Posts Tagged ‘The Bone Flower Queen’

New Vendor and a Decision Regarding Kindle Unlimited

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If you subscribe to the ebook service Oyster, you can now read all of my work (except “Death’s Good Dog”) on there for free. The titles are also available on Scribd, but I just learned yesterday that Scribd is dumping almost all of its romance listings, so it’s quite possible that Fugitives of Fate will no longer be available there (the purge was supposed to happen yesterday, but FoF is still there today, so keep your fingers crossed that it will make the cut.)

DeathsGoodDogIn light of Scribd’s move, I don’t really think that the subscription services are going to be viable options for much longer. I’ve never “sold” anything through any of them, so the loss of my romance title there really isn’t a big deal to me, but then I haven’t had any luck with any subscription service, not even Kindle Unlimited, which brings me to the second part of this blog post. I had decided that I would put my new Aztec West novellas into Kindle Unlimited to give it a try, but this first month has been nothing but a wasteland. No borrows at all, let alone reads. For me, this is definitely not worth three months of exclusivity with Amazon, particularly when my overall sales with Amazon aren’t that strong to begin with. I’m going to see if I can leave KDP Select early and get DGD out on wider distribution, and I won’t be enrolling future works in the program either. If they won’t let me out early, then DGD will go wide on August 27th, and my plan is to release the next installment around that same time. I’ll keep readers apprised.

New Bone Flower Queen Cover

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bfqprelim7I’ve finally finished the revamp of the cover for The Bone Flower Queen, and I’m also almost done with the cover for The Bone Flower Goddess, but will hold off on revealing that one until it’s closer to release date. Right now the new covers are only on the ebook versions, but I’m getting ready to update the paperback covers on both books, so if you’re wanting to snag up copies with the old covers, now’s the time to do it.

It took me a really long time to come to the final concept for this particular book. It went through numerous iterations, and one of my early attempts will actually be the cover for The Bone Flower Goddess. I originally had an idea to do masks on the cover–seemingly easy to do and thematically relevant–but only one of the masks actually turned out looking good. Eventually I abandoned that concept and went back to the drawing board. I also messed around repeatedly with the cover for The Bone Flower Throne, until I had an overall look I really liked (I ended up really not liking the one I posted in the earlier blog post and decided to go even simpler.).

Bone Flower redo 3I still wasn’t sure about what my central object would be, but after several hours of false starts, I finally came up with the idea of the obsidian mirror. I was still wrangling with the jaguar issue though; everything I’d done so far looked a little too realistic and not necessarily “Aztec” or “Toltec”. Eventually I did a line drawing of an actual Aztec jaguar statue, and am pretty pleased with how it turned out. Aside from the smoke, all of the art on the cover is original, drawn in Gimp. I like getting to stretch my creative muscles like this. Self publishing has been very good for my internal artist, which I’d put away for so long….

I’d hoped to revamp the paperback’s sizing, convert it down to 5.25X8, but having discovered that it would require an entirely new ISBN for both books, I’ve decided I’m going to stick with the 6X9 format and just update the covers. I also have plans for a paperback omnibus edition that I’ll sell only at conventions, but CreateSpace’s page limits might make that impractical. We’ll see. At the very least, there will be an omnibus ebook version, which means a fourth cover (Yay!).

 

New Covers for Bone Flower

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BFT_ebookcovOne of the many advantages of being an indie author is that you can change strategies midstream, and do it rather easily and painlessly. If something isn’t working, you can reevaluate and make changes, and don’t have to convince a publisher to go along with you.

After much soul-searching and frustration, I’ve decided that things aren’t working with my Bone Flower books. Sales are poor, and even when I ran a .99 promo, I made very few sales, nowhere near enough to even recoup the costs of the promotion itself (and we’re not even talking BookBub size prices. We’re talking $5 at the cheapest, and $45 at the most expensive.). I don’t have a ton of reviews, but enough for me to feel confident that the story is not the issue. That leaves other factors to play around with. Maybe my blurb is all wrong (and yes, I’m toying around with a new blurb, but not seriously yet). Maybe my price-point is wrong (I already lowered both books by $2 in their ebook form, matching the pricing of similar books in my genre. Amazon still thinks I need to drop them another dollar, but I’m not convinced there yet). Or maybe my cover is giving the reader the wrong impression about my book (bingo!)

My editor at Panverse discussed this with me back when sales were struggling and we kept getting puzzling reviews from folks who thought the book was supposed to be young adult. We hadn’t advertised it as young adult; we advertised it as history fantasy and historical romance. I’ve been asked over and over what age group I would recommend the book to, and 99% of the time, it’s the parent of a 12 or 13 year old asking. We both pondered about where they were getting this impression, and eventually we started wondering if it was the cover.

Throne’s cover is absolutely gorgeous. I love it with all my heart, and I love the cover for Queen as well. They are beautiful pieces of art, and people always compliment them, but when I tell them that the book is in the vein of Game of Thrones when it comes to content, they are surprised. “Yeah, I didn’t get that impression at all from the cover.” I sold quite a few books at AnomalyCon a couple weeks ago, but I do wonder how many epic fantasy fans–my target audience–looked at the covers and moved on to the next table because they saw YA fantasy and said, “Not my thing.” And all but one of those sales went to women; the man who bought a copy was a new friend who’d spent all weekend listening to me talk about it on panels we were on together. Statically, men are the core audience when it comes to epic fantasy, and I’m having a really hard time reaching them.

So as much as it pains me to set aside the beautiful covers, I have to think about marketing and genre, otherwise I’m going to continue to languish in sales obscurity. I need covers that shout “Epic fantasy!”, so that I can at least make epic fantasy readers pick up the book and turn it over to read the blurb, or see the cover in search results on Amazon and decide to click it and read the blurb and reviews. And that means new covers. *sniffle*

Bone Flower redo 1After examining quite a few covers on Amazon, I decided the easiest style was an object focus, like GoT or Lord of the Rings. I’m already considerably in the hole on both books, so I needed to do this on the cheap, and those were styles I felt confident I could mimic with my own skills in Gimp. I’ve been working on it for several weeks, toying with different concepts, and abandoning some, but I think I’ve finally nailed down the basic overall look. I might do some more tweaking in the future (going to a textured background rather than a stylized image, for example) but for now I’m testing out the new cover style with Throne, and will run some promos in the near future, to see if there’s any improvement in sales. If the new cover is working, I’ll go through the process of revamping the paperbacks as well.

I’m still in the process of figuring out the covers for both Queen and the final book (which I’m just over 50k into), so I’m holding off on those until I see how things go with Throne over the next month or so as I do promotion.

Book Birthday and a Sale!

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BFQ Cover Mock 50 percentToday The Bone Flower Queen is now available in e-book format at all your favorite online retailers!

Suddenly the ground rumbled and I looked around, my calm forgotten. Was it an earthquake? Behind me, the maguey plant’s thick, fleshy leaves waved as if caught in a great wind, yet none of the plants around it moved, and no wind was blowing. The rumbling focused between me and the maguey plant, as if something large and sinister burrowed towards me….

Having defeated the sorcerer god Smoking Mirror and reclaimed her throne, Quetzalpetlatl and her brother Topiltzin set out to found Quetzalcoatl’s new holy city and end human sacrifice throughout the Toltec world.

But Smoking Mirror hasn’t abandoned his own ambitions for power; with his allies–both mortal and divine–threatening war among the gods, he’s shifted his focus to Quetzalpetlatl and her budding magical powers. Along with her deep, personal connection to his hated enemy Quetzalcoatl, she would be the perfect addition to his ranks, if only he could convince her that she’s working for the wrong side in this conflict.

And he knows the one secret that will tear apart everything she thinks she knows about her beloved god…and herself.

What are readers saying about it?

This is a lovely continuation of the first volume–I really like the focus on Toltec society and the wealth of details, as well as the focus on women’s experiences (there’s a lovely and heartbreaking depiction of motherhood). The final revelation (and I’m not going to spoil) is a game-changer.”

“Every bit as good, if not better, than the first.”

“T.L. Morganfield’s characters were well fleshed out in the first book and become even more so in this one. The tension between the hero & heroine is amazing and you cheer for them through the entire book despite their odd circumstances. Morganfield’s mastery at setting draws you into the story so much so that you forget you’re sitting in the present reading. You feel like you are walking through the Aztec culture.”

BFT_ebookcov“There is real love for the craft here. Real care and respect for the culture being represented…I simply cannot wait for the next (and final, ugh!) book in The Bone Flower trilogy!”

Buy it now! Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Apple | Google Play

To celebrate the release, I’ve temporarily marked down the e-book of The Bone Flower Throne to $.99. This reduced pricing will last through Friday, then it will returned to it’s newly-reduced cover price of $4.99, so hurry and grab your copy if you don’t already have one! Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Apple | Google Play

Happy Book Birthday! Bone Flower Queen Release Day

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BFQ Cover Mock 50 percentSo today is the official release day for the paperback version of The Bone Flower Queen. Right now it’s only available at Amazon, but it is available for pre-order in e-book format at many online vendors (visit the book’s page here to find links to your favorite ebook retailer). The ebook version’s street date is January 5th, so a little under a month from now.

In the meantime, you can read the first chapter here.

Suddenly the ground rumbled and I looked around, my calm forgotten. Was it an earthquake? Behind me, the maguey plant’s thick, fleshy leaves waved as if caught in a great wind, yet none of the plants around it moved, and no wind was blowing. The rumbling focused between me and the maguey plant, as if something large and sinister burrowed towards me….

Having defeated the sorcerer god Smoking Mirror and reclaimed her throne, Quetzalpetlatl and her brother Topiltzin set out to found Quetzalcoatl’s new holy city and end human sacrifice throughout the Toltec world.

But Smoking Mirror hasn’t abandoned his own ambitions for power; with his allies–both mortal and divine–threatening war among the gods, he’s shifted his focus to Quetzalpetlatl and her budding magical powers. Along with her deep, personal connection to his hated enemy Quetzalcoatl, she would be the perfect addition to his ranks, if only he could convince her that she’s working for the wrong side in this conflict.

And he knows the one secret that will tear apart everything she thinks she knows about her beloved god…and herself.

By turns exhilarating, heartbreaking and always richly detailed both in character and world building, this tapestry of love, loss and war is a worthy sequel to The Bone Flower Throne. — Aliette de Bodard, Nebula Award winning author of the Obsidian and Blood trilogy

Morganfield once again takes us on a fascinating journey through Mesoamerican mythology, following Quetzlpetalatl as she discovers that her world is not what she thought it was…and neither is she. — J. Kathleen Cheney, author of The Golden City series