Tag Archives: CJ Lyons

Boxed Set Madness

Barbara Vey -- August 21st, 2013

The hottest thing I’ve seen around lately is the boxed set of ebooks.  A group of authors get together to sell one of each of their books in a set, but the neat thing is that they don’t even have to be the same genre.  Some of them are, but others offer the readers a taste of different genres.  Readers come out winners because for usually under $1 they can own 6-10 books, sometimes written by award winning authors and find some new ones to read at the same time.  The upside to this is the opportunity for authors to have the set sell so well that it hits the NY Times Bestseller list.

I asked a few of these groups about the experience of getting these books out there with so many different personalities to work with.  Representing their goups are Dianna Love, Debra Webb and Jana DeLeon.

BV:  Why did you pick the group of authors you did?

DL:  With the exception of one person who was invited because she’d built a substantial following and wrote in our genre, this group of authors had some prior connection to someone in the group.  We’ve met each other over the years through publishing and at events.  The key element was to have a group authors who a) have an established reader base because they all publish quality stories, b) were savvy businesswomen who would step up to get the word out about the set and c) great personalities (no whiners or divas). Plus each of our authors truly cares about her readers.

DW:  When putting together the Dangerous Desires box set choosing the authors to invite was an easy task. Not only are they good friends but they’re all amazingly talented authors! Most are veteran writers who have a decade or more in the business!

JD:  The Indie Voice is more than just a group of authors who collaborated on a boxset. We are a ten-member LLC dedicated to promoting indie publishing and authors. Four of the members met at a conference and decided to start an author support group. The other six members were recommended by existing members and voted on by the group. We wanted authors who produced high quality work and were interested in or already making a big splash in indie publishing. Most of us write romance or a romance hybrid, but some of us also write in other genres, so we’re not genre specific.

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BV:  How is it working out?

DW:  The project went together smoothly! The hardest decision was the cover art. We went through a couple of versions before we got where we wanted to be. Working together has been a joy!

JD:  Absolutely fantastic! It’s an incredible group of women with so many ideas between us that we’ll never have time to execute them all. Being in the group has elevated all of our writing and motivated us to push our careers to another level. The boxset sold so many copies that we hit the USA Today list two weeks in a row and the New York Times list at number seven.

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DL:  We have an author dream team.  The enthusiasm for this project has been amazing and there’s a high level of expertise for anything needed.  If a problem arises, everyone jumps in from all directions with a solution or suggestions.
 
BV:  What’s in it for the reader?

JD:   When we released our boxset, readers had a chance to pick up eight full-length novels for only .99. That’s a great opportunity to try a broad sampling of authors for a very low price. We also have a weekly newsletter that provides sales information on indie books as well as reviews of indie books. We want to promote high-quality indie works

DW:  The readers are at the heart of why we decided to publish this project. All involved are multi-published authors. Every book we have the luxury of writing and publishing is because of the readers. We wanted to show our appreciation by offering five full length novels and two bonus novellas for a low price. We’re planning to do this a couple of times each year from now on. With the future projects we’ll be writing new stories that will only be available in the collections.

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DL:  The reader gets a chance to read “new to them” stories that have been vetted, because we picked the best books for this project.  On top of that, the reader takes home a mother lode of ten full-length novels for pennies.  THE PERFECT TEN box set is available on iTunes, Nook and Kobo and Amazon for 99¢ . Plus we have events planned this week, like The Perfect Ten Facebook Party on Thursday with tons of giveaways all day.

BV:  What’s the benefit to the authors?

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DL:  Authors have always gone into anthologies to reach new readers.  This is like a mega-anthology except that instead of shorter novellas ALL of our books are full novels, everything from romantic suspense to urban fantasy to romantic mysteries to paranormal and even a sci-fi young adult bonus book.  We’re introducing all our readers to each other’s books.

JD:  Exposure. Readers that might have never bought an individual book by an author in the boxset, read the book in the boxset and went on to buy other books by those authors.

DW:  As established authors each of us has an audience of readers who enjoy our stories. Publishing the box set allows us to provide our readers with the opportunity to try new authors at a really good price. Any time an author gains a new reader it’s a huge benefit. Working together we can reach out to folks perhaps we haven’t reached before.

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BV:  What has the experience been like (good and bad)?

DW:  This has been a terrific experience with a group of ladies who are kind and generous and, as I said, huge talents

JD:  The experience has been incredible. We are all now New York Times bestselling authors, and we acquired many new readers. The only downside is finding the time to execute all the new ideas generated by the group.

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DL:  We’re right in the middle of our launch week and we’re having a blast.  Our box set screamed up the rankings the first day and is still climbing.  We hope to reach the #1 spot.  The readers are posting everywhere to say thank you. What’s not to love about that? :)

BV:  Would you do it again?

JD:  Our boxset, To Die For, was a temporary release only and pulled from sale after a month. We have already discussed doing another boxset soon. We have completed two other collaborations since the release of the boxset. The first collaboration is Summer on Seeker’s Island, a romance anthology set on a fictional tropical island off the coast of Florida. The second collaboration is a non-fiction work called The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing, which provides indie authors a blueprint of information needed to develop a successful indie career.

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DL:  In a heartbeat if it was with this group of authors.

DW:  Absolutely, look for My Evil Valentine next February!

BV:  Please feel free to offer any other things I may have missed in my questions or that you think may be important or interesting to the readers.

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DL:  These box sets normally are on sale for a very short time, so readers should buy as soon as they see it or risk missing the deal.   There’s never been a better time to be a reader.

I’ve ordered all the sets for my e-reader and plan on giving a few away as gifts (thoughtful, fun and the price is right!).  Even you can win a set.  Just post a comment and we’ll give away one of each set of boots to three different readers.  Winners posted tomorrow, so check back.

The Perfect 10Dianna Love, Sandy Blair, Misty Evans, Adrienne Giordanno, Mary Buckham, Alexa Grace, Tonya Kappes, Nancy Naigle, Norah Wilson, Micah, Caida

Dangerous DesiresDebra Webb, CJ Lyons, VR Marks, Vicki Hinze, Peggy Webb, Kathy Carmichael, Regan Black

The Indie Voice (Name of group of authors, not title of box set) – Tina Folsom, Dorien Kelly, Jana DeLeon, Colleen Gleason, Jasinda Wilder,Debra Holland, Denise Grover Swank, Theresa Ragan, Liliana Hart, Jane Graves

Bottom Line:  Food may fill your tummy, but a full e-reader will fill your soul.

Write From the Heart Conference – Central Ohio Fiction Writers

Barbara Vey -- October 12th, 2010
joysann

joysann

Write From the Heart

Beyond Her Book Cub Reporter joysann, here, excited to tell about the terrific conference that the Central Ohio Fiction Writers, a Chapter of RWA, hosted the first weekend in October in Columbus, Ohio. This highly successful event brought writers from all over the surrounding states for an opportunity to meet with editors and agents, pick up sensational tips for writing successful novels, and get inspired by special guest, best-selling author Suzanne Brockmann. And raffle prizes were everywhere, proceeds of which were donated to the financially hard hit public libraries in central Ohio.

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Suzanne Brockmann and fan Felicia Browell

After Friday evening’s dinner, Suzanne Brockmann gave the first of the workshops, “The Whole Enchilada”. Intrepid BHB Blurber extraordinaire Kym , who also attended the conference, writes: When an author like Suzanne Brockmann offers “the whole enchilada,” you grab on with both hands and attempt to digest every bite. Wrapped in a shell of good humor and spiced with anecdotes from the author’s own experience, the meal proved to be a filling one. Despite nursing a painful foot injury, Ms. Brockmann graciously shared her tips for writing more efficiently, developing a believable romantic hero, and crafting a page turner. “There’s no right way or wrong way to work. There’s only your way.” – Suzanne Brockmann

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Saturday morning got off to a hope-filled start with a panel of the guest editors and agents answering questions before the whole day of pitches began, and there were a lot of aspiring authors hanging on their every word. Leis Pederson, Berkley; Cori Deyoe, 3 Seas Literary Agency; Charles Griemsman, Silhouette; and Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency all had appointments throughout the day.

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I hate having to choose between so many interesting sounding workshops when one can’t attend them all. I’m interested in finding information on the authors I read, so I attended Susan Crandall’s “Internet Marketing Strategies That Work”. Susan and her personal internet guru, her son Reid, gave excellent tips on utilizing the popular networking and blogging sites and search engines to get name recognition and establish consistent interaction with readers.

Author Virginia Kantra and joysann

Author Virginia Kantra and joysann

Virginia Kantra presented “Developing the Romance in YourRomance Novel”.  Blurber Kym, an aspiring author herself, reports: In one brief hour, author Virginia Kantra somehow managed to walk us through seven phases of romance. Beginning with physical attraction, and ending with “the payoff,” she shared an overview of each step along the way.

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Erin McCarthy and Rhonda Stapleton

“Breaking into the YA Market”, a subject I know nothing about, was entertainingly presented by authors Erin McCarthy and Rhonda Stapleton. Between being mothers of teens, and being young at heart themselves, they know whereof they speak, and gave good do’s and don’ts pointers for engaging today’s young readers.

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I sadly missed workshops presented by best-selling medical thriller author CJ Lyons, romantic suspense writer Karen Harper, and Silhouette editor Charles Griemsman, and I wish I could have figured out how to get to them all.

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COFW took a few minutes at the lunch to have popular romance author Lori Foster present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Linda Keller of the West Chester (OH) Barnes and Noble for her many years of outstanding support of the Romance genre and its authors.

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So, thank you, COFW for the fun and interesting event, the chance to do my fan-girl act with the fabulous authors, and for the raffle basket stuffed with paranormal books – yes, I won!

Bottom Line: Due to technical difficulties, part 3 of the Stan Lee interview will not be available until tomorrow.