Founded in 2016, Black Sands Entertainment (BSE) had a mission to tell stories that empower Black and Brown youth. As the leading Black publishing house in the US, Black Sands wanted to impact the publishing marketplace by helping new creators succeed. The result was Black Sands Publishing (BSP). This platform enables indie creators to publish for free and reach Black Sand’s audience of over 370,000 followers. Black Sands partnered with Majestyk to develop their platform, including a website and mobile app for collecting and curating black indie content.
Packed with music, animations, and a fully gamified experience, BSP keeps readers hooked on reading whether they’ve been a long-time comic enthusiast or just starting out.
New readers can complete missions, roll gachas to unlock premium content and collect lore cards for a deeper exploration into their favorite series.
After selling over 60,000 books, recruiting 2,000+ investors and building a following of hundreds of thousands of followers, Black Sands was ready to leverage their influence and help other creators build their audiences.
To build up momentum for the app, we launched a marketing website, which served as a home base for BSP. Comic creators could apply to access the Creator’s Portal and readers could pre-register for the app. Creator’s that signed up early had the benefit of additional exposure by making their work available to readers as soon as the app launched.
Once creators complete a simple application process, they gain access to the Creator’s Portal and can publish for free. In addition to reaching Black Sand’s captive audience, they can also access opportunities to get funding support, monetize or even be signed and paid cash bonuses for their work.
Another benefit to creators is the many opportunities for social engagement, such as chapter commenting and a discussion forum. These are places they can engage with readers to both discuss ideas and gain feedback.
The Black Sands Publishing app doesn’t stop at just the comic book library. Missions help readers explore the app, and rewards collected from them can be used to roll gachas and unlock content. Readers can also continue to explore their favorite series by collecting lore card sets for them.
Between the massive library of content, gamification features (with more on the way), readers of all ages stay engaged day after day.
Behind the scenes, we built an administrative dashboard so Black Sands can manage everything happening in the app. Admins get notified when there’s something to be reviewed, such as applications or flagged content. Creator, series, and comic chapters are also collected in an easy-access format.