Today’s the last day of March, which means it’s the last day for my March Madness sale. Don’t miss out on your chance to pick up digital editions of these titles for just $2.99 US or equivalent, at Amazon, B&N, All Romance eBooks, Apple iBook and KOBO :
The Last Highlander is a time travel romance and romantic comedy which was originally published under my pseudonym Claire Cross, by Berkley in 1998. I wrote four books for Berkley – two for the Time Passages imprint and two for the Magical Love imprint. The titles were Once Upon a Kiss, The Last Highlander, The Moonstone and Love Potion #9. When I look at them now, I can see that writing these books gave me the opportunity to play with humor more, and to work on balancing comedy and tragedy. I had a lot of fun writing these books. For years, I heard from readers who wanted copies of these books but had no more print copies myself.
Currently, all four of these titles are available in new digital editions as well as new trade paperback print editions.
My original title for The Last Highlander was The Briar and the Rose. It’s still a title I really like, as well as the title of a song by Tom Waits with quite evocative lyrics. Holly Cole recorded a beautiful version of this song, which appears on her album Temptation. To avoid confusion, however, this re-release has the same title as the original printed edition.
As with all of my re-releases, I’ve chosen not to revise this book, but to republish it pretty much the way it was published in the first place. Although I’ve learned a few things about storytelling and writing since writing this story, I like the work as it stands. There may be a few typos or exclamation marks missing, but otherwise this edition is very similar to the original mass market edition.
In other news, I’ve returned to Scotland in my books and am happily writing medieval romance again. The Renegade’s Heart, the first book in a new four-book series called The True Love Brides, will be published in May 2012. This new series picks up the story from my Jewels of Kinfairlie series, following four more of the siblings at Kinfairlie as they meet their romantic matches and find their happily-ever-afters. The Renegade’s Heart is Isabella’s story and I’m very excited to have the chance to finally tell her tale. Visit my website for more information about this series and other upcoming releases.
I’ve enjoyed revisiting The Last Highlander, and hope you enjoy reading Alasdair and Morgan’s story, as well.
Until next time, I hope you are well and have plenty of good books to read.
All my best,
I teach a workshop once in a while called the Business of Publishing. (Sometimes it ends up being called the Business of Writing, which isn’t that different.) I taught it again last month at Ottawa RWA. Inevitably, when I prepare for the workshop, I end up updating the market and industry material. I also re-do the exercises in the second portion of the workshop one more time for myself.
One of the exercises that is always well recieved is a variation of one in the Artist’s Way. I’ve modified it to mirror the juggling act of a working writer’s life. It’s called Six Tasks and I posted it here on the blog a while back – here are the links for Part I, Part II and Part III. (The links will open in a new window so you don’t lose your place in this post.) The basic idea is that a working writer has a number of responsibilities. You rank yourself in each area of expertise. Of course, we all have strengths and weaknesses, and that will show in the chart. There are two ways to improve your balance of skills: by learning or by forming alliances.
I thought I’d talk today about one particular kind of strategic alliance that I’ve been using this fall.
One of the challenges of our digital marketplace is discoverability, and the creation of links in the algorithms of the various online portals. I’ve noticed that when people buy my books, they tend to buy a number of them – which means they like them. They start a series and keep reading. The challenge is to get more people to try one and thus create more connections in the algorithm with the works of other authors. Every time that’s strengthened, the algorithm has more data to make suggestions to consumers.
Once upon a time, my reviewing of books could have helped that—because we tend to write what we read—but Amazon doesn’t support the notion of authors reviewing books. Many authors who are also avid readers and reviewers have had their reviews removed in the last year or so. (Will this happen on Goodreads, too, now that it’s owned by Amazon?) There’s a sense that authors aren’t objective in assessing the work of their friends and associates. This might be true in some cases, but I suspect authors are actually tougher critics. I know I am, and I’m toughest on my own books.
But the challenge remains to create those associations: “readers who like Author A will probably like Author B”. That’s why I’ve been participating in digital boxed sets this fall. These are promotional tools, available for a limited time at a special price. The idea is that the reader likes books by one author in the boxed set, so buys it and tries the others. What will appeal to one reader or another is entirely subjective—the point is the exposure.
Still, it makes sense to try to target a boxed set, as readers often read in a specific niche (maybe all the time, or maybe when they’re in a particular mood).
The first one I was invited to join was Five Unforgettable Knights, which includes five medieval romances.
The second digital boxed set I was invited to join is Three Timeless Loves, which includes three Scottish time travel romances.
These digital boxed sets are alliances which IMO are win-win for everybody: all participating authors will be exposed to new readers, any number of whom may become fans, and readers get a deal, which can only be a good thing. Some authors sell better on different portals or in different markets, so we can all build audience together.
Do you like digital boxed sets? Do you buy them? Do you read all of the books in the boxed set once you’ve bought it? Do you prefer them in certain genres? They seem, for example, to be very popular in historical romance. Tell me what you think!