Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Behold Two-Cent Tuesday: One Final Effort

When the plan still was to release one Scarlet Knight story per month, I was going to work up one entry per month about the book being released.  But since absolutely no one cared about the second one, I just chucked the rest out the door and said the hell with it.  Anyway, this is one last attempt to make anyone care.  For the hell of it I'll start at the beginning because there might still be someone who's visited this blog and has no idea about this series yet.

Tales of the Scarlet Knight

Volume 0:  Dark Origins:  This is a prequel short story I wrote last October that explains how about 4000 years ago there was a war between rogue Egyptian goddess Isis and Merlin the wizard.  When Isis creates an evil warrior to serve her, Merlin responds by enlisting the aid of a young man named Artr in ancient Britain.  The boy becomes the Scarlet Warrior.

Price:  FREE!

Word Count:  23,000

(You can read it here on the blog or download it in ebook form from Smashwords.  It's still 99 cents on Amazon.)


Volume 1:  A Hero's Journey:   This is the first novel in the series.  It takes place in the year 2000.  Dr. Emma Earl is a nineteen-year-old genius who's haunted by the deaths of her parents when she was eight.  When she begins working at the Plaine Museum of Natural History in Rampart City, strange things begin to happen.  A weird object shows up at the museum and then during a presentation part of the museum explodes and Emma is nearly disemboweled by a monstrous creature in black armor.  Later, she has a vision of her mother guiding her to the museum's sub-subbasement, where she finds a magic suit of red plate armor created by Merlin the wizard.  Emma has to put on the armor to save the world from the evil Black Dragoon before it's too late...

Price:  $2.99

Word Count:  87,000

Volume 2:  Time Enough to Say Goodbye:  About 18 months later, Emma gets word about two men who may have killed her parents 13 years ago.  While she investigates that, a mysterious young woman named Marie Marsh is trying to summon dark powers to go back in time and save a little girl in 1876 named Veronica Windham.  To do this, Marie enlists the aid of a man going by the alias the Watchmaker.  When Marie and the Watchmaker are successful and bring Veronica to the present, it creates an alternate timeline.  In this timeline, Emma finds that she's not the Scarlet Knight, she's about to wed the love of her life, Dan Dreyfus, and her parents are still alive!  Emma has to decide whether keeping her parents alive is worth the threat of a rising demon army...

Price:  $1.99

Word Count:  89,000

Volume 3:  The Hazards of Love:  For five years Emma has pined for Dr. Dan Dreyfus, who's spent most of that time in Egypt searching for ancient artifacts.  He finally returns to Rampart City with some ancient artifacts--and a new bride!  Her name is Isis and as bodies begin to turn up with their hearts missing and the evil Black Dragoon returns to rampage through the city again, Emma realizes Isis is not who she appears to be.  She may in fact be the Scarlet Knight's greatest foe!  (Which you'd know if you read volume 0.)

Price:  $1.99

Word Count:  89,000

(On a side note, Michael Offutt beta read it and said it's better than even the first one.  Which it is.)

Volume 4:  Change of Heart:  For the last nine months, Emma has been without a job.  She's had to sell off most of her possessions like her motorcycle.  Then she loses her apartment.  To make it worse, her best friend Becky is still angry with Emma about her fiance's murder while Dan Dreyfus is angry with the Scarlet Knight about his wife's apparent murder.  To escape all these problems and earn some much-needed cash, Emma takes a job in Russia for a man named Bykov, who turns out to be a gangster.  He's in possession of a strange meteor that inadvertently causes Emma to switch bodies with her friend Becky.  As Emma (as Becky) tries to find a way to change them back, Becky (as Emma) takes up the Scarlet Knight's armor to fight a monster also created by the meteor.

Price:  $1.99

Word Count:  98,000

(They just did this recently in the Spider-Man comics where he switches bodies with Doctor Octopus.  Clearly they must have read my rough drafts of this book in 2010.)

Volume 5:  Betrayal Begets Blood:  The day starts ordinarily enough for Emma Earl.  Then she realizes that one of her students has gone missing.  While searching for the missing girl, Emma is shocked to find out someone's tried to kill her underground ally the Sewer Rat.  She's even more shocked when she finds out her witch friend Sylvia is plotting against Emma and the rest of her friends.  Sylvia's not doing it by choice; she's doing it to save her boyfriend.  But who's pulling her strings and why?  And who will make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save Rampart City and the world?

Price:  $1.99

Word Count:  109,000

(Also Joss Whedon and Christopher Nolan must have read my rough drafts for the end of this one in 2010.)

Volume 6:  Future Shock:  Six months later, Emma is struggling to cope with being pregnant while still maintaining her job as the Scarlet Knight.  Things get more difficult when an assassin with magical abilities comes after her.  When Emma seeks shelter in an archive of witch spells, one of them is activated to send her 20 years into the future.  There Emma meets her grown daughter Louise, who is destined to become the next Scarlet Knight and save the world from an enemy in Emma's past.

Price $1.99

Word Count:  138,000

(This is incidentally my favorite of the series.)


Volume 7:  Living Sacrifice:  (SPOILER ALERT!)  For the last two years, Emma has lived with the pain and guilt of thinking her daughter died just hours after she was born.  But then an agent of Russian gangster Sergei Bykov tells Emma her daughter is alive in Russia with Bykov.  Emma and the Sewer Rat rush off to Russia in order to save Louise.  Meanwhile, a group of half-witch assassins is after witch Aggie Chiostro's infant daughter.  To stop them, Aggie and her niece Cecelia travel the globe to search for the mysterious leader of the assassins, known only as the Headmistress.  Yet an even greater evil is waiting in the wings, ready to plunge the whole world into darkness!

Price: $1.99

Word Count:  112,000


Volume 8:  The Heart of Emma Earl:  The evil goddess Isis has returned and only Emma Earl can stop her.  There's just one problem:  Emma's gone missing!  As the only one in the world who hasn't been brainwashed by Isis yet, Tim Cooper ventures into a parallel universe to get the tools to allow him to enter Isis's realm and rescue Emma so she can try to vanquish Isis once and for all!

(And there's really a lot more going on in this one, but I don't want to give too much away.  As you'll see from the word count, this is an epic.)

Price $1.99

Word Count:  158,000 (Told you it was epic.)

There you have it!  As you can see, it is a sprawling epic of massive proportions.  It's a real bargain at only $1.99 per book.  I mean for $1.99 you can't even buy a new comic book that's only 23 pages long!  If you don't believe me, just check out DC or Marvel online...I'll wait.  And have you seen how much it is for a movie ticket these days?  That's only going to entertain you for 2 1/2 hours--if that.  This is a much better way to get some epic superhero adventure.

While I'm tilting at windmills, in two weeks I'll talk about my other series, The Chances Are series!

12 comments:

  1. No one can accuse you of not working hard at marketing, which I've learned is nearly as hard as writing a novel.

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  2. If I were you, I'd try and get about 10 review for Dark Origins then set it for free on Amazon by using the price matching method or at least the select method. You might get a few people reading here on your blog, but this isn't really a good way to reach readers. Also if you go free on Amazon, there are numerous sites you can contact before your book goes free (and I can give you a list) although the most difficult part of that is many of them want to see 10+ reviews averaging in the 4 star range at least. Getting reviews is difficult too. I remember offering review copies on all kinds of forums. Facebook, Goodreads, Kindleboards, and book bloggers.

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    Replies
    1. I've given away 92 copies on Smashwords and gotten 0 reviews. Unfortunately I can't put a gun to people's heads to make them read or review it.

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    2. I don't know what it is about Smashwords, but people there don't buy your other books or very seldom review. I have heard that most of the people there are looking for free books. I've had the same results as you on Smashwords that's why I took my novels off Smashwords and went for Kindle Select. All I can say is Kindle select works for me, but it's still not easy. Also with all your Kindle files make sure you have the links to your books in front and back of each one.

      So since I need something to read while on the boring treadmill, I'm going to buy Dark Origins on Kindle and I will review it too.

      Delete
    3. I've actually been selling as much or more on B&N's PubIt than on Amazon since the start of the year, which is a reason not to use Kindle Select.

      Delete
  3. Cindy has good marketing advice. I intend to read all the Scarlet Knight books. I just have little time right now between my health, work, stuff going on with my parents moving to Salt Lake City to go into an assisted living center, finding a house, etc.

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  4. I still think, even if you never thought and will never consider it yourself, that you've basically structured the Scarlet Knight series as a young readers adventure, and should maybe consider marketing in that direction.

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    Replies
    1. If kids want to read it, more power to them. At this point I'll take ANYONE reading them.

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  5. Hmmm. Sounds like the strategy is suffering a bit. Like Tony said, maybe the YA market is the way to go.

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  6. As for reviews, I had over 3000 downloads of free bits of Spinner in March and 0 reviews for the whole month. It's just hard to get people to take the time to do it since Amazon won't allow just a rating.

    I will get to your stuff... at some point. I just have this huge stack of stuff I needed to read last year, still. :/

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  7. You're an awesome writer. And apparently your sales are very good. But getting people to review stuff is difficult. Most people don't want to create stuff, I've decided. It's the same old problem with comments as with reviews: lots of pageviews/sales/hits, but very few comments/reviews.

    I'm no marketing guy. So I've got nothing, other than my rant a few weeks back when you announced you were quitting writing. But I think you should go on writing. And maybe marketing them as kids books isn't a bad idea. Why not send a few to libraries at middle schools near you?

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  8. A little late here. I dream about making money at this, but don't think I've given marketing a second thought.

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