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Launching Multiple Books at Once: Pros & Cons

| Posted in Book Marketing |

25

If you’ve hung out on the indie forums or listened to the various self-publishing podcasts, you might have heard of new authors finding success with variations of Liliana Hart’s “5 down and 1 in the hole” technique (summed up on Hugh Howey’s blog):

The idea is this: Annual releases are too slow to build on one another. And not just in the repetition of getting eyeballs on your works, but in how online recommendation algorithms work. Liliana suggests publishing 5 works all at once. Same day. And she thinks you should have another work sitting there ready to go a month later. While these works are gaining steam, write the next work, which if you write and edit in two months, will hit a month after the “hole” work.

I haven’t tried anything like this yet (I’m horrible at holding stories back — I haven’t even tried preorders, because I like to get a book out there to readers as soon as it’s ready), but because I’m fairly prolific, I’ve definitely seen how much easier it is to gain momentum (sales and readers) when you’re publishing regularly with a series. When I was publishing my Emperor’s Edge books, I tended to get new novels out about every six months, and even though I’m not writing more books in that series (there might be some spinoffs down the road) and the sales aren’t what they once were, those books still account for the majority of my income.

If I had it all to do over again, would I have held back and released the first few Emperor’s Edge books at all once? Probably not, but I’ll tell you what: I am planning to release the first three novels in my pen name project within a couple weeks of each other (and maybe a novella to boot).

Why?

I’m not planning to announce the pen name, at least not at first (if it fails miserably and gets straight 1-star reviews, I would like the privilege of being able to sweep it under the carpet!), so I’ll be starting from scratch. Not only that, but it’s in a cross-genre niche, which is going to make it tough for advertising (people who like X may hate the idea of Y mixed in and lots of people who like Y wouldn’t touch X with a 10-foot-pole).

In other words, I think it’s going to be hard to gain traction.

So my plan is to make the first book permafree, right off the bat. And, going on the assumption that there’s not much point of having a free book out if there aren’t follow-ups for people to buy, I’ll launch the second at $3.99 shortly thereafter. I’m also planning to take this opportunity to check out KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited (since nobody’s waiting for these books, I don’t need to worry about upsetting Kobo, iPad, Nook, etc. readers). I want to put a third book (which can be read as a stand-alone) into KDP Select at $3.99 to see how that goes. The novella may or may not go into KDP Select too. I want to see how the borrows work for me and maybe try the countdown deals and such.

Now that I’ve blathered about my stuff, I would love to share my thoughts on the pros and cons of following this multi-book launch strategy. I would also love to hear your thoughts!

Pros of Launching 3+ Books in a Series at Once

  • Possibility to gain traction and reach a “tipping point” more quickly — In case you didn’t guess, Liliana Hart and her technique are on people’s radar because she gained momentum and sold piles of books that way. From Hugh’s post: “Lila Ashe, Jessie Evans, Cristin Harber, and Marquita Valentine, are just a few who have used the 5 down, 1 in the hole release schedule. These are authors who just got their start and are already making full-time wages from their writing. Does that mean anyone who does this will have success? Absolutely not. You’ve got to have great stories, catchy blurbs, professional covers, quality editing, and the right metadata. But you are sunk without these things however you publish. Having them should be a given.”
  • Utilize the power of free or permafree right out of the gates — Having a single book out there and making it free can work, insofar as building an audience goes (make sure to encourage newsletter signups!). In a niche I watch, I saw a book with a hideous cover and a so-so blurb skyrocket up to the Amazon Top 100 during its first week out, thanks to the fact that Book 1 had been free and out there for a couple of years, gathering hundreds of reviews and who knows how many reads. But why wait to make money? If you publish a number of titles at once, you can make one free, plug/advertise it anywhere you can, and hope people will be dying to read the following one.
  • Ability to more fully flesh out the world/characters before going live — Some people do a lot of pre-planning before jumping into a series, but if you’re like me, you might just do a quick outline and then get going. Sometimes little character quirks and interesting details might be worked in during the editing or as the series goes on. If you wait to release the series, you can go back and do major world/character changes to Book 1 if you think up something cool and new as you’re working on 3. By writing the first three or more books before launching, you have the leeway to go back and tinker.

Cons of Launching 3+ Books in a Series at Once

  • If the first book bombs, you may have wasted a lot of time working on a series that’s never going to take off — We all like to think we’re brilliant and that everyone will love all of our books, but the truth is that some series do better than others and it can hard to tell in advance which ones will be winners. When you’re publishing your first novel, in particular, it’s tough to be sure if you’re ready. Sometimes the feedback on that first novel can be eye-opening (or slit-your-wrists depressing). Either way, it’ll probably be a learning experience.
  • You don’t get to make any money for books that aren’t published yet — If you’re prolific, have a good day job, or have another series that’s already earning you an income, this might not be a big deal, but every month you sit on a title that’s ready to go is a month that title isn’t making you any money. Will the hold-and-release strategy end up making you more than if you’d put the books out as they were ready? Maybe so, but it’s a gamble, and if you’re not prolific and it’s going to take you years to get all those books ready to go… well, who knows if Amazon’s algorithms will work the same way in a year or two?
  • By the time you get feedback on the first book, you’ve already published several more — Even though you might have more solid characters and worlds built up since you waited until you’d written a few books before finalizing and releasing any of them, publishing the first X novels in a series at once means that you can’t take reviews/feedback you get on Book 1 and make changes to the following books. What if you did something awful to a character that people hated so much it made them put down the book (and the series)? Or what if you focused on a character that didn’t turn out to be nearly as popular as some side character? This kind of thing might matter less in romance, where you’re presumably focusing on different heroes and heroines in every book, but in an epic fantasy series? You may very well want to take an unplanned path in the road, based on early feedback.

All right, that’s all I have to say on this subject until I actually try it out (October, I’m hoping!). Do you have any related thoughts or experiences? Please let us know in the comments.

After 20 Novels, What Does Your Editing Process Look Like?

| Posted in Editing, Writing |

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When I write about my self-publishing journey here, I usually stick more to publishing strategies and marketing topics, but a couple of people have asked me editing questions lately. As I close in on twenty novels (between my name and the new pen name, I should hit that number this Christmas, for my four-year self-publishing anniversary) and almost as many short stories and novellas, I guess it’s fair to say that I’ve developed a system.

My first novel (the first novel that I finished anyway), The Emperor’s Edge, took about seven years from conception to publication (and that didn’t even include looking for an agent/publisher, since I went straight to self-publishing!). Granted, there were years where I didn’t touch it at all in there, but I was definitely finding my way as a writer. I ran it through the SFF Online Writing Workshop twice, several years apart, before “getting serious” and deciding I not only wanted to be a writer, but I wanted it to be the full-time job (yes, quite ambitious for someone who had yet to publish anything). My second novel, Encrypted, also went through the workshop. I wrote that one a little more quickly and had it polished and ready to go in just under a year.

These days, it usually takes me a month to write a first draft (though I’ve done it in as little as two weeks) for a standard-length novel (80-100K). The beastly 220K+ word Republic took two months.

My first round of edits might take about a week for something that involves fact-checking and doing some research (I don’t usually spend a lot of time on either when I’m writing the first draft, because I don’t like to break the flow) or only three days for a simple story that’s set in a made-up world and doesn’t involve much of that.

After I’ve gone over the manuscript once, I send it off to beta readers, who will point out everything from typos to logic errors to confusing action sequences. I’ll usually start working on something else while I’m waiting for them to send the manuscript back. Once it returns, I’ll address their comments again and then either go over the whole story one more time (depending on the degree of the changes I made) or just go over the particular scenes where I made significant changes.

After that, the manuscript is off to my editor, Shelley Holloway, who will check for grammar issues, typos, and anything else confusing that my beta readers might not have pointed out. Again, I’m usually working on something else while she has my manuscript — gotta keep things going if you want to do this full time!

When Shelley is done, she’ll send the manuscript back, and I’ll run through and accept/reject changes and fix any issues she pointed out. We’ll usually go back and forth a couple of times before it’s ready to be turned into an ebook. Once Shelley gets started, it’s usually only about a week or maybe a week and a few days for us to do all of this (she’s doing the heavy lifting at this point). She has numerous clients, though, so I’ll have to book her in advance (sometimes hard when you write quickly) or just accept that there will be a bit of a wait before she can get started. (Again, this is why I always have something else ready to start on.)

The whole process, from Word 1 to finished novel, usually takes a couple of months now, with the slowing-down points being the times when the manuscript is off with beta readers or with my editor (or when I haven’t gotten an order for cover art in early enough, so I’m waiting on that). With one novel (Balanced on the Blade’s Edge), I wrote, edited, and published it in 30 days, but that was more of a bucket-list thing than the norm. Even if I can work that quickly, other people (beta readers, editors, cover artists) have lives (and other clients).

So, there’s an overview, but here are the answers to some more writing/editing-specific questions I’ve received:

A book in a month? A rough draft in two weeks? Don’t you think the quality of the writing suffers if you’re going that fast?

When I first heard about people writing 10,000 words (or more) a day, I thought the same thing, but I also realized that when I was writing my usual 2- to 3,000 words a day (1,000 before this became the day job) that it honestly didn’t take me that long to get those words down and that a big chunk of my day was spent screwing around online or around the house. I knew I could accomplish more and I actually started to feel a little guilty about not getting more done.

So I started to use timers to make myself stay off the internet for chunks of time and to do nothing but write during those slots (I’ve heard of other authors having a dedicated writing computer that isn’t connected to the internet). I realized that if I had everything outlined ahead of time, I too, could have 10,000-word days. That isn’t the norm necessarily, but now I feel pretty lazy if I’m working on a new draft and don’t get at least 5,000 down.

All of this equates to finishing rough drafts in less than a month. Is there any difference in my writing if I type 2,000 words a day versus typing 10,000 words a day? Not at all. It’s simply a matter of spending less of my day goofing off. If anything, I’ve learned that my first drafts tend to be more cohesive and need less editing when I finish them in a few weeks. Writing quickly lets me stay “in the flow” of the story. It’s closer to the way you would actually tell a story, if you were sharing it with a friend, closer to real time, if you will.

Back when it took me much longer, I would spend a lot of time rereading scenes and trying to remember what happened in the opening chapters. This way, the entire story is solid in my head the whole time I’m writing, and there are less gaffs to fix later.

You don’t seem to spend much time on the editing process. I usually have to rewrite X number of times. What’s the secret?

I did some major rewriting of the endings for both The Emperor’s Edge and Encrypted. Hating the original ending is one of the reasons EE took so long to finish (I abandoned it for a few years because I didn’t like the ending and wasn’t sure how to fix it.)

The secret… outlining. I was more of a pantser (writing by the seat of my pants) early on, and I often wrote my characters into situations that I didn’t know how to get them out of. I would get stuck and sometimes lose interest and end up abandoning the manuscript altogether.

I don’t do extensive outlines now, but I always summarize the basic story (a small paragraph per chapter) before I start writing. I’ll often deviate from that outline, but I always know how the story will end, and that lets me more easily find a way to that point.

In the morning, I’ll also do more detailed outlines of scenes I’m going to work on that day, especially if I’m trying to hit 10k words. Those might include some snatches of dialogue, things that wouldn’t tend to be in my overall outline.

Having that roadmap in place let’s me get the story down more quickly when it’s time to write. I already know what’s happening next, so I’m not staring at the screen and trying to figure things out.

Since, before even getting started, I’ve already found my way around potential pitfalls, I don’t usually run into a problem where I have to do a major rewrite when I’m editing. I’m usually tightening up sentences and fixing little issues, but not cutting chapters or changing an ending. (Early on, I was much more likely to have to cut scenes, but I find that rare now.)

I’ll also add here that I’m sure a lot of improvements in efficiency are just a matter of having written numerous novels. I remember how I used to dwell on every sentence when I was sharing chapters on that workshop. Maybe I should use a better verb here. Could this be cut? Is this too much of a run-on sentence? Eventually you internalize the rules and don’t think at all about sentence construction; you’re just telling the story and not letting the words get in the way. I think you tend to second-guess yourself less on the story itself too.

I’ve been told you should put a rough draft away for a while before jumping into editing, but you start right in? Do you think you lose any perspective that way?

I’ve heard that, too, and I used to do it, but I’ve found that when I take a big break (maybe because I got caught up in a new project) that I have a little trouble getting back into the manuscript. I won’t have the story as solidly in my head anymore. Also, because I write a first draft straight through without editing, I’ll often have some things in mind that I know I need to go back and address. I want to get to those before I forget about them.

That said, there’s inevitably a break between my first and second round of edits, since that’s when the beta readers have the manuscript.

When you’re writing your first draft, do you edit as you go?

Almost never. For me, writing the first draft is about getting the story down and that’s it. A rare exception is if I thought of something I wanted to add to the scene I was working on the day before. If so, I might back up to the top of the page and work that in before getting started. But I never go back and tinker majorly with previously written scenes.

I usually suggest that other people don’t either, even new writers. Especially new writers. After you’ve finished the story, you may find that you end up cutting a scene or rewriting your opening chapter, in which case you were just wasting time if you tinkered with it a lot early on. New writers, in particular, tend to find that they started the story a chapter (or maybe chapters) earlier than they needed to, and that their “inciting incident” needs to be moved forward a lot to hook the reader.

Do you have a revisions checklist or do you just wing it? (submitted by )

No checklist. I just read through from start to finish and fix what needs fixing.

I will sometimes have a couple of notes to keep in mind as I go through the manuscript. For example, in Rust & Relics 1, I established that Simon, one of the main characters, has trouble speaking to one of the other characters (because she’s a hottie and he’s in luuuurve). I have a note here, reminding myself to add a few more instances of him fumbling his sentences, because that’s something I forgot about a little as I was writing the first draft of Book 2.

How do you detach yourself from the story to edit, especially considering you usually go into the novels right after finishing it? (submitted by )

How do I step back and look objectively at it? This may just be a personality thing, but I’m rarely so close to a story that I think it’s awesome and fail to see flaws — I feel like I can be fairly analytical from the get-go. I’m also a super picky reader myself (I’m one of those people who got into writing in part because I struggled to find stories that I enjoyed reading), so I’m sensitive to whether a scene is dragging, characters are flat, or there’s not enough conflict to keep things interesting.

Does that mean everyone is going to love my stories, and that they’re perfect? Of course not. Sometimes I recognize flaws that I’m not sure how to fix; sometimes flaws get past me. I just hope the stories are good enough to entertain. (I’m still surprised and delighted when I get fan mail from people who really enjoy the books.)

If you start thinking of your novel as the creation of some sublime piece of art that’s supposed to wow critics and become a part of the Zeitgeist, then you’re probably setting yourself up for a frustrating experience, one in which you revise and revise and maybe never finish. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Perfect is the enemy of good” or “Perfect is the enemy of done.” Definitely true with writing novels.

Any tips for story stuff (versus grammar)? (submitted by )

There are lots of books on writing that cover story construction, and those authors are much better teachers than I am, so I don’t know that I have a lot to say here, except that when I’m writing/editing, I try to…

  • Give the characters quirks that make them seem like real people
  • Give the characters compelling problems that they have to overcome
  • Advance the story (have the protagonists working toward resolving conflict) with each scene
  • Up the stakes (make life more difficult for the heroes) whenever possible
  • Add some interesting/unique elements to the world to make it fun to explore
  • Leave out the “boring” parts, insomuch as you can recognize them (if you start skimming while you’re re-reading that’s a sure sign that there’s not enough conflict going on in the scene to keep the story compelling)
  • Work setting tidbits in unobtrusively, i.e. into the action or even dialogue
  • Make sure most of the conflict ties into the overall plot and isn’t just there Oregon-Trail style to perk up a slow scene (Mary has dysentery! Oh, but she recovers, and it turns out it didn’t matter at all.)

What software do you use for writing and editing?

I write in Scrivener. I’m sure I don’t use 90% of the features, but I love that all of my chapters and scenes are labeled and on display over in the menu, so it’s easy to jump around in the story if I need to. I wrote my first two novels in Word, with everything in one big file, and I can’t even imagine doing that now. Ick.

That said, editors and beta readers usually have Word, so I’ll compile the Scrivener document into a Word file before sending it out to people and usually do my final edits in that program.

How many words do you write an hour? What’s the most you’ve written in a day?

It will vary, depending on what I’m working on. Straight-up action scenes tend to come out most quickly for me. With scenes that are heavy on character interaction and dialogue, that will take longer. Dialogue is my favorite thing to write, and I’m more likely to pause and think about how I want a character to say something there. But when I’m plugging along and know what happens next, 2,000 words an hour is fairly common.

An hour is about the maximum that I’ll sit in the chair without a break. When I’m finding it hard to get going, I’ll set a timer and do 30-minute spurts.

I recently set a new words-in-a-day record, though I don’t know if I should count it since it was on a new novella for the pen name project and I haven’t been back to it since that initial burst, but I hit 13,000 words. (And no, I can’t imagine doing the entire 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo in a day).

I wish I could sit and write for hours, but I have carpel tunnel syndrome, repetitive stress injuries, or X other health issue that makes it hard…

Been there, done that. I was a wreck at 25 and had so many things wrong with me I was wondering if I would live to see 30. Even the computer stuff was hard because my hands hurt so much. Most of The Emperor’s Edge was written with voice recognition software.

More than ten years later… I rarely get sick and not much bothers me. I’ve done 10,000 words while sitting on the couch with my laptop. Ergonomics? Not a bad idea, but I don’t usually bother. Treadmill desk? Are you kidding me? (I do get exercise via hiking and playing tennis, but you won’t catch me doing many things that aren’t a fun break from writing.)

For me, Step 1 was identifying food allergies (gluten and dairy). Step 2 was cutting way back on sugar and things that metabolize into sugar in the body (carbs, essentially). Step 3 was realizing the low-fat diet advice was oh-so-flawed and adding healthy fats into my diet.

Recommended reading: Grain Brain, Why We Get Fat, The Big Fat Surprise.

I can’t promise that the right dietary change will fix all of everyone’s ailments, but it has made an amazing difference for me.

All right, this post has gone on and on, and wandered off topic more than once. There’s a novel waiting to be edited, so I’ll stop here. Any questions? Comments? Please leave a note below!

Creating, Publishing, and Marketing a Multi-Author Bundle

| Posted in Walks with Lindsay |

6

After a three-month hiatus, I’m back with a new walking podcast. There were quite a few things I could have talked about, since I’ve published a couple of new novels this summer (and I do babble about my new pen name project a little at the beginning), but I decided to focus on my experiences with the Nine By Night Urban Fantasy Bundle.

I wasn’t one of the ones who did most of the work when it came to creating and publishing the bundle, but I tried to share some useful observations that might help someone else thinking of starting a multi-author collection. And of course I talked about what we did when it came to launching and promoting the bundle. It’s been in the Top 250 or so at Amazon, making it as high as 95, pretty much since the beginning. I’m sure it’ll eventually drop down, but we’ve been having a good run!

Download

For those who will ask, no, there’s no transcript (I don’t make any money for doing these little shows, and I don’t particularly want to spend any to put them out either), unless a very dedicated listener wants to tackle the task. William Stadler did that for the “Creating Engaging Characters That Turn Readers into Fans” episode, and it was greatly appreciated. I can’t promise to make you famous if you do a transcript, but I’ll at least post the link to your site. :)

How Do You Get Reviews for Your FIRST Book?

| Posted in Book Marketing |

17

I don’t have to tell you: getting reviews is invaluable when it comes to selling books (just try to get a Bookbub ad without a bunch of positive reviews, I dare ya). It’s something I’ve talked about before (and I do mean talked… here’s a podcast from earlier in the year: Getting Book Reviews and Building a Relationship with Readers), but it’s something I get asked about a lot, so I thought I would cover it again.

A lot of my previous advice on getting reviews has been tailored to authors who have a few books out, so I thought I would write a post for those who are trying to get more reviews on their first book. Starting at ground zero sucks (what, you didn’t want me to be blunt?), but you’re not alone. I’ll even be in the same boat again soon — I just sent my first “pen name project” manuscript off to my editor. I’ll talk more about that book launch this fall, but for now, here are some tips for getting reviews on your first book, based on my own experiences and also based on what other successful indie authors are doing right now.

Setting Yourself up to Succeed (or get reviews anyway)

Before you even publish your book, I suggest adding an afterword to the end of the manuscript. Ask the reader to leave a review. You can phrase it however you want (if you enjoyed the novel, please consider leaving a review…), but you’ll get a lot more reviews if you ask. Some people even include the link back to the book’s page, to make things super easy for the reader.

You can also ask the reader to sign up for your newsletter (and give them an incentive to do so), but be careful about how many requests you make in the back of the book. I’ve seen people who have a whole list of things they want readers to do (like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and Google+, follow my blog, share this book with a friend, enter my raffle, etc.), but I would keep the call to action simple. Not only can asking for a lot seem pushy, but most people are going to do a max of one thing anyway. If you’re starting out, reviews may be the most important thing to focus on. You can always change the afterword later on.

Offering Incentives to People Who Leave Reviews

Some people will leave a review simply because you ask (thank you, good readers). Others may need a little motivation. You need to be careful with what you offer because Amazon’s ToS has some strict rules in regard to reviews (i.e. you can’t offer gift certificates or payment). Here are a few things I’ve done:

  • Let people know that whether or not you continue the series (if this is a Book 1) depends on how many reviews it gets and how many readers want to see more — Now, if you’ve already sent Book 2 off to your editor and this isn’t true, I wouldn’t recommend doing it, but if you’re basically writing pilots at this stage to see what has potential (I did a lot of this last year, after finishing my first series), it may be completely true. If the reader wants to see the adventure continue, he or she may be more motivated to leave a review.
  • Offer a spot on a special reviewers’ list — It doesn’t hurt to cultivate a list of proven reviewers (this means never having to start over at ground zero). Ask readers to send a link to their review at Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever in exchange for being put on your list to receive review copies of future books.
  • Offer a prize — I haven’t done this, because I’m always slow about getting my paperbacks out there, but I’ve seen authors offer signed paperbacks to the first 10 or 20 people who review their ebooks.  I’ve also seen people offer a chance to win a bigger prize if they send a link to a review (Becky White gave away a $100 gift certificate when she did a big free push). I’m not personally a fan of lottery prizes as an incentive, since more people lose than not, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work. (Though if you’re angling for Amazon reviews, in particular, you might want to double-check their ToS for that kind of thing.)

Getting People to Read Your Book

I know what you’re thinking: okay, incentives make sense and asking makes sense too, but how do I get people to read the book in the first place? Nobody can review it if they don’t know it exists.

You’re right. It’s hard to get people to buy a book without any reviews, and it’s even harder to get reviews when nobody’s read the book. So what’s the answer?

Giving away free copies. People will try a free book that doesn’t have a load of reviews, especially if it’s got a stellar cover and blurb. Now, you can go out and try to hand sell X number of free review copies (I did this with my first book, using the Mobile Read forum, Kboards, and the Nookboards (not that active anymore, alas) to get in touch with people who might be interested), but it’s probably easier just to make your ebook free everywhere for a few days. If you’re in KDP Select, you can do this through a Countdown Deal. If you’re not exclusive with Amazon, you can make your book free at Smashwords, Kobo, and Apple, and hope Amazon matches it to free.

It’s up to you whether you want to make it a free-for-all or hand select potential reviewers. If you do go free everywhere, this doesn’t mean you have to go permanently free. Maybe you just want your book to be free until you have X number of reviews, and then you’ll put it up to its regular price. It’s basically just giving away review copies en masse.

Note: some people say that you’re more likely to get 1-star reviews when you make your book free (possibly a reason to be more selective with who you give the book to). Getting some 1-stars is probably worth it if your average doesn’t get too low and if you’re getting good reviews at the same time. Believe it or not, some readers don’t trust books that have only positive reviews, thinking someone might have been gaming the system.

Sending off Review Copies to Book Blogs and Review Programs (meh?)

I did some of this when I first released The Emperor’s Edge and Encrypted back in the day (it used to be a lot harder to find sites that accepted self-published books!). I did get a good review or two out of the deal (and a nice write-up on a fairly big genre book blog), but bloggers tend to be pretty backed up.

You also might not get as good of reviews as you’re hoping for because you’re foisting these books on people who are already inundated rather than having readers self-select, based on their interest in the blurb. I’m not quite sure how the Vine program works on Amazon, but I’ve seen traditionally published authors get some of the crummiest reviews through it, ones that start off, “I don’t usually read X genre, but…”. It really is best to get reviews from people who saw the book, thought it looked like something up their alley, and were excited to read it from the start.

That’s probably enough from me on the subject. What are your thoughts and experiences?

Rust & Relics Novella and 99-Cent Urban Fantasy Boxed Set

| Posted in My Ebooks |

5

Destiny Unchosen CoverIt’s been a while since I first published Torrent, Book 1 in the Rust & Relics series, but I’m finally getting back to that world. There will be a new novel ready to go this fall, and I have a novella for you right now. Destiny Unchosen is from Temi’s point of view, comes with a lot of adventure, and gives us a peek into Eleriss and Jakatra’s world (Are those guys elves or aliens or what? You get to decide… :) ).

Blurb:

Before tragedy left her crippled, Artemis “Temi” Sidaris was a world-class tennis player at the height of her career. The sport was her passion, her dream, and all she ever wanted to do. Fighting monsters… was not part of the plan. 

But when a pair of pointy-eared strangers offers to heal her injury if she’s willing to wield a powerful sword to protect humanity… how can she resist? 

Destiny Unchosen is a 21,000-word novella that takes place between Torrent and the forthcoming Thorn Fall (September, 2014).

You can grab Destiny Unchosen from Amazon, SmashwordsBarnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple (coming soon).

I think you can enjoy Destiny Unchosen without having read Torrent (quite a few spoilers though!), but if you haven’t given the first novel a chance yet, you can grab it for… about 10 cents right now. It’s part of a nine-author, nine-book urban fantasy bundle that’s only 99 cents.

Here’s a little more information on the bundle (I think it’s a great way to try out a lot of new authors and new books for a very inexpensive price):

NINE BY NIGHT: A Multi-Author Urban Fantasy Bundle of Kickass Heroines, Adventure, & Magic

nine-by-night-coverNine books. Nine bestselling authors. Nine heroines that take names–and chances–while confronting dark foes, whether by force of arms or magic, that threaten their entire world.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author, SM REINE - WITCH HUNT — Shaman on the run. Isobel Stonecrow speaks with the dead…for the right price. She brings closure to the bereaved and heals broken hearts. But when she resurrects someone for the wrong client, she ends up on the OPA’s most wanted list.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, CJ ELLISSON - DEATH’S SERVANT — Jonathan Winchester has clashed with his werewolf alpha one too many times. He returns to Virginia to find work and meets a young waitress, Raine. As their relationship progresses, Jon’s embroiled in more intrigue than he bargained for and a danger bigger than he can handle.

From bestselling author, LINDSAY BUROKER - TORRENT — When Delia chose to major in archaeology, she imagined herself as the female Indiana Jones of the Southwest. She didn’t imagine herself stumbling across decapitated bodies in old mine shafts or learning that monsters are real…

From USA TODAY bestselling author, ANTHEA SHARP - SPARK — What if a high-tech game was a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie? Superstar gamer Spark Jaxley’s life might look easy, but she’s part of an elite few who guard a shocking secret; the Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in the mortal world. 

From bestselling authors BOONE BRUX and CJ ELLISSON - DEATH TIMES TWO — The V V Inn has a ghost problem. New grim reaper, Lisa Carron, accepts the job. She quickly learns the hotel is full of the dearly departed–and she’s working for vampires. Throw in Asa, a young vamp hot enough to melt the Arctic ice, and Lisa realizes she’s way out of her element. 

From bestselling author, JC ANDRIJESKI - ROOK: ALLIE’S WAR EPISODES 1-4 — Like most humans, Allie distanced herself from Seers, a race of human-like beings discovered on Earth. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious Revik, Allie finds out her blood may not be as “human” as she thought, the world is nothing like it appears to be…and she has more in common with Seers than she ever wanted to believe. 

From bestselling author, ANNIE BELLET - JUSTICE CALLING — Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress. Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she’s finally safe. As long as she doesn’t use her magic…

From bestselling author, JESI LEA RYAN - ARCADIA’S GIFT — Teenager Arcadia (Cady) Day’s family tragedy unleashes a hidden power. After experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, her home life crumbles. As her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning…

From Urban Fantasy author, KARA LEGEND - WILD NIGHT ROAD — One innocent hex sets off a chain reaction of trouble among the shifters of the Kinraven that threatens war between werewolves, seraphim and witches. Lilith Darke will do anything to be free of her seraphim master. All hell breaks loose when rival packs face off only to discover a new, deadly threat that will take all their magick to survive.

Pick up the collection at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, and Smashwords.