Lately, I've been trying to expand my marketing for my two novels, so I've been looking for websites that list indie books for free. So far, I've found a couple and I have one new live listing as of today. I don't have much of a marketing budget, but I would spend for a website I knew got results. However, it's difficult to tell what will and what won't. Obviously, most of the paid versions are probably going to be better than the free versions, but the free ones don't have a risk so I've been focusing on those. Do any of you have any hot tips for website listings that get results? I feel like I'm just taking shots in the dark right now.
I haven't updated since the whole Harlequin/ Mills and Boon debacle, but a couple of things have happened. First, my email did eventually get a response telling me to resubmit to the London office. By that point, I had already mailed a package to them with my original submission, plus a letter explaining what had happened, and the entire manuscript. I sent the manuscript because mailing over-seas takes time and money and I figured that if they don't want it, they can always toss it. I had every intention of sending return postage, but alas there is not a single place in my county that sells inter-national money orders to England. I could have gotten one to South Africa, Switzerland, Brazil, Antartica, and a host of other places, but not Great Britain. So, I asked in my cover letter for them to please reply by email. It was a risk, but it was all I could do.
Last week, I received a letter from them letting me know that my submission had been received and providing me with a reference number. I have to say, I am very impressed with this company's response time and willingness to pay postage. I was scared I had put myself out of the running completely when I was unable to pay postage. My best hope was for an email, but no, they actually paid to send me a letter (it was mysteriously addressed to Miss Scott, as I mentioned on Twitter, but close enough).
Ever since I received the letter, I have been having stress dreams about their actual response. In reality, I know I will either get a standard form rejection or good news. In my dreams, I get really odd, insulting responses. For example, the other night I dreamt that they returned the whole manuscript, but wrote the address in blue ink. When I opened the package, I found a letter written in sloppy cursive with a not-sharp pencil on a yellow legal pad sheet of paper. Yeah... I dream in details. The letter stated that I was an adequate writer, but would never be great. It continued to say that the premise of the novel was the only reason they were willing to accept it, but the deal was on the contingency of re-writes. The list of re-writes was very specific, but basically they wanted everyone to have the manners of a regency romance which was bizarre since it's about Dark Age Vikings. My main concern in the dream? That whoever had written the letter couldn't be bothered to type it, or to sharpen their pencil, or even just to use a white sheet of paper.
Am I officially insane? During the day, I'm not that stressed out about it. I have my official (thick) file of rejection letters, as any writer should. I have never been crushed by a single one. Of course, I know that no professional company would write a letter like that. I have a back-up plan. I'm doing fine on my own. I know that I am a good writer. So, why do I keep have these dreams? Have you ever had dreams like this? A superstitious friend thinks it means something good will happen, but I think all it means is I am my own worst critic.