When the Algorithm Works

Sometimes I buy my own books on Amazon. There are a few reasons for this, the primary one being that some publishers, like Kensington, never give me finished digital versions of my books. That means that the last version I’ll have of any of my Kensington books is the Word document where I reviewed copy edits. Yeah, I can accept all changes and make a reading version to send to my Kindle – and sometimes I do that – but the formatting is funky and there can be distracting errors. So, if I want to revisit one of my books and read it on my Kindle (like if I’m not at home to grab the paper copy, or if I want to search for something and not read on my laptop) then it sometimes makes sense just to buy the ebook.

Yes, it IS kind of weird to buy my own ebook.

But, I figured I get some of that money back in royalties, and it gives the book a bump in the Amazon algorithm, which never hurts.

So, I did this last week with THE TALON OF THE HAWK. I’d just finished reading Kennedy Ryan’s LONG SHOT, which deals with an abusive marriage (and is *excellent*), and it got me thinking about how I dealt with recovery and healing from sexual assault. This isn’t something I mentioned about THE TALON OF THE HAWK for a long time, because it felt spoilery, but the book has been out for enough time now that I think I can. The heroine, Ursula, suffered sexual abuse in her youth and wrestles with the scars it left behind. I wanted to reread what I did as a foil to what Kennedy Ryan did in her book.

It was an interesting exercise, and I learned quite a few things about my own writing.

Anyway, today, I got this email from Amazon with “Since you read THE TALON OF THE HAWK.” I get these all the time, as we all do, and I never open them because Amazon is always wrong. This time, though, I thought I should look, just to *see* what their AI thinks is like my book. Thus the screen shot above.

The Tessa Dare historical romance is a bit of an outlier – though I don’t care since Tessa is wonderful – but otherwise it’s pretty damn close! Go figure. And I’m pretty chuffed to be listed with Anne Bishop and Seanan McGuire! And Jessie Mihalik is my agent-sister and an awesome writer of SFR.

I’m over at The Romance of Reading Facebook page today, talking about The Magic of Books. I’m also doing some book giveaways, so come on by and chat!

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