Self-published, of course, but then you knew that.
(Takes a deep breath)
Now I need to market it and I’m telling you all about it here in the hope that some of you might decide either to buy it or to recommend it to someone you know who might.
The purchasing details are as follows:
If anyone wants a free review copy, let me know by email or in a comment and I’ll send you a coupon for Smashwords. Obviously you’d then have to review it somewhere – maybe just on your journal – and explain that you had a free copy for that purpose. You wouldn’t have to be gushing about it – any publicity whatsoever is welcome. And obviously I’d have to email it to you to avoid giving everyone the freebie. I tried that with my last publication and it resulted in a lot of downloads and no sales.
(And yes, Chris, I know you have already done a great job for me! Many thanks!)
I am hopeless at marketing. Don’t tell me to get a Twitter Account or a Facebook one. You have to build up a following on those and I haven’t, so it’s too late. Besides, I gather from a lot of writer friends that the amount of work and time you have to put into those is out of all proportion to any sales they might generate. I would welcome any other advice!
The story is the first in a series called The Skilled Investigators. The ‘heroine’ is a female elf who wants to be an investigator (detective in our terms) and has to solve a murder mystery before she can be accepted as a trainee. Her assistants/sidekicks are a teenage dragon who imprinted on her at hatching, and her brother. The brother is gay and provides the romance subplot for the series but there is no explicit sex.
Whilst it has some similarities to urban fantasy books it takes place in a different world so in that respect it has more in common with other fantasy genres. I deliberately set out to blend the two kinds.
It isn’t intended for the young adult market in particular – I was thinking more of the Tanya Huff/Seanan McGuire/Lynn Flewelling type of reader when I was writing – but it would be, I hope, attractive to older teens looking for coming-of-age stories, either to do with career choices and training, or to do with LGBT issues. As I said, there is no actual sex in the books but plenty of romance and angst. And whilst it is fantasy, there is very little magic.
However, what I really wanted was to merge fantasy and crime and dragons, and hope I’ve succeeded. Anyone who wants to read that kind of merger would, I hope, enjoy the story.
I have finished the sequel – it is just waiting for the dreaded formatting and will probably be published later in the year. The third book is at the ‘listen to your betas and do some amendments’ stage. The fourth consists of some messy notes and the fifth and sixth are just plot outlines. That’s it: the whole series.
The formatting has been a nightmare. Smashwords and Amazon have different views on how to present your manuscript, neither of them really get to grips with the latest version of Word, and it all took a lot of intense concentration interspersed with panic. But it seems to have worked.
I’d be really grateful if you could think of anyone who might enjoy the series and direct them here – or to one of the purchasing pages, though probably here as the offer of a free review copy extends to strangers.