Kidnapping the Viscount is Available!

Kidnapping the Viscount Ebook Cover

This is the final book in the Marriage by Fate Series.

Here are all the books in the series:

  • Book 1: The Reclusive Earl
  • Book 2: Married In Haste
  • Book 3: Make Believe Bride
  • Book 4: The Perfect Duke
  • Book 5: Kidnapping the Viscount

This series wraps up the sub-plot with Ladies of Grace. I transition things from the point where Lady Eloise lost control of the group (in Married In Haste) to when Tara finally gained the advantage (in Kidnapping the Viscount). The group from this point will be much more positive.

I know this is a minor thing, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to get to ever since I wrote The Viscount’s Runaway Bride (Book 1 in the Marriage by Bargain Series). That was the book I introduced Lady Eloise and her group. As a side note, that book is free right now if you would like to see what Ladies of Grace was like in its beginning. Click on this page to get the links. The Viscount’s Runaway Bride is the first book on that page.

Sometimes it can take a couple of series to finally work out everything I had envisioned at the beginning. This is why these Regencies all take place in the same world.

Okay, so on to Kidnapping the Viscount. There really is more to this book than the Ladies of Grace group. At its core, Kidnapping the Viscount is a fun romantic comedy about a hero who is so determined to have the lady of his dreams that he’ll let her think she’s kidnapping him.

Here’s the description:

Miss Heather Duff met the love of her life. Then she let him go. And now she’s determined to get him back.

If there’s one thing Heather regrets, it’s that she let Lord Powell go. She listened to other people tell her what to do, so when Lord Powell proposed, she said no. It was the worst mistake she’s ever made, and now she’s determined to prove to Lord Powell that she wants a second chance.

Gill Easton, Viscount Powell, has never stopped loving Miss Duff. But a gentleman has his pride to protect. He can’t just let her walk back into his life as if nothing ever happened. And this puts him in a dilemma.

He’ll have to resort to unusual methods in order to get the lady of his dreams to marry him. In this case, the unusual method is to convince her to kidnap him…without letting her know he’s the one behind the whole scheme.

Don’t miss this romantic comedy featuring a feisty heroine, a hero who has to play hard to get, a meddling brother who doesn’t take even a minute to listen to what someone is trying to tell him, and a friend who doesn’t mind any kind of scandal so long as the cause is true love.

If this sounds like your kind of book, you can find it at these retailers:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Apple

Google Play

Smashwords

 

 

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The Decline of Self-Publishing

I’ve been taking in what authors have been discussing in author groups and speaking privately with a couple of author friends. My gut feeling has been telling me that I better make plans on what I should do when self-publishing is no longer the best venue for publishing. I wish I could dig up a comment someone had made back in 2010 about trends in publishing because what he said seems to be playing out in front of me. But one thing he said was that self-publishing would take off for a while, and then there would be a point where it went into decline. From the decline would come the resurgence of traditional publishers.

I have to admit, I thought that guy had a gloomy outlook on things at the time. Nevertheless, his words had stuck with me over the years, and the more I look around at what’s going on, the more I’m convinced he’s right. He based his assumptions off of the history of publishing. His argument was that things are cyclical. What has been is what will be.

Thinking over his words, I can see why publishers would become more attractive than self-publishing. I don’t have time to break down all the different scams going on, especially within Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited (KU) program, but people who are gaming the system at KU have weakened the integrity of self-publishing. In the author community, these people are called scammers. Now, I’m not going to say the scammers are the only reason I think self-publishing is in a state of decline. It’s just one part of several factors. But scammers have definitely hurt the quality of self-published books to a degree I’m not sure KU can ever recover from. This will probably mean the end of KU in the long run, and a lot of self-published authors’ careers have been built on KU. Since it’s a lot harder to get noticed on other retailers (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Google Play), I don’t expect those KU authors to hold out for things to take off on those retailers. Amazon has made visibility easier, which is why so many authors have embraced exclusivity with them. Now it’s even harder to get visibility on the other retailers than it was a few years ago. This only makes an author new to a retailer harder to get noticed. It’s not impossible, but it’s harder, and a lot of KU authors will give up.

Another factor contributing to the decline in self-publishing is the “pay to play” trend. If authors don’t have money to spend on ads, they’ll see sales decline because ads give them visibility. In the end, those with the money can stay relevant. Those without the money won’t. There’s no way I can spend significant money on ads every month. Most authors budget $50 or so a month. But there are some who spend $1000 or more. That’s every single month. Those authors who have the most money will get the most exposure, and exposure means sales. So the more you pay, the more you sell, which leads to the more you can play. Hence the term “pay to play”. Already, I’m hearing rumblings from authors who said their ads are no longer effective, and it’s because they can’t afford to spend more than they already are. Thus, those who can’t afford the ads will end up being weeded out of the self-publishing business.

And another factor in the decline of self-publishing is the saturation of books in the market. There’s no way anyone can read all of the books out there. Even if someone reads 2-3 books a day, they’ll never read all of the stuff that’s currently available. This glut of books in the market means that it’s going to get harder and harder for authors to get noticed or even stay afloat. For example, I’ll search for particular things within romance that I want to read, and most of the results are sponsored ads (that often don’t even match what I’m searching for). I might find one or two promising books within a few pages of scrolling through my search terms, but even those aren’t fitting exactly what I want to read. I have to rely on the Freebooksy emails, Bookbub recommendations, or running into an author on social media by accident in order to even KNOW the author/book exists. Of all of that, I probably go on to buy about 5% of anything I come across. That’s a very low number of books. But it’s hard to find what I’m looking for. This makes it hard for authors to get noticed, especially new ones who haven’t had time to build a platform.

So, I think these are the major forces that will eventually drive out a lot of self-published authors.

I don’t think self-publishing will completely go away. With the internet being the way it is, it’s hard to imagine that people won’t be able to keep publishing their own books. The question, however, becomes whether or not the people can afford to publish their own books. I’ve mentioned this a couple of times in the past on this blog, but most authors are not financially independent. They need to earn money in order to make publishing books worth it. Authors have bills to pay, just like everyone else. If authors can’t make enough money from the sale of their books to pay their bills, they will have to find another job. It’s just the way it is. It’s not that they want to stop writing. It’s that they have to.

I see no reason why any author should be asked to write for free. On average, a book costs about $500-$1000 to produce (that factors in editing, covers, formatting). So they need to get back the cost on making the book, and after that, they can pay their bills. If they aren’t selling books, the math doesn’t work out. I guess one could argue the author can work a job outside the home and use that money to pay for producing a book, but it’s more likely that the author will need to spend that money on bills or save it. So I think the financial angle will weed out a lot of self-published authors, too. And, since publishers take on the cost of book production (getting the edits, covers, and formatting done), it will make traditional publishing more attractive to the average author.

Now, these are just my own thoughts on the topic. I don’t have a magic ball. But I believe we’re looking at the decline in self-publishing, and I believe this will lead to a rise in the traditional publishers.

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This is Why I Publish My Books On More Than One Retailer

I just found out Mitch’s Win, Boaz’s Wager, and Patty’s Gamble are not available on the Amazon UK site. I knew Patty’s Gamble hasn’t been available on the Amazon Australia site.  Meanwhile, Google Play isn’t showing Shane’s Deal, Just Good Friends, or the pre-order for Kidnapping the Viscount.

This hasn’t only been limited to those two sites. I’ve had this happen on Kobo in the past, too. As far as I know Apple and B&N have been okay. But I haven’t received feedback from people telling me they can’t find them on those sites, so at one time, maybe there was something missing. I have no idea what to think.

Sometimes there’s a glitch in the system. It’s no one’s fault. It just happens. But this is why I have never been exclusive to only one retailer. No matter what the retailer is, I refuse to be exclusive to it.

Okay, in the course of writing this post, someone in a FB group said they found Just Good Friends and Kidnapping the Viscount on Google Play. So within ten minutes, the books went from missing to being there. True story, guys. I’m not making this up!

See what I mean about unpredictability? Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to some of this stuff.

But that’s why I’m on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Google Play, and Smashwords (and the smaller channels Smashwords distributes to). I want to be available in as many places as I can. I don’t know if you will want to go to another retailer to get a book that isn’t on the one you prefer. (I, myself, am pretty loyal to my retailer, so I understand why you might not want to.) I am sorry if you can’t get one of my books on the retailer you prefer. I am doing all I can to rectify that issue, but I can’t promise my efforts will work.

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I wrote the stuff above yesterday evening. Then I put this post in my draft folder since I wasn’t sure I wanted to publish the post. This morning I got an email from an author friend who had a pre-order up on Barnes & Noble. The book had been on pre-order without any problems. Then the book released today. And it disappeared from the Barnes & Noble store this morning. She had no warning. This is a horrible thing to happen on a book’s release day. So now I know of a case where this happened on Barnes & Noble.

This tells me that no retailer is immune this kind of thing. And this is why it’s best for all authors to be on every retailer possible. It’s also best for readers. I know it’s inconvenient to buy a book from another retailer, but at least there’s the choice to do that. If the author only published the book on one retailer and that retailer didn’t show the book (for whatever reason), at least the book can be found somewhere else.

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