On the E.J. news front, my New Adult contemporary novel, Perfectly Ernest, is releasing Labor Day weekend. (Less than a month away! *dry heaves from nerves*)
I'd love to have your help spreading the word! Here's a sign up for a book blast/cover reveal. It is scheduled for the last week of August/first week of September.
Even if you don't have openings on your blog during that two week period, I'll also send some canned tweets and Facebook messages. Any little thing you can do to help me get the word out is greatly appreciated.
Here's what this story is all about:
From a distance, Ernie’s life seems perfect—he’s a star college baseball player adored by the student body and coveted by professional teams. Up close, he is a disaster. Since the death of his mother, he’s been trapped by a promise he made and forced to live her dream instead of his own. He reaches his breaking point in the biggest game of his young career and sets off a chain of events that will either define or destroy the rest of his life.
Ernie grudgingly joins a quirky campus counseling group that empowers him to heal himself and right his wrongs. By testing old friendships, forging unlikely new ones, and exploring an exciting romance, he begins to unravel the jumbled knot his tangled inner-psyche has become. But old rivals, mental illness, and the risk of a forbidden relationship soon threaten his progress. Will Ernie's new direction and friends be his salvation, or confirmation that he is forever doomed by his imperfections?
Perfectly Ernest is a New Adult contemporary novel with romantic elements by author E.J. Wesley. Ernest offers a smart, funny, sweet, sexy, uplifting, and oftentimes poignant perspective of one person's difficult transition into adulthood. It is a story about overcoming the demons of mental illness and struggling with the profound burden of expectations—both real and imagined. But it’s mostly a tale of friendship, hope, and love.
|Add Perfectly Ernest to your TBR!|
Fiction's Dirty Little Secret: Size Matters
|Click for more info on IWSG!|
I'm talking about the fiction I write. You see, I have a series of novelettes out. Each individual story ranges from 12-17 thousand words. They're short by design, meant to be enjoyed like your favorite TV shows or a fun-sized candy bar. A couple of delicious bites that simultaneously curb your craving and leave you wanting more.
I get the occasional complaint that the stories are too short, but those have mostly come from folks who didn't read the product description. (Or don't realize it's an ongoing series for whatever reasons.) By and large, the feedback I've gotten is that they are enjoyable stories by themselves. So no big worries there.
But then I wrote (and completed) my first novel, Perfectly Ernest. I outlined a story and wrote that story to the best of my ability. While I'd originally planned for it to be around 75k, it ended up being 60. Why? Because that was the story. Anything else I would've added would've been filler or fluff in my mind.
So what's the big deal, E.J.? Sounds like you're happy with the results.
I'm truly thrilled with how the book turned out. It packs the emotional punch I dreamed it would when I first came up with the idea, and also has this weird ability to leave readers feeling warm and fuzzy. (I say weird, because I never planned on this being a feel good story--but I think it somehow is now.) Also, early reviewers are telling me it's a page turner, which is something I always put high on my to-do list.
The big deal is that some readers balk at anything less than 80k being worthy of the title of novel. I've known about the reader size bias for a while. Because of my experience with the Moonsongs series, I know there are readers who won't touch shorter fiction. It's just their preference.
But when an author friend did an informal poll on Facebook the other day, I had my eyes opened to a new kind of size bias: The price Vs size bias.
This friend asked her followers what the single most important factor in making a book purchase was. Many people listed positive reviews, recommendations from friends, and other common factors. But there were many who said they first look at price and word count on the product description.
Most were reluctant to pay more than .99 cents for anything under 80k--no mater what the reviews said. I guess it took me by surprise, because my first concern as a reader is if I'm going to enjoy the story. I've also loved a number of short stories and I realize size isn't going to necessarily indicative of how much I'm going to enjoy a read.
Here's a list of the word lengths for several great novels. I find myself wondering just how many great reads these people are missing out on. Is Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five worth less than a buck because it doesn't hit 50k? A chunk of Ray Bradbury's stuff doesn't hit 70k, neither does John Green's A Fault in Our Stars. The Great Gatsby is around 47k.
Now, I realize these are certified classics, and that Unknown Indie Author X (ME) is in a different class. But lots of someones have to read these stories before they become classics. Seems like a shame to miss out on something possibly great because of arbitrary things like word count and/or price point.
Ultimately, this all leaves me feeling a touch vulnerable when it comes to Perfectly Ernest. How many people are going to walk right by it because it's not going to take them a month to read, or because the author had the nerve to charge $3 for it?
If they saw how much time, grief, and money we spend writing these things, it would probably make more sense. I'm thinking about putting that info in the product description from now on.
"This book took me 8 months, 3 lost friendships, 17 marital fights, 1 disgruntled dog, 2 neglected children, and $2,500 to produce, advertise, and distribute. Thanks for parting with $2.99 and being entertained for hours. Sorry if my blood, sweat, and tear stains slow you down!" LOL (Actually, not a bad idea...)
What do you think? Does size matter when you're browsing for new reads? What about price?