ImageWould you like to hear me talk about Immortalpublishing, first-person authorship, Adam, and a whole bunch of other things?  For thirty-five minutes?

Of course you would!

Honestly, I’m listening to the podcast right now, and this might be my favorite online appearance.  Janelle Alex gives good interview.

Here are a few of links:

Authors Talk About It: The Immortal Trilogy

The Immortal Trilogy on Podbean

Authors Talk About It on iTunes

You can own Immortal, the book that started it all, for only $0.99 starting today, 5/7, until 5/31.Immortal_Cover58

If you haven’t read it, now’s your chance!  If you have friends who have resisted all your past demands that they read this book, now is THEIR chance!

It’s the book that leads to Hellenic Immortal and Immortal at the Edge of the World and all five books in The Immortal Chronicles.  It has 77 Amazon reviews for a 4.4 average, and 788 ratings on Goodreads for a 4.08 average.  It’s book one of a long adventure that is still being written.

And it’s only $0.99.

Immortal on Amazon

Immortal on Itunes

You might recall that a few weeks back I took one of my novellas– Immortal at Sea–and discounted it to free.  You may also recall my taking it out of free a little while after that.GeneDoucette_ImmortalatSea1400

So, funny story.  The idea behind permafree markdowns is to expand interest in the other books associated with the free product.  What I started seeing after the paid-for promos I’d run for Immortal at Sea was a sharp drop in downloads of the free book and a marked increase in the purchases of the other books in The Immortal Chronicles, which led me to conclude that I had accomplished what I hoped to accomplish out of it.

Then I took it out of free, and almost exactly a week later my sales fell through the floor.

Seeking advice

It happens I know a lot of writers, and most of those writers are more successful than I am at this.  (Statistically, the odds are pretty good.)  I went to a few of them, on the KBoards and at SFWA, to discuss my problem, which we’ll call an issue of discoverability.

A lot of what came out of those conversations was depressing and hopefully untrue.  (For example: some books have a level, and they will never out-perform that level, so go write other things.  This is true, and it’s good advice, and I don’t think I accept it.)  Two things stuck: one, clearly in the short-term, the free giveaways of Immortal at Sea were driving my other sales and it should stay free.  Image

So, it’s back to free again, and I’ll be running various promos from time to time to keep people interested in downloading it.

Two: the ‘also-boughts’ on Amazon tell a story.

Closed ecosystem

If you go to Amazon and look up one of my books, scroll down the page and look at what the people who bought one of them also bought.  You’ll find they bought my other books.

This is great!  It means if you’ve read one of my books, you’re interested in all of my books.  This is also not great.  It indicates that I’m not getting a lot of new readers who are following another author’s work in order to get to mine.  I’m not reaching enough new readers, in other words, to impact Amazon’s algorithms that match my work with readers of other works.Immortal_Cover58

This is the problem of discoverability.

BookBub

At around the same time I was struggling with this problem, my publisher was lining up a promotion for their SF/F titles for the month of May.  In addition to contributing a couple of guest blog posts for the tour, the plan was to mark down Immortal for part of the month.

This is a fantastic idea.  But for it to work, it needed to be done with more than a blog tour and a social media blitz.  It needed a big hitter.

It needed BookBub.

If you’re an ebook reader, you might know BookBub, and your opinion of them may be different than the opinion of an author.  Both of those opinions are no doubt positive, but still different.

BookBub is the holy grail of book promotion right now.  They run a heavily curated list featuring deeply discounted books from all publishing sources–self, indie, traditional.  Their promotions are very expensive, and very successful.  They are exactly what someone in my position needs: a way to put my best book in the hands of as many people as possible, quickly.logo-fba9a608247bdb9bdff01f6a1f4c2969

Needless to say, because of this it’s really difficult to get a promo scheduled with them.  Their acceptance rate is somewhere below 20%.

I’m happy to say I scheduled one for Immortal.  It’s happening on May 27.

Between now and then

Immortal will be going on sale for $0.99 starting on May 7th and continuing until the 31st.  I’m scheduling additional promotions leading up to the BookBub on the 27th.  (The only other confirmed promo right now is with The Fussy Librarian on the 13th.)  Also this month, I hope to roll out a new website for the entire Immortal universe, I expect to be featured on a podcast–more on this later–and there are those guest blogs I wrote for the publisher’s blog tour.  And of course, Immortal at Sea will remain free.logo

How can you help?  Tell people about Immortal, and tell them it’s going to only cost them a dollar.  And get ready for the end of May.  With any luck, a lot of people are going to know about Adam by then, and you guys are the early adopters.  Be sure to brag about that.

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.

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