Immortal


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.

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!

Happy Holidays and all that

Greetings from me on Christmas Day!  I wanted to take a quick minute to wave to everyone who just got a Kindle for Christmas and are looking up my books, because you guys are awesome and I love you.

Also, if you’re trying to figure out where to start reading, you will find a handy guide to the Immortal books and their order here.  

Two things not included in that guide:GeneDoucette_YuletideImmortal1400

Yuletide Immortal, which is the fourth book in the Immortal Chronicles.  It is holiday-themed, but that doesn’t mean you have to read it NOW, just that Santa is in it somewhere.  Yes, really, it has Santa.  As with all the Chronicles, if you read it first you’re totally okay.

First Folio: Pirates, Succubi and Madmen is a new anthology containing the first three books in The Immortal Chronicles along with an introduction from Adam.  The ebook edition is available as a pre-order and will release on January 6. GeneDoucette_FirstFolio1400 Unlike the other books in the Chronicles series, this book is also available in print, and you can buy a copy of that right now.

Sapphire Blue

Some of you might have come here looking for Sapphire Blue, which is an erotic novel penned by G Doucette.  Which is me.  But, as G Doucette.  Please be patient, and keep interested.  You will be able to read it in early 2015.  It’s going to be rolled out in six serial installments on the kindle, leading to a novel-length release in the summer.  More information about the release will be available on the G Doucette Tumblr, so do follow me (him) there.

Happy Release Day!Immortal-Edge-of-World-Low-Res-Cover

We are finally at the day!  I hope you’ve all had a chance to get your hands on a copy of Immortal at the Edge of the World by now.  I’m spending the day getting ready to travel go Philadelphia for Phauxcon and fighting a possible cold that will make my weekend a whole lot more complicated.

Here are a few things for you from the blog tour.

There is Adam and there is Eve, two extraordinary people who seem to have crossed paths many times throughout history. What is the mystery that surrounds Eve and why is she so elusive. Why is Claire so distant, what happened to scare her away? Immortal at the Edge of the World has all the answers.

Tell me about the graphic man you use on the cover of all your Immortal books?

My original concept for my very first Immortal cover was to put something that was clearly cave art in a modern setting. I wanted a bus stop with a guy at the bus stop who was just waiting for the bus, and he was like anybody else—briefcase and so on—except he was being represented by cave art. We never could quite get the whole thing to work, though. But the man on all the covers is an altered version of the example I sent to the artist, which originated—a few iterations ago—as a drawing on the walls of a cave in Lascaux.

Full interview at Xio’s website

 

Are your characters all fiction or do people you know creep in there?

A whole person would never creep in, because fiction writing doesn’t really work like that.  I will pick up traits from the people around me and use them, but that’s more about understanding human nature and using that understanding to build simulacrums.  So yes, all my characters are fiction, but they’re also real people.

Interview and review (of Immortal) 

My first experience with publishing involved non-fiction.  I put together a bunch of humor columns Id written for AOL back when writing things for AOL was something people did, sent a packet of them to a few indie publishers I found in The Writers Market (Im going to assume most of you have no idea what either The Writers Market or AOL are) and got a modest deal with a small market publisher.  I didnt bother to try and go with an agent + large publisher because humor wasnt—and isnt—a big seller.

Guest blog at Izzy’s Book Blog

Immortal-Edge-of-World-Large-Blog-Tour-Banner

A short history

The great thing about running a blog like this is I get to see what search engine queries result in people finding my pages.  Sometimes those searches are odd and random, and very occasionally they are actively disturbing, but other times the information is useful.  Every now and then one of those searches is an implied question, like this one: “order of Immortal books”.

Since I’ve been writing short stories for The Immortal Chronicles all summer, this is actually a good question, because it may be hard to tell, without a little research, where to start.  So here’s a quick breakdown.

Immortal

Immortal_Cover58Publication date: October, 2010 (first edition), February 2012 (second edition).  The reason for the two publication dates is there were two publishers.  Immortal is the first of a trilogy of novels, which can be confusing only insofar as the third book of that trilogy isn’t yet available.

If you are preparing to read Immortal at the Edge of the World (the aforementioned third book of the trilogy) which is coming out on October 2, 2014, you should read this book first.

Hellenic Immortal

Hellenic_Immortal20Publication date: May, 2012.  This is the second book in the trilogy and should be read after the above book and before Immortal at the Edge of the World.

I’m not saying you absolutely must read them in this order, but it will be a tiny bit less confusing.  In a lot of ways Immortal and Hellenic Immortal stand on their own.  The same can’t be said for Edge of the world, which very much relies on characters and situations established in the first two novels.

Immortal at the Edge of the World

Immortal-Edge-of-World-Low-Res-CoverPublication date: October, 2014.  The third book.  Coming soon.  We’re all very excited around here.

So that’s the order of the novels as intended by the author (*waving*).  Unlike the stories below, the novels should be read in the correct order for an optimal reading experience.

The Immortal Chronicles

There are three novellas featuring Adam the immortal from the above novels.  Since they all have pretty covers and Amazon listings and what-not, it’s not all that easy to distinguish them from the novels sometimes, but they are different for a couple of reasons.  First, they can be read in any order.  Second, they can be read independent of the above novels.  Read these and then dive into the novels if you want.

The order of publication is: Immortal at Sea, May, 2014; Hard-Boiled Immortal, June, 2014; Immortal and the Madman, August, 2014.

GeneDoucette_ImmortalatSea1400GeneDoucette_HardBoiledImmortal1400GeneDoucette_ImmortalandtheMadman1400

 

The anticipation beginsImmortal-Edge-of-World-Low-Res-Cover

About a year ago I realized it was probably not a good idea to go around talking about The Immortal Trilogy when I only had Immortal and Hellenic Immortal to show off.  So I sat down and did the thing writers sometimes do and wrote a third novel, and I called it Immortal at the Edge of the World.

And then I waited.

Oh, sure, I edited too, but mostly there was the waiting.

Right, and the cover design.  I had to go over that.  And sure, okay, there was Sapphire Blue, which came out during the waiting, and also Surviving Hector and The Immortal Chronicles.  

But, you know, mostly?  Waiting.

And then I got this graphic and I knew the waiting was nearly over:

gene_edge promo copyYes, that says October 2, 2014, which is only six weeks away!

Let’s celebrate!

Video trailer

Of course I’ve already read it, so we’re probably celebrating slightly different things, but that’s okay.  Here’s something we can both enjoy together: Adam’s first video trailer!

CLICK HERE BECAUSE I CAN’T IMBED THIS FOR SOME REASON

Phauxcon

Also, because we’re just bursting with exciting news around here, I will be the special guest this year at Phauxcon, a writing convention in Philadelphia taking place October 3-5.  You can read about it and register here.  Much more on that in the coming weeks.

Reviewers:

Immortal at the Edge of the World is now available on request from NetGalley.  The listing is here. 

There will also be a blog tour.  If you are interested in participating in the tour, the sign-up document is here.

have you joined the Cult of the Immortal yet?

 

At long last

The latest episode of The Immortal Chronicles is here at last, after delays caused by the unexpected death of my computer and the discovery that the story was going to end up being longer than anticipated.GeneDoucette_ImmortalandtheMadman1400

Immortal and the Madman is long enough to fall under the heading of novella.  (Actually, based on the word counts I’ve been looking at, so were the first two stories.)  It comes in at about 24,000 words.  For some perspective, Immortal and Hellenic Immortal both check in at just shy of 100,000 words and both Fixer and the upcoming Immortal at the Edge of the World check in at around 103,000, and Sapphire Blue at around 84,000.

You might not have needed to know that–word count is more of a writer-porn sort of thing–but there it is.  More to the point, I accidentally wrote a quarter of a novel in about six weeks.  (That is definitely writer-porn.)

Anyway!  Volume 3 of The Immortal Chronicles can now be yours!  Buy it, read it, review it, tell your friends!

Immortal and the Madman

And if you’re new to The Immortal Chronicles don’t forget to pick up the other two short stories in the series: Immortal at Sea and Hard-Boiled Immortal.

GeneDoucette_ImmortalatSea1400GeneDoucette_HardBoiledImmortal1400

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