We’re excited to start a new series, Straight Talk, with Entangled authors! We’re starting with Jennifer Probst, bestselling author (has a nice ring to it!) of The Marriage Bargain, one of our first Indulgence titles. She’s here giving some straight talk about her early success with this smokin’ romance which as sold nearly 9000 copies in its first week.
I’ve been writing since I was fourteen years old.
Published when I was thirty.
And started making money at…well, a girl needs to have her secrets, right?
Writing is a funny business. The only thing writers really want to do is write, and make a living. Sounds simple, yet it rarely is. With the rise of self-publishing, e-books, big brick and mortar stores closing, and a crunched mid-list, we need to be careful about what basket we put our eggs in. Choices are varied, but tricky.
Many authors are looking at some of the up and coming publishing houses, but wary to throw their well crafted, blood-spilled pages into an unknown. And like anything else when people start asking personal questions about sales and money, many close up, and with good reason.
I wanted to share my own personal story about my journey with Entangled. I wrote The Marriage Bargain and truly felt the book was special. It went through many phases of revisions, got close but rejected various times, and when through a metamorphous of a single title to a shorter book. I had heard some positive buzz about Entangled, but the publisher was still relatively new on the block. I did a bit of research, and decided to submit.
From the moment I received the call from them asking to buy my book, I have been struck by the air of professionalism and tight team the company has. I was conferenced immediately with my assigned editor (who I fell in love with) and the publisher, and was kept on the phone going over every imaginable detail. I received a generous figure of 40% in royalties. Foreign sales. The possibility of print. Midpoint and PGW options to get the books into the store and get them sold. Entangled runs a tight ship, and beyond that, there is solid vision for the future.
As we moved forward, the editing process was top rate. Each edit was ruthlessly looked over, picked and polished. I received weekly encouraging words from my editor, who handled me with a beautiful ruthlessness I need wrapped up in soft kid gloves. The perfect fit.
I was assigned a publicist. I was sent a detailed schedule of my promotional blogs, directions, and made to feel as if no question was too small to ask. I had a point figure to send all my stuff to and I didn’t have to worry about doing it all. Because really? I wanted to write. I never waited long for anyone to get back to me. I never felt alone in the process.
But the best part? I was made to feel like I finally found a safe home. What writer doesn’t want to feel at home with a publishing house and welcomed to stay?
When the book launched on Valentine’s Day, the Lori Wilde Indulgence line had already received a good buzz due to a mix of advertising, social media, and street tribes. When the books hit, sales were positive immediately and grew. This could have remained the same but my publisher did something extremely pro-active.
She bought some ads in different places as a test run. And some of them took off.
Within the week, my book had climbed to number fourteen in romance for the Barnes and Noble best seller list.
Two days later, it hit number one in both romance and ALL books. And stayed.
This type of success is a dream to a writer. My sales rose. And for the first time in a long time, I made some money, selling over 8500 books in its first week.
I watched as the other books in the line began to rise and do some solid numbers. Watched as their books consistently were rated five starred, quality books that kept readers coming back for more.
And people made money.
So, the moral of the story? I’m humbled and thrilled by such a success. I’m looking forward to more of them, and growing with all the talented authors in this group.
And I’m finally making money.