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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cover Time!

Greetings, lords and ladies! Today, I have a cover.

I’ve decided the current Desmond covers remind me of Scooby Doo, which isn’t a bad thing in my world. I do love me some Scooby.

Ghosts Cover

Soooo, you might have noticed that it’s quite purple. The color violet (yes, I am aware that the shade on the cover is probably not exactly a perfect shade of violet) plays a really important role in the book.

I had to play with the colors on this cover several times because I didn’t want it to look like Barbie wrote the book (yes, I know the book would be pink if the Barbie minions wrote it) or an Easter egg. This is what I’ve settled on for the moment.

I still might tilt the shade a little closer to blue. We’ll see where we land.

The book may be out next week. No hubbub this time, just book. I do plan to stop releasing books that way because it’s not good for sales or rank or pretty much anything else.

Next book: significantly more hubbub.

The Printed Excerpt

I found this thing at Barnes and Noble the other day. I thought it was pretty cool.

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It’s a printed excerpt from a book that comes out in March. There was an author headshot and bio in the front and then several pages of the book.

I have never seen one of these. I do like the idea. I think they would work great as marketing materials at an author fair or maybe an author table at a convention. They’re nice looking and could possibly get someone to pick up at least part of a book and carry it away with them to be read later in a less hectic environment.

mhmm. yes.

 

 

Last Bits

I’m in the process of getting some last-minute stuff together for NanoWriMo. The last bits are: printing a map of Antarctica, doing some more research, and making a graphic timeline of events that occur before the story. I have a written timeline, but pictures are faster to reference sometimes.

The to-do list is delightfully light at the moment. I have completed most of the urgent things within the timeframe I needed to do them. Now, aside from that last-minute preparation, I am ready.

I’m also trying to anticipate distractions and how I might work around them. I just got Destiny 2 for my birthday, so I’m going to have to minimize my quality time with it. I also need to figure out how to make fewer trips to the store. I don’t know how I end up at the grocery store like every other day, but that’s probably a 45-minute chunk out of my evening.

Oh, and social media. I don’t participate much, but I do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time lurking and reading those random articles and lists of things I didn’t really need to know about.

I plan to use the basement as my writing retreat spot. There are fewer distractions down there. Also fewer snacks, so I might have to take some with me. I have gone to the library to write before, but they kind of expect me to keep my shoes on, which is lame.

Okay, kids. I’m off to put together the last bits.

Please enjoy this picture from my hike last weekend. We went to a park called Sodalis. They have magnificently manicured trails.

hiking

 

 

 

Mish Mosh Applsosh

I’ve been listening to the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. I’m actually on book 2.

It’s a lot like The Hunger Games, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. Both stories are YA dystopian fiction. It’s the ruling class versus the lower class. Main character is a spunky female who isn’t satisfied with her situation. Both heroines are thrust into the midst of the ruling class. Both trilogies contain arenas and rebellion. There’s a Peeta-like character and a Gale-like character, a Prim-like character. The list goes on.

It really does.

I don’t have an issue with this. I actually like the books so far, but the similarity reminded me of a podcast I listened to recently. The author on the podcast advised other authors to find books and themes that are popular and mimic those if you want to sell books.

I wonder if that’s what the Red Queen author did, if she took the main plot points and mushed them and tossed in a few extra ingredients.

Is this really what writing has come down to?

I hope not. I have a binder of notes for books and none of those ideas were exactly lifted from popular books, not consciously, at least. I mean, given how many books there are, it’s impossible to come up with an idea that no one before you has ever come up with, but there’s a difference between that and using someone else’s work as a road map.

The idea feels icky to me. Of course, that Aveyard lady is making mountains of cash, so she must be doing something right.

red queen

 

Misc Updates

Hey, guys! I feel like I haven’t been on the blog much lately. My workload has been utter insanity, and while I like being busy, I’d be okay with it cooling off for a while. However, as soon as it did cool off, I’d probably get excited about some other project and dive right in…like the podcast I’ve been thinking about starting. Everything I’m working on simultaneously feels like too much and never enough. 

I’m still making the 45 minute to an hour drive into and working at the day job, proofreading, occasionally writing, trying to make the publishing thing fly, blogging (mostly over at NightLark), and working on publicity for the next release there, which isn’t my book. Not one I wrote, at least. The crazy thing is that I think I’m better at promoting someone else’s work than I am at promoting my own. The effort is more consistent, which is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time.


It’s good because better/more consistent promotion usually equates to better sales. It’s bad because I’m doing things for this book that I should’ve done for all of my own books, and I know that. While putting this thing together, I neglected my own work. And that’s my fault. I should’ve found a way to manage my time more effectively. I am getting better, though, I think…I hope.


I have found that habits are magic. Whether they’re good magic or bad magic depends on the habit.


As far as my book release schedule goes for this year, I should have 2 more kids’ books out by the end of the year as long as the editing is somewhat smooth sailing. Both of those rough drafts are done. Is it weird I don’t get overly excited about finishing rough drafts anymore? I mean, I am happy they’re finished, but it’s kind of just a big step 1.


The adult series I planned to start this year will probably have to wait until next year. I do have one adult novella that I need to finish writing. That may be out around…Novemberish?? Or it could come out in the first couple of months next year. We’ll see what goes down between now and then.


Audiobooks…I’m still working on that. I have an area set up for recording. It’s much better than the setup I had before. I just need to get my rear end in there and use it!


What I really need is an assistant to follow me around and nag me until I finish all the things and also to occasionally knock the PlayStation controller out of my hand.


That’s it for now. Another toy collection post is on the way. I’m thinking Disney Villainess dolls…

Now please enjoy this picture of Bleu with 2 of his favorite things: newspapers and a box.

Whacking Moles

Hey! Just thought I’d pop on for a moment and offer up an update. I do have a new book out, the eBook version anyway. Link! I’m still engaged in battle with a few last-minute details on the print versions, which is killing me inside. I wanted to be done with this thing, but stuff keeps popping up like some hellish whack-a-mole game. Whack one mole, oh look! Yet another mole. Apparently, I have an overabundance of moles.

I have never had the problems I’m having with this book. It’s really weird and distressing, and if every book fought me this hard, I would probably never publish any of my work.

Official foofaraw shall commence once the paperback version is out. I didn’t want to dive too far into promotion without that at least being available.

I’m going to go work now. I hope to one day be free of this thing. Until then, please enjoy this photo of sleepy Sneaker.

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