So, the very first reviews and ratings are going up for Invictus: Crisis, and whew, off to a good start! 4.7 stars right now, and I hope it sits right there. I mean, up is okay. Down is okay as well, provided it doesn’t go too far down. I basically assume everything will settle between 4.5 and 4.7, but while I was VERY SURE almost all readers would love the ending of Tasmakat, I was not nearly that confident about either half of Invictus. Readers have been much more tolerant of the cliffhanger ending of the first book than I honestly expected, which was a huge relief; and now if most readers feel the ending is good and satisfying, that will also be a huge relief.
Small sale begins tomorrow: Invictus: Captive drops to $1.99 for a week. This is because I’m running a book launch promotion via Written Word Media. The reason is exactly the same as for No Foreign Sky: I think it’s urgent to make sure Invictus is shown to SF readers rather than fantasy readers. Also, KU pages read for NFS went higher than I expected and stayed up for a long time compared to other books, which I think is most likely because of the book launch, and it would be nice if that happened again. Not sure it will; for me, for two years now, all promotion in the spring has worked better for me than any promotion in the fall. But we’ll see.
Anyway, it’s a small price drop, but if you haven’t picked up the first book and might want to, this is the time. Sometime in November, I’ll raise the price of at least the second book, maybe the first, not sure.
Question nobody has asked me, as far as I can remember: How tense do you feel when a new book releases? Answer: generally speaking, very tense. I wasn’t sure readers would like Tano or No Foreign Sky or the Death’s Lady trilogy or, before that, the second book of the Griffin Mage trilogy (or the first book, or the third book, but the second was the one I was particularly tense about. So much traveling back and forth! I wasn’t sure that would work for readers).
Different reasons: Tano is such a character study, very little happens, it’s a simple plot, fairly predictable in broad strokes. NFS is so super-fast, but has relatively little character development compared to a lot of my stories, so character readers who loved Tano might not like it at all. Plus it’s my first SF, so what about that? The DL trilogy is just odd; starting with a short novel that is basically pure character study with almost no fantasy elements is just … so odd. I really had doubts about its reception.
Books I was sure about: The Floating Islands and Tasmakat. Those are the two I really did not worry about. Maybe Suelen. That’s a straightforward story, but anybody who reads it should pretty much expect exactly the story they got, so I wasn’t very tense about that one. What’s it’s rating? … yep, 4.6, right at expectations.
I do not, of course, expect all readers to love each and every book. It’s inevitable that somebody will dislike any given book (even Tasmakat!) even if they love other books of mine. This is fine. I’m pretty happy as long as the overall rating indicates that most readers are giving the story a thumbs up, which (so far) looks good for Invictus.
Now you’ll know who I’m talking about when I say I’m thinking of a sequel with Erec Chatham as one pov character and Ketsova or Desya as the other. Pretty likely I’ll go on with that. Next year is sure shaping up to be busy, mostly with drafts of new books, though there’s one manuscript I’ve got sitting around that I could in theory pick up and dust off. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, reasonable progress with Silver Circle. It’s slower than I’d like, but I’ve been busy and also I should have remembered that everything else is slow compared to anything in the Tuyo world. It’s going fine. The best news on this front is that I’m pretty sure I can integrate the material originally written from Grayson’s pov without too much trouble. I’ve figured out, I think, how to keep the important plot element almost intact. I’m pretty happy about that.
I’d call this draft half finished except I’m betting it will go quite long, so let’s say it’s about at the one-third mark. Not bad, and hopefully it will keep moving fairly smoothly. I have figured out how to get into the middle and move toward the end, which is helpful. This week, I will be scattering characters in various directions, which will make it easier to handle most scenes as I won’t be trying to handle a zillion characters at a time.
Four pov characters right now. I’m going to try to keep it to just those four.