Tag Archives: Pendragon Chronicles

Ygerna now available as paperback!

I realize that some of my readers still only read in hard copy, and I apologize that it takes me longer to get the paperback out than the ebook. The formatting is much more complicated, however. I’ve been considering getting the new add-on for Vellum, but I’m a bit worried about spending $100 for something without being able to test what the results will be.

So I continue to use the template I bought from Joel Friedlander. It takes a bit of copying and pasting, but I’ve been very satisfied with the look of the books I’ve been able to produce that way.

Anyway, as I stated in the title of this post, Ygerna is now available in trade paperback through Amazon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ygerna

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Ygerna a Hot New Release!

Yes! I haven’t even started the big ad push for Ygerna yet, and it is already a Hot New Release in Arthurian Fiction on Amazon! Here’s the screen shot to prove it:

Ygerna Hot New Release

And you saw right — that is Stephen King behind me. ๐Ÿ˜€

I was a bit worried about this one, given that the material is not exactly easy. But the description makes it clear enough that Ygerna’s journey from victim to warrior begins with rape, so hopefully those who do not want to deal with that kind of darkness will stay away. Many of us have had to live through that experience, though, and I wanted to tell the story of a woman who learns to become the hero of her own life, despite having been a victim.

Of course, once again I was unable to write something that would be easy on potential readers …

I have another project up my sleeve for Nanowrimo, where I’m hoping to restrain my dark side a bit more than I usually do. More on that in a few weeks. And yes, I’m trying to bend my imagination to the more commercial. Eventually I want to make a real living from this writing gig, after all. And I have slowly come to the conclusion that the kinds of books I most want to write (and read) aren’t going to do it.

Ygerna Available for Pre-order!

I am thrilled to announce that Ygerna has been approved for pre-order on Amazon — in record time! It will be available for a special launch price of only 99c through October. After that, it will go up to $2.99.

Ygerna

Uthyr destroyed her life. Now she wants revenge.

When young Ygerna first meets Uthyr, Pendragon of Britain, she is dazzled by the handsome and famous warrior. But when Uthyr interprets admiration as consent and takes her by force, Ygerna’s hero worship turns to hatred.
And she will do anything to get revenge on the man who got her with child and ruined her life.

It will officially be published on Amazon on Oct. 2. I did that to have a bit more time to arrange for some additional publicity in October, since it would be cool to have a Hot New Release again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Strangely enough, other venues have been much slower publishing. The only other one I have so far is Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/en-us/ebook/ygerna

I have not yet done the extra work to make it available for print — which also involves getting a new version of the wraparound cover from my cover artist once I have the PDF done. I have to see if it’s possible to test the Vellum print add-on — otherwise it’s cut and paste into my print template …

I would be very grateful for shares and tweets and reblogs! There’s too much going on at the moment for me to invest the time in anything like a Facebook launch party, so ads and word of mouth are all I have to rely on.

But one very nice thing — before I even noticed that it was already available, Ygerna had its first pre-order. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ygerna

Yseult on Sale for 99c through Oct. 20!

In anticipation of the upcoming release of the Pendragon Chronicles prequel novel, Ygerna, I have lowered the price of Yseult to 99c through October 20.

Yseult

Amazon
B&N
Kobo
Apple
Smashwords
Google Play

And no, I still do not have a release date for Ygerna. My editor’s computer died, which has set her back several days while she transfers data and sets up the new computer.

This kind of thing is why I really don’t like doing much pre-release promotion. Not everything is in my hands, and if an editor has computer problems and can’t deliver on time, if I have set up a pre-order with a specific launch date, then I’m out of luck. I’m not setting a definite publication date until everything is in my hands. Then all I have to worry about is getting the corrections into the manuscript and the formatting — which I do myself.

Once I have the edited manuscript back, then I may do a short term pre-release. Or maybe not. ๐Ÿ™‚ Might just publish as soon as I can and throw everything I have at it then!

A Good Resource for eBook Sale Sites

I haven’t had a lot of time recently to update my various pages for places you can advertise eBook promos, so I thought I would share this site I found:

https://blog.reedsy.com/book-promotion-services/

It has an especially nice feature that you can click a button to only show free sites.

I should soon have news on the publishing front regarding Ygerna. Just waiting for the file back from the editor. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ygerna cover

What I do when I take a break from writing

The beginning of this month, I sent Ygerna off to beta readers. If you follow this blog, you know that it ended up WAY longer than I intended, and I decided to reward myself with a short “vacation.”

I did some sewing.

Our place isn’t big enough that I can have a dedicated craft room — or it might be if I tossed half my books, I guess, but I’m not to that point yet. ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, to do any sewing I have to haul out the machine and take over the dining room table. A bunch of mending had piled up that I couldn’t do by hand, so I got that finished first.

Then I started on the fun stuff.

For a while now, I’ve been collecting ideas on on Pinterest for upcycling projects — making new out of old. I’ve also been saving favorite garments with tears and holes rather than throwing them away, hoping I might be able to find the time to play with them a bit and possibly give them a new life. I’m pretty pleased with the results. Here’s a jeans skirt that had a serious tear combined with a VERY old maternity dress I couldn’t throw away because I loved the material so much:

Upcycled jeans skirt

And matching top:

Upcycled t-shirt

A couple more where the pictures turned out *g*:

Upcycled long shirt

Upcycled t-shirt

I also taught myself how to make roses out of fabric, and attached one to a skirt I made my granddaughter out of pants she’d grown out of:

silk rose

I also made a set of Barbie dresses for my girls out of a thrift store top, and saved a couple more t-shirts by sacrificing others and adding a bit of lace here and there. It was huge fun. I think I have come up with a suitable reward for myself for getting a book ready to kick out of the door.

I couldn’t leave off writing completely while I was concentrating on sewing — I managed that for about two days before I had to get back to something, even if it was only brainstorming.

But more on that in my next blog post. ๐Ÿ™‚

How to do a successful ebook promo (without BookBub)

Starting out as an indie author

As many readers of this blog know, I broke down this month and did a free promo for one of my Big Fat Fantasies again, Shadow of Stone, the second book in The Pendragon Chronicles. For a number of reasons, I hadn’t really wanted to go there anymore:

1) The reviews you get after a free run are sometimes downright depressing, since a lot of people are grabbing the book who are not your target audience.

2) The Pendragon books are REALLY long, and they took a LONG time to write. Something irks me about giving away all that work for free.

3) I don’t want to support the assumption on the part of a growing number of readers that the only good book is a free book.

Nonetheless, I decided to plan a free promo for Shadow of Stone. In the last half a year, it has sold less than 50 copies and had less than 20,000 pages read. Meaning that even though the book can be borrowed through KU, there were very few people taking advantage of the opportunity.

Shadow of Stone

I think part of the curse of my Pendragon Chronicles series is that the books are standalone novels. And it seems that when readers come to the tragic conclusion of Yseult, which ends with no cliffhanger pulling them on, they are not as compelled to immediately buy the next book — only about 25% of the people who buy Yseult also pick up book 2. So I really didn’t have a lot to lose by tossing SoS out there for free for the first time in years.

Before I scheduled the free run, I applied for ads with a number of sites where I’ve gotten good results before. A lot of places don’t want to advertise book 2 in a series, even if the novels are standalone, but I finally got approved for an ad with Manybooks.net for May 21, so I set up the free promo around that. Organizing a free promo is very different than a 99c sale, since with that you want to go out with a bang. Your sales ranking doesn’t disappear like it does when you’re giving the book away for free. I figured for the free run, I wanted my heavy hitter towards the beginning, so that Shadow of Stone would soon be high in a lot of top 100 lists, which in turn would (I hoped) lead to organic downloads also improving the rank. Around the more expensive ad, I scheduled a couple of inexpensive promos through Fiverr, and applied for as many free ads as I could. (You can see the list of free sites I usually apply to here.)

The strategy worked better than I imagined, even though I never heard back from a number of the sites offering free ads. Here’s the breakdown for my ads, other promo activities, downloads, and income during the course of the free run for SoS:

Shadow of Stone free from May 20 – 24

May 20 – Natali FB promo Fiverr ($5.50) – 185 downloads, $21.32 in earnings
NewFreeKindleBooks (free)
May 21 – ManyBooks ($25) – 685 downloads, $27.47 in earnings
EbookDaily (free)
May 22 – Posted to Facebook groups – 263 downloads, $22.94 in earnings
May 23 – Fiverr Bknights ($10.50) – 1382 downloads, $76.08 in earnings
Booklovers’ Heaven (free)
Blog post
Mailing list
More FB groups
May 24 – More FB groups – 363 downloads, $28.90 in earnings

Ask David (free) – ran Shadow of Stone from May 20 – 24

Applied for but no response:

Reading Deals
Frugal Freebies
SF Signal free fiction
OHFB (May 24)
Ebookshabit
Freebooks
Choosy Bookworm
EReader Cafe
Ebooklister
Freebooksy
Iloveebooks
Newfreekindlebooks
ebookasaurus
Armadillo
Freeebooksforme

I also tried to set up a Facebook ad based on impressions, since I figured an ad where I pay for clicks for a free book would hardly be worth it, *g* but it was never approved. That’s an experiment I would still like to try for a free book, but maybe with a permafree where time is not of the essence.

One more thing I did which helps explain the huge jump in downloads towards the end of the free run: just before I was intending to go to bed on May 23, I checked the rankings for SoS, and it was very close to breaking the top 100 overall free on Amazon. Since I’m in Central Europe, that means it was prime time in North America. So rather than shutting down as I had intended, I sent out pleas on Facebook and Twitter, asking people to share the word and help me break the top 100.

It worked.

Here are the rankings of Shadow of Stone when I got up the next morning:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > Fantasy
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical

It was #1 in several other categories as well, but those are the ones Amazon decided to show me. ๐Ÿ™‚

During the course of the promo, I sold 51 copies of Yseult, which had previously been limping along at about a sale every other day. Strangely enough, sales of other books not in the series picked up as well, something I rarely experience with a 99c promo.

But the fact remains that the vast majority of my income from this promo was from sales of Yseult. The way the Amazon algorithms are right now, I definitely would not recommend a free promo for a book that is not part of a series. The rank for SoS after its free run (where it broke the top 100) was #126,851. Yseult, on the other hand, was #7580 — at full price. The sales I’ve seen since the promo are mostly a result of the increased rank of the companion novel.

Of course, these numbers don’t come close to those to the profit you can make if you DO get a BookBub ad. But since those are few and far between (my last was in January), I’m very happy with the 4:1 ROI of this particular promo. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you found this blog post helpful, perhaps you would be interested in the book, Starting Out as an Indie Author! You can learn more here.

 

More excuses and more from Ygerna for #WIPpet Wednesday

The last week has been filled up with marketing business and Christmas shopping, and my word counts have suffered accordingly. I had two 1000 word days in the last week, but I also had a couple with next to nothing, when I was formatting Looking Through Lace for Createspace, and everything else surrounding the new cover. The new ebook cover is now live, but the paperback is not yet available. I will let you know when it is.

I also managed to get a BookBub ad for Chameleon in a Mirror in the UK only, and I spent some time on various discussion boards, trying to figure out if it would be worth it. Pretty much everyone agrees it is, so I plopped down my $100 for an ad on January 5th. Maybe it will even get my sluggish UK sales going a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚

Summary for the week: formatting, marketing, and 2900 words. ๐Ÿ™‚

With that out of the way, I can offer you a little more fiction for WIPpet Wednesday. Today, I’m giving you 6 short paragraphs for the 6 in 16. This snippet comes directly after the one I gave you last week from Ygerna:

“My third eldest daughter, Ygerna,” Erbin said.
She stretched out her hand. “It is good to see you again. Welcome to Dyn Tagell.”
Uthyr took the proffered hand with both of his, hands so large they engulfed hers. “We have met before? I find that hard to believe. I am sure I would have remembered a young woman so beautiful.”
Ygerna felt herself blushing yet again โ€” and wished her complexion did not always betray her so. “Several times, Dux. But if I remember right, the last time was over two years ago now, at the funeral of my brother.”
Vortigern’s chief commander released her hand and tilted her chin up with one forefinger. “Ah, yes, I think I recall a red-headed hoyden who might have been you. But now you are a woman grown. Forgive me for not immediately recognizing you.”
She stared into the Pendragon’s eyes, flustered, confused, and strangely happy, her heart beating so fast she could feel it in her chest. Her betrothed, Gurles, had never made her feel this way.

Tintagel, Wikimedia Commons
Tintagel, Wikimedia Commons

Emily Witt is our host for the snippet sharing session, in which we post an excerpt from a WIP on our blog, something that relates to the date in some way. If you want to play too, add your link to the Linky.

Word counts slowing down, and more from Ygerna for #WIPpet Wednesday

For the last week, I’ve been catching up on other things, like marketing, that I mostly ignored during Nanowrimo. Since my last update, I’ve gotten another 4100 words written. Not as much as I would like, but at least it’s still steady progress. Seeing as the hubbie and I went out for a long bike ride on Saturday (yes, the weather here in Central Europe is still good enough for that); we had kids and grandkids over on Sunday for cookies and home-made ice cream; I got some more ads and a free promo for one of my books organized; and tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes from the garden made — I think I can be happy with that word count. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ygerna is coming along nicely, and I’m still feeling enthusiastic about the project. That makes me hopeful that I can fill in all the holes I left in the Nano draft by the end of the year. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

On to the excerpt for WIPpet Wednesday. For the 9th day of the month I’m giving you 9 paragraphs. This excerpt comes immediately after the one I gave you last week.

Just before they reached the courtyard between the upper and lower hall, Ygerna grabbed Geraintโ€™s hand and pulled him up short. She smoothed down the front of her dress, pulled his tunic into a semblance of order, and brushed his curly blond hair away from his forehead. โ€œYou must join the wedding party as befits a relative of the bride, looking respectable.โ€
He tugged on a lock of red hair that had escaped from her braid. โ€œSo should you.โ€
Ygerna grinned. โ€œHow right you are, little brother.โ€ She wound the stray strand around her braid and tried to tuck the edges in somewhere before taking his hand again.
When they joined the rest of their family, her mother gave her a stern look.
Argante shook her head. “Where have you been, Ygerna?”
There was no time to answer, even if Ygerna had been inclined to do so, which she wasn’t. The first guests were already entering the courtyard as she and Geraint took their places next to their sisters according to age, with Argante at the head and Blodewedd between them. Names passed by in a blur as she curtsied and kissed hands and murmured words of welcome along with her mother and father and siblings.
That is, until Uthyr, leader of battles, stood in front of her. Suddenly the event was no longer a blur of unfamiliar faces. The Pendragon of Britain was the most handsome warrior Ygerna had ever seen, tall and muscular, with penetrating blue eyes, golden blond hair, and a short-cropped beard in the British fashion, not like her clean-shaven father who kept to Roman ways.
“Ah, the spy with hair the color of glinting rubies,” Uthyr murmured. “If you want to remain unseen, you should consider covering your head.”
Ygerna blushed and rose from her curtsy.


This gal is a little like I imagine Ygerna. Licensed through Shutterstock.

Emily Witt is our host for the snippet sharing session, in which we post an excerpt from a WIP on our blog, something that relates to the date in some way. If you want to play too, add your link to the Linky.

P.S. After posting this, I got the new cover designs for “Looking Through Lace” — you would be doing me a huge favor if you would click to the next post and vote! Thanks in advance. ๐Ÿ™‚