I realized that the Infinite Vampire series needed a prequel, but I’m not normal. Instead of just writing one, I wanted to do something different. So I wrote it, in the form of a 18 year old’s journal.
Then I worked with a woman to make sure I had an accurate teen-girl’s perspective.
Then I hired a young woman with robot-perfect handwriting (in my opinion) to transcribe it.
Then I planned and drew over two dozen custom illustrations to add into the book.
Then I spent a week scanning all the images, photoshopping any errors, and putting together a pdf.
Then I decided to send it out for free, to everyone on my mailing list! I did that last thing yesterday, and so far, the feedback has been very positive!
BEFORE YOU ASK, NO IT’S NOT ON AMAZON.
So there’s this thing many authors do, they write an introductory piece and make it free in an online retailer. Then, Amazon matches the price, and makes it free for their customers too. They call this ‘perma-free’ and the goal is to get people to download the free book to gain exposure. The problem is that many people download it without reading it, and the perceived value of it is lessened.
I hear this technique can work great, but I’ve decided it’s not a route I want to take. I’d much rather give Sophia’s Journal out as an exclusive gift I send to my mailing list. Yes, it’s more work for me, yes it costs me money, and yes, this will reduce my overall exposure, but I’m going to do it my way, anyway.
I think it’s most important to give my readers something special. After all, they’re why I publish.