Well, it’s been an exciting week! Maven dropped on Monday and emails have been going in and out of my computer like crazy! Writing the book is not the hard part, but everything after, it would seem. It’s all good stuff coming down the pipe, however, so I’m happy to be as busy as I am. It means I’m doing something right with this series!
A few things first, some links to get out of the way.
Maven is on Goodreads, and has been for a little while, but now you can get a sample of the first six chapters there for absolutely free! If you have any doubts about giving this book a chance, I encourage all of you to check out the sample. (Just click on “Download Sample”.)
If you don’t need any further convincing, Maven is now live on Amazon in print and ebook, and on Smashwords if you need a format other than Kindle. Barnes & Noble has the paperback, but they’re dragging their feet with the ebook version. Annoying, but it’s out of my hands.
***Update – Barnes & Noble now has Maven available for the Nook. ***
So if all that’s done and out there, why am I still so busy with this book? One word: marketing. I’ve been gradually building contacts with bloggers and reviewers and authors, and am now in the process of organizing the blog tour for Maven at the end of this month. I always wondered why people would pay someone to organize such a thing (outside of not having contacts), and after the last two weeks I now totally get why! This is a ton of work. I’m lucky in that a have a few friends that I have now dubbed “Flail Herders”, as they sort of turn me in the right direction and push me that way so that my flailing isn’t all for naught. Dani Morales, Misty Provencher, and Melissa Hayden have been absolutely invaluable to me in this regard. Of course, there are others who have been helpful as well, but those three have had to put up with constant emails, private messages, and phone calls from me about this blog tour stuff. As an experiment, I’ve also booked a blog tour through Bewitching Book Tours in mid-July (much less work, let me tell you!), to see if one helps sales more than the other, or if they’re equal, or if such a thing is worth the investment of time/money. I’ll report on the results later.
I also got some great guidance from PJ Schnyder and A. L. Davroe at Balticon this year. These were two ladies I was very much aware of before this, but actually getting to meet them and share a few panels was really a treat. They were both kind enough to give me a little of their time outside of the panels to address a few of my questions and provide some really helpful advice. Add in the discovery of Stephanie Burke and some great conversations with her and it was all around a fantastic weekend. Of course, lots more went on than meeting three amazing people, but that’s another post entirely.
In searching for reviewers for Maven, I’ve made some interesting contacts there as well. It can be difficult for a self-published author to convince a reviewer they’re on equal footing with Big 5/6, but I’ve found a few, for which I am grateful. One of these new contacts invited me to a new release chat on Writerspace last night, and I participated as an invited author alongside a NYT Bestseller and another author with starred reviews in RT Magazine (this is a big deal, if you are unaware of this publication). Needless to say, I felt very out of my element, but they were all very welcoming and I thank them for the opportunity to join their conversation.
As of right now, I’m about a chapter and epilogue away from the end of book 3 in the Endure series, but all of the marketing stuff and email has taken away from my writing time. I am hoping to finish this week, however, who knows what email bomb will go off in my inbox next? I can say that, without a doubt, my last post on launch day is responsible for some of the emails I’ve been sending, but all for the good. It’s far and away my most popular post on this site to date (my cover reveal coming in as next most popular), which has me questioning why that might be. Whether it was the issue I spoke about, the rant-y nature of the post, or the resulting cross-posting of it in trackbacks on other sites I tagged in the article, it’s hard to point to what the one thing was that fueled all the views. Still, I’m counting it as a win. It brought eyeballs to my work, and hopefully gave people something to chew on in regards to the issue of sexism in Sci-Fi.
I’ve also nailed down the release schedule for the entire Endure series. June 3rd marked book 1’s release. I decided I will launch book 2, Nemesis, right before Dragon*Con on August 26th. This may or may not be smart for my part, because EMAIL EXPLOSION!, but it seems like a good idea now. November 28th will see book 3, Progeny, going live. Book 4 (as yet untitled) will drop February 27th and thus complete Lydia and Daniel’s story arc. I have a few ideas for the future about this created world, but I’m waiting to see what happens with this series and my other projects before I get ahead of myself in that regard.
So that’s where I’m at right now. Things are in motion and there will be more stuff about all this over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you’re reading or have read Maven, please consider posting a review at Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, and any other site that collects such things. Each one helps! Thanks to everyone who’s giving this book a chance! I want to hug you all! :)