Here’s the landing page at KOBO – remember to use the promo code MARBOX at checkout to save!
I’m participating with a number of other authors in a promotion this week featuring free books. The goal is to provide readers stuck at home in self-quarantine with some new books to read. You’ll find a lot of historical romances on the landing page, some of which are available at the retail portals and some of which you can download free from BookFunnel. Some books are in Kindle Unlimited. My own books, The Crusader’s Bride, The Beauty Bride and Kiss of Fire are included. (Mine are all series starters.)
The sale is from March 16 through March 20.
Hop on over to the landing page and browse for your new free read!
This is one of their sales that requires a promotion code at check-out to get the discount. The code is FEBSALE
My alter ego has been busy this month. The Champions of St. Euphemia series are getting new covers. I just love how these came out!
I’m updating the book interiors in both the ebook and print editions, and also revising the copy for each book. This is in the works right now, so you might see mixed images in the series at your portal of choice until it’s all done.
If you’ve already purchased any of the ebooks, the new version should be available from your portal of choice as a free update. (The links have remained the same.)
The audiobook covers have also been updated for The Crusader’s Bride and The Crusader’s Heart. You should also be able to update your cover image, UNLESS you bought the ebook before February 1, 2019 at a portal other than Audible/Amazon.
I also have the print editions to update. Since a new cover requires a new ISBN#, it may take me a week or more to get the new print editions linked to the ebook versions. I’ll let you know when they’re live.
What do you think?
It’s a brand new year! What will you do in 2020? What will you change? What will you accomplish?
I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions but I’ll take any opportunity to review and revise. The start of a new year is a good time to do that. First, let’s take a look at things I learned in 2019.
• I published four new Dragonfire boxed sets: Dragonfire Quest, Dragonfire Elixir, Dragonfire Reunion and Dragonfire Triumph.
• I started to initiate translations of my historical romances and published my first two Italian translations. (You can find Claire’s translations here.)
• I attended two conferences, a reader conference (Romancing the Capital) and a writers’ conference (Romance Mastermind). I taught a workshop at RTC.
Lessons from 2019:
• A year ago, I was wondering where my days were going. It seemed that I didn’t have much time to write, even though I planned to do so every morning and spent all day at my desk. So, I started a spreadsheet, documenting exactly what I did every day and how long it took. The answer became clear very quickly: I knew that being my own publisher took time, but those publishing jobs were taking a lot more time than I’d realized. Part of this was because I’ve republished a lot of older books in the last couple of years. I’ve been streamlining my publishing processes, experimenting with timing – either a publishing day per week or a few publishing afternoons in a row seems to work well.
• I experimented again with KDP Select and was underwhelmed again by results. Switching between wide distribution and exclusive-to-Amazon distribution is a lot of work, so I’m sticking with wide distribution for the foreseeable future. I may write some projects specifically for KDP Select, but we’ll see.
• Recognizing that my focus had shifted from writing to publishing, I started a creativity journal last winter. I bought a planner and a lot of stickers, then tracked and celebrated how much I wrote each day. Having it open on my desk helped me to write first, then turn to the other jobs after the writing was done. I really like the stickers, which is silly but it’s effective. I wrote 700K words last year, which is really a lot for me. I’ve already set up my new journal for 2020. (And it has stickers in it already!)
• Those are pretty big take-aways from 2019, but there was another big one. A year ago, I thought I could republish some older Claire Delacroix titles easily. I knew I had a full schedule with launching DragonFate, plus finishing up Flatiron Five and Secret Heart Ink, and didn’t want Claire’s readers to be neglected. I chose three books that had been published by Harlequin, blocked in a week to proofread the scanned book files, and scheduled them for publication. That plan had worked well for the Bride Quest and Dragonfire. It didn’t work for these books. They needed revisions to the point that it would have been easier to just write new books. Those revisions added a ton of stress to my year, because I miscalculated and hadn’t left enough time for them. There isn’t a lot of upside to doing these revisions either – while it’s nice to have the books available again, they aren’t the stories I’d write now and they don’t have a huge following. My time really would be better spent writing new books. At this point, four of Claire’s eleven Harlequin Historicals have been revised and republished in new editions, and there won’t be more in the foreseeable future.
• Another milestone from 2019 was initiating translations of my books. My Italian translator and I are making good progress on the Jewels of Kinfairlie – The Beauty Bride is available and The Rose Red Bride is publishing, while she is translating The Snow White Bride. I’m waiting on the Portuguese (Brazil) translation of The Beauty Bride and will have the German translation this winter. It’s been a very interesting process, with lots to learn, and many new connections to make.
The Year Ahead
For the past year or so, I’ve been aware that I’m coming to the end of existing series for each of my author brands. Last year, I launched DragonFate for my Cooke paranormals, and I’m really pleased with Dragon’s Kiss. I’m having fun with that series and looking forward to its continuation. I’m in a similar place with my contemporary romances – Secret Heart Ink is done and after Some Like it Hot, Flatiron Five will be done. (Maybe. I’m not sure where Nate’s story fits yet. It might be a novella at the end of the series.) And Claire needs a new series, too. So, I’ve been planning and dreaming. The hardest part is always deciding between competing ideas.
Right now, these titles are scheduled for publication in 2020:
Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion – January
Flatiron Five: The First Collection – January
Some Like it Hot – February
All’s Fair in Love and War – March
Dragon’s Heart – May
Dragon’s Mate – October
That’s about 300K of new words right there.
I really want to get ahead of the publishing cycle this year, and get back to having books done and uploaded at least a month or two before their publication dates. I also want to publish linked books more closely together. That means the calendar is going to look empty for a bit as I write and work to get ahead of the curve. (You can see that gap in the schedule above.) The plan is that by the time you see the cover reveal and the pre-order, the book will be complete.
I’ll be filling some of those inevitable gaps with boxed sets. The new Flatiron Five bundle Flatiron Five: The First Collection comes out this month, at a special price. Claire has a new boxed set, All’s Fair in Love and War, coming in March and there will be other trope-based bundles. I’m hoping to write and publish some shorter works, too, to keep you reading while I write away.
I’m also revising my schedule to keep my focus squarely on writing. I’m not teaching anymore or making treks to writing group meetings. I attended two conferences last year and while they were great, this year, I’m staying home to write.
This year, it’s all about the words—and the self-care. A year and a half ago, I started walking 4 km every day and that’s become a habit. I really miss it if I skip a day. I’ve added yoga at least three times a week, too. I’m still not very good at it, but it does make me feel better. 🙂 I’ve cut back on social media commitments, too.
Of course, there’s still knitting and crafting. I’ll show you a new sweater tomorrow on Fiber Friday.
I hope you have exciting plans for 2020. Let’s make it a great year!
Today’s the day! The new edition of Pearl Beyond Price is available this morning. I rewrote the ending of this book, so if you read the original version back in 1995, you’ll find some changes in this edition. I just love the new cover, too!
Black Wind, the Mongols hailed him. Swift, fierce and proud. Yet Kira looked upon Thierry de Pereille and saw, not a man marked by legend, but a warrior who had taken her from the life she knew…to a place of passion beyond her wildest dreams.
The woman was a witch. Truly, who else could make pearls drop from her mouth? Or ensnare a man with nothing more than a touch? Yet, even as he fought the power that bound them together, Thierry knew he could not deny that the gentle Kira was his destiny.
“Another dazzling Delacroix delicacy!”—Affaire de Coeur
Book #2 of the Unicorn Trilogy
This edition of Pearl Beyond Price has been revised from the original published version and includes new scenes.
Buy trade paperback edition at:
• Barnes & Noble
Last weekend, I attended the Romance Author Mastermind conference in Houston, hosted by Skye Warren. It was a terrific conference, and like all the best ones, it sent me home with a huge list of ideas.
One of the things I realized that I’m under-utilizing – or maybe not using well at all! – is GoodReads. I think of it as a reader environment, where readers can talk about books with other readers. This is all good, but there are still things I can do there.
About once a year, I go into GR and update or correct the information about my books – the description, the ISBN’s and the series information, typically – but that has been the extend of my engagement in recent years. I’ve been lucky to have readers add my books for me there, but now I’m going to be more pro-active.
You can follow me at Goodreads. I have three profiles, although only two of them are active.
First, there’s my Deborah Cooke profile. This blog posts automatically on that profile.
You can also add my upcoming books to your To Read Shelf. The cool thing is that when you do this, GR sends you a notification when the book is published.
Here’s Dragon’s Kiss, coming December 10.
Here’s the Dragonfire Companion, coming December 31.
Here’s Some Like it Hot, coming February 25.
Here’s Dragon’s Heart, coming May 26.
Here’s Dragon’s Mate, coming October 27.
I see that I’m due to sort out some series details again – this happens because Amazon doesn’t allow decimals in their numbering, or prequels numbered 0. The other portals and GR do, but now Amazon feeds metadata to GR. I’ll dig in over the holidays.
I also have a Claire Delacroix profile. The blog from Claire’s website (http://delacroix.net) posts automatically on that profile.
Right now, there’s only one book you can add. Here’s Pearl Beyond Price, coming December 31.
When I get a few minutes, I’ll add GR links to the individual book pages on my websites.
Until about two years ago, I was creating two editions of each of my paperbacks. One was published through Createspace (an Amazon company) and made available to Amazon stores. The other was published through Ingrams and made available everywhere else. The two editions were the same, except that there were slight differences in the width of the cover spine, probably because the two print-on-demand outlets use different paper for the interior pages. (At one point, I also created editions at Nook of some books for B&N stores, which also have slightly different spine widths, but don’t see enough sales on those editions to justify paying the designer to tweak the spine, so I’ve stopped doing them.)
About two years ago, Amazon began merging Createspace (the POD publishing platform) into KDP (the ebook publishing platform) which made a lot of sense. Many indie books are available in both POD and ebook, and creating both through the same portal, with the same metadata, and reporting sales for both in the same place was a good plan IMO. Also the Createspace interface was older. The KDP interface was being updated, so the print update was rolled into that. Authors could migrate their titles from Createspace to KDP. There were some (inevitable, in such a big transition) hiccups, but ultimately, Createspace was closed to new content.
Since then, I chose to create my print-on-demand editions only at Ingrams, and have them distributed everywhere. Another variable was that I’ve been creating mass market sized paperbacks and during the initial transition, KDP didn’t support this format although Createspace had.
Recently, writer friends have shared that their Ingrams-print edition is showing a delayed delivery on Amazon – of about 60 days. Also, the Ingrams editions aren’t eligible for free shipping through Amazon Prime, which is a big deterrent to Amazon Prime shoppers. So, this week, I added KDP print editions for the books that didn’t have them before, just for the Amazon stores. They’re all going live now, and as they do, the Amazon edition will replace the Ingrams edition on the same link in the Amazon store. (This is because they have the same ISBN.)
So, if you’re an Amazon Prime customer and you’ve been holding off on buying print copies of these titles for your keeper shelf, now’s the time!
Ready for Halloween? I’ve got just the sale for you! Our multi-author Halloween Historical Romance Sale runs from October 27-November 2, and all titles are $0.99. You’re sure to find a new Gothic, mysterious, suspenseful, or paranormal romance to read on a chilly night by a crackling fire.
Right now, my medieval romance The Renegade’s Heart is free at all portals. I had a BookBub Featured Deal to promote the sale yesterday and wanted to share my results with you this morning.
The largest number of units always go out the door at Amazon.com, which means the book in question gets the largest bounce up the charts there. The Renegade’s Heart started at #4 in Scottish romance, #1 in Medieval romance, #75 in Romance and #417 overall free in the Kindle store. I’d already promoted it here on the blog and in my newsletter to get it started.
By late afternoon, it had moved up the charts to #1 in both Scottish romance and Medieval romance, #4 in Romance and #27 overall free in the Kindle store.
This morning, it’s sitting a little higher, still at #1 in Scottish and Medieval, but also at #2 in Romance and #9 overall free in the Kindle store.
Let’s look at what else is on the charts at Amazon.com. Here’s the top six in Scottish romance on the free chart:
Here are the top six free in Medieval Romance at Amazon.com – you’ll notice that The Beauty Bride, my other free medieval romance series starter, is at #5, which is kind of cool. (The Beauty Bride is #8 free in Scottish romance this morning, so if I had a bigger screen, I could have grabbed an image including the next row of that chart.)
The Highlander’s Curse, book two in the same series, is also on sale – it’s discounted to 99cents.
As a result of the visibility for The Renegade’s Heart, The Highlander’s Curse also moved up the charts yesterday.
This morning at Amazon.com, it’s sitting at #22 in Scottish romance and #11 in Medieval romance on the paid charts.
Meanwhile, over at Apple, Murdoch and Isabella’s book is also doing well. The Renegade’s Heart is #12 overall free in the Apple store this morning. You can see that historical romance doesn’t tend to rank as well at Apple as at Amazon.
And The Renegade’s Heart is #4 free in Romance in the Apple store this morning, which is a very nice showing.
That’s where we stand this morning! Thanks to all of you who picked up a copy of The Renegade’s Heart yesterday! Remember that the sale lasts until the 29th, and that The Highlander’s Curse will be 99¢ until then, and book three in the series, The Frost Maiden’s Kiss will be $2.99US until then. On the 30th, all three books go back to their regular price of $4.99US.