Two Weeks Away ...

... until the launch of The Calling. Are you excited? You should be (or at least I would like you to be). Anyway, with the release date fast approaching, I'm reminded about the pros and cons of self-publishing. Yes, it's nice being in control of practically everything -- price, layout, cover art, etc. -- and it's nice being able to distribute to practically every e-reading device, but the fact remains that marketing is essential. Because you can publish your novel, but if nobody reads it, does it really exist? A major publisher can send advanced reader copies to hundreds of trade publications where the book can be reviewed and brought to the attention of potentially thousands and thousands of readers. Not the case here. There are a handful of places that do review self-published books, but they are no doubt overloaded. So what is a poor writer left to count on? Why, the wonderful magic of word of mouth, of course -- and that, my dear blog readers, is where you come in.

I'm looking for two things:

  1. For anyone willing to request an advanced reader copy of The Calling (well, more of an uncorrected proof PDF) and read the book in the next two weeks and post your review at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc. The book is lengthy, almost 100,000 words, so I understand if time is an issue. Even if it's a week or two into April, that's fine too, but I don't want requests from people who aren't serious and willing to read and review the book. And understand that I'm talking about honest reviews here. If you love it, great. If you think it's okay, that's fine. If it's not your cup of tea, that's totally understandable. None of it will hurt my feelings; I'm just appreciative that you would take the time to read some words that I've strung together.
  2. I'm going to try my hand at a mini blog tour for the first two weeks of April. I have some dates and sites already set up but would be happy to visit anyone's blog where I could do a guest post, an interview, talk about the book or publishing or whatever. Do keep in mind that The Calling is a supernatural thriller, so it's targeted more to readers who like that kind of genre, but if your blog is focused mainly on robotic erotica and you'd like me to stop by, then sure, I'm game.

So if either of those two things -- if not both -- appeal to you, please e-mail me at robert (at) robertswartwood (dot) com and let me know what you're thinking. This is, like everything else in life, an experiment, so we won't know whether it'll be successful until it happens. And of course I can't do that without your help and support. Thank you.