Throwback Thursday – eBook Covers

I thought it would be fun to look at some old book covers, and play compare and contrast. We’ll start with my first four ebook covers for my first four indie-published books. I created these covers and was quite pleased with them, way back in 2011. I think I’ve learned a bit about covers since then…The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance II, an anthology of vampire romances including "Coven of Mercy" by Deborah Cooke

original ebook cover for Coven of Mercy, a vampire romance and short story by Deborah CookeFirst up, Coven of Mercy, my vampire romance and short story. This was first published in an anthology, the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance II (which was called Love Bites in the UK, a title I still love) in print only. The anthology cover is on the right. At left is the cover I created for it in 2011.

Coven of Mercy, a short story and vampire romance by Deborah CookeHmm. I knew I didn’t have it right, so had a new cover designed. Here’s the second cover on the right.

Coven of Mercy, a short story and vampire romance by Deborah CookeAt left is the current cover, which I love. This guy looks just as I envision Micah.

Every time I write about this story, I’m reminded that it was supposed to be the first in a series. Then I try to figure out when I’m going to write that series. I’ll let you know when I do solve that riddle!

In the meantime, Coven of Mercy is available at all e-retailers.
Amazon.com
Apple
Nook
KOBO
GooglePlay
Books2Read Universal Link (Find international stores and other Amazon stores here)

Amor Vincit Omnia is a short story, a medieval romance that was originally published in a digital anthology called the Seven Deadly Sins. This story isn’t available on its own anymore, but is included in my anthology, Beguiled, in both digital and print formats.

The Leaves, a short story by Deborah Cooke, in its original ebook editionI also got some extra mileage out of that image I licensed for Coven of Mercy and used it for the cover of The Leaves, a short story I’d written and never published before this ebook edition in 2011. This story is also available now in the anthology, Beguiled.

The interesting thing here is that, in 2011, we weren’t sure people would read long stories in digital editions. Popular thinking was that short stories would rule the format, which of course, hasn’t proven to be true at all – but that’s why I published short stories first.

Beguiled, a collection of short stories and novellas by Claire Delacroix and Deborah CookeWriting this post made me realize that Beguiled hadn’t been updated for a while and was no longer available at all retailers – I had to take it down when the Ballad of Rosamunde was in Kindle Unlimited – so I’ve fixed that this week. I also am in the process of republishing the print edition, which disappeared in my distribution transition from Createspace to Ingrams.

Buy Beguiled in ebook at:
Amazon.com
Apple
Nook
KOBO
GooglePlay
Books2Read Universal Link (find international stores and other Amazon stores here)

Once Upon a Kiss, a Scottish time travel romance by Claire Delacroix (writing as Claire Cross), out of print mass market edition

Once Upon a Kiss, a Scottish time travel romance by Deborah Cooke, published under the pseudonym Claire Cross and republished as a Claire Delacroix titleOnce Upon a Kiss is a Scottish time travel romance that was published in 1998 by Berkley and was the first book I published under the name Claire Cross. Here’s my first ebook cover for it, at left.

Here’s the Berkley mass market edition at right.

Once Upon a Kiss, a Scottish paranormal romance by Claire DelacroixAnd here’s its current cover at right, created by Kim Killion back in 2011 when I realized that my cover wasn’t getting the job done.

Of course, Once Upon a Kiss is currently available at all ebook retailers, with the pretty cover by Kim.

Buy eBook:
Amazon.com
Apple
Nook

KOBO
GooglePlay
Books2Read Universal Link (Find international stores and other Amazon stores here)

Original ebook cover for Love Potion #9, a paranormal romance by Deborah Cooke, first published under the pseudonym Claire Cross and now a Claire Delacroix title

Love Potion #9, a paranormal romance and romantic comedy by Claire Delacroix (writing as Claire Cross), out of print mass market edition

Love Potion #9 is a paranormal romance and romantic comedy, and was my fourth book published under the pseudonym Claire Cross. My first ebook cover is at left. The original mass market cover is at right. I always liked the cover art, which was painted by Judy York. It depicts a scene in the book, which is a rare and wonderful thing.

Love Potion #9, a paranormal romance by Claire DelacroixLove Potion #9, a paranormal romance and romantic comedy by Claire DelacroixI subsequently licensed the cover art from Judy and she added type to it for me. (You can see with this title that we didn’t have fixed proportions for ebook covers for a while.)

Eventually, I had Kim make the type consistent with my other books, and this edition on the right is the one that’s available now.

Buy eBook
Amazon.com
Apple
Nook
KOBO
GooglePlay
Books2Read Universal Link
(Find international stores and other Amazon stores here)

One Knight’s Return Pre-Order

The Rogues & Angels series of medieval romances continues with the tale of Quinn’s return home to Sayerne.

One Knight's Return, #2 of the Rogues & Angels series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixKnight and crusader Quinn de Sayerne vowed never to return home while his villainous father drew breath. Twenty years after his departure, he is notified of his father’s death and summoned by his liege lord to claim his family holding. But his overlord has a stipulation: Quinn must wed Melissande, the beauteous heiress of neighboring Annossy. Quinn hoped to make a match based on more than mutual animosity, but he is resolved to win the heart of his lady wife, at any cost.

Melissande cannot believe that her liege lord has not only compelled her to break an old betrothal but wed her to a ruffian—and granted the seal of Annossy to him, despite her expertise. It is the dream of Quinn’s father brought to fruition, for the holdings will be merged just as he long schemed. But her overlord cannot be defied and she finds herself the chattel of this rough knight, despite her every protest.

Can Quinn win his lady’s reluctant heart? Or is he doomed to lose Melissande forever when her betrothed returns?

An earlier version of this story was published as My Lady’s Champion. What’s different? Ha. Pretty much everything – except Quinn, who I still adore. 🙂 The book has been completely revised, and there are new scenes linking the company of Rogues & Angels to the story. Tulley has a niece now, too.

Coming April 23, 2019.

Pre-order One Knight’s Return in ebook:
Apple
KOBO
Nook

Read an excerpt here.

Huge BOGO Sale!

BOGO deal at Kobo January 2018If you have a device (phone, tablet, computer), that can download an app and you like saving money on books, this announcement is for you!

This spring, a few of our fabulous, forward-thinking publishing partners are enabling us indie authors to start offering readers amazing new book deals we haven’t been able to before. This means that over the next couple of months, you’ll be seeing thousands of brand new deals popping up from hundreds of bestselling romance authors. And it all starts NOW!

First up is a month of fantastic BOGO (Buy One, Get One FREE) deals from some of your favorite authors (see list below).

All you need to do is download the free Kobo reading app (available on the Google Play store or via the link below) for your iPhone, android phone, tablet, or computer — whatever you device you want to read on. We’re talking some huge savings here folks. 700+ deals this month alone! And next month, there will be a whole new set of bestselling authors bringing you more incredible BOGO savings.

Download the Kobo reading app for Android
Then after that, beginning in March, you’ll be able to start getting even more new deals via the free B&N reading app as well, similarly available for download from the Google Play store for all your devices.

Before you ask, yes, this will be a way for us to start bringing you audiobook discounts as well (more info on audio deals later in the spring). And for you paperback lovers, we’ll soon be able to offer paperback discounts too, just like the traditional publishers, right around the same time. So much savings!!

As one more added bonus, you automatically get $5 credit to use on your first book immediately after downloading the free Kobo reading app. How awesome is that?!

So, who’s ready to start the new year shopping for BOGO deals and binge reading galore?

This month, you can save on books by Addison Moore | Aleatha Romig | Alexis Abbott | Brenda Rothert | Carly Phillips | Carrie Ann Ryan | Cassia Leo | Chelle Bliss | Christine Bell | Ciara Knight | Claire Delacroix | Colleen Gleason | Cora Seton | Daisy Prescott | Deborah Cooke | E.M. Gayle | Ember Casey | Emily Snow | Erika Wilde | HM Ward | Jami Davenport | Jessica Scott | Jill Sanders | Jillian Dodd | Jules Barnard | Juliana Stone | K. Bromberg | K.A. Linde | K.M. Scott | Kate Perry | Kennedy Layne | Lauren Blakely | Lila Monroe | Marie Force | Melanie Shawn | Meli Raine | Melissa Foster | Melissa Storm | Nana Malone | Rachel Van Dyken | Sawyer Bennett | Sharon Hamilton | Skye Warren | Stacey Lynn | Susan Hatler | Susan Stoker | Tawdra Kandle | Tina Folsom

What a fabulous group of participating authors! There are over 700 titles included in this promotion!

This sale is supported in US, CA, UK, AU and NZ.

This sale runs from today through February 3.

 

 

Boxing Day Sale

Boxing Day SaleToday, I’m having a Boxing Day sale on ebooks in my Selz store. Save 50% on ebooks! Your ebooks will be delivered by BookFunnel in either ePUB or MOBI, and they’ll make sure that you get your ebook onto your reading device of choice. Recent releases like The Runaway Bride are excluded from the sale, and so are books that are usually 99-cent reads. (The store won’t process sales for less than 99-cents US.)

But there are lots of books included, so this is a great chance to fill the gaps in your collection.

Please use this code in the discount field at check-out and click APPLY to get your discount:

RA7KDOV5

You might want to cut and paste it to make sure you have it exactly right. 🙂

Remember that the store operates in Canadian dollars. Right now, $1 CA is about $0.74 US.

This is a one-day sale, so don’t delay!

Shop Now!

The Champions of St. Euphemia Boxed Set

The Champions of St. Euphemia boxed set including the entire medieval romance series by Claire DelacroixA company of Templar knights, chosen by the Grand Master of the Temple in Jerusalem to deliver a sealed trunk to the Temple in Paris. A group of pilgrims seeking the protection of the Templars to return home as the Muslims prepare to besiege the city. A mysterious treasure that someone will even kill to possess…

The Champions of St. Euphemia Boxed Set includes all five medieval romances in this thrilling series by Claire Delacroix. You’ll join the quest to deliver the treasure from Jerusalem to Paris in The Crusader’s Bride. Gaston makes a marriage of convenience with Ysmaine, knowing he needs a son, but soon realizes how little he knows about his new wife. Does he dare to trust her? Can Ysmaine win the heart of her new husband?

Follow Wulfe in The Crusader’s Heart, after he encounters the courtesan Christina who refuses to be left behind in Venice. Maybe this alluring woman is exactly what the orphaned knight needs to reawaken his heart and convince him to solve the riddles of his past—can he build a future with Christina?

Ride north to England with Bartholomew in The Crusader’s Kiss, in his own quest to reclaim his stolen legacy and avenge his parents: little does he expect to find a woman leading a band of thieves in the forest, much less to pretend she is his wife to undermine the villain.

Continue to Scotland with Fergus in The Crusader’s Vow as he returns home after his military service only to find his betrothed has wed another man. A marriage of convenience with his friend and the disguised Saracen Leila seems a fitting compromise, but Leila will not be satisfied until she and Fergus are more than friends and even lovers: she wants to claim his heart for her own.

The treasure finds its final sanctuary in Radegunde and Duncan’s tale, The Crusader’s Handfast, a May-December romance between Ysmaine’s maid and Fergus’ man-at-arms, a warrior who believes love has left him behind. Radegunde holds the secrets of her lady, but also proves to have the power to steal Duncan’s heart.

The Champions of St. Euphemia Boxed Set includes the complete series of five medieval romances in Claire Delacroix’s sweeping historical series.

Buy The Champions of St. Euphemia Boxed Set:
Apple
Kobo
Nook
• GooglePlay
• buy directly from Claire in her Selz store. (If you need the MOBI version for your Kindle, this is the only place you can buy it. When you shop in Claire’s online store, your purchased ebooks are delivered by BookFunnel.)

A BookBub International Featured Deal

The Princess, book #1 of the Bride Quest trilogy of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix

Original mass market edition

The Princess, book #1 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixEarlier this week, I had a BookBub Featured Deal for The Princess, book #1 of my Bride Quest series of medieval romances. The book is discounted to 99 cents. The Princess was my very first book to land on the USA Today list – it was #93 in its first week on sale, way back in 1998. In those days, of course, it was a mass market edition. That’s the original cover on the right.

This was the first time I had a featured deal for international markets only, and I was curious about its effectiveness. This week’s Indie Publishing post is about my results.

My previous BBFDs have been for all markets. At BookBub, this means US, UK, CA, AU and IN. An “international-only” deal means that BB will only email the deal to readers in the UK, CA, AU and IN, not those in the US. The book doesn’t have to be discounted in the US, but I discounted it there anyway – that discount was promoted only on my website, newsletter, and social media.

There are two variables here: the relative size of each market itself, and the number of BookBub subscribers in each market. My Claire Delacroix BookBub profile shows that I have 18,780 followers.

BookBub profile for Claire DelacroixWhen I sign in, BB tells me that 15,618 of those followers are in the US. That’s 3,162 non-US followers or 16%. I know that I have a lot of audience in outside of the US market so the BB follower list isn’t reflecting that. (Click that link above or the graphic to follow me on BookBub, regardless of where you are.)

(In contrast, and just for comparison, my Deborah Cooke BookBub profile has 87,884 followers, and 55,579 are in the US – which means 32,305 (or 36%) are international followers. That’s a break that fits better with my own perception of my audience and their location.)

Since these four English language markets are much smaller than the US, the assumption is that resulting sales will be lower than for a full deal and the ad is priced accordingly. Here’s the pricing chart for BookBub ads – the prices listed are for full ads. If you scroll down to Historical Romance, the featured deal for a 99 cent book is priced at $692 US. If that ad only runs internationally and not in the US, as mine did, the price is $108. So, $584 is for the US market, which gives you an idea of comparative reach.

For $108, I decided to give the international deal a try. The deal ran on Monday, December 3.

So, what happened?

The Princess, #1 in medieval romance in the Amazon.ca store on December 4, 2018

At Amazon.ca on Tuesday morning, The Princess had a #1 bestseller ribbon for medieval romance.

The Princess, a number one bestseller at Amazon.ca in medieval romance on December 4, 2018It was also #52 paid in the Kindle store overall, which is pretty cool.

The Princess, a number one bestseller in historical romance in the Amazon.AU store on dEcember 4, 2018It also had an orange #1 bestseller ribbon for medieval romance in the Amazon Australia store.

The Princess at #1 in medieval romance in the Amazon Australia store on December 4, 2018

It was #119 paid overall in the Amazon Australia store on Tuesday, too.

In terms of raw units moved, the traffic was almost equally divided between CA, AU and UK, with slightly more units sold in the UK. There were a few in the US, too. The halo was strong in these territories: at 8AM on Tuesday, sales for the day for The Princess were already 1/3 of what they had been on the day of the feature. The Damsel, book #2 in the series, and The Heiress, book #3 in the series, began to sell at full price on the day of the ad.

At Kobo, which has a large customer base in the territories covered by the international deal, The Princess was listed as #2 in historical romance on its product page on Tuesday morning.

The Princess, #1 in historical romance at Kobo on December 4, 2018

But when I clicked through to the bestseller list, it was actually #1 🙂

The raw units at Kobo were less than at Amazon, of course, but almost half – and more than sold at Amazon.ca. This is a very good showing at Kobo for a BookBub ad and likely a result of the territories matching Kobo’s market footprint. (Although I have had some BBFDs show very strong results at Kobo this year.) Kobo customers do love their boxed sets and Kobo does display them on the series page (unlike other retailers), so the first products to move in the halo at Kobo were the two boxed sets: The Bride Quest I Boxed Set and The Bride Quest II Boxed Set.

At Apple, The Princess popped onto the First in Series Bestsellers list, but without the US market, there weren’t enough units moved to place it high on any of the charts. The halo there will only be from links in the books that were sold and probably won’t be that significant.

In terms of money, there were enough units sold of The Princess on the first day to cover the cost of the ad. And as noted above, there is a halo, both in sales of The Princess in those markets afterward where it had visibility thanks to its placement on the charts and in the linked books. (There are five more titles in the series.)

One of the interesting things was that the book’s appearance on the charts was stickier in those smaller markets: typically, in the Amazon US store, a BookBub feature makes the book spike for a day, hitting high on the charts, then it drops hard. If it remains on a list for three days, that’s cause for celebration. But in these smaller markets, probably because there are fewer units being moved, the book stayed on the list longer.

On Wednesday, The Princess was at #2 in Medieval and #215 overall in the Amazon.ca store.

The Princess at #2 in Medieval romance and #215 overall in the Amazon.ca store on December 5, 2018

Similarly, it was still #2 in medieval romance in the Australia store on Wednesday, though it had dropped to #508 overall paid in the store:

The Princess at #2 in medieval romance in the Amazon Australia store on December 5, 2018

This is a good thing. One of the benefits of running a promotion like this is the visibility that the book gets on the bestseller lists, and more visibility is better.

In conclusion, it wasn’t a failed experiment, but it wasn’t such a success that it left me dizzy with joy. I don’t think I’ll run a BookBub featured ad in the international markets in historical romance again.

By the way, the book is on sale until December 8, so you can still pick up a copy on sale.

Buy The Princess
Amazon.com
Apple
KOBO
Nook
Googleplay
Books2Read Universal Link
(Find international stores and other Amazon stores here!)

The Runaway Bride Today!

The Runaway Bride, book #2 of the Brides of Inverfyre series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire Delacroix

Aoife MacNeill is a beauty and a prize, a former heiress who wants to marry for love, but her father has arranged her marriage to Nigel Armstrong, the oldest son and heir of the Hawk of Inverfyre. One look confirms that Nigel will never possess her heart—although his cousin, Ross of Kinfairlie, is another matter. Aoife knows she cannot escape her fate, but yearns for one last adventure: she will flee Inverfyre and hope that Ross will be sent in pursuit. She tells herself that one kiss will be sufficient…

Ross of Kinfairlie is a mercenary with a blade for hire; a knight without the coin to claim a bride. When his cousin’s betrothed flees, he lends chase, for the Hawk of Inverfyre trained him. Ross suspects that Aiofe plays a game, but her ploy is dangerous—the treacherous MacLaren clan, always seeking to undermine Inverfyre, take her captive. In the course of rescuing Aoife and ensuring her safety, Ross finds himself captivated by the fierce and beautiful maiden. How much will Ross surrender to guarantee Aoife’s safety? And how much will Aoife offer to protect the man who has captured her heart?

Available today!
Amazon
iBooks
Nook
KOBO
• GooglePlay

Read an excerpt from The Runaway Bride.

Virtual Tours of Fictional Realms

Virtual Tour of Ravensmuir & Kinfairlie by Claire Delacroix

I’ve started to create virtual tours of the worlds featured in my books, and the first tour is now running. It’s of Ravensmuir, Kinfairlie and Inverfyre. The idea is to give you a peek behind the scenes in the creation of each book set in a particular fictional world of mine – in this case, Ravensmuir. The tour “visits” each book in turn and in order – this one starts with The Rogue. There’s “stop” – or an email message – once a week on the tour once you join. As well as more information about the book, there are discounts and links to other free resources. I think it’s fun and hope you do, too.

You can join the tour at any time. New subscribers will receive the first message after joining the tour. Everyone receives a message once a week until the tour is completed.

If you haven’t signed up for the virtual tour of Ravensmuir and Inverfyre yet, you can do that right here.

Virtual Tour of Dragonfire by Deborah Cooke

The second tour I’m setting up is of Dragonfire, and will begin with Kiss of Fire. This virtual tour is still being organized, and I expect it to launch in January 2019. You can sign up now, though, and will get your first message in January.

You can sign up for this tour right here.

There will be more tours set up in 2019 and I’ll let you know when sign-up is available.

Knights in Shining Armor on the Charts!

Knights in Shining Armor, a bundle of medievla romances by Claire DelacroixAs you probably know, my boxed set Knights in Shining Armor is on sale for just 99 cents this week. Yesterday, I had a BookBub featured ad promoting the sale and the results are wonderful.

At Amazon, my Knights are #1 in Scottish Historical Romance and #1 in Medieval Historical Romance as well as #129 Paid in the Kindle store.

Knights in Shining Armor, a digital boxed set of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, at #1 in Medieval Romance, #1 in Scottish Romance and #129 overall paid in the Kindle store on August 29, 2018

The bundle also got an orange bestseller ribbon in the store:

Knights in Shining Armor, a digital boxed set of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, and its #1 bestseller ribbon in medieval romance in the Kindle store on August 29, 2019At Kobo, my Knights are #2 in Historical Romance, #1 in Romantic Suspense and #6 in Historical Fiction.

Knights in Shining Armor, a digital boxed set of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, #2 in Historical Romance, #1 in Romantic Suspense and #6 in Historical Fiction in the Kobo store on August 29, 2019

At Barnes & Noble, Knights in Shining Armor is #17 overall paid in the Nook store:

Knights in Shining Armor, a digital boxed set of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, #17 overall paid in the Nook store on August 29, 2019It’s also #7 on the list of bestselling romance titles at Nook:

Knights in Shining Armor, a digital boxed set of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, #7 on the romance bestseller list in the Nook store on August 29, 2019

Knights in Shining Armor, a digital boxed set of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, #24 overall paid in the iBooks store on August 29, 2019

At iBooks, my Knights are #24 overall paid in the iBooks store.

They’re also #6 on the bestselling romance list at iBooks.Knights in Shining Armor, a digital boxed set of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, #6 on the bestselling romance list in the iBooks store on August 29, 2019Thank you to everyone who picked up a copy of this digital bundle yesterday!

Knights in Shining Armor will remain on sale until September 2, so there’s still time to take advantage of this sale!

Buy Knights in Shining Armor: Three Medieval Heroes:
Amazon
iBooks
Nook
KOBO
GooglePlay

Knights in Shining Armor boxed set, including three medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, on sale for just 99 cents August 26 to September 2, 2018