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Tag: historical romance

Home > ArchivesTag: historical romance

The Fun of Research: #Travel & California Gold Country @LyndiLamont

March 16, 2017 by in category Research, The Romance Journey, Writing tagged as , , , , , , ,

Lily and the Gambler coverOne of the most enjoyable parts of researching a new book is when I get to travel to the location where the book is set. That’s the case with my latest release, Lily and the Gambler, a Western historical romance set in California’s Gold Country.

Western romance is popular again right now, but most of the books are set in other states, ones that are more associated with ranching, like Montana and Texas. In California, Western history means gold mining towns.

My husband and I toured California Gold Country twice some years ago and I fell in love with it. The area is best enjoyed by driving State Highway 49. We started at the southern end, in Mariposa, and drove north to Sacramento, and then Grass Valley and Nevada City, where my book is set Valley in September 1868. I recall scribbling descriptions of the scenery as we drove along.

She watched mile after mile of open spaces pass by, all bathed in brilliant sunlight. In the distance, clusters of dark green trees dotted a hillside, standing out in contrast to the lighter yellow-green of the grass. Wispy white clouds, without a hint of rain in them, streaked the sky, separating shades of blue ranging from pale turquoise to bright azure.

We made the trip twice, first strictly as a vacation, though I kept thinking how I’d like to set a book in the area. The second was a research trip for me, if not for my DH. At one point, he threatened to divorce me if I dragged him through one more mining museum!

A lot of the old Victorian homes have been turned into bed and breakfasts, and we took advantage of that to stay in some lovely old homes.

Interesting stops along the way include:

Sonora, a lovely little town that hosts the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. For the kid in all of us.

Columbia State Historic Park, the best preserved Gold Rush town.

Columbia

California Columbia carriage in a real old Western Gold Rush Town in USA

Angels Camp, where Mark Twain heard a story on which he based his short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”

Placerville, formerly nicknamed Hangtown for the zeal of its law enforcement.

And my favorite, Grass Valley, a charming town with the attraction of having the wonderful Empire Mine State Historic Park, a fascinating glimpse into the lives of 19th century miners. I could see the rudimentary escalator they used to convey the miners down into the shafts, holding their lunch boxes, spherical tins that held tea in the bottom and a pasty on top. At the boarding houses, the cooks carved each miner’s initials into one end of the dough before baking them.

Grass Valley was especially interesting to me because of the large Cornish population in the 19th century. This area had deep gold veins that couldn’t be panned. The Cornish miners were encouraged to come because of their experience in the tin mines of Cornwall, which were petering out. To this day, the Cornish pasty is a local treat, and the city still celebrates a Cornish Christmas. I chose to make my heroine a Cornish lass looking for a respectable husband. Of course, she falls in love with a gambler.

If you’re up this way, do take a side trip to Sacramento, the state capital, with its charming Old Sacramento historic area, and the amazing California State Railroad Museum. This is one of my all-time favorite museums. It was fun to climb aboard the old trains and imagine a different time.

Poppies

California poppies

If Bob were still around, I’d be nagging him to take another drive north. After all the rain, the scenery should be gorgeous this spring, esp. when the poppies are in bloom.

Lily and the Gambler

by Linda McLaughlin

Blurb: Respectability is in the eye of the beholder, or so Lily hopes. After her lover’s death she pretends to be his widow and travels to California to marry a mine owner. Then she meets King Callaway, a charming gambler. King knows he’s found his Queen of Hearts. But can he convince her to take a chance on a foot-loose card sharp? Only Lady Luck knows for sure…

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Linda McLaughlinLinda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history, so it’s only natural that she sets most of her books in the past. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O’Farrell. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives in Orange County, California.

Website: http://lindalyndi.com
Blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaMcLaughlinAuthor
Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont

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Making Ads and Amazon Rankings Work for You

August 17, 2016 by in category Writing: It's a Business tagged as , , , , ,

by Louella Nelson

I’m hoping this article on promoting free and 99’¢  books helps your sales, and I hope you’ll take advantage of the 99’¢  sale on my first historical romance.
Yesterday my book Rye’s Reprieve hit #7 on the Kindle Historical Romance Best Sellers list. Perhaps you are jaded by all the wonderful best-selling authors in our chapter who regularly hit #1 on all the major lists and don’t think #7 is all that much.
But consider: Rye’s Reprieve is my first historical and my first novel-length fiction to release in more than two decades*. Reestablishing a writing career equates to pushing a two-ton boulder up Mt. Baldy. So seeing your new book hit #7 is about as good as eating homemade blueberry ice cream made with blueberries you picked on the hill behind your house just that morning.
*In May 2014, my period short story Cora Lee achieved #6 in Literary Short Fiction, following behind stories by Stephen King and Lee Child. For that launch, the only promotion I did was to mention the book on Twitter & Facebook and in a newsletter to my email list of about 1200. I reissued my Harlequin titles and put out several short stories. My Amazon author page shows all fiction.
I didn’t achieve this recent modest success on Rye’s Reprieve without friends’ advice and a bit of luck. Here’s how I did it.    
Decoding the rankings
On March 9 after my initial email promotion, Rye’s Reprieve went to #6 in Kindle World Romance. In contrast, this go-round, August 7-11, with the 99¢ sale and some specific promotions recommended by friends, the book has been #1 in Kindle Worlds Romance and Westerns for days. It achieved #3 in Kindle Western Romance and held there; today it went to #4. And the book has been #1 in Kindle Westerns for a few days too.
The message? Make a study of Amazon’s ranking structure. It’s complex – more complex than what you see beneath your title’s descriptive data on the book’s Amazon page. Here is the link to see all the lists available under Best Sellers Kindle Store eBooks: Link. From there, click on your genre and drill down until you find the various lists where your book exists.
Under ebook subcategories, Romance is the umbrella topic. I then checked Historical Romance as well as Western Romance. Clicking Westerns takes you to Western Romance.
Another ranking, Westerns, can be found by clicking on Literature & Fiction/Genre Fiction. Strangely, under Genre Fiction, Romance is not listed!
I found Kindle Worlds rankings in the Ranking area on my book’s page.
But also think seriously about placing relatively inexpensive ads on websites whose sole mission is to promote free and 99¢ ebooks.
 
What worked in promotion
First, because Rye’s Reprieve is published by Amazon as one of several novels released in February 2016 in Debra Holland’s Montana Sky Kindle World, Amazon put the book on sale without warning at the beginning of August. I’m assuming they did multiple email blasts that included my book, but even those didn’t keep the book up in the rankings for long.
In addition to my own Facebook and Twitter announcements of the 99¢ sale, a  member of OCC RWA and Novelists, Inc. (NINC), Lauren Royal, opened her Friday Freebies & 99-Cent Bargain Books and her weekly newsletter featuring historical novels to NINC members, so I submitted my book. She also mentioned my title on Facebook and Twitter. The promotion at www.LaurenRoyal.com hit on August 5 and was free.
Debra Holland recommended I try for an ad in eReader News Today (ENT) and I was lucky to be chosen to participate. The fee for an ad on a specific day for historical romance is only $60. You can pay by PayPal or credit card (as most of the sites I mention allow). The morning the ad appeared at www.ereadernewstoday.com, August 7, the book shot to #1 in the Kindle Worlds mentioned above and the top 5 in Western Historical and Western. Unfortunately, I did not think to check the Historical Romance category, but when I did a couple days later, the novel was ranked #22, rising to #7 in the past few days.
I credit Amazon emails, the ENT ad, and Lauren’s newsletter for Rye’s Reprieve initial rise in rank.
Meanwhile, I contacted Linda Carroll-Bradd and asked her advice about advertising. She recommended I look into www.JustKindleBooks.com and www.Ebookshabit.com.  The ad at Just Kindle Books costs $20 plus Add Ons (keep the book on their homepage for extra 3 days $20; Facebook post to 26,000 followers, $10) for a total of $60. The fee includes cover image/link on Pinterest, Tumblr, and other main social media.
That promo hit August 11. The book rose to #7 in Historical Romance, # 3 in Western Romance, as well as #1 in Westerns, and #1 in KW both Romance and Western. This is a pretty good indication that Just Kindle Books is worth the money. I did not get the bump I was hoping for from a $10 ad with eBooksHabit.
After reading a Morning Juice email and attending the PAW group at OCC/RWA on Saturday, I gathered the following advertising ops for ebooks that are free or 99¢ from Kitty Bucholtz, Vicki Crum, Shelley Bleackley, and others. I had spent $120 so far. With a remaining budget of about $250, I placed ads here:
Robin Reads (August was closed when I checked but I wrote to them about the success of the initial advertising efforts, they encouraged me to submit my book, and voila! A spot in their calendar opened up: Aug. 25. If they select me, the cost will be $45.)
Choosy Bookworm accepted me and will advertise Rye’s Reprieve on Aug. 18. Yay! The Rush Premium Feature costs $70, and the cover will remain on their Featured eBooks Page for a week.
Book Sends is pricey at $90 for the spot on Aug. 18 and just about ate up my budget – I have only $25 left to spend.
However, when you’re making 35¢ per book, money can’t be your main motive for promotion. It has to be gaining new readers, racking up a few more reviews and even cross-over sales to your other books and stories, and seeing your efforts pay off in a rise in rankings that you can share with followers. Some authors also experience a bump in sales when the book returns to its normal price, which in the case of Rye’s Reprieve is $3.99.
Did I mention BookBub? If they agreed to let me advertise with them – a slim possibility – the cost would be $500, and they anticipate I’d have roughly 2500 sales. If that happened, I’d clear $375 after costs, and the ranking would no doubt shoot Rye’s Reprieve to single digits on most coveted lists, plus bring a whole bunch of new readers to my author page.
I did not yet advertise with eBookWorth, Bargain Booksy, or Fiverr’s BKnight with its $5 price tag and 50,000 readers because I needed to meet Marianne Donley’s deadline for A Slice of Orange. However, I will at least check out their sites.
I probably don’t need to mention, most of the authors and professional newsletter editors want the authors they feature to put the newsletter link in their social media announcements.
I would appreciate having an email from anyone who wants to share their promotion/ranking journey, and if things really jump by the end of August, I may give a follow-up report in a future Slice.
Contact me at lounelson@cox.net or www.LouellaNelson.com. Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/louella.nelson.1 and Twitter: @LouellaNelson
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Cinderella turns Video Belle: My Kindle Scout Experience Part 5 by Jina Bacarr

September 11, 2015 by in category Blogs tagged as , , , , , , , , ,

(You can read my previous posts about my experience with the Kindle Scout program by clicking on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.)

Do your characters keep you awake at nights?

Mine do.

First, they wanted to be Kindle Scout winners…

Now they want to be video stars.

And it’s all Cinderella’s fault.

Cindy had so much fun at the ball and then meeting the queen and getting her picture taken everywhere she went, she didn’t want to give it up and spend her days sitting in the castle watching old movies.

So she riled up the characters in my Kindle Scout winner, LOVE ME FOREVER, and convinced them they could be stars.

Cindy went Hollywood on me.

She’s now producing a bunch of short videos with highlights from LOVE ME FOREVER and yes, she even convinced me to do the voiceovers.

How could I refuse? You want to shout your book to the rooftops and do your very best to promote it, so I’ve been slaving behind a hot microphone, and guess what, I’ve got some videos for you.

I hope you enjoy them…


Civil War: “Love Me Forever” time travel romance from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.


Civil War Sister against Sister: “Love Me Forever” Time Travel Romance from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.


Women Soldiers in the Civil War from “Love Me Forever” from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

So what’s the next step in the Kindle Scout experience? I’ve received tons of support from other Kindle Scout winners with retweeting, blogging, YouTubing, etc. It’s been an extraordinary experience, kinda like joining a sorority or fraternity. A sense of having each other’s back and always being there if someone has a question.

And we’ve started our own Facebook page: KP Authors. Check it out!

More exciting news: Ken Burns’ Civil War has been remastered and is being shown in high definition on PBS. This is the last night, so be sure to tune in! It’s been thrilling to see the battles in my romance novel come alive…

Thanks for coming along on my journey with me…and come back next month for more on my Kindle Scout experience as the program grows…I wouldn’t be surprised if I have more videos for you.

~Jina
Website: www.jinabacarr.com
Blog: www.jinabacarr.wordpress.com
  ================


Tennessee Belle goes to a Confederate Ball in 1862 from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.
 

Love_Me_Forever_500x798
LOVE ME FOREVER,

She wore gray.
He wore blue.
But their love defied the boundaries of war.
And time.
 
I’d love to hear from you. You can find me on social media:

www.facebook.com/JinaBacarr.author

https://twitter.com/JinaBacarr
www.pinterest.com/jbacarr
https://instagram.com/jinabacarr/

 

And on Vimeo you’ll find my videos covering my books, poems, etc.:
https://vimeo.com/user216350

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Cinderella turns Video Belle: My Kindle Scout Experience Part 5 by Jina Bacarr

September 11, 2015 by in category Blogs tagged as , , , , , , , , ,

(You can read my previous posts about my experience with the Kindle Scout program by clicking on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.)

Do your characters keep you awake at nights?

Mine do.

First, they wanted to be Kindle Scout winners…

Now they want to be video stars.

And it’s all Cinderella’s fault.

Cindy had so much fun at the ball and then meeting the queen and getting her picture taken everywhere she went, she didn’t want to give it up and spend her days sitting in the castle watching old movies.

So she riled up the characters in my Kindle Scout winner, LOVE ME FOREVER, and convinced them they could be stars.

Cindy went Hollywood on me.

She’s now producing a bunch of short videos with highlights from LOVE ME FOREVER and yes, she even convinced me to do the voiceovers.

How could I refuse? You want to shout your book to the rooftops and do your very best to promote it, so I’ve been slaving behind a hot microphone, and guess what, I’ve got some videos for you.

I hope you enjoy them…


Civil War: “Love Me Forever” time travel romance from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.


Civil War Sister against Sister: “Love Me Forever” Time Travel Romance from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.


Women Soldiers in the Civil War from “Love Me Forever” from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

So what’s the next step in the Kindle Scout experience? I’ve received tons of support from other Kindle Scout winners with retweeting, blogging, YouTubing, etc. It’s been an extraordinary experience, kinda like joining a sorority or fraternity. A sense of having each other’s back and always being there if someone has a question.

And we’ve started our own Facebook page: KP Authors. Check it out!

More exciting news: Ken Burns’ Civil War has been remastered and is being shown in high definition on PBS. This is the last night, so be sure to tune in! It’s been thrilling to see the battles in my romance novel come alive…

Thanks for coming along on my journey with me…and come back next month for more on my Kindle Scout experience as the program grows…I wouldn’t be surprised if I have more videos for you.

~Jina
Website: www.jinabacarr.com
Blog: www.jinabacarr.wordpress.com
  ================
 

Love_Me_Forever_500x798
LOVE ME FOREVER,

She wore gray.
He wore blue.
But their love defied the boundaries of war.
And time.
 
I’d love to hear from you. You can find me on social media:

www.facebook.com/JinaBacarr.author

https://twitter.com/JinaBacarr
www.pinterest.com/jbacarr
https://instagram.com/jinabacarr/

 

And on Vimeo you’ll find my videos covering my books, poems, etc.:
https://vimeo.com/user216350

0 0 Read more
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