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!

Peek at a Cover

Tales from the Phoenix: The Second Collection by Ella ArdentHere’s the new cover for Tales of the Phoenix: The Second Collection, which will be published in September.

Like most of the anthologies, the cover looks better in print. It has the covers for the included stories (Haunted, Sold, and Claimed) on the back cover. (And yes, this means I’m working on Marked.)

There’s only a pre-order link at Amazon so far, because I’ve been working on the print edition. I’ll get the other links up soon and share them then.

September 20 is the day.

 

Cute Little Books

Claimed print edition coverAs promised, I’ve been working on print editions of The Phoenix. Some of you like having the individual novellas available on their own, and Createspace offers a perfect format for this. These are 4″ x 6.5″ paperbacks, which is just a little smaller than mass market size. They’re so cute!

The cover is taller and narrower than the digital book cover, so I’ve used a feather background on them all.

These editions will only be available from Amazon and Createspace. It’s not a size that can be put into distribution, but the larger anthologies and collections are available in wider distribution. (More about that next week.)

The cute little books are just heading into the Amazon distribution channel. You can see them on Createspace already:

Harnessed
(which also includes Revealed)

Hunted

Haunted

Sold

Claimed

New Print Editions

The Plume: The Complete Series by Ella ArdentOne of the things that’s been happening behind the scenes this month is that I’ve been publishing the print editions of my books through Ingrams. They’re still available from Createspace and Amazon, but I’m told that other booksellers and libraries prefer to order from Ingrams.

This should mean that you can get the books more easily from other booksellers.

The Plume: The First Anthology by Ella Ardent PlumeAnthology2sm

For example, my books are now being listed for sale on the Chapters Indigo website, which is the big bookseller in Canada. The links are still populating, so the cover image isn’t there yet (these things take time) but here are Indigo links for

The Plume: The First Anthology

The Plume: The Second Anthology

The Plume: The Complete Collection

The Wedding Anthology

Tales from the Phoenix: The First Collection and The Plume: The Third Anthology should appear on the site soon.

The Wedding Anthology by Ella Ardent

This also means that you can ask for the print edition to be ordered by your local library or your local bookseller. 🙂

Print Editions

I’m in the midst of setting up the print edition for Tales from The Phoenix: The First Collection (which will include Revealed, Harnessed and Hunted) and had a look at the numbers for my print books. I believe in making books available as widely as possible, so had chosen the option of having extended distribution—that means making the books available for sale beyond Amazon. This meant that the price had to be higher, to allow enough margin for everyone along the way to get a piece of the action and still leave some for me.

Well, it turns out that none of you are buying print copies anywhere other than Amazon. How about that! This might be because Amazon tends to discount books, so you get a better price there. It might be that you just like shopping at Amazon. Or it might be that those other portals aren’t listing my books for sale, even though they have the option of doing so.

The end result is that I’ve just made the print editions of ALL of my books exclusive to Amazon. This makes a big difference in the US price and some difference in the UK price. (I’m not sure why but it changes very little for the EU price. Maybe costs are higher there.) The Plume Anthologies, for example, are now all list-priced at $9.99US and £7.99 in the UK.

New Pricing on Print Editions

I wasn’t happy with the pricing on my individual stories when they’re published in trade paperback, and it doesn’t look as if you’re very happy with it either. When the books are distributed everywhere, there has to be margin in the price for every step to make some profit and the price ends up being higher. These are only selling at Amazon, though, so I’ve changed the distribution: the individual stories are now available only from Amazon or Createspace, which means the price is lower.

The list price has dropped from $6.99US to $3.99US for Revealed and from $7.99US to $4.99 US on Hunted, Haunted, The Best Man, Always a Bridesmaid and Forever Bound. You’ll see a similar drop in Europe and the UK—the UK price for the majority of these is £3.49 and the EU price is 4.99 euros. (Revealed is a little cheaper yet.)

It’s clear that many of you prefer the anthologies in print, so I’ll get back with my designer to finalize a cover for the first Phoenix anthology. Maybe taking a break from it will have given us a fresh view! 🙂

New Print Editions

The three erotic romances in the Wedding Trilogy are now available in print individually. They’re up on Createspace today and will perk through to Amazon over the weekend, then out to other portals next week.

The Best Man by Ella ArdentNow available in print from Createspace.

Always a Bridesmaid by Ella ArdentNow available in print from Createspace.

Forever Bound by Ella ArdentNow available in print from Createspace.

The Wedding Anthology by Ella Ardent
Of course, the complete collection also remains available in print and digital.
Available at Amazon.
Available at Amazon UK.
Available at Createspace.

Print Editions

After several weeks of back and forth with the graphic designer, I’m admitting defeat. We just can’t find a look that’s right for the collections of The Phoenix stories in print. I love the peacock feathers on the Plume series collections, but a similar look just didn’t come together.

But, I was whining to another author friend of mine, and she said “why don’t you just publish them individually in print editions?” It’s so obvious, and I feel dumb that I didn’t think of it before.

Right now, there are print editions of the individual Phoenix stories in the works. I expect the print editions of the first three stories will be available at least from Createspace by the end of this week, maybe even from Amazon as well. I’ve also set up the Wedding trilogy in individual print editions, so you’ll be able to buy just one of those novellas in print, if that’s your choice.

My question for you is this: would you prefer to have the Plume novellas available individually in print, or do the collections work for you?

Collections

I posted this on FB last week, but you probably didn’t all see it there – and Sacha asked about it on The Phoenix page.

The Phoenix novellas will be published in print editions, just as The Plume stories and the Wedding stories are. (You can see those collections right here.)

I had originally thought that the first collection would include Revealed, Harnessed, Hunted and Haunted, but Revealed came out a good bit longer than anticipated. So, Tales From The Phoenix I will include Revealed, Harnessed and Hunted. I’m hoping to have a cover to show you in the next week or so, and to have it up for pre-order by the middle of the month with a November publication date. Stay tuned!