[What Luke J. Kendall has learned, so far, about self-publishing]

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Free PDF in return for honest review

Well, I had promised earlier that I'd be self-publishing my book at the end of June, ready or not, and last night it occurred to me that that's less than three weeks away. This is an update, since I've changed my plan (please see the topic I wrote after this one, where I explain that I'll be getting professional advice, so I need to postpone). I sincerely apologise for this delay. But I'm confident that the book will be (even!) better for it.

It also occurred to me that one thing everyone does agree is important, is having some reviews of your book available for potential readers. [This is still true!]

Since I will be standing by my promise, Although I will probably need to delay the release until the end of August at the earliest, it occurred to me that perhaps I'd better do something about trying to get some pre-release copies of my book out to people to review. So, the obvious thing to do seems to be to simply offer up to say, the first 20 people, a free PDF of the book in return for an honest review (preferably at Amazon, since I'll be publishing it via KDP; but Goodreads would be very nice, too).

The 150,000 word book is sci-fi/fantasy. It's set a few decades into our future, but after magic has mysteriously returned to the world. Here's the blurb:

Leeth wants to belong. But abandoned by her parents due to a prophecy, raised as an experimental test subject at the Institute for Paranormal Dysfunction, then taken by a covert agency to become their assassin, she'll do well just to survive. Now, unknowingly stalked by a magical construct seeking the special victim it needs to 'correct' human nature itself: will Leeth's future be experimental subject, government assassin, or humanity's doom?

Or can a young girl prove strong enough to forge her own Path, instead?

I'd classify it like so: adult-themes, fantasy, magic, sci-fi, sexual-content, some violence, strong-female lead, urban fantasy, young assassin

If you'd like to check it out before putting your hand up, the 1st chapter is available over at Goodreads, here. Note that I will be updating this draft over the weekend of June 13th-14th, to address some problems.

All I request is that you only ask for a review copy if it sounds like the sort of book you might normally read, and that you think you can read it and write a short review (including a “star” rating between 0 and 5), by the launch date (which hopefully will be E/August). Reviews aren't hard to write, and don't need to be long. When I review books, I usually find 200~300 words generally says enough. Do try to avoid giving away too much (no spoilers, please).

If so, send me your email address, and I'll add your name to a list to email you a PDF of Wild Thing as soon as the revised version is ready. I promise to keep your email address both private and secure. I promise to never share it with anyone.

I will also email you when I launch the book on 30th June, and trust that each of you will post your review (good or bad) on appropriate sites. It's easy to post reviews at Goodreads or at Amazon, if you have an account. For Amazon, they won't be Authenticated Purchaser Reviews, but I don't mind. The review's the thing (wherein we'll catch the interest of the king?)

And the count down re-starts. This is kind of even more exciting!

3 comments:

raeleighreads said...

*puts hand up; jumps up and down* Please email raeleighreads@gmail.com I would love to review this. Would you like the review up before your launch date?

Luke Kendall said...

Hi Rachel! That would be great, but the situation suddenly just got slightly more complex, so I'll let you decide.
On the 1st of June I took advantage of a tweet from @theditors, offering a free opinion on the 1st 5k words of one's novel. Two hours before your email arrived, I got a detailed response from them, which pointed out some things that could definitely be improved.
And in the hours since then we've been discussing things further, in some detail.
So things are a little up in the air.
The options I see are:
1) delay a few weeks, and work on my own to address the main issue they spotted
2) Option 1 plus then pass it over to them to review, and then I work more to address whatever else they see
3) Option 1 plus break it into two novels - 150k is long for a 1st novel anyway - and pass the 1st book to them. Publish that and then do the same kind of thing with the 2nd book.
So my main question then to you is: would you rather wait till the dust had settled, or would you rather read the whole thing now, as-is and imperfect and knowing that the book when it's released might have morphed into two books? I warn you that the main issue is that I change POV more often than most readers are comfortable with. If you've read the 1st Chapter on Goodreads but you're still keen, it probably means you're in the minority for whom that's not a problem. :-)
Let me know, and I'll either email it to you straight away, or else put you at the top of the list for when it is ready.
I also plan to explain this soon on my blog itself. But in the interests of transparency, I'm replying via the comment function 1st.
Oh, and one last question: your conditions for doing the review (on your blog) are perfect for me. But it wasn't clear to me whether you'd be willing to also post your review on Amazon when the book is published, or whether you would only post it on your blog? It'd be much more helpful to me if you also posted it on Amazon when the book is published - would that be okay?

Luke Kendall said...

(Rachel replied directly, saying she'd prefer to wait.)