I completely understand that this can feel frustrating and alienating. Unfortunately my publishers decide which of my books go on sale when, how, and to whom. Of course I would personally prefer that everything to do with my books is as international as possible, but it’s not under my control. I’m really sorry about this.
As above, I’m aware that this is seriously non-ideal for readers not based in the US and Canada. Unfortunately giveaways are actually subject to gambling laws, which are complicated and vary from country to country. Because of this it is borderline impossible for a US-based publisher (and most of my publishers are US-based) to host international giveaways.
Again, I’m really sorry about this.
Why is a particular book not available for pre-order yet in a particular format or a particular region?
Mostly because it takes a while for all the various distribution channels to synch up with each other. Please just be patient (and try not to shout at Mary) and the book will appear in your region/preferred format. There is nothing I (or anybody) can do to speed this process up I’m afraid.
The only exceptions to this rule are:
- e-books/audiobooks published by Montlake will only be available from Amazon/Audible. (Paperbacks may be available from non-Amazon retailers.)
- e-books/audiobooks published by Kobo will only be available from Kobo.
- if I am working with both a British and a US publisher, while audio and e-book dates will match, the UK edition of the paperback may sometimes come out later.
If an exact release date can’t be found on either my website, book retailers (specifically Amazon), or Goodreads, then there isn’t one just yet. But, as with all book news, I will make sure I shout loudly about things when there’s something I can shout loudly about!
Because that’s just the way traditional publishing works. Publishers will not only be publishing what’s been announced; there will be other books by other authors, too. And all of those books will have various people working on them at various stages, with everyone needing time to do their jobs.
This sort of thing very much depends on the publisher, though most publishers will aim for global distribution across the English-speaking parts of the world. The best way to find out if a book of mine is, or will be, available in your region is to look it up on Google, Amazon or the equivalent. I’m sorry I can’t offer more specific guidance here but the world is a big place and geo-locking means I can’t always see what’s available in individual countries.
I’m afraid I’m not involved at all in the distribution of ARCs of my work. I leave this entirely to my publishers so you’ll have to go via one of the ARC-request services (NetGalley or Edelweiss) or contact the publisher directly. I don’t think it’s right for me to intervene in this process because a) I am getting in the way the publisher doing their job and b) it would inadvertently set up a two-tier system of ARC-distribution between those who felt confident enough to approach the author, and those who didn’t. And I do believe ARC-distribution should be as fair as possible.
I’m even further removed from the audiocode side of things because this either is a different department in the publishing house or an audiobook production company that the publisher liaises with on my behalf. Once again, for audiocodes you’ll have to make a direct approach.
I do hope you understand.
What a great question! Blue Willow, despite being a whole ocean and different time zone away from me, is essentially my “home” bookshop now. What this means in practical terms for readers is they are the first port of call if you want preorder goodies and/or signed bookplates. A special page has even been set up on their website with all the relevant information. Needless to say I’m thrilled to be working with Blue Willow in perpetuity—or until they get sick of me!
Can I preorder your book at Blue Willow before any goodies are announced and still get the goodies?
Yes! At this point Blue Willow bookshop is basically my “home” store, so if you want to secure preorder goodies (even before they’re announced) you should definitely preorder from them. The only way goodies will not be available is if my publisher doesn’t do them or if the book is published by Montlake (like the Something Something series) who are owned by Amazon and will therefore want the bulk of preorders to be on, um, Amazon.
Um, because those are the American international shipping costs?
Seriously, though, the international shipping rates are beyond either my or Blue Willow’s control. They provide international shipping at cost but, as they are an independent retailer they are still unlikely to be able to able to offer rates as low as large, multinational corporations. I am fully aware that the price of shipping from the Blue Willow is prohibitively high for readers outside the US but there are many retailers across the world where my work is also available for order and preorder (you can find links to some of these retailers via the book pages on this website or courtesy of your friend, Google).
Obviously these retailers may not be offering pre-order incentives like Blue Willow but I don’t have control over that. For more information about how pre-order incentives work please visit the following FAQ: will you do any preorder incentives for readers outside the US?
Everything to do with preorder incentives is arranged by my publishers. I totally understand why it feels like international readers are ignored/not valued—but I promise you that is not the case. Unfortunately, the reality is US-based bookshops tend to be more amenable to working with publishers when it comes to doing preorder incentives. With the exception of Words & Kisses in the UK, there isn’t an abundance of romance-only/friendly bookshops outside of the US. However, if you know or are a romance-friendly bookshop outside the US, please don’t hesitate to get in contact if you’d like to work with me in future!
Your best chance of getting a signed book is to keep an eye out for promotions organised by my publishers. Occasionally I will do a giveaway (which is always open internationally). And in 2021 I did a little thing where readers were able to buy signed books with all the proceeds going to charity. (This may become a yearly thing—though don’t hold me to that!)
You can! Custom signed bookplates are available when you buy my books from Blue Willow.
A signed bookplate is still signed! It’s still real. It’s still me signing my name. I’m really not sure why what you’re writing on determines the legitimacy of a signature and I feel it’s probably a little bit ableist to imply that things are inherently less valuable if they’re not done a certain way. Not everyone is in a position where they can physically receive things to sign or can sign all the things.
Not all of my work is available in all formats and all territories at all times. In general, if it’s not there, it’s not available, but a search engine is your friend here, as is my books page, which Mary and I try to keep updated with links to my available work.
That said, please do be aware that some of my books have had multiple editions and you can occasionally find paperback variants of early editions going for hundreds and hundreds of pounds on second handbook sites. Do not, under any circumstances, purchase these – unless you are specifically looking for a first edition for some reason. My books are, and should be, available for reasonable prices.
Will there be an audio version of a particular book and will you be able to get a particular narrator to narrate it?
I’m afraid I don’t have control over either of these factors. I sincerely understand the value of a stellar audio performance, and I’m grateful to all the actors who have narrated my books so wonderfully, but it’s not within my power to insist that an audiobook is released, or that it is narrated by a particular person.
Whatever you’re about to ask, whether it’s about format, actors, the screenplay, the distributor or anything else, the answer is “I don’t have control over that part of the process.” And even if I did, I know sod all about screenwriting. If one of my books was ever optioned for film or TV (which is super rare, and even if a book gets optioned, it’s even rarer that it would actually get made) I would under no circumstances attempt to micromanage other professional people trying to do the jobs in an area where they have far more experience than me.
Well, that would be a bit rubbish. But I’d still be very, very paid. And while I take my work seriously on my own behalf, I can’t be responsible for what other people do with it. Plus getting paid means I am more likely to be able to continue to write books because publishers like authors who make money. So while I wouldn’t say I was cynical about potential future adaptions, I am aware that (nearly!) anything that draws attention to an author’s career is broadly positive for the author, as is anything that makes money for the publisher. Though obviously I’m not saying any of this in a moral vacuum. If I ate a live shark that would probably generate a fair bit of attention, but not in any kind of useful or appropriate way.
I don’t like the cover / audio narrator / paper quality etc. of a particular book. What are you going to do about it?
Um. Nothing I’m afraid? You’re very entitled to those feelings, and I would never argue with you about them, but these are all aspects of book production, packaging and secondary media that I have very little control over. It goes without saying that I don’t love every cover I’ve ever received, or every aspect of every piece of secondary media associated with my books, but they were still created by someone. Being rude about that in public, whatever my personal tastes, would be really gross?
Again, that’s totally your right. And you have plenty of places to express that, be it by Amazon review, your personal social media or on Goodreads, none of which need to be directly into my face. I mean, obviously if you do want to tell me this directly to my face or by making sure I’m copied into your scathing review that’s also your right. I’m not going to argue with you or impinge upon your reader space. But do be aware, you’re probably going to come across as though you’re behaving quite rudely to me, which will be uncomfortable for both of us.
Maybe? While I wish and hope all of my books are made available to as many readers as possible, I’m afraid I don’t have any control over which of my books get translated into which languages. But if it’s possible for a particular translation to happen then it definitely will. You can find all current translated editions listed on the individual book page for each of my books.
I heard you shared [x] in an older newsletter, as a recent subscriber is there a way for me access it?
Unfortunately no. I’m afraid I don’t have an archive system in place so once something is shared that’s kind of it? Plus, certain things that are shared are very much treats for subscribers and I sort of feel if I made everything available all the time it would make the treat-y things feel less treat-y.
Thank you for wanting to support me beyond my books, I’m super grateful. <3 I have so much respect and admiration for creative types who can and do make the Patreon model work. But I think I’d be … pretty terrible at it, working under that sort of pressure. So no Patreon for me.
That is incredibly thoughtful of you, but every time a reader buys / reads / reviews / talks about one of books, they are going above and beyond when it comes to supporting me. So I wouldn’t feel comfortable accepting anything more. Thank you very, very much, though. <3
I’m afraid that’s something I have no control over as publishers decide formats. However, Mortal Follies, my sapphic romantasy, has been published in hardcover!
This is not something that lies within my control. The rights to special editions belong with my publishers and the companies that produce special edition versions of published books work with my publishers, not with me directly. Obviously, it is very gratifying when a company decides there is sufficient demand for a special edition of a particular book, but it is not my place to make promises to readers on the likelihood of this happening.
I’m afraid this is a question for the company creating the special edition. While I understand delays are frustrating for readers, I have no direct oversight of these processes.
I am not responsible for the cost of international shipping. I understand special editions are already luxury items, so high postage costs on top of that may be too much for some readers. Please always make financial decisions that make sense for you as an individual.
I have no control over this whatsoever. A subscription box is basically just someone buying my books in bulk directly from the publisher and selling them on. I can no more influence which subscription boxes choose to include than I can influence which branches of which bookshops choose to stock me.
Whatever I happen to feel regarding special editions, it is not within my power to prevent a publisher from selling those rights as they see fit. When it comes to the existence of special editions, however, it is important to remember that they exist alongside the “standard” editions of the work and readers are wholly within their rights to purchase or not purchase them as they please. As a point of principle, while special editions of my work may contain some minor customisation (e.g. a letter from the author) they will never contain anything vital to the story itself. The standard edition of the book will always be the whole and correct version of the text.
I think it’s super important to remember that the restriction tool doesn’t really change anything when it comes to how the person restricted uses Instagram: it just means there will sometimes be a minor delay between you commenting and that comment appearing, just like if one of your blog comments got caught in a moderation queue for a bit. In terms of me and my use of restricting accounts, I’m actually fairly liberal with this tool precisely because it helps me manage my social media and doesn’t change anything for readers. It might mean you said something to me I didn’t know how to answer or engage with, or it might be on logistical grounds if you’re commenting a lot or commenting from multiple accounts, as it helps me manage the comment section on my posts. Whatever the reason, though, it’s not meant to be personal, insulting or hurtful in any way so please don’t take it that way. It’s just something I’m using to help me with my social media.
I realise discovering that I may have blocked you on one or more social media platforms might not feel especially great, but the most important take-away here is that it’s not personal. Ultimately my social media needs to feel at least moderately safe in order for me to be able to use it, which means making extensive use of the tools available to me, like muting, restricting and blocking. But, again, that’s about me and my space. It’s not about you.
As to the whys and wherefores, the most likely explanation is that you tagged me in something you shouldn’t have tagged me in, like a negative review (please don’t misunderstand: I fully support your right to say whatever you like about my books, but I also support my own right to control what I see on my social media), or you said something kinda gross to me on multiple occasions (or, rather, that you said something that came across to me as kinda gross: I’m sure you didn’t actually intend to, but it’s hard to know how to address that).
Please do understand that I’m not a punitive blocker. It’s not my business what you say about me, or my books, in your own spaces. I think it’s perfectly normal for readers to love some aspects of an author’s work and not others, although, for the record, I will think it’s kind of weird if you’re very viscerally 100% hating me everywhere except to my face. All I’m really attempting to do is create some boundaries around the things people get to say directly *to* me, especially if they’re saying hurtful or uncomfortable-making things (however accidentally) or flagrantly disregarding the “don’t tag authors in negative reviews” convention.
Of course, I’m also well-aware that people make mistakes, and perhaps something you posted or tagged me in came across badly to me in ways which you didn’t intend. Mary and I try to err on the side of assuming the best but tone is hard to read on social media and, unfortunately, we can’t always take good faith for granted.
If you want to open a dialogue about this you’re more than welcome to email Mary. Just be aware that this does not guarantee an unblocking and, while I will in no way expect a walk of social media shame, I will need you to try and understand where I was coming from as regards the block in the first place. The conversation will not go well if you insist that the problem is me being over-sensitive, failing to recognise you were joking, or that it was totes cool to call me [slur] because you call your friends [slur] all the time. I don’t actually like blocking people, but I don’t feel I need to defend my right to protect myself in my own online spaces.
In terms of why I moved to block, rather than addressing the problem with you directly: I’ve tried to do this in the past and I can count on the fingers of ZERO hands the times it has gone well for either of us. I just think there’s no scenario in the world in which Alexis Hall, sliding into your DMs, to express mild consternation over something you’ve said is going to feel good. At best, it’ll be upsetting, at worst it’ll be that a random author came into your space explicitly to criticise you. Honestly, I don’t want to have that argument with you and you don’t want to have it with me.
That’s why I’m leaving the metaphorical sports thing in your metaphorical sports court. If you feel a conversation is warranted here, it will have to be on your terms. Mary’s email is open and we are listening.