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.
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.