Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stealing Mercy Goes Free

When my friend Jacqueline Diamond made her novel Leaps and Bounds free she had over 30 thousand downloads. Since I want to do everything just like Jackie, I wanted to do that, too. But I didn’t want to use a book in my Rose Arbor series and since I was frustrated with my current work in progress, Losing Penny, I decided to revamp Hailey’s Comments, a novel I had written about five years ago. Hailey was a quarter finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Writing contest, and was reviewed by Publisher's Weekly, so I have some faith in it. My goal was to spit and polish Hailey’s Comments, run a three to five day free promo  and then put it in the kindle select program.

Hailey is currently being edited and I’m pretty close to achieving my goal, but, sadly, the rumor is things have changed. According to online author forums, authors aren’t getting the traction out of Amazon select promos that they once were. Downloads are dwindling due to the glut of freebies. I see a window of opportunity slowly closing…I can’t hurry the editing process and even after Hailey comes back from the editor, after I’ve gone through it not once, but twice (which I’ve learned from sad experience is necessary and even then it’s usually not as clean as I’d like) to be listed on many of the online promo sites Hailey will need reviews—the more the better. And that can’t be hurried either. It takes about 7 hours to read my novels. Asking someone to read and review my book in a chop, chop fashion…well, I won’t do it.

After a restless, sleepless night I’ve decided to make Stealing Mercy, because:
She’s been edited repeatedly—every time anyone has caught an error and let me know, I’ve fixed the problem.

Although Rose Arbor is mentioned in the side story of Stealing Mercy, I didn’t include it in the Rose Arbor series because the bulk of the story takes place in 1889 Seattle, about twenty years before the incorporation of Arlington, Washington—my home town which I’ve fictionalized into Rose Arbor.

Stealing Mercy has a 4.5 star average and twelve reviews, making her eligible on many, if not most, promo sites. And here’s the kicker—friends that I asked to read and review Stealing Mercy almost all gave her a 4 star rating. Random readers who found and read the book on their own gave her 5 stars. I think that my friends are 1. Mostly writers and therefore not the average readers and 2. Wanted to be unbiased. While random readers who took the time to review it, honestly loved it—or why else review it? Those are the reviews I want—the kind I can’t ask for, the kind I can only hope for.

I can’t fully execute my plan because I can’t place Stealing Mercy in the kindle select program. It has the first chapter of A Ghost of a Second Chance at the end and that is a kindle select no-no. I could try and remove it, but I’m not going to.

I have a new game plan. I’ve discounted Stealing Mercy to free on Smashwords. It may take weeks for it to trickle to the other venues and for Amazon to price match. I have a list of promo sites that I’ll contact as soon as I see that Mercy is free on Amazon. She’ll remain free until Hailey’s Comments is ready for the world and the kindle select program (meaning she’s been edited and reviewed numerous times.) Losing  Penny will go to the editor at the end of the month. While Penny is at the editor, I plan on uploading my young adult novel, Beyond the Fortune Teller’s Tent (written two years ago) a few chapters at a time on Wattpad.

It’s a hefty game plan switch. There might be detours and distractions, like a son returning from a mission and starting college, my twin daughters’ graduating from high school and starting college, a trip to China and heaven only knows what else.

Please wish me well…and let me know what you’re up to so that I can wish you the same.

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