Hi gang! Yesterday’s book kickoff was incredible for me. Exciting and overwhelming. My novel APPREHENSION started its presales program, and we’ve already hit more than ten percent of my interim goal. I can’t thank enough my supporters and buyers, my friends old and new, and soon to be readers. But I’ll try.
Kickoff may not be the right word, but this form of publishing is new to me, and new to everyone. Typical author arcs are: write the book, get an agent, the agent convinces a publisher to buy and print the book, it is released to great fanfare and parties. Fame ensues, sometimes.
My publisher is different. Inkshares operates like a crowd funder, and will publish my book when I have convinced enough of you fine people to buy it almost sight-unseen except for the first chapter posted on this site. Others may appear as we go along. I have thirty-eight of them, and releasing more may depend on your input. So, input!
With Inkshares, I have presale targets. When APPREHENSION hits 750 presales it will be printed and you get your copies mailed to you or electronically sent to your device, and they print more than a thousand more copies for distribution to bookstores big and small, like Barnes & Noble and through Amazon, Kindle and Nook. Inkshares also provides professional services like cover and back cover design, story editing, review release and extensive marketing. But there is a lower target of 250, at which I can bail out of the quest for750 presales and release the book just to its pre-buyers. It will still show up on Amazon, book store websites and e-readers like Kindle and Nook, but bookstores will only stock it if they are interested. That may be a more realistic goal for a first-time author, but much of that depends on word of mouth, and so on you. I am grateful to my early buyers for the faith you show in me to buy APPREHENSION based on a single chapter and a cool cover (more on the cover, soon.) I am also very grateful for those of you who have shared my sales information with your friends on Facebook. This is how I will grow an audience so please continue to share.
APPREHENSION was, like most books, a long-term labor of either love or obsession. I began writing it 28 years ago, coming up with a beginning scene, two good middle scenes and an ending. Then I set them aside until my retirement gave me the time to revisit. You will soon know these scenes as Chapter Two, Chapter One, Chapter 35 and Chapter 36, in that order, out of thirty-eight total chapters and 91,000 words. Lots of other middle things popped up during the writing process, and I will share more on that process in later posts.
I was a newspaper reporter in one of my prior careers, and was told by novelist and Philadelphia mystery book store owner Art Bourgeau that reporters never write good novels, their style is too direct, choppy and simple. I hope you think he was wrong. (I noticed this week on a trip north that his store is no longer located on Chestnut Street so maybe it’s a last laugh thing.)
At present, I am again writing, working on book two about my characters, Detective John Kelly, Assistant Public Defender Rachel Cohen, Field Training Officer Herbert Jackson, street narc T.C. Sharpe and others. I have a beginning, some middle and an end, and am stitching these together to form a new novel, as well as taking notes of scenes and characters as they pop into my head for books three and four. The current plan (don’t laugh, God) is to use the books as a long story arc about Alexandria and the Police Department. APPREHENSION takes place in 1988 during the height of the crack cocaine epidemic that battered Alexandria, the DC area and most of the country. The second book, tentatively titled ST. MICHAEL’S DAY, starts the day after 9/11 and uses the changes it caused in policing and our country as backdrop for its police tale of religious discovery and awareness – and bank robbery, child abuse and other cop stuff. The third, VOLUNTEERS, will take John Kelly to Ireland chasing a very bad guy, an IRA kneecapper. In the fourth book, as yet untitled, John Kelly dies, and comes back.
Just like I did.
But that’s another story.