This week marks the soft launch of my two novellas, JARS OF CLAY (volume 1) and BROKEN VESSELS (volume 2).
At first I was going to offer it as one full-length novel, but after much thought, I decided to break it up into two. Here's why:
1.) After publishing a number of books, I've come to the conclusion that readers prefer series to stand-alone books, no matter the length.
2.) The subject matter in this novel may not appeal to all readers, especially the second half. I wanted to have an opportunity (in the book description) to give everyone a heads up--strong religious themes, scenes of sensuality and violence. I wanted to do this for their sake (no surprises since it's very different from my Clockwise brand,) and for my sake (I'd like to avoid bad reviews...) :)
3.) I wanted to offer the first half for free--this gives the reader a chance to sample my writing before committing to paying money for the second half of the book. It's currently free at most e-retailer sites, except Amazon where it is .99 (If you'd like to help me notify Amazon of a lower price, that would be awesome. Click on report a lower price in the product details section.)
Daughter of a wealthy and respected Roman citizen, Helena Vibius is only sixteen when she falls for Lucius, a servant in her father's house.
Ambitious, Lucius wants to seek his fortune in Rome, and asks Helena to tutor him. She agrees--against her better judgment--and through a series of secret lessons, the two fall in love, knowing if they're caught, Lucius will pay the penalty with his life.
And then there's the unfortunate matter of Helena's pending arranged marriage to an unpleasant man from Carthage.
As her wedding day approaches, will Helena follow Lucius to Rome (risking both their lives), or keep her duty to her father?
With no way to prevent Helena from marrying another, Lucius flees to Rome to seek his fortune and mend his broken heart.
In a loveless marriage with a child to care for, Helena finds comfort in the most unlikely place--with her brother amongst the Christians. The religious group is mostly ignored by the Pagan populace, until the Emperor returns to the city and celebrations are planned. There's a shortages of criminals for the games and Christians are now sought out for arrest.
Fate brings Lucius back to Carthage, where his only wish is that he will get a glimpse of the girl he still loves. But when he finally sees Helena, it's under the worse possible circumstance...
I understood that there were draw back to doing this, too.
1) Most reviewers won't review novellas. Same is true for sites that report free books.
2) There is a danger some might see this as a marketing gimmick (instead of a marketing strategy).
3) Some readers who would've read to the end of a full novel, might stop half way and not read volume 2
In the end the pros out-weighed the cons. I decided the experiment was worth a try and if it fails, I can always repackage it as one full novel. I'll let you know how it goes!
Click here if you want to know why I'm writing under Lee Strauss
~Lee Strauss (Elle Strauss)