A Sneak Peek Inside Flames of Love

Turns out, y’all aren’t any more interesting than I am...

I'm not sure what that says about the group of us, to be honest. Nothing exciting, that's for sure. 😉

But based on the emails I got from y'all in the past week, you know how to par-tay on New Year's Eve about as well as I do.

I'd be worried if I were you. 😉 Just sayin'...

Jasmine the Writing Cat sharing the recliner with ReaganOne of the requests I got a couple of times was a shot of Reagan and Jasmine the Healing Cat, snuggled up together on the new recliner I'd managed to heave-ho home. Well, truth is, Jasmine wasn't quite sure what to make of this new recliner in her midst. She spent several days just smelling it (it didn't smell like anything to me – yes, I checked – but then again, I obviously don't have the finely tuned nose that Jasmine does) and then a couple more days trying to figure out how to get up on it. With her being cross-eyed, it always takes her a bit to maneuver around new things.

Like a giant life-sized puzzle that she has to unravel.

But in the end, she got up there, and Reagan and Jasmine the Healing Cat came to an agreement – she'd share the foot of the recliner with him. Because she is that nice. She's since decided that she is willing to share the armrest, the seat, and the back of the chair also.

She may be a sweet, loving cat, but don't be fooled – she is a cat. I don't know why you're here on this earth, but Reagan and I are here to pet and love on Jasmine. Just ask her.

In other news, I finally finished Flames of Love. Today. Like, ten minutes ago. Can you guys feel the joy and excitement radiating off me in waves? 'Cause it's totally there.

I should clarify: When I say "finish," I really mean, "I got to the end of the story and now I have to start at the beginning and clean everything up." So not finished-finished, but step-one-finished. Which is still pretty damn cool.

Speaking of starting at the beginning, I thought I'd share Chapter One with y'all today. The preorder and contest links are below the excerpt, and then you'll find a new release by one of my closest writing friends, Tessa Layne. She's amazeballs. Be sure to check her new book out.

Until next week, enjoy the (unedited) first chapter!

Chapter 1 – Jaxson

Flames of Love - A Western Romance Novel (Firefighters of Long Valley Book 1)

Jaxson Anderson pushed the plate-glass door open, the overhead bell tinkling, announcing his entrance. The warmth, the yeast and sugar smell…it rushed over him, surrounding him, and he almost stopped dead in his tracks, wanting to do nothing but breathe it all in. He hadn’t been in an honest-to-God bakery in ages, and had forgotten how damn delicious they smelled.

Before he could make a real ass out of himself by literally drooling just from the smell alone, though, a head popped up from behind the front counter. A cute brunette, her hair in a braid flopped over her shoulder, shot him a smile. “Welcome to the Muffin Man,” she called out, pushing some stray tendrils out of her face with the back of her hand. “You been in here before?”

He’d hardly been in the town of Sawyer more than a couple of hours. “Nope, first time here,” he said as he walked closer to the front display case, and the adorable brunette behind it. She looked a little younger than him, with wide, innocent eyes that made her appear even younger as she peered up at him.

She was this tiny little thing that he was sure he could tuck under his arm and run with down the football field. Between her tiny stature and her wide eyes, she gave off the impression that she was twelve.

Except…he gulped. Those curves. No 12-year-old girl had those curves.

“Well then, an extra welcome!” she said, sending him another dizzying smile. “I’m glad you stopped by. Are you a…tourist?” She looked a little puzzled at that idea, giving him a quick up-and-down glance.

No, he probably didn’t look a damn thing like a tourist. Most fire chiefs didn’t.

“Just new in town,” he told her. “What is good he–Sugar?!” he said. He was staring straight at her delectable chest.

Which was probably not his best move. He knew he was being rude, but hey, she was the one who’d pinned her name tag on it. “Your name is Sugar?!”

She rolled her eyes at him, which now that he was close enough, he could see they were a deep brown color. Like the color of the chocolate cake sitting in the display case between them. “Don’t bother making a joke,” she told him pertly. “I’ve heard every one of them that is funny, and a whole lot that aren’t. I promise you, you won’t be original.”

He leaned on the clear glass goodies counter, content for a moment to ignore the copious amounts of sugar underneath his arms, and instead focus on the Sugar in front of him. “So…basically, your parents hated you.”

“Pretty much!” she said cheerfully, shooting him a laughing grin. Right then, a guy came through the swinging doors from the back, and Jaxson nodded towards him.

“Is his name Flour?” he asked dryly.

“No, but I like how you think!” Sugar looked over at her co-worker and laughed. “Gage, he thinks you ought to change your name to Flour!”

Gage looked up from off-loading a batch of muffins into a side display case. “Hey, my parents didn’t hate me,” he drawled in a deep voice, proving that he’d overheard their discussion. “Don’t drag me into this.”

“I think I’m gonna start calling you Muffin,” Sugar mused, shooting her co-worker a grin. “Or maybe Baby Cakes.”

Gage rolled his eyes. “That’s just what this town needs to hear,” he grumbled and disappeared into the back, carrying his empty tray with him.

“Woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” Sugar said in way of explanation, complete with a shrug, as she turned back to Jaxson. “So, what can I get for you? Coffee? Donuts? A…muffin, perhaps?” Her voice was a little too innocent.

Jaxson’s eyes shot up to hers. Was she teasing?

Her eyes were glinting with mischief. She was.

“I was thinking that I might be in the mood for some baby cakes,” he said, his tone as innocent as hers. She burst out laughing.

“I think I like you,” she said, shooting him a wide grin after she caught her breath.

“You’d like me even more if I had some coffee and a donut in me,” he informed her. “I’m a lot more fun to be around when I’m awake.”

“Even more fun?” she echoed, wrinkling her nose as she turned to grab a to-go cup. “Damn. I’m not sure if I can handle that much fun. Maybe I shouldn’t get your coffee after all.”

“Never come between a man and his coffee,” he intoned, only three-quarters joking.

More like half, really.

“Fair enough,” she said, filling the cup from the dispenser. Tendrils of steam encircled her hand and then melted away. “So what brings you to Sawyer, if you’re not a tourist?”

She turned back around, deftly grabbing a lid and pushing it into place even as she was sliding the cup across the counter to him.

Yeah, she had some experience serving up coffee. He wondered for a moment how long she’d worked at the Muffin Man.

“I’m the new fire chief in town,” he said, pulling the already warm cup towards him to sip at the life-giving liquid inside. He was staring down at the display case as he said it, contemplating which donut was the most deserving of being eaten, but even out of the corner of his eye, he could tell she’d stiffened up. His eyes shot up and caught her look. She was staring at him, mouth open. “What’s wrong?” he asked, confused. He looked behind him, thinking maybe someone had snuck up behind him who she didn’t care for, but no one was there.

He looked back at Sugar and she was smiling again, although it didn’t appear nearly as natural as it had before.

“Nothing,” she said. She cleared her throat. “What kind of donut did you want?”

“Maple bar, please.”

She nodded, slipping the long, golden donut into a brown paper bag.

“Hold on,” he said, another sip of coffee helping his brain begin to actually do something useful, “why don’t you make that a dozen donuts? I’m meeting with the guys down at the station for the first time this morning – holding a little get-together, you know? I should probably bring donuts with me. Help break the ice.”

She mumbled something under her breath that sounded suspiciously like, “You’re gonna need more than donuts,” but when he shot her a questioning look, she just smiled back innocently.

“Do you care which kind?” she asked.

“Variety,” he said, shrugging.

She got to work, sliding some bear claws, a cake donut, some more maple bars, and a couple of sugar donuts into a cardboard box stamped “Muffin Man” on top. She rang him up quickly and after he slid his card into the machine, entering his PIN, she pushed the box across the counter to him.

“Good luck today,” she said, sending him an overly brilliant smile. She followed it up by mumbling something else under her breath, and this time, he only caught the word “need.”

“What?” he asked, irritated.

“Nothing! Enjoy your donuts, sir.”

“Jaxson.”

“What?”

“I figured I knew your name; you should know mine. Jaxson. Plus, I’m too damn young to be called sir.”

“Enjoy your donuts…Jaxson.”

He slid them onto his arm and balanced his coffee cup in his other hand, making his way back towards the door. If every damn person in Sawyer was gonna take up mumbling underneath their breath when they were talking to him, he was gonna be stark-raving mad within the week.

~*~

I'm running a preorder contest; if you've missed all of the info, here's a page that explains it all clearly. In a nutshell, you simply preorder Flames of Love for $0.99, and then upload your receipt to enter the contest here.

That's it! Super simple. ❤️  If you have any problems or questions, please email me and I'll happily walk you through it.

Okay, here's Tessa's book as promised. You guys will love it! Available on all storefronts. 😀

A Hero's Heart by Tessa Layne

A Hero's Heart by Tessa Layne - military western romance

The town superstar has just met his match

When retired Army Captain and Prairie’s favorite son, Sterling Walker, returns home to join Resolution Ranch, he finds himself face to face with his biggest rival- Emma Sinclaire, the sole daughter of Prairie’s oldest family- all grown up, gorgeous, and glaring daggers at him.

Will it be winner take all in this battle of hearts?

A rising star at Kansas City’s internationally acclaimed Royal Fountain Media, Emma agrees to personally oversee the marketing and fundraising campaign for Resolution Ranch. But she never expected to come face to face with her high school nemesis, Sterling Walker, let alone have to work closely with him. As they face off across the boardroom, she can’t deny her attraction to the smart, sexy, soldier who engages her in battle at every turn.

When a moment of carelessness threatens to shut down the fundraiser before it starts, Sterling will put everything on the line to protect Emma’s reputation. Will it be enough to win Emma’s heart for good? Or will the fallout be the ruin of Resolution Ranch?

NOTE: All novels in this series are full-length standalone novels with an HEA.

Available on all storefronts!

Jasmine the Healing Cat – 12/15/17

It's Not Wednesday

I'm pointing that out because lately (re: the last couple of weeks), I've been horrific about actually sending my email out on Wednesday like I'm supposed to. Like I told you guys I would.

Well, it turns out that I had a good reason this time. I mean, I always have a good reason, but this week, I have an especially good reason: My husband had knee surgery on Wednesday morning. And when I say "morning," I mean we had to be at the surgery center at 6:15 in the morning.

I should confess something to y'all right now: I hate alarm clocks. Like, hate. I wake up repeatedly throughout the night whenever I have an alarm set, worried that I slept through the alarm or it didn't go off or [insert catastrophe here] and I'm going to be late and OH GOOODDDDDD!! and then I open up my eyeball (just one) far enough to see that it's 2:13 in the morning and I can go back to sleep now. 

Lather, rinse, repeat about six times.

So having my husband's surgery at 6:15 in the morning, in a town about 30 minutes away...I wasn't sure I was gonna live through just that.

Then came the really fun part: He's home now, and can do almost nothing without my help. Well, he's mastered changing the channel on the TV, and drinking lots of coffee (which means lots of laborious trips to the bathroom) but he's otherwise incapacitated.

Jasmine the Healing Cat snuggled against Handsome Hubby

I don't mean to make my husband's surgery all about me; after all, it was his knee that was drilled into, not mine. I'm just telling you why I'm two days late on my newsletter this week. 😬

Jasmine being Jasmine, she has, of course, taken her snuggling duties Very Seriously. Handsome Hubby has taken up permanent residence on the couch in the living room, and Jasmine the Healing Cat has taken up permanent residence on him. In his arms, snuggled against his legs, on his chest...wherever she can give him the maximum amount of love. She has her job, and she's going to do it, dammit!

When I got up this morning, she was snuggled down into the crook of his arm and they were both fast asleep. I took out my phone to snap what was going to be the Most Adorable Picture Ever, when I dropped said phone and woke them both up. So you just get Pretty Cute Picture instead. #sorry

So while I'm busy running errands and fetching more refills on coffee, I thought y'all would enjoy two things this week: A great deal on a book, and a super fun giveaway that I am doing on Facebook. Be sure not to miss either one.

Hungry Cowboy by Charlize Starr

sexy cowboy contemporary romance

A good girl. A bad cowboy. A dirty secret. Ready to figure this one out?

She used to be like my little sister.
Now her curves make me choke on my beer.
But she’s broke, and I’m the reason.
Not that she knows. It’s my secret.
I’ll make it up to her though.
I’ll offer her a job.
To be the live-in nanny at my ranch.
I’ll win her for me with my cowboy abs.
Seriously, who can resist those?
She’ll be screaming for more before she knows it.
All I need to do is keep my secret from her.
Or she’ll leave.

And I want her to stay.

This is a 97-page billionaire romance with a single dad and an innocent girl. It is a stand-alone story with an HEA, so no cliffhangers! Be prepared for panty-melting talk and lots of steam. Most definitely for 18+ readers.

~ $0.99 and in Kindle Unlimited ~

Christmas giveaway by Erin Wright romance authorSo this is me having a little fun. 😀  For those of you who've been on my mailing list for quite a while, you might remember my good friend, Kurtis Workman, a local blacksmith. He made some prizes for me back when I was launching Stampede of Love and giving it away to everyone for free.

Well, he's at it again. He's forged some metal icicles for you to hang on your Christmas tree or across your front window. Meanwhile, I am giving away two copies of Blizzard of Love.

The contest? You have to share a post about my upcoming launch (Flames of Love) but you also have to tell me what you'd do with your second copy of Blizzard of Love. Give it away to your best friend? Your mom? Your local library? The retirement home in town? You tell me!

So enter the contest below, and be sure to tell me how you'd share some Erin Wright love with others in your life. 😉

That's it for this week! Let's see if I send out my newsletter on time next Wednesday. 😬  My husband isn't getting his knee cut into next week, so it's always a possibility...

Windy Wednesday, Gift Card Giveaways, and Other Wonderful Things – 11/01/17

Jasmine the Writing Cat staring intently at me

Whenever Jasmine the Writing Cat does this stare thing straight at me, I always imagine her saying, "You will love meeeeee..." in a hypnotic voice, while swishing her tail slowly.

I'm pretty sure I was hypnotized a long time ago.

ANYway, I don't know about you guys, but damn, it's become windy here! It's always this way in the fall – Idaho decides in the spring and fall that tear-the-shingles-off-your-house winds are just the way to celebrate a new season arriving. I'm not sure if I agree with this viewpoint, but I've tried holding up my hand to stave off the wind, and thus far, have had no luck. I'll keep you guys posted on that front.

In the meanwhile, I've been hard at work on several different projects, and I can even tell you guys about a couple of them today! How is that for thrilling?

First, let's discuss the featured bundle for the week – Laughing P Collection by Kari Holloway. It's three novels plus some short stories, all on sale for only $4.99, which is a hell of a good deal. Check out the deets:

Southern Charm & Small-Town Secrets

Laughing P by Kari HollowayCracked But Never Broken
Coming home should have been easy for Marine Damien Payne, but between rustlers, a stalker, and his personal demons, love is hard pressed to find a footing on the Laughing P ranch.

Behind the Lens
Lexi’s found freedom from a loveless relationship. Trapped in a hunting cabin with her first love, can she find the courage to follow her heart or will she sacrifice her happiness?

Never too Late
Darien Payne has regretted the moment he screwed up for over a decade. Forged under sweat and sawdust, he sets a plan in motion for his happily-ever-after. Burdened with the brevity of life, he must step up on the Laughing P to keep his family together in their darkest moments for the glimmer of light that always shines.

Join the Laughing P crew from the bottoms of despair to their happily-ever-afters and beyond in this collection featuring all three novels and a handful of short stories.

{Only available on Amazon – sorry to everyone else!}

Next up? Gift cards! Everyone likes being a winner. 😀  

I've been linking to a survey on SurveyMonkey for the past month, encouraging people to give me their thoughts on a variety of topics. I have been drawing people from that survey as winners, and announcing them in my newsletter.

Here's the bad news: The last three people that I chose and announced as winners in my newsletter haven't bothered to open my emails to find out that they'd won. So! Don't be that person. 😛  If I say I'm only going to announce winners in my emails so you have to read 'em to find out if you're the lucky duck for that week, I really mean it! 😀

So here's my gift card winners for this week – you've each won a $10 gift card to the storefront of your choice, if you respond back to my newsletter to claim your prize. Here goes:

[Name redacted]

[Name redacted]

[Name redacted]

Hit reply to the email in your inbox, and tell me which storefront you want your gift card for, and which country you live in (because that will sometimes play a part in the gift card process).

So you know how I said I've been hard at work on some projects? Here's one of them. You guys are gonna go crazy over this.

My friend Joanna Bell and I have gotten together to do a wild-ass giveaway, only available to our subscribers. You won't find this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter or anywhere else, and you can't get extra chances to win by sharing it, because it's exclusive only to our readers.

The prizes? Chanel perfume with gold flecks in it or a Coach wallet. 

Insane, right? When Joanna suggested that we give these items away, I may or may not have swooned a little.

Again, the deets for this giveaway are only available in my newsletter, so if you haven't subscribed yet, do it today! It's where all the fun is. 😉

Oh, so very close… 10/11/17

Jasmine the Writing Cat wanting to be petted

Ready for some Declan time?

So, at long last, Returning for Love is...

Well, almost here.

Jasmine the Writing Cat is quite thrilled, as you can see. Or maybe she's just excited about the cat treats I'm holding just behind the camera. You can never tell.

Returning for Love is hitting all storefronts on October 17th (next Tuesday), which means that you, dear reader, finally get to find out Declan Miller's story.

I know I keep telling you that you'll never guess what is REALLY going on with Declan and you'll be totally surprised when you read his story, but the truth is...

.

.

.

I really mean it.

I bet you never saw that coming! 😛

Returning for Love - A Western Romance Novel (Book 4)Okay, seriously though, when I started the Long Valley series, I tried to figure out the personalities of each of the three Miller brothers.

Stetson is the baby of the family, and sometimes, he really acts like it. In Accounting for Love (which is free on all storefronts, so if you haven't read it yet, what the heck are you waiting for??) he's willing to make some pretty dumb choices and risk losing the Miller Family Farm, all because of a misplaced sense of duty and longing to have his father back.

In Arrested by Love, Wyatt Miller (the oldest of the three brothers) makes some pretty dumb choices too, including punching out the judge's son and landing in jail over Christmas. #whoops He too has a lot of changing and growing up to do, and Abby helps him do it (along with a nice dose of therapy with a counselor).

But all the way through, Declan is the typical middle child. He's a peacemaker between his older and younger brother (who are constantly feuding), and just all-around well loved by...well, everyone. He's trustworthy, he's hard-working, he's a peacemaker, he's beloved by all.

And then in Returning for Love, you find out the "Rest of the Story" (thanks, Paul Harvey!) He's got his own demons that he's been battling, and they aren't easy ones.

Now throw Iris McLain into the mix, who was his girlfriend for four years during high school and college. She's just moved back into town, but also like Declan, things aren't what they appeared to be on the surface. She too has been battling her own demons...and not necessarily winning.

I love this story. Not gonna lie, it's one of my absolute favorites. Second-chance loves stories are always so fun to write, because you've got present-day thoughts and emotions all tangled up in past experiences and difficulties. Declan and Iris have to learn to trust again. Learn to fall in love again. Learn how to talk to each other about the worst parts of their lives, and what's truly going on behind the mask.

It's not easy, but man, is it worth it.

If you'd like to read the first chapter absolutely free, check it out: FREE first chapter of Returning for Love

If you'd like to preorder Returning for Love so you receive it the day it comes out, here is where you can find all of the handy-dandy buy buttons.

Quick warning just so you know:

Returning for Love is a full-length novel, which means that I'm releasing it at $2.99 and that price is good for one week, and one week only. After that, it goes up to $3.99. I'm warning y'all about this 'cause you're awesome-sauce and I like you ❤️  but don't be fooled into thinking you can just buy this later for that same low price.

Okay, now let's have some fun. 😀  As you guys already know, I'm doing a survey through SurveyMonkey, to get your thoughts on storefront platforms, which books you've read, and how adorable you think Jasmine the Writing Cat is.

.

.

.

Sorry, a certain cat is trying to help me write my newsletter today.

*ahem*

win a gift card to an eBookstore of your choice!

ANYway, the great news is, I've decided to up the pot from a $5 gift card to a $10 gift card, just because I really want to tell y'all thank you for taking the time to fill out the survey. The results have been so super helpful for me, truly.

The really great news is, if your name is XX (I DON'T REVEAL THE WINNER ON MY BLOG! PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER) you've just won a $10 gift card!  Please hit reply to this email and tell me which storefront you want your gift card for, and what email address to have that gift card delivered to. You’ve got until next Wednesday to claim your gift card, or I’ll go ahead and pick someone else. 🙂

If you haven't filled out the survey yet, please do. I'll continue to draw winners each week for the rest of October, but even more importantly, your answers really help me out. I appreciate you doing that favor for me.

Speaking of giveaways…

There's a promo running from now until Friday – all romance novels, all free. Find some new authors to enjoy. ❤️

Well, that's it for me for the week. I'm busy wrapping up my edits on Returning for Love, sending out ARC copies, and petting Jasmine the Writing Cat (and not necessarily in that order).

Until next time,

Erin

PS Did you click to read the first chapter of Returning for Love? No? Seriously, go check it out. If you don't enjoy it, I'll eat my hat.

👒

Okay, not really. That seems like a sure way to ensure indigestion. But I promise you, you're gonna love this sneak peek. Enjoy! ❤️

Want to know the dirty little secrets behind Kindle Unlimited? – 10/04/17

Jasmine the Writing Cat looking slightly drugged

aka: What you wish authors would tell you about Kindle Unlimited (but usually won’t!)

(WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! This post is really long, but I hope it is also both entertaining and informative. If you just want to skip down to find out if you won the gift card, scroll down to the next section. I promise that it's easily marked out. I'm giving the "inside scoop" on Kindle Unlimited in this post, but if you're not interested in that, I promise I'm not offended).

Last week, I sent out a survey (which, if you missed it, check it out here. I’ll be drawing winners for gift cards for the rest of the month, so if you haven’t filled out the survey yet, go take it now and enter for your chance to win!) 😊

One of the questions that I asked in the survey was whether or not you, dear reader, belong to the Amazon program Kindle Unlimited, and in return, I got several readers wanting to know more about what that program is and how it works. One question (hi Pamela!) summed up the questions on the topic pretty well:

“I was wondering how authors are compensated for KU books. I'm not sure why I am curious about this, just that I thought you were compensated on purchased books."

Just to be clear, as an author, I do not belong to that program – I am a “wide” author, which means that I publish on all major storefronts (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, GooglePlay, and iBooks). You may be wondering why I don’t belong to Kindle Unlimited, especially if you (as a reader) use it a lot.

Short answer? Because unlike how the name makes it sound, it is very limited…for an author.

In order to be available in Kindle Unlimited (or KU, as it's widely known), your books can only be available for sale on Amazon. If your book is found to be published on other storefronts while also enrolled in KU, Amazon can punish you pretty hardcore, up to and including shutting down your Amazon account. This is obviously not something to be trifled with.

Let’s be honest about something: Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. I get about 55% of my sales through them, and 45% of my sales through all of the other storefronts combined together. My split is actually pretty even; some wide authors get 80% to 90% or more of their income from Amazon alone.

From a reader’s POV, KU works pretty well: The reader pays $10 a month and can read as many books as they want for that $10. The reader can have 10 titles in their “library” at any given time, but they have to return a title in order to check out another one, above the ten-book limit.

So it’s basically an unlimited buffet of choices…as long as the reader is only interested in reading KU authors.

From an author’s POV, KU can also work pretty well. Amazon makes books that are enrolled in KU more “visible” to readers, so they find them easier. Amazon puts those books higher on the results page, and they give more “juice” for each buy than they would for a book not enrolled in KU.

I actually did an experiment on this topic. I took a book that was out of KU and enrolled it in KU, just to see what would happen to the book ranking. Without any sales or borrows, the book jumped about 100,000 in ranking overnight.

Amazon does not try to hide the fact that they reward KU authors with higher visibility and more algorithmic love – this is a big part of the draw of being enrolled in KU, and they make no bones about it. (Total side note: Now I want to write a book called Algorithms of Love and have it star a computer programmer. Haha! Okay, focusing…)

Along with higher visibility, Amazon also pays authors for books that are read through the KU program. Let’s pretend for a moment that I was enrolled in KU and had a book that was 100 pages long. I would receive roughly $0.41 if a reader read it all the way through to the end. When a book is borrowed through KU, I do not receive any money for a “sale” – I receive money when the book is read.

However, (and this is weird and a little hard to wrap your mind around): Authors receive a bump in ranking in the Kindle store when a book is borrowed, even before it’s read.

So, let’s say that you borrow, but then never read a book, and finally just return it. The book will go a little higher in the rankings because of that borrow, but the author will not be paid. These are called “ghost borrows” in the author world, because authors will see their rankings increase, but their income stays the same.

Side note: As an author, I am never told when my book is borrowed, nor how many pages are read by a particular reader. I am simply told how many page reads I’ve received in a day. So let’s say that I have a book that is 100 pages long, and I have 100 page reads show up on my dashboard. Possibilities:

  • 100 readers read 1 page of my book
  • 10 readers read 10 pages of my book
  • 1 reader read 100 pages (all of) my book

There’s literally no way to know as an author. It’s a big ol’ black box of nothing but, “100 page reads.” This drives KU authors insane, lol. There’s a big difference between 100 people reading one page of my book (why only one page? Is the first page that bad?? Why are they all quitting so early in the book? WHAT DID I SCREW UP??! AAAAHHHHH!!!) vs 1 person reading all of my book (yay! My book was good enough that the reader finished it! Coolio).

All right, so now let’s discuss why I’m not in KU. 😊

  1. I’m allergic to monopolies. 😛 Although I am a Prime member of Amazon and buy a fair amount from them, I also try to buy from other stores. When you get a monopoly, then they can do whatever they want, because they have no one to compete with; no reason to behave themselves. That worries me. So, I don’t wish to contribute to that problem by only being available to purchase on Amazon.
  2. As a former librarian, I like the idea of being available to all. Many authors out there are only available on Amazon so they can belong to KU; I personally don’t like leaving the rest of my readers out in the cold. 45% of my readers wouldn’t be able to read my books if I were only on Amazon, which is not fair to them.
  3. Most of my family uses Apple exclusively (we're pretty much addicted to Apple, lol) and I would be disowned if my books were only available on Amazon. Okay, not really, but I have a few family members who would be shooting me nasty looks at the Thanksgiving table. 😀
  4. Much more seriously: Amazon treats authors like garbage. 🙁 That’s a cold, harsh truth, but ask any KU author if they like the program, and I can almost guarantee that about 90% of them will tell you they abhor it.

Here’s the reason why: Amazon chooses how much to pay for a “page read” each month, and they don’t tell the authors how much it’s going to be until after the month is over.

Imagine for a moment, if you will, that your employer tells you on February 15th how much you made in the month of January, and then doesn’t pay you that amount until March 31st.

That’s exactly how Amazon runs. That’s not a what-if scenario for authors; that’s reality.

On the 15th of each month, Amazon tells authors how much they’re going to pay those authors for the pages read through the Kindle Unlimited program, for the month before. This means that as an author, you can’t plan anything because you never have a clue of how much you’re making.

And they calculate it down to the nth degree. Their pay per page will look something like $0.004319842. When you have millions of pages read per month, just a slight change in that number can mean a huge change in your paycheck.

Also, just FYI, KU authors would kill for that rate I just typed out. The September 15th rate was in the $0.0041 range (I’m too lazy to look it up) which was tied for the lowest rate ever (the August 15th rate was also in the $0.0041 range).

For a historical perspective, Amazon started out this program paying out pretty close to $0.0049 per page. This doesn’t seem like a big difference, but for an author who is getting 1,000,000 in page reads per month (which is about average for a KU author), this is a pay cut of $800 per month.

What if your employer were handing out paychecks and said, “Oh yeah, I cut your pay by $800 for the work you did last month – hope you don’t mind!” and then if you protested, said, “Well, go get a job elsewhere!”

Because that’s what Amazon does all. the. time. to KU authors.

It’s gotten to the point where authors are getting a bit of PTSD around the 15th of the month. They’re waking up in the middle of the night with nightmares about it. They’re having panic attacks over it. I’m not exaggerating at all.

It’s awful.

So why am I not in KU? Because I like my stomach lining, thankyouverymuch. 😛

Now, I’m not telling you all of this to make you feel guilty about reading your books through KU. If you use that program and enjoy the wide variety of books available through it, that’s awesome-sauce. The authors are getting paid for you reading through KU, so you shouldn’t feel like you’re putting authors into the poor house with that decision. It’s completely up to an author as to whether or not they’re going to be enrolled in KU. No one is forcing them into it by gun point.

But for me, it simply doesn’t make sense to do it, and so I won’t. 😊  God bless capitalism.

So for the 45% of you who are reading me on other platforms (B&N, GooglePlay, etc), just know that I’m not going anywhere. I had some people panic when they took my survey, thinking that I was contemplating a switch, and I just want to allay those fears. 😊  I’m wide, and I’m gonna stay that way.

And I don’t just mean because I can’t leave chocolate cheesecake alone (although that’s true too!)

Well, I hope that little insight into the KU world was helpful, and that you at least have a better idea of why some authors will choose to be in KU vs choose to be on all storefronts. It’s a very personal choice for authors, and can be a hard one to make, because there is no straightforward answer that is right for everyone.

Okay, with all of that out of the way…onto gift card winning time! Remember, I will be drawing one winner per week for the next month, and the winner will only be announced in my newsletter, so be sure to pay attention each week. 😊

win a gift card to an eBookstore of your choice!

This week's winner is XX. (I DON'T REVEAL THE WINNER ON MY BLOG! PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER). Please hit reply to this email and tell me which storefront you want your gift card for, and what email address to have that gift card delivered to. You've got until next Wednesday to claim your gift card, or I'll go ahead and pick someone else. 😊

Speaking of giveaways...

Melissa Storm is running a giveaway for five free romance novels and $100 – check it out:

Well, that's it for me, while I finish working on the edits for Returning for Love and my Super Secret Plans that will be revealed SOON!

Until next week!

Erin

PS I'm loving, loving, loving all of the feedback from the survey – I'm reading each and every comment, and the answers as a whole are incredibly useful for me. So if you haven't taken it yet, DOOO IIITTTTTT!! It's fast, it's easy, and it might be your ticket to a gift certificate for more books! 📚