Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

The Five Elements is FREE 3/21-3/22

Starting tomorrow (or today depending on when you're reading this), The Five Elements, my fantasy/pseudoscience novel that has been described by one reader as "an enveloping story that drags you in and doesn't let go" will be free on Amazon in Kindle format.

The promotion runs for two days—from 3/21 to 3/22. I would greatly appreciate it if everyone and anyone would download the eBook on one of those dates. I'm really curious to see how the novel does in the rankings this time around. This will be the second free promotion I've run. The first went great. But I'd really like to do better. That's why I'm bought some ad space here and there. That's why I've given advanced notice to my Twitter followers. This post will hit Goodreads—where almost 1,000 people entered to win a print copy of The Five Elements—and Amazon either tonight or tomorrow; plenty of time for everyone to find out about this promotion and take advantage of it.

Last but not least, I'm giving YOU, dear blog reader, advanced notice, too. You see, free rankings translate over into paid rankings; last time I achieved some very good free rankings that wound up giving me a real good paid run thereafter. My goal is to at least do that again.

We'll see how it goes. Meanwhile, get ready to download!

FAQ for The Five Elements

This is third and last post in which I will highlight the last section in the landing/product page for The Five Elements, that being the FAQ. I've only got a few questions listed right now, some of which came out of an interview I did with Kindle Fantasy Authors. I think if I set my mind to it I could come up with some more, but there's something odd about writing up questions to which you already know the answers. So, if anyone out there does have anything nagging at them about either The Alchemancer series as a whole or The Five Elements in particular, comment below or contact me via my contact page.

Of course, these questions and answers are already out on the The Five Elements' product page. Any additional ones will go there as well.

Here, then, is The Five Elements FAQ:

FAQ

How many books are there in The Alchemancer series?

The plan is that The Alchemancer series will span 4-5 novels. While I think there are enough stories in these characters to go well beyond that, I do have a pretty good idea where I want the immediate, overarching storyline to go, and I think 4-5 novels will suit things just fine. I should add that while there are subsequent novels in the series, the story told in The Five Elements does come to a conclusion. In other words, it won't leave you hanging waiting for the next novel.

What's the next book in the series and when will it be out?

The second book in The Alchemancer series is called The Incandescent Engine. I'm working towards having a rough draft completed by September '12. After that, it will go through many revisions. If all goes well, it should be complete by January '13. I wish I could do better on the date, but I still have to work a day job, so...

What's an "alchemancer"?

In the strictest sense, it's the combination of an "alchemist" or "alchemy" and a "-mancer" (someone who practices divination). This would make an alchemancer someone who practices divination by way of alchemy. However, in the context of the series, it's much more than that. Think of an alchemancer as part alchemist, mathematician, scientist, and maybe a bit of sorcerer or witch as well. It's not necessarily someone who actively practices magic, but someone who bends it to their will by means of alchemy, mechanics, or some other principle of science. Further, "the" alchemancer is an individual who may usher in a new age of enlightenment, or perhaps one of darkness. You'll find out as the larger story unfolds.

The Places of The Five Elements

Following in the footsteps of last night's post where I detailed the characters of my fantasy/pseudoscience novel, The Five Elements, tonight I give you the places of The Five Elements. Surprisingly, there aren't that many. Much of the story takes place in Norwynne, then onboard an airship, and within a couple of different houses out in the wilderness.

Oh, almost forgot, there's a volcano and a floating city, too.

You can also see this info out on the new product/landing page for the novel.

Last comment… this *is* leading up to something (a hint: it involves 'free' and 'eBooks'). Check back tomorrow night. Until then…

Places

Norwynne Keep

A prosperous yet remote oceanside city that began as a military outpost. It boasts the fabled wall Regrok, which has never been breached or broken, and Ellingrel, Tower of Sorcery. The city-keep is ruled by Lord Vuller.

Ellingrel

Norwynne's Tower of Sorcery where reside Elsanar, his coterie, and their staff.

The Underkeep

The area beneath Norwynne built out by the dwarves who once called the remote location home. Abandoned long ago, only the highest sub-levels have been converted for use by the city's current residents. It is said dwarven treasure remains to be found somewhere deep down, though no one has ever found anything.

Ursool's house

Ursool's home in the woods.

Wildemoore Manor

A remote abode called home by Master Ansanom and his apprentice, Serena.

Griffin

The Griffin is a one-of-a-kind airship specially designed to stay aloft for long periods of time and to ascend to especially high altitudes.

Cauldron Mountain

A volcano, presently active.

Valacia

A city in the clouds.

The Characters of The Five Elements

I recently whipped up a new product/landing page for The Five Elements. Sort of a one stop/one page destination for people who have already read the book and want some more information about the novel, its characters, and its places, or for people who haven't yet read it but want to get a better feel for what it's about before buying.

The top half of the page is the sort of stuff you can find anywhere: reviews, a link to buy the novel, etc.

The bottom half is something I'm calling "The Five Elements Miscellany". This section is comprised of Characters, Places, and a FAQ. Below you will find that first section, or you can visit the landing page which is now complete.

Characters

Aaron

Alchemist, mathematician, metallurgist, sorcerer's apprentice, Aaron is an unpretentious, gifted fifteen year old apprenticed to the great master sorcerer, Elsanar. He hails from Taloo, an oceanside fishing village south of Norwynne Keep, but since his apprenticeship has lived in Ellingrel, Norwynne's Tower of Sorcery.

Shanna

Shanna is a free-spirited fifteen year old who wants, above all else, freedom from the life of drudgery that awaits her as she enters adulthood. She is given this opportunity when Norwynne is near leveled by an elemental attack.

Ensel Rhe

A member of the blue-black skinned race known as eslar, Ensel Rhe's reasons for coming to Norwynne remain as enigmatic as the blood-stained satchel he carries with him everywhere. Folk know only that he is a mercenary in the employ of Norwynne's sorcerers. What tasks they set him on remain as mysterious as the eslar himself.

Elsanar

Greatest of the three master sorcerers who call Norwynne home. He recognized immediately the value Aaron might bring to his research, and so he enlisted him as his apprentice.

Rion

The youngest of the three master sorcerers of Norwynne Keep.

Vuller

Lord of Norwynne Keep.

Jadjin

A healer. She arrived at Norwynne from the far south years ago and decided to stay.

Ursool

A witch. An ally of Ensel Rhe's.

Erlek

Savant, scholar, man of science. He walks as if an elder one moment, then moves with the swiftness of a twenty year old the next. His purpose is both mysterious and diabolical.

Erlek's Tool

A boy who carries himself as if a king. He is always at Erlek's side.

Ansanom

A master sorcerer in his own right, Ansanom is ally and friend to Elsanar. He dwells in the remote manor house known as Wildemoore.

Serena

Master Ansanom's apprentice.

Krosus

Houndmaster. He leads a pack of demonic hounds and is a demon himself.

Corrin

A bully who goes out of his way to torment Aaron.

Tom

A cabin boy serving on an airship called the Griffin.

Sergeant Tippin

A sergeant in Lord Vuller's army.

Kelgin Blackhand

Dwarven clan leader of Fire Rock. Wielder of Soljilnor, the Flaming Cutter.

Engus Rul

A dwarven raider. Second-in-command after Kelgin.

Keln

A dwarven raider

Mirna

Erlek's servant.

Goodreads Giveaway Follow-up

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It's been 30 days since I revved  up two Goodreads giveaways—one for The Five Elements and another for The Hall of the Wood—and that's it. We're done. The lucky winners have been selected and now I'm busy signing books and  stuffing and licking envelopes (or peeling away the cover strips).

All told, 795 people entered to win a copy of The Five Elements and 799 people went for The Hall of the Wood. I'm sure there was plenty of overlap there.

The end goal in doing these giveaways is twofold: to get some more people to read my books and to hopefully get some more reviews. I can control the former (somewhat), but can't do much about the latter. I think I read somewhere that authors get roughly a 40% return on giveaways. At 5 books going out for each title, I hope to get at least 2 new reviews for each novel.

Couple of  Q&A points:

1.) Would I do another giveaway?

Maybe. A lot of Goodreads members added the novels to their TBR lists. This is good. But the value of each giveaway can really only be told if and when sales go up or more reviews materialize. I'd definitely consider another giveaway as a vehicle for raising interest in the next book in The Alchemancer series when that next book is ready to go.

2.) Did the giveaway hurt existing sales?

No idea. It seems like it did, but I've only been comprehensively tracking sales since late January, and these giveaways ran through most of February. If sales begin to creep back up to what I was seeing pre-giveaway, I'll have some idea. Time will tell.

3.) Wouldn't you rather give away eBook copies?

Yes. But Goodreads requires print copies, so that's that.

4.) A lot of readers clicked on my Goodreads ads throughout the giveaway periods. It helped that each ad has a "Enter for a chance to win a copy" line right on it:

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Do I think people will continue to click on them?

I hope so. Initial results this morning seem to show they are—the number of readers adding The Five Elements has gone up by a handful just this morning. Let's hope some readers become advocates and spread the word.


OK, that's enough of that. I feel like I'm talking to myself.

I'd be remiss if I didn't thank everyone who entered and especially those on Twitter and elsewhere who helped spread the word. Thanks!

I'm eager to see what the 10 lucky readers think. Until then, it's back to writing.