Well, yes. Yes, I am. Directly to YOU, each and every one of you.
I have a secret I want to tell you: my debut novel is one month from official release. Oh, I know you’ve all heard about my other books, most of you have bought them. Even if you haven’t, if you’ve been hanging around Road to Joy long enough, you’ve read little bits of this and that from each of them. Thank you for that, by the way, for reading and sticking with me. I’ve learned a lot on the nonfiction road about indie publishing, enough to almost turn me into a real author-preneur. I’ll publish a book in the next year about the experience, too, to share what has worked and what has tanked for me. I also have a few exciting announcements coming up about the nonfiction books, soon. But soon is still later.
Right now I want to talk about make-believe: Saving Grace.
SG is the first book in the Katie and Annalise series. For those of you that have beta-read for me before, guess what: you haven’t read this book. While it was five years in the making (a time period in which I wrote 4 novels, 5 nonfiction books, drowned the internet in my blog posts on this one and others, and contributed to 3 anthologies), I wrote SG this spring, and it’s a partial prequel to anything I’ve ever shared outside my core team before. (Core team: editor, critique partner, literary assistant, and Eric — because he is not just my husband, he is my plotter and my SkipJack Publishing business partner in his spare time) SG is a mystery, but it’s also suspense, a legal thriller, women’s fiction, and a ghost story. It’s set in Texas and the Caribbean. I released it to six reviewers last week, and the reviews are due in a month. I also sent it out to five readers for comment, people I knew read fast and like this type of book.
As a result, as of yesterday, this little sucker “went live.” Around our house, we call this a “soft launch.” That means anyone in the world can buy it now if they want to. Shhh, don’t tell. You’ll get sick of hearing about SG in the next two months, but I’ll try to keep it down to a dull roar. I’ll be linking to reviews, interviews, and giveaways. I’ll announce signings, appearances, parties, and milestones (if there are any).
But here’s the most important part:
I’m asking for you to read SG. And by asking that, I’m asking a lot. A full-length novel is a considerable investment of your time. I know. And, yet, I’m still asking YOU, yes YOU, to read my whole book. Because books sell when people read them and recommend them to other people. Period. It’s when someone says, “Oh my GAWD, Delores, you just have to read Saving Grace. It’s the best book EVER” that Delores buys the book. The most likely first readers of SG are the people that already read my work, and like it enough to follow it. For better or for worse, that is you guys.
Oh, the pressure. (back of hand to forward, fans self with the other)
I’m running “How to help an indie author” again on SkipJack later this week, and you’ll all geta link to it. But you already know how to help this one. It’s the 3 R’s:
Read. Recommend. Review.
What’s that 3rd one? Oh, REVIEW. We hadn’t talked that R yet.
After you read it, I need you guys to get on hackin’ frackin’ Amazon and write a short (a sentence or a few words will do!) review, click your rating, and hit submit. Takes 5 minutes. Why is it important? Because Amazon reviews are Reading and Recommending. You’re just doing it for exactly the right person — the one who is on the SG page, has an interest, and wants to know what you think — at exactly the right time. Without reviews, books don’t sell on Amazon. (Yes, feel free to hop out there and put those reviews on the nonfiction books, too, if you didn’t already) The more reviews a book has, the more it gets. Safety in numbers. Anonymity in the crowd.
As an incentive, here’s what I’m offering:
The first 10 people to comment me that promise on the lives of their children (or other closest beloved relative) to read SG immediately and put up a review on Amazon and 3 other spots (I provide instructions for the neophytes, and you just put the same review in each place: easy peasy) BEFORE THE END OF OCTOBER 2012, will get a free ebook of SG. Yes, free. Yes, before anyone else gets it. And that offer stands even if your review says, “hated this dog.” Because I want your true review, not some sappy schlock that you think will make me happy. I don’t want to be happy (ask anyone, ha ha). I want you to be credible and honest. I would die happy if you also blogged your review, and I will throw in a few more ebooks for you as a thank you gift if you blog it, but at a minimum I want the reviews on the sales sites. For those that blog reviews, I will also announce your review, put it on my events calendar, and promote it in every social media outlet known to man. I do my best to drive new readers to you. If you prefer a guest post from me, or a book excerpt (from any of the 6 SkipJack books), or an interview with me, those are great, too.
REPEAT: PROMISE + COMMENTER-IN-1ST-10 = FREE E-COPY OF SAVING GRACE
The rest of you have to pay for the book — I see Barnes & Noble is discounting the retail price from $18.95 to $11.63 right off the bat, so that’s a steal. And the ebooks are only $7.99. This won’t break your bank, and it will solve your holiday gift-giving dilemna, because you’re going to love it and order a case of them. I feel it in my bones.
Yeah, and for those five of you that I already let read it, you know I’ll be in touch to get your reviews up, too, now that it’s LIVE.
I am delighted to pay it forward, so be sure to let me know when you have projects I can help you with, or if you need indie publishing advice, or a short critique of some work.
So, if you’re wondering whether SG is for you, there’s a little more information after my signature, but for now you can only view the fantabulous cover over on SkipJack: CLICK HERE. Sorry not to put it in this post, but I’ve learned that book covers crash my feed, and we don’t want that.
In summary: Read. Recommend. Review.
Yes, I’m talking to YOU.
p.s. Launch party in Houston Saturday November 3rd 4-6 pm at River Oaks Bookstore. Steel pan band and Caribbean snacks and libations. Open to the public, kids, too. I hear there’s a hell of an after-party at Pamela’s house, too.
Sometimes the problem with running away is the things you can’t leave behind.
Is Saving Grace women’s fiction? A legal thriller? A mystery? Romance? A ghost story? Suspense? Check all of the above. Saving Grace is the book you’d get if Janet Evanovich wrote Wuthering Heights meets How Stella Got Her Groove Back: zany, tropical, intense, and eerie, all at once. Readers of Lisa Scottoline will love Katie, Annalise, and the unique and beautiful Saving Grace.
Texas attorney Katie Connell escapes professional humiliation, a broken heart, and her Bloody Mary-habit when she runs to the island of St. Marcos to investigate the suspicious death of her parents. But she trades one set of problems for another when she is bewitched by the voodoo spirit in her abandoned rainforest house and, when worlds collide, finds herself reluctantly donning her lawyer clothes again, to defend her new friend Ava who is accused of stabbing her very married Senator-boyfriend.
What people are saying about Saving Grace:
“Katie is the first character I have absolutely fallen in love with since Stephanie Plum! I’m hoping for a series!” Stephanie Hayes Swindell, reader
“Katie is someone who could be you, your sister, or your best friend — someone you can really connect to.” Rene Riedlinger, reader
“Saving Grace is remarkable debut novel. It is everything a good read should be, with an exotic setting, vivid characterization (including jumbies), authentic-sounding dialogue, and real emotion, all balanced with page-turning doses of action and suspense. Fun, witty, exciting, and unputdownable!” Rhonda Doyle Erb, editor and reader
“This book was worth every moment I spent savouring it, and I can’t wait to read the next one.” Joana James, author of Finding Romeo and reviewer for Book Wormz
Saving Grace is the first book in the Katie and Annalise series.
- Winner of the 2010 Writers League of Texas Manuscript Contest (Romance*).
- Winner “Best Ghost Story” in 2012 from the Houston Writers Guild (adapted excerpt). In addition to appearing in the novel itself, this adaption will appear in Ghosts!, an anthology from Aakenbaaken & Kent.
* under the working title Leaving Annalise
Read Chapter One
Publication date: November 1, 2012
Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes fiction and non-fiction focusing on special needs parenting, blended families, relationships, and athletics. She is an employment attorney, human resources expert, and business owner living in Texas with her husband and hodgepodge of kids and animals.