Sunday, March 25, 2012

Buckle Your Seatbelts: 13 Authors Offer Their Work FREE!

A very good book is not only more satisfying, memorable and coherent than its lesser neighbors on the shelves, it's also more relaxing to read...You don't have to worry. This writer knows exactly what she's doing. She won't let you down.
                                   -- Sylvia Brownrigg, NYT Book Review

Isn't that the truth?

Last year I was one of the judges for the MWA/ St. Martin's contest. Almost from the git-go, as I started reading an entry, I could tell if I was in "good hands." Strangely enough, good authors write with, well, AUTHORITY. They function like a good flight crew on a plane ride. You climb aboard, buckle your seatbelt, and you relax. You don't worry about getting to your destination.

Maybe that's why creating a new series is always so hard. You are not only responsible for steering the plane, you're also creating an entire world--and you're responsible for the reader having a certain kind of experience while he/she is in that world. For that very reason, I find myself going over and over the first chapters I write. Until they are perfect, I can't move forward because I haven't yet established that new world and I haven't found my own sense of authority.

Lately, I've been returning to two worlds that are familiar to me. As I work on the second book in my new Jane Eyre series, I'm also spending every minute of my "free time" writing Kiki Lowenstein short stories. The idea of short stories featuring Kiki had been noodling around in my head for some time. Then I read an article in the New York Times about a guy who was serializing his novel. Hmm, I thought. That's a great idea. When we Killer Hobbies blog sisters wrote our progressive short story, we had a real spike in followers. What if I were to do a series of Kiki stories?

Wouldn't that energize my readers? Wouldn't that also be an inexpensive way to introduce new readers to my character? Given the current economy, wouldn't a short story at a 99 cent price point be a great way to introduce readers to my series?

I floated the idea with my readers on my Facebook "author page"--and they loved it. The first story went up in December. Since then I've added a new story every month. The response has been fantastic.

Tonight I finished the sixth of my Kiki Lowenstein Short Stories. Here they are in order:

* Ink, Red, Dead
* “Kiki Lowenstein and the Secret Santa”
* “Kiki Lowenstein and the White Elephant”
* “Kiki Lowenstein and the Empty Heart”
* "Kiki Lowenstein and the Lucky Charm"
* Kiki Lowenstein and the Purple Passion--coming soon!

Now, Purple Passion isn't "live" yet on Amazon. But it will be. Here's the best part: Starting on Friday, April 13, it'll be available for FREE. I'm joining with a dozen other authors to Friday the 13th into a lucky day for our readers. Because on Friday, April 13, all thirteen of us will be offering one of our works on Kindle for FREE.

It's my way of celebrating the publication of READY, SCRAP, SHOOT, the fifth book in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series.


Dru said...

Cool. I love this idea of free books on Friday the 14th

Linda O. Johnston said...

What a great idea for introducing readers to your work, Joanna. I've always loved the number 13!