An Audio Update and Yard Shenanigans

Monday! Oh, how I have not missed you all that much.

I have a goal to finish all primary recording sessions for Beneath Oceans of Sky this very week! I actually recorded 3 chapters today: a retake of chapter 20 and then chapters 24 and 25. I usually only record one at a time, but I’m trying to get faster at the whole audiobook production process, hence the longer session.

I’m not worrying about keeping up with editing this week. It’s an all-out recording run! I have a three-day weekend and the husband will be occupied for some of it, so I can have an audio editing extravaganza. If I really buckle down, I could actually finish this thing in the next 1-2 weeks. I’m super excited.

A thing that I am not excited about is the spiders I keep finding in my basement. This one was hanging out over my sound booth the other day.

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They gotta go, for real! I like spiders but not when one could potentially sneak out from behind my sound dampening foam and steal a snack while I am otherwise distracted.

In the yard, we’ve had much cuter intruders. Baby robins and baby cardinals! The top picture is one the husband took of the cardinals before they grew up extremely quickly and flew away. Picture number 2 is one I took last weekend. The robins are also growing extremely quickly. They took up residence in a preexisting nest.

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That’s all for now. I should have a post about antique spirit communication devices at some point this week.

 

 

 

 

 

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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

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.

In Which I Wednesdayed

Does everyone know what today is? I do!

perfect date

Aside from that, it’s also a learning day for me. I’ve had a bunch of those lately. I’ve been reading a lot of books on marketing. I’ve gotten rusty at such things.

Many of the recommendations involve asking people for things.

Ask authors for blurbs!

Ask bloggers and readers to review your books!

Recruit people to be on your book launch team and then ask them to share things on social media, etc!

I’m bad at asking people to do things. I have questionable social skills as it is, and I’m not sure adding the requesting of favors would add bonus points to my charisma rating.

Plus it makes me feel icky. The introvert in me (which is pretty much all of me) is not keen on bothering human beings that are likely otherwise occupied with the business of life. We are all very busy, running around like maniacs, trying to get everything done.

Speaking of getting things done: I am almost done with the cover for the 2nd Desmond book. In fact, I’m going to go work on that right now and hopefully post it by the end of the week.

Now here is a picture of our overcast Indiana spring. I did get to see the sun for like half an hour today so I was really excited.

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Busy Bees Gather No Moss

or something like that. I’ve been crazy busy, just the way I like.

The Authors Read Podcast is going pretty well. I ended up added recording services to the mix due to email request. There’s a charge for that, of course, because that’s way more work than simply putting together a post. I’m happy to help out my fellow authors, but when we start getting into hours of labor, we need to talk moola. Know what I’m saying?

Also, I received the proof for the updated print version of the first Desmond book today. This is what it looks like.

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Shiny, shiny. This is the second proof I ordered because the color on the first one was way jacked up. Printers really like a certain range of colors. If you feed the printer a color it doesn’t understand, it freaks out and just kind of does whatever. Apparently, the first version had one of those “off” colors. It did not look nice.

This print version is not yet available. I’m still deciding whether to move the title up a few notches. I probably will.

Roboreading

Greetings and salutations! Another week, another round of book-related shenanigans. Audiobook production update: 16 chapters recorded, 10 chapters edited. Yes, I’m behind on editing. I’m working on it!

Today I was listening to a podcast that mentioned using text to speech to create audiobooks. They were excited because someone managed to get the computer to use some inflection. They played a sample. It was…okay.

I’ve used text to speech before because I have more time to listen than to read. While it is functional, after a while, the robo voice becomes abrasive. It’s stiff and unnatural like trying to cover up with a cardboard blanket.

An audiobook is a performance. Good or bad, that’s what it is. I’d rather hear a human read.

The worse part is that I’m sure the robo reader will eventually get to the point that it will be indistinguishable from a human performer. That makes me sad, not just because I’m working on creating an audiobook.

It’s sad because it seems like no industry is safe from automation. These fantastic strides in technology are going to put people out of work. They already have put people out of work. At what point does it stop? When no one has a job anymore? That’ll be fun.

And does no one remember the Terminator? That was a cautionary tale, people!!

Our robot overlords will not be benevolent.

terminator