As more of a writer than a marketer, it can be hard to talk about sales and marketing. I launched Attacked Beneath Antarctica with as much of an advertising blitz as I could afford, and then dropped the price on Against the Eldest Flame to $0.99 as a cheap way to get into the series.
So far it seems to be working. My free promotion on Against the Eldest Flame got almost 300 copies out into the wild, and that’s just the beginning. Freebies are fun, but what matters are sales and paid reads.
That’s where I’m actually seeing the benefits. Against the Eldest Flame is selling steadily; the numbers aren’t huge but they’ve been pretty constant. I’ve also been selling copies of both sequels, with Attacked Beneath Antarctica moving slightly faster than Air Pirates of Krakatoa.
It’s looking good, and now I’m getting ready to publish book 4: Giant Robots of Tunguska.
Keep an eye out for it!
If you like my books, and if you’re reading this I hope you do, I have a favor to ask: Could you please review my Doc Vandal books on Amazon.com?
Against the Eldest Flame is free through tomorrow, so you can easily pick that one up.
The other two books aren’t free, but I have two copies of each book to give away in return for an honest review. Just hit me up through the Contact page with your Amazon account email and I’ll gift you a copy.
Please post your reviews on Amazon.com as those reviews propagate to the other sites, but it doesn’t go the other way.
Why wait? Ask for your free review copy today!
Today’s the day! Attacked Beneath Antarctica is out in both Kindle ebook and paperback!
An ancient evil lurks beneath Lake Vostok!
When Doc and the team receive a mysterious message from a lost Antarctic expedition they launch a rescue mission only to find themselves stranded in the coldest place on Earth. Their only hope of survival lies in an 800 mile trek across the icecap, and nothing can prepare them for what they find beneath the ice.
Trapped between an invader from outside space itself and a Nazi expedition seeking secrets humanity was not meant to know the team is caught in a race to save the world from threats it cannot understand.
To celebrate this release; book 1, Against the Eldest Flame, will be free on Kindle from August 28-September 2nd, and book 2, Air Pirates of Krakatoa will be on a Kindle Countdown sale from $0.99 to $1.99 from August 28th to September 2nd.
As of one o’clock this morning I finished the draft of Giant Robots of Tunguska, bringing it home at 53,839 words. I created the Scrivener document on the evening of February 20th, and finished it in the early morning of May 25th– so it took me three months and five days to write making it my fastest ever novel.
Now it’s planning the next one, editing book three, and looking at the other novels I have in the drafting stages.
As I write this I’m coming into the final stretch on Doc Vandal book 4, Giant Robots of Tunguska. Everyone’s in a bad situation, even the characters who don’t realize it, and it’s time to pull all the threads together.
Some writers plan everything out with a detailed outline so they know exactly what’s going to happen next: I’m not one of those writers. I have a rough outline and I know where I want all the pieces to end up. What I don’t know is exactly how they’re going to get there.
It’s also where I go back and look for any dangling plot threads I need to tie up. This would be a ton easier if I could just stick to my outline, but I can’t. The story I end up with is never exactly what I planned.
However, not knowing exactly where I’ll end up and how I’ll get there helps make the writing fun. It’s like reading the book to find out what happens, only much slower.
When you’re writing a character inspired by another, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of writing a copy instead of an homage. Yes, Doc Vandal is very clearly inspired by Doc Savage; he’s an almost superhuman super scientist who lives near the top of the tallest building in New York with a handful of aides and fellow adventurers. The key lies in how you differentiate the new character.
With Doc Vandal, it all started with one simple statement: Doc Savage lives in our world, Doc Vandal doesn’t. Doc Vandal’s world is deliberately more fantastic than Doc Savage’s. Doc Savage has an assistant named Monk Mayfair who is often described as apelike. Doc Vandal’s oldest associate is a silverback gorilla.
On it’s own though, a change like that is little more than filing off the serial numbers and maybe turning up the volume.
Use your inspirations as a foundation. They are the beginning, not the end. Doc Vandal fills the same role in his world as Doc Savage does in his, but the two characters got there in very different ways. What’s most important though is to find your own voice and tell your own stories.
Also, remember it’s been eighty years since the 1930’s. Doc Savage and his team were six white males, and that’s just not something that would work today. Not only does a modern audience expect a more diverse cast, but limiting your characters that way artificially limits your story space. A wider range of characters offers a wider range of story opportunities and any writer would be a fool not to take advantage of that.
It’s launch day. Air Pirates of Krakatoa is now live in the Kindle store. It’s been a long slog, over two years since I finished the first draft, but it’s available now.
This was the one that really determined the direction of the series; so much so that I went back and revised Against the Eldest Flame so that it fit better with the sequel. Characters found their own voices and their world opened up.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.