House Arrest

[Just so I don’t bury the lead: skip the prattle and go right to the end for your free book!]

A million years ago (it feels like a million years ago, but it may have only been November) I launched my newest anthology of noir stories. Petty Crimes and Vindictive Criminals was a spiritual follow-up to my previous collection, Raw and Other Stories. Many of the tales featured direct and indirect connections to the ever expanding universe in my oeuvre of fiction, with appearances of characters like Tracy Poole from Necropolis, and underworld fixer, Derek Dunlan.

Raw had been a surprising success, boasted by the titular story getting shortlisted for a Bram Stoker Award nomination shortly before release. Assurances that anthologies tend not to sell well were undermined by steady movement on the Raw front that continues to this day. As well as it did on Amazon, I found it was getting even more rave reviews and reads on a pirate site.

I should probably be cross about that, but I suspect a lot of the paperback sales on Amazon were from those same pirates who liked my book well enough to want a physical copy. So…uh…good advertising, I guess.

I planned a much more aggressive launch for Petty Crimes, with snippets of stories getting featured on various social media outlets, along with art and cover reveals, and nearly half the book’s content dripped out to my Patreon page for one-dollar backers. This was not a fire-and-forget ad campaign. This was a daily push.

The response? Tumbleweeds. I think I maybe heard a few crickets chirping, but it might have only been my tinnitus acting up.

Even as I pushed forward on the next novels in my schedule, I considered how I could pick up the pieces with Petty Crimes and get it to readers via standard promotions and keyword advertising. And then the whole world shut down. You may have heard about it. I think it made the news.

Atrophy set in. Nobody was getting much done, myself included. But even hermit writers get bored in quarantine, and it’s time to start ramping back up.

Readers who follow my newletter, blog, or Patreon should be the first to know that the ebook edition of Petty Crimes and Vindictive Criminals is free this week—for the first time since launch. The free promotion will be announced on Freebooksy shortly, but you can beat the ecrowds and grab your copy right now.

The book is currently sitting at zero reviews, which I never like to see. If you give it a look, please don’t hesitate to express an opinion on Amazon (or elsewhere). Or you can just give it a simple star rating. Every bit helps. Who knows? If we can raise the profile a little, it might get stolen by a pirate site and then it will really take off!

Fingers crossed.

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