Why I’m (kind of done) with historical fiction

Had a lot of search results lately for people looking for my novel Summerland, which is no longer available on Amazon. Sorry about that, but there were reasons.

The main reason is that when I published Summerland and its companion volume Paris Green, I had absolutely no idea about marketing e-books. Consequently the books bombed. I literally couldn’t even give them away.

The other main reason is that literary/historical fiction just isn’t Kindle’s mainstay.  According to who you talk to, it’s thought that between 65% to 80% of genre fiction sales worldwide were in e-book format, genre being sci-fi, fantasy, romance etc. Overweight historical novels don’t fit into any of those categories, and since I prefer to eat things slightly more expensive than dog food, it made sense to diversify into genre.

As I said, I had no idea of how to market e-books when I published Summerland. I had no idea of how to find my audience, which is usually when the bad reviews start happening. If someone doesn’t get what you’re trying to do, they can get unreasonably angry and confused. Which is exactly what happened. Some readers reacted like I’d set fire to their pets.

Consequently I’ve pulled the books. It makes no sense to have them out there, not selling and being shit on because I haven’t got a clue how to market them. I don’t exactly know what I’m going to do with them as yet; while I’d like to shop them to traditional publishers, it’s a lot of time and effort to get back on the never-ending query hamster wheel while I could be writing more books for Kindle.

The other alternative is a re-release when I have more visibility as Anna Roberts, but that’s going to be some years down the line. My current plans are to continue writing romance as Jessica Pine and plan for a more genre friendly (possibly urban fantasy) series as Anna Roberts.

So to anyone who was looking for my historical novels, sorry. I had to withdraw them for now; it was just bad business sense to leave them out there.


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