It’s been an amazing week.
The product of two years of writing, rewriting, and countless edits, our second novel was at last released for sale on Amazon, on Sunday, March 17th.
Ascending Mage 1: Changeling Justice is the first book in our Ascending Mage series. It’s a modern fantasy thriller set in North Dakota, featuring a kick-ass heroine who just so happens to be a uniquely powerful mage. She’s got a lot to learn, however, and there are plenty of bad guys who will stop at nothing to control her.
RaeLea and I invested a lot of time and energy into this series, and we really believe in the characters and story. Our Alpha Team of test readers gave us fantastic feedback which we incorporated to fine tune the pacing and ensure the prose is rich without being confusing.
This is the second novel we’ve written; the first is Fog Over Mandaree, which is available for free, exclusively via our website ( https://FRhurt.com ). We learned a lot from crafting that story, which serves as a prequel to the Ascending Mage series.
I’ve never given birth, but I have to imagine that writing a novel is kind of similar in some ways. The gestation period might be a bit less predictable, but ultimately you’re creating something new to introduce to the world.
So it’s kind of like a baby, but one that gets judged. Not just in the form of hushed whispers or empty platitudes: “oh she has a tail, how…um…cute!” No, the assessment of our “baby” will be quite public for all to see, in the form of reviews.
The first bad rating of 2 stars arrived on Goodreads from a guy who I suspect hadn’t even bothered to read our story (I say this because his rating history shows that he rates over a dozen books every single day, with an average rating of 2.16 stars). He can’t possibly know how much that stings for a new author who relies on early ratings as social proof for prospective readers. Or maybe he does, and he gets a sense of empowerment by leaving negative ratings.
But for every troll, there are at least ten times’ as many new fans sprouting up. A few five-star ratings and a couple early reviews tell us that we might just be onto something with this modern fantasy adventure. We’ve even had a few folks pre-order the next two sequels, even though we’ve not advertised them yet. That’s a pretty strong testament to the world we’re creating.
We didn’t know what to expect for sales figures. We’re brand new names with a brand new title in a wide, wide market. There are over 7 million book titles available for sale on Amazon right now. We knew we would have to invest in promotion if we wanted to be seen in such a crowd. We’ve purchased ads on Amazon and a couple other websites focused on fiction readers. An author friend of ours was extremely kind and surprised us by mentioning our debut novel to his readers.
One week later, and we’re pretty pleased with initial results.
Out of 7 million titles, Ascending Mage 1: Changeling Justice managed to gradually climb up out of the depths of obscurity, to crest at #1,503 in the Amazon Kindle Store. That was enough to earn us #95 in the highly-coveted Top 100 Urban Fantasy category, and Top 10 in three other Fantasy-related subcategories.
Needless to say, we’re pretty excited!
As much as we would like to celebrate, we know this is just the beginning of our efforts. We have barely begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible for this series, with the next four books mapped out and in various stages of assembly.
The sequel, Ascending Mage 2: Changeling Hunter, is an even better story than its predecessor, with faster pacing and higher stakes. It’s available on preorder and will be releasing on March 31. To give you a taste, we’ll be posting a few chapters on our site in the days to come.
We’re embarking on a pretty surreal adventure, and you’re invited to join us!