DFRAT Guest Post: MJ Frederick + giveaway

Today we have MJ Federick sharing her experience with digital publishing. She is also giving away a copy of her book Bluestone Homecoming just leave MJ a note  telling her what you like about digital books.

When I joined my local RWA chapter in the late 90s, digital publishing wasn’t even a blip on the radar. A few years later, some of our members published with an e-book publisher, swearing e-books were the wave of the future. (They were right, and pioneers, but what a long wait it’s been!) I will never forget that at one of our early regional conferences, the e-published authors had to sign their CDs in the lobby, while the print-published authors were given a ballroom. I felt so bad for the e-published authors but had no idea how to even read their books.

That stigma kept me from submitting to a digital publisher for a long time. But when my choices became limited after Harlequin rejected Where There’s Smoke, written for the Special Edition line, I took a deep breath and hit send, submitting to The Wild Rose Press. Having gained some courage with that act, I submitted Hot Shot to Samhain. I sold my first two books within two weeks of each other!

While I was no overnight success, my confidence was boosted and I have sold 11 more books and novellas, and self-published 4.

What is my favorite thing about writing for digital publishing is freedom from word count requirements! No more worrying about word count! As someone who struggles to get to 60,000 words in a book, the freedom to ignore word count (except on my daily goals) is a blessing. So what if my romantic suspense is 57,000 words instead of 60,000? Or my contemporary romance is 48,000 words instead of 55,000? If the story is told, it’s told. Padding it can read like, well, padding!

On top of that, I discovered the fun of writing novellas. At first I resisted, thinking I could never tell a story in such a short venue (weird, I know, since I also can’t write long!) But my critique partner Linda Carroll-Bradd challenged me, and…well. Wow, I had fun! I focused more on the romance than all the extra suspense elements and fell in love with the medium.

Writing novellas isn’t as overwhelming as writing an entire novel, especially a romantic suspense, which needs to be plotted (a dirty word for me!) I have been known to write a novella in 10 days (rough draft only), though this last one took me three months. I find they’re fun breaks between longer books, something I never would have discovered without digital publishing.

I’d love to offer as a giveaway the first book in my series, Bluestone Homecoming. It’s the story of a man who returns to the small town he once escaped from, only to find himself drawn back in and wanting to stay.

MJ Fredrick knows about chasing dreams. Twelve years after she completed her first novel, she signed her first publishing contract. Now she divides her days between teaching fourth grade students how to write, and diving into her own writing—traveling everywhere in her mind, from Belize to Honduras to Africa to the past. You can find her online pretty much anywhere: Twitter @MJFredrick, her blog at http://mjfredrick.wordpress.com/, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mjfredrickfanpage and Pinterest (oh, evil Pinterest) at http://pinterest.com/mjfredrick/



  1. Sara

    Insightful blog. Thanks for doing a giveaway and a chance to win Bluestone Homecoming

  2. Aurore

    I never thought about what you say about the number of words. Very often when I read Harlequin books, I found that the story was rushed through the end or dragged along just for the right number of pages to be reached. There’s not this problem with digital publishing.
    What I love about ebooks is that we can take hundreds of them with us and it weighs almost nothing. And when I am far away from a bookstore, I know I can always get a new book in no time!
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. After reading what you said about the digital authors back in the 90s, I realize that ebooks have come a long way and it’s great!


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