I believe I had already detailed my cunning plans book-wise, but there had already been some modifications, and now there are more.
One thing I had decided with Cara was that I shouldn't spend a lot of time promoting it. I am glad I went through it again, and that it is out there, but it is old, and appeals to a fairly specific audience. I wanted to go through the process of getting some reviews for it so I knew how to do that, and realized I should save that for Family Blood. I love Cara, and writing it has been an important part of my life. If through my other work people come to it, that's a reasonable path.
That left me free to focus on getting Family Blood out the door, and I had a plan. I would release it for the $2.99 price, but then when the sequel, Family Ghosts, came out, I would make it free, and that would send some people back for the first one, and then they would be ready for the third one, Family Reunion. Crafty!
As I got closer to completion, I started thinking about others who have influenced me in the writing. There is a really horrible mother in the book, and there are ways in which that has damaged her daughter. She is not my mother - I want to be really clear on that. She came out as her own person, like all of the characters did, no matter how they started (mostly as the All American Rejects).
However, about the same time that I was writing Family Blood as a screenplay, which I have now adapted into this novel, my world started really expanding it terms of finding and connecting with hurting girls, some of whom have pretty difficult mothers. I wanted them to read it. Yes, Sarah is a fictional character, but her problems are real, and she will still get through them, and fiction is important for that. It shows us that problems can be overcome, and that we are not alone.
I started thinking that I just needed to give the book to them. At first that was just seven, and that list started expanding, but if I could figure out how to give a free copy, doing it more than once wasn't a big deal.
And then I started to have other doubts, like what if people who pay for the book don't like it. The ending is ultimately life-affirming, but it could also be viewed as kind of a downer. There are some losses that are going to reverberate for a while, which is honestly part of how it became a series, because the ending wasn't the ending. I'm not even sure if after the third book it will be the ending, but for now it's just three.
And I started thinking about other people, because for a lot of the people I care about, the problem is not their mothers, but there might still be something for them in the book. And many of them are young, and don't have credit cards, so really, offering it free large scale was the only option. The way to do that is to enroll in the program that allows me five free days, so today through Sunday, basically, then it's back to $2.99, unless you have Kindle Unlimited:
Obviously my plans to make writing financially sustainable aren't really on track right now, but maybe some people will write me good reviews, and then other people will buy it. I mean, there is an audience for vampires and musicians, right? This has both!
So, that's where I'm at. I don't know if Family Ghosts will be free now. A part of me just wants to go right into writing them, and healing the wounds that were there at the end of Family Blood, because good things happen too, and I know it.
However, I am very ambitiously planning to complete another screenplay before the end of the year, and one more before my birthday. That will have me hitting my magic number of nine feature length screenplays written only by me (thus not counting the comic book, the series pilot, the collaborated upon adaptation, or the 31 6-page screenplays).
Ultimately, I did not want to be that person making post after post about how great my book was, and please buy it, but I can tell people to go get a free book. I guess it's a Christmas present.