Thursday, September 27, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison and Parajunkee.

Q: What is the BIGGEST word you've seen used in a book lately - that made you stop and look it up? Might as well leave the definition & book too.

I guess because I ready mostly YA, I haven't had to look a word up since 2010. I don't remember the book or even the word. But for a while I kept a chart of words and definitions, so I know I have had to look up a word.

If you stop by, please leave a link so I can visit you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How I Feel About the Book Industry

Substitute "drunk girls" with nerd girls, and these are my thoughts exactly.

Edited: This was supposed to be funny. But I see I've gotten pageviews w//o comments, so I'm sorry if I offended anyone.

Monday, September 24, 2012


I've got questions & I'm seriously hoping you have answers!

  1.  I have a couple of other blog pages, but I can't seem to get them to show up anywhere, though I've published them. Does anyone know how to do this?
  2. Can someone tell me how to make a button?
  3. Marketing-- How do you market a book in a genre you have no contacts in?
  4. Has anyone ever paid to have a blog tour organized? What could one expect to pay for this?
  5. I had more questions than this, but can't remember the rest. Which probably means I'll be doing the same post again in the near future.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee.

Q: What hyped up book was worth all of the fuss?

TWILIGHT. Sure, lots of others were, but after I fell in love with Twilight, I started a book blog. Meaning, lots of times I read the book before the hype. Ha! ;)

OH... If you like to review "sweet romance," please let me know in the comments. I may have a short fix for you ;)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On Digital Rights Management (It Doesn't Say What You Think It Does)

Before we get started, you can find an excerpt of Kismet at the Daily Harrell.

I think for an author I may have a unique view on digital rights management and piracy. I don't like DRM. I don't hate piracy. Yep. I said it. Hear me out, before you call me crazy.

DRM often limits the devices a reader can access your story on. That means if I want to buy your book, but your DRM software doesn't work with my reading device of choice, I'm probably not going to buy your book. If I do, and I can't read it or have a hard time reading it, I associate your name with a reading process that is a pain in the butt. Even if I associate your name with a story I love--it was still a pain in the butt. If I only liked the story, it wouldn't be worth it. In short, I think DRM can cost an author sells.

Piracy may cost an author sells, but it offers exposure. Yes, I know. Stealing is stealing. On the flip side, most people aren't willing to spend money on an author they don't know. If a reader finds your work for free from a slightly less than legal source, you may become his/her new favorite author. You wrote a book they illegally borrowed, but books are usually out legally long before they're available illegally. If someone loved your work (which they wouldn't have seen otherwise), they are likely to buy your next work, and the one after that, and the one after that. Don't get me wrong. I understand the business sense, that we have to be careful about how many books we give away, and I don't like the idea of a website making money off my work and me not. I just think when we consider DRM software, we need to think it through. Are we willing to give a book away for discoverability? Do we want to protect our work to the point of losing potential readers? Also, lots of times downloads come from countries where the book isn't legally available, so did we actually lose anything?

For what's it's worth my thought is that you should copyright protect your work. You should not use DRM. If my work is being illegally given away for free and still has my name on the cover, I don't care that much (unless and until I'm a best seller--then things get more complicated). If my work is being given away for free with someone else's name on the cover, I've copyrighted, so that will change and I will be paid restitution. If my work is being sold illegally, I sue.

What are your thoughts on DRM?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On Setting

First off, congratulations to Ruth. She won my contest hosted by Kelly Hashway.

I've never understood that common thought in the writing community that setting should be another character. I've often thought setting wasn't really that important. Yet, I've often been told I'm good at setting. Ironic, because the  only thing I've ever really done to achieve a "quality" setting is write places and cultures I know.

I recently realized whether I knew it or not I've been good at setting, because I understood one thing. Whether a writer a hits you over the head with setting or not, a story takes place where it does for a reason. It could only happen to these characters in this setting. My husband's family is visiting from India right now. They've made it perfectly clear they're not fans of U.S. culture. My father-in-law picked my copy of Climbing the Stairs up and began reading it. Denying the whole time, that it's a romance novel. Finally, he admitted it was a romance, but there was a lot about Indian culture woven into it. This is true, because it's set in India during World War II. In that moment, I realized all books have culture woven intricately into them. A story can only happen in that setting.

That's when I realized I'm good at setting, because I write places I know well. I set stories in a culture I understand (a culture that I don't always agree with). When I start a new story, I think where does it make sense for this to happen. My brain links back to places I've lived and things I've seen and generates a match. This will almost always be in the South, since that's where I spent most of my life. Once I know my character's world, I move on to writing. That's it. That's all I do to be "good" at setting.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me & Kismet Release

It is 9/11. I am 28 today, and Kismet is now available!

If you don't know what to get me, buy my book ;). LOL Just joking, but it would be nice though :D.

Tiffany is a hard-working accountant with no time for love. After escaping her sister's too wild Cancun bachelorette party, she meets a local guy, Luke in the bar. When they're forced to spend time together, Tiffany lets her guard down, but she still has to return to the US in two days. Will the airport be their final goodbye? 

The tour kicks off tomorrow on Kelly Hashway's Blog. I'll be giving away a couple of books, so please drop by and say hi. And I still have a few reviewer copies of Kismet to give away, so if you're interested email me at bethfred08(at) with a link to your blog. Thanks! 

Buy Links

Chocolate Blogfest

The chocofest is being hosted by M. Pax, Ciara Knight, Laura Eno, and Brinda Berry.

I could talk all day about chocolate! I already really liked him, but I think if you could pinpoint one moment I fell in love with my husband at a chocolate festival.  I planned to post the picture of us both in our early twenties with Willy Wonka standing between us. But it seems to be mia! Cries.

So I'll talk about my favorite chocolate and this is going to be hard. Because, I love so many chocolates. Lindt and Lindor are among my favorite. Dove is a good cheap fix.  But I think the chocolate I love most is The Melting Pot's turtle flambe when done right. (I have to say when done right, because the last time the waitress forgot the thinner and it never reached it's peak). There is something about that chocolate combination that I love. It's so mily good you just want to swim in it (or I do at least) and then it's served with all those goodies!

Friday, September 7, 2012

In Which I Mercilessly Beg For Your Help Again

No. I'm not asking for free promotions, (though I'm not turning any down either). I'm not asking you to follow my blog or pimp a contest(which I also wouldn't turn down). I need writing advice. Desperately. And probably business advice too. IDK.

I wrote a really good short story. It got a lot of attention, and I decided to self publish it. But I want to self publish it well. Every person I've talked to says that to self publish well you need multiple releases in a fairly short amount of time. I want to write the MC's sister's story. I love these characters, and it's the perfect length and piece to self publish following the first. I set out to do this and gave myself a deadline. I churned out 11 pages of what should be a 40-60 page story a little bit at a time(with ELF that's all I can do) and it was still fairly quick.

So last night, I set out to finish the story, or at least get close. Problem. The first 11 pages suck. I think that there isn't enough conflict. I feel certain that's the problem. But given the premise, I don't know how to add conflict. This is the story of a bad girl turned decent by the end. Her love interest is the hero's brother from the first story, and they meet at her sister's house. She's babysitting, but the hero is not happy that his kid is with her because of things she did in the first book and continues to do, so he sends his brother to check up on her. But the brother sees more than a couch surfing dance school drop out babysitter. I know that she will mess up a couple of jobs and end up working at a strip club before the book is over. The hero is there with a business client (client's idea) and sees her. But I have no idea how to get to this point in a way that people will want to read.

Any brainstorming help would be greatly appreciated. And if some benevolent soul wanted to read my first eleven pages, I would give them a serious virtual hug (and of course critique in return).

Oh, on the practical side: Is it better to keep working on this to meet my self imposed deadline and get this to my editor, or would it make more since to shelf it and revise a novel that needs revision? I want to self-publish like a small business, so I need to make decisions that are good for my writing, but also make sense.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Okay, I probably shouldn't do this, because it will make the big cover reveal planned for Tuesday anti-climatic, but I need reviewers. (And most of the people in the cover reveal have way bigger blogs, so there is a good chance most people won't see this before Tuesday anyhow). I have a few reviewer copies for people who like contemporary romance!

Tiffany is a hard-working accountant with no time for love. After escaping her sister's too wild Cancun bachelorette party, she meets a local guy, Luke in the bar. When they're forced to spend time together, Tiffany lets her guard down, but she still has to return to the US in two days. Will the airport be their final goodbye? 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Writing Wisdom from Lizzy Ford

Today, I have best selling indie author Lizzy Ford here with some helpful insight. Before we get started if you're here for ISWG go here. And if you think you'd like a reviewer's copy of Kismet(contemp romance) please let me know in the comments!!!!!!

 1)      What is the best writing advice you ever got? ...What's the worse?

The best: be persistent and keep practicing!

The worst: self-publishing is for people who couldn’t make it in traditional publishing. This is patently false.

2)     What is one mistake you made early on that you wish you hadn't?

I wished I’d started self-publishing earlier. I bought into the mindset that self-publishers were somehow substandard writers. I wasted over ten years trying to find an agent or publisher who would respond to my query letters instead of investing in myself. I gave up writing for awhile because I thought I wasn’t good enough, which was the worst mistake I’ve ever made!

Now I know the truth: self-publishing is a small business where I’m investing in my own talent. Traditional publishing is a business, too, one that’s got a process and formula that works for it.  New voices and unique books like I write are not welcome, because they’re financial risks. It’s easier to publish what they know will sell than it is to take a chance on a new writer or a book that’s different.

3)     I think one thing that contributes hugely to your success is your ability to produce a full length manuscript in 45 days.  My biggest question is how do you write so quickly? Is this a skill that can be developed, or have you always been able to write so fast? If it is a skill, please tell us what has helped you to be able to do this.

I think it’s probably a combination of practice and the behind-the-scenes process I use to develop stories. For the most part, I develop the stories as much as possible mentally. I define the plot, envision the characters and basically, work through a few scenes in my head before I write a word. I started doing this when I was younger and in school, where I couldn’t write because I was sitting in class. I kept doing it when I left school and worked full time. My head was always halfway in the clouds, and when I had down time, I’d work through characters and scenes. I still do it, even though I’m a fulltime writer!

That way, I don’t spend a lot of time staring at blank pages. When I sit down to write, I already have something in my head waiting to be put on paper. That – and typing fast! – seem to be what enables me to finish a manuscript in so short a time!

4)     I know that you use a freelance editor for all of your published books. Do you first use a critique partner and then a freelance editor, or just the freelance editor? Are you typically able to revise a book in one round of revisions? What's your process?

I used to use just my editor. Basically, no one would see the book except for her and me before it was published. I had so many readers request to become beta readers for books that I now send the unproofed version to my editor and beta readers at the same time. I experimented with releasing the beta version on Wattpad for my latest book, too.

In general, I do two revisions before I send the final draft to my editor and betas. I usually do one more round of revisions after I receive the edits and feedback.

5) Even bestsellers sometimes write a book that misses the mark. For a traditionally published author, an editor would simply say try again. For a self published author who helps with this (with knowing when a book is ready)?

This is a great question! I think it’s a combination of instinct, practice and feedback from an editor and readers that guides a self-published author like me. The largest hurdle for any writer is seeing one’s writing through an objective perspective. It’s impossible, because our minds will correct mistakes or flaws in our manuscripts. We see and read what we know what we meant as opposed to what we actually wrote!

Writing will always be an evolving skill. I constantly try new things, work to smooth out rough edges, perfect character development and pacing, and so on. I use reader feedback (and my editor’s advice!) to guide the changes I make. When I release a book, I wait to hear from readers what they felt worked and what didn’t, so I can improve for the next. Each book gets better and flows better, because I’m learning, adapting and growing as a writer. I’ve started to get a feel for finding and correcting issues in my writing, issues I wouldn’t have noticed a year ago.

I think this is also an area where my ability to write fast helps me evolve more quickly. I experiment in different subgenres and with different writing styles in my books, so I see on a much wider scale what works and what doesn’t.

My latest book, “Dark Summer,” reflects what I’ve learned over the past year and a half, and my readers so far are completely bowled over by it.

Lizzy has a new YA book out! Info below.

Dark Summer (Book I, Witchling Trilogy)

A girl with a broken past and a dark secret. A boy with a twisted future and no second chances.  When they meet, it just might cost them their souls.

Sixteen-year-old Summer doesn’t expect the new boarding school to be any different than the rest: a temporary stay where everyone will turn against her after a few weeks. Until she meets the rest of the students at this special school and realizes she’s not the only one with magic in her blood.  Accustomed to the concrete jungle of LA, she gets lost one night in the forests of the Rocky Mountains and meets Decker, the boy who will become the Master of Night and Fire on his eighteenth birthday. Their connection is instant and dangerous, for both will be forced to choose between Light and Dark, life and death, love – and their souls.

One choice. One soul. One price.

ISWG: Giving Away Reviewer Copies

As always, the Insecure Writers Support Group is hosted by Alex J. Cauvanaugh .

What a wonderful day for this post. I'm exactly six days from releasing Kismet. If you don't remember ever hearing me talk about Kismet, it's because it used to be Fate. I'm nervous and excited. I've been working on ebook formatting for a while now. If you've used KDP before you know that it has a handy feature to let you check the formatting/quality of your book. If Smashwords does, I can't find it. So I let Fate go live for two days. I did this so that I could view the book directly from Smashwords and see if I was happy with the way it looked. The day it went live I sold a copy. Squeee!!!! But two days passed without selling another copy. True during testing, I'd done no marketing and hadn't even released a book cover. Still, it bothered me that my book wasn't selling. Then I learned there were 50+ pages in front of it, and about 3000 goodreads records for Fate. I took it down and changed the name. I'd been under the illusion that good writing and a solid story were enough to sell a $.99 short story. But it seems marketing really does matter. Sad but true.

Now I hope that the little bit of marketing I've done will be enough to matter. I just hope I'm not a colossal failure. So I'm begging for reviews. If you routinely review clean romance (there is a wild strip party in the opening scene, but there is no sexual content in the rest of the book) and think you have time to read a 42 page short story please let me know. I would be happy to send you a reviewer's copy for your honest review.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Excerpt Opportunity

If you have a sweet love story you're trying to get noticed, I'm looking to include an excerpt at the end of my short story, Fate. I don't care if it's contemp or paranormal, and it can be YA or adult, though I prefer nothing to risque as I write fairly tame romance.

I can't promise how long the excerpt will stay at the back of the book, but at least for a few weeks. I don't care if the excerpt is from a self published or traditionally published book, but it does need to be polished. Also, I'm only looking to include one excerpt right now, so if I get a large response, I apologize in advance to anyone I can't include.