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A Reader Letter

On buying used books . . . 

I received this letter from a reader, who had discovered my books and had been reading library copies. But now in lockdown, the libraries are closed, and she couldn’t afford to buy them new. So, being a kind and thoughtful person, she wrote to ask me about the ethics of buying used books.

Good Morning Ms. Gracie, 
I am delighted to be a new reader of your fine work.  I read “Autumn Bride” last Autumn because I searched for books about Autumn.  I loved that book so much, so I have been searching for additional books by you.  I am just about to finish “Marry in Haste” and I do not want it to end.  

I was searching through libraries for your books before the libraries all closed.  While sheltering at home, your books are helping me make it through and giving me something to look forward to each day.  So now I am considering purchasing your books.  I found several on “Barnes and Noble” and “Thrifty Books” web sites, and before I purchase, I want to make sure you would receive the appropriate royalties if I purchase?  Thrifty Books is about half the cost of Barnes and Noble. 

It appears they have 16 of your books I could buy.  I would appreciate your reply.  Thank you for sharing your beautiful talent; you are truly a Blessing in my life.

Isn’t that a gorgeous letter?  Here’s what I wrote in reply:

Dear Mary
Thank you for your lovely email. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my books.

It’s true, authors don’t get royalties for second-hand books, and it’s lovely of you to worry about that — BUT please, don’t give a thought to that, especially in these difficult times.  I’d much rather you read and enjoyed my books, so by all means, shop around and grab whatever bargains you can with my blessing.

And if you wanted to help me (or any author) just pop a review up about the books, or recommend them to a friend. For me, word of mouth is as good as royalties any day. <g>

Please stay safe and healthy in these difficult times. And dive into reading — that’s what I’m doing, as well as writing.
All the very best

And this reply came back:

Oh that is so kind of you.
I just bought 18 of your books; I am so excited!
Thank you for taking the time to email back and for your nice words.
I have been and will continue telling my friends about you, my new favorite author. 
Keeping you in my prayers, 

So here I am, smiling.  I know a lot of authors disapprove of people buying used books because we authors depend on royalties from new book sales to earn our living. But in times like these, we need to find comfort where we can.
Stay safe and healthy, everyone, and dive into some good reading.

A snippet of Marry In Scarlet for Mother's Day

Not all mother-son relationships are charming and delightful. Here’s the Duke of Everingham (the hero in Marry In Scarlet) talking to his mother. 

      “Do not fret yourself, my son, I shall try to weather the storm,” his mother said, rallying bravely. “It’s you I worry about, my dearest. I thought that you were all settled at last, and that finally I could go in peace.” She sank back feebly in her chair and closed her eyes. 
       “Go where, Mother? Off to Bath again, are you?” He blotted the ink of his letter, folded it and reached for his seal. “Or perhaps a sea-bathing treatment this time? I’ve heard that a bracing dip in the cold salt sea does people a power of good.” 
       She shuddered and clutched her vial feebly to her bosom. “Such a thing would kill me.” 
       “Only if you drowned, and I believe there are muscular females at the dipping sites whose job it is to prevent that. It’s perfectly safe.” 
        She sat up and glared at him. “Don’t be so obtuse, Redmond—my darling boy. You must know that the only thing that keeps me alive—the only thing, dearest—is the desire to see you settled. Married.” 
       “Then I shall postpone my nuptials indefinitely and provide you with a long life.” 

 *  *  *  *  *
You can preorder MARRY IN SCARLET here (Amazon) or here (all other e-book sites) or here (paperback only but will post anywhere in the world for free postage)

A snippet from Marry In Scarlet

Lady George, discussing sidesaddles with Kirk, her dour Scottish groom:

      “Have you ever ridden with a sidesaddle, Kirk?”
      He didn’t bother answering, just gave her an expressive look. 
      “No, of course not. And why is that? For all that men tell us that sidesaddles are soooo much better for ladies and are as safe as houses, you won’t get a man on one—and why? Because they’re silly, that’s why. And it takes more skill to ride with them, not less, because with a sidesaddle you only have the reins and your crop and your balance, whereas astride you can control your mount with your thighs as well—” 
      “Lady Georgiana!” Kirk said in a pained voice. 
      George hid a grin. She’d forgotten; ladies didn’t have thighs, or if they did they weren’t to be mentioned. 

*  *  *  *  *

Marry In Scarlet comes out on May 26th. You can preorder it on Amazon,  from one of these sites. or from the Book Depository which sends books all over the world for free postage