Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shadowlight E-xperiment

Last month I committed to trying an e-ARC experiment for my October release, Shadowlight. I thought I'd provide some stats on how that's gone so far:

Distributed: 73 e-ARCs via e-mail.
Labor (preparing/converting the manuscript into the e-ARC, responding to e-mails): 17-1/2 hours

Reviews posted that I've read so far:

(Another) 52 Books/Bibliophile

B&N.com's Shadowlight sales page (Eight reviews)

Bellwood Farm/Laura

Beyond the Invisible/Soleil Noir

Blue Heron Creek/Debra Saturday

The Book Book/Chad

Chapters, Canada/Bookworm

My Writing Existence/Anne

One Book Away from Heaven/Pattepoilue

Stray Thoughts Of Margaret Fisk

There are definitely more reviews out there, and a bunch of links waiting for me to check out in my e-mail box. I do want to read them before I post them here, not to screen them but as a courtesy to everyone who took the time to request the e-ARC, read it and write them up.

A couple of people have e-mailed me about the possibility of e-ARCs resulting in lost sales of the print novel. While I don't expect everyone who received an e-ARC will end up buying the print version of the novel (nor would I), many of these readers had never read any of my books before, and several have commented via e-mail or in their reviews that they're going to buy or check out from the library more of my backlist. Basically what I lose in sales of the print novel I'll likely double or triple in backlist sales. Since all of the Darkyn novels are still in print, as well as most of the StarDoc books, this helps keep more of my books in print. I'll sacrifice a few current-release sales for that.

Most popular/universal comment so far: some form of "I loved Rowan!" Which is good, because originally I pitched Delilah's story, not Rowan's, as the second book in this series (and that is what ended up on the contract.) As I was writing Shadowlight, however, Rowan came out so strong on the page that I asked my editor if I could instead write book two about her. She agreed, I pitched a new synopsis, and wrote Dreamveil, Rowan's story, as book two. Which now seems like a pretty good decision all the way around (reason #999 as to why you should listen to your instincts.)

My thanks to everyone who is participating in this experiment. So far, so good.


  1. Eh, some of the people who got an E-ARC might not buy, but one of the reasons to use ARCs, e-ARC or print, is to help get people talking about a book, work up interest.

    I've got mine set to go live the day before the book comes out.

  2. My review is posted at Blue Heron Creek in the list. And I am one the reviewers who had not read Lynn's work before.

    Reading this e-ARC gave me such a great way to be introduced to her books. I have already spoken with my local indie bookstore to order the Darklyn books. Plus, my step-daughter is into paranormal/urban fantasy...guess what she is getting for Christmas? So yes, it was a good call on your part Lynn.

    Oh yes, I will buy the print book as I collect my favorite authors' books. Maybe I am solo in this but the odds are I am not.

    Many regards,
    Debra Saturday

  3. Anonymous3:01 PM

    I'm still reading. Will have my review up in the next week or so.

    Btw, Lynn, can others ask for e-reviewers here? I'm in need of some.

  4. Keita Haruka5:31 PM

    Well, I'd say it was a good call, going the eARC route. I have no idea how many printed ARC's you'd normally get, but this allowed you to get more reviews out there to more places and at far less financial cost to you. And if even half of your eARC readers buy the rest of the series, you're still coming out ahead. I for one WILL buy Shadowlight (because one of my quirks are that I like to have books I reread on hand and a self-printed copy is going to stick out like a sore thumb on my bookcase...:P). I'm willing to bet that there are more reviewers out there who will do that. :P

    Oh...and since i didn't mentio it in either the review or email...I LOVE ROWAN TOO!!!! ;-)

  5. You have no idea how awesome it is to see a link to my little blog on PBW. :)

    I'm glad the response has been (mostly) positive. I really enjoyed Shadowlight and do intend to get the print version along with all the Darkyn books I can get my hands on because, well, I'm a book hoarder. *g*

    So far, If Angels Burn was fabulous and I can't wait to get the next one!

  6. Def. gonna buy a hard copy because I want it setting beside my other preciouses- uhm, I mean Darkyn novels!

    (here's my blog review of Shadowlight!)