Moving On to 2017

Let’s start with a Happy Thanksgiving wish for everyone in the United States. I hope you and yours have traveled safely and are enjoying a wonderful meal and good times together.

And now, for this big update post.

About a year ago, I went to a writers’ conference and met with a number of publishing industry professionals. I came home with a long list of things to do with my books and their distribution, based on their advice. I was excited. I had Plans. Things were going to go to the next level.

The disappointing thing is that, in the vast majority of cases, following this advice has proven to be frustrating, time-consuming and detrimental to my book sales. That I haven’t had time to write much – or publish as much as I wanted – while doing this hasn’t helped at all.

One of the things that made the results even worse is that there’sΒ  been a change this year at the various portals. The word “erotic” is now apparently used as a flag for content that should be made less easy to discover. It’s as if someone somewhere decided that “erotic” is code for “porn” – although all of us know that’s not true. Each portal seems to have their own variation of this, none of it is documented or declared outright, and it’s a huge change.

This means that my strategy of giving each of the Phoenix books the subtitle “An Erotic Romance”, which seemed to be such a good idea at the time, has turned out to be a very bad idea. :-/ I’ve removed that subtitle from the digital books, but it can’t be removed from the mini-book editions produced by Createspace. I think these mini-book editions are so cute, but they don’t sell, and part of the reason they don’t sell has to be that no one can find them. I’ve added direct links to the Phoenix pages for these print editions here on my site, which you can follow to the print book product page at Amazon. They’re not always linked to the digital edition.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The end result – which is the important bit – is that here I am, a year wiser πŸ™‚ and ready to get back to the real business of writing and publishing my books instead of mucking around with endless busy work.

What’s on the calendar for 2017?

His Lost Princess, #2 of the Euphoria series of fairy tale romances by Ella ArdentFirstHis Lost Princess will be published at the end of December. This is the second fairy tale in my Euphoria series and is based on Cinderella. I really like the story – Ellie saves the prince with her love – and hope you do, as well.

Another lesson learned here – the end of December is a bad time to publish a new work as the various portals run on lower staff or even shut down departments, so publishing of new titles may be delayed. We’ll have to see how that works out. This will probably be my last release ever scheduled for the end of December.

Second – I’m revising Dangerous into three installments, which will be published with new covers in 2017. I’m excited about this project and can’t wait to see the new covers. I’m hoping to have them to show to you in December.

The Wedding Collection of three contemporary romancesby Ella ArdentThird – an exciting new opportunity! Both Amazon KDP and B&N Nook have opened portals for publishing print editions for sale at their specific portal. These are print-on-demand, like the editions from Createspace and Ingrams, but the pricing works out much better. This is because there’s no expanded distribution – at Createspace, the pricing worked out well if the book was only available at Amazon, but to make it available elsewhere (like B&N) there had to be a margin added for wholesaling, which meant the book’s price was higher. Doing an Amazon edition for Amazon and a B&N edition for B&N, both at a lower price point, takes care of the two big markets for my print editions. I’ve set up The Wedding and the new Plume editions at both portals, and the prices will be $9.99US for most of them instead of $14.99US. (The exception is The Plume: The Third Collection which is longer so has a higher cost. It’s $15.99 in wide distribution but will be $10.99 at either portal.) So, this is a pretty exciting new option.

The goofy thing about it is that all the portals (Amazon, Nook, Ingrams) use paper for the book interior that is slightly different in thickness, which means that the spine of the book cover has to be adjusted for each portal. I explored KDP and Nook’s new options after my cover designer had finished the Ingrams editions of these new covers, so I’m back in her queue for the variations of the covers. Once those are done, the KDP and Nook editions of the five books with new covers will go live. I’m hoping it’ll be before the end of the year, but she’s busy and I want the Dangerous covers, too. πŸ™‚

The Best Man, first in The Wedding series of contemporary romances by Ella ArdentFourth – I’m trying an experiment at Instafreebie. This portal allows readers to get free reads, usually in exchange for subscribing to the author’s newsletter. From now through December 4, you can download a free copy of The Best Man at Instafreebie right here. On December 5, I’ll have to decide whether or not to continue there after my experiment. If you do grab a copy, I’d appreciate you leaving a review online, at Goodreads, your blog or FB, or any other portal. Thanks!

Fifth – in 2017, the Phoenix novellas will get new covers, as so will the Phoenix Collections. (I haven’t published Marked because it’ll be easier to just publish it once, when the new covers are done.) I’m plotting out the culmination of that series, so all the covers can match and the series can be finished in 2017. There will be nine novellas altogether in the Phoenix series, and three collections. The titles are going to change slightly, but if you’ve already bought them, the new editions will be downloadable at your portal of choice as updates. Note that when the new covers are done and published, those cute little mini-books from Createspace will disappear forever. Collect them now if you like them!

Sixth – This is the tease. πŸ™‚ As well as continuing the Euphoria series, I’m sketching out two new series to launch next year. One is called The Men of the Plume and you can guess who is going to get his HEA as part of that series. The other series is still a secret. More about those as we get through this list and they come closer to publication.

Phew. There are my plans for the year ahead. I hope you’ll be reading along with me!

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