by Cheri Lasota
Author | Editor | Ebook Designer
SpireHouse Books launched Cheri Lasota’s first novel, Artemis Rising, in Sept 2011. The book is a YA historical fantasy based on mythology and set in the exotic Azores Islands.
Currently, Cheri is writing and researching her second novel, a YA set on the Oregon Coast. Over the course of her sixteen-year career, she has edited fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, and short stories for publication. Cheri also has twenty-four years of experience writing poetry and fiction. Learn more about Artemis Rising at http://www.cherilasota.com or buy it at http://bit.ly/ArtemisRisingNovel.
People often ask me why I haven’t released a paperback of my debut novel, Artemis Rising. I tell them what I’ll tell you: I’m test-marketing. I don’t want to miss this awesome chance to make adjustments to the book that will help to make it more marketable.
I published with E-Publisher SpireHouse Books precisely so that I could have the opportunity to make changes to the novel, essentially ensuring that I was releasing the highest quality ebook I could.
Elements you can change in an ebook
Elements you can add to an ebook
These types of changes are quick and are much easier to update than a paperback would be. Bear in mind, too, that reader reviews can make or break a book in terms of sales. If your novel is littered with formatting or grammatical errors, even one Amazon.com review drawing attention to that fact can damage future sales. If you were unaware of errors at publication time, you’re sure to hear of it soon from your readers. Pay attention to what they’re saying. Make changes. Get an editor to go through your manuscript. Never stop improving your book. The benefit will show clearly in your sales.
I would say the No. 1 advantage for choosing the indie route is that you can keep your ebook rights. These rights are priceless for so many reasons, but the main benefit is the flexibility electronic publishing offers an author. An indie ebook author is in it for the long haul. Sales and marketing is measured in years, not months (as in the traditional book model). You don’t have to prove yourself within three months or risk being pulled from the shelves and going out of print.
The field is wide open for you to make your mark in the book world. You can plan a long-term strategy with multiple large-scale campaigns and book redesigns. How cool is that? Many traditionally published authors are snagging their rights back on previously published, older books and repackaging them to sell on their own. If you fall into that camp, don’t hesitate! Get your book out there and make it earn its keep. It’s a fantastic time to put a book out there in the market to see how it flies.
As for my novel, Artemis Rising, we’ve recently changed the cover design slightly and added a different tagline: “Escape Your Name. Escape Your Fate.” We’ve changed the pricing. We’ve added an excerpt from Winnemucca, another YA novel by Laura Elliott for cross-promotional marketing. We’ve added images of ancient maps to highlight the book’s setting.
One of the most amazing things we’ve been able to do is make updates to some cultural references in Artemis Rising. The story is set in the Azores Islands, Portugal. I’ve had very little research material to reference while writing, but I recently joined an Azorean Facebook group with over 44,000 members. Many of them have been gracious enough to offer me their expertise and share their experiences and family histories. This new knowledge went directly into my recent edits of Artemis Rising. None of that would have been possible if I hadn’t had the ability to make quick edits to the ebook.
If you are still considering how you want to publish your next novel—traditional or indie—consider quick edits an excellent benefit of indie publishing as you carefully weigh your decision.
Back to test-marketing. Remember I mentioned genre in the above bulleted list? I’m currently considering two target markets: young adult girls and women in their 20s to 40s. Artemis Rising has crossover appeal for many reasons. It has attracted attention from those interested in mythology, historical novels, and the Azores Islands. These are all avenues I can explore as I test-market this book.
To explain more fully, I can focus on one market at a time by making changes to the ebook file to better target a specific audience. For example, if I’m targeting those who have an interest in mythology, I can change the historical maps (bonus content) to information, links and images that represent the mythologies that I feature in the novel. When I want to shift focus to another target market, I would simply update the file to include elements focusing on other features of the book.
Consider test-marketing and quick edits as essential elements of your book marketing plan. They can make a huge difference in your book sales over time. Explore and experiment and you’ll find that the possibilities are endless with ebooks. Seize your market!
… about the novel or contact Cheri at CheriLasota.com, Twitter or Facebook. The book is available in all digital formats and can be purchased at SpireHouseBooks.com, iTunes, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and KoboBooks.com.
YA Historical Fantasy - 101,000 words
E-book Available on iTunes, KoboBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble $4.99
E-book Card Edition $2.99 (Exclusive content on an author-signed gift card)
Brief pitch for Artemis Rising
Torn between her father’s Catholicism and her mother’s Pagan beliefs, Eva finally chooses Paganism. She accepts the name of Arethusa but learns too late that her life will mirror the Greek nymph’s tragic fate. When they sail to the Azores Islands, her mother tells her that the fulfillment of her destiny rests with Diogo, the shipowner’s son. But Eva sees a vision of another...
When the ship founders off the Azores, Tristan, a young Azorean, saves her. Destined to be with Diogo and aching for Tristan’s forbidden love, Eva must somehow choose between them, or fate will soon choose for her.
I have read all of your chapters more slowly than is my wont simply because I could not bear to miss a moment of savouring the beauty of your prose, the power of your story, the strength of your imagery, the scents, the sounds, the contrasts ... this is just one of those magic books where I want to banish the world and all its cares and interruptions and immerse myself in this heady passion-flower of a book which you have created.
—Linda Horne, EbookItReviews.com
Artemis Rising is an intriguing and complex tale, yet in the hands of author Cheri Lasota, the story flows seamlessly, gathering the reader into a world so real you can smell the bergamot along with Eva, feel the pitching of a storm-tossed ship, and the sweet taste of first love. Yet Eva’s world, Arethusa’s world, is one of magic, a place where themes of ancient myth and religious thought meet, confront, and struggle for supremacy.
—Alice Lynn, Author of Volunteer for Glory
This is the sort of writing in which it is impossible to discern the workings, the scaffolding and the glue: it is effortless to read, which speaks of careful crafting and polishing, and your setting is convincing without ever once feeling like a history lesson. I felt comfortable in it—so much so, that I forgot about being a reviewer and just became a reader, lost in an engrossing story. I would buy this.
—Louise Galvin, author of Souvenirs