My Novel FLEX Is Out Today! Here's What To Do If You Liked It. (Or If You Didn't.)

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 4.824% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

After many long months of waiting, my Breaking-Bad-by-way-of-Scott-Pilgrim novel Flex is available for purchase at just about any bookstore you can name!  Which means that for the first time you, dear reader, can actually read it.   Thanks to the easy availability of Kindle books and poor impulse control, some of you may well have finished my dang book by the time I post this.
So what now?
Well, if you liked Flex and would like to help it along in its book journey, there’s a couple of things you can do:
Write A Review.
‘The two standard places that reviews help authors are the book social network GoodReads and Amazon – not that Amazon is superior to any other bookstore, but I’m told they are more likely to show a customer a book in search results if it gets over a “critical mass” of reviews.  (No, I don’t know what that number is.  And neither does any other author.)
But writing a review on your blog is also good!  Even just a Tweet or Facebook status that says, “I liked Ferrett Steinmetz’s book Flex” helps get the word out – and believe you me, “Word of mouth” is the most important part of selling any book.
Yet please don’t hype up the book. I don’t want fake reviews with engineered enthusiasm. Be honest.
Come To My Book Tour.
I’m showing up all over the East and West Coast over the next month, and I’ll be mighty lonely at some of those stores unless you show up to keep me company.  I will be thrilled to see you, I’ll hug you if you like, and afterwards I’ll be all too ready to head out for drinks.  So if you’re nearby, drop by!
Tell A Friend. 
I’m getting lots of extraordinarily kind reviews for Flex.  Yet all of those blog-posts won’t sell nearly as many copies as repeated versions of this conversation:
“Hey, have you read Ferrett’s book?”
“Yeah.”
“How was it?”
“Pretty damned good.”
Feel free to lend Flex out, if you liked it.  Give it to someone you think would dig its vibe.  If my words spoke to you, then speak to others when the topic of good books come up.  Because really, if you’re not talking to your friends about the books you liked – not just mine, but in general – then what the heck are you doing with your life?
(Also, he says, sharing this post wouldn’t hurt.)
Buy The Sequel.
The sequel The Flux, which beta readers have largely agreed is way better and more intense than Flex, is coming out in early October.  The ending of Flex has a bit of a game-changer, and The Flux rides that to new levels.  So if you liked Flex, I’m about 90% sure you’re gonna enjoy the continuing saga of Paul Tsabo.
And if you like the idea of Flex, but for some reason have yet to purchase the sucker, may I suggest now is a good time?  I’ve written about why buying as close to the release date as possible benefits the author – and since the release date is today, that’s as close as it gets.
So What Do I Do If I Didn’t Like Flex? 
Here’s the trick:
Do the exact same thing.
I want honest opinions on my book, so if you didn’t like it, write a review, tell a friend why you didn’t care for it, and if you still like me but not the book I’ll totes hug you at my book tour regardless.
(Maybe don’t buy the sequel.)
The value of most reviews is that they tell people whether they’re likely to enjoy a book or not.  Elucidating your reasons why Flex didn’t float your boat is every bit as valid as squeeing over why it hit you deep.  And if you’d like to help Flex find its natural audience, indicating that this audience is not you may alert other like-minded people that this isn’t their bag.  And that’s fine!  There’s plenty of beloved books that I didn’t like, there’s plenty of classic movies that I didn’t care for, and even Shakespeare is loathed in some circles.  The idea that everyone will love me and despair is the author’s egotistical quicksand.
So: I hereby free you from any obligations to like this book.
But.
I will say that Flex is the most purely me thing I’ve ever written.  All the other novels I wrote – you know, the endless list of ones that never sold – had these Big Commercial Elements where I thought people would like it.  Flex was written to please an audience of one – namely, the guy writing this here blog here. It’s about kinky, chubby, confident women. And parental love. And turning obsession into beauty. And the struggle to be seen as more than your handicap.
And donuts. God, so many donuts.
As such, I feel comfortable saying that if you like the sentiments and style presented in this blog, there’s a damned good chance you’re gonna like my novel.
And I hope you do.  I hope you love it enough to press it into your friends’ hands and go, “Man, I loved this, and you will, too.”
Now.  Let’s see whether that actually works.

5 Comments

  1. Noah Lesgold
    Mar 3, 2015

    Are there any online stores selling the book DRM-free? The first few places I looked all seem to have one scheme or another, and Angry Robot’s page for your book doesn’t have links to online store pages yet. If not, I don’t mind buying it from Amazon and stripping the DRM off, but I thought it was worth asking for the sake of supporting anyone who doesn’t make me jump through that hoop. My preferred ebook reader (Marvin for iOS) doesn’t like books with DRM, hence the concern.
    Thanks, and I’m looking forward to reading Flex!

    • John Beresford
      Mar 5, 2015

      KoBo, the Canadian e-reader/ebook company prides itself on giving you a drm free option on most books they sell so if the publisher has allowed it to be available without the drm agreement then KoBo will sell it that way.
      Also I really like the book, I finished it yesterday.
      Best wishes,
      John

  2. Kendall
    Mar 5, 2015

    Angry Robot sells DRM-free e-books direct and lists Flex as being available on their site March 5th. I don’t know why they sell it two days later direct.
    Their DRM policy is mealy-mouthed — “oh we don’t tell etailers whether to put on DRM” — sigh, this means most or all put on DRM by default (well, you can’t actually tell what iTunes does, but prsumably…). But you can get it from them without DRM and I plan to do so tomorrow night. 🙂
    Hope this helps!

  3. Kendall
    Mar 5, 2015

    BTW I’m an idiot; the “add to basket” button showed up 1-2 days ago, so despite the date, I believe it’s already available for purchase.
    (purchasing)
    Yup! 😉 Downloading now…. FYI it was about £1 cheaper for me than the price on their page for Flex says (probably adjusted to try to keep up with exchange rates – I’m in the U.S.).

    • Noah Lesgold
      Mar 6, 2015

      Thanks for the tip on Angry Robot selling their epubs DRM-free, Kendall. I actually think the price difference is probably due to taking out VAT for non-EU residents. It came to 7.08 USD, which is close enough to the $6.99 cover price. I just completed the purchase and will be downloading to my phone shortly.
      John, I did look at Kobo – their store page for the book explicitly states that it uses ADE DRM. Boo.

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