Thursday 24 September 2015

Christmas at Castle Elrick
£0.99 $0.99
Christmas at Castle Elrick is a Regency fairy tale - Miss Verity Sanderson the beauty and Sir Ralph Elrick the beast. He was severely injured in the Napoleonic wars and has been brooding in his castle for years waiting for Verity to reach her majority and come to him. Her father had promised his daughter to Ralph in return for his financial support. Verity decides marriage to a wealthy stranger is preferable to remaining with her step-mother and half-sisters so sets off, the week before Christmas, to become his wife. 
Castle Elrick is a cold, unwelcoming place situated on the bleak Northumbrian coast and Ralph and his small staff are not the only residents. Will Christmas be a celebration or will the ghosts of Elrick Castle force them apart?

This is the first of my two Christmas offerings for 2015– the second will be in the Regency Quintet Christmas Edition box set which will be out early in October.
Another wonderful cover by Jane Dixon-Smith which I hope will make you feel warm and fuzzy and want to read my book. I know it's still September, but there are already so many Christmas books available I thought I'd better put mine up as well.
Fenella J Miller

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Free books and e-mail lists.

Although I didn't do the full Nick Stephenson's course I did watch the free videos and have adopted several of his very useful suggestions. The most complicated of these was setting up a male chimp account in order to collect names for my email subscribers list. I've yet to send out an email to my 50+ subscribers, but I shall attempt to do so at the end of the week as I shall have some exciting news.
In order to do be successful it would appear that having a perma-free book available works best. I can't do this as all my books are Kindle Select, so I came up with the ingenious solution of putting a different book in a free promotion for five days each week. The Duke's Reform will be going up on Thursday 17th September.
I'm re-editing all these early titles and republishing them. I'm working on A Mistress for Stansted Hall at the moment and this will come out next Thursday.
The other titles shown have appeared over the past four weeks; I intend to continue putting up something different over the next three months and then, if it hasn't worked, I will stop.
I'm fortunate that I have more than thirty-five titles to choose from. The books I'm using all went up before I employed an editor and proofreader and relied solely on my beta readers and myself to make things as error-free as I could.
I'm gaining half a dozen new subscribers with each free book which is good. However, what is even better is that each promotion has put me into the top five hundred in the Kindle free book lists, and in the top three of several Regency/historical lists. I'm hoping this will rejuvenate my sales, which have been somewhat slow over the past two months.

Fenella J Miller

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Why are Christmas books popular all year round?

My bestselling title since last year has been Christmas at Hartford Hall and I'm wondering why readers want to read Christmas themed books all year round.
By the time New Year comes I can't wait to take down the decorations and forget about Christmas for the next nine months. I certainly don't want to read books with a festive theme at any time apart from September to December.
Easter/Thanksgiving/Halloween don't seem to have a plethora of themed books – it's only Christmas that attracts this sort of attention from readers and writers alike.
Several people have told me they've already seen Christmas trees and decorations up in some places – even a pub had its tree up. Waitrose has Christmas chocolates on display and no doubt other stores will soon follow.
I spent half an hour searching the web for giant plastic Christmas bells to hang outside my house – but was cross with myself for doing so at the beginning of September. Don't get me wrong - I love Christmas -but not 24/7.
I believe there are even Christmas themed shops that are open all year round – but I've never seen  one.
I suppose the attraction for readers could be that they know a book with a festive theme will be happy – have no nasty surprises. Non-Christians celebrate a different version of Christmas – a commercial one – but it's still a time when family and friends get in contact with each other and that can't be bad.
Who doesn't enjoy overindulgence and opening presents?
Maybe being able to read about people enjoying themselves is why these titles are so popular. It's not just romantic historical Christmas books that sell well, but also contemporary.
My new Christmas title, Christmas at Castle Elrick, will be coming out later this month and a new Regency Quintet Christmas Edition with three brand-new titles in it, will be out in October.
Are you a reader who enjoys Christmas books in July?
Fenella J Miller