Just Possibly the Best Novel You’ve Never Read… for 99 Cents


Bait and Switch

UPDATE: the book is now ALSO available via Smashwords and all linked digital sources (Nook, iPad, etc), for this promotional price.  Still smoothing out some formatting stuff, but the book is up and ready to read now.  Thanks, Kate, for the nudge.)

That headline makes me nervous. 

Not because I’m stretching credibility or celebrating misplaced ego.  But because I know how some people respond to anything that remotely smacks of self-aggrandizement.  But I’m at a point in my life and my career where I shouldn’t care what people think, provided I’m being true to them, and myself.

And in this case, I believe I am.  My 2004 novel, “Bait and Switch,” may indeed be the best novel you’ve never read, or at least close, at any price. 

Not because I think so.  But because Publishers Weekly did, along with the hundreds of readers who either reviewed the book or wrote to me directly, out of the tens of thousands who bought and read it.

Yeah, you read that right.  Tens of thousands.  So why the big deal right now?  More on that in a minute.

“Bait and Switch” is a story about a guy in the ad biz who’s tired of being an underwear model (you know, the bod on the box of new Jockeys) and a player, almost as much as he’s tired of the ad biz itself.  He gets a job offer he can’t refuse: a Silicon Valley billionaire wants him to seduce his trophy wife, which, if successful, will negate the world’s largest pre-nuptial agreement.  Our guy, Wolfgang Schmitt, will get $5 million and free access to a fleet of jets, personal assistants and a variety of resorts and the delicious perks of this lifestyle, but only if he succeeds.  And, if he survives the agenda of a beautiful but very likely dangerous lawyer.  If he fails, he’ll have to make do for only $1 million and a whole bunch of stories to tell.

It’s fun, thrilling, sexy, vicarious and voyeuristic ride (don’t we all wonder what it would be like to live like a billionaire?), with an ending that you won’t see coming. 

You can read the reviews HERE, including the starred review from Publishers Weekly (which they show twice… don’t ask me why, though I don’t mind).

There’s a story behind this novel and the re-launch.

First, here’s the deal: “Bait and Switch” is available on Kindle, and via Smashwords (and other linked sources such as Nook and Books for iPad) in the month of July for a strategic but real 99 cents. 

My objective with this promotion, in addition to getting it into digital, is to see if what I’m hearing about the power of social media in the realm of digital publishing is true, and I’m uniquely positioned to do so.  Why?  Because of this blog, which I’ve labored over for two years and a month, and the roughly 5000 of you that read it every day.

That’s a nice head start.  According to the experts in this new field – especially Joe Konrath and John Locke, who is the first Kindle author not attached to a “Big 6” publisher to sell over 1 million copies of his work – success is a product of web visibility and relationships.  Of earning a readership.

I hope you agree, I’ve worked hard to earn yours.

That’s where you come in.  Perhaps you’ve been reading Storyfix for a while, perhaps you’re among a highly valued flock of newbies.  Either way, you know I spill it all on these pages, that I pay zero attention to SEO and affiliate pimping, and aside from letting you know about my books, I ask nothing in return other than your growth as a writer.

My little chip shot into the universe from the rear deck of the karma train.

I’m still asking for nothing in return.  But it’s a safe bet you love reading fiction, and – based on what you’ll read here next – it’s a safe bet you’ll like, maybe even love, “Bait and Switch.”  (On Smashwords HERE.)

This isn’t about money, other than your chance to save a few bucks on a good book.  Rather… I want to get in on the first wave of this new publishing phenomenon.  And, because I’ll be re-launching my other three “Big 6” published novels (to which I now own all rights) soon, hopefully in July as well. 

All I ask if that if you like “Bait and Switch,” you’ll blurb it online somewhere, to Tweet it.  And if you love it, that you’ll tell some reader friends and let them get in on this 99 cent deal.  From there I’ll count on what seems to happen organically… many of you will buy and read my other books on Kindle, and on other ePub formats (such as the B&N Nook and Books for iPad).

If you don’t like it, tell me and I’ll send you your dollar back.  Really.  Not even Konrath and Locke are offering that deal.

The Story Behind the Book

The book, which was published as a mass market paperback original (which you can still get through Amazon as a used book), was a critical home run.  To wit:

It received a starred review from Publishers Weekly when released by Signet (a Penguin Putnam imprint) in July of 2004. 

PW named it their lead Editor’s Choice in that month, along with names such as Jeffrey Deaver and Walter Mosley (which weren’t the lead choice).

At year-end they named it to two lists: “Best Overlooked Books of 2004” (the only paperback so named), and “Best Books of 2004 – Mass Market” (lead entry in the cagetory; scroll down a bit to the Mass Market category, you’ll see my cover next to the listing).

Thanks for considering this, and if you aren’t, for tolerating it. 

We’ll finish up our deconstruction of “The Help” next week.  Happy 4th to all.

Feel free to read a sample chapter (on the steamy side, be forewarned) HERE

Go to the Kindle page HERE

Go to the SMASHWORDS page HERE.

Another reason you should part with a buck for “Bait and Switch” — if enough folks opt-in during July, I’m planning a deconstruction of the novel here on Storyfix.  Which will be interesting because, unlike the other deconstructions I’ve done here, this one will come from the author’s point of view, so there’s no lack of clarity about intentions regarding structural milestones and the various contextual parts and elements.

I’ll have to reread it myself, in that case, too.


Filed under other cool stuff

29 Responses to Just Possibly the Best Novel You’ve Never Read… for 99 Cents

  1. Well, if you are doing a deconstruction of Bait and Switch, I’m buying (paper version though. I like to doodle notes in my books).

  2. Craig

    Purchased. You’re a great teacher and your posts and ebook rock. May you find all the success Obi Wan never had a chance to enjoy. Thanks to the Internet it took me 2.4 seconds and $0.99 to snag a great book. The mind boggles. Good luck … let’s shoot for a million copies and a new car for the boy in college!

  3. So how does this work if you don’t have a Kindle?

  4. Done Larry,
    I too, am hoping to ride the first wave of this publishing phenomenon, although without the platform that you have already created.

    I’ve purchased other hardcopies of your previous books, but here’s the power of ebooks… no shelf life, you can take a previous title that “…may indeed be the best novel you’ve never read…” and bam, here it is for us once again to enjoy. For those of us who have only discovered you in the past year or so, now we can go back and get your previous titles where before we would have to stumble into some used book store to find the proverbial needle in the haystack.

    The take home message, get the rest of your past work converted to ebooks so we can keep buying your stuff!

    And Mary in the comment above, you can download a free Kindle reader for PC when you order Larry’s book.

    Thanks Larry, keep on cranking,

  5. Hey, Larry!
    A second to Mary’s question — can we get it in Nook format?
    And I’d buy in it paper format, too. Is there a link here for that? I’m not seeing it….
    Ditto to Jim’s comment — Keep on cranking. I’ve learned more from your blog and “Story Engineering” than from years of classes and workshops and writer’s conferences.

  6. I had already bought Bait and Switch, as well as Story Engineering. I’ve been following your deconstructions and wanted another example of a well-structured book. Please DO deconstruct B&S. Hearing the author’s take would give another facet to the study.

    I enjoyed the story – I think you attained your purpose. I’m currently rereading it. A major problem I had was with the “from Bullshit in America” blurbs at the beginning of the chapters. They totally distracted me from the continuity of the story – like trying to read a book and having someone constantly interrupt to read a part of their newspaper to you. I finally skipped them, which increased my enjoyment of the story. (I read them later and appreciated them more as separate entities.)

    Thanks for all you do so generously to help us writers! Your blog is the only place I’ve found any useful deconstruction information. I applaud your efforts.

    Nann Dunne

  7. I do hope you’re planning on releasing it on Barnes and Noble and Smashwords so that the hundreds of thousands of us who did NOT choose Kindle as our e-reader will also have an opportunity to read it. Otherwise, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot and leaving a huge segment of the ebook reading community out of your promo plan here.

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  9. I bought it and will start reading on my lunch hour.

  10. If you don’t have a Kindle you can download a free kindle app from Amazon and read it on your computer.

  11. You have my support, Larry. I’ve not only purchased the book — and so looking forward to reading it! — but I’ve tweeted the link to your blog. Can’t wait for the deconstruction in July.

  12. Kristin

    I agree with the others- please release it on B&N for the NOOK! It sounds good and I’ll buy it as soon as you do. I have no interest on reading it on my PC in a kindle app. I read mostly on my NOOK, as do many others! 🙂

  13. San

    Larry, my fav OWC calendar cheesey, you’re making me want a Kindle. Not to fear, I did buy your book when it came out and it was really good. Seventh Thunder still on my stack of “to-reads.” Thanks for all you do. Your spirit lifts and inspires the rest of us writers to persevere.

  14. Jo Vandewall

    Actually, Larry, I have read it. It’s a great book. When I tell others about you, I say, “Larry Brooks is like a darker, more twisted version of Harlan Coben.” I don’t even try to anticipate your plot twists anymore. I just sit back and enjoy the ride.

  15. Thanks for the great July 4th gift. I was hooked on the book just reading the summary. I’ve got it downloaded and ready to go. Just need to grab a glass of ice tea.

  16. Sue Bronson

    Darn right! It is one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I’ve got two copies–my own, autographed copy, and one that I use to loan out since it didn’t seem to be available anymore. Glad to hear it will be on Kindle, Larry. I know several people at the pool who are using Kindle, or one of the other reading devices. Look forward to your class in the fall. Anyone reading this can find out about it at oregonwriterscolony.org. (Just a little plug)

  17. UPDATE — the novel is now available through SMASHWORDS, which, when purchased there, allows you download in a variety of formats, including NOOK, ePub (for iPad and Apple notebooks), as a PDF and other options.

    Thanks for your patience. The formatting is being tweaked, so if you opt in on SW in the next few hours, you may see some hinky typeface issues, but I’m working those out.

    Thanks to Kate Nolan for the gentle shove, always appreciated.

    Check some of the above comments for other ways to get at this. And THANK YOU for your support, the out-of-the-blocks response has been wonderful. L.

  18. 2nd UPDATE — just learned, while the book is available now on Smashwords, it needs to pass through to a higher level called “Premium Distribution” before it goes out to Nook, the Apple bookstore and other linked venues. You probably knew that… I didn’t… but it should happen soon. The version availabe on Smashwords now is totally readable, if not perfectly formatted… will update when that next level has been reached.

    By the way, Smashwords does a human review of these submissions. They also provide updates to where one’s project is in the queue… my latest revision, submitted a couple of hours ago, sits at #321 (it entered at #529). An interesting process. If I fell off the learning curve now I’d need a parachute. L.

  19. Kerry Meacham

    Bought it Larry. Can’t wait for te deconstruct.

  20. Darren Cox

    Hi Larry,

    Bought it on the iPhone Kindle App. Reading now; wow! I love the character’s voice. Such a fun read so far. Can’t wait for the deconstruction.

    Keep up the terrific work.



  21. Love it! I’ll go get it today. Looking forward to the deconstruction. Also took the liberty of adding a few tags: larry brooks, ebook, thriller, to help w/ Amazon search and “bestseller” stuff. Hope it helps!

  22. Brian

    Bought it, linked to it on my Facebook page. I’m about 1/4 of the way through, and am liking it so far. Will pimp it on Google+ later.

  23. Okay, Larry. I bought the book. Blogged about it. Linked to it. Tweeted it. Definitely curious to see how many copies this promotion gets for you.

    BTW – just finished reading it. I agree with an earlier comment about the “Bullshit” chapter headings. They pulled me out of the flow of the story. I stopped reading them about halfway through and it went smoother. My husband would love the movie and this novel reads like a movie. It is so much a male fantasy that I had a bit of a hard time swallowing it all.

  24. Looking forward to reading this on Nook. I am reading Story Engineering now to do a review and I love it. It is clear and is different than other writing books in that it actually tells you what to do and how to do it. Great work.

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  26. Got it last weekend, and I’m enjoying it so far. If you are working on formatting issues, the Kindle version could stand some rework as well. Issues I found include:

    * Words that are hyphenated even though they are in the middle of a sentence rather than at the end.
    * Paragraph breaks (including an indent) in the middle of a sentence (e.g. the sentence starts at end of one paragraph and continues through the beginning of next paragraph — really confusing.)
    * Some headings blend into the text and don’t stand out in any way.

    I can probably find specific examples if you need them. These issues smell strongly of “automated conversion,” which is notoriously problematic.

  27. Just bought it, Larry! Can’t wait to start reading and deconstructing.

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  29. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning
    this article plus the rest of the website is also really