A Downward Spiral and a Smallish Absence

Greetings! I am currently caught in a downward spiral of perfectionism (which, regrettably, never actually results in perfection).

The bad news: I basically trashed my entire audiobook recording…again. I can’t help myself. Here’s the deal: so I switched out my recording equipment maybe…halfwayish? The new mic was way better than the old mic, which presented 2 problems: inconsistent audio quality and the better mic picked up more room noise, ie a slight echo.

The good news: I revamped my booth with better insulation. Foam is out; mover blankets are in, and that has helped tremendously. I already rerecorded the entire book. I did that in a week plus a weekend, so I guess that tells me how lazy I was previously being. I do need to edit those files, which I’m getting ready to go work on.

Due to a super heavy, self-inflicted workload, I might be absent from the blog for a bit. I have a lot that I want to finish in the next 2-3 months. I will definitely be on during mid-late August and early September for the Wild Spirits of the Hollow release. I will also still be running the Authors Read podcast.

I might pop in here if I just can’t help myself.

Catch ya later, percolator.

word vomit

 

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Moving and/or Shaking

Alright. I was mostly absent from the blog last week because I was CRAZY busy. Did I even post? I don’t remember.

So, I’ve got a few things going on. First, I got the proof for Wild Spirits of the Hollow.  Wheee! Here’s a picture.

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I couldn’t get a clear picture with my phone because it’s being annoying. It probably wants more light or something.

Anyway, I was super happy that the cover art looked okay. You never know what might happen with photos. I was worried it would turn out too dark or too blurry, but it did not. As of right now, this is the only print copy, unless someone at Createspace took liberties.

What else. Oh, I did release a new thing that is not really a new thing. The prequel to Pestilence Rising received a fresh round of editing, a new cover, and a slightly altered title. Llewyn’s Faith is now Llewyn and is free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers and $1.99 if you’re not.

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Link to the story on Amazon

I’ve been poking around my backlist to see if there was anything short I could line up for audiobook narration. I decided to do this one, so that was the reason for the fresh round of editing, etc. As I was in the process of giving it a makeover, I noticed that I really half-assed it the first time around: the editing, the cover art, the description. It was just kind of a mess.

The story was a promotional thing for the novel that goes with it, so I didn’t value it like I should have. I was also impatient.

I should add that in the back of the story is a link to subscribe to my email list and get a free download copy of Pestilence Rising.  So basically, you could get the story and the book for $1.99 instead of dropping $4.99 on the ebook. But don’t tell anybody.

In August, the book below is coming out, and I have a story in it! The story is called Carnival and is creepy, I hope.

Indianas Emerging Authors

I’ll post a link once the book is available.

Minor less exciting updates.

Beneath Oceans of Sky audiobook: Editing bits have been patched in, and I’m about to start my final round of listening. Next step, uploading files and dancing with ACX quality control people. Gosh, I’m looking forward to that.

Echoes (abbreviated title because the real title is so cool that someone might actually steal it) – This is my scifi/fantasy/horror novel that has a tentative release day in November. I finished the first read-through/rewrite today! Quite exciting. Hopefully, the next round of edits will be easier.

I think that’s all for now. Time to go work.

 

 

Partial Completion and a Preorder

Hey there! I have not one, but TWO exciting updates today.

First: the all-important audiobook update. All first-round editing sessions are now complete. All initial bits that needed to be rerecorded have been rerecorded. Next step is to patch those puppies in. I’m not doing that today because I have different tasks to attend to.

I also have a preorder! Wild Spirits of the Hollow is now available on Amazon for $1.99. The price will go up when the book comes out.

If you’re a blogger and/or a reviewer, I am planning a blog tour. If you’d like to sign up and snag an advance reader copy, be sure to check out the blogger/reviewer page here.

Here’s some info on the book and the link to the preorder. The book comes out 8/28/2018.

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Shannon lies to almost everyone she meets. When she gets lost and winds up trapped in an Appalachian valley village, her lies don’t get her far.

Mistwalk Vale may look like a fairy-tale, but nightmares lurk in the shadows. Villagers are dying grisly deaths, their bodies reduced to bones and left in the streets for their friends and family to find. Worse, some people suspect that Shannon is involved. They accuse her of coming from the tribe of vicious earth witches down in the hollow.

A man named Owen believes Shannon is innocent. He tries to protect her as best he can, but there’s only so much he can do. She feels herself falling for him, despite her plan to leave as soon as she gets an opportunity.

Caught between angry mobs and an ancient darkness, she will be forced to fight for her survival. Can she save herself and the village before evil consumes them all?

Preorder on Amazon

 

 

The Listen Edit

I am so excited that today is Friday! I don’t have any real plans for this weekend, except for book working, which = much productivity!

During one of my last few posts, I mentioned that I was going to have a robot voice app read my most recent book to me. I did this with the hope that I would hear typos. My eyes skip over things and autocorrect for my brain, which is all well and good when I’m not trying to proofread.

Typos were found, but that wasn’t all. I heard unintentional repetition, perspective switches, all kinds of stuff.

The listen edit was life-altering, for real. I’ve never really 100% trusted human eyes or spell checks. While extremely helpful, I realize now that more was needed.

This week, I listened to the book I have coming out in August and started on Love and the Dark because that’s my next audiobook project.

I found so much that I needed to fix, more so with Love and the Dark, which was disconcerting because that book is actually out. No worries, though. I’ll fix it right up and publish updated versions before I record the audiobook.

If you write books or stories or whatever, I highly recommend that you do a listen edit. There are free apps. Robots don’t autocorrect when they read. What is on the page goes directly into your ears, for better or worse, and as long as you’re actively listening, you will hear things that don’t belong there or things that are missing.

Getting It Completed and Other Plans

So last weekend, the husband was occupied, and I decided to have an audio editing extravaganza. It was magnificent! I edited 7 chapters over the course of 3 days, which was about 40-45 finished minutes, which a TON of work. Audiobook production is not for the lazy, that is FOR SURE! I took yoga breaks. I took Skyrim breaks and Dead Space 2 breaks. Caffeinated beverages and wine were consumed but not at the same time.

I have 4 chapters left to edit, and I have to record the closing credits. Then I’ll have to go back through what I recorded and read along to make sure all the words are there and correct. I made some changes as I was recording, too, adding a couple of speech tags, etc, so I need to update the print editions to make sure they match those parts.

Damn, my life is glamorous.

After I finish this project, I’m revamping the soundbooth a bit. Moving blankets might dampen the sound more effectively than the foam setup I have now. The foam is…decent, but the moving blankets are heavier and more solid. There’s still a tiny bit of an echo in there that I’d like to get rid of. I might use the foam and the blankets together if I’m not happy with just the blankets. The blankets will look better as well, perhaps less like a serial killer’s lair, not that the appearance really bothers me.

I would also like a light because the big light in the room is somewhat blocked. I’m thinking one of those battery-operated nightlights that stick to the wall.

Another thing I plan to work on after Oceans is done is the Iyrico audio. That was the short story audio project that I rage-quit a while back, before I started recording Oceans. It was a lot of work, and I’m starting to feel ridiculous for abandoning it. If I can shape it up without having to rerecord the whole thing, I might go on and do that.

I also came up with a brilliant idea for editing my print books that is somewhat related to the audiobook thing. One’s eyes have a tendency to correct mistakes as one reads. That’s not very convenient for me when I’m looking for typos. One of my rounds of editing is now going to involve having an app read the text to me. I’m hoping that my ears might catch a few issues that my eyes do not.

Now, please enjoy this picture of Bleu’s ginormous kitten eyes.

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Yes, Another New Cover

Greetings! Okay, last cover redesign for a while, I promise.

I failed with this book. When Pestilence Rising first came out back in 2014 (wow, has it been that long?), I concentrated most of my promotional efforts on getting reviews. I got a few, nothing crazy. I sold like no copies. Even to this day, it isn’t selling squat. I have literally sold 2 digital copies of this book. 2.

The new cover is an attempt to fix that. I’m also revamping the description, recategorizing it, and implementing advertising.

The first cover was…not that great. This is it.

Pestilence Rising jpg cover

I guess it could’ve been worse. It could’ve been one of those horrible covers I sometimes see that look like someone took a bunch of tiny, random pictures and made a half-ass collage with them. Oh, if you’re wondering why my name is “L. Ryan” on this one, it’s because at the time, I was reading about how people would rather read books by men, so some ladies use initials instead of their first names like JK Rowling.

Ahem.

Anyway, so the second cover was a little better.

new PR cover

Still not fantastic or great for the genre, but at least it looks more…artsy?

With the new push comes the new cover. This is the one I’m going to use from here on out.

new pestilence rising cover

I still might monkey around with the font a bit, but I am pleased with it overall.

Hopefully, this new push will help. I dropped the ball with this book, which is dumb because I really did like it. I still do.

I was also thinking about doing an audiobook version after I finish Beneath Oceans of Sky and Love and the Dark. That might be weird, because the main character is male. My voice isn’t overly girly, though, so I might be able to pull it off.

Tune in tomorrow for a super creepy fish post. The fish is creepy, not the post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various Updates

OMG, today is a great day. I recorded Chapter 20 of the Beneath Oceans of Sky audiobook! 20!!! I usually record one chapter at a time, but today I was so close to number 20 that I just pushed on ahead.

Only ten chapters left! Can you believe it?

I really like recording, and editing is starting to grow on me, maybe because I’m better at it and the process is now less tedious. I think running the Authors Read podcast has really done wonders for my confidence level and skill level.

I’ve found a few parts to fix in the book, too. They’re not a big deal, but they do need a fixin’ and a fixin’ they shall have. So if you plan to read the book and haven’t yet, you might want to hold off for a smidge longer. Once I finish recording, I’m updating the ebook version and then creating the print version. There isn’t one yet.

I’d like to get at least 2 audiobooks out this year. The one I’m working on now and then one for Love and the Dark.

If I still have time after that, I might do one for a novella that isn’t out yet. A novella that is about to ship off to Lady Editor. That might be out around Julyish.

And then, my scifi/fantasy/horror thing that I’m working on right now, that should be out by the end of the year. I’m currently wading through that rough draft, and holy fishsticks, that is a ROUGH draft.

It was last year’s NaNoWriMo project. That’s probably what I get for trying to crank those words out so fast.

Current Favorite Distraction: Dead Space 2

I have to go edit audio now.

BeeLoo