“Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley” will always be special to me; it is my first published book, and my daughter, Alexa, is the cover model. My daughter, who is private and modest, agreed to pose in a weak moment, then felt an immediate sense of remorse and swore she would never do it again. But as time has passed, I think her regret has softened, and one day, I am certain she will be glad she agreed to be my “Elizabeth” for this book.
Three years after publication, DTaHaP now has 150 Amazon ratings with an average of 4.7 out of 5 Stars! This is a significant achievement for a book that had a disappointing start. The sales for this book were lackluster upon its release. I learned several possible explanations: P&P sequels are less popular than P&P variations; the “fantasy” aspect turned most Jane Austen fans off; and the word “Death” in the title further deterred them. (I love the title though, and could not imagine a better one.)
Nevertheless, I felt bad that my publisher put the time and money into a project that did not pay off, so I did everything I could think of to promote it. I did not pay for advertising, but I contacted tons of bloggers asking them to review and took advantage of any offers to “spotlight” the book on their blogs. I managed to get “Historical Fiction Magazine” to review and received wonderful praise for the book before the magazine sadly folded. In addition, I received a review and recommendation by “The Historical Novel Society. I also entered the book into award contests and it won several of them. Although I am thrilled that the book won awards, I do not believe they made a significant difference in sales.
Before publishing DTaHaP, I did not use social media much. But I became active on Twitter, grew my following, and connected with many wonderful people. Promoting on Twitter does result in a few sales here and there, but the financial payback when compared to the time I spend on Twitter is miniscule. I would not spend so much time on Twitter if I did not enjoy it. If you are curious enough to check out DTaHaP, the link is below: