Posts Tagged ‘Lord Ruin’

What to Do?

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

So…Long story short, I have more books to give away (Lord Ruin) and am looking for opinions about which way to go.

First a little set up so you understand my situation. Amazon has this feature called Giveaways where someone can give away an item and people signup for the giveaway in the hopes of being one of the randomly selected winners. They allow eBook giveaways.

Giveaway Sort of Gone Wrong?

I finally decided to try an Amazon Giveaway. Because I just released Surrender to Ruin, I chose book 1 in the series (Lord Ruin) as the book to give away. I chose to give away 50 copies — the cost to me was $250. That represents the cost of 50 books at $4.99, within a few cents.

As I was setting up the giveaway, the Amazon page glitched. I have no idea if it was my internet, which is not the greatest and has been particularly sucky of late, or Amazon or what. All I know is that my giveaway set up page vanished. I refreshed and there was still nothing. So I started over and succeeded. At no time did Amazon say anything like “You already have a giveaway for this item. Do you really want two?”

Anyway, there was my giveaway. I put out the word and then a little later I checked my giveaway page and there were TWO giveaways. One had entries (the second one that I had told people about) and the other had none. So I cancelled the one with no entries.

Then I asked asked Amazon for a refund for the giveaway I cancelled because it was a duplicate that was the result of whatever happened when I was setting up the first giveaway. Unfortunately for me, eBook giveaways are not refundable. Thinking about this, it makes a certain sense for Amazon to have this. (For reasons having to do with eBook sales numbers, and ranking, I imagine.)

Let me add that I am pleased with the Giveaway that I did not cancel. There were over 300 entries within just a day or two, and now that the Giveaway has ended, all but two of the books were claimed. Meaning, there are 48 presumably new readers who now have a copy of Lord Ruin free to them. Yay! Fingers crossed that they go on to read Books 2 and 3!

The Dilemma

You see my dilemma. I have been charged for 2 giveaways and one of them is in a cancelled state with no entries and no books given away. My options are limited. I’m not going to go down the rabbit hole of insisting that the first giveaway be backed out because worst case scenario, that does something horrible to the rank of Lord Ruin. There is no good time for a book to vanish from Amazon product pages. (I have a terrible, depressing story about what happens when a book’s rank disappears.)

My choices are this:

  1. Un-cancel the giveaway and run a second one.
  2. Ask for giveaway codes that I can personally give to readers.

Do I do another Amazon giveaway or ask for the codes and do some other promotion so that 52 people can get a code for a free copy of Lord Ruin? (52, because two of the books in the Giveaway I ran have not been claimed and I can get codes for them, too.) But I may let those sit because it’s only been 2 weeks since the end of the Giveaway and people may not have seen the email . . .

As a reader, do you have any preference? Another giveaway or something where I have codes to provide?

Because, quite literally, if I do not giveaway those books through another Giveaway or via codes, that’s $250 spent for nothing.


Progress Report, Covers, and Complaints

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Progress Report!

I’m doing a paper read-through of Surrender to Ruin, which is going about as expected. It’s a little unusual that I’m at 82K words without a final chapter and with all but chapter 1 to read and revise. That’s because, per usual, I have heavily revised chapter 1 three times and then got all the way to chapter three when I realized I needed a whole new chapter before the then current chapter 3, which I then wrote and then I started over and revised chapter 1 twice more and now I’m moving on to chapter 2… Which is more or less how it usually goes with the paper revisions.

At this rate, I’ll end up at well over 100K, but I expect to find chapters that require deletion. I’m almost ready to post a first chapter to read, so look for that!

For those who care, I am currently revising my paper version with a Kaweco Sport fine point fountain pen with “lilac summer” ink. It’s very pretty! The Kaweco Sport fountain pen is a great pen. I enjoy writing revising with it.


As my blog readers know, I have the final cover for Surrender to Ruin which I love love love. I asked my cover artist to match the look and feel of Lord Ruin, which is why I went with a custom shoot for the image. There was nothing out there that was perfect and I didn’t want to compromise. Then I realized that A Notorious Ruin, which is Book 2 in the series, was going to look very out of place. I didn’t even bother looking for stock images. If there was anything out there that would work, I’d have used it for Surrender to Ruin. And so….

I did A/B testing for the  cover. In the first round, my preferred image (Looking Straight Ahead pose) lost by a statistically significant amount — though not overwhelmingly. So then I A/B tested Sideways Pose with the green background and the purple background, and that was more or less a tie. There was an insignificant edge for purple. On social media, the green vs. purple choice had a slight edge for green.


I SO SO appreciate everyone who weighed in. By the way, purple was my favorite. As was the Straight Ahead pose. But I could see why the sideways pose had the edge.

Now what!? Well, I put the three covers up in order across my 27″ monitor screen and swapped between purple and green for Book 2. I asked my sister to look. My preference was for the green, and so was hers and so … the green background it is. It goes better with Books 1 and 3. When it’s final, I’ll post all three so you can see for yourselves.

Complaint Department

Is anyone else having trouble finding books to read at Amazon? I used to be able to browse and find books and authors I wanted to read or try out. And now? It’s awful. Apparently, there are only 5 books they intend to show me, and if I don’t want any of those, too bad. The books they show me aren’t even remotely close to something I think I’d enjoy.

My last 10 book purchases were all at iBooks.

How about you?


Sale at Kobo: Lord Ruin 35% off (Other books too!)

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Are you in the US or UK? Kobo has a sale!! 35% off select books, including my historical, Lord Ruin.

Cover of Lord Ruin, super sexy Regnency dude looking at you like, yeah, I'm hot.

Lord Ruin.

Here’s the directions for this unlimited use coupon, good from May 15-18!

Kobo Buy page for Lord Ruin

To look for other titles that are 35%:

Promo Code: MAY35

Detailed Instructions:

If you already have a Kobo account
–    Follow the instructions outlined here:

If you do not have a Kobo account
–          Create a Kobo account.
–          Go into the My Account section and click on Payment Information.
–          Input your billing address and credit card info.
–          Save.
–          Return to the homepage.
–          Follow the directions in the “If you already have a Kobo account” section above.

If you don’t want to input your credit card info
–    Create a Kobo account.
–    Search for the title in question.
–    Click on “Buy Now.” You will be asked to fill in your billing address.
–    Instead of choosing credit card, choose “paypal” and hit “continue.”
–    Input your promo code in the box below the phrase “Have a Promo Code?”.
–    Hit Apply. The discount will be subtracted from the total on the right-hand side.
–    Complete your purchase by hitting “Buy Now.”
–    Proceed to paypal to complete your transaction.


Audio Book for Lord Ruin! — Want a Review Copy?

Sunday, June 29th, 2014
Cover of the Audio Book for Lord Ruin

Cover of the Audio Book for Lord Ruin

The Audio Book for Lord Ruin is all done and uploaded and ready for purchase. Kate McDermott narrated the book, and I’ve loved listening to her bring the story to audio. Woot!! I have myself only recently gotten addicted to audio. It sneaks up on you. I was surprised.

I have coupons for anyone interested in a review copy … Have a listen, post a review on Audible. And Amazon, I guess. If you’d like a review copy, leave a comment and I will email you the necessary information until I run out of coupons.


Lord Ruin – Audio Book Outtakes

Friday, June 6th, 2014

As I get down to the wire with A Notorious Ruin, the long-awaited sequel to Lord Ruin, I have some news!

I managed to get my act together for an audio book of Lord Ruin.

I’m waiting for the cover for the audio book and then I can approve the final files and get it on sale.

While we’re all waiting for that, I thought you’d enjoy listening to some outtakes from the audio book put together by Maya Kuper, the book’s producer.

The narrator is actress Kate McDermott and she’s done a really wonderful job on the book. The audio is about 10 minutes and the file is a little over 8MB.

WARNING!! Spicy language and swears. Also, funny!

Lord Ruin Audio Book Outtakes


Progress Report

Monday, March 31st, 2014

I’ve been radio silent about the writing, but it isn’t because I haven’t been writing. I’ve been doing a lot of writing with the internet turned off which makes it harder to hop online to talk about the writing. I’ve also been going so long without quite enough sleep that I’ve had to enforce a stop writing time. No more making up deficits by cutting into the sleep. For a series of reasons, I have gone too long — months — with no opportunity to catch up and normalize.

Currently, I’m doing a read through of A Notorious Ruin, which is the title I’ve settled on for the first of the sequels to Lord Ruin. It’s Lucy and Thrale’s story, and at last, I am not weeping with despair over the fractured bits of story, sleep and time deprived (as much) because of the the day job, or otherwise (as) discombobulated with what life has been throwing my way.

After this read through, A Notorious Ruin goes out for beta and edits.

I like the story. In fact, I’m loving it.


Checking In – Lord Ruin Sequel

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

I’m checking in from deep in the writing cave. I’m working on The Next Historical, which is, at long last, the first of the Lord Ruin sequels. It’s Lucy and Thrale’s story. My target date for having an MS ready to send to Beta readers and my editor is October. Deadlines push me, and things are going about as well as writing ever goes.

I don’t know that I ever mentioned that I have decided to call the series The Sinclair Sisters series. I’m closing in on some title ideas as I write, which means, actually, that the story is coming together.

For those of you new to me, my historical romance, Lord Ruin, which had a limited life in print, has been enduringly popular among readers. I’d always wanted to write about all the Sinclair sisters, but for a number of reasons, legal and professional, this was not possible until my rights to the book reverted to me. And now I’m doing that.

I am so grateful to all the readers who’ve emailed me over the years about this book and the sequels. Each of those emails has been a
reminder that it’s readers who matter and that publishers are often wrong about what books to get into the hands of readers.

Chances are high that I’ll be mostly absent on most of the social media places. Because I’m writing. About Lucy and Thrale.

Back to it.


Newsing the Covers

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

I have two covers to show you:

First, the cover for My Darkest Passion, Book 5 of the My Immortals series. The MS is back from a beta read and I’m working on those revisions now. Then it’s off to my editor, so I’m thinking mid-to-late February is looking good as a release date. This is Harsh Marit’s story. At long last, I was able to find an image of a Southeast Asian (Indian) man that was super hot. In fact, I found more than one! Because, as the world is discovering, there is actually no shortage of Indian men more than suitably hot for a romance cover. Woot!!! Patricia Schmitt is the cover artist for both.

Serious face of a Southeast Asian (Indian) man looking to the left. He is extremely handsome.

Cover! Hot!

Second, here’s the new cover for Lord Ruin. I’ve already uploaded it to Amazon, Apple, and Barnes and Noble, along with some updates to the text, mostly formatting, but I did find a few more typos. I’ll have the file updated for Smashwards and All Romance shortly.

A man holding the face of a woman with her eyes closed.

New Cover!


My Frustrating Last Two Days . . .

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

(P.S. There is a happy ending. . . )

So. The afternoon of May 2 I get this email from Dorchester Publishing:

Dear Carolyn:
With the return of your signed reversion letter, we contacted the online vendors we distribute through, instructing them to suppress/remove the following title(s):

Lord Ruin
The Spare

If any of these title(s) were in e-book format, they will be suppressed by the vendor directly. All vendors have their own timetable for removing titles once receiving notice to do so; for example, Sony usually takes a few days, while Amazon has unfortunately proven to take a few weeks. Please note, the electronic rights to the above titles will legally revert to you at the end of this month. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

I immediately emailed back and reminded the sender that my rights reverted in August 2010 and that in any event Dorchester never produced an ebook of those titles. I noted that I had self-published both those titles under new ISBNS and asked that they contact the vendors right away and tell them the request was an error.

That night, about 10pm I got an email from a reader who asked if I had Lord Ruin or The Spare available for Kindle.

I said, sure! But then I went and checked and yeah. The books were gone.

To me, this is really, really coincidental.

I emailed Dorchester, told them my Amazon eBooks had disappeared from sale and asked that they address the issue immediately. I also emailed Amazon and asked that the books be restored to sale.

By morning, Dorchester had emailed me saying they would look into it right away. I contacted Amazon two more times and got two flavors of sorry, we can’t help you that’s another department and they don’t have any phones, here’s an email address for you. The second person said she had to fill out a form and took A LOT of information from me. But I still had no assurance that anyone at Amazon cared or was going to do anything.

I called the NY State Attorney General who told me, quite reasonably, that they only handle consumer fraud (and an author is not in a consumer relationship to a publisher.) So that was a no-go.

I emailed my US Senator (Diane Feinstein) to complain about the lack of due process in IP claims. I’ve been meaning to do that anyway.

I emailed my agent, of course, and cc’d her on some of the emails.

I called RWA who asked for a written statement and documentation (which I will pull together tonight) as they are looking into legal options.

I didn’t call the Author’s Guild because they ignored me the first time around and I, very seriously, think they don’t think much of Romance/genre authors. That’s probably an unfair assumption but it’s based on the fact for all the years I’ve been a member, I have never ever ever seen them interview or seek input from a Romance author. Other genre authors have been. I’ll probably email them so I can be ignored again for my $90 yearly dues.

Later, I asked Dorchester to confirm that they had contacted Amazon and a bit later heard that they had.

Then a little later Dorchester emailed to say they’d spoken to their Amazon rep and that he had discovered there was a “technical glitch” and that my files would be restored today.

I just got this email from Amazon:

I checked and assure you that your books “Lord Ruin (sexy Regency Historical Romance)” and “The Spare (Sexy Regency Historical Romance),” have not been unpublished per Dorchester’s request.

It appears to be a technical issue, I’ve now reported the issue to our Technical team and will get back to you with an update in 2-3 days.

Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

I have two main observations:

1. Chris Keeslar at Dorchester took this issue seriously and really did take action.

2. None of my non-Dorchester titles were affected by this “technical issue.”

Lastly, the good news is that as of 5:44 PM Pacific, Lord Ruin and The Spare are back in the Kindle store.
I’m hoping they stay there, as do all the other versions at other vendors.


News and Celebration-y Stuff

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

1. I blogged today at the Girlfriend’s Bookclub about My Other One True Love.. I can hear the gasps. Who, besides Alexander Skarsgard, could that be? Go visit the blog. There’s a picture.

2. The special, limited time, $0.99 price for Lord Ruin is live at Amazon. You can pick it up here. B&N isn’t showing the special price yet, but hopefully very soon!

3. I haven’t forgotten about the Rename the Blog contest, but I have to go make word count before I can announce the results and winner.