More and more exciting options for indie authors keep popping up, and I’m always happy to write about new ones. At the beginning of October, a new site, Books Coming Soon (BCS), launched. Books Coming Soon is a site where authors and publishers can set up interviews, give away review copies, and release pre-orders, and where readers can get the latest news on their favorite genres and request early copies of books. According to the website:
Books Coming Soon was started for two reasons. First, we wanted to provide both authors and publishers a way to announce their upcoming book releases, receive early review requests, setup pre-orders, and do author interviews-ALL FOR FREE (or mostly free, anyway). Second, if you are a book lover, we wanted to provide you with a chance to request early review copies of books directly from authors and publishers, pre-order books, and receive monthly newsletter updates tailored to your favorite categories of books. This means that when you sign up for our newsletter, we’ll send you a list every single month of ONLY books you will be interested in, based on your categories of interest that you select when you sign up for the newsletter. How cool is that?
I got to ask the founder, Derek Vasconi, a few questions about his work and his new platform.
S.R.: Your website says you are a Japanese horror writer, musician, and escape artist. What inspired you to create Books Coming Soon?
D.V.: As a writer, I was really mystified about the fact that there is pretty much NO PLACE online that you can, as an author with an unpublished book, promote or advertise the fact that you have a book coming out. I mean, there’s Amazon’s Pre-Order option you can choose if your book is going to be an ebook listed with them, but they don’t offer the same Pre-Order Page setup for physical copies of books. And what if you don’t plan to offer your book on Amazon in an e-book format? I suppose the only other places that you can kind of support and promote an unpublished book would be Goodreads and Library Thing, but both of these sites also offer very limited exposure for your books. Library Thing allows you to get ARC requests, but no page setup for unpublished books, and Goodreads allows you to do giveaways, but only for physical books, not ebooks. It kind of leaves an author scratching their heads wondering why this is the case.
Aside from being a writer, I have also been a publisher, having founded Sakura Publishing, which is a traditional, independent publishing press. I’ve worked with Sakura Publishing for 8 years now, and whenever we rolled out authors and did our pre-publication marketing, there wasn’t any kind of a platform for us to really showcase our as yet titles, save for our own website.
Thus, Books Coming Soon was born.
I felt a huge need to fill in this gap that exists between an author’s book coming out and when it’s actually out, in terms of listing possibilities online, and with Books Coming Soon, authors now have a place to centralize their pre-publication activities and also get a valid and useful online link to promote their works independent of their own website. It just adds a kind of clout to their unpublished work.
S.R.: What can readers expect from the site?
D.V.: If you are a reader who wants to see upcoming books from authors, it’s as easy as visiting the site, clicking the category you want to check out, and looking at what’s coming up. Whenever a book is published, we take it off the site so that there is no confusion as to a book that’s coming out versus a book that’s been published. Also, and this is what I’m most excited about, is that as a reader, when you sign up to our monthly newsletter, you can select which categories of books you are interested in hearing about in the newsletter, and when you, as a reader, get your monthly newsletter from us, you’ll ONLY receive information on the categories of books that you selected. This way you can get exactly the information you need every month about the books you are interested in, and you don’t have to read through all the other categories of book titles coming out.
Also, there are author interviews you can check out, as we will be adding author interviews every month, plus readers will be able to request ARC’s from ANY book listed on the site directly to the author listing their books, at any point during the book’s listing on our site.
S.R.: How does Books Coming Soon help authors?
D.V.: In a whole bunch of ways. Building off what I just wrote as to how it helps readers, authors have a choice to select a free listing, or two paid listing options. The free listing is pretty awesome, and I made it so that if you don’t want to spend money to still get the benefit of listing with Books Coming Soon, it would still be worth an author’s time to do so. Because of this, a free listing will allow authors to list their book, all information relating to the books, add reviews of their book, showcase the book’s front cover artwork, and have a contact form right on their listing that any reader interested can request ARCS. Also, every month, based on the category that an author’s book falls into, readers who subscribe to the BCS newsletter will receive a notice about an author’s book if they’ve picked that author’s book category. So if you are an author and your book is a horror book, and 3,000 people who subscribe to our newsletter selected that they want to receive information on upcoming horror books, every single month leading up to that author’s pub date, readers will hear about that author’s horror book in their monthly newsletter! So this is something that I don’t think has ever really been done before in the publishing world.
There are also two paid options, both of which allow you to have extra things like a spot on our homepage slider to showcase your book, widget ads on our sidebar area, and even listings to your website in our footer section, plus a chance to have a permanently archived author interview. We eventually want to set up our site when it gets bigger to allow authors to process pre-orders right from our website, and we are considering doing a review program too.
S.R.: When did Books Coming Soon launch?
D.V.: It was just launched last week [Oct. 5]! So we are a very young site, but please don’t allow this to deter you as a reader or author from supporting the site. I’m fully aware that this site is only going to work if people get behind it and really push its growth, so we’re hoping over the next few years to really make the site an asset to readers and authors everywhere.
S.R.: How many books are currently on the site?
D.V.: We only have a few books listed, since we just launched, but we are getting some wonderful inquiries about what we’re doing. It’s like any new site in that it’s going to take a major push and time existing on the web to have any kind of real impact, but again, we hope authors can realize that this is a great place to list their book and use it even now for their own personal marketing efforts, independent of the fact that the site is still up and coming. This is another listing of an author’s unpublished book online, and what author can’t benefit from that?
S.R.: What are your goals with Books Coming Soon?
D.V.: As stated, I definitely want to see the site become a massive force in the publishing industry, so that we are a brand name much like Amazon. I want authors to immediately think of BCS for their unpublished title to be listed with us. I also want to be able to have an ecommerce functionality added so that authors can process pre-orders directly on our site. That will come later if the site takes off and our authors and readers want it. We also want to have a very open line of communication to all users of the site, both authors and readers, so that we can continue to improve on what we’re doing. And of course, grow the site as much as we can in terms of both books listed with us and also readers coming to the site to get information on what books are coming out. Maybe even a partnership with some of the bigger book sites out there like Goodreads, Library Thing, and Amazon, could be in the works, once we become undeniable to these companies. Time will tell.
Derek Vasconi was raised in Sharon, Pennsylvania, a small town near Pittsburgh, PA. He didn’t stay there for very long, as after graduating from high school, he co-founded the metal band, From A Second Story Window, and went on tour for most of his early 20’s. In 2006, Derek made the decision to move on from the band and pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development, which he achieved, at Penn State University. After doing this, he went to Japan to live on and off for the next five years, and life has never been the same for him since.
Derek has accomplished a myriad of things in his life, including founding a traditional, independent book publishing company, creating an iphone app (eMobo, which brought the Japanese cell phone novels, or “keitai shousetsu,” to the Western world), and now, has pursued writing himself. His first book, KAI, showcases Derek’s passion for both Japan and horror, as he blends them seamlessly in an unforgettable and jaw-dropping debut book about one girl from Hiroshima who wants to destroy the world.
Additionally, Derek is currently working on several more horror novels, and when he’s not writing, he spends his time hopelessly devoted to all things otaku, listening to JPOP music, and hanging out with his little daughter and pet cat, Gachapin, who hates all humanity.