Working on a New Novella

So I’ve started working on a new novella as a giveaway incentive for signing up for my newsletter. The working title is “Switch and Bait”, and it’s a shifter romance based around a team made up of a male wolf, a female hare, a male bear, a female fox, and a male otter. It’s set in our world, present day, but has links to the Xandakar novels. They are basically mercenaries, hired out to do jobs for shifters and other magical customers who either don’t want the attention of humans or don’t think humans can handle the job. The stand-alone novella involves one of the team members, Sidney Swiftpaw, switching places with a doppelganger who can look like any human she wants but can’t take any animal forms. Sidney is the only prey species among the team’s shifters, and she’s also the tech/computer expert. She feels underappreciated by the rest of the team members, so she warily decides to try living another woman’s life temporarily, while the doppelganger takes her place on the team. There are lots of little twists along the way, and it should be fun to write (and I hope to read!).  I’m aiming for 25K-30K.

I’ll probably share the cover here when I’m done with it. I already have a mockup that I really like. Hopefully I can finish it in about a week. Then I’ll make it available as an exclusive bonus for newsletter sign-ups. I’m also going to send it out to existing subscribers. Speaking of which, I’m up into the double-digits now!

The ARC readers on Dragon Blue are already going great. I got some feedback from one yesterday who had finished the book. She loved it, but noticed a few errors. I fixed them and already pushed out an updated version on Amazon. Self-publishing is pretty cool that way. So it’s less than a week before Dragon Blue goes live. I’m not expecting a slam dunk. I think setting your expectations too high is a recipe for disappointment. But I do expect it to do well, better than Outlaw, since it’s a more focused launch and written much better to market.

I don’t really expect steady results until I’m at least three books into the series. I know some readers don’t even want to pick up a book in an unfinished series, for obvious reasons. But once the series is established, they’ll give it a go. My plan is to release and keep Dragon Blue at 99 cents as an intro to the series. Future titles will release at 99 cents for at least two weeks (I’ll experiment with the duration of the launch promo), then bump up to either $2.99 or $3.99 (I’ll experiment with that too). That seems like a reasonable plan.

For right now, I want to do a great job on this novella, which could eventually lead to another series if my newsletter subscribers like the characters. As a newer author, I want to make sure I’m giving new readers a strong incentive to give me a try, and offering them something of value for free seems like a solid way to start that relationship. Then I’ll dive back into Xandakar, book two, which I’ve already started sketching out a little. It’s going to deal primarily with the red dragons, though we’ll probably see representatives from every clan somewhere in the story. I like writing books that are fast-paced, with lots of action, both in and out of the bedroom. I also like surprises, so there will be at least a few thrown in.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

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