Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Agony of the First Chapter

new review at Smashwords by Reviews of Unusual Size gives TAINTED SOULS an overall rating of four stars out of five, calling it "genuinely engaging" and a "quick, fun read" while miffing that the first chapter is "over-written" with too many "$20 words."

Those of you who followed my earlier rantings here (this is being simulposted at my new blog) already know that the first chapter and I have a bit of a history, particularly in reference to the first five pages, which agents and editors so often view as the key to a book's desirability. If the first five pages don't rocket you right into the story, the theory supposedly goes, no one's going to buy your book.

Anyone read The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo? You may have heard of it. I read it. I liked it. But I'd say that book doesn't actually start going anywhere until about page 200.

Of course, we all have different opinions of what it means to draw you into a book quickly. I've had plenty of readers, including a few agents, say TAINTED SOULS captured them from the get-go (even if, for one reason or another, the agents passed on the manuscript). On the other hand, I once re-wrote the first chapter (with an emphasis on the first several pages) at the specific request of one agent, who said the intro left her cold (she was left unmoved by the revision, too).

One thing I think might be interesting is to write the first chapter last. By that time, you'll have a much better understanding of your characters, a more established voice and sense of the overall gestalt of what you're trying to accomplish. This assumes, of course, that you're trying to do just a little more than tell a story, that you might like to give it a little finesse.

Though you should try to avoid too many of those $20 words.

What do you think?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Da Book's on Nook

You can now get TAINTED SOULS for the Nook directly from Barnes & Noble instead of having to go through Smashwords. For some reason, the B&N site didn't get the cover image, or at any rate it's currently "unavailable." Hopefully that will be resolved soon.

This whole e-publishing thing is a conundrum. For one thing, a lot of e-readers (I mean the humans, not their machines) seem to want free copies. Give your book away free for awhile to gin up the numbers, then put a price on it -- that seems to be a popular model. One wonders where that leaves the future of publishing. Will readers of dead-tree books start expecting free copies, too?

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Tainted Souls" Tops Amazon List

TAINTED SOULS is now number 25,000 on Amazon's list of bestsellers!

So suck on that, Dan Brown.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chain Mail Epic Fail

I didn't really expect, of course, that my plan would work. The plan being that everyone to whom I sent an email announcing the epubbing of TAINTED SOULS would forward it to their buds, who would forward it to their buds, and so on, pretty soon touching base with all seven billion souls on the planet, or at least that portion of them with an Internet connection.

Given the, uhm, modest sales of the book so far, this has been an epic fail, "as the kids would say." (Either that or a huge portion of those seven billion has rejected the book, a prospect too dismal to contemplate.)  Still, one could dream.

So, on to Plan B. Gotta get readers in the know. They can't buy the book if they don't know it's there.

I'd love to come up with a video that would go viral. My only idea, however, is a vid of my kids rapping, "Buy my dad's book or he'll kill our puppy." My kids insist this would be a bad idea, the old adage that "There's no such thing as bad publicity" notwithstanding.

I can't afford to spend any money trying to juice this thing. Heck, these days I can't afford the electricity that's powering this laptop I'm writing with.

So. Ideas anyone?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Five-Star Reviews for Trav's Novel

Whew. The first two folks to review my novel TAINTED SOULS for Amazon both gave it five stars. Yay! There's always the chance when you put something out there you'll get a curmudgeonly cur who'll hate your stuff. So I'm both grateful and relieved. Now if we could just get more copies to fly off the "shelf"....

You can read the reviews here iff'n you want.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Trav Publishes Novel as eBook!

Go here to see it for Kindle, or to Smashwords for other devices. Don't know what will happen to the BL, but I started a new blog under my own name. So...find me here.

Thanks to all for hanging in with me for the past two and a half years.