The RITAs are no more. If you’re not familiar with the award it was formerly bestowed for excellence in published romance novels and novellas but was retired in 2020 after the Romance Writers of America meltdown. If you missed all the articles about the controversy at the RWA, you can search for prior posts. You can check out the past winners and hall of fame for those who won multiple RITAs at this LINK.

Now it’s the Vivian Award from the Romance Writers of America. “The Vivian recognizes excellence in romance writing and showcases author talent and creativity. We celebrate the power of the romance genre with its central message of hope–because happily ever afters are for everyone.” Vivian Stephens was the founder of Romance Writers of America.

Below are those books nominated for the historical romance category. Winners will be announced July 31, 2021.

Historical Romance – Long (80,000 Words or Longer)

The Clothier’s Daughter by Bronwyn Parry

His Secret Mistress by Cathy Maxwell

Once a Spy by Mary Jo Putney

Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta Chase

Historical Romance – Mid (50,000 to 80,000 Words)

For This Knight Only by Barbara Bettis

The Footman and I by Valerie Bowman

A Song of Secrets by Robyn Chalmers

A Study in Passion by Louisa Cornell

There is also a Historical Romance Short Category for books 20,000 to 50,000 in length, but there were no finalists.

Here are list of the 2021 Rules here FYI.

Gabaldon released the first Outlander book in 1991. And since then, she’s written seven more novels for the series. Her last installment, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, was published in 2014. So for nearly seven years, fans have been waiting to see where she takes Claire and Jamie Fraser’s story next.

Source: ‘Outlander’ Author Diana Gabaldon Reveals Progress on Book 9

I spend money to expand the reach for authors on the Historical Romance Facebook page. For readers, it’s important to subscribe to our newsletter to get notices of author promotions. Attempting to reach the reader’s audience for authors, continues to grow more difficult.  Most posts on our Facebook page without additional $ promotion, get very little action if any.  It’s a sad state of affairs.

Authors, read the article! It’s informative. Readers, if you have Facebook pages too and use Facebook advertising, it’s a wealth of information.

Facebook is about to change and authors need to know what’s coming and how to survive the digital upheaval. If you advertise your books on Facebook, you may have a harder time finding new readers. As Facebook collects less personal information about readers, your ads may become less effective and more expensive. If the costs of reader acquisition increase enough, it may become impossible to advertise on Facebook profitably.

 

Source: What the 2021 Facebook Changes Mean for Authors – Author Media

Breaking news!

Audible will no longer offer the Audible Escape subscription as of November 1, 2020, which provided romance fans with access to hours of romance. Of course, the titles will still be available to listeners through Audible subscriptions.

The reason for the change – unknown. I surmise it may be because of Audible Plus, which allows members to listen to anything in the catalog “as much as they want, whenever they want,” which would include romance. The two packages are probably considered rolled into one now.

Read about the pandemic-driven industry publishing woes. “Books that were bumped from spring and early summer are landing all at once, colliding with long-planned fall releases and making this one of the most crowded fall publishing seasons ever.”  You thought the market was crowded before?  As authors, visibility is a challenge that is even greater.

Capacity issues at the two largest printing companies are among the factors creating havoc for authors and publishers.

Source: Printer Jam: Serious Supply Issues Disrupt the Book Industry’s Fall Season – The New York Times

Here is another article released as well.  590 new releases coming your way in various genres.

Source:  590 books will be released on a single day next week — have publishers lost the plot?

You may be asking yourself, so what’s the big deal?  As a reader, you should be informed on how Amazon works with publishers and independent authors. One of the biggest complaints about their “domination” in the industry is Kindle Unlimited.  As an author, if we enroll our books into the KU program, it means that we cannot sell our eBook versions on any other platform as long as we maintain our enrollment.  What does that mean? You won’t find our novels on iBooks, Google Play, and Nook due to exclusivity provisions authors must agree to while in KU.

If that wasn’t bad enough to stiffle our sales, while readers pay a flat fee per month to read unlimited books, authors only get paid each time a reader flips a page on their Kindle device.  For example, today I had a reader flip 27 pages, which equated to $0.12 in royalties.  I can’t even buy a cup of coffee for what I make off of each book in KU.

It is no wonder that complaints are being filed by the industry against Amazon.  It’s only a matter of time before their strong-arm tactics of industry domination will be challenged.  They are effectively killing off the bookselling industry in many markets.  Yes, they are convenient, I give them that much. Nevertheless, do they always have to be the only place we shop?  Of course, shame on my for advertising Kindle Unlimited on this website!

Three of publishing’s most important organizations have teamed up to write a letter to the chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee investigating the market power of Big Tech to press their case that, over the last several years, Amazon’s growing dominance over book publishing and bookselling has fundamentally altered the competitive framework of the industry. If Amazon’s power is left unchecked, the letter continues, competition within publishing could diminish even more.

Source: Publishing Leaders Issuing Warning over Amazon’s Market Power

More drama. The RITAs cancelled.  Major publishers dropping support as well and distancing themselves from the organization until changes are made.  Read Here

The U.S.’s foremost writers association for romance writers has announced that it will postpone the 2020 RITA Contest, the country’s top prize for romance fiction, until next year.

Source: RWA Cancels 2020 RITA Awards

Drama in romance writers land. . .

Chinese-American romance writer Milan had been suspended earlier this month for criticizing other novels as being racist.

Source: Romance Writers Drama: Courtney Milan’s Suspension Rescinded, 8 Board Members Resign