This time of year is always a shock to my system. After 2 ½ months of summer days where I can pretend I’m a full-time writer, I fall into the end of August like I’ve tripped into a vat of cold water. I love my work, but it takes a couple of weeks to get back into the routine of having a day job.
I have many reasons to be grateful for this past summer. In early June, sales of Her Dear & Loving Husband slowed, so to shake things up I set the price to free on Smashwords. Over the next two weeks, the free price filtered out to BN, iTunes, Sony, and then around June 20th Amazon caught onto the free price. Over the next four weeks, Her Dear & Loving Husband was downloaded over 100,000 times from Amazon and about 20,000 times from BN. Her Dear & Loving Husband had the honor of being number one on the Amazon free historical fiction and free literary fiction charts for about a week. I still have the screenshot of Her Dear & Loving Husband next to Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities on the best-seller list.
Now that the book is no longer free, it continues to sell at a much faster rate than it did before the free promotion. I changed the categories from historical and literary to occult and vampire-romance because I thought that would help keep the book visible to potential readers who dig vampires. Someone who has read and enjoyed Deborah Harkeness’ A Discovery of Witches might also like Her Dear & Loving Husband, and this way they can find it. Now both Her Dear & Loving Husband and Her Loving Husband’s Curse are on the paid occult best seller lists. At this exact moment they’re numbers 15 (HDLH) and 20 (HLHC). How did being free help sales? Before the book was free in June, I’d sell anywhere from 20-80 copies a month. If I sold 30 copies a month I was thrilled because that meant one person a day was buying. In the month of August nearly 4000 copies of the books sold—and that’s just on Amazon. Thank you.
It isn’t only the rise in sales that made this a great summer. Since July, the number of messages I’ve been receiving from readers has increased exponentially. Whether the messages are from my Contact Me page, comments on the posts, e-mails, Facebook, Twitter, from wherever—I love them all. As much as I love books, I have never once written to an author to tell her I liked her work. That a reader would take time from her busy day to write a review or send me a note about how much she loves James and Sarah means the world to me. I’ve received some of the loveliest messages any author can hope for.
One of the funniest things that happened to me happened just yesterday. I was on my Amazon Author Central page adding some information for the new historical novels I released, and out of the corner of my eye I spotted my name at the bottom of the screen. I looked to see what it was, and it was a note on a message board asking when Book Three of the Loving Husband Trilogy was going to be out! I wasn’t sure if, as the author, I should respond, but I figured hey, who knows the answer to that question better than me? Right now, the best I can say is early 2013—probably around March. I’m working on it as quickly as I can because I know readers are eager, but at the same time I don’t want to rush. The ending for James and Sarah has to be a good one. I want readers to be glad they stuck around.
Finally, Wednesday night, I was able to publish My Brother’s Battle, a Civil War novel I originally published in 2000 through Xlibris. I accomplished my summer’s main goal, which was to revise, edit, and release the three historical novels I had written in years past. I’ll have more to say about those soon, but for now they’re available for free on Smashwords, iTunes, and soon BN. You can find the links to download the free books on the right. While they’re not at all like the Loving Husband Trilogy (these characters are fully human), I hope you still like them.
Thank you, thank you for an amazing summer. I’m not sad to see summer end, though. There are many more historical journeys we can travel together, not to mention the release of Book Three in 2013. This is a fun, crazy ride. You are all genuinely appreciated.