Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gateway to Arcadia Valley

by Valerie Comer


Are readers nearly box setted out?
My goodness. I admit to having done my share to proliferate them (back in 2015, when they were young and fresh), but the market seems saturated. There’s no denying they’ve worked very well for authors as well as for readers. Many authors have made significant income from these sets — yes, even when the royalty from a ninety-nine-cent e-book is divided between half a dozen or more authors.

I credit my first multi-author box set with putting my Farm Fresh Romance series on the map. Readers got the first one in the set, and a decent number went on to buy the other books and join my email list. Win-win, right?

Sure. Until reader have ten more box sets on their Kindles to read as soon as this one is done! Then the read-through to additional books in the series isn’t as high, as there’s no shortage of inexpensive reading material. It takes more to jog a reader out of the box set mindset so she’ll go looking for more books by this author.

Still, I’m a big believer in working together in groups.
That’s why I started Inspy Romance three years ago as a place where authors and readers of Christian contemporary romance can get to know each other. With a lot of help from my admin team and our author/bloggers, we’ve got a great community going over there.

My other go-to for group projects has been the multi-author box set, but it seems the efficacy is sliding, especially for authors determined to sell their e-books on other retailers as well as Amazon. So my thought became: what is the next step?

When is a box set not a box set? When it’s the gateway to six series in a shared world where a foodie culture and romance grow hand-in-hand!

Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley is that sort of gateway. I’ve teamed up with five other authors who love real food, gardens, farm-to-table restaurants, farmers markets, homemade bread — you name it, and someone is writing it into an Arcadia Valley Romance novel.

From the outside, Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley looks like a normal box set, except most box sets don’t have a paperback version. But each of the six novellas in the collection is the prequel to a three-book series set in the same fictional community of Arcadia Valley, Idaho. In the next eighteen months, our group will release a novel (not a novella) every single month, rotating between authors, until we each have completed our interwoven series. In the meanwhile, we’ve committed to working and marketing with each other.


My contribution to the collection of prequels is “Sow in Love,” a novella leading into my Garden Grown Romance series set in Arcadia Valley.

Real estate consultant Joanna Kraus’s ideas for fulfilling a living trust are shot down by the elderly man’s grandson. In fact, it seems like sending her back to the drawing board is his primary joy. How can a vintage 1960s house and two greenhouses generate income for the church in receipt of the trust?

The more Grady Akers gets to know Joanna, the more he finds himself hoping it takes a long time to find a solution, but his charm may be no match for the armor wrapped around Joanna’s heart. Will the perfect solution for the property be perfect to grow a love that’s just been sown?

Won’t you come along for the ride? This entire series will be available on Kindle, Kobo, Nook, and iBooks, as well as paperback. You can find the links for Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley here, as well as more information about the other five novellas.

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 foods 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 is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner. She has been called “a stellar storyteller” as she injects experience laced with humor into her green clean romances. Visit her at ValerieComer.com.

12 comments:

  1. Love this concept! I've enjoyed the first two novellas and can't wait to meet the rest of the Arcadia community! Thanks for sharing, Valerie :)

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    1. You're welcome, Erin! I'm so glad you're enjoying Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley. My first full-length novel in the series releases in May, and it's with my group now for beta reading. So fun!

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  2. I still have one story to finish in this set, and I have loved reading each one! I had previously only read stories from 2 of the authors & was excited to finally read something by the others (who I knew through FB). Valerie, I loved your story Sow in Love! I actually had already purchased 2 of your books (Raspberries & Vinegar and Dandelions for Dinner) which I was hoping to read sometime this year. Now I will definitely want to read more of yours! AND I am really looking forward to the sequels! I can't imagine the coordination between the authors to keep everything straight!!!

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    1. Yay! I'm happy to hook you in, LOL. Yes, lots of coordination. Thankfully, we've all gained good respect for each other as we've worked together and prayed for each other. My first novel in Arcadia Valley is Sprouts of Love, and it releases in May. It's currently with the team for beta reading.

      I need you to know that the two Farm Fresh Romance books you mentioned are books one and four in a six-book series. They can be read in any order as they each focus on one couple, but beware of spoilers for Wild Mint Tea (book 2) and Sweetened with Honey (book 3)!

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  3. The concept for this box set is really unique and exciting! I can't wait to get started reading it. I hope this does really well and more can be published with this type of concept in mind! What fun getting to read about a community but from different authors viewpoints!

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    1. I hope it does really well, too! Yes, the different viewpoints is a fun aspect of the project.

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  4. I love this blog and this is what I need to be reading in my life right now.

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  5. I too like this whole concept of the Arcadia series! Are the paper back copies out yet? In my world, a Series is always good and like others have pointed out it's nice to get to know authors I've not heard of before.

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    1. The paperback of the collection Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley is out on Amazon.com and .ca. I've seen both the ebook and paperback covers for Mary Jane Hathaway's Feb 14 release (Summer's Glory) and Elizabeth Maddrey's March 14 release (Muffins & Moonbeams). So, YES, all of the books will release in ebook and paperback relatively simultaneously.

      As indie authors, we can't link them in pre-order, so all we can do is push the button on the paperback at 'about' the right time and wait for the process to occur. :)

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  6. I am working my way through this set. I have enjoyed the first three novellas. I had previously read "Raspberries and Vinegar" and I was looking forward to reading more of your characters. I am excited that I have several more series on my list of titles to read.

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    1. I'm happy to supply more! I have several series. :D

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