The Woes of Publishing in Quarantine

Launching a book in the middle of quarantine brings a lot of dismay. We are trying to compensate for the lost coverage Blackbox Protocol deserves. … Continue reading >The Woes of Publishing in Quarantine

So. One of the things we attempt to do, when we’re about to do a book launch, is gather advanced readers and reviewers. We then line that up with as many events as we can, usually centered around a convention, and launch the book in conjunction with that convention in order to boost sales as much as possible. This is about the only way we know to have a shot at getting a small-press book on the front page of Amazon; and let’s face it, that’s about the only way we can compete with the big boys in terms of sales. Which means this whole quarantine thing is a real stumbling-block for us. 

A while ago, we conceived the Neverwhen Chronicles project. This is going to be an ongoing series of novellas set in the fabulous Neverwhen tabletop gaming universe by Dragondyne Publishing. It’s an exciting project for both companies, and we were super-excited to be launching the book at this year’s Miscon. It would have been an amazing book launch – the energy that runs through that little Montana convention is just incredible, and I have no doubt it would have put the first book of the Chronicles, entitled Blackbox Protocol, up on that front page. We had pre-launch parties set for a number of conventions to gather advanced readers, including a collaborative one with Dragondyne at the great Norwescon.

However, that all went kaput because of COVID-19. And worse, we couldn’t re-set for the book launch, because Amazon only let us delay the book launch by one month. That means that Blackbox Protocol launched on June 21, 2020, but with very little buildup. Very few Book Review Team readers. None of our normal momentum, and none of our in-person buildup. 

We did, however, launch the book via a Facebook live event. The event went well, all things considered. We showcased the book and read excerpts; we also hosted several giveaways that drew in a good-sized crowd. Turning a seemingly impossible situation into something brighter. 

Now, I like to tout success. And our first project, Well, It’s Your Cow, has been wildly successful. It’s being sold nationwide, is in bookstores, constantly sells out on the convention table, and was, as far as the first project we took on as a small press, just a fabulous success.

I’ll be honest, thoughBlackbox Protocol is not currently lined up for success the way we want it to be. Which is a shame, because Bethany Loy is an incredible new author. It’s true that I co-authored this with her, worked with her on structure, wrote many of the scenes within, but this is really her brainchild–and she hit it out of the park. When we showed it to Dustin Gross – the owner of Dragondyne Publishing and the genius behind the Neverwhen universe to begin with – his response was, “It is a marvelous story that encapsulates the diverse elements of Neverwhen and Manzala. You knocked it out of the park.”

He’s not wrong. This is a gripping, high-speed story that will draw you in and then sucker punch you when you least expect it. It’s really good, and it’s not getting the attention we think it deserves, because quarantine has really thrown a monkey wrench in how we go about launching a book.

So. We need help.  We need people to order, and then we need them to review Blackbox Protocol. You can order the book on either AmazonBarnes & Noble Online or Kobo. Normally, I’d be at the con table, glad-handing and scraping for every review. I’d be smiling and pushing and trying to get this done. Instead, I’m at home, quarantined, and sending this blog post out to the internet. Please, please do not let this great story languish because we couldn’t host a live book launch at cons.

Thank you for your continued support. 

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