After I updated The Spider of Halros blurb, I wrote another funny (I think funny) one for a book I don’t expect I’ll actually write. I figured I’d throw it on here. A lot of people seem to have narrowed down the category of young adult literature. This takes a small jab at that.
The Vampire Book Club
Kelly has issues, daddy issues, plus step-daddy issues, and even (thanks to a long running dispute over a domain name) GoDaddy issues!
She’s in love with a vampire, but not just any vampire. He also happens to be dreamy, rich, smoldering (at certain times of the day), and of course her dad doesn’t approve. Pretty awesome right?
He’s also sensitive and a vegan. Doesn’t make much sense, but it’s totally true.
If you’ve been looking for angst combined with wistful glances, you’ve come to the right place.
Did I mention that they’re in a book club? Yeah, a supernatural book club.
They can’t always meet because their world is sooo dystopian. That obviously adds extra angst.
Wait you say. Is there a teenage love triangle? Boy is there ever! You’ll just have to read the book to find out if the third member is an equally improbable dreamboat or a scheming b!#$h, hell-bent on destroying Kelly’s supernatural bliss.
Hope it gave you a laugh;)
The Spiders of Halros is free, but hardly anybody is downloading it. The people who actually read it mostly like it, so now it’s time to experiment a little. This is one of few real advantages to self-publishing. You can change stuff when you feel like it. I’ll admit upfront that I didn’t give a lot of love to the cover art or the blurb. Either of those could be part of the problem. Cover art is a lot of work so I’ll start by experimenting with the blurb first and see how that goes.
I’m going to try funny first:
A retelling of the classic tale of Snow White… Except that the dwarves are replaced with princesses and the apple is now a giant spider. The King plays the role of Snow White when an enchantment puts him to sleep for a thousand years. Wait, is that Sleeping Beauty? Ok, maybe it’s not Snow White. There aren’t any dwarves. There are elves later on, but definitely no dwarves. Warrior princess, check. Bookish princess, check. Bossy princess, check. Sorceress princess, check. A couple more we’re not sure about yet… check. That’s a lot of princesses. Still no dwarves though.
I think I’ll go back to the original blurb and let you decide.
Dark magic. Treason. A whole whack of princesses!
No, that wasn’t it. Let me try this again.
After centuries of peace, dark forces are stirring once more. Old powers and new must battle to determine the future of Arros.
Six sisters embark on a quest to save their father's life, unaware of the danger and intrigue awaiting them. All of their unique talents will be needed, not just to save their family, but to survive the chaos that's about to engulf Arros.
The Spiders of Halros is the first book of the Arros Chronicles.
No, that was the original, original blurb. Last one, I promise.
Kristina’s eighteenth birthday celebration should be the best night of her life. Especially, given that she’s a princess and the heir to the throne. But, when the King is poisoned, only the fast thinking and courage of her sisters can buy the time needed to find a cure.
The Spiders of Halros is a classic fantasy adventure. It pits six sisters against unknown enemies, on a quest, not just to save their father, but to survive the chaos unfolding across Arros.
I can’t decide, but you get the picture. Dark magic, chaos, princesses, etc.
I’ll give this a shot and see how it works out.
Self-publishing your novel is a little like buying a lottery ticket. If you understand statistics and probability theory you know that you are very, very unlikely to win the jackpot. Still, when you put your dollar on the counter in the convenience store or left-click on publish, some tiny part of you can’t help but hope. It’s that tiny grain of optimism deep down inside all of us that has us buying imaginary yachts and taking round-the-world cruises before the door at the corner store has even hit our backside. The weekly draw for most lotteries cuts this mental spending spree short soon enough. The dreams of would-be writers generally take longer to crush.
I’ve talked to a few people about this whole self-publishing deal. A surprising number of people (at least surprising to me) have secret literary aspirations. They range in size from The Cat in the Hat to War and Peace. If you are such a person, I’m not writing this to discourage you. Not one bit. I’m just going to give you my take on modern publishing /self-publishing.
Anybody can write a book and publish it. That’s a fact. It can be a wonderful story or typed by your dog with a complex mechanical apparatus attached to his tail. Writing a good book… that’s the thing. It always has been, but new accessibility to cheap/free publishing means that the frequently inept gatekeepers of traditional publishing can be easily bypassed. If you look at the statistics, publishers have been about as good at picking best sellers as stockbrokers are at picking winning investments. Again statistically speaking, if you put a list of either on a wall and set loose a team of chimpanzees with a bucket full of darts you can achieve a similar success rate. The reason for this is simple, picking a winner is difficult.
The single best reason for a person to write is because they enjoy it. You’ll be hard pressed to find a less expensive hobby (I’ve had a lot of hobbies). If you genuinely love writing, then even if you’re the only person in the world who reads your work, you’ve already won. Nobody likes editing. At least, nobody I know. It’s just a lot less fun. If you take it further and float what you write out on the internet (or wherever) and you don’t get a great response to it, remember that you’ve already gotten back a lot in the enjoyment of the writing itself. When people knock your work/art it can hurt. You should ask yourself a question at that point. If you wouldn’t put any stock in the opinion of Bob Smith the miserable guy you work with (or maybe go to school with), why hang so much weight on the unsolicited opinion of BS_6969 on some random webpage. (Same deal with reviews, but that’s at least a whole blog for itself)
If you’re asking for opinions online and every single person says that there is some fatal flaw with your story, you should probably take a step back a look at it again objectively. Secretly all writers want someone else to like what they write. That’s human nature at work. If you’re going to try your hand at self-publishing, start out with small aspirations. For me, I was hoping that at least five people would enjoy reading The Spiders of Halros. I’ve already reached that goal. BOOM, I’m a winner. If I’d hoped for a yacht out of the deal, well…
I confess I don’t really know what blogs are for. Here is mine. I’ll use this for writing about writing and keeping my dozen of fans worldwide up to date on where I’m at on finishing books. Oh, and for the inaugural post I’ll mention that I just started a book giveaway on Goodreads for The High Priestess. If you’re reading this on my website, you probably already know;)
I’ll also use this to post answers to any common questions that people ask me in one convenient (lazy) place. A couple of people have asked why I’ve left The Spiders of Halros available for free. There are a few reasons. It’s the first book in a multi-book series, so presumably if someone likes it they’ll buy the rest. I’m not totally happy with the start of the book, it’s a little weak and busy with too many characters coming at the reader too quickly. I separate the main characters as quickly as possible to mitigate that, but it’s a flaw in the book. The rest is pretty good though… and it’s free. So it’s not free because I don’t think it’s any good, but because I think it could still use some work and I haven’t any desire to fix it at the moment. The second book is fine…not free. The final reason The Spiders is staying free is because I think it’s a good, fair way to let people see what they’re getting from an author they've never heard of. If you liked the second half of book one, you’ll like the rest. (I don’t know how to put that into a blurb on the back so… free)