If you read nothing else from this post, here’s the important bit.
To your right (and up a little bit) on this page is a box to let you sign up to my email newsletter. I have called it ‘Newsletter Signup’, because sometimes simplicity is best. You should sign up to this, because the month before I release my new novel Craven Place this summer, I’m going to give everybody on the newsletter a free ebook copy.
At the minute, the book will probably first see print for the Kindle and in paperback in June this year, then for other ebook formats in September. Newsletter readers will get their ebooks (.mobi and .epub – options to suit all ebooks, basically) in May. If you don’t read ebooks, I don’t mind if you give your copy to your friend or loved one who does.
There is no catch.
More after this attractive teaser image. If you can’t hang around, stick your email address in that box before you leave. I promise not to sell it to dethroned Nigerian princes looking to disburse their fortunes to random Westerners*.
The novel is something new, in so far as it’s not like my others. It’s a spooky blend of ghost story and locked room murder mystery. There’s even a detective (sort of) called Matthew Hopkins (no relation) who is also the vagrant referred to above (which just goes to show). It’s shorter than either Thy Fearful Symmetry or Cuckoo, and if I do say so myself, an awful lot of fun.
Okay – the catch I didn’t mention? There still isn’t one. Sign up to the newsletter, get a free copy of the new novel for yourself or a friend. I actually did this last year, when I released Thy Fearful Symmetry, but unless you’re one of the seven people on the list at that time you wouldn’t have known about it.
What are you signing up to? Not much. The newsletter’s been available to sign up to for a year. Guess how many copies I’ve sent? None. This is mostly poor organisation on my part, and I intend to fix that soon. The first edition will be out in May, and will contain the download instructions (a link to a download page, or maybe just an email address so you can tell me what kind of ereader you have).
After that – maybe four or five times a year, at most. It’s not really for big announcements. I already have a Twitter feed, a Facebook author page, and this website for that. If you’re interested in the ongoing news and announcements, sign up to those. The newsletter is a summary of the last few months – a backup, to make sure you don’t miss anything. Twitter and Facebook (and similar sites) move quickly, and it’s easy to miss things you’d want to know about. This website isn’t nearly so swiftly updated, but you might not drop by for weeks at a time. The newsletter will summarise what’s happened, why you might be interested, and you won’t have to go looking for it – it’s going to come to you.
It’s also for those who don’t want information more regularly than that (incomprehensible though it may seem, there are probably quite a lot of people who are more interested in my books than they are having me whisper in their ear all year).
It’s the ultimate back up.
Do you need to stay subscribed? Nope. It’s a proper newsletter, with a one click unsubscribe option and everything. You can vanish as soon as you get the first one, though I hope you don’t. The book will stay yours, and I’ll thank you for taking the time to get hold of a copy.
I’ll pre-empt the question I usually get from other writers – how do I expect to make a living, giving stuff for free to the people most interested in buying the book in the first place? Put it this way – how many people will sign up to the newsletter? Ten? Twenty? A hundred? I don’t know – I do strongly suspect that the numbers won’t be in the thousands, and I would have to sell tens of thousands of copies of the novel to be able to quit my job off one book alone. Lets face it, if I somehow strike gold and find that the novel does sell in those proportions then having given it away to the people who’ve given me a boost along the way (and you really have) right at the start doesn’t make much difference. At this stage, while I’m working out how to incorporate self-publishing into my overall writing career, all I really need is for the book to cover its costs, and for people to read it. During the five free download days I ran through Amazon for Thy Fearful Symmetry, several thousand people grabbed a copy. The book has still comfortably covered its costs. So did Cuckoo the year before, and both books continue to generate a small ongoing profit today.
So I might as well give Craven Place out to the people who most want it as a gift, right?
Dealing with the guilt though… this is an odd one, but I get it. Quite a few people who know or support me (even a couple of reviewers) told me last year that they felt guilty for stealing the food from my mouth, and would rather buy a copy than take a free one. Well, if after reading the above you still think that, find another way to make it up. Buy a copy for a friend, or a paperback for your shelf, or one to donate to your local library, or one of my other novels that you don’t have yet, or an anthology with one of my stories in it. I don’t care how you spank your inner guilt-monkey, just let me give you my new novel for free, dammit.
After that? Occasional updates about what I’ve had released, some free exclusive bits and pieces (I’ll be giving exclusive things away with each newsletter, to one subscriber each time). They’re a nice extra, but the main thing is you won’t miss what’s coming. In the next twelve months alone I’ll be telling you about the trafficking of selkies in the United Kingdom, that time when Richard III met Richard III, the harrowing experience of the man in the box, what occurred at Craven Place, that thing that happened in Rajasthan, the place where the devil’s children can be found, and the unfortunate misadventures of Dexter Lomax (who some people might actually remember from the previous decade…).
One favour you can do me, if you’re inclined, is to pass this on. The more people who sign up, the happier I’ll be. The usual array of sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, etc, are at the bottom of this post. Please do spread the word. You could even tell people with your actual mouths or something, or blog about it with a link. All assistance is appreciated.
But sign up yourself, first. You know you’ll forget if you don’t.
Until May, then!
*unless, you know, times get really tough…**
**no, not really, you’re secret’s safe with me.