First, the spam:
Two Shot brings together two of Robert Swartwood's most exciting and suspenseful thrillers for the first time in one pulse-pounding volume.
THE SERIAL KILLER'S WIFE
Five years ago Elizabeth Piccioni's husband was arrested for being a serial killer. Her life suddenly turned upside down, she did what she thought was best for her newborn baby: she took her son and ran away to start a new life.
Now, living in a quiet part of the Midwest with a new identity, Elizabeth is ready to start over. But one day she receives a phone call from a person calling himself Cain. Cain somehow knows about her past life. He has abducted her son, and if Elizabeth wants to save him she must retrieve her husband's trophies -- the fingers he cut off each of his victims.
With a deadline of one hundred hours, Elizabeth has no choice but to return to the life she once fled, where she will soon realize that everything she thought she knew is a lie, and what's more shocking than Cain's identity is the truth about her husband.
The Serial Killer's Wife is a 80,000-word thriller in the vein of Jeffery Deaver, John Sanford, and Thomas Harris. It includes a special foreword by Blake Crouch.
"This is a scary, thrilling, page-turning, race-against-the-clock novel if ever there was one, with a true shocker of an ending. Miss this one at your own peril." -- Blake Crouch, author of Run and Desert Places
Holly Lin is living two lives. To her friends and family, she's a pleasant, hardworking nanny. To her boss and colleagues, she's one of the best non-sanctioned government assassins in the world.
But when a recent mission goes wrong causing one of her team members to die, she realizes she might no longer be cut out for the work -- except the mission, as it turns out, is only half over, and to complete it will take her halfway across the world and bring her face to face with a ghost from her past.
Things are about to get personal. And as Holly Lin's enemies are about to find out, she is not a nanny they want to piss off.
No Shelter is 65,000 words long and recommended for fans of Lee Child, Barry Eisler, and Duane Swierczynski.
"Excellent -- memorable and something I'll read more than once." -- HTMLGIANT
Now if you've already read and reviewed both books, you're awesome. And if you want to make yourself even awesomer (yes, that's a word), feel free to do a combined review for Two Shot. Elizabeth and Holly would appreciate it very much. Oh, okay, and so would I.
Second, the backstory:
Combining books is not a new thing. Publishers have been doing it for many, many years (usually combining novels by mega best-selling authors like Dean Koontz or Michael Connelly or Nora Roberts). So with the ease and quickness of the digital marketplace, it's a no-brainer to combine books into one volume.
Only, when you do, be smart about it.
As I always say in regards to self-publishing, just because you can doesn't necessarily mean you should. The same applies here. Just because you can combine all four of your novels into one volume, you need to ask yourself: should you?
It all depends, of course, on the genre of your novels. If it's a series and they all feature the same main character, well then yes, certainly you should combine them.
If your novels fall into different genres -- one is horror, one is science fiction, one is mystery, one is romance -- then it's probably best not to combine them.
See what I'm saying here?
There seems to be a trend now with ebooks where some authors will just combine novels for the sake of combining novels. And while this can work sometimes, most times it can be a giant cluster.
For Two Shot, both novels feature strong female protagonists. Both novels are thrillers. Both, hopefully, play to the same kind of readership.
See what I mean?
Combining The Serial Killer's Wife and The Calling wouldn't really make sense, as the former is a straight-up thriller, the latter a supernatural thriller.
Now, if I were to publish another supernatural thriller, then maybe eventually I could combine that and The Calling.
It all really depends on the books, and how you think you can best market them.
My original one-line pitch for Two Shot was this:
Two Shot contains two kick ass thrillers featuring two kick ass women for one low kick ass price.
As you can imagine, my wife vetoed that pitch. Quickly and, I must say, rightly.
Finally, as always, price is important. Here I'm charging $4.99 for Two Shot in the US (£2.99 in the UK). This is pretty much a steal, as I've begun raising the price of my novels to $3.99. Not all of my titles are $3.99 yet, but eventually they will be, and in a year's time (if not less) I'll probably make Two Shot $5.99, which is still a bargain for the reader, plus I'm making some pretty good money on each unit sold. See -- everyone wins.
Third, the graphic designer:
Seriously, you had to ask?