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Messages - Ryn Shell

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Writers' Cafe / Re: First ever Bookbub Tue 20th Feb
« on: February 22, 2018, 08:09:43 AM »
Congratulations, Pauline!   :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Feelin' down, and wondering "what is the point"?
« on: February 20, 2018, 10:10:23 AM »
The important point is: there is always something we can do to get visibility. I've been trying Pinterest out for the past few months and steadily figuring it out. One book I read about Pinterest mentioned that it's a platform where people actually go to look for something to buy--as a Pinterest fanatic, I have to say that's what I use it for as well. Social media a cheap(er) and powerful way of advertising. Thinking outside the box, and doing what we can is really the key. We have to work to get visibility in the same way we worked to craft the story.

What Rosie said, "There's always something you can do to get visibility."

The best place to promote is where your potential client goes to browse for your product. They may not use Amazon. That's the case for most of my readers. I don't advertise distributor links, and I'm doing better than last year when I used Amazon links in promotions, (I don't now) and I did better book sales before I used Amazon.

Consider experimenting. There are more options out there than most authors are aware of. There is a huge growth in free to 10% distribution companies, useful if you are doing the public relations and advertising yourself.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is it wrong for me to choose a life of privacy?
« on: February 19, 2018, 02:24:15 AM »
Do what suits you.  :)
Any close-up photos of me are twenty-five-years old.
Distance photos are ten years old, and I do live as a recluse.
Be yourself, no one can do it better.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Feedback on female body cover illustration
« on: January 20, 2018, 08:25:35 AM »
I like the women, both the face and figure. The bust size is a bit big, but the issue is more the over accentuating of them with light and shade contrast making them a major feature. Let's look at a woman's face not her breasts when speaking to them. ;) I wouldn't enjoy seeing enlarged pouty lips, what you have works for me.
What doesn't work for my reader taste is the tight shirt that looks as if her buttons would pop off if she were to engage in any athletic activity or even take a deep breath. I know you have to weigh up what's likely to sell a book and not what's going to appeal to someone like me.  :)

The covers are quite nice. I'd rather the shirt too tight, if it has to be for sales, than sexualized large lips. I would not believe she would be wearing lip enhancer, or pouting, in this action story, she'd be focused on her work.

Writers' Cafe / Re: 5,000 words per week club.
« on: January 19, 2018, 09:19:42 PM »
5000 words towards the content of an ebook (I write more than that for other creative business purposes) a week is doable for me in 2018.
This is an adventurous year for me with many other creative commitments, and setting a target of 5000 words a week will be perfect. I'll be writing at the end of a creative and busy week, and not everyday.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Going "wide" with nonfiction--yes, no, maybe?
« on: January 16, 2018, 10:35:42 AM »
I love wide, wide away from Amazon :D for non-fiction.

I mainly create my graphics with traditional art materials in the studio, then photograph the work, bring it into Photoshop CS6 to add the typography.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Writer's Market and submitting short stories in 2018
« on: January 16, 2018, 10:07:31 AM »
I've made some good money for more than a decade selling short works of non-fiction, mainly travel features that were paid for by major airline companies. I use an agent for these. I bought the Writer's Market book years ago and I never got around to submitting to anyone as I got plenty of offers via my agent.

I've used many images of the original fine art portraits that I've painted as book covers. I've known all the models. Even though I have retained copyright of the artwork, I've always gained the artwork owner and the model's permission before I use the artwork for a cover.

Writers' Cafe / Re: women's literary fiction, NOT romance
« on: December 27, 2017, 07:05:11 AM »
I write of love, (crime, betrayal, resilience, coming-of-age, and love) but not romance.
I can relate well to stories by Jodi Picoult.
I have similar themes, but I don't class my work as Women's fiction, as it's not written for women, and my books are equally read and enjoyed by men. The work tends to be rural, rather than urban, and outdoors, rather than domestic.
So, while again I'd say I tell a mainstream or literary story, as I consider Jodie Picault does, and I enjoy good networking, I can't classify my work as women's fiction. But, keep me in mind. I have popular blogs (not book blogs) and consider reader interest submissions.
I ran historical fiction book promotions for a year, met some great authors while doing it and enjoyed the experience. I have considered doing it again, but right now I'm setting up a new, writing and art related creative business so it's not the best time for me to be heavily involved in the work aspect of a group promotion. Maybe once I have it set up I could be more involved. If you think my work fits in with yours, we might be able to work together.  :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: I published my first novel!
« on: December 22, 2017, 01:45:01 AM »
Congratulations, Michael! This is a special moment.

Writers' Cafe / Re: In a quandary
« on: December 21, 2017, 03:20:24 PM »
I frequently hear a voice in my head trying to distract me with too many creative ideas than I can focus on. I'm currently slotting my cosy murder mystery novel ideas away in the November 2018 file in my brain, as I plan my January-October 2018 art video demonstrations work. I'd work best if I focus on one at a time and eliminate those ideas that aren't ideally suited to my skills, or those skills I want to develop, and my goals.

When I'm overloaded with ideas, (I'm never short of them) I remind myself to, "Do what I do best and let the others do the rest." The only time I struggle with decisions on what to do is when I lose sight of that, or why I chose to be a creative person in the first place. That manta is so important to keep me on track, and not distracted, I've been known to stick that statement on my computer and on my easel.

Another mantra that assists me with my creative work is knowing that you need to ask the right question to get the correct answer.
Instead of working without a clear plan on a manuscript, a painting, or any project, ask, "What does it need?" Then wait for a clear answer, following the, "More look than put," principal. If you wait until you get a clear response from the work that it NEEDS something done, before touching it, you won't over fiddle with it or muck it up. Try to never ask, "What more can I do." There is always something you can add to any project, but, does in NEED it?

The action of remembering to ask the right question, has been one of the most valuable lessons I learned as an artist, and one that adapts equally well to keep me focused on the best ideas, and not distracted by a multitude of possible ideas as a writer.

I can't say if these ideas that work for me will translate into ideas that you can use, but I'm happy to share them.

Writers' Cafe / Re: We now have 2 rows of Sponsored Ads on our book's page
« on: December 20, 2017, 08:39:48 AM »
Every time I go to buy an ebook lately I'm shown erotica book covers, sometimes with larger images than the book I went to purchase. I do not want to see near naked group sex scenes, especially not when I'm looking at a clean and cozy novel, or a cookbook, as has happened this week. I have written to Amazon to tell them this several times and have not received a reply. Those images aren't following the client, as when I see them it's not by this client's choice.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Grade my fantasy artwork!
« on: December 20, 2017, 04:22:18 AM »
The only thing that seems "off" to me is the way the character is interacting with the helmet. To me it looks like the helm is stuck to his hand rather than him gripping it. Due to the design, would he even be able to lift the helmet that way in an unawkward manner? It seems like it would be much more logical to lift it by one of the horns.

This is why I prefer version 3, number 2 cover. In version 3, number 2, the visual image clearly tells some of the story. You lose some of that story in version 5, and you cannot see that the helmet rests on his knee and he is only balancing it with his hand, not elevating it.  As I'd said, 5 is good, but it would need tweaking, in my opinion, to make it work, whereas version 3 works as is.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Grade my fantasy artwork!
« on: December 19, 2017, 05:48:51 AM »
I like the second one! (version 3) I can read everything at thumbnail size. Also, I like the title font a bit better.

Make the author name easier to read if you go with the last one. (which most people like so far)

I agree. Version 3, the second one, is clean, clear, nothing is fighting for attention. Good composition.

With 5, the last one still needs tweaking to get in right. It looked 'busy' to me with the highlight under the series name and the author name faded. I thought it a shame to lose so much focal point artwork behind the title when you can read the title well in the second image, version 3.

Whichever cover you use, great work.

 I was a member of Alliance of Independent Authors for two years. I agree, Kboards is a great (free) resource for indies to use, it isn't the same. It has benefited me being a part of both groups.
I've also done one of Mark Dawson's courses, been in one of his groups, and while it was excellent, what I got as a member of ALLi was different, and valuable to me.
I'd recommend ALLi membership to mainstream authors wanting to network with other professional mainstream authors, and wanting ideas for marketing mainstream work. I'd not recommend it so much to an author writing in a highly popular genre, and seeking tips for marketing a popular genre, they will get that advice here on kboards.

Writers' Cafe / Re: #MeToo comes to self-publishing
« on: December 17, 2017, 06:03:54 AM »
I have increased respect for Courtney Milan (Heidi) having read how she has overcome and positively responded to that sexual intimidation.


Writers' Cafe / Re: The one thing I hate about self-pubbing
« on: December 15, 2017, 09:00:02 PM »
Your covers are gorgeous.

Thank you, Anna, I love your covers too. :-)
That's a bit rough. I should say I love the stories. They look so inviting. I plan to make more time in 2018, when I will not be writing a novel, (although far from retiring) to read more, and I'll finally get to your books. I'm looking forward to it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: its crazy how much they want to record Audio books
« on: December 15, 2017, 08:36:27 PM »
I'm reading comments with interest. I'm in awe of the skill of great readers and know the behind the scenes costs and editing time involved.

The longest that I can speak into my microphone without stumbling on my words is ten minutes, and that's taken me months of practice in front of a microphone to reach that standard. I still haven't achieved the natural speech pattern I aim to achieve to use on my videos. Cut and edit facilities help me come up with a completed work. It will probably take me a week to produce two hours of clearly enunciated and natural sounding speech, once I achieve that standard. Before I even get that far that I could narrate a video for two hours, I'll need months of practice, and I started out with a clear speaking voice.

I'll never knock a professional for charging a professional fee for service.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Literary Fiction In Crisis...thoughts
« on: December 15, 2017, 06:00:17 PM »
Just finished reading The Good Earth, the classic by Pearl S. Buck, and it features some of the least introspective characters ever. Is it considered literature this week? It's been on serious reading lists forever, but trends come and go. I don't think introspection by the protagonists is a sine qua non of literary fiction. When I consider Rabbit, Run, I still want to punch that guy.

I've read quite a few novels that claim to be literary fiction and IMO are more nicely written potboilers than the usual genre novels but they nevertheless follow certain specific "literary" cliches. Such as, if there's a romance in the story, there should be no happy ending. Or, the orphan finds a new family in female strangers accidentally met.

Certain authors have a solid midlist audience and do very well for themselves because they get reviews in the traditional media and no one is ashamed to be seen reading them and lots of people even buy the book in hardcover. But I have doubts anyone will be reading their books eighty years from now, just as I do not expect anyone to read my own blatant romance genre books then.

Good comments, LilyBLily.  :)
The Good Earth, the classic by Pearl S. Buck is the type of novel I prefer to read. I've been reading well-written mainstream books, which is what I consider literary fiction is, for the past sixty years.

I love the books with fabulous plots that don't attempt to follow a genre classification, but are written with a passion for life. Many of these are contemporary or historical fiction because they draw on real life, or seemingly real-life adventures. Some are considered fantasy, such as T. H. White retelling of Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory in his The Once and Future King, and I even call The Haunting of Toby Jugg by Dennis Wheatley, which some might call horror, as literary fiction because it is also well written, grippingly so, mainstream. All these books that I love most are great stories that don't slot exactly into any one genre; they are a melting pot of crime, betrayal, mystery, resilience, and love.

Literary fiction might not hit the peaks of genre fiction without the push of a traditional publisher behind them, but they have a classic appeal that transcends time. Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth, was as good to pick up and read, and recommend, in my seventies as it was when a senior suggested I read books such as that when I was a teenager. That early introduction to literary fiction spoiled my ability to get hooked on genre fiction.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The one thing I hate about self-pubbing
« on: December 15, 2017, 02:50:22 AM »
How about an odd assortment of funny characters in Hell?

As the one thing you don't like about self-publishing?

Or, is that a question for me?
I'm not offering to create an original work of art. Forgive me for not understanding your comment, or not explaining clearly.
I thought I'd just clarify what I'm offering to create a promotional banner in Photoshop from an author's supplied images, just in case this was a question for me. Should you supply an image of an odd assortment of funny characters in Hell, that you are licensed to use, then I can manipulate that onto a promotional banner. I'm not offering to create a complex image from scratch, that would be a substantial size commission that I'd not have time to undertake, and there are professionals who promote here on kBoards who do that well. I'm not seeking to infringe on the work of the ebook cover authors who are respected here, and who could handle the creation of a graphic art commission of characters from hell far better than I could.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The one thing I hate about self-pubbing
« on: December 15, 2017, 02:07:09 AM »
I love doing all of it. :-) Whatever I'm working on is my favourite part of my creative work. I'd be happy to help authors with their graphic images, if they are helping others. I LOVE creating images.

Most of you know that I'm a professional artist. I added my gallery link to my signature. I can also use Photoshop and design a lot of book promotion banners. I'm happy to do a certain amount of Photoshop work from your photo images, free of charge to assist fellow authors. I'm sure there are ways we could trade services. I still assist some authors with cross-promotion, even though I stopped inviting new authors into my cross-promotions as it was taking up too much of my time explaining how to cross-promote, and too many authors accepted the cross-promotion opportunity and then left it to the few who did the work for the group. I don't want to get into doing things for authors who don't pay it forward again.

I can probably give your book some promotion at the same time as I do some graphic work for it, because I share my creative work in progress on social media.
My offer to create your visual promotion banners and such is only to those authors who are doing something to help other authors (not necessarily me, but I'll need to know what you do to help others, and I'll want to see some evidence.) I'll also need to fit your work in with my full-time artwork, so I can't do work instantly. Also, if I'm doing any creative work complementary, I expect all the details given to me about what you want, up front. I draw the line at doing revisions because the project wasn't explained clearly.

Alexa, and others, feel welcome to contact me.  :) Creating images is a lot easier for me than writing this post without typos in it. ;) I am not accepting paid graphic work, only a few free jobs to help fellow authors, as I'm too busy with fine art and art video creating to get into that side of things professionally.

To write a good story.
I strive to write a story that I believe is worth sharing, and to do it in a way that people will find entertaining to read. That's it! No other agenda, no plans to slot into a genre niche, or to earn a living at writing.
Although I continue to market my varied works, as a professional discipline, income is the bonus, not the goal.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Buy Buttons - Advice Wanted
« on: December 12, 2017, 12:24:39 AM »
The D2D link will remember your store preference and take the buyer direct to what they consider is your store of preference. It can be annoying if you are in Australia, as I am, and prefer to buy in the store and D2D always taken me to if I use the Amazon link.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is it even possible to go traditional?
« on: December 11, 2017, 11:44:01 PM »
I'm a hybrid author. With my traditionally published work, I lost the freedom to choose the story, although  I could write it as I wanted to. I didn't begin writing the novels I wanted to write in this indie published Ryn Shell name until I'd been writing to order, for publishers, for fifty years.
The publishers were in touch with what would sell, and I didn't have to be concerned about editing. They provided a committee to polish my rough drafts with me being present to have an input. I enjoyed the process. It was never a situation of my approaching a publisher with something already written and trying to sell it to them. Things are different now; my traditional publishing contacts are moving out of eBooks and into video, and so am I.
If you are writing what's popular, which is all most publishers will accept, I'm thinking that you are better off being an indie author. There is so much information on kBoards an how to market.

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