Guest Post and Giveaway: Captain Merric by Rebecca Cohen

Today I am so pleased to welcome back Rebecca Cohen to Joyfully Jay. Rebecca has come as part of her series of posts about her upcoming release, Captain Merric. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


Here I am again, this time with my third instalment of my merry travels down the road of self-publishing. You can read by previous posts here and here, about extending a short into a novel and the joy *cough* of editing and the process. But today I’m going to talk a little about the black hole that faces me… the publishing platform itself.

Now the internet is full of helpful – and not so helpful – advice about where to publish, using which platform. Whether you go wide or stick to one distribution. To KU or not KU, that is a question, and where you can face the slings and arrows of awkward formatting, all these and many more questions are coming to haunt me.

But it’s not something I can put off much longer. I’m nearly done with the edits, another pass by the main editor and a quick copy edit and I’m done, so time to put on my adult pants and get down to business. Leaving the dreaded formatting to one side (because I have someone who will work their magic in Vellum for me), I have scoured the options of the publishing platforms. I don’t need to tell you that there’s a handful of big players so the question to me is do I want to go as wide as possible and distribute to every stockist or do I want to limit myself to one avenue?

I’ve a lot going on in my non-writing life, some potential big changes which means at least for the next few months I need to not to make things complicated. When I was first going on this adventure I wanted to get the biggest and widest audience I could, plough by efforts into as many options as possible, but like my writing plan, my publishing plan has gone off on a different tangent. Now after lots of contemplation, and flitting back and forth, I came to the conclusion that I need to keep things simple for my first attempt. So I’m going to go down the Amazon path with their KDP option – although I’m still dithering on whether to enrol in Kindle Unlimited or not. If I do go KU I’ll probably start exclusive for 3 months and hope life has settled down enough for me to go wide later.

I’ve heard good and bad things for all the possible options out there. Tell me about your thoughts.


Here’s a brief glimpse of what’s in store (still being edited so bear with me!) – Can Edward persuade Daniel to stay?


Daniel found it difficult to reconcile the charming man by his side with the pirate, Captain Merric, but he wasn’t naïve enough to think Edward could be the only pirate that wasn’t a ruthless scoundrel. “Some of the worse excuses for humans I have met have been aboard a naval vessel. Men punished for the weakest of reasons to keep them in line, some half-starved if they’d crossed the wrong officer. Whatever flag you sail under, a life at sea is not an easy choice.”

Edward smiled sadly. “You were never meant to go to sea. You were supposed to be safe behind a desk at the Admiralty. Once I had finished appeasing my father, I was going to return and we’d find a way for two good friends to share quarters. Keeping everything between us behind a closed door.”

“I remember what was meant to happen. But things changed, and so did I, although not for the better. Unlike you, I am not the whole man I once was. I gave up on a lot of things.”

Edward removed a pocket watch from his coat and held it out in the palm of his hand. “If I am so whole, why have I continued to carry this with me every day?”

Daniel gasped and reached out, picking up the watch. “My grandfather’s pocket watch.”

“I never forgot you. I told myself that if you didn’t want me then I would continue my life with the most it had to offer. But in reality, the reason I never settled down, kept moving from one warm body to the next, was that there was only one person I have ever loved.”

Daniel didn’t know what to do. The sensible man, the captain, inside his head told him not to be stupid, let Edward go, but the young man who wanted happiness had begun to find his voice. “My love for you was never in doubt, if it was the only factor then we would have no problem.”

Edward picked up his hand, threading their fingers together. “Give me another week. Let me show you that we not so different from when we were young men, that we could have what we had once planned.”

He should say no. Insist Edward take him to Jamaica as soon as possible, but he couldn’t. “I cannot help but think I would regret to the end of my days if I were to say no.”

“Then say yes.”


Captain-Merric-use-this-oneDraft blurb for the new Captain Merric (subject to – and very likely to – change):

Set adrift and left to die by his mutinous crew, the last person Daniel Horton, officer in the Royal Navy, expects to come to his rescue is Captain Merric, the infamous pirate. Merric is known as much for stealing his victims’ hearts as their jewels; however, Daniel’s world is about to be turned upside as he recognises Captain Merric as none other than Edward Merriston, a man he’d once loved, lost and grieved for.

Edward can’t believe Daniel Horton is on his ship. Learning that Daniel thought him dead and hadn’t dismissed him all those years ago, Edward will do everything in his power to get Daniel to give them a second chance of happiness. Daniel needs to get back to a British port to save his reputation and to brings his subordinates to justice, but Captain Merric is not about to let him go without a fight.


hel2-2REBECCA COHEN is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.



For your chance to win a copy of the ebook of Captain Merric, once published, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’ll pick the winners (4 in total – one from each post), after the cover reveal in March – so plenty of time to comment.

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  1. This sounds so good! There are some tropes I never tire of and the pirate with the heart of gold is one.

    • Rebecca Cohen says:

      Thanks 😀 I’ve been itching to play with pirates again…. too much fun to leave them sitting on my computer!

  2. Welcome back, Rebecca. I’ve been enjoying your series of posts. Good luck with Captain Merric.

  3. I like second chance romances!

  4. Yess… Pirates, can’t find a good pirate plot these days. This one seems quite catching

    Gograts on new release, Rebecca :)

  5. Paul Wilgus says:

    Thanks for another segment on your journey. The book sounds like it will be a great read!

  6. Nice to read about your book, I hope t oread it.

  7. Sounds like an interesting read. Second chance romances are quite enjoyable reads, all that tension =)

  8. I love historicals and I’m so happy you’re writing another one!
    I just re-read The Crofton Chronicles and I’m looking forward to reading a new book by you!

    • Rebecca Cohen says:

      Thanks, Ulrika! Hope to have this one out in April, and in the summer I hope to release the first in a new series following the Earls of Crofton through the eras… starting with an old friend, Anthony :)

  9. Rebecca Cohen says:

    Thanks, Ulrika! Hope to have this one out in April, and in the summer I hope to release the first in a new series following the Earls of Crofton through the eras… starting with an old friend, Anthony :)

  10. Sounds really good. Unfortunately, I do not know anything about self-publishing, so I do not have any useful advice to share with you… But I’m sure if you persevere it will work!

    • Rebecca Cohen says:

      Thanks, Susana… I am slowly learning and thankfully there are lots of other authors you have been very kind to help! 😀

  11. Purple Reader says:

    Congrats, Rebecca, and thanks for sharing this part of your self-publishing process. I’m just sorry I can’t say anything of help b/c platform are all foreign to me. But what I do know is that I love pirate and historical naval adventures, so I’m sure I’ll love this.

  12. I’ve heard some KU horror stories royalty-wise, though I guess the exposure may counteract that somewhat. Hmmm…

    • Rebecca Cohen says:

      Yeah, it’s a tricky balance. I’m using Captain Merric as a pilot to find my way before I begin releasing a series… hoping to figure it all out :)

  13. Gotta admit, I don’t use KU, and I avoid buying from Amazon unless it’s my only option! I try to buy direct from publishers and authors or go for less restrictive and more author friendly (or so I hear) platforms like Smashwords when I can’t. Plus, then I can usually download and save my files however I like; I don’t share, I promise! I just like to actually own the content I pay for, which Amazon doesn’t really allow. And I just dislike the idea of the monopoly that Amazon is threatening to become. That can’t be a good thing for readers or writers.

    • Rebecca Cohen says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, Ashley – I really appreciate them. I’ve been reading around and there are both lovers and haters of KU… some folks say without KU they’d never have tried some authors, others avoid it like the plague, so it is a real minefield to navigate. I’m thinking of trying it and then go wider later, but in the end it will probably have to boil down to how chaotic real life becomes :) Smashwords I’ve been told is a difficult beast for formatting with D2Digital be an easier prospect (but I haven’t tried it yet!) .

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