We have reached 3211 free / 111 paid subs which means...
That's a wrap on season 1! will we get picked up for another season??? Read on and Find OUT
We did it. The golden ratio of 3211 free subscribers to 111 paid subscribers has been reached, just as the prophecy foretold! Y’all remember I said I’d do my first ‘if I did it, here’s how’ post when I hit 2177 subscribers because that number was tattoo’d on my arm, yea?
Well, I cannot frikkin believe this but, here’s my other arm:
WOW! So yea you can see its the exact same number holy balls. And it even has the caveat that a bunch of the paid are just comps!! Which is very true for me in this case.
Also, make sure you’re sitting for this, but see my watch and fist? That’s all a tattoo too. Tat2. Pretty sick yea? Very realistic.
3211 people! Besides the 2800 or so accounts I’ve painstakingly created and managed as if they were real, leading little lives for each person, jobs for most, marriages for a few, there’s like at least 300 real people here! Just like the film 300! Wow.
Seriously. 3211 people. That’s like 800 more people than the entire town of Telluride, CO! Which means yes, we CAN and must start a film festival.
It’s also twice the amount of people who are actively playing in the NFL. We are two NFLs!
The last time I was this happy was when the year 1999 became the year 2000. Here’s some photos from that night!
There’s so much I want to say and, guess what, I’m gonna! Here’s an agenda lol.
We’re gonna do some memories & highlights
talk about this substack’s uncertain future and pray to the gods both above ground and below for some help!
I’ll share some things I have learned on my road to 3211 (I also published a full guide of ALL my lil learnings here, behind the paywall because I have decided I need to, ya know, make a living doing this!)
What are your favorite parts / moments / memories / whatevers from BAT1??
I’ve had a few people ask me “Hey Alex, how are you? You doing ok? Your substack seems like alot….”
That’s what they SAY. What they MEAN is that they feel crummy because we’re having so much fun here and they’re getting left behind in the dust like a couple of bunnies. What I HEAR is them saying “is there a place I can go to, like, get caught up? Feels like the crazy train for this newsletter left the station a long time ago."
My response? Choo choo, motherfucker.
To add: really sweet train photo, ideally one where the train is doing a ‘choo choo’ in the photo
No but its a good idea. A LORE document with all the LORE from this season that we can point people to when they say ‘i am lost help.’
But it isn’t just LORE (it’s Laur too, my wife!), but also its just vibes and memories and stuff y’all really dug, stuff that makes you laugh to this day, whatever!
If you have ANY such thoughts - or really any thoughts at all that you believe need to be added to a Lore document, please comment below or email me.
Highlights and other magazines for children
1. The big ones
Wilder says BIG ONE whenever he thinks anything is, in fact, a big one. He does not discriminate when giving things the title of BIG ONES - a tiny bite of potato is just as BIG of a BIG ONE as a giant garbage truck on YouTube. In his little buddha eyes, everything is BIG ONE. Here are some of the big ones from this last year:
Featured on Substack Reads
Featured as a Substack Featured Publication or whatever they call it
Doing Substack Grow - this was the best.
Becoming very good pals with a ton of writers I met on Substack - way too many to name but soon I plan on coming out with a big recommendation post of all the great stuff I read on here so stay tuned.
Creating an accountability group with, , and . Beyond just keeping me accountable, it keeps me in community by reminding me that there are real people working on all this stuff. And it gives me a place to ask questions, no matter how dumb or scary, knowing I won't be judged. This? is good.
Becoming even better besties with my IRL friends who have Substacks on here, especially my writing partnerwho has helped me so much with all my writing its ridiculous (and just a lot more fun to do with a friend!). And also who is a great dude I now see on a semi regular basis to talk Substack Shop.
THE BIG ONE OF THE BIG ONES: I hired a team.
2. I hired a team
Making this decision (and writing about it now, even) was not easy, because I certainly was not, nor am I still, making enough money to justify said hires BUT I saw it as an investment in helping me grow this lil rag tag of a mag, because I BELIEVE IN THIS and WANT IT TO BE A BIG PART OF MY REAL BIG BOY LIFE INCLUDING THE MONEY I MAKE TO SUPPORT MY FAMILY WHO I HAVE CONVINCED THAT SUBSTACK IS A REALLY GOOD IDEA !!!!
Hey speaking of, this entire thing runs on Coke Zero and member supported members like you.
But yea, I made the ceision finally, I put out an ad in the local paper - The Glendale Gazette. Here’s what it said:
I got a bunch of sweet responses from very awesome people, all of whom I want to work with at some point but one person stood out -!!!
Erin is like a legit person who does marketing and social as her real job and is VERY GOOD at it, like actually amazing. She’s officially an ‘editorial and marketing consultant,’ though I’d say her role with BAT is more like “sage advisor whose daily counsel helps me not feel like a puddle of confused and aimless worry.” She’s helped me come up with a content schedule (even if I am never able to get her stuff done as early as I promised) AND basically orchestrated my entire move to having a paid offering for BAT which I was terrified to do before!
SO WHAT I AM SAYING IS HIRE ERIN YOU DINGBATS.
I did say team though because its not just Erin. BAT’s #1 Fan as measured by her 4.3 comments / essay, Madeline, also turns out is an incredible editor who has taken on the gargantuan and - some say, impossible - task of editing pieces which, as we’ve realized, operate under a chaos muppet sort of rhyme without any reason. Somehow, Madeline has figured it out and makes the writing so much better. Only hire her if you are Taylor Swift (Madeline’s words).
Its a little embarrassing or something to write about this, like I will be judged for it being a bad decision, or for being able to spend money on such a thing. To the first half, I agree - it might be - but it also might not be. In fact, it isn’t, because without Erin and Madeline I not only wouldn’t have a paid offering at all I’d also be losing my god damn mind. I was going crazy with how much I had to (wanted to) do with this newsletter, and E&M’s help makes me much more sane. Oh because also I have a full time job now which I will get to in a later issue its a cool one its exciting and its origin story comes from this very newsletter you read in your hands right now.
As far as the fear of seeing privileged, I think that’s a good thing to be clocking for myself, but besides working full time and hustling on the side because this town Los Angeles is impossible to live in and, idk, raise a family, I did once make way too much money on this one Geico commercial and so I’m using some of that ‘winfall’ to support this dream. SO SUE ME!
So far though I would say it’s been a great decision to bring on a team. Erin and Madeline are amazing and, honestly, its just way more fun to be working on this with other people.
3. I used to be terrified to do this
I no longer am. Or I have sublimated that part of me into something productive, which is, in and of itself, the writing I do here.
As in, I still feel everything I used to, but rather than keeping it in while shaming myself for feeling it at all, now I express it. With words. Like if Van Gogh had a dictionary.
In the first You Ask Me Anything, Me Ask You Anything (YAMA / MAYA) we did in March,asked what my fav dance move was?
My answer: the trust fall which, on the dance floor, basically looks like me starting to fall in slo mo and extending my hand to Lauren.
Lauren will usually, but certainly not always, catch me.
That's what this last year has felt like, minus the every-so-often betrayal of my blood and bone wife Lauren.
Each essay has been me falling in slo mo and all if you collectively morphing into a hand the way insects do in movies and grabbing me.
And for that I can only say, with no bits, no sarcasm, no satire, irony, or defensive posturing…
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Y’all believe in me. Several so much so that you've invested real money in me and my future. Even more of you entrusted me to be the godfather of their children. One of you made me the executor of your estate. Wow.
We’re not really in the Tips section yet, but here’s a teaser: The habit of publishing regularly is essential. Because I kept doing it and then kept being disappointed by it (which was inevitable), but I’d have to keep going back to writing the next one. Through repeated practice, that refractory period after posting something, when I’d Have My Feelings, would get shorter and shorter.
In this way, it has given me a slightly longer view than I had before, back in the infinite present. Now I can sort of kind of envision…a week out? Two? Soon I’ll probably see a whole month, then a year, and then the rest of future a few days after that. Once that happens, things will get weird as I’ll become a highly sought after Oracle, but hey, that is in fact how a cookie would crumble.
What’s next, doc?
Season One is over. I’ve known for a while, but was unable to say anything because of an NDA nightmare I’ve gotten myself into (more on this soon).
I hope Both Are True gets picked up for another season, I really do. I haven’t heard anything yet, but I do maintain hope.
If I did get to write more, I want to write about the bottom left quadrant of this super scientific 2x2 I found in an encyclopedia.
It’s the unknown knowns, or the known unknowns, I don’t know.
It’s the stuff that’s mostly processed but could use another few minutes in the proverbial wash, which is this writing. I took a big giant step in this direction with Beautiful Disasters, my first paywalled essay and also just about the hardest thing I’ve ever written (its about fun cool easy stuff like addiction).
It’s been really cool to experience people reading it and sharing their feedback. I have a wee bit more courage now to keep going, which is really all I need.
Here’s hoping we get some good news soon about a new season……
Hold on one sec my phone just rang
Thanks for holding. Good news. I have JUST received word from the Studio (the big shots pew pew pew) that, yes, we've been renewed for another season of both are true! Season 2? No.
🦇 Season 3000 🦇
Why, you ask?
Well, I CAN’T get into the details (I’ve preemptively signed NDAs with any and all of Hollywood’s Big Players, just in case, so I’m legally under multiple self-made gag orders and thus cannot talk details), BUT here’s what I know.
Off the record: the Studio spoke with the Government and they agreed that given how Wild and Free this substack is, it was best to remove us from the Julian calendar in order to prevent anything like Y2K happening to us in the upcoming future.
They think, and this is off the record’s record, that there will be a y2k in the year 2100 and again in 2103. By moving right to season 3000, they hope to protect us from the wrath of the Y2K2, the upcoming y2k that is planning on really hurting everyone after the absolute meltdown it had in the year 2000 (I’d kill for that earned media).
Anyway. Season 3000. Wow. What a crazy. Excited is an understatement.
Shit I’ve learned
I’ve been trying and mostly failing but sometimes succeeding with BAT for the last 14 months. I wrote up a bunch of the shit I’ve learned. Here’s a couple for you below - the full list is here.
Use your welcome email to, ya know, meet your subscribers
This has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I will say though that I feel bad all the time that I can’t get back to people faster. That’s probably just something I need to get over, cuz I dont think anyone is mad at me for the delay, but still it sorta sucks.
Regardless, I would recommend changing your welcome email to include more of your voice / who you are. Its a first impression and I’d say at least 30% of the replies I get are people saying “wow this is so cool that you want to get to know your readers.'“ And its true - I do! And so yea that’s a good tip good job Alex.
Here’s mine, btw:
Be like George the monkey and follow your curious
Having super-AdHd helps me with this as I often can’t not look up whatever thing pops into my head at the time. Meaning, I don’t rule it out as something that could end up being part of the piece I’m writing or another piece later on.
This lack of self censorship early in the process helps me create a pastiche jambalaya of fun weird things that I can then, if I’m lucky, find connections between. Usually the connections just sorta make themselves known.
Like take my “can everyone kindly shut the fuck up about AI” piece. For a while I was rambling about how I hate AI and then all a sudden, a thought popped in my head: “what if you threw the imitation crab stuff into this piece.”
Now, ‘the imitation crab stuff’ is of course my decade long obsession with how wild and beautiful and truly deranged it is that we all KNOW it’s not really crab, because they tell us it isn’t crab, but still we eat it and treat it like crab.
A younger me would have nixed this idea wholesale. No. Bad. Stop. But on that day I said, “sure why not.”
I started writing about imitation crab when it hit me like a 9-2 in blackjack, THE AI IS IMITATION CRAB.
Genuinely, I did not see that coming. I’d surprised myself and then, high on that rush of uncut glee, I wrote the rest of the piece.
What I’m trying to say is - write about your imitation crabs. See where they take you. And if all else fails just actually write about imitation crab. We need more people writing about the greatest lie ever told. Thank you.
Ok that’s it for the free tips! We’ve got a legally measured buttload more stuff over here: FULL GUIDE HERE WOW . There’s two more free tips, but the rest are behind a paywall because, as I’ve said already, I am disparately trying to turn this thing into a real Business like Apple and Chipotle.
Check out the full list here (yes its paywalled but there’s a good chunk before the paywall cuz I love you all too much).
Let’s talk in the comments
How did you find BAT? Do you remember who you were before that? Who?
Any fav moments or essays or anything?
What other stuff people newsletters whatever are blowing your mind of late? Shout em out if you wanna.
Do you have tips to share with the world about what’s worked (or not worked) in growing your newsletter? Or your vegetables?
What else is on your mind today and if you say a hat I will sue you.
saw Philip Roth do this in a book last night, the questionmark in the middle of a sentence and then just continue on with the sentence. giving it a shot lmk