I’m also reaching out to literary agents that specialize in re-publishing self-published books to see if we can do the same for Making Fake Star Trek and Making More Fake Star Trek. While we’ve enjoyed great success self-publishing the books, I would love to see them reach even more Star Treks and film enthusiasts.
Whether or not I’m successful in getting any of these books to a traditional publisher, I’m happy to have gone through the self-published route so that I have the tools and skills to see that my books make it out there one way or the other. Too often, I see people who start books but never finish, or worse, complete a manuscript and give up just because they’ve been rejected by literary agents and publishers.
If you have something to say, make sure to see it through and get it out there. There’s no shame in going the self-published route if you can’t get the attention of a literary agent or publisher. There are many paths to getting your book to press and they all have their pros and cons as well as their challenges and rewards.
Poshmark: video and USPS challenges
Speaking of Poshmark, we’re continuing to build out our business, focusing more on online sales than ever as we’re still in the midst of this pandemic. Retail has been hit particularly hard with big-name brands filing for bankruptcy on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Worse, many small businesses are simply shuttering their doors, unable to adapt.
As I write in my new book, shifting to online was a matter of being competitive in 2018 and 2019. In 2020, it’s a matter of survival.
I believe the next big wave of Poshmark sellers will be small businesses. When we began, we were one of the few retail businesses that used it as a sales channel. Now that in-person sales are dwindling, I believe more small boutiques and retail shops will be using platforms like Poshmark to stay afloat.
One new feature that has been a great game changer for Poshmark is video. Similar to Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms, Poshmark has recently rolled out video stories. Sellers can use listings to create still or “slide show” type videos or upload short video clips to market their store or individual listings. I’ve started using this feature, shooting short videos right off my phone; using a simple video editing app to add voiceover. Poshmark adds links back to the seller’s store or “closet” so viewers can automatically shop or browse. Sellers can also tag individual listings to promote them and add text.
Poshmark remains ahead of the curve when it comes to new features that make it that much easier to stand out.
One of the recent challenges has been one that’s completely out of our control: shipping. Normally, Poshmark’s shipping time is 2-3 days. With the recent situation with the USPS, we’ve experienced significant delays, adding extra days or even weeks. We continue to ship out all orders the same or the next day but have taken on the added responsibility of actively communicating with our buyers, especially for higher-end items when delays happen. While we can’t control the post office, we can and are being more proactive in communicating with our buyers.
What I’m reading / read
If It Bleeds by Stephen King (****)
Books by John
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