Welcome to the Wicked Nights Sale! From October 30 through November 14, these erotic books from bestselling authors are only 99 cents. We have BDSM fiction, dark erotica, and sexy erotic romance, all for the same price as some books. Grab them all at a great price and tell your friends!
All titles are available on B&N & Amazon
Giveaway link is at the bottom of this post
Mistress & Master of Restraint series begins with Katya Waters’ Journey of Self-discovery in Restraint.
Katya Waters moves to a new city for the job of her dreams. Her need to explore her darker-side leads her to the club, Restraint, where she meets the mysterious “Boss”. The Boss pulls her into a thrilling game of Kat & Mouse. Follow her exciting journey as she connects the mystery of her past with her thrilling present.
Nell, an out-of-work professional submissive, is desperate to find a job when she meets handsome film star Jeremy Gray at the restaurant where she works. He says he needs a personal assistant, but the work contract he shows her details not organizational duties, but sexual ones. Jobless and homeless, Nell agrees to work for him anyway, on the promise that he will pay for her to finish her college degree when her stint as his “assistant” is complete.
The start of their formal Dom/sub relationship is rocky, but they soon fall into a mutually satisfying, highly sexual routine. They play vanilla boyfriend and girlfriend in public, while Jeremy uses Nell as his kinky comfort object behind the scenes. Then a stalker threatens their secret lifestyle, and their contract may not be strong enough to hold them together.
Elizabeth knew the guy she’d beat out of a high-powered job was jealous of her success, but she never dreamed the lengths to which he’d go to get his revenge. Drugged and sold at auction in an underground BDSM club, she awakens in the home of Cole Pearson, the sexiest guy she’s ever laid eyes on. Focused on clearing her reputation and escaping the tangled web of office intrigue woven by her rival, Elizabeth tries to ignore the compelling lure of the handsome stranger.
Cole, a romantic Dom seeking his true love, quickly realizes the sexy slave girl he bought has no clue about and even less interest in BDSM…or so she says. But she can’t deny the slow burn of desire igniting between them. With masterful skill and sensual dominance, Cole guides his skittish new lover on an erotic journey that will break down all her carefully constructed defenses and leave her yearning for the passionate control of a stern but loving Master.
In exchange for her father’s life, Amarantha agrees to marry the dreadful Beast and be his wife for seven days. Though the Beast cannot take Amarantha’s virginity unless she begs him to, he can and does take her in every other way. From the moment they are alone together, the Beast relentlessly strips Amarantha of all her resistance.
If Amarantha can resist her cloaked and terrifying husband, she gains his entire fortune and will be allowed to return to her family and a normal life. But the Beast seduces her at every turn, exposing, binding, tormenting, and pleasuring Amarantha until she no longer knows her own deepest desires. Increasingly desperate to break the curse that chains his humanity, the Beast drives Amarantha past every boundary. But her desire for a normal life may jeopardize the love that will save them both.
Trust in Me
Mia longs for the daily torture to end, but one last task keeps her holding on. In a betrayal of the crime lord who pulled her from the gutter, she’ll free the shipment of human cargo, and if she’s lucky, die in the process. The alternative is unfathomable, even to a woman well-versed in erotic torture.
Tyler Martinez is an undercover FBI agent with one chance to right the wrongs of his past. Thrust deep into the seedy world of human trafficking, he must put aside his guilt over abandoning Mia all those years ago in order to save her now.
Someone’s pulling the strings in this sadistic play on trust, but Tyler and Mia may not live long enough to see the curtain fall. Trust in Me is a story of erotic pain and incipient romance, spiraling ever faster toward betrayal or redemption.
Halloween has arrived and Tom Newton is stressed with his job as a fireman. His best friend Rob, a submissives’ wet dream, is having a play party on Halloween night. Lucy, a nurse who has secretly been crushing on Tom, has decided to go to the party. Tom has decided that he needs to release some tension, and have some fun during his time off. What Lucy and Tom don’t know is that Rob, his best friend, and Millie, Tom’s sister, have set this up. Join them as they enjoy a hot night of bondage play. Can it all run smoothly? Will true love blossom? Will the Master get his slave? There is only one way to find out.
A story packed with sultry moments of Dominance and submission. Halloween Submission promises to be the hottest holiday this year.
Graham Hall is a twenty-six year old Texan with the job of his dreams. He’s just finished his latest travel article and has earned some personal down time. With six months left on his cabin lease in the Colorado Rockies, Graham chooses to stick around and soon finds himself set up with a feisty, down on her luck in the love department candy maker named Jane.
Jane hates driving in the mountains in winter and isn’t used to being outside the kitchen, but when she arrives at the small isolated cabin and gets a look at it’s tenant, she quickly forgets all about that. Jane is tongue-tied and ticked off. She’s been tricked.
Caleb is a man with a singular interest in revenge. Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery by a power-hungry mobster, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. For twelve years he has immersed himself in the world of pleasure slaves searching for the one man he holds ultimately responsible. Finally, the architect of his suffering has emerged with a new identity, but not a new nature. If Caleb is to get close enough to strike, he must become the very thing he abhors and kidnap a beautiful girl to train her to be all that he once was.
Eighteen-year-old Olivia Ruiz has just woken up in a strange place. Blindfolded and bound, there is only a calm male voice to welcome her. His name is Caleb, though he demands to be called Master.
Welcome back to Purgatory! A club for every fetish…
Being a fire inspector is the perfect job for a girl with a fire fetish. Ruby has come to terms with her obsession, and thanks to her part-time job as a bartender at Purgatory, she can dabble in a scene she isn’t sure she belongs in without going too far or too deep. But there’s one Dom in town who makes her burn for things she wishes she didn’t.
Zane made sure he was on the performance roster at Purgatory for charity night because Ruby would be on duty. He’s respected her wishes to stay away as long as he could, but tonight while his fire burns bright he’ll take possession of the willful beauty who has captured his heart.
When small town girl Melinda Prescott is taken hostage by three hot bank robbers, she quickly discovers that a life of bank heists, luxury hotels, and kinky menages is way more exciting than working on the family farm. She should be scared of her dominating, fierce captors…but there’s something wicked inside her that’s craving to obey their every dark desire.
Melinda eagerly throws in with her three smoldering fugitives…and soon realizes that these are no ordinary bank robbers—and that bad guys aren’t always who they seem. But will her delicious captors overcome their own demons enough to let her in? And can these underdogs fight an evil conspiracy that’s larger than all of them?
CLICK THE BADGE
to enter the $25 B&N or Amazon Gift Card
Restraint is .99 cents on Amazon & B&N as part of the Wicked Nights Sale until November 14th. Please pick up your Revised copy at this discounted rate! Please check out the other Authors who are participating in the sale. I will do a post on the 30th with more information.
The revised edition of Unleashed will be available soon. Mother Nature has a way of ruining plans, but I plan on uploading the revised Edition of Unleashed to B&N and Amazon Monday Night, power willing. It will be another 12-72 hours for the sites to post.
I added 8 additional scenes to Unleashed. It bypassed the 100k word mark. These scenes were pivotal to the series and the upcoming Queen books. I would recommend a reread of the series from the beginning, but if I were to select one book of the four currently in release of the M&M of Restraint series that is a must for a reread it would be Unleashed….
Also… The tabs have been updated on this blog this evening. Check them out. More information will be added when I write the Blurbs for the 5 books that will be released the last week of November.
As always, I love hearing from readers, please email me: email@example.com
Happy Wicked Reading
& for those in the storm’s path- stay safe.
The Revised edition of Restraint is available on Amazon and within 24-hours on B&N. The original version of Restraint was 53,000 words. I butchered 10,000 words of poor writing and errors. I added scenes and expanded scenes. Restraint’s length is now over 70,000 words.
Restraint wasn’t the first book I’ve ever written. It, however, was the first book of that genre and the first I ever published. My inexperience was evident. My growth was obvious as you read my works. I didn’t want the foundation of the M&M of Restraint series to be weak and written poorly.
I wasn’t a big fan of large internal monologues. In some books it has the feel of filler. I wanted to avoid this in Restraint and it was to the book’s detriment. I have since went back and changed this. Katya Waters’ needed internal dialogue to explain her reasoning.
After a six-month hiatus and writing 7 books and 2 partial manuscripts, I went back to Restraint to re-edit it. I am so thankful of my decision. The revised edition flows smoother. Katya’s reasoning is evident. I was able to add more Easter eggs for the rereaders. It isn’t perfect because I am far from perfect. I’m sure there a ton of errors to be found. But it is light-years away from its original form.
I am currently doing the same restructuring to Unleashed- re-edit, revise, reformat, and edit, delete, and add scenes. I have 5 new scenes that I’ve outlined to go inside the book. Unleashed will surpass the 100,000 word mark.
I am doing this for all of my works. Dexter has 4 new scenes outlined. I’ve outline a few for Dalton, too.
This promises for a smoother read.
Errors throw the readers out of their imaginations and it stalls the story mid-scene. It reminds me of someone pressing pause on the TV during your favorites show, or it turns fuzzy and it ruins the experience. I am doing my best to alleviate this from my works.
My current projects: The Queen omnibus: Jaded, Queened, Checkmate. The books are written and receiving the same treatment as their predecessors. Jaded will be expanded greatly. Queened will not change much. Checkmate is being scrapped. The omnibus edition will be 300,000 words. The books will be available separately and in the omnibus edition at a discounted rate. I am pushing for a late November release. Don’t hit me if it doesn’t happen. I promise to release it as soon as it’s ready.
My perfectionism is rearing its ugly head, but it’s to the benefit of the readers. I took reviewers comments and changed things for them. More EZRA was screamed. Where’d Ezra go? Master Ez will have a greater role in Dexter and Dalton. Katya is cold in the beginning of Restraint. I fixed this issue by adding Kat’s internal dialogue. The reader will understand why she is doing as she is. Why she draws her Bitch Shield!!!
A new series: Playroom. The first in the series is written and waiting in last place for its butchering and restructuring. I have 4 scenes to add to it. It’s a light, fun, sweet read. I believe that Erotic Romance is the best genre to place it within. Whereas M&M of Restraint is edgy and Dark, Playroom will be a fun, easy read without the stress that a Dark book gives the reader. Good Girl will be released with the Queen books. *fingers crossed*
After all of this, I am returning to my first work, Chrysalis. I project its release for late January. The Lilies is an Urban Fantasy series of unknown origins (Psss.. It’s a secret ‘til you read it) Following this is my second work, Shattered (tentative title) The Atticus Fox series. Atticus will be in the erotic genre, subgenre to be determined. I have a spin I may put on Ol’ Attie, but that is far off.
From now on, I will not do multi-releases, even if it means leaving readers with a cliffhanger. I’m sorry folks, but it is beyond stressful. I pump the books out fast as it is. I’ve learned that sometimes you need to allow them to marinate. I will write a book and switch to one of my other series and then comeback to it after it’s marinated. I will write what my muse screams for me to write. No worries, though. I’m a fast writing bitch. I can’t stop. If I’m doing 1 book at a time, I’ll end up with a release at least every 2 months.
A word about Queen.:
I always know where my characters will lead me. Their lives play out in seconds within my imagination the moment I create them. Queen is the exception. As you can see from the first 4 books, she was elusive. She was elusive for me as well. I knew Queen’s book was next in the M&M series and I had no idea how to write it. I didn’t want to force myself, so I wrote Cort. 40K into Cortez, Queen was born. In seconds I knew what I needed to do. The character that evaded me turned into the most pivotal character in the M&M world.
She received 3 books, 300K worth of story and she impacted how the story was written inside my head. She completely threw my outlines out the window & Cort’s manuscript was scrapped. I am proud of what I wrote for her. Jaded is an exceptional book. I cried, bawled, and snotted all over myself as I typed the words. It was pure torture, but it made an exceptional read and I’m about to make it better when I get back to Jaded. See, books need to marinate.
My favorite character:
Cortez Abernathy is by far my favorite character in the M&M world and I believe that he is solidified in that position. My second favorites? Tied is Regina Regal & Marcus Zeitler. You’ll see why. But I love writing anything dealing with them. Cort is a blast when he is misbehaving and he’s always misbehaving. Marc is the best when he is controlling his minions and refusing to give into temptation. & Regina is just a well-rounded character. You may ask why I don’t say Katya…. She’s too much like me… Yes, she is.
I give gifts to my characters that I cannot experience in reality. It is a remarkable feeling to allow your characters to possess traits and emotions that you, yourself, will never feel or gain. I will explain this on an emotional level since it’s obvious that I can make my characters into whatever I wish. Emotions are an entirely different creature.
As of late, I have felt a deep well of loneliness for finding someone to relate to, or hold my hand and say everything is going to be okay. I carry many of the personality traits that many writers possess. I am an introvert, who would rather spend all of her time with fictional, imaginary beings than ones that live and breathe. I know that I am moody, yet easy to get along with. I will forever need immense amounts of ME time (writing time). The introvert doesn’t want to get out there and find a mate. She wants one to come to her, someone who is similar to her, someone who challenges her, someone who will meet her needs and knows when to leave her alone and be quiet. She is selfish and selfless at the same time.
If you’ve ever wondered why a Good Girl from a good middle-class family, one provided every benefit to get ahead in life, one who was attached to her previous mate since she was twelve-years-old and endured countless disrespects and trespasses would turn out to be an Erotica Author who specializes in BDSM fiction, look no further.
I can give and take the emotions I bestow upon my characters. I gift the emotions to them and the payoff is huge for me. I walk in a numb haze most of the time so that I do not feel the pain of the past. I know the experiences I’ve had but I no longer have access to the memories. They feel as if they happened to someone else. I do things to occupy my mind: read, write, or fantasize new stories as I wait for the sandman. If I can’t delve into a story I will overrun my mind by counting. When it gets to the point that the memories try to tear themselves from my subconscious I will resort to a standby I’ve used for eternity: count backwards from 100 while simultaneously saying the alphabet backwards.
I use coping techniques constantly. Isn’t my storytelling the largest coping skill? It’s the ability to completely delve into somewhere else, be someone else. When I need emotions, I write them. When I need a hug, I give my characters a hug. Another skill I use, which I wrote for my character Eve during Chrysalis, is imagining myself slowly entering a large pool of water and allowing it to move up and over my body. This allows me to relax. When I need comfort I will imagine a fictitious someone holding me.
I give my characters the ability to feel since I cannot. Every character of mine possesses one of my traits. No two are alike, but how could anyone pull someone from their imagination without a similar thread? If they don’t hold my trait then they possess one I wish I had.
I wrote my newest novel, Good Girl, for fun not realizing what I was actually doing. I will say that Willow was the 18 year-old-me that I wish I could reclaim and comfort. I want to tell her not to make those mistakes. I want to hold her and slap her for the horrific mistakes she will make. Mistakes that will leave me numb with regret. Good Girl is a way to reward my youthful, naive, impressionable-self, not with the life that I wish I’d had, but the one the character desires and deserves. It is a way to explore the would have, could have, should haves.
I am spoiled and indulged. I will not lie. I feel bad about it. When people speak of the trials they go through on a daily basis to pay the rent and buy groceries I feel tortured. I have never went without since I came home again. I get what I want, when I want it. Does this make me a bad person? Does this make me better than anyone else? NO! It just makes me, me. This has hurt me as much as helped me. It held the 18 yr old back from finding the real her. It made her stunted and destined to live through hell her entire adult life. The life I lead now with the help and support of my parents was not the reality I lived from 18-32 years of age. The soft life that stunted me has healed the wounded woman that showed up on her parents doorstep. She isn’t healed all the way. Her psyche is still damaged beyond repair. She has to give herself fictitious hugs and comfort. The love of a great parents and family is priceless, the ability to shoulder your own weight is necessary, but sometimes the sad, lonely introvert wants someone to shoulder the burden, to comfort her, to take the responsibilities away. This is how the Good Girl becomes a strong woman who writes BDSM fiction…. I understand it because it is what fulfills me emotionally. & since I can’t live it, I write it.
As I write, I imagine what it would feel like to have a strong connection with someone- someone to turn to- someone who takes you as you are. I’ve never had that. My past life(because I am no longer that person) I was screamed at one moment and then hugged the next, but the hug was for his emotional well-being, it was to take his guilt away and to leave him in comfort. I’ve never had simple gestures of kindness until I came home to my parents. These gestures that are meant to heal the broken woman leave me feeling guilty when all my parents are trying to do is express that they care for me and appreciate me. It is such a foreign concept that even after two years it feels uncomfortable.
This is why I write in the genre I write in. I bestow gifts of a strong connection built on mutual respect and trust, a shoulder to cry on, a pair of arms to hold you, a leader to build you up mentally, spiritually, and physically. I write in the BDSM genre because of the RULES that govern the lifestyle but never seem to flow into normal life.
I’ve often wondered as I use these coping skills to live if I am setting myself up for disaster. Is it strong to take all that you encounter with a sense of numb and shrug, or is it strong to cry it out and move on? I don’t know the answer to that. I do know that when confronted with abuse and broken trust, most people do not shrug it off and walk away. They fight, scream, cry, and ask why. Twenty years of my very young life was wasted. I’ve shut it all out. I felt as if the day I returned to my parents was the day I left them and nothing happened in between. The only time I feel is when I write or read because the emotions can not be blocked out. To block out pain you must also block out joy and love. I await the day I truly break- the day I begin to feel again.
This is my gift to my characters- the gift of emotional support from a Master- the gift of all things I wished I felt in reality.
Authors behaving badly & the Bubble
I will most definitely step on a few toes with my views and I won’t apologize for it. You are more than welcome to have an open dialogue with me and we can change each others minds. Note: These are my opinions and mine alone. I will gladly add to this document the views of other members. What works for one person will not for another; a wide spectrum of views is beneficial.
Writing is a passion. It is a way of life for me. it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It is an art-form and the phrase Starving Artist is highly accurate. I have a different view on what this phrase means. I’d rather starve than do anything else. And the other holds true as well; you will NOT become successful unless you work hard.
New Authors and aspiring Authors have a skewed view on the industry. The opinion is split down the middle: That an Indie Author can’t make a living off their royalties and a successful Author is rich. Yes, a few people get ahead by pure luck, but the majority don’t. You need to work for every penny you earn.
Some new Authors live in a bubble with other newbies and it stunts their growth. It is a trap and one that is nearly impossible to get out of once ensnared. They see minimal sales and fellow authors pat them on the back and this “Atta Boy,” is to their ruination. NO, it’s not good enough. It should never be good enough. I want to surround myself with Authors more successful than myself so I have something to strive for- to reach. The newbie bubble makes everyone complacent and they don’t rise up because they feel good with those false pats on the back.
My advice to the new Author *by the way, I still place myself in this category* WRITE! WRITE constantly. The only way to get ahead is by working your craft and growing, learning, educating yourself, and producing a product. You will only make money if you have a product to sell and a steady flow of said product.
The newbie bubble creates monsters who behave badly on many fronts. They scheme on ways to make money instead of creating a product. They work in collaboration while crawling on each others backs trying to get ahead. The only thing this accomplishes is pushing the Author you’re climbing on into the mud. And the one on their back pushes the lot of them deeper into the mud. Once there, you are officially trapped into that way of thinking.
In the beginning they give each other glowing reviews and it makes them feel invincible, which leads to this horrible behavior- review slamming. The afterglow dims once you receive a real review from a paying reader. The review may or may not be warranted, but the Author attacks the reviewer and it turns nasty and all Authors get a bad name from the atrocious behavior. My policy: I never respond to a reviewer no matter how strongly I want to. I grit my teeth and deal and move on. If it was constructive, I learn from it and adapt.
Spamming is a huge issue with me and I draw from my information from being a page owner of a review blog and site. I do not spam. I am not against posting links on pages and your own sites as spam as long as it as in moderation. Bi-weekly or less I believe is acceptable. I remove anything on Wicked Reads if I receive it more often that. There is a reason behind this. A reader will see the link so often that they won’t even see it anymore. The eye just roves over and catches what is new. It is subconscious. I won’t allow spam on my page since it runs my fans off and I lose likes and viewers. This leads to another bad behavior, disrespecting the page administrators by viewing them as your minion. If you give them swag, you do not own them. They pass the swag off to readers that benefit the Author, not the page. Pages are run out of love and dedication to the written word. Do NOT take advantage of them or disrespect them. Follow their rules, participate in their giveaways, and interact with their fans and your sales WILL grow. It is a harmonious cycle that everyone benefits from- Author/Page/Reader. Just because you published a work doesn’t make you entitled to use their services.
Reviews: Giving a free copy of your book is par for the course to obtain reviews in the beginning of your career and for each new release. This is my advice as a reviewer. Reviewing is stressful. Yes, the author gave them a free copy, but their review pays 10x over the cost of the free copy. You are not buying a review, so do not expect a glowing review. I nearly quit reviewing from the stress Authors put me under when I said I didn’t like it. I was concise with my reasoning, usually stating that it was a matter of taste, or I was explicit in what I found lacking. I never attacked the Author. It is bad behavior to attack the reviewer or even try to defend yourself against the review. It has given all Authors bad press as of late. A reviewer is entitled to their opinion and that is exactly what a review is- opinion. As a reader who loves to read reviews, I’ve often read the low reviews or ranting reviews and read the book because of them. They forced my hand for a sale for the Author. They stated things that I enjoy or look for. A bad review isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Use the advice contained within if it is constructive. However, if you have a thin skin, avoid the reviews. Why stress yourself out and behave badly, which breeds more stress.
I will NOT pay for reviews. I will NOT engage in blog tours that are geared toward guaranteed positive reviews where you pay for the service for X amount of blogs and X amount of reviews. I find this unethical. As a reader, I don’t like knowing that the review are bought and paid. I feel scammed. I won’t do that to my readers. I want a group of fans that understand me and look forward to my books and I don’t want to do that through schemes. Paying is the mentality of the BUBBLE. If you work hard and push your product to its target audience you will get a true following. If it is good, you wouldn’t need to pay for it in the first place.
Authors giving Authors a helping hand or a leg up.
This is wonderful, but it leads to expectations and entitlement that isn’t warranted. Bloghops, posting links on personal/author/fan pages, and on blogs for your nearest and dearest, fellow Authors is an amazing, rewarding experience that leads to sales. <— When it’s beneficial to you or you believe in the work of the Author, otherwise it is total chaos. Bubble Authors think we all are one big, happy family and they want you to do…do…do for them with nothing in return. And you may not even find their product a good product. We all need help. I’d prefer to do as this group was formed to do, give and take advice and information to get ahead. We don’t have to be friends; we are colleagues. If you hold a day job, are your coworkers your best buds? No? Exactly. Another issue with the bubble is the bubble itself- you post, spam, promote within the bubble because the bubble only has those within the bubble. How would you get ahead trapped within? You don’t!
My product will sell my product. As you hone your craft, your product will become more valuable. A strong bond with Authors that are in your genre is more valuable then being trapped in a bubble with thousands of authors. Think of it as American Idol or Survivor. The bubble is cut-throat and vicious in a passive-aggressive sort of way. How do I know about the bubble? I was draw to it like a moth to flame with its promises of warmth and comfort from the storm. I was snapped at a few times for my opinions and small successes. I quickly realized I didn’t have the mentality for the bubble. My sub-genre is dependent on one canon- Respect. I found no respect in the bubble and I crawled out because I couldn’t respect myself if I stayed in that false warmth with the “atta boys,” good reviews, and link sharing. I wanted to EARN it!
The ridiculous nature of the Bubble if put into a different context. Writing is an art-form. Imagine we are no longer speaking of words on a page, but rather, brush strokes on a canvas. Would it behoove an Artist to live within a bubble? Do artists sell only to other artists or do they sell to art lovers? When another artist sells a painting for more money do they run up to the canvas with a knife and slash? Do they add their own strokes to increase the integrity of the painting? They may share techniques and mentors, but they never elevate one another. Their art sells their art. They paint because they must. Painting for them is their life and they spend their life perfecting it.
The following post is just a glimpse of the information provided in the group Author Central. I wrote this for Authors unsure of the beta process and the pit-falls and rewards to having Beta readers. This posting will be updated when we get the prospective of the Beta and the Author who doesn’t use Betas.
To Beta or not to Beta… The Beta reader experience from Erica Chilson’s POV. Pit falls – invaluable. Please share your experiences from both sides of this process and I will update the doc.
The Beta process is scary for both the Author and the reader. You both have expectations and fears. The Beta worries that they don’t possess the necessary tools to help the Author, and the Author fears the reception of their work.
Choosing a Beta is a difficult process and it is on-going. I’ve been through a lot (more than 10) Until I’ve found my core group of Ladies. & they are invaluable to me and a large amount of help. It is a learning process for both the Author and the Beta. It is tempting to chose Betas that will kiss your bum and tell you how wonderful you are, but that defeats the purpose. Constructive criticism, while painful, is necessary for you to grow within your craft. Watch out for the fine-line between constructive criticism and bullying.
You need several different types of Betas. My ladies are broken into categories. Since my genre is very narrow I chose a newbie to the genre that had questions about themes in the book. This meant that a new reader to my series would have similar questions, therefore, I resolved the issue by simplifying the text or adding an explanation. Several are experts in my genre and they inform me if it’s too simple for the expert reader. If it went way over their head… I better backtrack and fix it! The Beta doesn’t have to be a grammar Nazi or professional editor either. <—- That is a huge fear of the Beta. I’ve Beta-ed before and I was so scared that I would fail my Author. It was so stressful that I froze and couldn’t help. Assure your Beta that any help is invaluable- and it truly is.
A huge benefit of Betas is that as we edit our own work we know what it should say or we already know the reason inside our own minds. The Beta will say, “huh?” and you realize you never explained your reasoning. The Beta will pick up the missing words that your mind replaces as you read. Every Beta notices different mistakes. It always amazes me that the edits I receive are never the same from one beta to the next.
Your Betas have to be your target readers. I’ve had Betas want to read for me that were unfamiliar with the genre or the content disturbed them. The best advice comes from the fans of the genre. They know the ins-and-outs and can tell you when you go off course. They know what their fellow readers of the genre are looking for.
Bullying vs. Constructive Criticism:
It is a very fine line. While you need someone to call you out and make you think outside the box, some Betas feel the need to rewrite your story. & if you haven’t found one of these Betas during the process… you will eventually- trust me. It is the most horrible experience on the planet. My experience was a Beta who collared me. I didn’t chose them. They wanted to review my book and instead I got Beta comments and revisions. A lot of revisions- including KILL this character, why did you do this or that. Upon explaining why I do what I do, they fought me. Let me save you so much grief. If it turns to bullying, immediately tell them their services are no longer needed and move on. Having to justify YOUR story isn’t part of the Beta process. My response to the bully: Write your own book if you know better than me. Also there are nuances to a story. It can’t be perfect grammar-wise because characters should never speak perfect grammar and diction. It’s unnatural. Comma usage for me is like poetry. I read the it line-by-line as poetry and add the comma. Obviously you must follow the rules of writing and grammar, but in these instances do NOT argue with your Beta- do as you wish. Bullying is de-motivational, uninspiring, and detrimental to your muse and creative flow. While you don’t need a bum-kisser, NEVER keep a Bully.
Don’t expect too much: Betas have lives and they need to live them. Even giving you a few sentences of their thoughts will provide you will a lot to work with. Don’t be angry or confrontational if they don’t meet your standard. When the next round of Beta-ing comes around, just don’t ask for their help. Betas are human and they have lives, personalities, and faults. And sometimes you just rub each other the wrong way. It happens and it’s unfortunate. Betas are working for free and you must be thankful if they give you 2 minutes or hours of help. They do NOT have to help- be grateful.
Bottom line: I find the Beta process a rewarding experience for me and my Betas. I love interacting with them, discussing my books, and I believe I’ve found a few friends for life. All Authors dream of making it to the big-time. If I ever elevate to that status the first thing I want is to have all my ladies meet in person. It would be a wild time had by all!
Authors need other Authors for advice. We are all at different points in the game. Whether you are an aspiring Author or a seasoned author of countless books, we all need advice. Author Central is a place to ask questions, give advice, obtain information, or simply commiserate with those who truly know what you are going through.
I would love to welcome anyone who writes to join us, no matter if you are a newbie or an expert- short stories- to epic novels- non-fiction – fiction.
Sarina Asheford and I wanted a place to ask questions, give advice, and to discuss our craft that wasn’t inundated with Authors pushing their work. Author Central is a new group (Its birth was 10/8/12) and is growing. Current advice is listed in the file section of the group.
I will list a few of the files so that you may see if the discussions appeal to your needs and if Author Central is the right Group for you.