My virtual book tour for Lycopolis is going really well, and I thought I’d update you on where I’ve been so far!
In April, my tour of the blogosphere took me to:
Tuesday 24th April – The Creative Penn (Joanna Penn)
It was fantastic to begin my tour with The Creative Penn which, in many ways, is where the publication journey of Lycopolis began. Joanna’s indie trail-blazing with her novel Pentecost opened my eyes to how self-publishing had changed. We also share an Oxford connection (both in real life and in our fiction) so I guess I started the tour close to both my virtual and physical homeground. 🙂
But there is nothing wrong with doing something simply because you love it. If you enjoy writing fiction – if it brings you alive, makes you happy, keeps you sane – then that’s a good enough reason. It’s more than good enough. And don’t let anyone convince you that it isn’t.
Tuesday 24th April & Friday 27th April – Book Baby
This was originally one post, which Book Baby very sensibly suggested splitting into two parts. (I sometimes get a bit carried away when I’m writing blog posts, as you might have noticed here on Aliventures…) BookBaby are making waves in the self-publishing world, and if you’re not too confident about the techy side of putting together and distributing an ebook, they have well-priced packages to help you.
Before you start writing your novel, you need a clear idea of who your characters are. You won’t know everything about them at this stage, but you should have a sense of what they’re like as people. What would they lie about, or for? What secrets lie buried in their pasts? What goals and dreams do they have?
Friday 27th April – Steff Metal
I came across Steff a while back, when I was looking for advice on creativity and stumbled across this fantastic post, 25 Ways to Spark Creativity. Steff isn’t just a fantastic writer and blogger – she’s also a devoted metalhead (as you might guess from the name of her blog…) I got into metal around the same time I started writing Lycopolis, and a couple of my characters listen to it too, so this tour stop felt like a great fit. 🙂
When you work for yourself, you can be yourself. You can wear what you like (whether that’s PJs, jeans and a band t-shirt, steampunk attire, or anything in between). You can tweet about the bands you love. You can be chatty and friendly and silly with your clients.
Monday 30th April – Men with Pens (James Chartrand)
I’ve been reading Men with Pens since my early days in the blogging world. And while James still scares me a little, it’s always a huge privilege to guest post on her blog. The Men with Pens audience are a little more business-focused than the readers here on Aliventures – but they’re just as lovely and thoughtful in the comments.
The good news is that you don’t have to tackle every stage of writing your ebook alone. If you have a blog, email list, Twitter account or Facebook page, you’ve already got at least a few readers or potential customers.
Monday 30th April – Literascribe (Lorna Fergusson)
Lorna is one of my writing heroes: she’s an inspiring, insightful teacher and she’s also a fantastic editor. (And she lives all of ten minutes’ walk from me in Oxford.) She edited Draft 5 of Lycopolis – I thought I was pretty much done, but she (thankfully) got me to do some radical rewriting. I ended up cutting the 135,000 word manuscript to around 85,000 words in the finished book – and all the reviews and comments I’ve had have confirmed that was definitely the right decision.
However tempting it is, don’t decide that your manuscript is “good enough” and put it online during a free weekend. You want your novel to be as good as it can possibly be, before you launch it to the world. Yes, it’s relatively easy to update an ebook or print-on-demand book – but you really want those first few readers to love your book. (That way, they’ll write reviews, tell their friends, and help you get the marketing ball rolling.)
Monday 30th April – Cat’s Eye Writer (Judy Dunn)
I know Judy through the blogging world, and I’m really looking forward to catching up with her properly at BlogWorld in New York this June. Like me, she focuses on the intersection of blogging and writing, and she has a wealth of great advice on Cat’s Eye Writer for writers and authors who are looking at getting into blogging or taking things further.
It can be tough to give away your best content, whether that’s in the form of blog posts, recordings, or ebooks. But it’s also one of the most powerful techniques for helping your readers to like and trust you. And if they get great, useful content for free, they’ll be much more likely to take the plunge and buy from you.
This virtual book tour is to promote my novel Lycopolis, a fast-paced supernatural thriller about a group of online roleplayers who summon a demon into their game … and into the world.
I think it’s the best thing I’ve written (so far!) and I’d love it if you’d buy a copy. Here’s what a couple of readers said about it:
This is one of those books I started reading late in the afternoon and then couldn’t put down. I stayed up WAAAY too late reading it, because it’s the sort of story where you want to read one more chapter and one more after that because you care about the characters, and you’re afraid something terrible will happen to them.
Cheryl M. Reifsnyder (Read the rest of Cheryl’s review…)
This compact supernatural thriller walks the edge between two worlds: reality and fantasy. Ali Luke does a great job of juggling both worlds and then some. Despite the amount of people introduced, and the complications that gives in those two worlds, she manages to keep confusion at bay with her clear and consistent writing, while exploring the characters involved in depth. The action almost jumps off the page, and the fast pace leaves your head spinning.
Vala Faye (Read the rest of Vala’s review…)
You can find out more about Lycopolis here: download the first five chapters, read the prequel short stories, or take a look at the blog with quotes from Underground Book Reviews’ review.
Or if you’re sold on it already, you can get Lycopolis from:
- Amazon.com (Kindle ebook, $2.99 / paperback, $12.99)
- Amazon.co.uk (Kindle ebook, £1.99)
- Smashwords.com (ebook in multiple formats, $2.99)
- Lulu.com (paperback, £7.99)
(And if you’ve already read Lycopolis? I’d love it if you’d recommend it to a friend, or even write a short review on Amazon. Thanks so much!)