Heart of Red, Blood of Blue

My newest novel is now available! I’m so excited for this one.

This project started years ago with a girl who popped into my mind and didn’t want to leave. Even as I worked on other stories, Gisela was never far away. She was looking for love, acceptance, some humor, and peace for her country—things most of us hope for in one form or another.

Heart of Red 400

Princess Gisela of Steinland was born without color. Albino. To add to this curse, her betrothal to Prince Jerrik of Kronga ends in his death and starts a ten-year-war her father is determined to win, even if it means bringing her out of hiding to do it. Now the savage Krongon war commander, Bloodless Kristoff, seeks the hearts of the entire royal family, especially Gisela’s.

Desperate, her father agrees to another alliance that involves her marrying an old brute of a king. Unwilling to be the sacrificial lamb, Gisela goes on the run. Thrown into the center of a battle between three kingdoms, she finds herself fighting for her life and the right to be truly loved.

Can the girl who started the war find a way to end it?

LOOK:

BUY:

EXTRAS:

 

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THE MUSIC (PIANO SOLO ALBUM):

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As part of this project, I’ve combined my two great passions, music and books. The idea to compose a “soundtrack” for my novel came a while ago, but I credit my daughter with being the one to help me see that not only could I do it, but I should. It’s been a blast. So I’ve written 11 original piano solos to go along with the story. Songs include: “The Betrothal,” “Ryder,” “The Battlefield,” “Vengeance,” “The Village,” “Tranquility,” and more.

LISTEN:

BUY MUSIC:

 

I also need to give a quick shout out to five students at BYU. Four of them helped edit this book as part of their English language editing capstone course: Emily, Rachel, Erica, and Ashley. They have been awesome!

Along with them, Alyse Myers, provided the artwork at the beginning of the book. She did such a lovely job of envisioning Gisela!

Gisela the Red

 

Order Books

So check out the book and music and let me know what you think! And if you want to give a signed copy to your favorite readers for Christmas, order it here by Friday (US only).

Promo Order signed copies

 

Happy Holidays!

 

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Let the Countdown Begin

One month from today, LIBERTY will be released (July 4).

To gear up, I’m having a month-long celebration starting today. I’ll be posting specials, teasers, first chapters, and other fun stuff to get ready for this second installment of CITIZENS OF LOGAN POND.

This first week I want to make sure all of you have book 1. So LIFE is $.99 on Kindle again.

Get it. Read it. Share it. You can even “gift” it to another e-reader friend if you want.

99c Book

Get it here: http://alturl.com/ckm89

30 days!!!!! Happy June 4th.

You guys are the best!

Why My eBook isn’t $1.99

Why My Ebook Isn't $1.99

I’ve debated writing about this for awhile. But…well…I’m just going to say it. (Don’t hate me.)

If you don’t know, I write novels and music. I’ve been writing music for quite a bit longer, so I’ve published far more songs than novels. I’m fairly comfortable as a composer. As an author though, even though it’s been two years since I published my first novel, I still feel new to the whole book industry. Crazy industry, btw.

This last year I decided to branch out and try self-publishing with both my music and my latest novel. Self-publishing is really taking off in the world for many reasons:

  • It’s easy
  • It pays higher royalties
  • The author/composer is in control of the content, start to finish

There are also cons to self-publishing. You probably already know these, so I’m not going to delve into them.

Well, I’m going to delve into one.

As I put my latest novel Augustina up on Amazon and B&N, I had this big debate within myself:

What price should I choose for my ebook?

I had a pretty good idea on the paperback price based on the price of my first novel. Plus, CreateSpace had a minimum price I had to charge, so that gave me a good baseline to work from.

But as I researched ebook prices, they seemed to be all over the place. $7.99 to $0.99. Some were FREE (a lot were free), while others were up around $12.99. All for books similar in length.

So…I picked a spot somewhere in between: $2.99. Sounded reasonable. I’d self-published, which for some reason made me feel like the price needed to be lower (even though the work on my part was MUCH higher). But $2.99 it was.

Last week, I finished up some new arrangements of How Great Thou Art, and I went to upload the digital version onto Sheet Music Plus.

As I did, I noticed the minimum price set by Sheet Music Plus is $3.99. They don’t allow me to sell my sheet music for less than that. No discussions. $3.99 is the minimum. That’s fine with me. My songs have been selling well on their site, and I’ve never complained about that price. Four dollars seems fair for a song.

Here’s the thing though.

It takes me a week or two to write a song. Maybe a little more if it’s complicated or has several different parts, like a choral number.

I spent four years working on my novel.

Four.

Years. Not weeks. Not months.

And I’m supposed to sell it for less than my songs? I’m sorry, but I just can’t, people. And honestly, I don’t think other authors should have to either.

*deep breath*

*still don’t kill me*

I didn’t twiddle my thumbs for four years on Augustina. I edited and edited, and had friends read it, and English grammar people read it, and I edited it more. I had a publisher willing to publish it, but for various reasons, I decided to self-publish. I’m glad I did.

I think.

Look, I’m as cheap as the next person. Probably cheaper. I’ve bought plenty of cheap ebooks. I’ve downloaded many FREE ones, too. But looking at the trend happening on Amazon and in the book world in general makes me sick.

What are we doing to authors by cheapening four years of hard work and selling it for $1.99? Are ebooks easier to write than paperbacks? Nope. They take just as much work. 

I don’t mind the occasional sale. In fact, I look forward to it. Books go on sale. Food goes on sale. Even sheet music goes on sale. Just last week I offered some of my sheet music for free.

But to set your base price at $1.99 or $0.99 is just so sad to me! I love books too much to cheapen them like that. And yet, in the ridiculously huge world of 8 million books on Amazon alone, authors are forced to do just that to get ahead (or to get more readers).

My husband likes to tease that I’d make more per hour working at McDonald’s than I do as an author. Sadly, that’s true for most authors. Unlike J K Rowling and Stephenie Meyer, the typical author gets paid pennies per hour.

So…

I’m expanding my wallet. If I can pay $10 for a movie ticket that entertains me for 2 hours, I can pay more than $2 for a book that entertains me for 7-8.

I’m willing to invest more in an author’s time so they won’t quit their pathetic-paying writing job and give me more wonderful stories to immerse myself in.

Are you?

*rant officially over*

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I’m really curious to know what you think on this topic either as a reader or writer (or both).

Countdown to Augustina: Taking a Poll

As I work on Augustina, specifically on the formatting, it got me wondering which formats people read Sadie in.

And then in the last few weeks, people have mentioned that they’ve reread Sadie  in anticipation of Augustina (so cool!!!), which made me wonder how many times you’ve read Sadie

And then I wondered who was your favorite character.

So…

If you read Sadie, answer the three questions below:

Awesome. Thanks!

If you haven’t read Sadie, now’s your chance. It’s 50% off here.

Sadie

Countdown to Augustina:

MBM: 7 Tips for Reading in the Digital Age, by JoLynne Lyon

Welcome to the fifth day of MARCH BOOK MADNESS!

 

JoLynne Lyon is here today talking about reading in a post-bookstore world. JoLynne participated in last year’s MARCH BOOK MADNESS, when she talked about 10 Marketing Tips (What Not to Do). You can read it here. She has a great sense of humor, and I loved her thoughts. This year, I’m excited to have her back!

JoLynne’s talking about the changes in the book world from a reader’s perspective. I don’t think anyone in the book world knows where things will settle — authors, publishers, or readers — but I know there have been and will continue to be new and exciting changes in the way we read our favorite stories.

So…here’s JoLynne:

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Reading in the Digital Age, by JoLynne Lyon

The chaos of the publishing world is so bad, it’s hitting readers, too. Beloved bookstores have closed. The remaining ones are devoting more and more space to merchandise that has nothing to do with reading. It’s harder to browse a bookshelf.

Continue reading “MBM: 7 Tips for Reading in the Digital Age, by JoLynne Lyon”

Want your eCopy of SADIE autographed?

(signing)



The ebook version of SADIE has been sitting at #2 on Deseret Book’s fiction list for a couple weeks, which I think is just so stinking cool. Even on amazon.com, SADIE has been as high as the top 1.8% of all ebooks. So, so, so exciting for a dorky, first-time author like me. Seriously, I’m like a kid with a credit card in a candy store. I just had to say a big thanks! to everyone today. I’ve received some very nice letters and reviews from some very nice people, so again, THANKS!!! And keep sending the notes (you can reach me by email, rebeccabelliston @ gmail . com, or on my facebook page.) I love hearing from people! 


Along those lines, I’ve seen this new thing around that I finally got around to investigating today. It’s called KINDLEGRAPH and it allows authors to sign ebooks. Weird maybe, but also very cool. Especially since I live in Michigan and a lot of my readers don’t. 


So…


If you have an ebook version of SADIE, and would like it Kindlegraphed, the link is here. Just drop me a note of who you want it inscribed to and I’d be more than happy to ‘sign’ it for you. There are directions on how to make it work, but I’ll have to say that it took me a little bit to figure it out. Then again, I’m not the greatest at technology. If I’m understanding it right, you need to have a Kindle (or the free Kindle app for your device) plus a Twitter account to sign in. If you get stuck, let me know and I’ll try to help. As this is a fairly new concept, I’m hoping the technology will become more user-friendly with time. 


Cool, cool, cool.


Side note: if you’d like me to sign your actual paperback book, just shoot me an email and we can try to arrange something. Oh, and if you haven’t bought SADIE and would like to, the links are on my website here. ;)


Gotta love technology!