So, here’s the deal: I’m writing another novel.

Now, you might be thinking: why? (If you’ve read Archer & Bell and Gresham Park, I hope that’s not your first thought, but I digress.) And the answer to that is simple: because I’m the kind of masochist who enjoys spending innumerable hours of precious free time engaged in a frustrating and entirely uncompensated endeavor. Well, maybe not entirely uncompensated; I do get the satisfaction of calling myself a writer, and of knowing that occasionally, another person is reading the very words that came out of my brain. That is super cool.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

As a self-published author, the most frustrating experience is the feeling that your work is getting lost in a sea of other books, waiting to find its audience – which may never actually materialize. Amazon is a great platform for getting your stuff out there, but maybe not so great for building an audience out of thin air. On the other hand, this blog has an audience … the problem being, it’s not necessarily an audience that’s interested in (a) books, and (b) my books. I know some of you are book lovers, but that’s obviously not what brought you here in the first place. So I have been reluctant to rely too much on the blog as a platform for spreading the word about my writing, especially in a monetized context. And then, I had an idea.

What if, instead of going the same old Amazon publishing route for my new novel, I publish it here – in a free, weekly serial format? Of course, I need to figure out how to actually do that, but I trust that my crack IT team (aka dear husband) will be able to make it happen. So I’m asking you (and especially those of you who have bought my previous books): would you be interested in something like that? The formatting of each chapter is likely to be less fancy than the e-copy that would be available on Amazon, and you’d be getting the story in pieces. On the plus side, it will be free, and I promise to keep the blog business as usual otherwise. Tell me all your thoughts, gently if you please.

To help you decide, if you’re on the fence about the whole idea, here’s a little taste of what you can expect to read (most likely starting in August):

London, 1948 – in a world not entirely unlike this one …

When Kate Seever finds herself unexpectedly out of a job, she loses no time in looking for other employment. For a young woman in Kate’s position – unmarried and not independently wealthy – it is a practical necessity. But for a young woman of Kate’s disposition, it is also an opportunity. Despite an unwavering belief in the supremacy of reason and order, she harbours a secret – and not so rational – penchant for the sort of adventure apt to turn a person’s life upside down. The position of governess at Ushant Hall – a ruinous pile in the middle of a bleak, windswept moor, miles away from London – does not seem promising but, to her friends’ consternation, Kate decides that it is precisely the sort of challenge she enjoys tackling. Besides, it is merely a temporary engagement; what could possible go wrong in three months?

The answer, it turns out, is plenty. At Ushant Hall, the ancient seat of the reclusive Blackthorne family, Kate quickly discovers that she may have gotten more than she’d bargained for; it will take a rigorous exercise of her wits to manage the peculiar inhabitants of the house, including the strangely antagonistic caretaker, the taciturn groundskeeper, and the preternaturally precocious pupil she had been hired to instruct. Most of all, it is the master of Ushant Hall himself – the aloof, haughty, distractingly handsome Rufus Blackthorne – who proves to be the most difficult challenge of all. And then, of course, there is the question that no one seems to want to answer: just what, exactly, is hidden in the attic?

Obviously, if there is minimal interest in a weekly serial, I probably won’t go to the trouble of trying to set up a corner of the blog to accommodate it, and we’ll just pretend this whole conversation never happened. But if you are even a little bit intrigued, let me know and let’s make it happen!

42 Comments on Coming Attractions

  1. Love the idea! I’m a little worried I’d lose a chapter or two in my blog reader, so would you consider doing an email “newsletter” (bookletter?)? Or I can always set a reminder if you publish a chapter every Monday, or the first Monday of every month, etc. whatever you decide, I look forward to reading!

    • I’m thinking I will publish a chapter every weekend, either Saturday or Sunday. But there will hopefully be a page where all of the chapters are gathered together for ease of reference, or if someone wants to re-read an old chapter. We’ll see … I still have a long way to go in figuring out the logistics (and also, writing the book, LOL!)

  2. Hi Adina,
    I have to say, I love your blog!! I found it quite by accident and love how you put your outfits together. I rarely buy second hand but am inspired to do so! I especially love handbags and lust over every one. I would love if you could sometime tell us all how you tell if they are authentic.
    About your chapter book idea…I love it! I will read it!
    P.s. I love that you are from Canada. I am too!

    • Thanks, Gerarda! I have talked about buying designer bags secondhand before, but it all basically comes down to research. I rely on tPF (the Purse Forum) quite a bit, and when I have to, I have asked their authentication mods for help. I’ll look around to see if I have all my tips gathered in a post, and if not I’ll try to put one together.

  3. I’m a fairly new reader and I love this idea. I’m also selfishly hoping it will motivate me to do more writing. I can tell myself that Adina is meeting her word counts… So I hope you go for it!

  4. Yes, on the weekend! (I normally check your blog at work and it probably wouldn’t be so great if I was reading a novel at my desk 🙂 )

    Also, do you know the blog The Daily Connoisseur? While it might not be up your street content-wise, I think the blogger may have done something similar for her first book. She may have some insight for you.

  5. I am absolutely interested! There’s nothing wrong with you turning your little space of the internet into something that reflects you even further by adding in your writing to your love of fashion!

  6. I’d be perfectly happy if you put them on Amazon. I’ve bought both of your books (I haven’t had a chance to read them yet because my TBR is deeeeeeep) and I like being able to compensate authors for their work 🙂 But of course I’ll be happy to read it here too!

  7. Yes, please print here…fashion and entertainment! I have never commented before…but I find you amazingly inspirational!

    • Thank you, you are very sweet! I honestly don’t feel particularly inspirational, but I really appreciate the kind words.

  8. Yes! But – not to pry – have you tried looking for an agent? I don’t know anything about the process but I read Archer and Bell and it’s easily on par with other work in the genre, if not better than most.

    • Thank you, I’m so happy to hear that you liked it. I’ve never tried to look for an agent; to be honest, that whole process intimidates me. I don’t even know where to start. I have thought about approaching a few local publishers, who still accept self-submissions, but never got around to preparing a cover letter and so on. I am really, really terrible at selling myself, which is no small part of the problem, I’m sure.

  9. Hi Adina! I hate to be the wet blanket here.

    I worry that the waters might be muddied by posting your serial novel here on this blog. I can understand why you wouldn’t want to start another blog and risk losing readership. I follow another blogger who did a serial blog, but she kept it separate from her personal blog, and I prefer that format.

    That said, I will read your serial wherever you put it as I enjoy your work. I’ve bought both your books on Amazon. I’ve recently finished Gresham Park, which I whipped through. It reminded me of a mix between Crimson Peak and The Great Gatsby (though obviously in a different time period). Archer and Bell is in my TBR pile. 😉

    • No worries, thanks for the input. Would you be OK sharing more about your concern? Is it the prospect of the serial taking over the blog? Would it help, do you think, if I kept a separate page for it, and only posted on a specific day (most likely a weekend, which is usually “dead” time on the blog anyway)?

      Thank you for reading (here and the books), by the way! Crimson Peak was definitely a big influence on Gresham Park. Never thought about the Great Gatsby (although it used to be one of my fave novels back in the day, and I still get emotional over that last paragraph), but it’s a interesting comparison now that you mention it. That’s one of my favourite things about writing: hearing other people’s thoughts/takes on the things I write, and sometimes seeing things in a whole new way.

      • Upon reflection, what it boils down to is I don’t want to be wading through the backlog of posts to find sections I may have missed. If you had a separate page with the story in its entirety that was easy to find from your front page, that would make me feel a lot better. 🙂

        Yeah, I was worried about the sibling relationship there based on Crimson Peak (!), but it came to fruition in a way that I didn’t anticipate. The Great Gatsby comes in through the big mansions, the small cast, and the air of melancholy surrounding the whole thing. Also because it’s not too long. I really enjoyed it.

  10. Another wet blanket here. I’m an acquisitions editor at a book publisher, and I sympathize entirely with authors who feel daunted by the task of self-marketing and self-promotion, given the number of books in the marketplace and how difficult it can feel to make a single work stand out among them. However, I’d caution you against using this blog as a platform for author-related activities, because I think you’ll ultimately be doing yourself a disservice. Yes, you have a built-in audience here–but it’s an audience interested in your unique take on fashion and outfit posts. If Adina J. were writing how-to manuals about putting together a fantastic secondhand work-appropriate wardrobe, this would be the best place to promote them—as a fashion blogger, you have an established brand and a community who are clearly going to be interested in those books, because that’s exactly why they read your blog.

    But your brand as a fashion blogger is distinct from your brand as a fiction writer…you’re not even using the same name. 🙂 You need to focus on Aren D. Piada as a separate brand and work on building a separate following and community for Aren’s work. Who is the audience for your fiction? What are they interested in and how can you best appeal to them? These two audiences won’t be mutually exclusive (as evidenced by the number of enthusiastic comments you’ve received here), but it’s a mistake to conflate the two. I’d suggest you set up a new blog or website for Aren D. Piada and drive book-related traffic there (from here and from elsewhere on the web). You can always put notifications on this blog that new material has been added to the other site and direct interested readers to it, while keeping the two sites and the two communities separate. Otherwise you risk not only diluting the content and intention of this blog, but–more significantly–you also risk missing opportunities to reach and establish new book readers.

    I’d also suggest you set up an author page on Amazon, and/or revise the copy on your book pages to include some “about the author” information and directing them to Aren D. Piada’s blog/website. Finally, there are a number of books available with helpful advice for authors on how to self-promote their work, which you may find useful. Even big publishers with actual marketing departments and marketing budgets rely heavily on author promotion to sell books.

    I hate to sound like a naysayer, and my comments aren’t meant to be discouraging–they’re just my two cents as both a publishing professional and a fan of your blog.

    • I really appreciate all the advice! Never really thought much about my “brand” because this blog is a hobby, not a business, and I’ve given up on trying to expand it; it will evolve naturally as I evolve. But I didn’t look at it from the other perspective — my author “brand”. I do want to build an audience there, so it’s probably necessary to be more strategic. I’m definitely going to think about setting up a separate blog – I’ve been thinking about your and Meg’s comments and I think you bring up really good points. To be honest, the biggest problem I have with all the marketing stuff (apart from not enjoying it) is lack of time. I barely have time to write, and I prefer to focus on that. Unfortunately, it may not be a simple either/or situation …

  11. Hi, just wanted to say I’ve bought and read both books – I can’t wait for another Archer and Bell story and I loved Grisham Park! Please keep doing what you’re doing and letting us know when you finish another book – I’ll be happy to buy it 🙂

  12. I would read it. Also, any plans to put your previous books on Gumroad, Kobo or Barnes & Noble? I don’t have a kindle or I would buy your previous books (ereader is a nook which plays well with all except amazon…).