Hey you guys, Hell Night is live on the Kindle store! Pick up a copy! Read it! Enjoy it! Post a review! You’re awesome!
Okay, it’s time. Mark those calendars, tell your friends, tell your enemies, call the newspapers. I just got the physical proof of HELL NIGHT, the second Alex Rains adventure, and me and my cat agree that it’s pretty awesome. So, let’s do this thing. And if you haven’t already, this would be a great time to check out the first Alex Rains Novel, The Devil’s Mouth
Thanks so much to all of you who have been waiting patiently.
Once upon a time, there was a crazy kid with a crazy dream. A dream to write a book about a one-liner quipping, fast-car-driving, katana-wielding, cowboy-hat-wearing, rockabilly vampire hunter. If that isn’t a crazy dream, I don’t know what is.
And then that crazy kid, he went and wrote that book.
And then he had another crazy dream. He dreamed that someday somebody other than his two best friends might read it.
He thought for a while about traditional publishing. He made some inquiries. It went like this:
Author: I have this book…
Publisher: Does it have an orphaned child wizard?
Author: No, but it…
Publisher: Is there a female teenage protagonist, forced to fight to the death for entertainment in a future dystopia?
Author: Not exactly.
Publisher: Are there dragons?
Author: No. But there are vampires.
Publisher: Okay, now we’re talking! Are they broody, sparkly, harmless good vampires that romance teenage girls?
Author: No. They just kill people.
Publisher: Get the hell out of my office.
Okay, my lawyer wants me to mention that this conversation only took place in my imagination, but it was extremely vivid.
So, after that, the crazy kid looked into online self-publishing, the craziest dream of all.
So, he found a crazy little website called Reedsy.com where he found an editor and a cover designer, and spent a kind of a crazy frightening amount of money getting this crazy manuscript polished up. Then he spent more crazy amounts of money on formatting and advertising, and he released his crazy rockabilly vampire hunter novel out into the world.
And to his utter shock and amazement, it didn’t do half bad.
Plot twist. I’m that crazy writer. The Devil’s Mouth has been out on the Kindle store for a little more than a month. I’ve sold significantly more copies than I have sympathetic friends and relatives, and I’m actually getting mostly good reviews. People seem to enjoy the book, and it’s the most rewarding, encouraging, validating thing I can possibly imagine.
I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude.
I would like to extend a big giant heartfelt thank you to everyone involved.
First and foremost, my readers. I know that buying a book on the kindle store from an unknown author is a risk, to say the least. So thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking a chance on me. I cannot thank you enough. I am so completely serious that I am literally tearing up as I write this. And a double thank you for those of you who went to the trouble to leave a review. Self published authors live and die by those reviews, so I cannot express my gratitude enough. Even those of you who left meh reviews, I truly appreciate the feedback, and again, I appreciate you taking the chance on me. Except that one guy who left a one-star review. You obviously didn’t even read the book, and you can eat a bag of dicks.
Thank you to the reviewers who also took a chance on my book. Invested Ivana, Patrick Dorn, Derek Edgington, Barb Taub, Jess Haines, Bob Williams, and anyone else who I forgot, or whose review escaped my notice. Those early, positive reviews from professional readers and writers who had no vested interest in sparing my feelings meant more to me than you’ll ever know. Thanks.
Thank yous go next to my friends and family, you know who you are. All those of you who read my early drafts and gave me feedback, or listened to me as I talked out some plot issue or another, or just refrained from rolling your eyes when I mentioned the book I was writing, thank you. Thank you. You guys, you are the wind beneath my wings.
Next up, thank you to the professionals who helped me make the book everything it could be.
J. Caleb Design, you saw my vision, and you brought it to life. Thanks for putting up with my nit picking, and thank you for that awesome cover. Everyone loves it. Except that guy that left the one star review, but fuck him.
Angela Brown, thank you for cleaning up my atrocious grammar, hammering the dents out of my story, and bringing my manuscript up to a professional standard. I’m sure it was a Augean task, but you got it done with style. I’m afraid I added in a few more typos after you got done with it, but I want everyone to know that those were all my fault, so blame me, and not this wonderful editor.
Polgarus Studios, You guys just rock. Thank you for making my book look like a book. If anyone reading this is considering self publishing, talk to these guys. They’ll format your ebook better and faster than you could do it yourself. It’s a bargain. It’s worth it. Believe me.
Reedsy.com Thank you for your website, which allowed me to browse dozens and dozens of vetted industry professionals, and receive quotes from those same professionals. Without you guys I’d still be browsing fiverr and craigslist for an editor. There’s no getting around the fact that real professionals cost real money, but reedsy.com absolutely made the whole process easier and far less risky for both parties.
Again, thank you everyone. I’m aglow. This is the beginning of an amazing adventure.
I am a creature of habit. When those habits get disrupted, things go off course very quickly. I stop blogging for a few days and it’s all over. And don’t even talk to me about Duolingo.
So, yes, I’ve been neglecting my blog, and I’m sorry. In my defense, I’ve been busy trying to push my novel on anybody who can read English.
Would a free book make up for it? Because The Devil’s Mouth is free all this weekend. But if you like it, you have to send me cookies.
So, a year or two ago, I decided I’d like to publish something. Anything. Just for the sake of having something out there. Just for the sake of actually finishing something. I had a novella, We Only Come Out At Night, that I’d written years and years ago and never really done much with. I dusted it off and gave it a read. It wasn’t as bad as I’d remembered. So I polished it up, made a cover, and published it—with high hopes— on Amazon Kindle.
I didn’t know anything about promotion. About Search Engine Optimization. About Kindle algorithms or keywords or categories or advertising or any of that stuff. I just wanted to publish a book. And so I did. I sent my baby out into the world.
You can probably guess what happened next. Of course, my book quickly and unceremoniously sank to the bottom of the Kindle Sea, like a mobster wearing cement shoes. And there it stayed, drowned under millions and millions of slightly less unsuccessful books, while the giants of the sea, the Kings and Rowlings and Koontzes, swam by far overhead.
Through Kindle’s free promotions I managed to give away fifty or sixty copies; I even sold three or four. But nobody felt strongly enough about it to actually leave a review, good or bad. This left me feeling strangely neutral about my work. I mean, it’s not good enough for anybody to say good things, but at least it’s not bad enough for people to say bad things, right? After a few weeks of obsessively checking my Kindle reports, I sort of gave up and forgot about it. I moved on to other things.
I don’t think it’s a bad book, per se, or I wouldn’t have published it. But I never expected it to be a blockbuster. It doesn’t exactly fit neatly into a genre. It’s kind of a sad, tragic little story. Sort of Romeo and Juliet meets The Outsiders, but with vampires. It isn’t even 20,000 words. It’s kind of angsty teen vampire fiction, and isn’t really representative of where I’m at today as a writer. And yet, I’m pretty fond of it. It’s got a special little place in my heart. So I keep hoping that someday it’ll maybe get some traction, maybe someday I’ll find out that someone wasn’t angry that they spent ninety-nine cents to read it. Someday.
Imagine my surprise when I returned from vacation, and just for shits and giggles, took a look at my Amazon sales report. I sold a book! Not only that, but that person actually read the book! And they liked it! They liked it so much they left a good review! Oh, happy day.
Witty, adventurous, and heart-wrenching, this book hooked me and wouldn’t let go! The descriptive writing had me visualizing every pleasant and disturbing moment, and everything in between. Cant wait to see what else Kincade has in store!
Omg omg omg author boner.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, you sold one book. You got one good review. That’s not really much to get excited about. To you I say: Shut up. Don’t you fucking ruin this for me.
So hey, if Sydney Katzen enjoyed it, maybe you might too. It’s less than that cup of coffee you bought this morning, and you can probably read it in an afternoon. And maybe, just maybe, you might leave a review and make my day.
Of course this doesn’t apply just to me. All you aspiring authors out there probably already know this, but for the rest of you who buy ebooks, the single biggest factor that determines kindle rankings, that decides whether a book shows up in searches so people can buy it and the author can make the monies, or whether a book gets sent down to the depths of Kindle hell, is reader reviews. So if you like a book, the best thing you can do for that author is simply leave a review.
“In high school, Paul, David, and Nadia always dreamed of being vampires. Then they met the vampire who could actually make it happen. As it turns out, eternal youth is everything they thought it could be. No school, no job, no responsibilities, and the party never stops. Until the night when it all goes wrong…”
I wrote this one quite a while ago, before I decided that killing vampires was more fun than empathizing with them. It’s a strange, tragic little coming-of-age story, but it was one of the first things I ever wrote that actually turned out close to the way I wanted it to, so I guess it’s got a special place in my heart. If you enjoy reading it, I sure wouldn’t mind a good review.
Or not purchase, because it’s free.