Now that I’m back in the country, here’s some more information about the Alex Verus story I mentioned a few weeks ago!
The story’s now written and edited. Final length after changes and additions is a little over 20,000 words, which puts it in the low end of the ‘novella’ category (for comparison, a typical Alex Verus novel is between 90,000 and 100,000 words). I finished up the last corrections and edits two days ago, and the manuscript’s ready for publication.
Now, normally, me being finished with a manuscript would mean you’d get to read it in 9 months or so. However, since I’m self-publishing this one rather than using a traditional publisher, I can put it out quite a bit faster. My current plan is to release it in 2 weeks.
So my planned release date is June 18th/June 25th. I still need to sort out the cover, format the ebook, and set up the sales/administrative side, but I’m hoping two weeks will be long enough to handle that.
• Title: Favours
• Length: 20,000 words
• Format: Ebook
• Platform: Amazon, and here
• Release Date (this website): June 18th 2021
• Release Date (Amazon Kindle): June 25th 2021
• Price: $2.99
Favours is a side story set in the Alex Verus universe that takes place in between Alex Verus #6, Veiled, and Alex Verus #7, Burned.
The story is not told from Alex’s point of view, and this is going to be the norm for any short stories/novellas that I do in the Alex Verus setting. One of the drawbacks of the first-person perspective of the Alex Verus novels is that quite a lot of things get left out of the books because there’s no realistic way for Alex to witness them. Also, much as I like Alex as a character, I’ve written twelve books from his point of view and I’m about ready for a change – I like the idea of getting to do something a bit different!
In this case, Favours is told from the perspective of Sonder. Returning to London after his year-long assignment to Washington D.C., Sonder is called into Keeper HQ to work with Caldera on an investigation. What at first looks likes a simple burglary quickly turns into something much more difficult and dangerous, forcing Sonder to choose where his loyalties lie.
Questions and Answers
Some answers to a few of the questions I’ve been asked so far:
Q. Will you release the story in hard copy format?
A. Not any time soon. The economics of producing physical copies of short stories/novellas are pretty unfavourable, so the only way that would be likely to happen would be if I brought out a short story collection some day.
Q. Are you going to write more Alex Verus short stories after this one?
A. Depends how well this one does. If it’s popular enough and gets enough interest, then probably. If people’s reactions are more along the lines of ‘I didn’t like it’ or ‘I don’t want to read any stories that aren’t about Alex’, then probably not.
Q. Can you make it available on Kobo/Apple Books/Nook/other distributor?
A. In theory, yes, but setting up those kinds of accounts can take a fair bit of time and effort and I’m not sure it’s worth it. Besides, if you’re reading this, that means you can access my website, which means you can just get it directly from here.
Q. Can you write a story featuring [insert character’s name here]?.
A. Possibly. I have story ideas for most of the secondary and tertiary characters in the Alex Verus series, but I’m not sure which ones I’ll get around to.
Q. Why is it $2.99?
A. Amazon places steep financial penalties on authors who price their work even one cent below $2.99, whether on Amazon or anywhere else. Since I’m selling this on Amazon as well as here on my website, that limits how I can price it.
Q. Are you going to focus more on novellas/short stories from now on?
A. No. I’ve enjoyed working on this novella, and it’s been really interesting self-publishing it rather than going the trad-pub route – it’s given me a new perspective into how the industry works. However, my main job is still ‘novelist’, and now that this story’s done, I’m planning to start work on my new series. If I’m really lucky, I’ll finish the first book by the end of the year, though there’s a good chance it’ll overrun. But either way, the new book is my priority now. I’m not intending to write any more short stories until it’s finished.