Yes, so the stage is set for 2017. The Road Home has done phenomenally well, far beyond the publisher’s expectations. It’s been floating in the top 10 for a while now, which is awesome – my first time outside a couple of Brief BookBub Bubbles. Reviews are great, and everybody’s happy.
So, after I publish Game Theory around the end of February (that’s right! At last!), I’ll be working on a NEW Elsa/Brad collaboration, as yet untitled, for release at the beginning of May. After that, yes, I will be saying at least a partial farewell to selfpub, as I do my first solo book for PubYourself Press.
These guys are awesome. As you can see from TRH’s sales and reviews, they know how to sell a book. In addition to its top 10 status, this book has almost 100 reviews already… I got Have a Little Faith in Me up to 99 reviews, where it has persistently and stubbornly remained for the last seven months, tantalizingly close to that magic 100 but never making it.
When I think of all the time and energy I put into promotion on my other books, from writing 30 or more interviews for blog tours to spending money boosting FB posts to relentless flogging in book groups, and see how completely I’d done it wrong, man… I did almost NO promotion on this book, and just look at it go. Going with PYP means more money for me, not less, because half of a lot is better than all of nothing, right? And, I get to live the dream of “just writing,” with someone else doing well what I did so badly – promotion.
I will still be pubbing books on my own from time to time. The goal with PYP is to write books that SELL. And that means hitting the market with what it wants to read now, not trying to bend the market to my will with the sheer force of my talent. That hasn’t gone so good. But if you’ve read TRH, and liked it, you know I can hit trend and trope when I want to, and do it well, with all the true-to-life, well-researched background that you expect from a Vancedelay Industries Production.
So do I want to write a novel about a buttoned-down film historian who teams up with a bad boy actor/director to track down a lost “gay romance” film, surreptitiously made in the 30s by gay and lesbian employees of MGM, right under the nose of arch conservative studio head Louis B. Mayer, a film which was screened once and disappeared? I SURE DO. And I bet you, #TeamVance, want to read that.
But, if “movie stars” are not a trend that SELLS now, I’m parking it. I’d love to do a historical romance between an English knight and a French knight during the Hundred Years War. But historical romance doesn’t make top ten, does it? Will I write that Hollywood novel when I’m rich and can say I Don’t Care if it sells? Sure! Once I’m rich.
I’m fucking broke. I mean broke broke. So this has to be the year that I do what I need to do to make money. Which is to go back to my roots, to write books like Given the Circumstances that hit the “football player” trend when it was hot, to do a “feels real” version of that trope but to do trope, to sell as many books as possible.
And yeah. Audiobooks! Lots of audiobooks. I’m getting exponentially better at this each time I do it. Man, when I go back and listen to Kyle’s New Stepbrother on SoundCloud? How far I’ve come…
I’m tapping my foot, waiting for Apollo’s Curse to go live. It’s cleared AuthorsRepublic so now it’s just a matter of checking checking checking Audible to see when it’s up. I’m 25% of the way through the rerecord of Would I Lie to You… in one week. Yeah. 25% of a 70k book in one week. And it’s going so well, so smoothly, I’ve overcome all the physical and technical shit that’s been slowing me down. So look for that on the shelves in February!
In fact, I’m now comfortable and confident enough to think once more about narrating for others, now that I know that lung, stomach, teeth, and/or computer problems can no longer stop me in my tracks. It would have been a real clusterfuck to have taken on anything for someone else last year, only to be hit with two episodes of bronchitis, or the sudden volcanic turbulence in my digestive system that the microphone picks up o so well, or the “sufferin’ succotash” sound of my voice with a (waste of time and money) dental apparatus to try and stabilize my front teeth, or Miss June Kitty dying suddenly and me going into an emotional tailspin, or… Yeah. Fuck 2016, right?
So yeah. Game Theory on March 1, a Brad/Elsa novel May 1, a new novel with PYP in the summer TBD. And, Would I Lie to You?, Strength in Numbers and Game Theory audiobooks all in the first half of 2017, for sure. It’s going to be the Year of Brad!