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.
I am old and fat and slow.
Even the breath leaving this body is stale,
leached of life by its torturous climb
from the flesh cavity of my chest,
up the worn trachea,
and into a mouth clinging to its teeth
like a shipwrecked sailor to driftwood.
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.
I started with
the basic summary—
one wife, two jobs, no kids—
then added chapters to detail
the paths taken
since we last spoke,
but soon realized
I was boring even myself.
With literal hordes of grasshoppers descending upon Las Vegas like a biblical plague (minus the destruction), one thing is abundantly clear:
It’s time for another status update.
So let’s get to it!
When you were five
and so small you were
almost lost in your own jacket—
a bundle of bones
and two eyes so blue
they drowned out the summer sky—
you would recoil
from every loud noise on
the nearby street,