Monday is Publishing Day!

Next Monday, I hit publish for the print version of In a Pickle! It should then be for sale within seventy-two hours! There’s also been a slight change in plans for the release of Lady Catherine Says

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Surprise! Lady Catherine Says‘ release date has been moved up to the second week of December (I’ll be hitting publish on the first.) This is so readers will be able to order copies to give before Christmas, giving it plenty of time to arrive in their mailboxes 🙂

I should have a countdown calendar or something. So much excitement here in the Overmyer household, I can scarcely express. Let me try with a snapshot:

001NO! Not THAT one. Sheesh.

Anyway, I’m excited. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

 

 

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3 Things Jane Austen Taught Me About Fear

Jane Austen was the master of characterization. She knew people inside and out, foibles, propensities to do good or ill, and emotions. One of those emotions she was familiar with and wrote about is fear.

Fear? What did anyone have to fear? They didn’t have terrorists. The characters lived comfortable, privileged lives, with servants to do the dirty work. No one starved, no one experienced violence–no main characters, that is. What is there to be afraid of in Regency England for the likes of the Bennets and the Elliots?

001Me, afraid

Here are five characters and their fears, along with how they dealt with them:

  1. Elizabeth “Lizzy” Bennet (Pride and Prejudice.) Lizzy is the daughter of a not-so-well -off country gentleman. With no brothers to provide for her when Mr. Bennet dies, and no brothers to inherit and give her a leg up, Lizzy faces the very real possibility of winding up dependent on any benevolent relative she can find if she cannot marry well. If all failed, there are really few to no options for her career-wise. Yes, women worked back then. Gentlewomen, however did not, it would seem, besides becoming governesses, a lonely, demeaning job.

What I learned from Lizzy…

Though she says, “Beggars cannot be choosers” (in the movie anyway) regarding accepting a marriage proposal, Lizzy is determined not to be induced into matrimony if she does not love the man, which she proves by declining TWO marriage proposals. She could have been safe, comfortable, but miserable. Some people–back then, at least–might have called her foolish for putting her survival on the line (Mrs. Bennet let her displeasure be known, that’s for sure.) But what I learned was this: It’s okay to say no to the known in favor of the frightening unknown if your character and morals are at stake. In other words: Don’t compromise just because you’re afraid.

2. Mr. Willoughby (Sense and Sensibility.) Ah, Willoughby. The rake. The rogue. What has he got to do with fear? If Lizzy Bennet is a moral heroine, Willoughby is the inverse: Willoughby is victim to his own desperation. Oh, he’s fine at first, seducing women right and left. Feels pretty good about being in line to inherit his aunt’s great fortune and estate…until it’s discovered he got a girl pregnant out of wedlock and then abandoned her. Well, his auntie finds out about this bad business and disinherits him. Desperate and afraid of losing his cushy lifestyle, Willoughby sets out to make a most advantageous marriage…for himself. He marries and lives off a rich woman.

What I learned from Willoughby…

He could have done the right thing: Married the girl he seduced and impregnated, apologized to Marianne and her family, and changed his ways. Instead, he goes to Eleanor and basically tries to absolve himself. It’s obvious he feels terrible, but his “apology” is completely self-serving. When you’ve done wrong, you need to face your fear of rejection and humiliation and make things right, no matter what. In other words: Fear isn’t a pass to overlook your duty.

3. Mary (Elliot) Musgrove (Persuasion.) Bear with me, I have only read the book once. But I have seen the movie multiple time 😉 Mary strikes me as a fearful person. At the root of her fear, though, is pride. Mary will not have you think her beneath her station, even it’s at the expense of other people’s feelings.

What I learned from Mary…

Perhaps some fear and most pride are very closely linked (much like Lizzy and Willoughby being two sides of the same coin, one good and one ill.) Fear of failure = pride. Fear of being laughed at = pride. Fear of what other’s think of me = pride. This brings to mind some wonderful sayings: What other people think of you is none of your business and The only opinion about yourself that is worth considering is God’s.

What about you? What has Jane taught you about fear? Anything?

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

I Finished Draft One!

I have NEWS! I’ve finished draft one of my fantasy novel, TBA. This novel, when/if published a ways down the road, will be released under my pen name, S.M. Tinker. Yes, the initials stand for something. No, I’m not telling you.

A little about the project: It’s set in a quasi-Georgian England-esque land. Thought that would be a little different than the standard Medieval-esque setting.

My FMC (female main character) is a drudge on the run from her mistresses. I’d imagine her cleaning up and wearing something nicer than rags. Something akin to this:

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And be sure that I’m doing loads of research before I head back into rewrites. One of my sources, which I highly recommend, is What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank by Krista D. Ball. One of the staples in my novel will, of course, be pasties. Mm!

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There are lots of areas to cover when making up a new world (that’s why I can’t wait for Amy Laurens‘ From the Ground Up, due out from Tyche Books this winter. (Ee! So excited for this resource.)

Well, enough of my rambling about this yet-to-be finished project. In a Pickle‘s print release looms in the near distance, as does the release of Lady Catherine Says: 365 Tweets of Condescension. And I have edits to do for CIASG. Eek!

Here is some thing you can do to help me at the moment:

  • Lift me and writing up in prayers, specifically that I will meet all my deadlines and honor God with my writing

Thank you!

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

Preparing to Launch a Jane Austen Parody

Two weeks ago, I shared the book blurb for Lady Catherine Says: 365 Tweets of Condescension (available in print from Amazon and Createspace this December.) Now, for some more details!

Here Lies Jane

July of 2017 marked the 200-year anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. Understandably, many Austenites are thinking about our dear Jane at this time. Finishing my book in the year of this anniversary was, sadly, a happy* accident. BUT, releasing it the week of Jane’s 242nd birthday will not be.

  • As of this posting, Lady Catherine Says… will be published December 12th, 2017. (Jane’s b-day is the 16th, that Saturday.) This is subject to change.
  • The cover art reveal should be on the first or second Friday of November, 2017.
  • The book, as of this posting, sits at sixty-two pages in length (think novelty book, not novel or novelette.)
  • The retail price (Amazon) should be under seven American dollars (not including tax).

There are many things that go into releasing a book–I hear you saying, “I know, I know.” So then you know that I’m going to need help 🙂

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If that ^ didn’t scare you away, nothing will!

Here are some ways you can be a part of Lady Catherine‘s success:

  • Buy a copy or request a PDF to read and review honestly on your blog, Goodreads, and possibly Amazon, when the book goes live.
  • Tell your friends and family. Word of mouth helps make new fans, new fans get book, read book, (hopefully) love book, and then they tell all their friends and family.
  • Link back to my blog/Goodreads page/social media
  • Pray for me, this book, and my career. God is into details, no matter how small.

That’s it for now. If there’s advice you’d like to give me or words of wisdom to share, please don’t be shy. That’s part of what the comments are for!

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

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*Irony or weirdness much?

Social Media Advice for Writers

I’m going to hazard a guess: I bet that most of the people following my blog right now are writers. Am I right (if I’m not, please tell me so in the comments!)? If you are, I’m going to make another guess: I’m betting that at least 3/4 of the writers here are looking to get published (again, comments.) And perhaps a smaller percentage already have something out there and they’re looking to market it, build their brand/online presence, etc.

I’ve been reading a lot of books on brand, social media for writers, marketing your book, and the like. Here are a few of my takeaways about social media, and I feel this applies to ANYONE selling something online:

Put the social back in social media. It is a tool, yes, but it has social in the name for a reason.

Things learned

 

I’ve fallen into the trap, where you’re desperate to sell copies of your book and social media is right there and it’s just so TEMPTING to send out a generic series of Tweets, all saying the same thing:

Buy My Book

While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional, “Hey, I have a book out that I am SO excited to share with you: LINK”, spamming a person’s feed with BUY MEs is a major turn-off and is likely to have the opposite effect of what you wish.

I’ve tried a more subtle approach on my Facebook author page:

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It puts my book cover out there, my social media info out there, and my name out there. Here’s the problem: Without interaction, building up and maintaining relationships online and in person, no one is going to give that image a second thought. And that’s what I found.

As far as I can tell from the series of memes I did on my Facebook author page, not one resulted in a direct sale. Full disclosure: While Facebook is what experts are calling the best social media platform for authors, I still struggle with figuring out how to engage people there. I react and respond to every comment. I follow other author pages, react to posts and comment on their posts. But I’m still learning. This is a looooooong process.

Another thought:

Content is king, I’m realizing. And the reader is queen.

…or something like that.

The takeaways:

  • Social media should be social
  • BUY ME posts are annoying
  • Content is king
  • The reader should be your focus (what can THEY get out of what I’m saying?)

Hope that helps some other writer/salesperson out there. Build up your mailing list, and keep up your website.

And remember…

Keep your pen on the page,
Beth

P.S. If you want to help out an author like me, sharing, liking, and commenting on posts are all good things. Another helpful thing: Explore the pages and links on the sidebar. Thank you. I appreciate it!