I’m becoming a big fan of multiple simultaneous projects.

I used to think of it as multiple abandoned projects, where I’d stop working on something and then maybe go back and pick it up later to see where I went wrong, or maybe not.  But at least two of these projects are definitely happening… eventually.GeneDoucette_RegencyImmortal1400

A few months back I started work on the so-far-untitled Immortal 4, getting about 20,000 words in before stopping to write Regency Immortal.  Then I started Fixer Redux (possible title, not sure yet) and got about 30,000 words in.  I’m going to keep going with Redux for a little while longer, probably, before turning my attention to the new Immortal Chronicles book.

Also, still kicking around in the back of my head, and somewhere on my laptop, is the beginning of a new project (which I’ve mentioned before) called M Pallas.  That’s only about 12-15,000 words deep, and deserves more of my attention.

The sort-of cool thing about jumping from project to project is when I’m in the middle of writing one I end up saying “I can’t believe I only have X words written on this” but when I go back to it later it’s more like “I already have X words written on this!”

Goals

As difficult as this is going to be, I might wait until I have two things done before I start publishing again.  I could probably push out the new Chronicle fairly quickly, but this is getting exhausting, and I’d rather not risk sacrificing quality.  So maybe I get a first draft of Redux finished, then Chronicles 6 written, then turn to Immortal 4 again while editing Redux.  Or something like that.  Hopefully while all that is happening we can get a new website rolled out for Adam’s universe, and boost the existing books with a sale or two.

Unless I get antsy again.  That sixth Chronicle book is going to be about Eve.  I have thus far only ever defined her from the perspective of a man.  I don’t know her very well outside of that, so I’ve had to get to know her.  I’m pretty close to being ready to give her a story all her own, though–one Adam doesn’t narrate or necessarily even appear in.

Anyway

Exciting times ahead.  Give me a few months to put in the writing, then we can have some fun.

 

Permafree end dateGeneDoucette_ImmortalatSea1400

Starting this weekend, I’ll be moving Immortal at Sea out of permafree and back to its original $2.99 price.  It’s been a fun three weeks with a large number of free downloads.  I’m not telling you how many, only because I haven’t gone to every site and added them up.  A lot, though.

I’m thinking I will do this semi-regularly with one book or another.  It’s becoming obvious the best approach–for my genre–is periodic sales, but I don’t want to do more than one at a time, so by taking this one out of free I can look into, say, pushing First Folio at a discount for a week.

Or something.

So if you have some people out there you’ve told to go get their free copy of Immortal at Sea, let them know it might not be free for too much longer…

An introduction to the Immortal ChroniclesGeneDoucette_ImmortalatSea1400

As of today, you can own a copy of Immortal at Sea for free from just about everywhere.  Here are the links:

iTunes

Nook

Kobo

Google Play

Smashwords

If you’re reading this, you probably already own a copy of Immortal at Sea but I’m betting you know a lot of people who don’t, so let everyone know!  I’m looking into promotional email blasts and so on, but the best kind of recommendation will always be the one that comes from you guys.

Whither Amazon?

You might have noticed Amazon isn’t on the above list.  That’s because they don’t accept a zero price point on KDP books.  If you know someone who wants a copy on their Kindle, there are two options:

  1. request a price-match from Amazon.  By the time you read this, Amazon may have already price-matched the book to Free, but if they have not, it’s possible to ask them to do so.  You can also click their “tell us about a lower price” link on the page for Immortal at Sea and let them know about one of the above merchants selling the book for nothing.
  2. Smashwords sells in all formats, including Mobi, which is what the Kindle uses, so it can be picked up there.

UPDATE: Immortal at Sea is now free on Amazon

Why am I doing this?

I’ve talked about my efforts to publish wide before.  This is one way to get people who use those other platforms to find my books. Immortal at Sea is a good entry-point to all of the other books in The Immortal Chronicles, as well as the Immortal Trilogy, and maybe everything else I’ve got going on.  Fixer_Hi-Res_CoverIf you’re talking about the international market, Google, iTunes and Kobo are just as important as Amazon, and possibly more important.  Getting attention in those markets is something I have to start working on now, especially with a new Fixer novel in the works and a fourth Immortal novel in development.

Four of the Chronicle books are available at all of the above sites.  Nook, iTunes and Kobo also have the novels.  Getting this book for free is just a start.

So tell your friends!  Send them to this page, or point them to one of the sale pages, or just get them to look up the novella themselves.  Or write it on a paper airplane and throw it at their head.  Whatever works for you.

Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America

Back in 2012, I was enjoying the first big success of my career.  Immortal had taken off–not in the mega-best-seller sense, but in the “oh shit, I’m making real money” sort of way.  That might not sound like a huge deal to you unless you happen to also be a writer, and then maybe it does.  logo-new

It was kind of a big deal, anyway.  Big enough that I wondered what I could do with this success, however modest and/or transitory it might be.

One of the things I checked out was the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.  Immortal and the sequel, Hellenic Immortal had been best-selling on Amazon for five months in multiple SF/F categories.  Surely I could meet the minimum membership requirements on that alone?

I couldn’t.  What I had made in royalties far exceeded the minimum monetary threshold I needed to prove, and I had a publisher–I hadn’t self-published either book.  But I didn’t have the right kind of publisher, and I hadn’t earned that minimum the right sort of way.

Basically, the money had to be in an advance, and that advance had to come from a publisher on their list of approved publishers, and it didn’t look like there was a lot of flexibility on either point.

Immortal_Cover58Even for 2012–which was just at the start of the ebook revolution–this was breathtakingly behind-the-times, but I was in no position to do anything about it other than decide, oh well, I guess I won’t be joining SFWA.

Well, good news: I just joined SFWA.

The organization came to more or less the same conclusion I had back in 2012, and just changed the bylaws to allow for somewhat more flexibility in the application process.  There is still a not-immodest minimum earning threshold ($3,000 from one novel in a calendar year) but I could meet it, and so I’m in.

What does this mean for the future?  I have no idea just yet.  But I’m pretty excited about that future.

In other news

GeneDoucette_YuletideImmortal1400I’ve added Yuletide Immortal to iTunes and Nook.  (I haven’t given up on publishing wide yet!)  I’m still woefully behind on Kobo and Google Play but will keep everyone updated on progress there.

I’m looking into establishing a more robust web page for Adam and all his adventures (and for Corrigan Bain and all of his) and hope to have something to show all of you in the next few months.  With a more up-to-date landing page I’m anticipating being able to do some more things for all of you, like, I dunno, T-shirts?

Something, anyway.

If you have an idea of what you’d like to see in an Adam the Immortal website, drop me a note here.

Book Five in the Immortal ChroniclesGeneDoucette_RegencyImmortal1400

The long awaited fifth book in The Immortal Chronicles is now available!  Regency Immortal is a little bit of romance, a lot of Adam, and a decent serving of political intrigue and espionage.  Adam’s in Vienna at a particularly important historical time, along with a beautiful young woman named Anna and a killer who wants to disrupt the Congress.

Pick up your copy here!

In other news

I’m working on a new Immortal novel, a separate series called M Pallas that I’m still trying to get traction on, and in another month I’ll start work on book six in the Chronicles, but the hot hand at the moment is with Fixer Redux.  It’s the most fleshed-out storyline I have, so it’s probably where I’ll be focusing right now.  You guys are cool with another Fixer book, right?

Decisions

Here’s a sentence that probably doesn’t make sense if you aren’t self-publishing things right now: I’m not sure if I should stay exclusive to Amazon or not.

That seems like a pretty silly statement, because sure, Amazon’s Kindle accounts for most of the ebook sales, but why limit my books to just that one distributor when there is also Apple and Nook and Kobo and so on?  There doesn’t appear to be a solid reason to deliberately limit my exposure in that way.Immortal_Cover58

Perhaps.  But it turns out Amazon can be kind of a bitch about this.

There’s this thing called the Kindle Select program.  If your book is in Kindle Select it becomes eligible for the Kindle Unlimited (KU) program (take notes! This is going to get complicated!), which is their monthly subscription service.  You are also not eligible for the Kindle Lending Library (KOLL), which is… a library thing, I think.  If you aren’t in Select, your book is not eligible and you don’t get any of the benefits from KU/KOLL.

What are the benefits of KU/KOLL?

  1. People borrow your book

That’s it, that’s the benefit.

Hang on, there’s more

Okay, sorry, it’s more complicated than that.  Every borrow means money for the author.  How much is variable from month-to-month and dependent upon Amazon’s mood ring interface, the lunar cycle, and a dart board in Jeff Bezos‘s office, but it’s been between $1.30 and $2.10 per borrow.

Hellenic_Immortal20This is a low number if your book is being sold for $4,99 and up, and it’s super-fantastic if your book is being sold for $0.99.

For my Immortal Chronicles, it’s just about perfect because I sell those at $2.99 apiece.  I get more per book for each sale than I do for each borrow, but not a lot more.

If one can argue that three people might borrow a book that, if unavailable to borrow, only two would buy, I’m coming out ahead.  Those additional borrows also help with the Amazon sales rank, because they count the same as a sale to Amazon’s algorithms, and borrows bump a rank immediately.  (Sales don’t count until the money is collected.)Immortal-Edge-of-World-Low-Res-Cover

It’s a good deal for me, in other words.  The problem is, one of the requirements of being in Select is that I’m only in Select.  The books can’t be on sale anywhere else.

Going wide

Here’s my dilemma.  As a hybrid author, I have four novels that are indie published– Immortal, Hellenic Immortal, Immortal at the Edge of the World, and Fixer.  All of them were distributed wide and in print, and all of them sold well, although Amazon Kindle is still by far the biggest contributor to my royalty checks.

Last year I started self-publishing The Immortal Chronicles while waiting for book three of the above Immortal trilogy (Fixer is a standalone book that has its own sequel pending) to come out.  This was a way to draw attention to the novels and to create new interest in the main character, and it worked extremely well.

GeneDoucette_ImmortalatSea1400Soon, the Chronicles began to take on a life of their own, and I started to feel bad for the readers I felt I was leaving behind.  Some of the trilogy’s fans bought books in print, and others bought the novels on their Nooks or through Apple.  I was telling new stories for Adam the immortal and ignoring people who wanted those stories.

I decided the best way to take care of this was to publish an anthology that covered the first three Chronicle books, something I could put out in print with a respectable number of pages, and something I could keep out of Select and release through other platforms.

Ah, but I couldn’t do that last thing, because the content of the anthology included stories that were in Kindle Select.  They had to come out of Select first.GeneDoucette_HardBoiledImmortal1400

Now the dilemma

As of this afternoon, the first three books in The Immortal Trilogy– Immortal At Sea, Hard-Boiled Immortal and Immortal and the Madman— are all available on other platforms.  This means I’m free to release the anthology– First Folio— the same way.  (It’s already in print.)

But now I’m dubious.  See, here’s the problem.  The first two books have been out of Select and available on other platforms for about a month– Madman just went live today– and in that time the numbers for all my books on the Kindle have dropped.

GeneDoucette_ImmortalandtheMadman1400Book four of the Chronicles— Yuletide Immortal— came out in December and all four sold very well, but in December all of them were also in Select.  Since these are standalone novellas, they don’t need to be read in order, but it looks like when a “book four” came out it boosted interest in books 1-3, and it only helped that all four could be borrowed.

Will that happen again when Regency Immortal comes out next month?  It will be released in Select, and coming out right when Yuletide comes off Select.  (It’s a 90 day commitment, unless it’s renewed.)  Can a “book five” sell well–and borrow well–under these circumstances?  I honestly don’t know.

The other channelsGeneDoucette_YuletideImmortal1400

What I do know is that right now the other distribution channels aren’t picking up the slack, by which I mean the sales I’m getting from them aren’t offsetting what I think I’m probably losing in borrows from Kindle Unlimited.  Worse, it’s possible the entire Amazon promotional machine may be tied to Unlimited.

Right now my marketing plan is: release new books in Select but only for the first 90 days, which is when the most borrows occur, then go wide after that 90 day period is up.  I plan to stick with this approach to see if I can get some traction from Nook and Apple and Kobo, but if they can’t figure out how to connect the readers of my novels–and I know they’re out there–with the novellas, I might end up pulling the books and returning to Select.

I don’t want to do that.  What I want is for everyone who would like to buy one of my books to have that opportunity, via whatever channel is available.  (Actually, what I really want is for Amazon to take away the exclusivity part of Select.  That would solve all of this.)  I might not be able to afford to do that, though.

GeneDoucette_RegencyImmortal1400Anyway

If you’re a fan, and you don’t have a Kindle, I’m thinking of you.  If, in six months or a year, I end up abandoning you for the exclusive waters of Kindle Select, please don’t take it personally.

It’s not you, it’s me.

*Note: I appreciate the irony of all the Amazon links above.  Here is the link to all my books at Barnes and Noble. I have yet to find an easy web-based interface with Apple.

UPDATE: a reader who knows how to do things I don’t was able to hook me up with a link to my Apple books page.  Here it is!

Latest draftGeneDoucette_RegencyImmortal1400

I took the day to finish a new draft of Regency Immortalbecause I’m unreasonably paranoid about these things, by which I mean “putting a book up for pre-sale before I have finished it.”

My current approach is to not do this–post a listing on Amazon, I mean–until I have made it to the end of the first draft.  Before then I don’t even know what my ending is going to look like, most times (I don’t outline) or how long the story is, or whether I’m going to like either of those things.

I did wait, but by the time I got to the end I realized the story I wanted to tell was going to have to be a little different in the middle–because romance!–and the story was going to end very much with a “to be continued” sort of vibe.

Sorry, spoilers!th

GoodReads

Having finished that new draft, I added Regency Immortal to GoodReads, so if you’re a part of GoodReads, take a second to add it to your shelf.

Thunderclap

I’ve also started a new Thunderclap campaign for the release.  I thought this went very well for Yuletide Immortal so I figured why not try it again?  As always, a Thunderclap only works if people just like you help me out, so if you can, follow this link and add your social network of choice to the campaign.

While you’re there, if you could also help out with this campaign, a guy named Damian Jericho will be very grateful.

Finally…

Book six of The Immortal Chronicles is still a long way away.  I need to put more work in on the unnamed novel #4 for Adam (perhaps the start of a new trilogy… perhaps…) but I can tell you already what the name of that sixth book is going to be called: Eve.

I know…th

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