Sunday, October 20, 2013


I love the commercial in which the old farmer comes out to spell "cow." I guess he's in a spelling bee. He spells, "Cow. C-o-w-e-i-e-i-o." {{Buzzz!!!}} He says, "Dagnabit!" This makes me laugh every time.

However, it's not a bad word to use when one is disappointed or frustrated. I, myself, say "dagnabit" on occasion, as when I dropped the jar of jalapeno peppers on my kitchen tile floor, or when I stuck my mascara wand into my eye.

In this case, I'm frustrated and disappointed that a few of my best stories are not big sellers. This may be a personal bias, of course, since I wrote them, but I do believe these stories of which I speak are truly much better than some of my others that sell very well.

Now, you might think I'd begrudge a novel or novella selling really well, when I know in my heart it's not my best work. Not true. I love everything I've ever written--I'd be a poor example of an author if I didn't--but I just know some are better than others.

Why is that? Why does a perfectly good story that gets good reviews and wonderful praise from my local readers...not sell on the commercial market?

Why? Because they have no or too little sex. Sorry, sex scenes are not what makes a good story.

Why? Because they have no singular one-on-one interaction between a man and a woman, a true romance story. Sorry, a true romance is fine--I like them, too--but they're not the only good stories out there.

Every story I've written tells a love story. But some of my full-length novels tell more of the story than just the love part.

CRYSTAL LAKE REUNION-A young woman in Houston owns a real estate agency with her mother. She loves her mother, and they've always been alone since her father died in combat when she was one month old. The problem is, she learns that her life is not as it seems when she goes to a small town north of Houston--Crystal Lake. There, she slowly learns that she is truly someone else. She meets a young doctor and even though she does most of the research and sleuthing to find her true heritage, he helps and encourages her along the way. It's unfortunate other families and other lives will be disrupted, but she is determined to learn the truth.
And she falls in love.
***This novel has been reduced to 99cents on my request.

HEART OF A HERO-- Matt Carrington escapes a terrorists’ prison while in the Army, but he has difficulty escaping the trappings of a demanding fiancé and his own parents. To get away to think, he meets pretty, girl-next-door Lauren Delaney, the kind of woman he desires. But his fiancé and his parents have other plans, and they determine to have their way—no matter what Matt wants.
Lauren Delaney is an independent young woman who quickly befriends the soldier hero who comes to town. Knowing he has another life in Dallas, she holds a secret, too. But she pretends neither have a problem in order to have the summer with him.
Kindle Version: $5.99
Both of these novels received very good reviews, and I'm proud of them.
Both have great covers--Crystal Lake Reunion was a P&E runner-up for best cover.
Both are set in Texas, as are all my stories.
Both have plots that involve other characters.
Both are contemporary Texas--big cities and small towns.

Thank you! Celia


  1. Celia, my mother's favorite expressions of frustration were "shoot" and "my cow." My personal favorite is "well, cuss words."

    Both of these stories sound delightful, and I know from reading others of yours that these two must be chock-full of emotional resonance. They just haven't found their audience yet -- perhaps because they're a little different from what you've written in the past. I'm sure that's beyond frustrating, but hang in there.

    "My turn shall also come. I sense the spreading of a wing." (Osip Mandelstam)

  2. Hi Celia, strange enough it's the opposite for me. My Holiday Babies Series that has no sex at all sells much better than others with hot scene. I think it's the genre of the story that may not please some people. To Love A Hero is the book of my heart, with the best official reviews and several hot love scenes, yet it's not selling at Amazon.

  3. I hear you, Celia. I have no idea how to answer. I have a friend who writes drivel and is selling and another friend who writes perfect novels and is not. Why? I have no idea. Simply doesn't make sense.

  4. Ahh, Kathleen, you are such a good ego booster. I do think these two stories are just about my best--but they're not Western. I think I finally came to the realization that when readers see Celia Yeary, they think...Westerns. I wrote Westerns first and made a foray into contemporary...and love it. But I guess in the end, my heart lies with Westerns.
    Thanks for your beautiful quote.

  5. Mona--there's just no figuring it out, is there. Your To Love a Hero, yes, was much more emotional than you babies stories. Sometimes I think it's a combination of many things..and we just have to hit upon it. Even though it's a huge mystery.
    Thanks for your comment.

  6. Caroline--I guess that's the name of the game--nothing makes sense. Oh, but if we could figure out that perfect formula!
    Thanks for your thoughts.

  7. I'd never heard of 'dagnabit' before - but I do say 'Shoot' (often!) or 'Sugar'.
    I've read both the novels you've featured, and enjoyed them both, but I agree that there seems to be no rhyme nor reason as to why some novels sell and others don't. I've been very disappointed with the sale of my novels, sometimes to the point of thinking 'Why do I bother?'

  8. Celia, Crystal Lake Reunion remains my all time favorite of your books (and I've read them all) and I treasure my print copy of that one. It has my favorite cover also. There is no rhyme or reason to what sells and what doesn't. Readers are fickle, aren't they? My own favorite contempory has been 99cents for some time, a real throw-away. Bad cover and blurb was thought to be the reason but the publisher changing both hasn't helped. I guess once a loser, always a loser in this case.

  9. Dagnabit is one of my favorites, too.
    And I noticed the same commercial you pointed out.

    Celia, I'm told that unless we're very lucky or maybe spend more money than we can make on promotion, it takes two or three years for our books to go viral (this from a literary agent at RWA Nationals).

    Reently, I also heard from authors who told me that if we have at least ten books out at the end of those two years, those who've gone Indie and Self-pubbed can average a couple thou a month.

    We also forget that in this volatile time for the publishing industry, depending on what we do, our small publisher can also expand to become a large publisher, depending on how we promote them.

    Something else to focus on, but who has the time?


  10. Hi, Paula! If you lived in "The South," you would know Dagnabit! I have no idea what it means--a take-off or combination of some curse words, although I don't know which.

    I'm learning that many of us have a favorite novel we've written. It's a shame others don't find our favorites as good as we do. But they're my "children", and I love them...not everyone will.
    I've not thought about quitting yet, but that doesn't mean I might one day. I enjoy the writing and excitement of a new release too much...whether they sell or not is up to fate or something--because I, like you, do all I can to promote.
    Thanks for joining me here--I do like your thoughts.

  11. Linda--Oh, don't I know it. There's a secret formula, I'm sure, that we're not privy to. However, I am happy I actually have books on the market. I just with one or two more would sell like Addie and the Gunslinger. That is the real mystery.
    Thanks for your comment--you know I always look for yours.

  12. Susan--thanks for the interesting information. I have nine novels and six novellas, plus some anthologies and a collection.
    Of all those, I've made the most money on a 99cent "Dime Novel" titled Addie and the Gunslinger. I don't know if it's gone viral, but after a year and a half out, it's back on a Top 100 list on Amazon. Love those statistics!
    Thanks so much for coming by. And I love finding someone else who loves that old farmer who says, "Dagnabit!"

  13. Celia, I suspect Kathleen is right. Those two books may be somewhat different from your others, and they haven't yet found their audience. I'm writing a serialized novella series now that won't have hot scenes in every book. Since my Texas Devlins books all feature fairly hot sex scenes, I'm a bit worried that some readers may be disappointed. I can only hope they will like the plot enough to stick with the series.

  14. LYN--I understand. Some readers do look for books with hot scenes--and numerous ones, too. I do know why they like them, but so many others don't. Mine aren't hot at all--yes, a sex scene or two, but no gritty details. I can't even write them without laughing!

    It's slowly dawning on me that my name is associated with Western Historicals, so that's the directions I'll go for now. I still would like to write contemporary...but they just don't sell as well.
    And yes, I think Kathleen has the answer. The trouble becomes where and how to find that new audience.
    Thanks so much--I see I'm not the only one with a dilemma.

  15. I wish I knew the answer to why some stories sell over others that may be better stories. It could be so many things: not quite the right blurb, a less than great cover, or the lack of money in general. I do know that I love your work. Maybe it's just me and I'm living on false beliefs, but I really think there is a turn around in readers and wrotic sex scenes. I really feel that readers want more story now and not so much graphic sex. It's such an intense world we live in and all that erotic and gratuitous sex makes it even worse.
    I like a story that unfolds with tenderness and tension between the two characters. I want a real obstacle shaking things up or a trully bad villain.
    No matter how much we all try to make every book special and our very best, we're always going to have those stories that hold great meaning for us and written from the pages of our very spirit. Readers really get it when that happens.
    Great blog and good food for thought, Celia.

  16. Sarah--you write such great comments, very thoughtful and full of wisdom. I don't worry about a book not selling as much as I make out to be. But sometimes, it's good to write the problem out as a blog, hoping to find an answer in there. That's the great thing about writing a blog--those who comment most often say something much better than I did. At least, I know we're all in the same boat.

    Gratuitous Sex--I do believe there are still loads of books with it, and many books are written with only that in mind. I do hope, as you said, that readers are becoming a little more sophisticated and want a real story. Those who love Fifty Shades of Grey (isn't the hero's name Grey? I just realized that)--almost always say there's a good story in there. But I've seen too many reviews who say differently.
    But to each his own. No way would I stand in their way.
    Thanks, Sarah. You're a good friend with a good mind and heart.

  17. Hi Celia,

    I love dagnabbit, but I don't remember to use it very often, chosing to go for "high test" swear words. Sometimes I remember to use "dang" so I'm not all potty mouth.

    I never understand what makes one book sell and another sit on the bench. Seems like readers would want to read everything a writer writes, but that isn't always the case. Sometimes it's price, but just as often, not.

    It's a conundrum, dagnabbit!

  18. Maggie--I do use those real curse words on occasion, but not often. "Shoot" is my favorite--it usually just comes out naturally. If I'm really frustrated or angry--then, well, another one.
    A conundrum, for sure. Selling books is a mystery.