As JAFF readers know, the publishing industry has dramatically changed over the past several years with eBooks and self-published authors taking a larger piece of the pie each year. I, myself, prefer to read my stories as eBooks, yet I never considered how this decision may be affecting publishers all over the world.
The Austen brothers, whose story you can read more about in the newly released eBook titled, The Bachelors, belong to an old publishing family in the U.K., where they, like many other older publishing houses, are struggling to keep their business afloat.
I understand the family business is spearheaded by the Austen brothers now, who are in the midst of a private (well, maybe not so private!) family struggle to find a more successful new direction for their company and possibly even a new investor to back them as they head into the future.
The three brothers, Darcy, Bing, and Wick Austen, have joined me today for an exclusive interview to share their plans for the future and to generate some potential business connections for the company. I am meeting them today at a local coffeehouse (As part of our agreement, I can’t divulge the exact location) and I am all anticipation to learn about their hopes for the future and to share what I learn about these gorgeous, I mean accomplished men with my readers. No worries on my behalf, I packed my smelling salts just in case!
Let’s head over to the coffeehouse…
Good morning gentlemen. It’s a real pleasure to have you visit me here to share this exclusive interview with my Just Jane 1813 readers! I’ve heard so much about the intriguing Austen brothers and I know my readers want to learn more about the darling men behind some of our very favorite stories.
Wick: The pleasure is all ours, I assure you.
Darcy: Rolls eyes at Wick’s blatant flirtation Good morning.
Bing: It’s wonderful to meet you. Thank you for inviting us today.
If I am correct, the Austen family has been in the publishing industry since the late 1900’s. What has kept each generation so invested in the family business?
Darcy: In a nutshell? Familial obligation. There is no money in traditional publishing anymore. Consumers want quick fixes and files they can discard. Printed books are soon to become the dinosaurs of the entertainment world, and Austen’s will go extinct with them.
Wick: Interrupts swiftly What my brother is trying to say is that for us Austen’s, publishing is in our blood and runs through our veins. We want to adapt to the challenging climate ahead and bring our beloved family business into the twenty-tens.
Darcy: Good luck with that.
Bing: Coughs As you can tell, we are passionate about Austen’s and are yet to decide on the way forward, but are all in agreement that we only want what’s best for our company.
Your family history is quite impressive, and yet, as an interviewer, I have to bring up the news around town that people in the industry keep talking about in regards to the fact that your business is in a bit of trouble. I hear that you’re looking to find an investor willing to help you get the business back on track. Do you care to share with my readers your plans for the next chapter in your business?
Wick: Glares at the eldest Austen I must apologise for the terseness of my brother’s replies. He has been under a lot of stress recently, and we’d appreciate if you left that comment out of your final piece. We have a six-month plan that we are not at liberty to divulge at the moment, but you can assure your readers that this isn’t the end for Austen’s Bookstores.
Darcy: Aren’t at liberty to divulge? Are you listening to yourself? You haven’t got a plan, and you won’t have one in the next six-months. This is all a bloody farce. It’s time to grow up, Wick.
Bing: Could you, ah, strike that last sentence from the final piece too? You know how it gets between brothers. Smiles endearingly
I am sensing some tension in the direction that the three of you want to focus the company towards? Is this due to some of the pressures that your parents are placing upon each of you in regards to their interests in the business?
Bing: Our father has passed over the reins and is enjoying his retirement. He knows we have the best interests of the business at heart.
Wick: Mother and father both believe in my plans for Austen’s and fully back my six-month timescale.
Darcy: Snorts You don’t have a plan.
Wick: Yes, I do.
Darcy: No, you don’t.
Bing: Darcy, we should give him a chance to—
Darcy: Do what? Hammer the final nail into Austen’s coffin? We should sell up, and reinvest while we still can.
Wick: Bangs fist on the table I have a plan, God dammit. You’re a stubborn prick for not listening, and you’re ruining this interview. But, what else do we expect from the mighty Darcy Austen? If it’s not your way, it’s the highway.
Bing: Can we strike that from the final piece? Our parents fully support our plans going forward.
It sounds like you all have very compelling reasons for wanting to move in these directions with your company. As an avid reader, I can certainly understand your passion for the written word! But I’ve heard a rumor that I wanted to have answered directly by the three of you. Is it true that there have been occasions where at least one of you has been seen enjoying the pleasures of reading an e-Book?
Wick: Never. I’ll die with a paperback in my hand. Darcy only reads the financial press, but Bing has been known to hide an e-reader under his bed.
Bing Blushes It’s a tablet.
Wick: Same thing.
Darcy: You’ll argue about anything.
I know the work of a family library doesn’t happen overnight. Is it true that the Austen family library is the work of numerous generations and that you, Darcy, have played a particular role in expanding this impressive collection?
Wick: He buys first editions as investments.
Darcy: I buy first editions for their history and preservation.
Wick: Like I said, investments.
Bing: Darcy has worked with my father for many years and expanded our home library. Each generation of Austen’s add to it, and it’s a focal point of our family home. You’re welcome to visit. I’m sure our mother would love to give you a tour.
Darcy: Yes, mother does love to show off—
Bing: Finishes his elder brother’s sentence Our history and loves visitors.
Wow, that is impressive! Would you treat my readers to an exclusive look at this collection?
I’m sure as bibliophiles you’ve been asked this before, but I just can’t help myself… Is there any relationship between your family and the author, Jane Austen?
Wick: We get asked this a lot. Our Grandfather always told us that—
Darcy: The short and truthful answer is no.
Wick: Why do you always interrupt me? Grandfather loved to tell this story, and I believe the readers would like to hear it.
Darcy: But it’s all over exaggeration and lies. I believe the readers would much prefer the truth.
Bing: Again, if we could… yeah, strike that part. We’d love there to be a connection, but unfortunately, there is no relationship between us and the might Miss Jane Austen.
Does your library contain any special editions of Jane Austen’s works?
Darcy: Austen was my Grandmother’s favourite author, and there are many of her works contained within our home library including a first edition Pride and Prejudice which was her most beloved possession.
Well, now that we’re on the subject of Miss Austen, I am reminded of the quote, “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” It’s actually a quote from Pride and Prejudice, which I’m sure you’re familiar with.
Darcy: I believe Miss Austen hit the nail on the head. Women are fickle creatures.
Wick: I’d prefer to call them, passionate.
Bing: I believe most women prefer romance. Men too, if they are honest.
Darcy: Not this man.
Wick: Oh, we know that. God help the woman that attempts to catch your eye.
Darcy: And God help the one that attracts your gaze. Then again, with the attention span of a fish, they won’t have to put up with you for long, will they brother?
My sources tell me that the three Austen brothers have been seen spending more and more of their time with the Bennet sisters. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that these sisters socialize within a very exclusive circle, yet could the rumours be true that there is an impending merger of a very personal nature that’s about to take place between your two families?
Darcy: No comment.
Wick: Smirks No comment.
Bing: Smiles bashfully No comment.
You’re awfully quiet, Darcy. Is there no Bennet sister that is tolerable enough for you?
Darcy: Stuck-up, ice-princesses aren’t my thing. It takes more than a fine pair of eyes to entice me.
Wick: Sucks to be blown-off, doesn’t it brother? Tell me, has Eliza returned your balls to you yet?
Darcy: Why? Has Lydia finally given back yours? Oh no, that’s right, she keeps them in her pocket, along with your dignity.
Bing: Can I get anyone another coffee?
I’ve heard the eldest sister, Eliza Bennet, is a quite a force to be reckoned with. Does she stand in the way of moving forward with any of your business plans?
Wick: She’d like to try, but she will fail.
Darcy: Like I’ve said before, firstly, we’d need a solid plan to move forward, and despite Wick’s protests, he’s yet to deliver.
Wick: Eliza isn’t the only formidable Bennet sister.
Bing: The Bennet sisters are each capable, amazing women who uphold their family’s name with dignity, success, and respect.
Darcy: Snorts Even Lydia?
Wick: Leave Lydia out of this.
Thank you for meeting me here to chat about books, Bennets, and all things Austen! I know you have to head back to the office, so I will stay here to review and type up my notes in order to get ready to hit “Publish” to share the scoop with my Just Jane 1813 readers.
Darcy: We’d appreciate a draft copy be sent to our publicist before print.
Wick: Do you need headshots for the article? I find I’m better in profile. If you’d like, I can send over a preapproved press pack?
Bing: We are so very thankful that you took time out of your day to interview us. It’s been a pleasure. If you or your readers need anything further, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
I look forward to reading about your successes and who knows, maybe you’ll have some announcements of a more personal nature to share with the world soon too… (wink, wink, nudge, nudge!)
Here’s the book description for The Bachelors:
It is a well-known fact that a single man without a penny to his name must be in want of a rich wife.
Darcy, Bingham and Wick Austen are about to lose the family business.
Without a miracle or a substantial cash investment, Austen’s—the bookstore chain that was established by their great-great-grandfather—will go into receivership.
A chance encounter at a charity ball with the attractive, single and filthy-rich Bennet sisters has Wick Austen convincing his brothers that the way to save their livelihoods rests at the Bennet’s red-soled-shoe clad feet.
But these three women are far more than your average, simpering, society-loving heiresses.
Darcy isn’t so sure about his youngest brother’s plan, especially when the smart, feisty and ridiculously sexy Eliza Bennet shoots down his advances in a ball of flames, and accuses him of being a proud and egotistical jerk.
Meanwhile, Bingham meets the sweet and approachable Jane, and insta-love ensues, and Wick gets used up and spat out by the youngest and most flighty sister, Lydia.
Will the Austen bachelors secure a wife and save the family name or will they become the Bennet sister’s latest conquests?
*Inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, The Bachelors is a contemporary twist with added naughtiness*
Meet E.S. Carter
Her family joke that she was born with a book in her hand, and the urge to write stories soon followed.
It’s Giveaway Time
I am offering an eBook of The Bachelors to one Just Jane 1813 reader. Please leave a question or a comment for our bachelors today to enter this giveaway no later than ET at midnight, December 10. The winner will be announced on this blog on December 11, 2017.
I’d like to thank E.S. Carter for writing such a fun story based on Pride and Prejudice and for allowing me to interview her characters!