Hands of Tarot vs Fall of Sky City Launches

Originally published May 9, 2013 

It seems like everyone wants to hear how the re-launch of my steampunk adventure series is going. It was a terrifying move. So I'll walk you through it and give you the real numbers.

Originally, I published the first book as the following:

Title: Hands of Tarot

Series Title: Hands of Tarot

She killed his father.

She imprisoned and beat him.And now she thinks he’s her trophy.Synn El’Asim will do almost anything to prove her wrong. But he’s only proving her right.Queen Nix awakened his Mark of power and inducted him into the House of Wands. She knew what she was doing. The son of the two most powerful Families standing against her is the ultimate prize.What she didn’t take into consideration was that maybe he was too strong for her.Maybe.
But the Families aren’t. They’ve been weakened and it’ll take a lot more than one young man with a powerful Mark to take on the Hands of Tarot.

The Response

No one knew what to expect with this book. The genre mash-up, while awesome and unique, doesn't tell the reader what to expect. Each genre has their own set of rules. The unfortunate thing was that people picked this up thinking it might be a steampunk romance because that scene is HUGE right now. Unfortunately, when Nix is breaking Synn, she uses a few methods that are absolutely TABOO in romance. No details were given. I didn't want to go there. I didn't feel it was necessary. But because people picked it up as a romance, they thought it was "safe", and thus were caught by surprise when Synn does a gloss-over of these events.

I love this cover. When Dawne first showed it to me, I couldn't take my eyes off of it. But it didn't do a great job of showing the reader to what expect. It shows the antagonist on the cover, instead of the protagonist. This is probably why people thought it was a romance.

Also, some people thought it was a how-to book on Tarot. I loved the play with the tarot card here, but it just confused the reader. That really bummed me.

The blurb was good, but not solid. It worked better as a teaser excerpt than a blurb. People read that and didn't know what the book was about.

So with all that said, in the six months the book was active, here's the sales stats:


FREE: 501

TBR adds on Goodreads: 15

The free days were heavily promoted and I paid for some of that promotion. Also, that's all five free days.

I also gave this book (3) blog tours, and they were BIG! And through all f that, I sold 7 copies. Granted, that doesn't count the hard copies that I sold to friends and family. But all that hard work, and there was passible interest and I sold 7 copies.


So I sat down with my BFF's, Veronica and Cabbitgirl, and SistaPITA. Together, we came up with the idea that something was wrong in my marketing plan. They all agreed that this was probably the best book I'd written. It just needed to be presented better.

I gave it a new title, which was the scariest part! I got a new cover, which cost the same as the first one. I gave it a new blurb. Oh, and I gave it another round of edits. All in all, the investment was pretty small.

So, largely with SistaPITA's help, here's what we came up with:

Title: Fall of Sky City

Series Title: Devices of War Trilogy

In a world governed by the opposing forces of the mystical House of Tarot and the tribal Great Families, Synn is caught in the crossfire. He witnesses the slaughter of innocent people, and the devastating murder of his father.This act awakens his Mark of power, a Mark greater than any the world has seen in a very long time.

Queen Nix thought she won a great prize when she destroyed Synn’s father, the leader of the strongest Great Families. She had no idea she’d be doubly blessed by capturing his son. 

However, before Synn can become her treasured weapon, before she can use him to bring the rest of the world to its knees, she must break him and bind his soul to hers.

She does her job with brutal brilliance. Synn’s mind is broken and his soul is seared to hers in an unbreakable bond. That doesn’t stop him from wanting to be free. She may have broken his mind and claimed his soul, but he will find a way to destroy her.

Experience a world of ships that sail the clouds and cites buried beneath the ocean, and survive the fiery battle brought forth by those who control the forces of nature! 

The Response

I had 441 people add it to their TBR when I launched the cover reveal. People were talking about it a month before I re-launched it! I had people asking me for review copies, where as before, I couldn't pay people to take the book. I got three reviews posted before the official launch date, and the readers UNDERSTOOD what was going on! The new package was aimed correctly!

I set up one blog tour, not a huge one, but one. In the first WEEK here are my stats:

SOLD: 53

FREE: 1,077

I barely promoted the free days. I mentioned it on Twitter and FB. I asked Kathy at I Am a Reader to Highlight it and that was it.

Now, I realize I still have a loooooong way to go. It's going to be an uphill battle with this book and this series. We're in a difficult genre. This probably won't be a million dollar book (not that I'll ever have that, I know). But it's finally got the right marketing plan, and it shows with only a week in.