ARC readers needed

For a little over a month now, I’ve been trying to build an ARC team for my debut novel, The Darkening. If you’re unfamiliar with the term ARC, it’s an acronym that stands for Advanced Review/Reader Copy. What this means is that an interested party receives a copy of the book (in this case, a digital copy) in the hopes that he/she will be willing to review the book when it launches, regardless of the review being positive or negative.

It’s not easy. I’m going about it the hard way. That is, I scour the internet for book bloggers and reviewers, looking for those who would be willing to consider my book for a review. For those who enjoy reading horror and post apocalypse. When done like this, it’s incredibly time consuming. But when someone starts out and doesn’t have a strong fan base, I think it’s unavoidable.

In order for a book and its author to compete with the big names of traditional and self publishing, authors with thousands of fans who hit the bestseller lists almost on day one, it’s crucial for the book to come out with as many reviews as possible on release day.

Though I haven’t checked my browser’s history, I know that each day since I started building the ARC team, I visit more than a hundred book bloggers’ sites. There were a few days where I found a list of two hundred of them, and I went through it in one day.

Cartoon of man with messy hair, bags below bloodshot eyes, and stubble on face and chin

Yeah, that’s me after all the searching is done, minus the hair, plus the exhaustion from the heat (go away summer, I’ve had enough of you).

So this post is a call for ARC readers. Does any of you enjoy reading post apocalypse and horror? Here are the book’s details.

 

Title: The Darkening (standalone book)
Genre: Post-apocalyptic horror
Available format: epub, mobi (pdf upon request)
Release date: Sunday, 28 October 2018
Trigger Warning: mention of dead animals and humans. Moderate violence.
Audience: Adult
Similar books (in terms of mood): The Road (Cormac McCarthy), Children Of Men (P. D. James).
Excerpt: Available upon request.

Description: Don’t fear the dark. Fear the light.

The end came when light changed. It decimated humanity, leaving scattered bands of survivors stumbling in the dark.

Faced with saving himself or his family during the apocalypse, John Piscus made the wrong choice, and has been living with the guilt ever since.

When a glowing girl shows up at John’s shelter begging for help, his instincts tell him to kill her. After all, light kills.

But when masked troopers tasked with capturing survivors come after them, it’s up to John to protect himself and the girl. Not only may she hold the key to reversing the lethal effects of light, she could also be the one who can save his soul.

———————

The book’s launch is scheduled for the 28th of October. I can only hope that, should you decide to join my ARC team, there will be enough time for you to read it before that date. When I started building the team, I thought it would take me a month, perhaps a little more than that, to assemble a group of about fifty (brave) readers. Alas, this newbie was wrong.

If any of you wants to receive an ARC, please use the site’s contact form, or post a reply here with your email, or tweet me (@c_sarantopoulos), or message me on Facebook. I welcome all reviews, both positive and negative.

Thank you!

The Man Behind The Bar – Available for purchase!

My first self-published short story, The Man Behind The Bar, is out and waiting readers and reviews. You can find it here.

The past never really stays hidden or forgotten. Ben Stingler left his past for a quiet life, until a young man steps in his bar, and brings with him all the things Ben tried to put behind him five years ago. An overdue debt is back on the table.
I hope you enjoy it. If you do, consider leaving a review.

Moving forward

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I intended to publish some of my short stories on Amazon. Some are previously published on literary magazines, some are not. I was hoping to start my career in self publishing with a science fiction short story I wrote a while ago, but it’s still under consideration (I submitted it around last Christmas) and it seems it won’t be reviewed for at least a few more months. Last time the magazine updated their twitter status as well as their online tracker, they were still reviewing submissions from August 2016 and there are about 500+ submissions before mine. So, I guess I’ll start with another story instead.

Which brings me to my question: would you like to see the cover for the story before I hit the publish button? I know cover reveals are usually for novels rather than short stories, but I’m learning things as I go along about Amazon and self publishing, and I don’t know if revealing a cover for a short story is something people would like to see. However, I’d like to know what you think. In the meantime, I’ll start creating some advertising images about it on Pinterest (you can follow me or any of my boards here) and see if I can
generate some traffic and hype. Because, you know, marketing demands it.

I’ll be honest with you, it’s moments like this that the dreaded beast of Marketing rears its ugly head. In all my academic years (and they were plenty), Marketing was the only subject I failed and had to resit the exam during the summer. Its concepts simply eluded me at the time, and, quite honestly, I doubt it will be any different now. I hoped I’d never ever have to hear the word Marketing again. Bet that beast is having the laugh of a life time right now, huh?

Today also marks the anniversary of my first story that got accepted for a magazine. Needless to describe how excited I was when I got the email. I remember I read it four or five times to make sure I didn’t misread it. Three
years later and four more publications in various magazines, and the feeling of being accepted, of knowing someone out there not only read my story but also liked it still makes me elated.

I wonder if this new endeavour through Amazon will be as exciting.

More about available publishing paths

Not long ago, I published a poll where I asked published writers who visit my blog to tell the rest of us which publishing path they chose and why. Apparently, within some of these categories are subcategories, and since I’ve been trying to gather and present you with as much info about publishing as I can, I figured those of you about to have something published, or who want to try a different publishing path than traditional, might find the following interesting.
A while back, Jane Friedman posted an infographic outlining the five key publishing paths. Since then, she has updated that infographic with a new one which includes more available and up-to-date publishing options. Don’t you just love infographics? Full of knowledge, condensed into a single image.

Needless to say the poll I mentioned earlier is still open and will remain open and wouldn’t mind a few more visiting published writers to drop by and click one of the options there. If you haven’t seen it yet, now’s the time 🙂

Traditional Publishing, Self Publishing, or Hybrid? A Poll

A couple of weeks ago, I reblogged Lara Willard’s post about the different choices a writer has to get published. Even though I decided that traditional publishing was what I wanted, I’d still like to know what the other side has to offer, because deep down I haven’t rejected the idea of self publishing something. However, since I’m not yet published (either self pubished or trad published) I’d like to know the pros and cons of each.

So I turn to you. What is your take on this? Why did you choose the publishing path you chose? I’d really appreciate it if you took the time to answer. Please feel free to reblog this (in fact, I’d be very happy if you did), or talk about it to as many of your writer-friends as you can. The more people answer, the clearer the picture for me and others will be. So far, the options I know about are the following:
A) Self-publish
B) Traditional Publish (either through an agency or through a small press. I think we can all agree that vanity presses should be excluded)
C) Hybrid

If I’ve missed any other option, please comment. You can select more than one option.


I chose

 

 

C) to be a Hybrid writer because:

Please specify in the comments.

As I said, I don’t really know the benefits of either option, which made it very hard for me to come up with questions that will cover as many probable answers as possible, other the almost cliché “I wanted the best of both options.” So, for you, the hybrid writers, I would appreciate it if you could take the time and answered in the comments section.

After a few weeks I intend to return to this post and discuss the results.
Thank you all for participating. Please feel free to reblog this.