Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Hybrid Author - good or bad?

Aria -Head of Zeus
I don't know about anyone else, but sales and page views of my published books – mainly Regencies now – have fallen this year. Last year I had a runaway success with The Reclusive Duke which made a huge impact on the last months of the year but up until that point both sales and page views have not been great.
I was keeping my fingers crossed that something similar would happen this year but unfortunately it hasn't. The amount of well produced and well written author published books is growing at twice the speed that the reader pool is increasing.
Obviously, this means that although a writer's sales rank remains constant their royalties are falling as their slice of the "reader pie" is now much smaller.
Those that are still doing really well were already massively ahead of me in the marketplace or are spending a small fortune, and hours and hours of work on Amazon ads and Facebook ads and other promotions. I don't have the time or inclination to do any of those things.
When I was picked up by Aria – Head of Zeus last year I was ambivalent about signing the contract. The company restructured and my editor was made redundant which exacerbated my frustration and I was regretting my decision. However, the new team is even better than the last and everything is now very good. The CEO actually offered me back my rights with no strings attached and this made me decide to stay with them and I've not regretted it since.
This leads me to the question: Is hybrid the way forward for writers in the mid-list?
After receiving five times the royalties this month than I expected my answer is a resounding yes. My editor told me the that as more books in my series are published then readership grows and so do sales. She is absolutely right.
I'm also enjoying having a team behind me, knowing that my books are being well edited and will be better than they would have been without them, and love not having to do promotion myself. Another reason for indie-publishing is that I write between five and seven books a year and no publisher wants that many from one author.
I will never give up writing my Regencies and publishing them myself as I have a loyal reader base and look forward to my next book and I'll never disappoint them.
What I'm wondering is should I go, as a friend of mine has, entirely with my publisher for all my books or is it better to remain half and half?
Hybrid or totally traditional? What do you think?

Fenella J Miller

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

New Book - The Duke's Ward - first in series The Reluctant Duke.


I'm delighted to be able to tell you that I've started a new Regency series. I hope you were as sad as I was to leave the characters in my last series to get on with their lives.
This one – The Reluctant Duke – will be rather different to the previous series which dealt with the romance of each of the siblings in turn. The first book, The Duke's Ward, is indeed the romance between Richard and Amanda, but it doesn't end with their wedding. We will have to wait until the last book for that to happen – or maybe they will decide to marry sooner than I want.
The second book will either be Lady Sarah's romance or that of the governess. There will be either four or five books – it depends on who wanders into their lives.
I hope you enjoy it. The link it under the cover image.

JD Smith designs do all my covers and aren't they fantastic?
If you do read it can you please find time to put a short review on Amazon for me is this really helps the peculiar algorithms they use to promote  authors.

Here's the blurb:
The Duke's Ward is the first book in a new Regency romance series, The Reluctant Duke, by bestselling author Fenella J Miller.
Major Richard Sinclair finds himself elevated to a dukedom. Now he is The Duke of Enchester and responsible not only for vast estates and huge funds but also for The Dowager Duchess and the three under age daughters. 
He is a career soldier and has no intention of permanently burdening himself with this new inheritance. He will visit, set things in order and then return to his duties with his friend and comrade, Sgt Major RIley.
Lady Amanda Sinclair has been managing the household since her father's untimely demise and removes the family to the Dower House where their reduced income can cover their expenses more easily. She is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new duke and being able to pay the bills once more.
However, both Richard and Amanda are in for a shock when they meet. Can a true aristocat like her ever teach a rough soldier how to be a successful duke?
Best wishes
Fenella J Miller

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Are Free Books the way forward or the beginning of the end?


FREE until Sunday
This month I'm introducing a contentious subject – that of giving away books for nothing in order to boost interest in books that are normally priced.
On another loop there has been vigorous discussion on the subject with several quite vehement that no one should ever give away their books for free.
The argument being that firstly a book has taken several months of a writer's life to produce and is therefore valuable. And secondly the more free books that are available the more readers will expect to get something for nothing. This will eventually lead to writers losing the majority of their income. This camp also think that Kindle Select is the same thing – that readers are getting books for nothing. Obviously this is untrue as it's just a subscription service like itunes or audible.
I disagree with that premise and will be interested to know into which camp you fall.
I only make books free that have already sold well but are no longer making any impact on readers. I have been putting up a free book every week this past month and have noticed a huge increase in page views and sales of other titles because of this.
Admittedly I've had a couple of emails from readers who couldn't get the link to work saying that they only download free books as they can't afford to buy. On balance I'd much prefer my free books to go to readers who then buy other titles, but as long as a reader enjoys what they read I'm happy with the exchange.
Whilst on the subject of pricing – how do you feel about books being sold permanently at less than what might be considered a reasonable amount?
Again I sell books at £0.99 that have already been sold in a box set or are several years old. My new books are always priced at what I consider the right amount – £1.99. I believe that it's better to sell thousands of books at a cheaper price than a handful at what might be considered the right price.
Sales are falling for many indie-writers as there are thousands of good books being published every month and  our share of the market is therefore smaller. More books but static pool of readers.
Am I and others like me ruining things for all writers by giving away our books and pricing them under a pound?
Let me know your views.
Fenella J Miller

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Out now. £2.43
I am pleased to tell you that I have two books out today. One, the second in my WW2 series, The Spitfire Girl, and the other a standalone Regency, A Duke in Danger.

The WW2 book continues the story of Ellie Simpson, now an ATA pilot, and of Greg Dunlop and Jack Reynolds. It takes you up to to 1941.
The third book, which doesn't have a title, is finished and about to go to my editor. It will be out in October this year. There will now be a fourth book as I'd only got to Christmas 1942 and wanted to take my characters to the end of the war.

A Duke in Danger is  a traditional Regency romance but packed with excitement and adventure.

Bargain price of £0.99 & $0.99

A Duke in Danger is a traditional Regency.
Lord Christopher Drake is in need of a rich wife if he is to keep his mother and siblings from penury.
Lady Helena Faulkner has no wish to marry, but at two and twenty is in a fair way to being considered a spinster. She is content studying botany and raking around the place in men's attire. She refuses point blank to have a Season in Town. Her indulgent parents persuade her to agree to marry if they can find a gentleman that fits her exacting list of requirements.
She has known Kit, Lord Drake, since she was a child as he is her older brother's closest friend. Therefore, it is hardly surprising Kit and Helena decide they are a perfect match. She wants a friend and companion, a gentleman who will allow her to live as she pleases, not a lover, and he wants an heiress, not a simpering clinging young bride.
However, things do not go as planned and malign forces are doing their best to separate them. Can Helena and Kit overcome the disasters and misunderstandings and find true happiness?

Fenella J Miller

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Happy New Year

A Lord in DisguiseBargain everywhere -£0.99 $0.99 e0.99

I'm not sure that anyone actually reads my posts but in case you are one of the few I will update you with my news.
My beloved husband broke his hip a month ago and was admitted to hospital with uncontrolled diabetes and sepsis. We were told he would not survive but somehow he pulled through.
However, this dementia has got worse and he is no longer mobile. Therefore, he made the heartbreaking decision that he had to go into care that I could no longer look after him safely at home. I always found never go in to care but I have no choice.
He moves today to an excellent home in Clacton on Sea and I'm sure once he settled he will be happier.
The start of a new life for both of us not one I'm looking forward to.

Today I have released my first title for this year – A Lord in Disguise.
It was previously in a Regency romantics box set a year ago.
JD Smith has designed another brilliant new look cover for me.
Best wishes
Fenella J Miller

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Christmas Greetings To You All

Well, here we are again, Christmas 2018 is fast approaching. I can smugly tell you that all my shopping is done, my Christmas food order and delivery date is booked, the decorations are up and only the presents have to be wrapped.
My family is spread around the world this year – it will only be the second time ever that we don't see my daughter. She now lives in California and my granddaughter is married to a New Yorker and happily settled there.

My niece and great nieces are spending Christmas in New Zealand so I won't see them either.
However, my brother and sister-in-law plus my niece and great niece and nephew are coming round on the Sunday before Christmas (after my husband has gone to bed – would be too much for him) and, of course, my son, daughter-in-law and five year old grandson will be here on the day itself.
So far Billy Blue hasn't wrecked anything – I thought he would be knocking over the tree et cetera but he's been very well behaved.
It has been a busy year writing wise and a very good one for sales. I managed to complete and published eight books – a record for me – but I must admit that not all of them were full-length. Even so, six hundred thousand words isn't bad.

I know what I'm going to start next but that can wait until New Year.
I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. I would also like to thank you for your continued support – it means a lot to me.
Best wishes
Fenella J Miller

Monday, 29 October 2018

Christmas Ghosts at the Priory - final book for 2018

This is my final book of the year - but I am still writing the ninth. Will be a record year for writing and I'm not sure how I actually managed to produce over 600 000 new words. I don't suppose all of them were good - but they were the best I could do.
I hope you enjoy this light hearted Regency ghost story -bargain at £0.99 and $0.99 - even less than one euro too.

Blurb for the book:

Miss Eloise Granville is happy to agree to an arranged marriage with Viscount Forsythe and awaits his arrival at St Cuthbert's Priory with eagerness. Her grandparents assure her he is a personable young man, does not gamble or drink and is content to marry a bride selected for him by his grandfather. That is, until she discovers he is not aware of her infirmity. It is too late to cancel the arrangement as the announcement of their wedding has already been made. When the resident ghosts become angry at her betrothal it puts them both in mortal danger. Will they find love in the midst of this chaos or will circumstances push them apart?

best wishes
Fenella J Miller