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’sĀ  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 šŸ™‚ 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. šŸ™‚

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. šŸ™‚ 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!

What’s Next

Dangerous, an erotic romance by Ella Ardent

I mentioned to you earlier that I had another story to write before starting the Phoenix Series. That story is called Dangerous and I’m having a terrific time writing it.

Dangerous is a dark erotic romance, with bdsm and suspense. It will be published this summer in nine bi-weekly digital installments. When it’s complete, all the installments will be gathered into one volume, which will be available in print and digital in December.

I’ll let you know when I have a start date and more details to share.

A Plan Comes Together

I love it when an idea pulls together, just like it was meant to be.

There will be another series this summer, not the Plume or the Phoenix, but something completely different. I hope to have a cover to show you in the next day or so, and will tell you more then.

I’m having such fun with this story. I hope you’ll all enjoy it too. šŸ™‚

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!

Progress

I’ve been having a wonderfully productive month, so thought I’d give you all a little update.

ForeverBound2

I’m just about finished FOREVER BOUND – that’s #3 in the Wedding anthology – and am hoping to publish it this upcoming weekend. I’ll tell you when it’s been uploaded, as usual, and post the links when they go live.

There will be a Wedding anthology, but I’ll have to format the files (for print and digital) plus get a new cover done. With the holidays coming, that anthology might not be available until the new year.

And yes, then I’ll head back to the Plume for SWITCH. šŸ™‚

Catching Up

I hope those of you in the US had a wonderful Thanksgiving this weekend!

Here I promised you an update last week, and the time slipped away on me. Sorry about that – I’ve been getting organized. It is such a busy time of year and I clearly need to work on my time management.

Where are we at? Well, FLASHBACK has not only been approved for premium distribution from Smashwords, but it has shipped to many portals this week. It went to Apple on November 16, B&N on November 19, KOBO on November 22. So, depending upon the time delay at each portal, you should start seeing it on sale at those outlets by the end of this week.

Next up will be FOREVER BOUND. No one from the Plume gets to jump the queue this time! I’m working on it now, and it will be a December release. As usual, I’ll let you know when it’s written and is being formatted.

Once FOREVER BOUND is completed, I can get THE WEDDING anthology compiled and the print edition formatted.

The next release will be #8 in The Plume series, SWITCH. I’m going to say January for its release, even though a chunk of it is already written (and more envisioned) because this is a busy time of year. I still need to work with the artist on the cover, so will add a bit of time in case she’s booked up (or busy herself). Again, I’ll give you a shout when it’s being formatted and close to release.

Then we’ll see about Plume #9, which is the big finish and is called CELEBRATION.

One thing I have learned this year is that writing two different series at the same time is a bad idea for me. I won’t do that again!

That probably answered the questions most of you have posted, but I’ll go peek at comments now.

An Update

I’m writing away, honest and true! And here’s what you can expect in the next couple of weeks.

ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID is just a tweak away. Fiona gave me some trouble, but we’re all sorted out now. (As soon as Kade got determined, everything was fine.) I expect to publish AAB – which is the second story in The Wedding trilogy – by Monday.

After that will be FOREVER BOUND, #3 in The Wedding trilogy. This one is perking along – lots of good BDSM fun for the happy couple – so it will be published soon. Two weeks, worst case. I’m aiming for it to be a week after AAB but Stuff Happens.

Then, it’s time for EXPOSURE, story #6 in The Plume series. My cover artist is on vacation, so we still need to do the cover. (And I think she’s worth waiting for! The Plume covers are awesome, IMO.) The story is pretty much ready to go, so (fingers crossed) you’ll have another Plume fix by the end of the month.

In September, there will be new anthologies, in simultaneous print and digital, for The Wedding and The Plume: Second Anthology.

Plume #7 will be an October release.

Now you know!

And We’re Back

(It was tempting to call this post “Coitus Interruptus” but the spam would have been unbelievable.)

What happened? I disappeared – and it was all Rex’s fault. I had a plan, nicely charted out, for the story of the Plume. Everything was moving along beautifully, until Rex suddenly insisted that the story be different. He wasn’t going to cooperate with my telling the story my way, and I wasn’t sure I could tell it his way.

I also was uncertain whether SUBMISSION and SURRENDER would need to be modified to accommodate Rex’s perspective. There was no point in more people reading those stories until I was sure.

It is very strange to talk about a fictional character that I have created myself as if he were a real person, but now I understand why writers do this. Rex is opinionated. And persuasive. I guess that’s what makes him so interesting to me.

The point is that now I have a new plan and a new outline, and a way to make both Rex and I happy.

I’m also going to modify my publication schedule a bit, to stay a few steps ahead of this boy and ensure this doesn’t happen again.

My apologies to all of you for disappearing into the ether.

Look for SUBMISSION and SURRENDER to return to availability shortly, and SEDUCTION by mid-January.

Happy holidays everyone! Mine will be happier now that Rex and I have found a middle ground.