I feel like Princess Tiana in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. I’m almost there!
As I mentioned last time, I’m putting my books into Kindle Unlimited again. However, to do that, they have to be off other sites. There are a couple books that are stragglers, and I’m having trouble getting them removed from other sites, but here’s a progress update. I’m still waiting on Beauty and Her Beastly Love and Stil’s Heart, but the the following books are available in Kindle Unlimited:
My books had been Amazon exclusives and part of the Kindle Unlimited program when I first started writing. However, after a year or so, I decided I wanted to spread my wings and see how the titles did at other retailers. While readers on other retailers did find my books, the bulk of my sales remained on Amazon.
With the growing financial meltdown caused by all the shutdowns to stop coronavirus, I decided to go back into Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Amazon exclusivity. I know in my own household, we’ve been cutting expenses and enjoying our subscription services more. I expect more people will do that, and the books will see more reads in Kindle Unlimited. Especially as people have less free money to buy individual books.
To be in KU, your book can’t be sold on any other platform. This weekend, I’ve started the process of unpublishing my books on all the other retailers. Once that’s complete, I’ll enroll them in KU. Some retailers are slower than others to remove books, so I anticipate everything will be de-listed by Wednesday or Thursday and I’ll be able to enroll in KU by next weekend.
I hope everyone is coping well. The social distancing and other lockdown measures have been mentally challenging. We’re social beings, so these measures are hard. The good news is, we’ve made it thus far, and we just have to keep our heads up and keep plowing forward.
There’s that old expression, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” And that’s how I feel today.
I was super surprised to log onto my Amazon dashboard and see hundreds of copies of Dr. Carter & Mrs. Sinn had been downloaded today. I did no advertising, no tweeting, no nothing. I suspect I showed up on someone’s bargain freebies list today, and that’s super cool with me because I never look a gift horse in the mouth!
If you’re wondering what looking a gift horse in the mouth means, my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Harmon, told us that back in the old days, when horses were common household transportation, the way you determined their worth was by examining their teeth. Bad teeth, I suppose, meant, old, no good horse. So, if someone ever gifted you a horse, it would be incredibly rude to examine its teeth. You got a horse, and any horse is better than no horse.
I hope all of you stay safe in the quarantine. Download some romances and love those you’re with (even if they’re annoying after two weeks of quarantine).
The coronavirus is very scary. It’s been pervading everything in U.S. lives for the last few weeks, and ramping up to pandemic level in recent days. The state I’m in–Maryland–has closed schools for the next two weeks. It’s a dangerous times, and I think people are looking for any signs of hope.
I would say, if you are stuck inside, and worried about COVID-19, be vigilant, but also try to enjoy whatever distractions you can when you can. Watch your favorite films, read your favorite books, catch on your Netflix binge list.
A friend at work told me, coronavirus is certainly “making life interesting,” and I told her, “I’d rather have a boring life.” Since we can’t get back to boring, we must remember that as we try to get through this scary time, we should try to find small joys.
When I start to worry about things I have no control over, I am going to watch the Princess Bride or maybe try one of the books I got excited about and bought and haven’t quite gotten to reading yet.
What’s your plan as we hunker down and try to get through this awful pandemic?
A path to romance. It’s kind of funny how two people can meet and fall in love. As a romance reader, first, and as a romance writer, I love the various ways that people can enter each other’s spheres and discover that they’re the other person’s person. You know, that person who gets them, that person who loves them, quirks and all.
The path to romance can be fast and furious: the two lovers who instantaneously feel that connection. Or it can be slow and winding: those who are friends, who fall in love with others, break up, and yet wind up with each other. Or it can be tumultuous: full of ups and downs, fiery and passionate.
Whatever the path, it always has intrigue and humor and a healthy heaping of passion. It’s why I love romance. It’s about the journey. And for me, it needs to end happily ever after. I know there’s an entire field of writers who enjoy trauma porn in romance–setting up great tales and ending them tragically. But I don’t want trauma. I only want the porn if there’s a great story with it.
Anyone who follows romance novels–and many who don’t–are likely well aware that the Romance Writers of America has imploded in recent weeks. Just before Christmas, RWA sanctioned Chinee American author Courtney Milan for pointing out the racism in another author’s book. The romance writing community exploded in fury, saying this was the last straw for them with RWA. Even though RWA nixed the sanctions against Milan, things devolved, with the group’s governing board, executive director, and president resigning (following a recall petition). It’s been unsettling to watch.
And while an organization falling apart because its values didn’t align with the values of its members isn’t anything new, it is frustrating. It is frustrating because this organization was created for a reason. For several reasons, actually. Primarily, it was created as a place where romance writers could join together and get fellowship, advice, support, and education. It became a place where writers met other writers and formed lasting friendships. It became a place where people could learn from the best, or learn the pitfalls to watch out for on their writing journeys. It became a place that would rally behind writers and help them. Just two years ago, RWA joined forces with the Authors Guild to help defeat attempts to trademark the word “cocky” so other romance writers could not use it in their book titles.
Even now, the RWA is missing in action when writers need their help. RWA had been negotiating to help authors contracted to a company that authors said wasn’t paying royalties due and is currently in the midst of a financial restructuring. Those authors could use an advocate with a wider voice, and they don’t have one. That’s what saddens me. While RWA isn’t a union, it is an organization that pools the resources and voices of the many to provide robust support for all when needed.
And now that seems to be gone, as the RWA tries to figure out if it can convince its members that it is an organization they want to belong to. Now, I’m not saying writers should go back to RWA just so they can have the support of a writer’s organization. For too many members, RWA has shown it doesn’t value them and it has to deal with those consequences.
What I am saying is, I hope that some organization can form (and I’ve heard about the Romance Alliance) that will do for romance writers what RWA set out to do, and do it in a way that embraces and includes people, rather than pushes them away.
I apologize for my absence. I took a job outside of writing last year and have been away from the authoring business for more than a year now. Just writing that seems so bizarre, because I love writing so much. It’s a huge part of who I am, and being away from it so long seems anathema.
But I am back. I have been working on completing two projects, and hope to get them edited and out to you in 2020. Because I’m slowly sliding back into this, I won’t bite off more than I can chew. I will definitely have one new title published by June.
So, in my absence, what have your lives been like? Do you have any plans for this exciting 2020 year?
My entire fairy tales series is now available on all retailers. You can get any book in the Passion-Filled Fairy Tales series at multiple retailers.
Previously, only the Princess, the Pea and the Night of Passion; Beauty and Her Beastly Love; and Cinders & Ash: A Cinderella Story had been available on all retailers. The remaining four books in the series had been part of an exclusive Amazon program, and just came out of that contract. Now, all the books are available at Amazon as well as other retailers. Here are all the book links: