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’s  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 🙂 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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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!

Get Ready!

I’ve had some interesting discussions this fall with publishers and other writers. As a result of these chats (and a good bit of thinking) I’m going to be revising a number of my books, and giving most of them new covers.

So, this is just a little advance warning for you. I’ll be unpublishing the following books in the next few weeks. They won’t be available again in their current format but will be changed and published in new editions.

Dangerous, the complete erotic romance, by Ella ArdentDangerous

Reid and Kendra’s story was originally published in nine installments. The first one remains available and is free in a lot of places. I’m going to revise this book to be in three installments, give it new covers and maybe make some editorial changes, too. It’ll be relaunched then. It’s possible that you’ll be able to download the complete story as a new edition if you already have the book on your e-reader, but the installments will be entirely new book products.

So, if you want the first part free, or the whole book as it is, grab it now! If you want to update your version, do it now.

There’s also a Goodreads Giveaway for six print copies of Dangerous with this cover. Sounds like a collectors’ edition to me. 🙂

Submission, first in the Plume Series of erotic novellas by Ella ArdentThe Plume novellas

The Plume series was originally published as nine novellas. The stories were then gathered into anthologies of three novellas each called Plume anthologies. Last year, I created a book containing the complete Plume series, so right now, there are thirteen book products in the series. Submission, the first novella, is currently free or 99 cents at online portals. I want to give new covers to this series, ones that reflect my realization that the Plume is actually the story of Mike and Joanna’s romance, with a whole lot of subplots. I’ll be unpublishing the nine novellas at most portals, and updating the three anthologies as well as the Complete Plume.

So, if you want to grab Submission for free, or need any of the individual novellas to make your naughty collection complete, or you want to update your versions, now’s the time. I think you’ll be able to download the updates as new editions if you already have the anthologies or the complete series volume.

The Wedding Series and The Phoenix Series will both be getting new covers, but they’ll just be updated at the various portals when the new covers are done. You will be able to download those as new versions if you’ve bought them already. There’s also a Goodreads giveaway for four copies of The Wedding Series with its current cover, so there’s another collectors’ edition.

More changes to come!

Dangerous and KU

Fantasy can be the most deadly game of all…

When a woman with a hunger for risk challenges a man who needs to possess, nothing can quench the passion that sparks between them—except a secret from the past, one that will seal their fates together forever or destroy them both.

Dangerous, the complete erotic romance, by Ella ArdentMy erotic romance, Dangerous, is currently enrolled in KDP Select, which means that if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read Kendra and Reid’s story free.

Claimed, an Erotic Romance by Ella ArdentKendra and Reid will make an appearance in the Phoenix Series, in the novella, Claimed. In this story, Rex will help them take their relationship to the next level. Claimed will be published in March.

I mention this now because Dangerous is only enrolled in KU through November 20. After that, it’ll be republished at the other online portals. So, if you’re in KU and want to read it, pick it up now.

Dangerous, the first instalment of the erotic romance by Ella ArdentD: Part One of Dangerous will also be republished at other portals and will be perma-free. That will let you have a sneak peek at the story.

Get Dangerous at Amazon.

A New Collaboration

Some exciting things have been happening this summer, so I thought I’d give you an update today.

First, I’ve been invited to participate in a collaboration with another author. These books will be erotic romances and will be published in 2016. They’re longer stories than what I’ve published before (well, with the exception of Dangerous, but I think of that story as nine shorter parts) and a bit different from my other work. The project is awesome, though, and I’m having a great time with it.

In addition, it seems to have been just the nudge I needed to get back to writing again. I painted myself into a bit of a corner with The Phoenix, but – at the suggestion of this other author – am working out the rest of the series. Previously, I’ve just jumped in to write, but I see now the value of making  a plan ahead of time.

There won’t be pre-orders on these books until they’re absolutely finished, but I wanted you to share with you that I’m getting back on track. 🙂 I hope all is similarly well with you!

Apple and Kobo

Just to keep you up to date, Part 8: U of Dangerous is currently in its final edits. I expect it to be published on time this week. I’m just finishing up Part 9: S, so it will be published on time, too, then the full book will be formatted and loaded for pre-orders.

This week’s snag (there have been so many!) is that both Kobo and Apple are closing their portals to new content for two weeks starting this Friday. It’s possible (but a long shot) that U will slip through in time at Apple, but S definitely won’t. If you shop at Apple, expect both books to become available later in January. (I have to believe they’ll have a big backlog to work through once they come back.)

Kobo has finally caught up with everyone else, and the first seven installments are now available there, but again, I doubt that U and S will be available before the middle of January at that portal.

If you can’t stand the wait, the books will be available on time at Amazon, All Romance eBooks and Smashwords.

Now you know all that I know!

About O

As many of you have noticed, Dangerous Part 7: O is late.

Why? Well, Reid was very uncooperative in this segment. He has to talk. It’s time. I told him this all the way through: Part 7 is it. But he wasn’t having any of it. I let him get away with it for a bit (because I was trying to fix the distribution to Kobo) but he simply became more stubborn. And noble. ::sigh:: Finally, Kendra stepped in to save the day.

So, O is within a whisker of being done. I’m hoping it will be available for you by mid-week and will follow with Part 8:U ASAP. As usual, it’ll go live first at Smashwords, then at Amazon, and the other portals will their time.

Thanks for your patience!

Dangerous Update

We seem to be lagging behind on distribution for the installments of Dangerous. As of tonight, Part 4: G and Part 5: E still aren’t available on KOBO, and Part 6: R is still snared in publication. I guess it’s a seasonal overload of titles.

So, I’m going to move the pub date for O out by a week, and hope we get caught up by then. 🙂

Progress

Well, things are moving along here, but not quickly enough to make anyone happy. I’ve been working through the earlier 8 novellas in the Plume series to make sure I don’t miss anything with Celebration. Thanks to all of you for your patience – I certainly didn’t think this would take so long.

Part of it is wanting to make sure everything is tied up in the last installment, part of it is not wanting to say goodbye and part of it is that things have just been nutty around here.

I am getting close but will tell you when Celebration goes to the formatter. Then it will be just a day or so away.

Late Again

What is it about committing to a deadline that makes everything go crazy? I’ve been living with Murphy’s Law this year, and can’t quite believe how bad it’s been. I’m done with deadlines and promises – maybe then, things will calm down around here.

So, yes, I’m late again and I’m sorry.

And no, I’m not going to make a promise about the publication date of Celebration. Let’s keep those gremlins away this time!

I’ll let you know when it’s published.

If you know any way to make Murphy’s Law stop, I’m listening!

So Sick

Oh, this is awful. I hope none of you have caught this flu bug that’s going around this year. I’ve been down hard for a week and still feel awful.

SWITCH is late. I’m sorry. Just wanted to let you all know.

And now I’m going back to bed…