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Remember that time I was so certain changing the cover of the third Mephisto book was the thing to do? Remember that time I was wrong? (Okay, so I’ve been wrong lots of times – that’s not the point.)
The thing is, response to the new cover, which looks like this
has been about 50/50. Some love it, some hate it. I think the review comment that resonated most was the one that said she would never give this a second look, that it’s like every other paranormal romance cover out there. This must be a pervasive feeling, because sales have gone down to zero. Literally no one is buying this book. I dropped the eBook price to $3.99 – no sales. Damaris Cardinali at Good Choice Reading, blogger extraordinaire, graciously offered to do a cover reveal blog tour for me when I decided to change the cover. She put it together in record time and so many extremely wonderful bloggers jumped on board and posted the reveal. We did a giveaway that had over 4500 entries. Since the cover changed, I’ve sold 23 copies. All that and just 23 copies. But hey, it is what it is. I absolutely do not see this as a critique of the book. I like this book. I think it’s a good story. I just seriously suck at selling it.
The point of all this?
As much as I like the new cover, I’m still madly in love with Paula Kubiak’s photograph, and it pained me to change it.
So, even though the couple on the new cover look just as I imagine Phoenix and Mariah, I’ve decided….
to do this:
It’s uploading to Amazon right now and is already live at Kobo and Barnes & Noble. It will be available in print very soon. I’m waiting for CreateSpace to clear the files for publication, and then I’ll need to proof it, and then it’ll be up and available. I pinkie swear and kiss my elbow this will be the last change. I’ve done all I can for this book, and now it’ll either sink or swim on its own. I am stepping back to work on my historical romance project, and then the fourth Mephisto book, which will have a similar cover to this, and if it screams Young Adult, as someone told me this one does, I’m going to be okay with that, even though it’s not Young Adult. Why? Because I’ve just learned that if a cover screams anything at all, someone will hear it. If it’s not saying much, no one notices.
I’m embarrassed about all this. I like being one of those Sure Of Herself kind of women, who boldly goes forth and conquers stuff. Like publishing a book. I won’t lie – this has set me back on my heels and humbled me in a way I can’t describe except to say, I have seriously considered taking up smoking again. Or giving up writing. Or running away to join the circus. But, then I thought, nah, I don’t want to smoke – too expensive and that shit will kill you. I don’t even like the circus, so why would I join one? And as for quitting writing, I may as well be dead. Writing is what I do. It’s what makes me complete, so do or die, succeed or fail, I’m going to keep writing books.
Thanks to everyone for your generosity, your help in spreading the word, and your unfathomable kindness. It makes all of this so much easier to get through and I love you for it.
Remember when I published the third Mephisto book? It seems so long ago…
Actually, just three weeks.
Yes, I’m completely serious, and don’t call me Shirley. Well, here’s the thing. It was slow coming out of the gate, and things have only gotten worse.
Yes, really. I’ve been through a whole smorgasbord of emotions the past few weeks. First, there was
Then there was
Followed quickly by
Still, I held out hope. I mean, the book had LOTS of requests on NetGalley, which was promising, right?
And it kept racking up 5-star ratings over at Goodreads, which made my heart beat faster and my joy endless.
But over on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, it was kind of a different story. And I began to wonder if
Then, one day last week, I actually had negative sales. I had no ebook sales on Amazon that day, but two people returned books, so yes, I had negative two sales. I had to face reality.
But what gives here? How can all those readers on Goodreads and NetGalley give this book 5 stars and write amazing reviews, but the book completely tank? I mean,
I decided I love the Mephisto too much to let them go, and selling negative two books in a day means I can’t afford to write any more. It’s reality, and sadly, I am not a trust fund baby.
So, I did some thinking, and decided the problem is marketing. You guys read the third Mephisto book because you read the first two – you’re kind of invested. But other people, those readers who shop for new books online and are looking for a certain kind of book, like, say a paranormal romance with hot boys and a kickass heroine and some sexy times and lots of angsty romancey banter and hijinks, will never look at the third book in this series. They won’t click the cover – even though it’s beautiful – because it screams Young Adult Novel. An author friend said she didn’t know it was a romance. She’d seen me post about The Mephisto Mark and thought it was an international spy novel.
International spy novels are awesome – but this isn’t that. So, I decided to be brave (again) and try something different, to see if perhaps this book will appeal to more romance readers.
No, no – not rewriting the book. Nothing in the story will change. The cover will change, and the title, and… the author. I decided to republish this book as me.
I LOVE my readers, and I hope you will understand why I’m doing this. I want SO much to write all the books in this series. And I want to have them edited, and proofread, and then I need to advertise them. All that costs money, and right now, I’m still way in the red on the third Mephisto book. I’m not avaricious – but practical.
You may be asking, What kind of moron changes cover, title and author 3 weeks after release day?
Me. I’m the moron. But maybe not as idiotic as it seems. When I decided to self-publish the third Mephisto book and make it New Adult with sexy times and more grown-up-y angst, I gave serious consideration to doing this to start with, but couldn’t decide, and so I asked author friends for their advice and they unequivocally said I should keep Trinity Faegen as the author, use the same font for the title, and the same general theme of the cover. Continue the package and branding.
So I did. And it’s beautiful – I love the cover of The Mephisto Mark. But most people have never heard of the Mephisto Covenant series, so they don’t know – or care – that this book is all matchy-matchy with the previous books.
So no new readers are jumping on board. And readers of the first two assume this will be like those, but it’s not. Even the writing is different. Book 1 & 2 are in third person, alternating POV and this one is in first person alternating POV. This one has more language and adult themes and is not anything close to a YA.
It’s New Adult – except not about somebody in college. Just college age. It’s a romance novel, pure and simple. It’s a sad story, a hopeful tale, a love story with a happy ending – like all romance novels.
The first two Mephistos were romances. Young Adult romance, but romances just the same. This book, the third Mephisto, with a new title and cover, written as Real Me, the romance writer, will hopefully find its place on the right bookshelf, and people who love romance novels will find it and enjoy it. Should I have done this to begin with?
Well, yeah, but who knew? That’s the beauty of self-publishing! You can climb down off the horse in the middle of the stream and get on another horse. Or swim to shore and take a bus.
Are you still with me? Or are you
I am hopeful about this change, and will post again soon to let you know how it’s going. I hope you will go along with me on this crazy wackadoodle journey I began when I decided to self publish.
The new title for the third Mephisto book is Only You. And without further ado, here is the new cover. It’s sexy, yes, but pretty, and it definitely says, This Is A Romance.
(If you click the cover, it’ll take you to a page with the book description.)
I’m so thankful and appreciative of your support – to everyone who bought the book already, I love you like whoa and damn.
Well, not THAT kind of love. More like
To celebrate a new beginning, I’m giving away a $100 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble – your choice. So enter and hopefully you’ll win. You’re all already winners to me – THANK YOU!!!!
$100 Gift Card Giveaway!Read More
You guys! Today’s The Day!!! The Mephisto Mark is officially a Real Book, available at online stores where you can actually buy it!
This has been a long journey, one that’s been at times frightening, exhilarating, and frequently frustrating. I worried when I decided to self publish that I would suck at it and be killed by wild dogs sent by unhappy readers.
or this might happen:
I began writing The Mephisto Mark with one thought in mind: Just don’t drop the ball.
And so my creative talent came rushing to the fore.
Which led to:
And I considered giving up. Running away.
But I stuck with it and it was a LOT of work.
And when my first beta reader got back to me and said she loved the manuscript, it was a joyful time here at Chez Faegen.
I wrote this book a little differently than the first two Mephisto books. It’s in first person, alternating between Phoenix and Mariah. I think I found where I’m comfortable, so will write the next books the same way. Yaknow, unless a whole horde of readers say
This book is very dark,
and Phoenix and Mariah don’t always see eye to eye
but there’s genuine affection between them.
And Phoenix realizes when it’s almost too late,
Despite the fact that
he tries very hard.
So, to sum up: This is a good book and you will like it. The Duchess of Cambridge called and said so.
(OMG she’s adorable!)
It’s dark and a little scary, but mostly it’s a love story, an epic romance between two unlikely people.
Thanks so much to everyone for your support and kindness to me. I honestly couldn’t have done any of this without readers writing to say, When’s the next book coming out??? Because you cared,
I decided to run with it.
I really really hope you’ll buy The Mephisto Mark, and I especially hope you like it. I’m already working on Zee’s story, which I plan to publish next March. There’s a teaser at the end of The Mephisto Mark, but for poor Zee, it’s pretty much,
If you haven’t visited my Facebook page, you should. I post excerpts and do giveaways. It’s like a big cocktail party without the cocktails.
Today, an announcement of something VERY fun! I see you sitting out there wishing you had more fun, trolling the internet for something entertaining, intriguing, and fun. So here’s the deal – Entangled Suspense has a new handle – Ignite. Get it? Hot books about suspenseful, scary stuff with edge-of-your-seat stories, hot guys and dangerous women. Okay, not dangerous so much as interesting – and falling in love. Which can be dangerous, but that’s another blog post.
Anyway, we at Ignite who have current releases out there in the wild are having an event this Thursday night, August 8, from 7-9 EDT over on Facebook to celebrate the new, improved, awesome romantic suspense line at Entangled. We’re calling it The Mystery Men of Ignite – Revealed! I and seven other Ignite authors will be posting clues all week on our websites, and Thursday night, all will be revealed. You can win a $100 Amazon gift card and other prizes. Deets are here. You will also see the men who inspired our heroes. Speaking of which, I’m going to give you one of the first clues. Here’s a photo of his hand, which I picked because I have a total thing for a man’s hands. He could be kinda homely, and if he has excellent hands, I’m a happy girl.
In real life, this guy’s mama probably made meatballs for him and his brothers and sisters. He comes from a big family. He was voted Sexiest Man of (his home country.) In his career, he’s been in the military and law enforcement. He is smokin’ hot, just like Nick Robichaud in Out of Control, which you should go buy right now and read immediately.
I hope you’ll join us for the Mystery Men event! It’s going to be way fun, and who doesn’t like to have fun?Read More
I’m so very happy to share the cover of The Mephisto Mark with you! Click on the cover for a larger image.
The Mephisto Covenant Series: Book 3
The Mephisto Mark: The Redemption of Phoenix
He’s living on the edge – she’s completely broken.
Orphaned at six and sent to live with abusive relatives in Bucharest, Mariah learned early in life to box up violent, agonizing memories and put them in permanent mental storage. Now almost nineteen, she has a paying job, a tiny apartment, and a plan to attend university. She loves her independence and is steadily overcoming her past, but when an enigmatic stranger walks into the pub where she works and the trajectory of her life changes yet again, she begins to wonder if she’ll run out of mental shelf space.
The only females unafraid of the Mephisto brothers are the extremely rare Anabo, born without Original Sin. Over one hundred years ago, Phoenix was first to find one, but he made a fatal mistake and she was murdered by his oldest brother and enemy, Eryx. Phoenix soldiered through the next century wrapped up in grief and guilt, his only outlet planning takedowns of those who pledged their souls to Eryx. When one of his brothers brings Mariah to Mephisto Mountain, he’s torn between his instinctive, powerful need to pursue her, and his certainty that he can never have her.
Drawn into the world of the Mephisto, Mariah sees the pain and misery Eryx unleashes on humanity, and the boxes in her mind begin to fly open, one by one. All that keeps her from slipping off the edge is her unlikely, sexually charged friendship with Phoenix. He’s incredibly screwed up; she’s completely broken. It would take a miracle for them to find happiness. Then Eryx brings the war for Hell to a whole new level, forcing Mariah and Phoenix to make a choice that will bind them together for all eternity, or rip them apart forever.
I announced a few months ago that I decided to self-publish the third book in The Mephisto Covenant series. Things are rocking along toward that goal and there will be a cover reveal for The Mephisto Mark on July 24th, so stay tuned for that. I think you’ll like it!
To learn the ropes of self-publishing – and there are a whole lotta ropes! – I decided to publish a historical romance. I’ve worked on this manuscript off and on for a few years, and I’m terribly proud of it. My first love in reading is historical romance. After all, my introduction to adult novels was Jane Eyre when I was 10 years old. I dropped all my fave horse books and never looked back. And now, finally, after so many years of wanting to publish my own historical romance, I recently released The Last Duchess. It’s very sexy – which means there’s a lot of sex, so don’t say I didn’t tell you – but it’s a book about family and respect and honor and recovery.
In my personal life, I’ve seen the effects of sexual assault, which we tend to think about in modern terms, but creepy douchebags have been assaulting women since the beginning of mankind. In Regency England, aristocratic women were very protected and sheltered, in part because they were a commodity to their family. A wellborn woman with assets would attract a wellborn man with assets, and joining two powerful, wealthy families was considered a very good thing. So a young woman was watched carefully to ensure she was virginal and pure when it came time for her to become betrothed, to protect her reputation. Just the hint of impropriety was as bad as if she actually did anything improper. So, all well and good, but I’m certain some of those women weren’t watched quite carefully enough, and they were victims of rape from those who should have been protecting them. The Last Duchess is the story of a young woman confident in herself, loved by her family, admired by her peers. Then, she’s assaulted, and her world changes.
I sincerely hope you’ll read The Last Duchess. It’s as much a story about redefining oneself as it is a story of trust and love. You can read more about it, including the blurb and an excerpt, here.Read More
To celebrate the release of Out of Control, I’m sponsoring a giveaway! Links are included on all blog tour stops, but in case you missed it and would like to enter, you can do so from here. I’m giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon and a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble, so you should enter!
Follow this link!
A Rafflecopter giveaway