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Dragon Gold ARCs Go Out!

Everything seems to be taking a little longer these days. I thought the edits on Dragon Gold would only take a few days, but they stretched out over a week. The book is longer than my previous ones, but I was hoping to get it done sooner. Nevertheless, it’s done! The advance copies went out yesterday. I’m planning on releasing next week.

I’m interested to see how sales are impacted now that the entire series is complete. My intuition is that I should see a bump. But who really knows? I wish I’d had a tighter turnaround time for the last book. Not sure if that’s going to hurt or maybe actually help. Time will tell.

Now that I’m back into the swing of things, I need to decide what to work on next. I should probably finish the bear trilogy. The first one didn’t do as well as the dragon books, but if I complete the trilogy, then make the first one perma-free, that might be a good idea. I was thinking of switching gears a little, but it probably makes more sense to get another set under my belt by the end of the year.

By the way, if you’re interested in becoming one of my advance readers, you can sign up here:

http://eepurl.com/ckf9Iv

I’ll let you all know what I decide to do next when I figure it out myself!

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Editing Dragon Gold

I’m in the middle of editing Dragon Gold: A Tale Untold. I’m hoping to have it done by mid-week so that I can get it out to my ARC readers.

Editing is a funny thing. I invariably think my writing is better than I remember it being when I originally wrote it, while simultaneously not being nearly as good as I want it to be. It’s a weird state to be in. I’m also not as meticulous as I’d like to be, though I’m still not at a point where I want the expense or delay of hiring a professional. If I meet my goals this year, I’ll definitely add that into my work flow. But for now, I think the editing process is reasonable enough.

So anyway, we’re on schedule for a release this month. I’m anxious to see how well the book does now that the whole series will be out. Sales have remained low but steady for the last few months, which gives me hope that I can still make a go of this. Not sure if I got burned out from writing basically a book a month last year, but I know I can find a reasonable pace that let’s me produce the kind of books people want to read. I set a goal for 10 books this year, which I’m definitely not going to make. But my other goals are probably still attainable.

I’ll post another update when the ARC goes out and give you guys an idea of when the release will happen.

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Dragon Gold

Hey everybody. I’m so sorry I’ve been out of the loop for so long, but I have been working on Dragon Gold: A Tale Untold. The bad news is, I thought I would have it ready for release in July, and I couldn’t make that deadline. The good news is, the first draft is finished, and it will definitely release in August. It’s longer than my other books, coming in at over 75K words. The other books in the series were around 50K. Hopefully this will be the usual length for me going forward. I think 75K is a great length to shoot for.

Anyway, stay tuned. I should be able to finish up edits this week, then it’s going to go out to my beta readers. We’re looking at the 2nd week in August for release. Now that I’m solidly back on the train, I should be able to finish up the bear trilogy by the end of the year.

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Releasing the Bear and Working on the Next Book

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here…sorry about that. In the meantime, I’ve released my latest book, A Bear Comes to Town. It’s on the My Books page now,. As of this writing, it’s available on Amazon, Kobo, and B&N. It’ll be coming to iTunes soon. It wasn’t quite as well received as my dragon books, but most people still seemed to like it. I think I do need to slow down sometimes and let the story and the characters breathe a little bit more. A couple of people said it felt rushed. That may be a function of me just wanting to get the story out of my head and down on the page. I like fast-paced stories, but sometimes they can be too fast-paced, sacrificing quiet moments that really do flesh out the characters and their relationships. I’ll keep that in mind for future stories.

Speaking of which, I started work on Dragon Gold: A Tale Untold this week. I do have the two romantic leads worked out now, and the general arc of the story, though there are a lot of gaps that I hope will fill in as I write. I have the end in sight, which is the most important part. I’d like to get the first draft written by the end of the month, but that may be too ambitious. Writing on the book will probably extend into April, but I should definitely be able to release it next month (unless I hit some kind of road block). As with each other book, this one introduced two new characters: Austin Pryce and Fiora Whitefang. He’s a rich financial wiz living near San Francisco, and she’s a wolf shifter who was raised by a secret society of bodyguards. I won’t say much more, other than that it features a lot of common themes from the rest of the series: characters who don’t know who or what they truly are, a call to serve a higher purpose, and love between people who are very different from each other.

And of course, I need to wrap up the overarching storyline and tell the fate of all the characters from the previous books. Hopefully I can pull it off in a way that satisfies the readers of the series so far. My plan going forward is to either write another standalone after the dragon series, or revisit the bear trilogy. But at some point this year I also plan to write a novella set in the Xandakar world and bundle it up  with the box set (though I think I will probably offer it as a freebie to my mailing list as well).

But for at least the next month, it’s back to Xandakar. And I’ll try to blog a bit more too!

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A Bear Comes to ARC Readers

So I sent out ARC copies of my newest book A Bear Comes to Town today. I was pretty happy with how a lot of the book came out, though like I said in an earlier post, I always have nagging doubts before sending out a new piece of work. I plan on publishing the book next week, probably on March 2nd. I was hoping to get editing finished earlier, but this has been a hectic week, so it took a little longer.

This means I am able to start work on the final book in the Dragonlords of Xandakar series, Dragon Gold: A Tale Untold. Sorry to have kept readers waiting by writing another book before it, but I was feeling a little fatigued with the series and wanted to finish strong. I’d like to start writing the book on Monday, which means I’m really going to have to hammer out some things about the book this weekend. I have some very broad ideas about how events are going to unfold, especially with respect to the villain. And I have a solid idea of who my hero is going to be. But I really haven’t worked out the details on the heroine yet or her relationship to the hero, and that’s a biggie. An ongoing theme in the series is the change from love being chosen for you to being able to choose who you want to love. For centuries, arranged marriages were the norm in Xandakar. But in each of the first four books, the romances are organic, defying established tradition and usually involving love between dragon shifters and either humans or non-traditional shifters. So I definitely want to continue that theme. I’m just not sure exactly how it’s going to manifest itself.

Anyway, thanks to my ARC readers. Happy reading this weekend! If you want to join my ARC team, just let me know. And I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

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Happy Valentine’s (and BookBub) Day!

I hope everyone’s having a day full of love and romance. It’s raining down here in Louisiana, but I’m trying not to let the dreary weather put a damper on my mood.

My BookBub on Dragon Blue is running today. So far it’s gotten a little over 12,000 downloads on Amazon. It’s gotten about another 1,000 on Barnes & Noble. I won’t know the iTunes figures until tomorrow. I’ve got about 120 paid sales on my other titles, so the ad has already paid for itself. The downloads have propelled the book to #10 overall in Amazon’s Free store, and #1 in all or most of its subcategories. So it’s pretty much all gravy from here on out. The ad estimates in the range of 23,000 downloads, and we’re over halfway there. I’m curious to know if the pace keeps up through the evening. With my Freebooksy ad, the tail on sales was pretty strong. I’m hoping it will be even strong for this one. I’m also getting a lot of signups on my newsletter, so that’s good. I’ll post another update on the ad tomorrow.

Meanwhile, A Bear Comes to Town is nearing completion. Production this week has already been better than last week. I should have the draft finished by Friday. Then I’ll edit over the weekend and probably Monday, with an eye to publishing on Tuesday or Wednesday. I wanted to get the book finished sooner than that, but that’s where we are. Then I’ll hit the ground running on the final installment in the Dragonlords series, Dragon Gold. After that, we’ll see. The bear shifter book will be my sixth novel. I actually wasn’t sure I could do this, but it feels far more manageable than I would have thought.

Anyway, lots of love to you guys out there. See you tomorrow!

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Chugging Along

I was hoping to get the first draft of A Bear Comes to Town finished by the end of this week, but that didn’t happen. It’s mostly finished. I’m deep into the third act and the end is in sight, but I just didn’t put the word count down that I wanted to this week, and it’s going to take about another week. I’m pretty happy with the book right now. I think it was a good idea to take a break from the Dragonlords series to give me a little distance and perspective. I’ll be starting on Dragon Gold once this book is finished, and I think I’ll do a better job than if I’d just ground it out.

So I’m hoping this will be a good month, with a new book coming out, my first BookBub on Valentine’s Day, and getting a start on finishing up the last book in my series. I hope everyone out there has a great Valentine’s Day as well! Until next time…

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Cover Reveal!

I’m just past the halfway point in writing my new bear shifter romance, so it seems like a good time for a cover reveal. Here it is!

I may tweak it a bit by the time the book is ready for release, but I’m pretty happy with it so far.

It’s been an okay week for writing. I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked. Lots of distractions. But I’m hoping to knock out the rest of the first draft in the next two weeks. I’m pretty pleased with the way the story is shaping up. Depending on how well the book does, I may continue on as a series (probably a trilogy), or just leave it as a stand-alone if it doesn’t generate much interest.

I’m getting a bit of a tail from the promo. Sales have been better than the previous month, but I’m still not ready to buy a yacht (or even a canoe). I’m really hoping that the BookBub on Valentine’s Day punches me up over $1K for the month. That would be the kind of boost that would really keep my motivation up. Because I’m hoping to start work on Dragon Gold by the third week this month.

Anyway, everybody have a great weekend. I’ll check back in next week!

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I Got a Bookbub!

There was an email waiting for me this morning in my inbox. You’ve been selected for a BookBub feature deal!

So I don’t want to get my hopes up too high, but this was part of my strategy all along. It was one of the main reasons I went wide. BookBub is the king of the hill when it comes to promos. I want to remain cautiously optimistic because I’ve heard grumblings about them not being as effective as they have been in years past. But at this point I’ll take whatever I can to infuse a jolt of adrenaline into my early career. The deal is for Dragon Blue, which is now permafree. I was thinking about waiting until the last book in the series was out, but since that’s not going to be for at least a couple of months, I went for it. You can reapply every 90 days on a given title anyway.

They’re estimating in the range of 23,000 downloads based on the mailing list. I’m pretty sure any author would be thrilled with having their book in front of that many eyeballs. Not everyone who downloads it is going to read it, or buy through the entire series. But hopefully enough will to make my money back and more. The other interesting thing about the promo is that it’s slated for February 14th. Valentine’s Day. My first instinct was that that was a good thing. But holidays are weird. I don’t know if there will be a lot of readers who won’t want to buy a romance on Valentine’s Day because they’re busy. Or if they don’t have someone, maybe they’ll be too depressed to want to read. I honestly don’t know what to expect. I’m going to hope that it’s a great day to have a promo for a romance book, but we’ll see.

I have a promo with Freebooksy coming up this Thursday, and hopefully those two promos somewhat back-to-back will vault Dragon Blue up even higher in the rankings and make it stick there for a good, long time. In the meantime, I’m still just trucking along on my bear shifter book.

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Updates to the Website

I’ve added a dedicated page for my books. You should be able to see the link in the menu at the top of the page. I was relying on the side panel to display new books, but I don’t think it shows up very well on mobile devices. Besides, having a dedicated page for my books seems like a no-brainer. I also made specific individual landing pages for each of my books, so that I could link to them in the backmatter of each title. Since I’ve gone wide, retailers don’t like you linking to other vendors. So instead I updated all my titles today with links to the dedicated page of the next book in the series. So now, at the end of Dragon Red, there’s a link to my website for the page for Dragon Green, and that page has links to all the retailers where the book is available. We’ll see if that helps with sell-through.

Dragon Black, Dragon White is doing about the same as the previous titles. I think it has actually earned more money than books 2 and 3 (though not by much), just by virtue of launching at $2.99. But it’s sold fewer copies. I honestly don’t know what strategy I’ll use for the final book. More readers seems better, even if I’m not making as much money up front. And since it’s not a big difference, I may just release Dragon Gold at 99 cents. But that’s a ways off. After making all these website and link updates, I need to get back at my new bear shifter book.