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Celeste Barclay

Welcome

 𝘖𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘞𝘦𝘣𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘳 

𝓒𝓮𝓵𝓮𝓼𝓽𝓮 𝓑𝓪𝓻𝓬𝓵𝓪𝔂


𝙷𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚊𝚕 𝚁𝚘𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝙽𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚜𝚝 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚊 𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚏𝚘𝚛
𝚂𝚝𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝙵𝚊𝚒𝚝𝚑𝚏𝚞𝚕 𝙷𝚎𝚛𝚘𝚎𝚜
&
𝙸𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚙𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚂𝚙𝚞𝚗𝚔𝚢 𝙷𝚎𝚛𝚘𝚒𝚗𝚎𝚜







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EXCITING NEWS!!!

Cecelia Mecca's Newest Release in her Border Series is available Oct 18!

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The Rogue's Redemption 

The Border Series Book 8


He thought himself irredeemable. She showed him the truth.


The Rogue
Reid Kerr has always known his place. He’s the brother no one can depend on, the rogue who’s determined never to marry. But when he attends a council of border chiefs at Highgate End, he meets the one woman who might change his mind about love—and his own worth.

His Redemption
After narrowly escaping an arranged marriage, Englishwoman Allie Bowman is content to remain a permanent visitor at her sister’s new home, Highgate End. She is finally free to be herself. Or so she thinks. When she falls for the most notorious rogue in Scotland, she will discover her sister has very particular ideas of whom she should marry.

With both loved ones and circumstances poised to keep them apart, will Reid and Allie fight to stay together?


If you aren't familiar with Cecelia Mecca's novels, then you need to be.  I stumbled across them one day on Amazon when I think she was still relatively new.  I tried out her first one, The Theif's Countess, because it sounded interesting, and I fell in love with her style.  I've devoured them all, and I can't wait for this one.  She recently teamed up with two other favorites of mine to do a Scottish Time Travel series.  Cecelia Mecca, Keira Montclair, and Emma Prince created "The Enchanted Falls Trilogy"; they certainly didn't disappoint.  

Cecelia Mecca is the author of steamy historical romance that transports readers to the middle ages. 

A former English teacher, Cecelia combines two of her passions, romance novels, and the middle ages, transporting readers to an admittedly romanticized time of knights and castles. Her first series, set along the Anglo-Scottish border in 13th century Northumbria, turned Cecelia from educator to full-time author. Readers love the Border Series for its focus on well-developed characters and their steamy relationships leading to satisfying happily ever afters.

Cecelia lives in Northeast, Pennsylvania with her husband and two young children where she can be found either planning a Disney trip, watching period dramas or convincing her children to watch Star Wars. She is firmly House Stark and Gryffindor.





October 13, 2018


 Hello Readers,

What is success anyway?

To each his own, I suppose...

I think a lot of authors, or people in general, ask themselves if they are successful. And the resounding answer is, "I dunno." I asked that question on a few of my social media threads, and the same answer came back over and over, other than "I dunno." It was what I feel is a rather trite qualitative answer: Success is whatever you make of it. And variations of that. Success might be selling one book. Success might be writing more than one book. Success is different for everyone.

Guess what... 

I already knew all of that. It still didn't answer my question, or at least they weren't satisfactory answers to me. I wanted something more quantitative. While I'm no formal mathematician, and I avoided a minor in Econ just so I wouldn't have to take Econometrics because that meant finally taking Calculus, I do like me some statistics (with two graduate degrees there was no way to avoid either Research Methods classes). I wanted objective answers, not subjective ones. I was lucky enough to stumble across an author, Sally Britton, in one Facebook group who led me to another Facebook group. While giving me that recommendation, she also, finally, gave me an answer that I could sink my teeth into.

And it was a doozy!  I took copious notes of which I'll give you the abridged version.

FAIL- First Attempt In Learning

I went into this little (ad)venture without having any clue what I was doing other than I wanted to write a book, pray that some people enjoyed it, and sell some copies.  I wrote it, edited it, published it, solicited reviews, and marketed it "all by myself"--apparently my favorite phrase as a preschooler-- and I had some "success."  This wasn't enough for me though.  I had already planned a series, and I wanted it to go somewhere.  Since I didn't enter into this with a business plan, I don't really count
               
Mairghread Sinclair and Tristan Mackay
book 1, His Highland Lass, as my launching pad, but rather how I tested the water.  Book 2, His Bonnie Highland Temptation, has really been my launching pad.

My steps come from someone who knows.
Since I really count my second book as my launch, I would say that Sally and I had a fairly similar start with royalties in the $100s for our first month.  When I heard this, I felt like I was talking to someone with whom I could relate.  I wasn't talking to someone who blew me so far out of the water that there was no hope of catching up.

Sally stumbled upon The Writing Gals and realized that she needed a lead magnet, which she wrote and uploaded. Sally's second month, where she still had only one book published for sale, saw a growth of about $40s.  During her second month, she plunged into steps 2-4 below and published her second book.  By the end of her third month, she made her $500/month goal.  
Callum Sinclair and Siusan Mackenzie
Sally's second month, where she still had only one book published for sale, saw a growth of about $40s.  During her second month, she plunged into steps 2-4 below and published her second book.  By the end of her third month, she made her $500/month goal.  Month four was spent writing and marketing for her, and she focused on newsletter trades, giveaways, and creating her own Facebook readers group.  She ended the month with close to $1700 in royalties.

Month five was momentous!  Sally released her third book which happened to be in perfect sync with market demand for sweet romances (not quite my sub-genre), and she jumped to nearly $9k in royalties.  Wowzers!  She began listing on other sites such as EReaderNewsToday and Fussy Librarian.  She kept up with her Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) ads, swaps, and networking.

Month six was a breather from writing but not a breather from marketing.  She hosted a month-long Christmas in July style giveaway.  She networked with other authors to have more to offer; along with that, she marked down a book to free each weekend that month, and her royalties jumped to $13.5k.
Month seven saw another new release with over 2,000 preorders at $2.99 a piece.  She's since pulled her original lead magnet and put it up for sale.  Now, her books retail generally for $3.99.  That month, when I corresponded with her, she was projected to make $15.5k.

I'm willing to take her advice and believe her on how to quantify success.

Steps to Success...


More>>>




August 26, 2018

Hello Readers,

I'm a cliche, or at least the lessons I learned are...

Well, I can say that I am learning my lesson when it comes to book covers.  


I will have learned it completely, I anticipate, when sales improve.  It's been almost three weeks since I last posted, but that's because of all the learning I've been busy doing.  I bit the bullet and decided to have my two book covers completely redone by a professional graphic artist (The Write Designer).  It is like every cliche I can think of, but most particularly, it's like night and day.  I liked the covers that I designed, but I do not have the software or the means to keep the vivid image alive when it is loaded to KDP.  No matter what I tried, it always looked flat and low resolution.

His Highland Lass Cover 1
His Highland Lass Cover 1

His Highland Lass Cover Image 2
His Highland Lass Cover Image 2

DIY Covers...that flop

I have just enough graphic design (and html) knowledge to be dangerous.  


I have used Pixlr before for other projects, and it has worked really, really well.  It's like a free, mini Photoshop online software. I can adjust the image in any number of ways and even create layers.  I also use Adobe Spark for a lot of marketing images, promo videos, and for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook images.  However, even with the combination of these two online platforms, and online optimizers, I could not get the resolution (DPI) high enough to create a good quality cover.  I tried over and over again to increase the DPI, but no matter what I did, KDP kept telling me my images were between 70 and 90 DPI.  That's a very long way from 300.

His Highland Lass Cover with Plaid
His Highland Lass Cover 3

Why, you ask.

Why did I think that I could make the covers myself?