There are a lot of questions that I seem to get asked quite often so I’ve compiled a list of them here. If there is any question I didn’t answer or anything you have further questions about feel free to comment on my blog or email me at EliReyesbooks@Yahoo.com But check here first. I will update as I get more repeat questions and add it here.
These are the latest FAQ answered as of October 2017
Just added October 3, 2021
Over the years I’ve been asked by many readers when I mention beta reading first off, what IS a beta reader? There are many articles online on beta readers and how to be a good one. To put it in a nutshell it’s basically a reader tester for an unpublished book. According to Wikipedia you’re reading a story that’s yet to be finalized to give your input and help the writer fix remaining issues with plot, pacing and consistency.
While I agree with that, I believe as a reader many are not familiar with what makes a plot, pacing and consistency work. All you may know is that it either it worked for you or it didn’t. So I don’t expect my beta readers to go into it with the chore of trying to fix the issues with my story.
Which brings me to the next question I’m often asked. What DO I expect from my beta readers?
As an author I too have read articles on what I should ask of my beta readers. What list of questions I should be sure to ask. One of the shorter lists I found was this one.
- Do the first 10 pages make you want to keep reading? If not, what is the problem?
- Do you find yourself skipping pages?
- Are you confused at any point in the story?
- How do you relate to the characters?
- Do you know what genre you’re reading?
- Do you find satisfaction in the ending?
😑 First of all I don’t pay my beta readers. They’re taking time out of their busy lives to put aside anything else they could be reading without homework. Filling out a questionnaire and essentially writing a short book report on what they liked or didn’t like about my book.
My biggest worries when it comes to my stories is that they hook you. So yes I ask if at any point you find yourself skimming, are confused or bored. Just make a note of what page or chapter so I’ll know where. What I’ve learned over the years is that all beta readers are different. Some are better about articulating what didn’t work for them and WHY. Some are just consistent in pointing out where something didn’t feel right, made them angry, confused them but can’t necessarily explain why. Which is fine. As long as it’s pointed out because chances are if it didn’t work for them, it didn’t work for another who could better explain why. If not, it’s my burden to figure it out, not yours. So you don’t even have to explain why. Just point it out.
Also, over the years I’ve come to pick up quickly on which beta readers I can count on to point out plot holes, inconsistencies (Joey took her backpack from her so she wouldn’t have to carry it home on the bus and said he’d drop it off later. Now she just got home and put her backpack in the closet. Doh! lol)
Brutal honestly is KEY. Believe me. BELIEVE ME when I say after 30+ books and THOUSANDS of reviews I’ve developed a very thick skin. And at this point in the writing process it’s absolutely crucial that you point out anything you hated, pissed you off, felt farfetched or just downright made you roll your eyes. And it doesn’t have to be in a form of a report. I have a couple of grumpy betas let me tell ya. They should look into doing standup. Some of their emails have cracked me up over the years. 1am Beast “Chapter #: This motherfucker just pointed a gun at her and called her a bitch. You better redeem him and do it quick or you owe me a kindle because mine is going out the window if it doesn’t happen in the next couple of chapters. And yes! I have to be at work at 6!” 😠 Way Too Close “Chapter #: “You really did this to her? You monster!!” 🤬😭2am in the morning Again Chapter:# “I hope the ding from my email woke you! I HOPE IT WOKE YOU AND I’M SENDING THREE MORE IN A ROW! How could you!?!?” 😭
In the same regard I’m the QUEEN of chopping away at scenes. You have to keep in mind by the time you get the manuscript I’ve obsessed about, pace, character building, word choice, sentence structure in every SINGLE scene. At that point I’m SO sick of every scene/sentence I can EASILY chop away at any them if I deem it a good enough reason. Yet you’re reading it for the very first time. So if there are any scenes you LOVE I don’t need you to gush, just mention it. “Love this scene.” or even “Do not cut.” True story. For those of you who read Sweet Sofie. The series “The Moreno Brothers” was originally supposed to be about the three brothers. Until I started getting emails from readers asking if Sof and Eric would be getting their story. So I decided I could write a novella for them and keep it under 50k words. When it went over that mark, I started looking for ways to cut it down. I didn’t have beta readers yet but when I mentioned to my critique partner at the time Tammara Webber that I was thinking of cutting all the childhood scenes out and just starting it when they were older and Brandon came home from the military, her response in ALL caps was, “DON’T YOU DARE!!!” For those of you who enjoyed reading about those “Wonder years” when the Moreno’s were kids. Tammara says “You’re welcome!”
So maybe I lack structure. I’m not giving you questionnaires or asking for book reports. Just read as you normally would and PLEASE be honest if anything doesn’t work for you, bores you or confuses you. That’s all I ask. And that you update often while you’re reading but even that’s not required. It’s just that once I send it out I start checking my emails for updates like a crackhead. But some of my beta readers wait until they’re done to send me an email to give me their full feedback and that’s fine too. Whatever works best for you, I’ll take it!
Is it necessary to have read 5th Street in order to keep up with the stories in Boyle Heights?
Absolutely not. Like the majority of my stories ALL the stories in Boyle Heights are and will continue to be stand alones.
2. What do you mean by crossover series?
Well it means you’ll be getting reacquainted with characters from some of my previous series. Like in my Fate series, where Brandon, Vince, Sydney, Enzo along with a few NEW Romero family members got their own stories. some of my side characters in my other stories/series (NOT JUST 5TH STREET) will now get their love story told in this series. Both Lila and Beast have featured characters from my OTHER series. I won’t say who they are. You’ll have to read to find out but I will say one is from Moreno Brothers and the other from my Fate series. 😉
- I heard Girl In The Mirror is not a romance. It’s a mystery thriller. Is this true?
Yes and no. The story is told in first person WITHOUT my usual dual POV for good reason. There is a BIG mystery regarding our heroines past. If I’d given you HIS POV it would’ve spoiled the mystery. It’s basically about a bond so profound between two people that even the absence of any memory of it the heart just won’t allow her to forget . . . There is romance and an HEA and while many LOVED the story as is, they did say they would’ve loved to see more of their romance. And this is why I wrote We Were One, which is the alternate POV of GITM you didn’t get to see. But it’s a COMPLETELY different story with MUCH more romance and wowzer sexy times. 😉
The De Luca Boys is erotic romance series. Some questions I got for this series have already been answered when I explained why I was re-releasing. You can get those answers HERE.
But I have gotten a one more that’s been asked more than once. So I will answer here.
Well if you read the Q&A in the link regarding this series, you know this story was a little out of my comfort zone or rather my usual when it came to the sexy times. I’m one of those that enjoys a good erotic romance when there is enough story to keep me interested. Pages and pages of sex don’t cut it for me unless the story has some real substance. Unfortunately those are hard to find. So I’m challenged myself to write some good STEAMY reads with a REAL story behind them and I hope I do this justice.
- Is there more Desert Heat coming? The answer to this used to be a resounding no. I don’t own the rights to Desert Heat so it would make it difficult to promote the series without having the right to lower the price in the first etc. But now that I have a crossover series going, I just MIGHT be able to get creative and get some Santiago’s in there. So stay tuned! If you haven’t already read the first in the series, go download Desert Heat and get to know the Santiago Brothers!
- Will your books ever be made into movies? As of yet Hollywood has not come calling but I can dream right? The process for turning a book into a movie is quite complicated from what I’m told and one that I’m not familiar with at all. But y’all know me if anything like that would happen, you guys would be the first to know I promise. I’ll post here in big shouty capitals the moment anything like that happens. =D
- Which of your alphas/books is your favorite? Asking me this is like asking a mother choose her favorite child. I poured my heart, sweat and tears into each and every story. So my generic answer to this is “Whoever I happen to be writing at the moment.” So right now, Tom, Diego and Dante. Who? Stay tuned!
- I’m a blogger and I’d like to participate in your cover reveals, blog tours, announcements and sign up for ARC’s. How do I go about doing that? Easy! Sign up to join my blogger list right here! You can unsubscribe at any time.
- What date is the next book coming out? I’ll never be able to give an exact date because not only does something always happen that seems to throw a wrench in my plans. But I always have a rough estimate of around what month I foresee it being ready and as soon as I upload for pre-order I make announcements and send out newsletter. So be sure you’re signed up for my newsletter and or follow me on one of all of my social media accounts.
- Why aren’t your books available on paperback? Will they ever be? ALL my books are available on paperback via Amazon. Many are also now available on audiobooks as well. =)
- Are your books available in any other ebook stores other than Amazon & Nook? Yes they are available through Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo, Radish.Fiction
I’m currently in the process of uploading them to many other app reading sites similar to Radish where you pay to open new chapters with coins you purchase through the app. Similar to the coins you purchase to buy more lives and whatnot on any games you may play on your phone. Think Candy Crush and Scrabble.
- Do you respond to your comments and messages on your blog as well as your fan page? I try to. I really do. For those of you who have posted in the past you know that I really do but there are many times when my characters have me tied down in the cave for DAYS at a time. So please be patient with me! I will say I’m likelier to see your emails sooner than posts since I check that most often.
- Do you have any specific editors, formatters, and or cover artist you would recommend? My editor Theresa Wegand does all my editing and formatting. I can’t say enough about her. I’ve had several editors I’ve worked with and she is hands down the best! But you need to book in advance because she is high demand!! So worth the wait and every penny! Cover artist I’ve worked with more than one. Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations and Amanda Simpson of Pixel Mischief Design . Highly recommend either of them. They are both highly professional and excellent to work with! =)
- What advice would you give aspiring writers?/I’ve written a book and want to self publish can you give me advice on where to start? I’ve read this often and I have to say it is probably the most important thing to expand your creativity and level of what to but also what not to do in order to write a good story. Write a lot but read even more. .As far as where to start. First of all, be sure that you’ve had some input on your writing before you just put it out there. You may be in for a very rude awakening. I say this kindly because when I first wrote Forever Mine YEARS ago. I thought we were good to go. I decided to try a few free critique sites. I won’t tell you how bad my writing used to be because quite honestly it’s embarrassing. I’ll just say this I came across one of the very first drafts of it that I hadn’t seen in so long and I couldn’t stop blushing it was that bad. But I’m glad now that I had the feedback from other writers, some of which are professors and had some very valuable advice and input. Their are many sites my favorite is Critique Circle. You can trade critiques with other writers. Very VERY helpful I highly recommend it.
As for self publishing there are many many resources on line. Amanda Hocking has some great advice over on her blog on everything she knows about publishing. She mentions reading Konrath’s blog post A newbies guide to publishing. I agree it’s a must read for beginners. Jamie McGuire has a post on this as well. Very informative and like her I CANNOT stress enough. Never ever EVER pay to be represented or published. They all get paid when you get paid. Nothing upfront from you to them anyway. And here is another great MUST READ post for aspiring writers, by Author Steph Campbell on “things she knows” about writing! On a personal level, my advice to anyone who TRULY believes in their dream of becoming a writer and doing it for a living. Never EVER give up. Self-doubt is the number one killer of creativity/dreams. It’ll never go away. No matter how big and popular your books get. The only thing you can do is crush it down to a barely audible whisper with perseverance. Believe in your dream and follow it! DO IT!