A Quick Update on 2014

It’s hard to believe it’s almost summer. I had the goal at the start of this year to publish four new novels, two YA novels under Rachel Eliason and two fantasy novels under R. J. Eliason. Here’s the quick update.

The Best Boy Ever Made came out towards the end of January and it’s doing nicely. I have had several good reviews and sales are good. A huge thanks to all my YA fans for making that happen.

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Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp

The follow up to Bear Naked is out and available on Amazon.

Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp follows the saga Amanda Burnson and her friends as they grow and develop their shifter powers.


Wolf Camp is not your typical arts-and-crafts summer camp. It’s a training ground for future 
werewolves, where their mental and physical limits are constantly tested and honed. 

There are many hurdles to overcome: Amanda, an adolescent werebear, can’t control her 
transformations yet; and Connor and his pack are the camp misfits. Then they discover a new 
threat from the Sons of Garm, this time from within the Leidulf tribe. 

Will Amanda and her werewolf friends be able to navigate these new waters? Maybe with a 
little help from a couple of old friends? 



Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp Cover Reveal

Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp will be out sometime in March. For now, here is the cover and blurb. Comments welcome, of course.

Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp Coming Soon

Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp Coming Soon




Wolf Camp is not your typical arts-and-crafts summer camp. It’s a training ground for future werewolves, where their mental and physical limits are constantly tested and honed. There are many hurdles to overcome: Amanda, an adolescent werebear, can’t control her transformations yet; and Connor and his pack are the camp misfits. Then they discover a new threat from the Sons of Garm, this time from within the Leidulf tribe. Will Amanda and her werewolf friends be able to navigate these new waters? Maybe with a little help from a couple of old friends?


Any feedback on the blurb would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.








What’s your Werewolf Name?









My editor Janet Green at the Wordverve recently shared a link, What’s Your Werewolf Name? on Facebook. In turned into a mini promotion for Bear Naked.

And the winner is…Terry Morrow. Terry will be receiving a signed copy of Bear Naked and mention within the pages of Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp. A big thanks to all who played. Join on us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or here at rjeliason.com. We love these sort of informal promotions, so who knows when you might be given a chance to win something else.

What’s to come in 2014

As we all journey into 2014, here is a quick update on my writing progress and what is to come.

Bear Naked

Volume one of the Bear Naked saga is currently available for free on Storycartel if you are interested in checking out the series. If you are coming to this blog late and the promotion is past, don’t despair. I am eager to see as many reviews as possible of this novel, so send me a quick email and I will probably be glad to get you a copy in return for an honest review.

Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp

Is well on it’s way. I am working on draft five now. What does that mean? Check here for how I write novels. The short answer is this, it will be ready for my editor within a week or two. The cover designer is back after a short hiatus with the company. She is already hard at work on a cover that matches the first one beautifully. We are not quite ready for a big reveal, but the samples I have seen are gorgeous.

I hope to have Wolf Camp released into the wild this spring sometime.

There is a five book story arc at work in the Bear Naked series. Bear Naked 3: The Hunter and the Hunted currently exist in the form of some scrivener notes. Hopefully I can write that this spring and summer. I hope to release that in the fall some time.

Other Novels

What else is coming down the pipeline? The Mage Chronicles, an epic fantasy set in the world of the Gilded Empire is virtually finished and waiting for editing. The hold up, its nearly twice as long as anything I have published so far. Freelance editing is by the page or by the word, and either way, it’s not cheap. I am waiting to see how sales and personal finances fare before making more certain plans for this novel.

By popular demand of beta readers and friends, my first novel, a post apocalyptic science fiction novel, is back on the docket. I will be rewriting One Strange Utopia this spring and getting it ready for editing.

Rachel Eliason

My other pen name has a busy year ahead of her as well. I have a contemporary YA novel that is virtually ready to go. I am quibbling over the title now, there are titles similar to the working title “Country Girl” and I am trying to find something more unique.

I am planning on releasing another contemporary YA this summer in honor of pride. Rosie and the Slenderman, the story of a gay youth forced to move to a small town to help care for his demented grandmother, is nearly completed and ready for editing.

I am part of a local critique group and they are helping me get my first memoir in order. This one, The Agony, The Ecstacy and the Buddha, One woman’s month in Thailand having a sex change, is slowly coming together.

With four novels and numerous short stories out under at least three different pen names, I will have plenty of marketing and promotions to do as well. Still with what I have in the pipeline I can confidently plan to publish at least four new novels this year.

For long standing readers and fans, what would you like to see me explore? Have you heard me mention a work in progress and thought, I wish she’d hurry up and finish that. If so, leave a comment.

Why the “We’re Drowning in Ebooks” Diatribe needs to stop

According to Forbes we’re drowning in Indie books. The blogosphere has taken up this catch phrase, we’re drowning in ebooks and we’re drowning in ebooks. And those are just in the first page of results on my google search. I could easily find a dozen or more references to the idea that we are drowning in ebooks.

Closely related to the drowning in ebooks meme is the catch phrase “discoverability.” Its all the rage right now as well. How are authors going to get discovered in an era where we are drowning in ebooks?

This has to stop. I don’t care if the article is mostly positive about indie publishing or negative, the term itself makes me cringe. Here are five reasons why I cringe whenever I read the term “drowning in ebooks.”

  1. Readers aren’t drowning. If we are experiencing a “sea” of Indie books then our readers are the fish.

Is anyone complaining about cable TV? Remember the good ole days when you had three networks and public television? Anyone pine for those days? Me, neither. Consumers love choice. Readers are no different. In fact, sales figure show that the choices available on ereaders mean consumers are buying more, rather than fewer, ebooks. This is good news for everyone.

Cable TV and, more recently, streaming video, have changed the way we watch TV. But it hasn’t spelled the end of the networks and no one seriously complains about having too much choice. By the same token I never hear this “too many ebooks” line for avid readers.

  1. Sales aren’t a zero sum game

Inherent in this argument is the assumption that book sales are a zero sum game. There are x number of readers who will by x number of books this year. A sale in someone else’s pocket is a lost sales for you.

This is not true. For one thing, readers are not a specific demographic. Women who read trashy romance novels are not the same demographic as men who read historical fiction. The blistering success of the Fifty Shades series is not hurting your five hundred page opus about the Crimean War, because those readerships don’t overlap.

Even within a genre or a demographic its hard to draw any specific conclusions about sales, so arguing that an established romance series is being hurt by a dozen of similar Indie series is a fruitless exercise. The same can be said of free promotions and piracy. People download free ebooks by the hundreds from both legitimate promotions and from pirate sites. But how many would pay for a similar book if it weren’t available for free? No one knows. So stop worrying about it and start worry about things that are under your control, like your own writing.

  1. Crappy products don’t replace good products for long

There are twin illogical assumptions at work in this diatribe. A) most Indie books are poorly written, poorly edited crap and B) most Indie books don’t sell. How exactly do poorly written books that don’t sell hurt the chances of better authors that are selling? Most of the examples of poorly written books you can give, quickly sink to far back pages of Amazon or Smashwords where they have little effect on anyone else’s sales.

The fact that people in the traditional publishing industry are complaining about indie books is telling. If they were really all as bad as critics claim, there would be nothing to fear from the indie revolution.

  1. It’s always been hard to get discovered.

Back in the olden days, and the olden days means anytime before 2010, most writers were struggling to get published through a big publishing company. It was hard and odds were not in your favor. The big publishing houses saw hundreds of submissions every day. Most were put in the “slush pile” and read by poorly paid interns. One bad mark from one intern and the book was in the trash.

Still writers persevered. They went to writer’s workshops and networked with fellow writers. They showed their manuscript to everyone and anyone who was willing to read it. They queried agents and publishers by the hundreds. It was often a vicious cycle, writers desperate to get published, sent out mass queries to anyone and everyone. Publishers, responding to a huge influx of inappropriate submissions, dumped books into the slush pile, outsourced the reading of said pile and sent form rejection letters. Every writer hoped and dreamed of the day when one of those agents, editors or poorly paid interns would read their manuscript, be totally overwhelmed by its greatness and publish them.

Indie ebooks are now the slush pile, or so we are told. Most writers I know have bypassed the years or heartache and toil trying to get the attention of one of the big publishing houses. They self publish and take their books straight to the readers.

And they face the same challenges they did before. Instead of poorly paid interns, its unpaid reviewers/book bloggers. The rejection letter has been replaced with the bad review.  Instead of a publishing contract, it’s slowly rising sales figures until that glorious day when your book goes viral and really takes off.

For many years, getting published meant you had “made it” as an author. Indie publishing and the ebook revolution has made it easier than ever to reach that goal, but it’s also made the goal meaningless. Hitting the publish button is only the first step towards making it. The cold hard truth of Indie publishing is that you are still a nobody. A nobody with a book maybe, but a nobody. It takes months, or even years, to build up a reliable readership. Getting “discovered” is largely a myth perpetuated by readers who don’t see the years of struggle that “overnight successes” have already put in.

  1. It sounds self serving.

The drowning in ebooks diatribe can be found, in one form or another, from all corners of the web. I don’t care if you are a traditionally published novelist, an Indie novelist or a supposedly “unbiased” journalist. Anytime a writer starts in on this subject I hear the same thing. “All those other writers should stop writing so much crap so readers can discover my work.”

So if we are really drowning in ebooks, why not stop writing? Go find something else to do with your life. It’s really the only fair solution. Asking other writers to stop writing so many books so that you can succeed certainly isn’t fair. It isn’t fair to the other writers and it isn’t fair to readers, who would rather have a choice.

And there’s the problem right there. It’s like the scene in virtually every B movie where the good guy and bad guy have guns pointed at each other. Who should put down their gun first? Everyone put down their word processor on the count of three, okay?

As for me, I am going to go right on writing as many books as I can, because it’s what I want to do. Hopefully I can become one of the lucky few that makes a living at it, but even if I can’t, I will still write. It’s part of who I am. And I am going to go right on encouraging my writer friends to do the same because anything else would be hypocritical of me.

Ten Reasons Why You Should Write Book Reviews

Having a new book out now, I thought it might be a good time to hint about reviews. Here are ten simple reasons why you should write book reviews.

  1. It helps the author sell books. Reviews generate buzz, buzz sells books. Let’s face it, most authors have day jobs and have to squeeze writing in around their work lives. If you want to see more books from your favorite author, give them a hand and write them a review.

  2. It helps author get better. Writers work in a vacuum. They spend months laboring over a piece of writing without any feedback. But the only way to improve is to get feedback. Good reviews, reviews that are honest and fair, provide excellent feedback. Several of the reviewers of my first novel said it had too many typos. They were right. I went back and proof read it again and now it’s much cleaner.

  3. It helps other readers. Point your fellow readers towards books they might like. Particularly helpful are reviews that say things like, “If you liked blank, you might like this.”

  4. Pay it forward. You’ve probably been helped by a review. I know I have. When I am on the fence about a book I will read the reviews. They’ve pointed me towards good books many times.

  5. It’s easy. It’s not a book report. You don’t have to stress over your reviews. “I liked it and if you like mysteries you probably will too” is fine.

  6. It helps web sites. Amazon.com, Goodreads, smashwords, they all have some logarithm that decides which books to put in front of which readers. Their computers use reviews, ratings and people with similar reading/browsing history to make those selections. Make those selections more accurate by rating and reviewing purchases from time to time.

  7. It will help you. Those same logarithms determine what you see when you shop for a new book. Writing honest reviews and giving fair ratings means it is more likely that you will see books you are actually interested in the next time you shop.

  8. It’s like being in a giant book club. Critics often accuse the internet of creating separation, but often it brings people together. Sharing reviews on Goodreads and other social media opens the door to discussing books you really like, or discussing why you don’t like the latest best seller.

  9. Have a voice. Our culture is nothing more than a collection of shared beliefs and ideas. It is created by individuals, and yet many individuals end up feeling controlled by their culture. I think it’s because most of us don’t how we each contribute to the collective ideology we call culture. Well, here is one way. Talking about the books that matter to us is like voting on a piece of our culture. Which books will be remembered in a hundred years? Those that people read and talked about.

  10. It gives you something new to share on social media. A lot of us spend a lot of time on Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, you name it. If you just want to lurk, that’s fine. But if you really want to get noticed on social media, be a power user, you have got to share. But what do you have to share? How about a book review?


The Physical Book

I got my copies of Bear Naked in the mail today. Even though that I have a few books under my belt, it is still a huge thrill to open your front door and see those boxes. I tore them open immediately and did a little happy dance with one of the copies. I am now reading it, looking at the formatting and figuring out which scenes to use for readings, etc.

This is my first experience with letting someone else do the formatting and cover art. It’s different and for someone like me its really hard to let go of control. I have plastered the cover everywhere and I am sure you all know how I feel about it. The cover artist did a wonderful job. I love this cover.

What about the rest of the book. Look for yourself. The book designer did a really good job and I am very happy with the end result.

Front view of the book

Front view of the book






Chapter heading

Chapter heading






Back of book

Back of book