Who Are the Frequent Best Sellers in Historical Romance?

Every day I look at the best seller list for Historical Romance on Amazon – the hopeful rank for authors. That doesn’t negate the fact that Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks have their own best seller list. Most of them contain the same books and don’t vary too much in who’s-who and what’s-what when it comes to reading. The only difference there, is that any book on Amazon’s best seller list that is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited will not be for sale on other retailer platforms.

If you study the list long enough, there are frequent publishers and authors that dominate the list on Amazon. Here’s a few of them to consider.

  • Dragonblade Publishing – This niche publishing house does nothing but historical romance and its sub-genres (time travel, historical fiction with romantic elements, historical mysteries, all with a HEA). Every month they dominate the best-selling charts, with a few authors that are consistently noted. Their covers are stunning (I know because I use one of their cover artists), and their bold advertising is showcased on author book pages. They currently have forty-seven authors on their website. As of today, seventeen of their books are in the top 100-best selling on Amazon. Some of the authors consistently on the best selling list, just to name a few are:
  • The Historical Romance Standards – There are plenty of authors who make the best selling list every once in a while, but some of the usual ones up on the Amazon list are the following. These authors currently have books ranking at the top. Julia Quinn has taken over the best selling list since the release of Bridgerton, and her books are still hoarding the top-ten for the series. Right now she as twelve books in the top 100. Showing up on the list too are Sarah MacLean and Lisa Kleypas with a few of their own novels.
  • Independent Authors – Anybody can write a book these days, and the best selling historical romance list is also full of independent authors who come and go regularly after new releases or special advertising. It’s a given fact that if anyone gets a BookBub advertisement approved (and subsequently pays and arm and a leg for one day), you’re assured of making the top 100 list. I’ve been there myself. Once up, the book will usually stay for a week or two, and then drop off when more advertised books vie for spots.

  • Small Press & Oldies but Goodies– Small publishing companies make up an occasional best seller list, and don’t forget Harlequin (since 1949) and Mills & Boon UK (1908), who have been around since before some of you were born.

  • Never-Ending Best Sellers – There are a few authors who enjoy life on the best seller list as if they’ve been granted the spot perpetually — that includes Diana Gabaldon and Amy Harmon. Diana has repeatedly said that Outlander (with its 36,567 reviews) is not historical romance. It crosses over to the list with its time-travel historical fiction with romantic elements, and is bound to stay on the best seller list while Outlander is on Starz and readers still want to fantasize. Amy Harmon’s What the Wind Knows has been on the best seller list since it’s release in March of 2019. Again, it’s historical fiction, time-traveling, story with romantic elements. Apparently, the wind isn’t strong enough to blow it off the list either with 13,056 reviews.

The Best Sellers in Historical Romance on Amazon is a fluid list that changes by the hour, literally. It’s updated hourly by Amazon based on sales and books at the bottom come and go, while others crawl their way to the top. Well-read authors and those with spot-on advertising make the best of the list, which is alive in itself. Once you make it up there, sales appear to feed upon themselves when readers see you’re in the top one-hundred. I have had my own glory days on the list too, basked in the top numbers, and then watched my books fall off into oblivion. It’s a jungle of competition, new releases, and author favorites.

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.

Smashwords Unveils Publishing Predictions for 2018

Each year, the CEO of Smashwords (a distributor of eBooks for authors), writes his predictions for the coming year. Most of the time, so I’ve read, he’s pretty well spot-on right.

This year’s predictions for authors (and readers who wish to be in the know) is well worth the read. Though readers enjoy a proliferation of great deals and more books than they can possibly read, the market is becoming bleaker for publishers and independent authors alike because of the growing monopolization of Amazon in the marketplace.

I encourage you to take a moment and read Mark’s post. Be informed of how everything works besides the dashing duke you’ve fallen in love with between the pages.  Each time you flip a page in Kindle Unlimited, the author’s work you read is being paid at less than a penny a page.

All my best, your HR Admin.

Smashwords’ CEO and founder Mark Coker has once again unveiled his annual predictions for the publishing industry, and to say this year’s edition is dark would be an understatement. Coker continues his longtime tradition of decrying all things Amazon, but this year…things are different. For too long, it was easy to dismiss Coker’s predictions as…

Source: Smashwords Unveils Publishing Predictions for 2018

Self-Publishing Success Story: Collette Cameron, USA Today Bestselling Historical Romance Author

A great article from Alliance of Independent Authors.

“In our interview with USA Today bestselling romance author, Collette Cameron shares some great ideas for how to achieve self-publishing success as she has done.”

SOURCE:  https://selfpublishingadvice.org/self-publishing-success-collette-cameron/

Find her latest release on Amazon.

 

Different Flavors of Authors

Untitled designSo who are these women (and occasional males) that write historical romance novels?  As a reader, if you haven’t been following the ever-changing landscape in the publishing world, authors come in a variety pack.  From young to old, these are the people who pen your stories that you rate from one to five stars.  We all have favorite sub-genres.  We all have favorite eras.  We all have the likable type of hero and heroine.  However, with such a variety of authors, it may be hard to weed through the inundated market of romance these days.

The Traditional

These are the ones who have chosen the traditional publishing world.  They traveled the rough trail of submissions and rejections and paid their dues.  They were proficient in writing great query letters to hook agents. Others were persistent, knocking on doors of publishers that accept direct submissions.  Whatever gateway they have been fortunate enough to open, it has provided them support from big-named publishers and smaller publishing houses on the road to release. These authors have a unique experience with their publishers who do it all – editing, cover design, distribution, in addition to bearing the majority of costs associated with publishing a book.

The Indie

Once coined the vanity writers, self-published authors or “indies” as many call them, are an entirely different breed.  At first, they came out of the gate with a less than warm welcome or reputation, often coined as the slush pile rejects or wood-be, mediocre writers.  However, as the years have passed, the indies have taken over a large portion of the market, including reaching the USA Today and NYT best-seller lists. They have gained great strides in gaining respect and earnings. Supposedly, indies are control freaks. They enjoy full engagement in their artistic endeavors.  The smart ones seek out good editors to tone their content and talented graphic artists to do their covers. It’s a learning experience in ISBN’s, eBook formatting, printing, distribution, marketing, etc., because they immerse themselves in the publishing world in order to succeed.  They are the independent ones who bear the cost of getting their books into print.

The Hybrid

What in the world is a hybrid?  No, it’s not a new dinosaur about to hatch that will grow up to eat you or your book.  It’s an author who enjoys both worlds – the traditional and the self-published.    It’s a path that some individuals pursue in a variety of ways.  It’s not unusual for a traditionally published author to take a book when the rights have reverted back to her or him and self-published it afterward.  Frankly, it’s a sweet spot for many because they are well known as traditional authors who already have a fan base.  However, this route may take negotiation because some publishers insist on a non-compete clause that prevents authors from self-publishing while under contract.

In the end, I like to think that all three author varieties have one common goal — to spread the romance together.  At Historical Romance Books, whatever path to print you have chosen, you are welcome on our pages.

Historical Romance Books Admin