DFRAT Guest Post Lindsay Townsend

Today we have Lindsey Townsend on sharing her thoughts on digital publishing. She is also giving away a book so don’t forget to leave her a comment. 

The Delights of Digital Publishing 

All my publishers – Kensington Zebra, Siren-Bookstrand, Ellora’s Cave, Muse It Up Publishing – are digital publishers. Some, like Kensington Zebra, are print first but they all have a digital arm. What advantages has digital publishing to offer to readers and writers?

To readers, the expansion of digital publishing has meant more choice, 24 hour choice, more genres, different kinds of stories and cheaper books. It’s a wonderful time to be a reader! If a writer is unknown to you, then you can digitally download a free sample before you buy. Ereaders such as Kindle and Nook mean that readers can select what they want to read at any time and almost in any place, plus storage is no longer a problem.

For writers, digital publishing has also meant more choice. Working with my own publishers, digital publishing has meant that things like editing and proof reading becomes easier as edits can be passed to me electronically, in the blink of an eye. Being a Brit living and working in the UK with USA and Canadian based publishers the transfer of edits, proofs, manuscripts and eventual royalties by electronic means is faster and cheaper for everyone. Cheaper prices for ebooks also means that readers are more tempted to buy, which is also good for me!

The rise of digital publishing has also meant a revival of the short story and novella as forms of fiction writing. I am especially fond of novellas in the romance genre, where a writer can really focus in on the main relationship and develop a story arc about that. Novellas are also good for readers in that again a reader can try a new writer in a shorter form to see if the writer’s voice appeals. I write both full length novels and novellas and find a great freedom in both. Novellas allow me to try out different romance genres.

Each of my publishers have their own styles and I’ve found working with each very rewarding and helpful to my writing. One of the other delights of digital publishing for me is that cover art is often discussed with the writer and input on cover art is welcomed. In traditional print publishing, this rarely happens. The relationship between author and publisher feels much more of a partnership in digital publishing. As an author, I also loved the increased royalty rate that digital publishing provides. A traditional print book may bring me a royalty of 6%. With digital publishing it is closer to 40% and with digital self-publishing even more.

I think that digital publishing is a delight and love being part of this great revolution in reading.

BLURB FOR ‘MISDUMMER MAID’. (Sweet historical romance novella)

Together, can their love defy the world? At Midsummer all things are possible…

He was a woodsman, a forester, a good man but cursed with the mark of the devil on his face and shunned by many. She was a dairy-maid, caring and brave, who feared no one.

Drawn to each other on a long and fateful Midsummer Day, can Haakon and Clare overcome the superstitions of their village and the brutal, lecherous knights to break out of their bonds of class and custom and to strive for a better life – together?


Haakon was a woodsman, a forester. He had cared for his parents until they had both died last winter and then given away his younger sister at her wedding this spring. He was lonely in his simple hovel, but not unhappy, because Clare had returned to the village.

“Clare,” Haakon said aloud, for the pleasure of speaking her name. “Clare.”

Clare was the daughter of Agnes, the wet-nurse, sent back from the castle this summer by the lord’s new lady, who disliked well-favored girls. With glowing brown hair and hazel eyes, Clare seemed an unlikely dairy maid, being so small and slender, but the beasts were docile with her. Who would not be, when tended by such nimble, smooth hands?

Haakon smiled and shook his head and returned to his sawing, working surely amidst the coppiced ash boles. Clare was a sweet wonder, with a ready smile and an easy laugh, even for him, but he had no illusions. He had work and a good, solid house, but she would never marry him. He had the mark of the devil on his face, a red stain stretching over half his chin. Even his beard did not cover it, for he was fair, with face hair as fine as a baby’s fuzz. He went about clean-shaven now, ignoring the stares.

Clare had not stared, nor made the sign of the cross against him. Driving a cow along the track running close to the woodland, she would nod to him and raise a hand in greeting. She did this each time he met her, and he took care that they met every day.

Today he had not seen her, but reminded himself that he would not until later. He worked early, to finish this task, although it was the eve of a holy day when by custom there should be no work. The lord had wanted fresh ash poles for a bower at the castle bailey. Haakon had warned that the tree might sicken through being cut so late, but the lord had brushed the matter aside. His lady wanted a bower, filled with flowers and arched over with honeysuckle, and she would have it.

Haakon stopped to rest his aching back and straightened, raising his saw above his head as he stretched and cracked his shoulders. He disliked the lord’s new lady, although he had never seen her. She had brought new things to the castle and new people, amongst them a rowdy younger brother, Edwin, a squire, who bullied all those smaller and weaker than himself. Still, he could not despise completely the lady who had returned Clare to the village.

He heard a blackbird give its alarm at the edge of the wood and knew the castle steward and his men approached.

“Soon be done,” he told himself, sawing anew, “then it is a dip in the stream for me and a climb to the bonfire field.”

Clare might be there already, garlanded with flowers. He thought it only right that she had been chosen as the June Lady of the village, for she was as bonny as a rose.

She will speak to me and smile, and the day will be bright. He grinned, hauling the cut poles to the waiting steward.




  1. Aurore

    I love ebooks, too. There are so many advantages for everybody, it’s just great. Thank you for the excerpt. “Midsummer Maid” sounds really sweet, I already love Haakon!

  2. Lindsay Townsend

    Thanks to The Book Reading Gals for having me here today! Good luck with the event!
    Hi Aurore – I agree. My hubby recently bought me a kindle after we’ve been sharing one for a while and we both love ebooks.
    Thanks for your kind comments re Haakon and my ‘Midsummer Maid’ – good luck in the giveaway draw.

  3. Kimm

    Great post, Lindsay. Having resisted buying a Kindle out of loyalty to paper forms, I can now say I’m completely hooked! My e-reader is light, packed with exciting things to read and doesn’t shut on me when I’m eating my breakfast ;o)

  4. Rosemary Gemmell

    I completely agree with all you say about digital publishing, Lindsay – I’ve had very positive experiences and love the variety! Midsummer Maid sounds lovely.

  5. Christina Courtenay

    Great post, Lindsay, although I have to admit my first love is – and will always be – real books! As you say though, e-books are a great way to try out new authors and genres, so I have a Kindle for that purpose (and for the stories that are e-book only) and when I find new authors I like, I buy their books. It’s exciting to be a part of this new technology, isn’t it!

  6. erin o'quinn

    Dear Lindsay,

    Here I sit amidst more than 10 thousand books–the accumulation of my husband and myself over years of hoarding the printed word. And what do I find myself reading 90 percent of the time? E books! The pages are easy to turn, the print is large for my aging eyes, and as you say the storage is infinitesimal. I agree with you that, as a writer, the e-format makes communication easy and instantaneous.

    And your newest novella sounds delicious. I love the way you develop characters, with the accent on “care”–men and women who win a reader’s heart and whose actions deeply matter in the realm of our imagination.

    All best to you, Lindsay, in your writing and in the ongoing success of your many books. Slán…Erin O’Quinn

  7. Linda Banche

    Hi Lindsay, congrats on your release!

    Digital publishing is here to stay. All those naysayers of only a few years ago were wrong, and I’m glad the controversy has died down. Paper books will never die, but there’s no reason why paper and ebooks can’t exist together peacefully. And now that ebooks are going into libraries, too, everyone has access to a lot more books.

  8. Carol

    How nice to see a historical with the main characters just normal people rather than nobility.

  9. Mina Gerhart

    Great post Lindsay,
    I got a Kindle when they first came out & havn’t regretted it . I work 3rd shift at an MR facility & enjoy the choice of books I can carry with me on my Kindle. I still do get paper and ind books but not as many as B.K. (before Kindle 😉 )
    I LOVE the excerpt from Midsummer Maid, Haakon sounds like an unusual hero.
    Mindy 🙂

  10. Lindsay Townsend

    Thanks so much, my fellow readers and writers, for all your positive comments! I love ebooks – the variety, the way I can get them so easily, the ease of storage. 10,000 books, Erin! Wow!
    I like characters who are ‘normal’ not royal.
    BK – before Kindle – I think that expression will certainly catch on!

    Paper books are great for research – my research books tend to be paper because I find it easier to ‘flip through’ but for reading, once I’m in that magic world, I really don’t care if it’s print or ebook.

    Hope everyone has fun with their reading and discovering! Good luck with the contest, too. As soon as I hear anything about a result, I’ll be letting the person know and sending an ARC.

    Thanks again for taking part and commenting!

    Best wishes, Lindsay

  11. Cheryl B. Dale

    Didn’t think I’d like an ereader till I got a Kindle. Now it’s hard to read regular books!

  12. Gilli Allan

    I love ‘real’ books, as Christina calls them. But like Erin said, the accumulation of books becomes ridiculous. I’ve always been a bit of a luddite but I love my Kindle, it’s allowed me to make a decision about whether I buy a real book and add to the already groaning bookshelves, or an e-book. I particularly use my kindle for books I wouldn’t otherwise try out, and for holiday reading. I
    I don’t think the full import of the e-revolution has yet hit us. Goddness knows what the world will be like in another ten or twenty years.

  13. David Russell

    Are you interested in reading any of my ‘soft vanilla’ romance

  14. JenM

    That excerpt sounded lovely. I love historicals that focus on “ordinary” people. I was an early ebook convert and if I had my way, that’s all I’d ever read.


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