Tell us a little bit about you, the person behind the books:
My name is Kimberly A. Bettes. Yes, the A stands for awesome. (wink) I was born in southeast Missouri in 1977 and have lived there almost every day since. It’s a great place to live if you like feeling like you’re breathing underwater. Yeah, the humidity is THAT bad. I’ve been writing since I was about 12 years old. My Junior High English teacher started making us write poems and I realized that the words just fell from my pen. It was too easy. A couple years later, I read Watchers by Dean Koontz and just KNEW that I was supposed to write books. So I did. I wrote my first one at 14. It’s horrible. Don’t worry. I’ve gotten better. In fact, each book I write is better than the one before it (at least in my opinion). I’m married to the greatest man I’ve ever met, and we have a son, the greatest man I’ve ever met junior.
Tell us about your books!
I like to write books that scare people. To me, nothing’s scarier than when real people become monsters…
THE GOOD NEIGHBOR: A quiet street in a small town is consumed by fear as they realize a killer lives among them. Suspicion falls to each resident. Neighbors become aware of the actions of the other neighbors as love blooms, relationships grow, hatred blossoms, doubts arise, safety is threatened, fear takes hold, and fights ensue. So which of the neighbors is the killer? That’s what the residents are dying to know.
*This was the first – and only so far – book I’ve written where I used an alternating point of view, switching between characters at pivotal moments to build suspense.
ANNIE’S REVENGE: Annie Phillips, an introverted teenage girl with low self-esteem, is abducted, raped, and beaten by three drunken classmates just weeks before High School graduation. She barely escapes with her life. Having been stripped of everything she held dear, she dedicates her life to exacting revenge on the boys. She takes away their loves, their sanity, and their lives. Even if it means losing her own.
MINUTES TO DEATH: A series of short stories in the Minutes to Death (THE LONELIEST ROAD which is free at Smashwords, CLOSE TO HOME, THE LAST RESORT, SHOCK ROCK, and THE FRENCH QUARTER. That’s the order in which they should be read.). In the series, each story takes place in one minute, hence the title. There’s a common element connecting them that will be revealed in the next Minute to Death story. Each story is about someone who finds themselves in a frightening situation and realizes that sometimes justice is macabre.
RAGE: Troubled 13 year old Brian Boozer is out of options. Repeatedly raped and beaten by his step-father, pushed aside by his mother, bullied by his classmates and ignored by his teachers and counselors, he struggles to find a way to relieve the anger building inside him, anger that has turned to rage. (Available for purchase later this summer.)
HELD: Nicole Lee’s worst nightmare just became her reality. She’s been abducted by a sadistic serial killer. For months, Nicole is forced to watch as he tortures, murders, and dismembers victim after victim, always wondering if she’s next, enduring torture of her own as she’s held. (Available for purchase later this summer.)
Why did you decide to self publish? Or, why didn’t you go into traditional publishing?
With the recent explosion of ebooks, I realized I could take control of my books and publish them myself. I don’t need to send out query after query and sit here agonizing over whether my work will be acceptable. And ultimately, what did I have to lose?
What was the selfpublishing process like for you?
I recently discovered some amazing authors who have had outstanding success self-publishing through Smashwords. I checked it out and decided that was the way to go. So I read their Style Guide, formatted my books myself (which I found to be an extremely easy process), made a cover (I create and make all my own covers), uploaded it to their website, and it was immediately available for purchase (the entire process, including formatting, only took me about an hour). In fact, I was on the phone with my friend/beta reader/ego booster as I uploaded it. She wanted to be the first to buy it, so as soon as it went live, she bought it. Watching the first sale of one my books was phenomenal. I couldn’t stop smiling all day. I was so happy and excited. I’ve uploaded one more novel and five short stories since then, and all this has happened since June 11, 2011. So it happens quickly.
What are some good things about self publishing?
Control. As your own publisher, you have control of everything, including content, the cover design, and the way it’s marketed. You set your own price and keep more of the money. As opposed to 15% royalties with publishers, when you self-publish, you keep about 75% of the money. That’s almost reason enough, isn’t it?
What are some bad things about it?
Oddly enough, the very things that are good about self-publishing are bad. Not in a don’t-do-it kind of way, but in a be-prepared-for-it way. It’s true that when you publish a book independently you keep all control. It’s also true that with that control comes a great deal of responsibility. Yes, you control the content, the cover design, and the way it’s marketed. But you are also the one who has to edit the content, design the cover, and market the book. It’s all you. Unless you have some super awesome friends.
Do you have any advice or suggestions for those thinking about going into self publishing?
If you’re willing to put in the effort, it’s worth it. Do it. If you aren’t, go ahead and send out those queries, try to land to agent and catch the eye of a publisher. Or better yet, do both. But I feel that dead tree books are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and I think it’s best to jump on board now with self-publishing than to wait until it’s a necessity.
Check out Kimberly A. Bettes collection!
The Good Neighbor: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/66018
Annie’s Revenge: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70390
The Loneliest Road: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/78150
Close to Home: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/78201
The Last Resort: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/78204
Shock Rock: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/78225
The French Quarter: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/78231
They’re also available at B&N, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Scrollmotion, and Apple. Coming soon to Amazon.
Link us up!
My website: http://kimberlyabettes.wordpress.com/