Monday, January 27, 2014

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

So I asked a friend recently who enjoys my political snark on twitter if he reads my blog as well, and he answered, "Nah. I checked it out, but it seems like all you do there is try to sell books." Well . . . yeah. It's really the only reason I do it (and frankly, the only reason I'm on twitter too.) Granted, I recognize the best blogs and bloggers write about useful subjects of more general interest, but a writer's blog typically talks about writing and their writing experiences, and yes, tries to sell books.

He did have some advice for me, though. He said I should blog about politics. But then, we have similar political positions and tend to agree on most things. I wondered then if he'd be so keen to have me blog about politics if we . . . didn't. At any rate, I told him no one wants to hear a novelist's political opinions, just ask Orson Scott Card or Stephen King. In fact, I worry sometimes that talking too much politics on twitter might turn people off my books, and so of late, I'm trying to keep that in check.

And now, the reason for this post: a quick Sincerely Dead update.

It's up at Smashwords and on its way to the iTunes store, and should be available for pre-sale there any minute now with an official release date of February 14th, Valentine's Day. Why Valentine's Day? Because I write books with heart, that's why. Really, I do. Love them or hate them, I put a lot of heart into them. I like to think most all of them leave people feeling good.

And not to make too much of this, but I do feel like I have a lot riding on this one, so I'm being very careful about it and trying to do everything right. I have in the past released books that weren't quite ready and been embarrassed by it. Not going to happen with this one. It's one of the reasons I went the pre-release route, even if not a single person buys it in advance (though I hope they do. Nothing wrong with a little buzz!)

Another thing I'm doing to make it as successful as I can is putting out a paperback edition, which I haven't done with some of my most recent work. I'm doing it with this one both because it's long enough to support it (150 pages at last count) and also because I think it deserves it. I'm the worst critic of my own stuff, but I truly do think this one is pretty good. I know it has heart, anyway. I know that much.

Something else I'm doing is updating the prequel short story Nearly Dead with the first two chapters of the new one, and I'm going to make that free again so folks can read the prequel and the first two chapters and hopefully, be intrigued enough to buy the book. I might make The Intersection and maybe another free too and include the first two chapters of the new one. Why the hell not? No one is buying them anyway.

I'll also be doing a Goodreads giveaway of five signed copies of the paperback edition. I did that with Applewood and it seemed to generate some interest, and though it's been a couple of years since, I think and hope folks might be interested in this one too.

I've also recently bought some targeted advertising at Goodreads, just a small unobtrusive blurb that pops up in the corner of users screens. I've been surprised and gratified how successful it's been in getting folks to shelve my books. Not buy them, mind you. But still. It's something.

Of course, I'll be Facebooking and tweeting the hell out of it as well, in hopefully an entertaining and non-spammy way. I'll post an announcement over at Kindleboards on release day.

In short, I'm trying to do everything I can to make this one a success, because after a half-dozen novels and a few dozen shorts, if folks aren't interested in this one, then I'm going to have to face the fact that one, two, or or all of these are true: a) I can't write, b) I can't or don't know how to sell books, c) I don't write books that people want to read.

I'd hate to think that, because it would be facing up to the fact I've wasted lots of time these past few years. But life will go on. The world will keep spinning.

And I'll have lunch.

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