Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-08-21
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOKS 'Boystown' moves from online to print
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Joe Franco
2015-01-27

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


When Jake Biondi set out to begin writing Boystown in the summer of 2013, his intention was to make it an online serial—the continuing story of the exploits of his characters released chapter by chapter. However, given the immediate popularity of the series, Biondi has not only released Boystown as an online serial, but now has two print editions of his popular book, with more on the way.

Biondi noted, "The first book was published not long after the first article ran in Windy City back in September 2013. It was a huge hit, which I was not expecting. On Amazon, it has a five-star rating." He cited an expanded audience for part of the online serial's success. "Initially all of the promotion for Boystown, I had to do on my own. Later on, I had tremendous help from Michael Vargas who is the promotional director for the series."

Biondi has developed a number of unique approaches to lower budget marketing that have met with substantial success. He said of his advertising campaign, "We conducted a nationwide model search looking for the 'faces of Boystown.' We looked at models who submitted head and body shots from Chicago and beyond for the chance to appear either on the front of a book or in promotional literature. I've also had some very generous fans sponsor 'online book tours.' This allows me to comment and reach audiences beyond the Chicago market without leaving the city."

It is not just Boystown's unique approach to marketing that makes it a standout among self-published endeavors. Biondi actively seeks out the input of his readership and his fan base for where the serial and the novels will take their next sordid turns. "I started releasing a chapter a month but began getting emails from fans asking for more," he said. "So I started writing a chapter every few weeks. Eventually, I had requests to publish a book and I took the first 10 chapters and made them into the first Boystown book."

He admitted that he didn't rely solely on his audience for his creative gusto, like a choose-your-own-adventure book, from elementary school. "No, no," Biondi said with a laugh. "I have a main story line in mind with cliff hangers and story arcs but oftentimes I get great responses from the readers that help set those arcs in a slightly different direction. For example, I had introduced a police officer in one chapter, he wasn't intended to be a main character but people responded to him and he became someone important." Biondi acknowledged that his fans were surprised that he used their ideas, let alone responded to them. "Feedback I received from Soap Central Live said my fans were stunned that I responded in person at all. That I didn't use some sort of vaguely polite form letter."

But Boystown, the neighborhood is today, not the Boystown of even two or three years ago. There are more women living in proximity to the gay population, along with both racial and age diversity and noticeably more young families. Biondi had to respond to these cultural shifts too. "My readership was originally 90-percent women but has changed along with the neighborhood," he said. "I had to reach out to those who actually make up Boystown. It's now even more diverse than it was in the past. I had to base the story on that diversity. I started including both more racially and gender diverse characters in the books. Boystown, itself, is a character and that character should be reflected honestly."

Writing Boystown is not Biondi's number one gig, but is undeniably a side hustle. "It's a side gig that now takes up more than half of my time but I love it!" He originally found inspiration in the classic evening serial dramas of the '80s—like Dynasty, Dallas and Knots Landing. But Biondi also found inspiration in Charles Dickens. "Dickens wrote a majority of his novels as cliffhanger serials published in the paper and in magazines. I wanted to reclaim that but for gay audiences." He finds his inspiration for the characters and the plot of the books in Boystown itself. "Of course there is some reality to the work, but yes, it is fiction."

As for the future of Boystown, as visibility of the series increases and both print and electronic books continue to circulate there has been some talk of the possibility of a television series. "I've been working on the screen plays using the first book as a guide. Writing for television is considerably different than writing for a prose audience." There are no confirmed plans for Boystown to appear on any network near you yet, but the possibility is one for which Biondi is hoping. In the meantime, he'll continue the continuing story and keep churning out more Boystown books as long as the demand for them is there.

For more information on Boystown, visit www.jakebiondi.com or stop by Unabridged Bookstore, 3251 N. Broadway .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Bechdel Fest 7 set for Aug. 25-28 2019-08-21 - Broken Nose Theatre ( BNT ) has announced the full line-up for Bechdel Fest 7: Momentum—the company's annual festival of new short plays ...


Gay News

Goldie Goldbloom on new book, being a queer Chasidic Jew 2019-08-21 - Chicago author and queer Chasidic Jew Goldie Goldbloom's newest book is On Division. It centers on the life of Surie Eckstein in Brooklyn, ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Pushing for inclusivity in children's books, one publisher shows how 2019-08-21 - Orca Book Publishers of British Columbia, Canada, is an independent publisher with the goal of offering "reading material that represents the diversity of ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW The Ghost Photographer 2019-08-21 - By Julie Rieger $25; Enliven/Atria Books; 243 pages You know how they do it. It's a snap, really. A little bit of ...


Gay News

Author Shapiro speaks at Women and Children First 2019-08-14 - Fort Lauderdale-based writer Gregg Shapiro, a native of Skokie, visited Women & Children First Bookstore in Andersonville the evening of Aug. 7. Shapiro, ...


Gay News

Women & Children First to host Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor 2019-08-13 - Women & Children First is honored to present U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for a moderated conversation and audience Q&A followed by ...


Gay News

Women & Children First, forty years of book-selling history 2019-08-07 - To celebrate Women & Children First's 40th anniversary, the store will be hosting a summer block party with a feminist slant Saturday, Aug. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Comic-book heroes, Cara and Ashley, Chris Pine, Pride Summit 2019-08-06 - The animated character Aquaman was confirmed to be LGBT+ on the latest episode of Young Justice: Outsiders—the DC Universe's animated show about teenage ...


Gay News

Gene Siskel Film Center to present Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am Aug. 23-29 2019-08-06 - As a venue that celebrates all art forms and a public program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Gene ...


Gay News

Author Toni Morrison dies at 88 2019-08-06 - Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison has died at 88. Morrison was the first Black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize, awarded ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.