Today is the day. The ebook version of Lost Dogs #1: Last Fight of the Old Hound, is now available for purchase, here.
It’s a big deal for me, and it’s been a long time coming, so I’m quite excited now it’s finally here. Excited, and a little bit nervous.
I feel good about the book when I read it, and I have read it quite a few times. I just hope it’s good enough people will want to read the next part too, and the part after that, and so on. There will be a lot of parts.
I updated the blurb for the book. It’s now significantly longer, but I’m hoping it’s also better. Have a look:
As you can see, it’s longer, and it’s a bit difficult to read as it’s so much text, and the font is a bit weird. I’ll be tinkering around with the layout for a while, and I’ll update the text on the Amazon page, but I won’t update the paperback cover just yet.
I have a hunch there will be more updates before the week is over.
Here we go, I finally have the cover image for my next book: Lost Dogs #1: Last Fight of the Old Hound.
Big thanks to Jess for the art. I’m really happy with how it turned out in the end.
As I’m looking at it now it strikes me as odd that I didn’t include the secondary title of the book on the front of cover. It’s not that I forgot about it (seriously, I didn’t). It just didn’t seem all that important.
It’s a series, and the name of the series feels more important than the names of the individual parts. As I recall, many TV series has a name for each episode, but few of them stick with me for longer than they appear on the screen. Then again, maybe that’s just me?
It also seemed like it might be tricky fitting that many words onto the cover. I’m sure I could have, and I actually tried (a little), but I didn’t work out (and I gave up pretty quickly). Instead it just says “Part 1” now, and like I mentioned, the title is written on the spine, and it says inside as well. It’ll be grand, as they say here in Cork.
I used the same image, but significantly faded, for the back cover too. What mostly stressed me out about that was the blurb – again.
I thought I had a good blurb this time. I shared it in a previous post. Then, today, as I sat looking at it, I begun to feel like there was something off about it, and I began tinkering, and tinkering, and tinkering…
The idea is the same, and the first part is very similar, but the second part has been expanded upon. It’s a little bit clearer what the story is about, which is probably a good thing. Hopefully potential readers will find it interesting enough they’ll want to have a closer look.
Hopefully they’ll find it interesting enough to read the whole thing, and the next part, and the next one after that, and so on. This first book is a self contained story, but it’s also the start of something much bigger. After all, it does say Part 1, and I have a lot more parts planned.
So, when can you read the story?
Well, I pressed the Publish button for the paperback version about an hour and a half ago, and it’s currently in review. The review period can take up to 72 hours, meaning you should be able to order the book on Sunday by the latest. That is, if you want the paperback version. I’ll make sure to share the link once it’s available.
The e-book version is still scheduled for release on the 5th of July. You can pre-order it here (UK), or here (US).
The first book in the Lost Dogs series is now available for pre-order. It’s called Last Fight of the Old Hound, and you can pre-order it here (US) or here (UK). The cover image is a temporary one, and the real cover will be revealed once it’s done – in about two weeks.
Also, if you’re interested in checking out a sample of the story, you can download the first four chapters for free, here.
I’m going to try and not rant too much about this release, but rather focus my energy on making sure the next few parts come out in time. I’m still excited to publish a book, but all the advice I’ve heard about advertising suggests that the best way to promote a book is to write a sequel.
Once I have a few books out I’ll start looking into promoting the first one more carefully, and then I’ll have to start figuring advertising and suchlike.
For now though, there’s just the one book. Next one to be released Soon<tm>.
This weekend the e-book version of Emma’s Story will be available for free on Amazon.
The book will be free on the 2nd and 3rd of June, Pacific Time. Over here in Europe that’s from 8am in Ireland and the UK, and from 9am in Western Europe. Similarly, the promotion will end at 8/9am on Monday morning over here.
This is one of the promotional options that Amazon provides, and after a friend of mine tried it out I decided to give it a go as well. The theory is that if you’re releasing a new part in a series, you make the first part available for free to try and encourage new readers to check it out.
Emma’s Story is a standalone novella, so there’s no sequel to it, and in that regard there’s not much point in making it free. It’ll be interesting for myself though – to see what it’s like, and perhaps get some interest in the story.
Alos, there will be more books released, and they’ll more than likely be in a series.
If you’re curious to learn more about my story, you can check it out here.
My latest article for Mythic Scribes is now live. It’s about what I did to launch and promote my book Emma’s Story, and you can read it here.
It’s a fairly long piece that touches upon most of the various aspects of launching the book: selecting a date and setting up preorders, advertising and promotion, formatting for ebook and paperback. The article doesn’t go into great detail on any of it, but rather tries to give an overview of all the different things involved in self-publishing a book – and even then I had to leave some things out.
I’m always a little bit nervous when a new article is going to go live. There are expectations. Mythic Scribes isn’t some little personal blog for just me and my closest friends and family (hi mom). It’s a big site with an active community and tons of daily visitors. I don’t have any exact numbers to share, but the numbers are sky high compared to what I’m getting on this page. On a good day I get double-digit number visitors on this blog.
Regardless of the actual numbers, the point is that a lot of people will see my articles and read them. Hopefully they will find them useful, and usually I get good feedback, but I still worry. Mostly, my main concern is that I’ll get something significantly wrong, or that I’ll unknowingly express some really controversial viewpoint and cause an uproar.
So far that’s not happened, and it probably won’t. I’m a lot less nervous about it than I used to be, but that little nagging worry is still there. Ideally it won’t ever go away completely. If it does, it’ll mean I’ve lost the respect for what I’m doing, and then I shouldn’t be doing it anymore.
What I’m really going for here is that on Sundays when the articles go live I keep refreshing the site to see if it’s there yet or not. So too this time around, and when it finally happened I was met by a really nice and heartwarming surprise. Our site admin, BD, had found my Instagram account, dug out some of the pictures I’d taken of my book, and added them to the article.
Discovering this made me really happy. It’s that warm feeling of when someone goes that extra mile to do something nice for you even though they don’t have to and you don’t expect it. It’s amazing, and it was great way to start my weekend (I’m off Monday’s and Tuesdays).
Also, price hike
One comment I got on the article was that the price on the paperback version is too low. It’s cheap enough people might think there’s something wrong with the story. This obviously isn’t what I want, so I’ll be increasing the price to 6.99 in about a week.
If you’re in Cork, Ireland, I would recommend stepping into Alchemy Coffee & Books on Barrack Street to check out this fine offer:
Alchemy is the place where I wrote almost the entire first draft of Emma’s Story. I went there after work, and I went there during my weekends. I used to sit on one of the bar stools over by the window to the coal yard and write, with my laptop on the shelf and with a coffee and a brownie next to it.
It’s how the story got done.
Sure, I might have done some writing at home, and perhaps in a pub once in a while, but it’s writing in the window at Alchemy that I remember. They’ve moved the bar stools now, and put two small tables and chairs in their place. Better use of space like that. It gets crowded enough in here as it is anyway,
I’m very happy to have been able to work out this deal with the staff here. I consider them friends of mine, and they always seem happy to see me. Sometimes I get a free coffee.
I don’t know that I’ll make a killing selling books at the local coffee shop, but it’s a fun little gimmick, and it’s getting me some good attention. That’s the main thing for now I think. If I’d had sequels lined up to release I’d have put more effort into promoting the book and trying a little harder to sell it.
There’s no follow-up though, and my series I’m working on won’t launch until early July. For now, this is mainly just for fun, and to try and learn a bit about self-publishing. In that regard it’s working out great, and I believe I’ll feel a lot more confident once my new stories are due for release.
That said, if you want to have a closer look at the book, you’ll find it here. Also, since sales on the book have dropped off I’ll be raising the price to 2.99 tomorrow morning. I won’t be doing any more promotion for it in a while, and as such people will mainly only find it through word of mouth.
Just a quick post to show off that the print copies of my book I ordered finally arrived:
I’ve seen pictures of the book myself, and I received a proof copy shortly after the paperback first went live, but this is the first time I hold the finished book in my hand.
It feels pretty good.
A few of these will go to my friend who painted the cover. I’ll keep one for myself, and the rest will probably be sold at the cafe where I wrote the book. I even have a special deal worked out with the owner of the cafe, but I’ll show that off on Monday when I know for sure it’s all going through as planned.
EDIT: I’m apparently crap at self-promotion. Here’s the link to the book on Amazon: Emma’s Story.
A while back I wrote a poem to go with my book Emma’s Story. As part of promoting the book I turned the poem into a slideshow and shared it on instagram (I even paid a few Euro to promote it). I’m quite happy with how it came out so I wanted to share it here too:
The poem tells of the events of the story from an outside perspective and from the angle we expect that kind of story to be told. Then, towards the end, it turns around and says that the story’s really told from a completely different point of view.
When I originally wrote the story, I didn’t want it to be a subversion of the traditional fairytale. I didn’t even think about it, and it wasn’t until after the second draft that I realised I had. That’s probably just as well. If I had actively tried to subvert the trope the story would have been very different. Most likely it would have been worse too.
Now it’s really just a story about a young woman facing a difficult decision, and not about a supporting character in someone else’s adventure.
However, from a certain point of view the story really is about the fair maiden that the hero wants to win the heart of. Only, it’s not really told as such, and if anyone tried to call Emma a fair maiden to her face she’d probably punch them…
In other news, I’m not getting rich, and I won’t be able to quit my day job anytime soon, but I have sold a few copies. It’s not enough to make back what I paid in advertising, but it’s more than enough to be encouraging.
I’m happy with how I’m doing, and I’ll do better next time.
I’m featured on their list of New Releases for the weekend (even though the book isn’t actually free). My book is the second one in the list so it’s in a good spot for visitors to the site. Check it out, and have a look at the other new releases as well. The link to purchase the book is on that page (so I’m not including it here).
Now, about that release…
The release was, I’m somewhat surprised to say, not that big of a deal. I expected I’d be a lot more nervous and that I’d be freaking out and refreshing the sales dashboard every thirty seconds to see if someone made a purchase. It didn’t happen like that at all.
Instead, everything just progressed much as expected. The book became available, and the pre-orders showed up as being delivered on the dashboard, and then two more sales showed up towards the end of the day.
It wasn’t quite an anti-climax, because this was what I’d reasonably expected. Sure, I’d hoped for miracles, but I haven’t really put in enough work for any of those to happen. Instead, everything just worked the way it was supposed to.
However, what turned out to be really nerve wracking was sending out my first ever newsletter. Through the free book giveaway I took part in during January I’d amassed a small number of subscribers, and now that my book was released I had to tell them about it.
That was scary.
I’ve never done anything like that before, and not only did I have to worry about promoting my work to strangers I’d never met, I also had to figure out how to make a newsletter.
Fortunately it wasn’t very complicated once I set my mind to it, but it took some tinkering before I got it right. Last I checked, no one had unsubscribed from the list, so I can’t have messed up that badly.
According to the mailer-report someone even clicked one of the links in the mail. :D