Grande Dame of Historical Romance Comes to Kensington: Spotlight on Sabrina Jeffries

For her latest series and her first with Kensington, Duke Dynasty, Jeffries chronicles the lives of the children of a thrice-widowed duchess. (Sponsored)

Source: Grande Dame of Historical Romance Comes to Kensington: Spotlight on Sabrina Jeffries

Outlander is Based on Books by Diana Gabaldon – Here’s Everything to Know About the Epic Series from The Oprah Magazine

Interesting article. Netflix has picked up the first two seasons.  Diana is working on another book. This article was published in Oprah Magazine on May 15. Follow link to read.  Though not a true “historical romance,” as even Diana admits, I’m sure readers will enjoy the news.

Gabaldon is currently working on the series’ ninth book titled Go Tell the Bees I’m Gone.

Source: Outlander Based on Books by Diana Gabaldon – Outlander Books in Order

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Has Risen to Bestseller After Fire

The tragic fire of Notre Dame has risen Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame to the bestseller list. In France, it’s currently number one in Gothic Romance and number 26 on Amazon USA Historical Romance Best Seller list!  Read more below at one of the many articles being published about its resurgence to fame.

When it was first published in 1831, the novel led to the restoration of Notre Dame.

Source: ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ has risen to the top of France’s best-seller list following Notre Dame fire | Deseret News

Can book piracy be stopped? | Books | The Guardian

Book piracy is a huge problem for authors. Yesterday, I got an alert from Google that one of my books was available for download on a piracy site. It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last.  I sent a take-down notice, but 24-hours later, it’s still there for free.  It will probably get ignored like all the rest of the notices I’ve filed.

In a writers group today, I read about an author who had sold 47,000 copies of a book that was pirated 101,000 time – that means 101,000 books downloaded, and she didn’t receive a penny.

Piracy is a word that perhaps conjures up images of Captian Jack Sparrow in the Caribbean, being the somewhat comical pirate pillaging and stealing.  He may be an entertaining character, but he’s still a thief.  For authors, piracy is no ship ride that we enjoy to see our hard work posted by thieves and given away to the general public. Perhaps those who download think they have the permission of authors to do so because occasionally authors will do free giveaways for a limited time or have a permanently free book for readers to download. On pirate sites, that’s not the case, and most of these sites don’t advertise to those who visit them with flashing neon signs, “We stole these books so you could read them for free.”

Below is a good article from the Guardian talking about illegally downloaded books and the damage it does to authors.  Next time you are tempted, please don’t hit the download button.  Authors are like any other people – they are working people who have bills to pay, families to feed, etc.  We write for you, the reader, and only ask for a small amount in return for the joy of reading our books.

To keep in perspective, when you pay 99 cents for a book on Amazon, authors get 35 cents.  When you pay $2.99 for a book, we get $2.06.  For a $3.99 book, we get  $2.76, which will get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  I can’t live off of coffee, even though I’ve tried.

The next time you’re tempted for a free book, please pay and give the author a nod of thanks for their hard work.

 

As publishers struggle with ‘whack-a-mole’ websites, experts, authors and Guardian readers who illegally download books, assess the damage

Source: ‘I can get any novel I want in 30 seconds’: can book piracy be stopped? | Books | The Guardian

Men Sold their Wives at Market

“Centuries before legal divorce was accessible, selling your partner to someone else allowed working-class couples to be publicly separate.”

Source: A brief history of when men sold their wives at market, and why some women enthusiastically consented to it – inews.co.uk

Here’s an interesting trope for a Historical Romance novel. I wondered if anyone has tried weaving this historical tidbit into a tantalizing book, and apparently, they have (see below).  Read all about it. Men who sold their wives.

‘The options available were to grin and bear it, try and get an annulment (tricky), desertion, bigamy, or to tie a rope around their neck and sell them at market to the highest bidder’  Read more at iNews/UK.

To read more about divorce laws, here’s a refresh on a previous post I wrote some time ago:  AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Period Fashions – The End of the Victorian Era (1890-1910)

The ever-changing styles.  We now enter the 1890s to 1900s and find the fashions of the decades. For a wonderful background on Women’s Fashions of the 1890s and what influenced the changes, head over to Bellatory for fashion and history.

Here are some beautiful fashions, closing out the Victorian era.

Queen Victoria died January 22, 1901, which ushered in the Edwardian era. Here a few of the dresses that followed.

I hope you enjoyed the period fashions to help you visual your historical romance novel. Of course, we didn’t cover all of them, but a sampling is enough.

If you wish to see more of the dresses, visit The Metropolitan Museum of Arts website and surf to your heart’s content.

Copyright Infringement and Registration

News for authors! I know that some writers do not register copyrights at the U.S. Copyright office. I register all my books, and it’s easy to do and fairly inexpensive.  Even if you have copyright as soon as you create, in order to bring a lawsuit for infringement, which as you know has been a big discussion of late, you need registered copyright.  Frankly, getting that official certificate feels great and gives validation of your creation.

I also apply for a Library of Congress number for my own books and send a print copy off to Washington D.C. I guess it’s my legacy as an author to think after I’ll be long gone,  my books are still alive.

Authors, take the plunge if you haven’t already! Register your books and be protected. At least if someone steals your work, you’ll have recourse.

The U.S. Supreme Court held today that bringing a suit for copyright infringement requires that the infringed work actually be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, and that a mere application fo

Source: SCOTUS on Copyright Infringement and Registration

The Use of Ghostwriters – Have You Been Ghosted?

Do book mills exist?  Do ghostwriters crank out books for people who aren’t authors?  You betcha.  Perhaps you’ve unknowingly read a few from prolific so-called authors releasing works one after another. Frankly, I’ve wondered myself when authors have more than one book a month hitting the stands.

Click the link below to read a good blog post from another author and be informed. It’s all about money.

Because of the recent plagiarism scandal, there is a new cry from authors who actually write their own words.  You’ll probably see this statement cropping up on more author websites and social media pages.

“I write my own f***** books.”

#CopyPasteCris

Source: We’re Missing Something Big in this Cristiane Serruya Story — KILBY BLADES

#CopyPasteCris – Recent Plagiarism in Romance Land

I’m very sorry to report that many authors, some of whom you may have read, are victims of plagiarism.  You can read about Courtney Milan’s horrible experience HERE.

The romance community takes infringement very seriously, and it’s a sad day when authors spend hours writing original works only to have large portions stolen and rewritten in books that are sold to unsuspecting readers.  It’s even worse when the alleged thief makes the USA Today bestseller list, enjoying its fame, with words not written by her hand.

Please read these articles, and do not support the individual involved in this thief of intellectual property.  Some of the historical romance authors who have had their works plagiarized include Courtney Milan,  Christi Caldwell, Tessa Dare, Loretta Chase, and other contemporary romance authors.

Read more in the article below:

 

Your need-to-know information about the #CopyPasteCris hashtag born after romance author Courtney Milan discovered that her work was plagiarized by another.

Source: Romancelandia, Intellectual Property, and Plagiarism: A Round-Up of #CopyPasteCris

Jane Austen: Why do Millennials Love her so Much? Another Good Article

A long dead 19th century author who wrote about the rather limited lives of women, in a time when success was defined by who you married, might seem a strange crush for the modern millennial, yet on Instagram the hashtag ‘#janeausten’ brings up over half a million hits and counting.

                 Source: Jane Austen: Why do Millennials Love her so Much?

10 Years Later, ‘North & South’ Remains the Greatest Period-Drama Miniseries of All Time – Flavorwire

Have you read the book, North & South, by Elizabeth Gaskell? I encourage you to take the opportunity. A few years ago, I had the privilege of visiting Elizabeth’s home in Manchester, United Kingdom. It was the highlight of my trip. To see pictures of her home and life, visit my blog on my author website. I even pushed the doorbell once touched by Charlotte Bronte and Charles Dickens.  Here’s a good article about the on-screen version.

“It’s one of the most explosive, chemistry-rich misunderstanding-laden romances that’s ever graced the small screen.”

Read More:

Source: 10 Years Later, ‘North & South’ Remains the Greatest Period-Drama Miniseries of All Time – Flavorwire

It’s my Classic reading challenge!  Read North & South.

The Top Ten Authors as of October 25, 2018

greatIf you watched PBS’s recent show, The Great American Read, you’re probably aware that Diana Galbaldon came in second with her Outlander series, and To Kill a Mockingbird came in first.  Other historicals that made the top ten were Pride & Prejudice, Gone with the Wind, and Jane Eyre.  Is the Outlander book series truly a great American read compared to its hefty competition of literary classics? Honestly, ladies, just admit you’ve fallen in love with Jamie Fraser as portrayed in the Starz series. Being his lass is all you really want whether it’s a book or film.

Nevertheless, as I check the Amazon author rank just now, I see Diana Galbaldon is now number one in historical romance, even though she doesn’t consider her series a true historical romance. Regardless, her recent win has pushed her to the top…again.

So who else is there?  Since I haven’t checked in a while, there a few regulars but also some new ones have appeared.  Of course, like the shifting sands of the desert, the wind blows and changes appear to the top ten of this genre as authors spend money on advertising or have a hot new release.  If you can show the $$$ in marketing, you can inch your way upward. I once ended up in the top because of a huge sale. Should have taken a screenshot of my one day of glory.

Nevertheless, drum roll, please.

  1.  Diana Gabaldon – The Outlander Series
  2. Kathryn Le Veque
  3. Dragonblade Publishing (Elizabeth Ellen Carter, Maggie Anderson, Violetta Rand, Anna Markland)
  4. Mary Lancaster
  5. Christi Cladwell
  6. Fiona Valpy
  7. Sharon Ihle
  8. Patricia Bracewell
  9. Jane Goodger
  10. Carolyn Brown

Here are some of their works.

Taking a Break

cropped-new350logo1.jpgIt’s been difficult getting this blog off the ground in spite of advertising, helping other authors for free, writing posts, and updating daily.

I’ve decided to put it on hold for now because I’m in the middle of another personal four-book project.  For sanity sake, I cannot spread myself thin trying to build another business on the side of book promotion while writing and promoting myself as an author.

The site will stay up and I’ll attempt to update the pre-sales at least.  Perhaps next year when I’m done with my current project, I’ll revive this blog and go from there.

Thank you to those who had recent promotions.

All my best.

In the News – The Amazon Jungle


Nobody knows the trouble we see…except authors.

Here is an informative blog post written by USA Today bestselling author Suzan Tisdale to Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon.  She makes a startling introductory statement, and I can attest to the fact that I also lost 90% of my income because of Kindle Unlimited.

So what other problems are plaguing authors in Amazon land?  Read it and be informed. It’s really a jungle of survival in a world of scammers and thieves.  The landscape can be discouraging for authors.  It makes you wonder why bother to write when there are snakes slithering through the Amazon jungle.   Nonetheless, when you have the gift and urge of storytelling, it’s difficult to stop in spite of it all.

Readers read and be informed.  As an author, I’m thankful for strong voices such as Suzan’s in the author community who speak for us all.

This is the letter that I have sent to Jeff Bezos regarding the problems with KU Book Stuffers, Scammers, and thieves. Take from it what you will. Dear Mr. Bezos, I am Suzan Tisdale. I began my sel…

Source: An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos

Traditional Publishers’ eBook Sales Drop as Indie Authors & Amazon Take Off

When I began writing in 2009 and released my first independent book, self-publishing was frowned upon.  Only losers went that route – rejects from publishers – would be authors with VANITY written across their foreheads, with an “L” for losers. The prejudice was great, and as an individual, I suffered the pangs myself of scathing reviews, trolls, and one-stars.

Now it’s 2018, nearly ten years later, and the collective landscape has changed dramatically.  Independent authors have hit the NY Times and USA Today bestseller lists.  Some writers are making six figures a year (“Over a thousand independent authors surpassed $100,000 in royalties in 2017 through Kindle Direct Publishing”), while new writers flood the market with 99 cent books and crowd Kindle Unlimited.  As a result, the expensive ebook prices from large publishing houses are beginning to suffer.  Why pay $9.99 for an ebook when for $10 a month you can get plenty more?

Read the latest thoughts below at GeekWire.com

The future of ebook publishing may increasingly belong to the independent author, especially as traditional publishers charge a premium for their traditionally published product.

Source: Traditional publishers’ ebook sales drop as indie authors and Amazon take off.

Is Historical Romance in a Rut?

Ah, the dictionary — it gives me the exact words to describe this post. RUT – “a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change.”  Thank you, Google Dictionary.

Already, I sound a bit snarky. However, historical romance has definitely fallen into a few ruts along the road, and I question whether we need a change.  You may discover that I’m a rebel at heart.

This morning while scanning the bestseller list of Victorian historical romances on Amazon Kindle, I counted 39 out of 50 covers that consisted of one thing – a woman in a flowing dress.  Seven covers added a male alongside the flowing dress.  Two covers had a male and no female. The remainder – one with a ship on the cover and one with multiple women (a box set of brides for historical western).

My question – what is it with dresses?  Why am I finding this trend monotonous?  Like the proliferation of dukes and Regency era stories, historical romance has carved out an obvious ongoing path that doesn’t seem to vary much beyond those boundaries in the top 100.  However, the path must be a popular one because these are the books that are bestsellers.

Historical romance is a far-reaching genre that includes eras, storylines, and cover scenes that can be just as interesting and romantic. Personally,  I would love to see this genre stir the pot a lot more to include anything other than a woman in a flowing dress to attract attention. I suppose we could blame the traditional publishing houses for continuing to proliferate that scene and those who follow to blend into the scenery.

To add to the problem, covers don’t always depict dresses that are historically accurate when it comes to fashions, i.e., Victorian bustles rather than the Regency empire waists. One of the most recent examples is Lisa Kleypas’s, Hello Stranger, in a modern gown released by Avon who is supposedly a physician in the Victorian era.  A bit of buzz has surfaced about the choice, but all of the gowns of that series appear out of place.  Thank goodness for great sites like Period Images that attempts to give more accuracy to fashions when it comes to cover models.

Well, in any event, this morning was a downer as my eyes were accosted by 39 covers of flowing dresses.  Is it just me in a state of perpetual boredom or do others share my views?

I suppose the old adage if it ain’t broken don’t fix it, but something tells me the longer we stay in the ruts we’ve created, the genre will never change as a whole. Hopefully, that doesn’t lead to a slump of interest in historical romance overall as readers burn out over repetitiveness.  We could be doing more damage than good.

Historical Romance Admin

 

See the Cover for Elizabeth Hoyt’s ‘Not the Duke’s Darling’ (Press This)

 

DileEntertainment’s online magazine today released an article regarding Elizabeth Hoyt’s new book, Not the Duke’s Darling, which is the first in a new series scheduled for release on December 18, 2018.  The cover is finally up on Amazon. It’s an interesting article about the storyline. Check it out at the link below!

Plus, the author talks creating a fictional secret society of powerful women.
Source: See the cover for Elizabeth Hoyt’s ‘Not the Duke’s Darling’

No Bodices Were Ripped in the Making of this Romance Novel – The Boston Globe

The #metoo movement is hitting the romance genre. “Put another way, how does a genre commonly dubbed “bodice-rippers” stay relevant in an era when the ripping of bodices sounds more like cause for a lawsuit than a display of passion?” Read more below. Perhaps us ladies should start ripping shirts instead!

Writing a ‘trigger-free love story’ is dicey in the age of #metoo.

Source: No bodices were ripped in the making of this romance novel – The Boston Globe

Top 10 Historical Romance Authors as of April 11, 2018

It’s that time again.  So who bumped who out of first place from last month?  Frankly, this list changes daily.  Regardless, it’s interesting to see the authors that maintain the top-ten spot from month to month.  A recent release from a well-known author has hit the bestseller list.  Here’s the breakdown of the top ten authors with burgeoning sales thanks to advertising, fan base, and overall popularity. Their bestselling book is listed below.

  1. Christi Caldwell – The Hellion
  2. Bridget Barton – A Soulmate for the Heartbroken Duke
  3. Eleanor Meyers – The Games the Earl Plays
  4. A. S. Fenichel – A Lady’s Honor
  5. Eva Devon – If I Were a Duke
  6. Kathryn LeVeque – A Wolfe Among Dragons
  7. Samatha Holt – Bluestocking Brides
  8. Caroline Fyffe – A Heart of Eden
  9. Eoin Dempsey – Finding Rebecca
  10. Leah Laurens – Mail Order Bride: A Bride for the Boss

 

Historical Romance via Time Travel

My first exposure to the possibility of time travel came through the movie, The Time Machine (1960), about a 19th-century traveler transporting himself by his nifty machine 800,000 years into the future.  The story was written by H.G. Wells in 1895.

Since that time, readers and moviegoers have been traveling through time.  For historical romance readers that means we fling ourselves backward to find romance and love between the pages.  How we get there can be as interesting as the stories themselves — time machines, portals, fast cars, telephone booths, jumping off a bridge, or touching monolith looking stones in Scotland.  Whatever the transport medium, we experience a rush, finding ourselves in another world that leaves behind our cell phones, computers, modern-day problems, but perhaps we still hold onto our Kindles as we dream about being there.

One of my favorite recent time-traveling movies is Midnight in Paris.  In that movie, a very profound statement is made by one of the characters.

“Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present… the name for this denial is golden age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one’s living in – it’s a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.”

This nostalgia is no doubt what drives the female reader to historical romance books. It’s the idea of being a duchess in love with a duke, regardless of the realities of the time period.

The sub-genre of historical romance via time travel has in the past few years found a huge resurgence due to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series, even though it was published quite a few years ago.  Starz having put together the series with dreamy Sam Heughan has brought to life those mysterious stones and the possibility of traveling back in time.  Like other hot genre trends, there appears to be a proliferation of time-travel historical romances to choose from on Amazon these days.

If you had the chance, what era would you like to visit?  Medieval? Georgian?  Regency?  Victorian?  Edwardian?  No doubt, you’ll pass on the cave-man days.

Happy traveling through the stones of time!

Historical Romance Admin