Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Think INSIDE the Box!
"My name is Valerie Comer, and I'm a box set addict."
Whew. It feels good to have that out in the open. Anyone who's been keeping an eye on my career in the past six months or more won't be surprised by my admission, though! I credit the first box set I participated in, Love Brings Us Home, with launching my career, even though I had five indie titles for sale before that box set released.
My primary goal was to get the first book in my Farm Fresh Romance series, Raspberries and Vinegar, into as many hands as possible in hopes that many, or at least some, readers would go on to purchase the other two books that were already available.
By cross-promoting with other authors, we'd not only gain access to each others' readerships, but rank high enough on Amazon's bestseller lists that continued organic reach would result. Wow. Did that ever happen! Love Brings Us Home stayed above the #10 spot on the Christian Contemporary Romance bestseller list for nearly six months and dominated at #3 or better for over half that time.
It was a total win/win. Readers got to read seven contemporary romance novels for 99 cents US. The authors split the 35-cents-per-copy-sold royalty and still made money because enough readers took a chance.
This whetted my appetite for a continued reach into the box set market. I contacted author friends and made plans for two sets for the summer season. The first released yesterday after six weeks on pre-order. It's called Summer of Love and contains 6 full-length previously-published romance novels from top-selling Christian authors, several the same as from the earlier set. Wild Mint Tea, the second novel in my Farm Fresh Romance series is included in Summer of Love.
The second summer set, Splash! 9 Refreshing Romance Novellas Filled with Faith contains only new material and will release in June. I'm thrilled my team includes Narelle Atkins and Marion Ueckermann, two other ICFW authors. Autumn Macarthur, from our ACFW Beyond the Borders group, also contributed a novella. This means that almost half the stories in this collection are set outside the USA for a fun international twist.
Splash! contains the following stories and locations:
His Perfect Catch by Narelle Atkins (Australia)
A holiday romance isn’t part of the plan when Mia Radcliffe temporarily moves to Sapphire Bay and lives next door to Pete McCall, her secret crush from years ago. Pete prefers the simple life. Can Mia leave behind her big-city dreams and settle with Pete in the seaside town?
Sweet Serenade by Valerie Comer (Canada)
Carly and Reed thrive on the rush of running rapids in a canoe until they capsize in both river and romance. Will secrets from the past drown their future, or can this idyllic summer romance lead to a lifetime of sweet serenades?
More than Friends by Autumn Macarthur (Scotland)
When nurse Catriona asks for help with her Vacation Bible School for disabled children, she never imagines how much could go wrong on a simple seaside day out — or that the colleague she's secretly loved for years might come to see her as more than his best friend's little sister.
Love Flies In by Heidi McCahan (Alaska)
He’s a seaplane pilot determined to honor his convictions. She’s a kayak guide who mocked his faith for sport. One small lakeside cabin in Alaska can’t house them both.
Testing the Waters by Lesley Ann McDaniel (Oregon)
After breaking up with her ultra-critical boyfriend, Teresa decides to reinvent herself. She meets a nice guy named Curt on the beach in Crescent Cove, Oregon, and tells him she’s Terése from Paris. Pretending to be someone else is fun until the unthinkable happens — she starts to fall for him.
The Lifeguards, the Swim Team, and Frozen Custard by Carol Moncado (Missouri)
Lifeguard Alivia Collins looks forward to another summer on the guard stand at the Serenity Landing Aquatic Center. This year, she’s going to have to keep herself from falling for the cute, new guard — or realize it’s time to give love another chance.
Time and Tide by Lynette Sowell (Virginia)
When out-of-work fashion journalist Karyn Lewis uses the summer to regroup on the coast of Virginia, she plans to lie low at Pine Breezes campground. She doesn't plan for her heart to be on a collision course with old friend Brodie Reed. They must decide if the past that looms between them will be too much for them to have a future together.
Draw You Near by Jan Thompson (Georgia)
Savannah artist Abilene Dupree keeps her personal life out of her commercial paintings except one. That one painting has now brought Londoner Lars Cargill back to the coastal town and into her art world. Can she hold him at bay before he invades her personal space and her heart?
Orphaned Hearts by Marion Ueckermann (Zambia)
His faith buried with his wife, Simon devotes himself to raising his daughter and orphan elephants. Lady Abigail postpones an arranged marriage, leaving England to teach the children of Africa. Will his past—or her future—keep their hearts orphaned?
Won't you give Splash! a try? You'll find links for pre-order on my website.
Meanwhile, a true addict is always thinking ahead where they might get their next fix. I'm already planning for the Christmas 2015 season!
Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local food movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.
Valerie writes Farm Lit where food meets faith, injecting experience laced with humor into her stories. Her debut novel, Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance, was awarded Best Contemporary Romance published in 2013 by The Word Guild.
Think Inside the Box Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.