Tag Archives: With Heart to Hear

Free Today!

The warmth has finally brought out the cheerful red, yellow, and lavender blooms in my backyard, so to celebrate I’m making two of my titles free for a couple of days.


withhearttohear7_850In WITH HEART TO HEAR a passionate lord of Faerie meets a Victorian bluestocking. It’s FREE 5/14 – 5/16.  This sensual beauty and the beast novelette is hotter than most of what I write.

And for those contemplating self-publishing, BLAZING A TRAIL: Your Self-Publishing Journey is also FREE on 5/15 – 5/16.

I hope you enjoy one or both of these titles, and that you’ll take the time to tell me what you think by leaving a review on Amazon.

Happy reading!



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My Self-Publishing Journey: Ongoing Experimentation and A SALE!

If you’ve been following this blog series for any time, you know that the essence of indie publishing is experimentation. Nothing is written in stone as THE way to proceed to achieve guaranteed success. I’ve recommended certain paths as being better than others, but one thing you can be sure of is that there’s an exception to every “rule.”

FrankieRobertson_Lightbringer_200pxSo although I’ve done well using Kindle Select I decided to remove two of my titles from that exclusive relationship with Amazon and put them back up on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. I did that a month ago for LIGHTBRINGER and three weeks ago for WITH HEART TO HEAR. I intended to leave them up there for several months, so I could gather data to see if alternate distribution platforms would sell enough copies to compensate for the increased sales that come with a successful free promotion on Kindle Select and the paid borrows from Amazon Prime members.withhearttohear7_850

So far the answer is: No. I’ll ignore Smashwords because their reporting is SO much slower than B&N and Amazon, and because it can take weeks or months for their affiliates to list a book. What I can tell you is that to date I’ve sold one copy of WITH HEART TO HEAR  on Nook.  One.

But that’s not enough reason to go rushing back to Amazon where the sales of those books hasn’t been much better. I have friends whose books have sold well on Barnes & Noble. I’ve said often enough that indie publishing is a marathon, not a sprint. The problem is, at this rate of sales these books aren’t even getting off the blocks. The ranks of these books won’t allow them to be discovered. So what’s a girl to do?

Since I can’t run a free promotion effectively, I’ve decided to lower the prices of these two books across all platforms. One of my favorite indie romances, A BED OF THORNS AND ROSES is priced at $2.99 and is currently ranked at about #30,000 on Amazon. This book came out in May 2011 and the author does NOTHING to promote her book. She has no other books, doesn’t tweet, doesn’t facebook, doesn’t have a website that I’ve found. She just wrote one fabulous book. (It’s also available on Nook.)

Whether or not my books are fabulous is up to the readers to decide, but I can play with the price and see what happens. For the next month (or so) I’m lowering the price of LIGHTBRINGER  to $2.99 (also on Nook) and WITH HEART TO HEAR to $1.99 (also on Nook).

It’s up to each author to figure out where the best price point for her books is and the only way to do that is with experimentation. Joe Konrath likes $2.99, Jennifer Roberson priced her indie Kindle releases at $3.99 for LONNIE and $4.99 for THE IRISHMAN. Dennis McKiernan priced the digital version of  AT THE EDGE OF THE FOREST at $5.99. DANGEROUS TALENTS and FORBIDDEN TALENTS are doing okay at $4.95, but LIGHTBRINGER  is not.

So I’m shaking things up a bit, price wise. Now the readers get to speak, and tell me how much price makes a difference to them and how eager they are to buy my books in the Nook format.

Authors, how have you priced your books, and why?  Readers, what do you think about book prices? Does 99 cents say “trash” to you? Does $2.99 say “bargain” or “beware”? Does $4.99 say “quality” or “overpriced”?


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Available at Amazon and B&N

Available at Amazon and B&N

After a brief promotional period on Amazon’s Kindle Select, my sensual fairytale WITH HEART TO HEAR is again available for Nook online at Barnes and Noble. Like LIGHTBRINGER, it’s also available in other formats at Smashwords.


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Available at Amazon and B&N

I finally put up an excerpt of WITH HEART TO HEAR, my erotic Victorian fairytale. (Click on the EXCERPTS tab above.)

I absolutely love the cover Rae Monet did for this short (11K words).

The seeds of this story are from a dream that a friend told me about. She gave me permission to use it as a jumping off point, but by the time I finished, it bore little resemblance to the original inspiration.

Here’s a bit about WITH HEART TO HEAR:

An erotic beauty and the beast tale.

Elise Craft is a well bred Victorian spinster who, at the advanced age of twenty-eight, would rather study the flora and fauna of England than indulge in the social games of the ton. Then, on a trip to the lake country of Cumbria, she makes an exotic and erotic discovery on the border between everyday England and Faerie. She will never see the world the same again . . .

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WITH HEART TO HEAR is Available!

Just in time for the holidays, my novelette WITH HEART TO HEAR is available for only $0.99 as Kindle and Nook downloads! It should also be available soon on All Romance Ebooks.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wrote WHTH after a friend of mine told me about a dream she had. I thought it held the seed of a good story, and she gave me permission to use it. The story that grew from that inspiration is nothing like what her subconscious originally came up with.

Elise Craft is a well-bred Victorian lady who would rather study the flora and fauna of England than play the social games of the ton. Then she makes an exotic, and erotic, discovery on the border between everyday England and Faerie.

WITH HEART TO HEAR is an erotic beauty and the beast tale. It was published several years ago in SUM 3:The 2006 Zircon Anthology of Speculative Romance. For this release it has been re-edited and given a gorgeous cover by Rae Monet. I’m hoping this will be the first of a series of sensual fairy-tales. Two that I have in mind are variants of the Princess and the Pea, and the Nutcracker (no pun intended). For now I’ll bring them out individually as digital releases, but if they prove popular I’ll put them in a collection and publish them in paper format.

Do you have a favorite fairy-tale you’d like to see “romanticized?”


I want to wish all my readers a joyful, healthy, and prosperous holiday and new year. Thank you for reading!

I’ll be visiting with out-of-town family, so I won’t be posting on my regular schedule for the next week or so. “See” you next year!



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Covers: Know What You Want, and Ask For It

I enjoyed producing LIGHTBRINGER so much that I decided to go ahead and bring out one of my earlier works as a single. I’ll be releasing WITH HEART TO HEAR soon, just in time for the holidays. It’s an erotic beauty and the beast novlette, set in the late Victorian era.

Seeing a cover take shape is exciting for me. As I mentioned in a previous post, a cover is often the first experience a reader has of your story, so it should give them a clear idea of what your book is about. It doesn’t have to reflect every element, but it shouldn’t mislead them. It should appeal to your audience and make them want to click on it to find out more. (You do know who your audience is, don’t you?)

Rae Monet did this cover for me (as well as the one for VEILED MIRROR). Kim Killion did the cover for LIGHTBRINGER. What I learned from working with Rae and Kim is to be clear and specific in my requests. Artists are busy people and sometimes distracted by other demands. Creation of your cover is more likely to be quick and smooth when you take the time to be careful and specific in describing your vision to the artist.

Here’s what I think is important to designing a cover for online sales:

  • The quality: does your cover say “professional”? Does it promise that the story is carefully written and edited?
  • The feel: does the cover reflect the kind of story it is?
  • A clear focal point: does your eye know where to rest?
  • Readable fonts for title and author name when the cover is a small size.

Keep in mind that your artist is a business person. Her time is valuable. At the same time, you have a right to get what you want. Listen to the artist’s advice but make your own decisions. Keep asking for what you want, and express your ideas clearly and courteously. Don’t change your mind half-way through unless you’re willing to pay extra for the artist’s time.


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