There’s nothing to like about Bakersfield. Pretty sure that was true pre-Break, and it’s sure as hell true now. Balls-hot in the summer, foggy and moist in the winter, boring as shit year-round. The city’s a long way from the ocean, from L.A. or the Bay. It just sits in the middle of nowhere like a middle finger to the tumbleweeds.
No wonder Dad went nuts.
Not that it excuses what he did.
With the release of See These Bones less than two weeks away, I thought it would be fun to take a break from all the process-heavy and behind-the-scenes posts to share some quick, mainly ridiculous, stats about the book. All numbers provided here represent my best guesses after a less-than-careful review of the manuscript, and I reserve the right to be proven utterly incorrect by future readers. I’ve also tried to keep things spoiler-free.
There aren’t a lot of cars on the roads. I’m told they were everywhere before Dr. Nowhere broke the world, but these days, most people recognize them for the rolling death traps they are. Never know when another Pyro like Scarlet might show up or when that psycho Pele is going to surf in from the Pacific on a tidal wave of shit-you-not lava.
And that’s before you even get to the Shifters or the Titans. Know what King Rex used to call cars? Meals on wheels. Dude had acres of style to go along with that skin condition and seventy-foot shadow.
Mr. Grey opened the passenger door of the rust-covered death trap parked at the curb, and waved me in.
After a moment’s hesitation, I shrugged. Truth was, I’d always kind of wanted to ride in a car. I tossed my bag into the back seat, and climbed in.
As you may have heard, I’m releasing a book, See These Bones, in just under three weeks. In a perfect world, that would involve a single step: click publish and you’re done.
This is not a perfect world.
For the past month, work on my other books has taken a back seat to preparing for my book launch. I’ve covered some of those details already, from the cover to the live-action book trailer. Today, I want to talk about the book itself and what it’s taken to get it ready for release. I also want to discuss the pricing, which is a way more complicated subject than you’d expect.
I bounced between foster homes for a few years after Mom died, never staying with any family more than a couple of months. Not until the Jacobsens—Norm and Sue, because apparently it’s a cosmic law that ordinary people have really stupid names.
For some reason, these two God-worshipping hero-vid junkies actually gave a damn. Wasn’t like it had been with my real parents, but Norm didn’t seem likely to up and murder Sue either, so I wasn’t going to complain. Norm, Sue, and little Damian… the perfect pretend family.
Yeah, Damian. It’s like Dad wanted to screw me over from the start.
Anyway, the Jacobsens spent six months tearing down my walls, six months sitting through night terrors and angry spells. Convincing me that they cared. That they’d be there for me through anything.
Then I turned nine.
Then Mom showed back up.
Then we all learned that Dad wasn’t the only Crow in the family.
I hope you all enjoyed Chapter 1 of See These Bones! I’ll post Chapter 2 next Tuesday, but today, I wanted to take a quick detour and discuss the making of our live-action book trailer. If you haven’t gotten a chance yet, you should watch that trailer… otherwise, none of this will make any sense….
As I mentioned last week, I’ll be counting down to the November 5th release date for See These Bones by sharing chapters from the book. Chapter 1 is a short one, but I think it gets everything started on the right foot.
“The trailer’s the thing, by which we’ll prick the interest of the potential readers!”
-Hamlet, sort of
In last week’s cover reveal, I talked about a cover’s importantance in attracting potential readers. That’s not a bold or divisive statement, by any means. Unfortunately, a good cover on its own is rarely enough. Thanks to modern technology and digital storefronts like Amazon, there are a lot of books being published every week. Many of them even have cool covers, because… again… everyone knows how important that is.
So how do you make your book stand out even more? Well, that’s where marketing comes in… and where I start to flounder. Author interviews, book reviews, give-away contests, calls-to-action for your 50k+ Twitter followers… it’s all designed to get the word out about your book and to convert some of those people into new readers.
A picture is worth a thousand words. A cover is worth way more than that.
The irony of being a first-time author is that some of the most important keys to a successful launch have nothing to do with your writing at all. It’s not enough to write a good book… you have to convince people to actually read that book too.
Worse, you have to convince them to pay for it.
Late August is upon us, and if there was any good and justice left in the world, I’d be unveiling the cover for See These Bones and talking about the forthcoming release.
Narrator: There was no good and justice left in the world. Both had taken an ill-timed vacation to Mars. Don’t nuke Mars, Elon!
Instead, I’m still where I was last month, which says dire things about my anticipated fall release. In lieu of shiny book-related treats to share, I decided to instead whip up a guide to self-publishing, leveraging my vast stores of non-existent experience and a passing familiarity with the general concept of humor.