Plans for 2019

A new year is always an excellent opportunity to review. I took some time off in December because I felt due for a break. During that time, I thought about what was working for me—in terms of writing, publishing, and life in general—and what wasn’t working so well. From that, I made a plan for the new year. Some things are new and some are changing.

Bad Case of Loving You, book #6 in the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke• My main goal for 2019 is to add time into my publication schedule. This will reduce my stress. 🙂 Once upon a time, when I was traditionally published, my books had to be delivered to the publisher one year in advance of publication. The editorial process consumed the next eight months or so, then the book was formatted, packaged and ready to go by 90 days before publication. Paper editions were printed and shipped, and digital editions were uploaded to the portals. Although I’ll never have that prolonged of an editorial process again, my goal is to have each book uploaded 90 days before publication. It will probably take me most of this year to catch up and achieve that. This will be pretty much invisible to you, but it’s a huge change for me.

Right now, my only pre-order is for Bad Case of Loving You, which is coming out in March. Job #1 is to get that book file ready and uploaded.

• I’ll also be closing my online store. I’ve had the store for four (maybe five) years. When I opened it, there were few options for authors to sell their work directly, but gradually other services have added functionality. I don’t need a second storefront because my websites are essentially storefronts. You’ll still be able to buy directly from me, but the new buy links will look like this one, on the Champions of St. Euphemia Boxed Set page – the prices will be in US dollars, the transaction will be managed by Paypal, and the ebooks will continue to be delivered by BookFunnel.

Simply Irresistible, a contemporary romance by Deborah Cooke and first in the Flatiron Five series.• I’ll be running fewer free and 99-cent price promotions
Scheduling and managing promotions is a job in itself, and the tail or halo (the sales that result from people buying the other linked books) from those promotions is much shorter than it used to be. I think this is because the ebook market is maturing. Those specials were great for people who had just bought their first e-reader, but have become a less reliable way of ensuring discoverability. Right now, Simply Irresistible is free so is The Beauty Bride. That may change. I have my sights set on creating more front-list instead of marketing back-list.

Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion by Deborah Cooke• I’ll be doing MORE writing (YAY!)
This market skews in favor of frequent publication. I want to focus more on writing and publishing new content in 2019. (2018 was the year of republishing Dragonfire; 2017 was the year of republishing the Bride Quest.) I’m excited about adding to my existing story worlds and creating some new ones.

• I’ll be offering exclusive discounts to newsletter subscribers
I’ve had good luck with this mechanism in the past so it’s a strategy to keep. These sales will be promoted to my newsletter subscribers instead of to the world at large. If you haven’t subscribed to one of my lists, you might want to do that. I only send newsletters when I have a sale or a new release to announce. I’d also like to make some new content available exclusively to subscribers this year, too, and you’ll find out about that in my newsletters. My newsletters are:

Dragons & Angels for my paranormal romances
Knights and Rogues for my historical romances
Heroes & Bad Boys for my contemporary romances

If you don’t like to subscribe to newsletters, you could also follow my blogs:

DeborahCooke.com/blog is mostly about my contemporary romances
DragonfireNovels.com/blog is for my Dragonfire series
DragonsofIncendium.com/blog is for that PNR series
Delacroix.net/blog is for my historical romances

Wyvern's Wizard, book 11 of the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeYou can also follow me at Amazon and BookBub to receive new release announcements from those portals. Be aware that Amazon doesn’t always send new release announcements on (or even that close to) the publication date. Sometimes they don’t send them at all. Also, BookBub now offers a new release announcement that authors have to pay for, so I’m not sure if their free version will be retired.

follow Deborah Cooke at Amazon
follow Claire Delacroix at Amazon
follow Deborah Cooke at BookBub
follow Claire Delacroix at BookBub

• I’ll be creating more free guided tours
These are newsletter automations that take subscribers through the works set in one of my fictional realms. Each week, subscribers get a newsletter featuring the next book set in that world, along with a peek behind the scenes and some notes about my research. There are special offers in these tours, too. I like these tours as they’re fun ways to integrate my research and Pinterest boards, then share that with you.

Right now, there’s a virtual tour available for Ravensmuir and Kinfairlie medieval romances. I’ll be adding new ones in 2019 for the Champions of St. Euphemia, the Sayerne medieval romances Rogues & Angels and the Dragonfire Novels. You can sign up for any (or all! LOL) of these now: the Ravensmuir one will start right away and the others will launch when I have them compiled. Your email will just be saved until then.

Phew! That’s my plan for 2019!

Under the Mistletoe, a contemporary Christmas romance and #4 in the Secret Heart Ink series by Deborah CookeWhere do we stand right now?
I didn’t stop working completely in December, but I certainly wrote less. This means that Chynna’s story, Under the Mistletoe, wasn’t written and published in December. On the other hand, I felt more like revising than writing, so I’ve been updating One Knight’s Return to prepare it for publication. It’ll be out in April and there will be pre-order links soon.

Right now, I’m working on the Dragonfire companion, Here Be Dragons, which will be published as soon as it’s done, and Theo’s book, Bad Case of Loving You, which will be published in March. I expect to fit Chynna’s book in there, too. (The timeline entangles with Theo’s book, so that isn’t as crazy a plan as it might seem.)

One Knight's Return, book #2 of the Sayerne series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixAfter that, well, I have a bunch of ideas. 🙂 I’ll be at a bit of a crossroads as many series will be finished up. The Dragons of Incendium series is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, and the rest of the series will be published there, too. Wyvern’s Wizard is next in that series, which is Peri and Nero’s book. I expect the next few books in that series to entangle a bit as the sisters set out on their quests. DragonFate is high on my list, but again, I want it all written before I launch the first book. There will be more Coxwell books – I think Annette is next – and more medievals – I’d like to publish the third Rogues & Angels book this year as well as The Stolen Bride, the third Brides of Inverfyre book.

I’m excited to dive into 2019. Do you have plans for 2019?

Dragons vs. Unicorns

Dragons vs. Unicorns LitRing Promotion

LitRing has a fun promotion called Dragons Vs. Unicorns running this weekend, and I’m participating in it.

Go ahead. Guess which team I’m on. 🙂

Dragons vs. Unicorns LitRing Promo

It’s a Facebook hop, across the pages of participating authors. You can win a new Kindle Fire or a gift box for playing along. There’s a widget on the landing page, to make your hopping easier, and all the rules are there, too.

Dragons Vs. Unicorns LitRing Promo

Here’s the landing page. Have fun and good luck!

Goooooooooo, DRAGONS!

Book Boyfriend Giveaway

This weekend, I’m participating in the monthly Book Boyfriend Bed Hop promotion hosted by Shannyn Leah, which features over fifty free and 99-cent romance reads in a variety of sub-genres. You’ll find The Beauty Bride and Wyvern’s Mate among the offerings. In addition to the free and discounted reads, there’s a chance to win one of four Amazon gift cards. The promotion continues through April 16th.

Here’s the landing page. Have fun!

The Crusader’s Bride is Riding High!

The Crusader's Bride, a medieval romance by Claire DelacroixYesterday, I had a BookBub ad for my medieval romance, The Crusader’s Bride. This is the first book in my Champions of St. Euphemia series, which is set during the crusades.

It’s always fun to check in the next morning and see how the book sold after the promotion launched. This time, I was particularly curious to notice the differences in categories and results in different territories, as well as on different portals.

One of the things I also track during a promotion like this is what’s called the “halo”. Those are other sales triggered by the sale on the digital edition of the book. That can include other editions, like the audiobook and the print edition of The Crusader’s Bride. It also can include linked books. In this case, I’m watching the sales for The Crusader’s Heart and The Crusader’s Kiss, the next two books in the series, as well as pre-orders for The Crusader’s Handfast, which will be published in October. When I planned this promotion, I’d thought that The Crusader’s Vow would also be in pre-order, so I’ve lost an opportunity in moving out the publication date on that book. (But if it isn’t done, it isn’t done.) In the past, I’ve noticed that people often grab a copy of a free title from the same author during a sale, so I’m watching the downloads of The Beauty Bride, which remains free. (And yes, I have a lovely spreadsheet set up to track these results, which tallies everything up for me every day.)

Here’s a peek at the results for The Crusader’s Bride this morning:

At Amazon.com:
The Crusader's Bride at Amazon.com on October 3, 2016

I have some good company on those lists:
The Crusader's Bride on Amazon.com on October 3, 2016

The Crusader's Bride on Amazon.com on October 3, 2016

At Amazon.co.uk:
The Crusader's Bride at Amazon.co.uk on October 3, 2016Isn’t it interesting that the categories are different? Here’s my company in the UK:
The Crusader's Bride at Amazon UK on October 3, 2016The Crusader's Bride at Amazon UK on October 3, 2016At Amazon.ca, the categories are slightly different:
The Crusader's Bride at Amazon.ca on October 3, 2016The company is similar in the Medieval romance category in the Amazon Canada store, but quite different in Historical romance.
The Crusader's Bride at Amazon CA on October 3, 2016The Crusader's Bride at Amazon CA on October 3, 2016At Amazon.au:
The Crusader's Bride at Amazon.au on October 3. 2016At Barnes and Noble, The Crusader’s Bride is #8 on the overall romance list:
The Crusader's Bride at Barnes & Noble on October 3, 2016The Crusader's Bride at Apple on October 3, 2016

And at Apple, The Crusader’s Bride is #2 on the bestselling historica romance list. Look at the other books – I’m with Hannah Howell and Heather Grothaus here, just as at Amazon US and CA.

THANK YOU to everyone who picked up a copy of Gaston and Ysmaine’s story yesterday and for giving me such an exciting morning of results. The book will be discounted only until October 7, so be sure to grab your copy and join the adventure now!

Newsletter Changes

As most of you know—or at least I hope you do!—I publish a monthly newsletter. It includes announcements of new and upcoming releases, cover reveals, as well as sales, promotions and booksignings. It has free content for subscribers in some issues, and contests or giveaways for subscribers in others.

I’ve been using one newsletter service for a few years now, ever since I stopped using YahooGroups for my newsletter. I like the portal. The newsletters are pretty and easy to design. The company offers good customer support. I’ve been thinking that they’re a bit expensive compared to other service providers, and as my subscriber list is easing toward another threshold (and price increase) hmm, I decided it’s time for a change.

So, I’m now in the midst of migrating my newsletter to another service. This is more of an issue for me than for you – in fact, it should be pretty much invisible to you. Subscribers will still get a newsletter every month, and it will probably look pretty similar. It’ll have the same combination of news. It’ll have a different footer, because the service puts its logo there, but that’s not a big deal. The newsletter will still come from my email newsletter@deborahcooke.com

The thing that you might notice is that the sign-up forms have changed. In fact, I’ll have sign-ups from both service providers for a while yet, as part of the transition, and also because they offer different features. I really like the pop-up here on the website from my current newsletter service, so I’m keeping it. The links on the Newsletter tab on the menu bar, though, go to the new service. Plus there are the old sign-up forms in the backs of my digital books. Until all of the endmatter is updated and the new versions published, those links will keep working. Each month, I’ll just migrate any new subscribers on the old list to the new one, so everyone will get the newsletter.

The main difference for subscribers is that I’m going to eliminate the Choose Your News feature of my newsletter. This has nothing to do with the two services and their functionality. It just seems like a good time to review what’s working and what isn’t. I thought there might be some of you who only read one part of my work, and that those readers might only want to hear about new releases etc. in that sub-genre. Well, maybe that’s not true, or maybe you just all like to know everything! Only about 2% of subscribers opted to receive a sub-set of my news every month, so we’ll return to everyone getting all the news. 🙂

The new sign-up is here, in case you haven’t subscribed to my monthly newsletter yet.

Romancing the Capital 2017

The stars have aligned, and I will be attending Eve Langlais’ Romancing the Capital event in Ottawa in 2017 after all!

I’m very excited about this. Eve’s reader conference is a wonderful romance-positive event and a lot of fun. In 2017, the dates for RTC are August 3 – 5. There will be some publishing and writing workshops on the first day again, and I’ll be teaching, plus the reader events and the book signing on Saturday. The hotel hasn’t opened for reservations yet, but you can book your ticket to the conference now. Eve says tickets are going fast this time around, so don’t miss out. (You’ll see that she has special pricing for groups, so why don’t do a road trip with your book club?) Registration information is right here.

I hope to see you there!

RTC and BookCon

May is here, which means I’ll be attending two reader conferences back-to-back.

f3a66-rtc2015The first is Romancing the Capital, organized by Eve Langlais, which will be held in Ottawa May 5 – 8. This is the second year for this reader conference, and I’m sure it will be even more fun than it was last year. I’m teaching a workshop on Thursday, then will be on a couple of panels and have my own Knights vs. Dragons session again. There are theme parties on Friday and Saturday night, and a big booksigning on Saturday afternoon. The conference is sold out, but the booksigning is open to the public. If you’re attending, be sure to say hello!

The Crusader's Bride, a medieval romance by Claire DelacroixI’ll come home, turn around, and fly to Chicago for BookCon on Saturday May 14. This reader event is always scheduled at the end of BookExpo America, and has been an amazing event when I’ve participated before. I’ll be signing in the RWA booth (#1712) at noon on Saturday. I’ll have copies of The Crusader’s Bride to give away, as well as print copies of my 2016 Sampler.

Wyvern's Mate, book #1 in the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeThere’s been an exciting addition to my plans for both conferences. I’ll have some print copies of Wyvern’s Mate for both events. These paperbacks are in a smaller size I haven’t used before, which is closer to a mass market paperback. I think they’re so cute!