Is everyone having a lovely Friday!?
Unlike most of my recent updates, this one is just going out to the backers and followers of The Seclusion on Inkshares. I just wanted to send a brief check-in message to all of you, my original support team!
The book has now been out for two months, and a one pretty major thing happened recently that I wanted to share with everyone. The Seclusion received an official ’Starred Review’ from Kirkus Reviews! This is in addition to being named as one of the Best Sci-Fi releases back in September. These are both wonderful benchmarks for a new book from a first-time author. It wouldn’t have happened without all of you, and we hope to have more exciting news in the coming weeks and months.
Reviews continue to climb on Amazon and Goodreads. We are at a 4.26 star average with 111 reviews on Goodreads, and a 4.9 average with 39 reviews on Amazon! If you have had a chance to read the book, and have not left a review yet, it would mean the world to me if you could take a moment to leave a review. It is absolutely vital to the continued success of the book now that the ’new release’ energy is wavering. Especially on Amazon. Once we pass 50 on Amazon (only 11 more reviews!) the book will receive a bit more recommendation love from the sites algorithms.
I hope those of you that have had a chance to read the book, have enjoyed it! I appreciate all of you, and if you ever want to reach out with any comments or questions, I would love to hear from you - JacquiCastle@gmail.com
Hope everyone has a beautiful weekend!
Happy autumn! It is beautiful here in the Blue Ridge Mountains as the leaves start to shift and the morning and evening temperatures start to drop slightly. My writing lately has been taking place inside a fort of boxes, as my family and I prepare for a move at the beginning of October. We are still staying in the Ashville area, just moving up the street.
This will be a quick announcement, and then I will give everyone’s inbox a rest for a month or two.
It has been three weeks since The Seclusion hit shelves, and everything has been going swimmingly. The book is selling, reviews are piling up on Amazon and Goodreads, and the launch event was a big success! Thank you to everyone for all of your support and help along the way.
I had the pleasure of having two other Inkshares authors in attendance at the launch - Ferd Crotte, author of upcoming Mission 51 and Katherine Forrester, author of upcoming Curio Citizen. Both of their books are in production and should be coming out next year.
On October 7th, I will be a guest on a WordPlay Radio segment with Asheville FM (103.3) from 3pm until 4pm. Tune in to 103.3 if you are local to Western North Carolina.
I’m about 17k words into the first draft and hope to use National Novel Writing Month in November as a chance to burn through a large chunk of the project, and then wrap up the first draft by the end of the year.
There will likely be another Inkshares campaign for the book, but I will run it a bit differently than the last one and incorporate what I learned during the first go around. My goal is to have at least 300 followers on the Inkshares page for book 2 before beginning, so the campaign starts off strong and proceeds more quickly than the last one. Expect additional perks and prizes, and some free and unique content to accompany the campaign.
You can sign up to receive updates by following the Inkshares page for The Seclusion: Part 2.
I will also post updates in my newsletter, but will keep them to a minimum.
That’s it for today!
Until next time,
Today, The Seclusion is officially available through all major online retailers, and at bookstores nationwide!
Last week, I signed all of the backer copies on my visit to Inkshares in Oakland, CA. It was so wonderful to meet the publishing team in person - people who I have spent hours and hours communicating with from across the country.
The press circuit for The Seclusion has been phenomenal, so much has been happening, and my head won’t stop spinning.
The Seclusion was listed as one of the "Best Science Fiction Books of September" by Kirkus Reviews. For anyone who is not familiar with the industry, this is HUGE. Kirkus is one of the major players, and bookstores and libraries often turn to them for recommendations. This is an incredible honor and I’ll admit I’m still in a bit of shock from it all.
io9, an offshoot of Gizmodo, listed The Seclusion as one of the "New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Need to Put on Your Radar This Fall." Again, major player, and major honor. Following this update, I have included the full list of press mentions over the last two weeks. Check them out if you have time!
If you are a backer and have had a chance to read your electronic copy of The Seclusion, please consider leaving reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. It would mean the world.If you are waiting for a print copy, it should be arriving in your mailbox soon! If you didn’t receive a shipping notification, feel free to reach out to hello@Inkshares.com with any questions.
If you are local to Asheville, NC please stop by the official launch event at Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe at 6pm tonight!
Until next time,
12 Days left until Pub day! In 3 days I will be jetting off to CA to sign the backer copies of The Seclusion, which are being printed now. I have also received word that E-book copies will be distributed as early as tomorrow. If you ordered a paperback, and you receive an E-Book file download link, don’t fear! The E-Book is just an extra perk. Though I will send a larger email to my full mailing list on September 4th, I wanted to send a note through Inkshares to all of you - the original backers of a manuscript that was once titled The Walls are Closing In.
It has been a long 16 months since the campaign ended in May of 2017. The story has since been renamed and had countless hours of work poured into it by me and the amazing team at Inkshares. We have reached the end of the road.I don’t know if I can adequately express how much I appreciate all of you, and the leap of faith you took for me when you backed this book. In 12 days The Seclusion will appear on bookstore shelves across the country and I will forever be a published author. I just want all of you to know that I realize I couldn’t have done this without you. Thank you.
Happy July to all of my amazing followers. I hope that all of you are having a lovely summer.
Getting down to the wire folks! The publishing date is less than two months away, and so much has been happening between each update. Galleys have been printed, and we have already received 33 goodreads reviews from NetGalley reviewers and early readers, with an average of 4.55 stars. With the underlying political themes present in the novel, I’ve steeled myself for a wide range of reactions, but overall the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Below are a few of my favorite snippets from NetGalley reviewers.
"Wow what a ride! The Seclusion was a mixture of The Giver, 1984 and V for Vendetta all rolled into a nice package with a little touch of Trump thrown in. WOW again." "This book was so scarily wonderful. I will be asking every teen and fan of YA to read this book when it comes out... The premise is engaging, the characters are wonderful and well developed and the writing flows. As soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to start it again, I cannot wait until others can read and start talking about this book! It has an ending that leaves the reader satisfied. I sure do hope that the author writes a sequel soon, though, because I want more more more!"
"Wow what a ride! The Seclusion was a mixture of The Giver, 1984 and V for Vendetta all rolled into a nice package with a little touch of Trump thrown in. WOW again."
"This was a quick read for me because once I started it, I couldn’t put it down! With the political themes it hit very close to home... I believe teens and adults that enjoy dystopian story lines will enjoy this book and those that see the comparisons with the current political climate in our country right now. I highly recommend..."
Press releases have started to go out to local as well as national outlets. The official launch party has been set, and will be held at:
Malaprops Bookstore and Cafe
Tuesday, September 4th at 6:00pm
The launch will include a reading, signing, and refreshments. It would be my honor to meet as many of you in person as possible. The book will be avaible for preorder directly from Malaprop’s, and also through Indie Bound (support your local bookstore), Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
The kids are almost done with school for the year, and then before we know it summer will be in full swing. Our family will be kicking it off with a week on the South Carolina coast with good friends - playing in the ocean, eating seafood, and hopefully I’ll be making progress on my massive to-be-read pile.
With June just a few days away, I’m realizing that in just over three months, my book will be out in the wild. We’ve almost made it people! I realize that this update is coming a few days earlier than usual, but that is because a lot has been happening on this end. So, today I have an exciting production update for you, and interviews with authors Jason Pomerance and Christopher Huang to share.
The book is finished with copy edit and layout, and Advanced Reader Copies are being printed shortly. I have received a couple of amazing blurbs from authors that I respect greatly! These will be printed on the galleys, and possibly on the final books as well.
“Jacqui Castle’s new novel sets the hook in a wickedly-quick heartbeat. Not only does her eerily prescient story keep that hook in place throughout, it often leads to moments where you feel a chill that’s driven not only by her words, but also by the words we hear in the news and social media every day.” —Mike Rich, author of Skavenger’s Hunt and screenwriter of The Rookie, Radio, and Finding Forrester “If you love The Giver, you will love The Seclusion. Castle paints a well-developed world in a realistic possible future with a pair of unlikely heroes you want to cheer for. There are no easy victories in this dark, gritty dystopian that checks all the right boxes.” —David Estes, bestselling author of The Dwellers Saga and The Fatemarked Epic
“Jacqui Castle’s new novel sets the hook in a wickedly-quick heartbeat. Not only does her eerily prescient story keep that hook in place throughout, it often leads to moments where you feel a chill that’s driven not only by her words, but also by the words we hear in the news and social media every day.” —Mike Rich, author of Skavenger’s Hunt and screenwriter of The Rookie, Radio, and Finding Forrester
“If you love The Giver, you will love The Seclusion. Castle paints a well-developed world in a realistic possible future with a pair of unlikely heroes you want to cheer for. There are no easy victories in this dark, gritty dystopian that checks all the right boxes.” —David Estes, bestselling author of The Dwellers Saga and The Fatemarked Epic
One of the secrets to a strong launch is early reviews. A while back I promised that those who have already preordered a copy of the book and would like to receive an early PDF version, would be offered that opportunity as soon as review copies were ready. Well, that day has come. I need as many of you as possible to be on my early review team!!!
What would being on the early review team mean?
Well, Goodreads allows reviews any time, including before the publication date, and Amazon begins allowing reviews on the date of publication. So, the goal would be to post Goodreads reviews asap, and then mark your calendars with a reminder to leave an Amazon review on September 4th. My personal goal will be fifty Goodreads reviews prior to publication, and fifty Amazon reviews within the first week after publication. This accomplishment will change the way Amazon ranks the book, so it will start showing up in the "if you like this, you might like this" section when people are browsing.
Remember, reviews don’t need to be incredibly detailed, they just need to exist. Detailed is great! But, a simple star rating is better than nothing. Have I told you recently how much I appreciate all of you?
I am hoping in the next few weeks to finalize my travel plans for my trip out to the west coast to sign all of the backer copies. If any of you are in the San Franscisco area and would like to grab a cup of coffee, let me know.
This month I’m joining up with 27 other authors(including fellow Inkshares author Robert Batten) to offer a prize package with over $250 of Star Wars goodies!
A quick February update!
1)Edits continue to move along, we’re on track to move onto copy edits by April 1st, and I should have some fun developments to share in March (possibly including the finished cover reveal).
2)To amp up my media presence and mailing list numbers before the launch this fall, I’ve teamed up with several other authors to offer a fantastic giveaway!
If you’re a fan of Stephen King or know someone who is, you won’t want to miss this. We’re giving a ton of Dark Tower swag to one lucky winner!
Russell Nohelty, Devyn Jayse, Shane W. Smith, Russell Newquist, Caleb Thusat, Kyrun Silva, Eli Constant, Katrina Kunstmann, Shane Thomas, Frankie Blooding, Jacqui Castle, Christopher Lee, J.L. Gipson, Susan May, Jason Franks, Joshua Robertson, JD Oliva, Andre Gonzalez, Big Tim Stiles, Dani Dixon, Scott Austin, James Mascia, Craig Taillefer, RJ Blain, and Deborah Munro!
I’m sitting at my desk this lovely morning, watching the snow fall out the window of my mountainside home and feeling very grateful for all of you. This update is coming a little later than usual, and for that, I apologize. I was waiting to hear back on a few points so that this update could be a bit more substantial than the last few. And, it will be!
I have multiple exciting updates to share with you!
1) Developmental Edit Progress
Since my update at the end of October, I have concluded another round of developmental edit rewrites. The book is now back in the hands of my editor. He is going through one more time (he estimates this will take about two weeks), and then he plans to send the book to a beta-reader to get some third-party, objective feedback. We will then use that feedback to do one more pass before forwarding the book to a copy-editor.
2) Title change
While I like The Walls are Closing In (and we may still use it as a tagline for the book), we have decided that a different title is more marketable, provides a bit of mystery, and is catchier for the future selling of property rights (fingers crossed).
So, without further ado, the new title is:
3) Genre Change
We are making a few changes to the plot and market the book as YA(Young Adult). This will only marginally change the story but will double the audience. It allows us to not only market the book to fans of books such as 1984, Fahrenheit 541, and The Handmaid’s Tale, but also to fans of books such as The Hunger Games and Divergent.
3) Release Date!
The book has been assigned a tentative release date and an ISBN number (this second part is probably not exciting to anyone but me).
The Seclusion is currently set to publish on:
October 2, 2018!
This is a bit later than I had hoped, but I am beyond thrilled that there is an official trajectory. Between now and then I will be doing everything in my power to ensure that the launch is a success.
One last note - the first two chapters on the book’s page have been updated to reflect the changes that we have been making. Feel free to check them out!
Until next time,