Immortal


If you’ve been hanging around here for long enough, you likely GeneDoucette_TheSpaceshipNextDoor1400appreciate that my publishing career probably would not exist were it not for the ubiquity of the ebook.  Most of my sales come from ebooks, and in some instances–the standalone novellas of The Immortal Chronicles, as well as Eve–it’s all from ebooks because no print edition exists.

The Spaceship Next Door is a first for a couple of things in my career.  It’s my first novel since I finished The Immortal Trilogy.  It’s my first novel to exceed 110,000 words.  (For comparison, Immortal is about 95,000 and Fixer is about 103,000.)  It’s the first time I’m publishing something larger than a novella without the involvement of a publisher. And it’s the first thing I’m able to publish in both ebook and print format at the same time.

In print

The print edition is coming to you by way of Createspace.  (I used them once before, last year, for a short collection of the first three Chronicle books.)  I’d like to talk about that edition because, when I held the proof copy in my hands for the first time, it reminded me how much I love physical books.

GeneDoucette_FirstFolio1400I’m not really sure why this is the case right at this moment.  Every author, at one point in their lives, dreams of the day they can hold a copy of something they created, see it on a shelf, find it in a bookstore, and so on.  I’ve gone through that many times already.  The first time was back in 1999 (!) when a collection of my humor columns was published in a volume called Beating Up Daddy.  It was a thrill.  I got over it, though, because after holding the book, putting it on a shelf and seeing it in a bookstore, I was still a mostly-anonymous, struggling author.  There were no seraphim.

But then I got the proof copy of The Spaceship Next Door.  Proof copies are sent out in order to perform a final check of the manuscript and make sure the formatting is okay and everything lines up right, so when the book goes out to people who’ve actually put down money on it, they’re not disappointed.  When I received it, I skimmed the contents to look for any glaring problems, and didn’t see any.

Then–perhaps because this happened to coincide with my catching a cold and being unable to do all that much else–I decided to read it cover-to-cover.

Now, aside from discovering about ten minor errors that would have driven me insane had I found them after the release date, the two things that kept thinking were:

  1. Holy shit I wrote a 400 page book!
  2. This is a really good book!

Point number 1 was my rediscovering that feeling I had the first time I held one of my own books in my hands.  Point number 2 was my seeing the book as a reader for the first time, instead of as a writer.GeneDoucette_TheSpaceshipNextDoor_POD

It’s hard to get to point number 2, which is why self-editing is not only difficult, but almost never recommended.  For the most part, writers are just too close to be able to step back and look at the entire tapestry, because we’ve been focused on the color of the threads for so very long.  I think one of the reasons I was able to was that I had the physical book in front of me.

Timing

The timing for the release of The Spaceship Next Door is just about perfect in many ways, because there is such a thing as Amazon wish lists and there happens to be a lot of gifting going on right around the 25th, three days after the book is available online.  There will (I am assuming) also be a number of people receiving new ebook readers and similar devices at around that time, looking for things to download and read.

The release date is a little less perfect for the print edition, because there’s no way a book available for purchase for the first time on the 22nd will be obtained for gifting purposes by the 25th.  (It will be ready for all you folks who just got gift cards from Amazon for Christmas, though…)

I’m wondering if I should consider releasing the print version prior to the 22nd, though, for anyone who wants to ask for it for Christmas or who wants to give it out for Christmas.  It’s hefty, pretty, and only $20.  And, oh yes, it’s a really good book.

How many of you readers out there are ready to see a print copy of The Spaceship Next Door?  I just need to hit a button to make it so.  Should I?  Let me know, in comments or by email.

They're reproducing! #thespaceshipnextdoor #bookstagram #yabooks #books #novel #newrelease

A photo posted by Gene Doucette (@authorgenedoucette) on

It’s possible I’m just too impatient to get to the 22nd already, because damn, the book looks good.  Or maybe I’m just not looking forward to the part where I have to figure out how to deliver an audio version.  Let me know your thoughts.

 

Pre-order your copy of The Spaceship Next Door below:

The Spaceship Next Door on Amazon

The Spaceship Next Door on iBooks

The Spaceship Next Door on Kobo

The Spaceship Next Door on Google Play

GeneDoucette_Eve1400The latest book in the Immortal universe is available now!

Did you want to know more about the mysterious red-haired woman?  I did too!  That’s why Immortal Stories: Eve now exists.  Pick up a copy, post a review, let me know what you think!

Buy it here

Hello new readersImmortal_Cover58

Just a quick hello to the many new readers who’ve stopped by over the past couple of days.  Most of you folks probably found your way here due to one promotion or another for the Immortal $0.99 deal.  Or–and this is a long shot–you’re reading this having no idea such a deal exists and you landed here due to some happy accident.  If that’s the case, and you’re reading this post in May, 2015, the deal is still good, so go pick up a copy!

I’d like to apologize for the state of this blog page.  I did sort of know you were all coming, and I should have cleaned up, but I’ve been busy!  I’m working on a new novella about a character from The Immortal Book Series, named Eve.  If you’ve read the trilogy, you’ve already met her a couple of times.

Anyway, I don’t want to keep you!  If you’re interested in keeping track of what’s going on with my and my various projects, you’re already in the right place for semi-regular updates.  Check out the Immortal Books link for a complete accounting of every Immortal-based book, and for everything else, here are some other links:

The Cult of the Immortal (fan page)

Gene Doucette author page

Mailing list

Gene on Goodreads

Gene on Twitter

Gene’s unnecessary Tumblr page

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.

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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