…*made* it! (And why it isn’t “phew!”)
One of the benefits that the new world of indie publishing gives to you, as a reader, is not exactly obvious on the surface.
You have to know a bit about the publishing world to realize how awesome and amazing indie publishing really is.
So let me give you the nickel tour of one of the more frustrating aspects of traditional publishing: Printing to net.
Traditional publishers don’t care about selling to you, the reader. They say they do in their literature and marketing, but what they really care about is selling to bookstores.
They don’t give a damn about the book once the bookstore has bought it.
But they do give a very big damn about the number of books that get returned. There is a quaint hold-over from the Depression, when publishers would let bookstores return unsold books, to encourage them to buy them in the first place. Now, bookstores won’t buy unless they can return unsold books. And because they have so many books to give shelf-space to, new books are usually only left on the shelf for a month at most before they’re returned as “failures”. Sometimes, not even a month passes before they’re returned.
True story: I used to work for a Starbucks that was inside one of the big bookstore chains. I walked through the warehouse at the back of the store one day and came across a bookstore employee ripping open cartons of books, tearing off the covers of the books inside, and stuffing the covers into envelopes to send back to the publisher for credit.
The books hadn’t even reached the shelves at the front of the store.
(And if you’re a book lover, never go into the back rooms of a bookstore. There are few things more heartbreaking that watching someone tear the cover off a book.)
And here is where the craziness compounds:
Let’s say Robyn Romance Author sells a romance series to a publisher (which is highly unlikely these days, but let’s go with it for now).
The publisher prints 20,000 copies of book 1 in the series.
15,000 of them are bought by the bookstores.
10,000 are sold, and 5,000 are returned to the publisher.
If the publisher goes ahead with the series, they don’t print 20,000 of book 2. What they do is print to net. In this case, the net sold copies of book 1 was 10,000. So they print 10,000.
Which is already less than the numbers originally sold to the bookstores.
The bookstores see that fewer copies are being printed, which they read (correctly) as the publisher being nervous about the book selling. So they don’t order as many in this time. Let’s say they take half the number of copies, instead.
So, only 5,000 copies of Book 2 are sold to bookstores, who don’t get behind the book, because they think the blood is already in the water, and only 2,500 copies are sold.
If the publisher even entertains the idea of publishing the third book, they will only consider a short print run of 2,500. At that few number of copies, for a standard press, the cost of printing is astronomical. It’s far more likely the publisher will decline to publish Book 3, and will tell the author they are refusing because of poor sales. And now the orphaned author has to find another publisher to take a chance on her, and she’ll have to publish under a pen name, because this name is now tainted with “failed” books.
This scenario, with a few variations, is why so many traditionally published series barely make it out of the gate, and why you as a reader are constantly disappointed when books 2 and 3 of fantastic new series never show up.
Traditional publishers hate series. They especially hate long series. They acquire stand-alone books, and if those books are a success, then the author might be encouraged to write a second or third related book, making it a series by accident.
Which is why many, many successful series have first books that seem a bit “different” from the rest of the series. Often, the cover and the branding is completely different from the following books. The author has built that first book with no on-going story arcs, and all the storylines and character arcs wrapped up neatly. By the time the successful author gets to book 2 and 3, they can build in longer stories, ongoing characters and more.
That is where indie publishing is so completely and utterly different.
An indie author can plan a series right out of the gate, with book 1. She can put in all the series-length story arcs and character arcs she wants. She can brand them to look like a series, and most importantly; she can get three or more books in the series released before she pauses to consider if the series is catching on, or not.
In fact, I’ve seen this over and over again with my sales. A new series doesn’t really hit its stride until after book 3, when readers can reasonably expect I’m good for the rest of the series. Traditional publishing practices have burned so many readers, they’re nervous about investing their emotions and wallet in a new series until they know it stands a good chance of actually being completed.
Which is why I’m doing a little jig today. Today is the release of Book 13 and the very last book of the Scandalous Scions series. I reached the end in almost exactly 2.5 years after the very first title was released (in May 2017).
And here’s the really cool thing: I had this *entire* series planned out before I released the first book. I even had Sadie’s story (this last book) outlined, and knew she wouldn’t return to England for a very long time…and she didn’t.
Such a long series, published so quickly, would never, ever happen in traditional publishing, for all the reasons I explained, above.
If you love long-form storytelling and long series, then pause to give thanks to indie publishing, where series rule.
In America, she met an Indian called River.
Sadie travelled to America when she was nineteen, leaving behind her great family, to learn more about her real parents and how they died.While traveling in the Columbia River territories, her party is attacked by Indians and saved by a different tribe. Among them is the brave she comes to know as River.
Sadie learns that not only is River an Englishman, he is the son of the Duke of Caldwell. When his family learns he survived his parents’ death when he was an infant, River faces a choice: Leave Sadie and his tribe behind, or let the people of Caldwell suffer at the hands of his indifferent and selfish uncle…
This book is the thirteenth and final book in the Scandalous Scions series, bringing together the members of three great families, to love and play under the gaze of the Victorian era’s moralistic, straight-laced society.
This story is part of the Scandalous Scions series:
0.5 Rose of Ebony
1.0 Soul of Sin
2.0 Valor of Love
3.0 Marriage of Lies
3.5 Scandalous Scions One (Boxed Set)
4.0 Mask of Nobility
5.0 Law of Attraction
6.0 Veil of Honor
6.5 Scandalous Scions Two (Boxed Set)
7.0 Season of Denial
8.0 Rules of Engagement
9.0 Degree of Solitude
10.0 Ashes of Pride
11.0 Risk of Ruin
12.0 Year of Folly
13.0 Queen of Hearts
A Sexy Historical Romance
Early praise for Queen of Hearts:
This book is amazing! It was fast paced and I loved how the story ended.
A touching and emotional journey for these wonderful characters.
A fitting conclusion of this great series.
As always, Cooper-Posey sets up seemingly impossible odds, yet finds a way to resolve everything by the end of the book.
River and Sadie are so wonderful together that you’re rooting for them the entire way through the book. I will miss this generation of the Great Family.
Lush descriptions and authentic historical facts make it well worth your time.
WOW! I think Tracy may have saved the best for last.
I recommend the whole series. It draws you in and makes you want to keep turning the pages. This last book was just as good as the first, if not better.
I fell in love with River immediately and enjoyed their growth as characters over the course of the book. And there’s a twist. Wow Tracy. You saved the best for last.
You can buy QUEEN OF HEARTS directly from me,
or from your favourite bookseller.
Also, the first THREE books in the series have been discounted for release week only:
SOUL OF SIN: 99 cents
VALOR OF LOVE: $2.99
MARRIAGE OF LIES: $3.99
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