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Most Popular Authors in Historical Romance (Amazon January 1, 2019)

It’s a new day; it’s a new year.  So who is holding the top ten spot for historical romance authors?  Well, here’s the list, and interesting enough, there is a lot of crossover at the moment between true historical romance versus historical fiction.

By Diana Gabaldon’s own admission, her books are not historical romance.  Philippa Gregory is in the number two spot, and she’s definitely historical fiction. How do they get there? Well, when books are loaded for sale into Amazon, publishers and authors can choose two categories to list their books.  Most who write historical romance also choose historical fiction and sometimes other categories.

A few of the names are regulars in the top ten, such as Kathyrn Le Veque and Christi Caldwell, but an old favorite has made it this time around – Jane Austen.  I wonder what she would think about being in the top ten over two hundred years later?

Here are your top ten for January 1, 2019.

  1. Diana Gabaldon
  2. Philippa Gregory
  3. Fiona Valpy
  4. Sally Britton
  5. Dragonblade Publishing (Various Authors)
  6. Kathryn Le Veque
  7. Christi Caldwell
  8. Natasha Lester
  9. Jane Austen
  10. Scarlett Scott

Below is a sample of their most popular books.

 

 

The Origin of Clinch Covers on Romance Novels | Book Riot

You may not know the term by name, but you’ve probably seen one. Learn about the origin of clinch covers on romance novels, and why this reader loves them.

 

Source: The Origin of Clinch Covers on Romance Novels | Book Riot

Duchess by Design Charms and Brings Feminism to Romance

Source: Duchess by Design charms and brings feminism to romance

In the first novel of Maya Rodale’s enthralling new series, an English duke vows to make an American seamstress his duchess…

In Gilded Age Manhattan, anything can happen…

Seeking a wealthy American bride who can save his family’s estate, Brandon Fiennes, the duke of Kingston, is a rogue determined to do the right thing. But his search for an heiress goes deliciously awry when an enchanting seamstress tumbles into his arms instead.

…and true love is always in fashion

 

Miss Adeline Black aspires to be a fashionable dressmaker—not a duchess—and not even an impossibly seductive duke will distract her. But Kingston makes an offer she can’t refuse: join him at society events to display her gowns and advise him on which heiresses are duchess material. It’s the perfect plan—as long as they resist temptation, avoid a scandal, and above all do not lose their hearts.

Be Sam Heughan’s Sassenach for the Night in Scotland – Omaze.com 

Don’t be afraid, there’s the two of you now. You and Sam Heughan. And you’re going on an incredible, pinch-me-I’m-dreaming date in Scotland! But you’re not dreaming. In fact you’ve never felt more awake, because the man who plays Jamie Fraser knows how to treat a date and tonight you’re his Sassenach. Sam’s going to pick you up in a horse-drawn carriage and whisk you away to a gorgeous Scotland castle, where you’ll get to know each other over fine whisky (or the drink of your choice) and intimate conversation. After a wee dram or two, Sam will take you… into the ballroom for the annual My Peak Challenge gala to celebrate the night away together. You’ll wake up the next morning with one thought in your head: Claire, who? Flights and hotel included.

Source: Be Sam Heughan’s Sassenach for the Night in Scotland – Omaze.com

16 American Historical Romance Books We Can’t Stop Swooning Over (Per BookBub)

So says BookBub!  Cowboys and mail-order brides. This is their list of the best for 2018.  Do you agree? Click the link below to read their choices.

From passion on the western frontier to the amorous swinging ’20s, this list has it all!

Source: 16 American Historical Romance Books We Can’t Stop Swooning Over

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.

10 Gothic Romance Novels That Aren’t ‘Jane Eyre’ Or ‘Wuthering Heights’

It’s Halloween. Pick up a Gothic Romance!

I was named after Charlotte Brontë, so it’s safe to say that I grew up reading Jane Eyre. I loved Jane as a kid. I, too, wanted to go out and seek my fortune as a plain but determined young governess and get swept off my feet by a Mr. Rochester. I…

Source: 10 Gothic Romance Novels That Aren’t ‘Jane Eyre’ Or ‘Wuthering Heights’

11 Historical Romances To Pick Up Instead Of Re-Reading ‘Pride And Prejudice’

Look, everyone loves Jane Austen. The clothing, the tea, the socially awkward and emotionally withdrawn yet extremely wealthy bachelors… it’s all very good. And Austen’s novels have inspired many, many other wonderfully written romances set…

Source: 11 Historical Romances To Pick Up Instead Of Re-Reading ‘Pride And Prejudice’

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

 

The Most Effective Ways To Beat A Reading Slump — According To Reddit Users

In case you’re in a reading slump….

For those of us who are publicly avid readers, burning through books can begin to feel a bit like a competitive sport. One book a week! One book a day! Books and books and stacks of books and wow, it’s crazy, we bleed literature, baby!

Source: The Most Effective Ways To Beat A Reading Slump — According To Reddit Users

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

The Regency Romance: How Jane Austen (Kinda) Created a New Subgenre

Interesting article worth the read about Regency romance novels and the earlier authors who blazed the trail for our modern-day romances based off of Jane Austen’s era.

Okay, I confess: I am not attending the Jane Austen Festival purely out of love for one of the greatest novelists in the history of the English language. I’m also driven by a deep and abiding love of the Regency romance.

Source: The Regency Romance: How Jane Austen (Kinda) Created a New Subgenre

Historical Romance Author Christi Caldwell

With Christi Caldwell’s latest hit, The Hellion, she’s in the news! Read about it below and follow the link.

WESTPORT – Christi Caldwell breaks her career up into two periods. The time before her son Rory was born and the time after. The point of inflection was 2008. At the time, Caldwell taught history at Fairfield Warde High School, but when Rory was born and Caldwell and her husband learned he had down syndrome, Caldwell did not return to Warde in order to attend to Rory’s many medical appointments. “It was a really uncertain time in my life and so I found that writing was really cathartic. I put a lot of emotion into it and it’s where I channeled my energy,” Caldwell, 38, said. When Caldwell was ready to return to work, she couldn’t find a teaching job.

Source: Meet Your Neighbor… Historical Romance author Christi Caldwell

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

 

 

Amazon Won Arbitration That Addresses The Six-Figure ‘Book Stuffing’ Kindle Scam

An interesting read about scams on the Kindle platform – book stuffing.  No, it’s not a book stuffed into a turkey cavity.  It’s something entirely different where cheating authors make $100K per month abusing the KDP platform.  Read how they scam you, the reader, and steal profits from honest authors.  Amazon is putting a stop to the abuses of the system.

Last Tuesday, an Amazon subsidiary filed in federal court seeking to confirm an arbitration award against a self-publisher alleged to have abused Kindle’s terms by “combining selections of works they had already published into purportedly new books,” a practice called book stuffing.

Source: Amazon Won Arbitration That Addresses The Six-Figure ‘Book Stuffing’ Kindle Scam