So it turns out publicists cost money—not an ungodly amount, but you do need a bank balance with a comma in it. And we’re not there right now. Granted, we were there, but we splurged with our budget for Resistance, buying half-page newspaper ads instead of spending at a more tortoise-like pace so as to actually, you know, sustain some publicity. So we basically shot our load when it comes to promotion and advertising dollars. We’re the three-pump chumps of the book business. Lesson learned for next time.
The good news is there’s still social media and word-of-mouth. We’ve been tweeting and throwing up a couple mentions on facebook every week, and the book’s still selling. Not enough to put commas in our bank account just yet, mind you, but it still has legs—short, stubby, tortoise legs. And we got a review on Amazon from a random stranger who compared us very favorably to our main competition—another novel on the Heydrich assassination, one that’s received the level of critical attention we’d like to eventually get for our books.
We want that level of attention. And we want commas in our bank account. Hopefully not just for ego-feeding purposes, but because this is a great book that people will be glad they purchased. So to get people talking (and hopefully buying), we’re launching a promotion: Find a Typo - $50
Obviously there’s far more to a great book than a lack of typos. (Or tyops, as we like to call them.) And we do think this is a great book, worthy of your money and your time—not just free from mistakes, but actively good, a great and memorable read. It’s a book we published because we wanted it on our own bookshelves. But to handle the big things, you have to prove you can handle the small things, too. Popular perception would have you believe that independently-published books are poorly written and riddled with tyops, and we’d like indie publishing to be as hip and respected and professional as indie rock—not a refuge for people who can’t get a deal with a major company, but an exciting and vibrant corner of the industry, an incubator for talented people putting out professional products.
Here are the ground rules for the promotion:
1) You must have purchased the Kindle or physical version of the book from Amazon after the start of this promotion.
2) You must be the first person to discover and report the typo.
3) The typo MUST be unintentional—something the author would have changed had they noticed it in time. This excludes the following types of intentional spelling and usage choices that would otherwise appear to be typos:
Words that were spelled using American English in the first third of the book and in British English in the remainder.
Names that were deliberately spelled differently in the last third of the book because the last narrator wanted to avoid using Czech letters—Čurda vs. Churda, for instance.
Place names that are spelled in the Czech form in the first two thirds of the book and in the German form in the last part—Lidice and Liditz, for example.
Names that are spelled differently by different credible sources, such as Josef Gabčik’s first name, which is spelled with an “s” in the Czech Ministry of Defense’s English-language account of Operation Anthropoid but appears as “Jozef” in some other sources.
Deliberate spelling changes used to convey drunkenness in dialogue.
4) Multiple misspellings of a proper noun—place name, character name, etc.—shall count as one typo.
5) Typos must be reported with an email to email@example.com containing a copy of your purchase confirmation email from Amazon and a description of the typo.
6) Payments for this promotion will be made via PayPal.
7) Tortoise Books has the right to discontinue this promotion in the unlikely event that payouts reach $500, or in two months, whichever comes first.
Sound good? Pick up a copy and give it a whirl. We’re sure we’re putting out a solid product, as good as (or better than) anything coming out of a major publishing house. We’re sure it’s in the best shape possible—and if we’re wrong, we'll pay you to tell us about it.