July means…it’s almost time for the NW Book Festival! I loved this event last year, it’s in a GREAT location in downtown Portland. Check out the website for a map and more information!
It’s been a whirlwind of a year so far, that’s for sure. I had my second daughter in March (hello, Esper!) and only just recently reclaimed my late-night writing/editing/business time after the kids go to sleep. (That’s right, my baby is sleeping through the night. Huzzah!) So things are in motion…it may be slow motion, but it’s onward and upward from here.
There are several projects in the works that will be released this summer. AND, have you noticed the amazing logo at the top of this post? No Wyverns Publishing has a brand new logo and website design and I LOVE it. Now I can finally go swag-purchasing-crazy. (No Wyverns shirts, anyone?)
In other news….the e-book for Myth will be on sale for .99 from June 23-30….so grab it while you can! I’m super excited about this sale, this is my first paid promotion that I have invested in. Several e-book deal sites will be including Myth in their daily deals email blast, which enables me to reach many, many more potential readers. Fingers crossed, I’ll post results after the promotion ends, which hopefully will be filled with many smiley faces and exclamation points.
Lastly, I’ve only planned one event (so far!) for 2017, and that’s the NW Book Festival in Portland, OR on July 29th. I attended this event last year and had great success, not only selling books but meeting other authors, as well. I’ll be at booth 45, over in the shady area by the Starbucks (hmmm, how convenient!) It’ll be hot. Guaranteed.
That’s all for now, check back for more frequent posts – I promise!
It’s near the end of the first month of 2017…wow. January has been a busy month of birthdays, anniversaries, family visits, ice skating lessons and pretty much everything else in between. Oh yeah, did I mention I’m having a baby in about six weeks? *insert ten thousand other things that need to be done before baby #2 comes*
I have a lovely list of goals for 2017 outlined on the front page of my obsessively detailed 2017 planner (which I live by.) I’m calling them my New Horizons because I’m excited about the direction it will take me and my writing. I’m hoping to expand No Wyverns Publishing, release three new fiction titles this year, and explore the world of non-fiction writing. Another goal on my list? Aim for 100 rejections this year. That’s right. The more rejections = the more I’m submitting my work out there.
Oh yeah, did I mention I’m having a baby in six weeks? Don’t worry, that event is on my planner, too.
Last weekend went GREAT at the NW Book Festival! It was a super long day (leaving Eugene at 5 am doesn’t help…) but well worth it! We got there far ahead of our load-in time (by the way, the event was organized super well!)
We sold over a dozen books and met dozens of other great authors – mostly indies! It was so fun to speak with my new readers about my books and see their excitement over the story.
I think our table setup worked perfectly, but I learned some great options from other author’s tables for future events. There were a few whispered questions from passerby’s about “What the heck is No Wyverns??” – but hey, it got your attention! 😉
We definitely saw it as a success…and we’ll be back next year!
Cover illustration by the talented Char Houweling
I can’t believe this day is finally here but…my Young Adult Fantasy book “Myth” has a release date of 7.25.16!
If you know me and my writing, then you’ve probably heard me talk about this book at least a hundred times. What started as notebooks full of handwritten pages has turned into a novel. It’s traveled with me from Oregon to Vancouver B.C. (where those handwritten notebooks were almost stolen – thank you, nice Canadian thieves, for leaving them in my parent’s car), then to California (where I packed them with my valuables when we were almost evacuated from fires), then back to Oregon, tucked safe atop my bedroom dresser.
Where it sat. And sat. And the paperclips of notes between the pages grew rusty with age. It sat some more until one day I needed this story again. And those characters were still there, dutifully waiting in the place I had left them.
That was August of 2014. So I picked up where I left off, writing “Myth” while working full time. I’d write on my lunch breaks. I’d write after my toddler went to bed or on my days off. I don’t know how many ideas I’d repeat to myself over and over during my commute between home and work – don’t forget it, don’t forget it until you get home and jot it down. It went painfully slow but at least it went.
I was able to scramble one edit through the finished manuscript before taking it to a writer’s conference in August of 2015. I pitched it to several agents and editors, all who displayed interest. But then “Myth” had to sit and wait again. So it sat and sat, waiting for the response from those “interested” agents that eventually arrived, if at all.
Now it’s 2016 and this story is tired of sitting and waiting. When I started No Wyverns Publishing, I knew I’d have total creative control over “Myth.” And while that’s stellar, it’s also a lot of work. You need to get as much feedback as you can. You need to hire and seek out help from professionals. You need to edit and revise and edit again (then again. Oh, and again). It also helps to be married to a brilliant book format expert and all around problem-solving-genius.
But guess what? I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It takes a lot of patience to write a book. Unfortunately, I’ve had to say ‘no’ to some things and drag myself to the computer when I just wanted to go to bed instead of editing until 1 am. But through it all, I couldn’t put this story down and never tired of it and I hope readers feel the same way.
It’s going to be an exciting and busy summer and I have twenty emails to write about this announcement. But right now I’m going to sit back and reflect on how far this book has come. It’s survived theft and fire and age and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.
So that’s the story of how “Myth” came about…but what’s the book about, you ask?
Shogun Saban dreams of becoming a woodsman like his grandfather; to fly between the trees and listen to their stories. But his father wants to keep him rooted on the ground and far away from his childhood friend, a girl of the sea named Madigan who can control the elements.
Beyond their little corner of the world, an evil has sprouted and is quietly spreading; corrupting its victims and marking them with eyes full of shadows. When it reaches their sleepy hometown of Shrunken Hollow, Shogun and Madigan search for the origin of the darkness – but the answer lies in an old myth about a place that only exists in dreams.
With the aid of the forest and the sea, Shogun and Madigan must unravel the myth before the darkness takes over their world – and themselves.
Thanks to everyone that helped me with this book, got excited with me about this book, put up with my pickiness, waited while I “just need to finish this last paragraph,” or just offered a “that’s awesome!” We did it!
I’m excited to say I am thisclose to finishing the third draft of “Myth” and the artwork for the cover is looking amazing. The release of “Myth” will be timed perfectly with the two book fairs I will be attending this summer. I’m really looking forward to bringing No Wyverns Publishing to these events and meeting/networking with other authors. Oh yeah, and selling books!!
Saturday, July 30th, 2016
Pioneer Square/ Portland, OR
Booth # 50
I’ve been assigned the booth near the Starbucks…man, did they figure me out or what! 9 Bridges is an organization of writers based out of Portland. I signed up for this festival immediately once registration was open back in January! No Wyverns Publishing will have our own table there. I’m really excited about the other authors that will be at this event as well. It’s in the middle of summer so I’ll be well-hydrated…oh yeah, and also well caffeinated.
Saturday, August 20th, 2016
1747 Hwy 101/ Lincoln City, OR
Finally! I’ve been wanting to join the Northwest Author Fair for several years now, but due to limited space and the popularity of the event, I haven’t been able to get in until now! Again, the list of authors that will be here are amazing…and I get to spend the day at the coast. Sign me up!
I’ll be selling/signing copies of all three of my titles at these events – “Memories Wait Alone”, “Quinn Family Adventures” (with its brand new cover!) and “Myth.” I can’t wait but I have a lot to do before then…so its back to editing and…oh yeah, more editing. Cheers!
The last few days have been very productive – we’ve made some great updates to ErinRitch.com, including links to all the short fiction on this blog, info on upcoming events, etc. There are still more changes to come, I hope you go check it out! (FYI, “We” is actually my husband Nick. If not for him, I probably would not have a website. Okay, I wouldn’t at all.)
We’ve also added another page to this site – an “About” page. I’ve been asked the question below a lot lately:
Whether it’s at the bank, in a business meeting, or just a meetup with friends – I’m explaining it. And I can completely understand why, people are generally curious about the origin of names, anyway. But what people are really asking me is usually What the heck is a Wyvern?
A long time ago (on January 20th, 2015) my very first post on this blog was titled “Nothing against Wyverns”. (Oh, baby blogger Erin!) I remember writing this blog post more than any other, because my husband reminded me Not everyone knows what a Wyvern is, you better write a post about it or something.
NoWyverns.com was born due to ThereAreNoWyvernsInThisStory.com is just a tad wordy for a website name. (Ya think?) So what started as an inside joke between my husband and I has grown into almost 100 blog posts and a publishing company. Pretty. Freaking. Cool.
I wouldn’t change No Wyverns for anything. Besides, it’s a great conversation-starter about my writing and upcoming projects, even if I do have to spell out W-Y-V-E-R-N-S a few times. But really it’s because I so clearly remember that night on January 20th, 2015 where I took my first step in turning my writing into a career. And that step turned into a job change, more time with my family, books that were no longer “just on the horizon” but real, tangible things.
So when I’m asked What’s the significance of a Wyvern? Now you know the answer.
By incorporating images or graphics into your posts, it creates a “visual stop” for readers casually scrolling through Facebook or Twitter feeds. And every time someone stops to read your post, it could lead to a visit to your website, where you have a chance to introduce them to your writing.
I typically utilize my own photos or images that I find online which are allowed under Creative Commons. I always have some sort of image connected to each blog post, at this point it just feels weird not to. But due to my extreme lack of knowledge in design, I haven’t been able to include any graphics with my posts…until now.
A fellow writer introduced me to a design website called Canva. It. Is. Awesome. Right from the beginning, the site starts you off with a basic template in the correct dimensions for your desired social media account – ie, certain dimensions are better for Twitter vs. Facebook posts, etc. (Ever seen those images on Twitter that are cut off weird? Oh yeah, a few of them have been from me.)
Canva is very user friendly – they have free templates you can build off or some paid templates available for one dollar. Additionally, there is a plethora of free images, icons, lines, and most of all…text designs. I spent hours experimenting with different text designs while creating several graphics for my currently running Kindle Countdown deal on “Memories Wait Alone.” And I didn’t have to spend that long…I was just having a blast doing it. Here’s what I came up with:
All other images, text blocks, bursts, and the grid of an E-reader were provided free by Canva. I scheduled these graphics to post three times a day on Twitter during this promotion and have had great success with “retweets” and new followers on my account.
I decided to also update my cover pages on both my Twitter account (graphic above) and my Facebook “Author’s Page” – took me less than 20 minutes each as I worked completely off one of the free templates built specifically for cover pages. Finished graphics can be downloaded as a JPEG or immediately posted to social media. Easy. Easy. Easy. I love it.
I will definitely continue to use Canva, I really recommend it for any artists out there trying to create eye-catching graphics for their social media. And did I mention, free? Have fun!
Wow – it’s March!
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been gone for a bit. While I was out of town in California with my family, I had some time to ponder a few things. Well, more than a few things, but specifically my views on “self” publishing.
(*SNORE* right? Well, yes, these are the things us writer-over-analyzer-types think about!)
I’ve been training myself to drop the word “self” and call myself an independent publisher. I write it, I design it (or, for my next book, hire a designer), I publish it, I promote it, I sell it. And in the future, I may coach other authors how to do the same. I realized it was my own insecurities that have driven me to jump and introduce myself as a “self” published author. As though my books needed explaining or didn’t carry the same amount of weight as if they had been published the traditional route. I thought that publishing my book by myself (a story that was rejected time and time again by agents and publishers) was some sort of cop out. You have to think these thoughts before you can get over them.
The thing is, what is known as the “traditional route” of publishing is changing course. It’s evolved so much in even just the last five years. Writers no longer have to invest ten grand for a print run of their books or wait months for a response from an editor or agent. Because instead of waiting on that response, we have the freedom to get our work out there and elicit one. And move onto the next project and the next and the next, being the creatives we should be. I am discovering a new confidence in my writing and new avenues for my stories everyday – which I truly believe stems from the creative freedom I get to keep because I am independent.
I’m very excited that print copies of Memories Wait Alone are making their way into bookstores now. The last remaining parts of my promotional materials for the book arrived last week. I hope the poster will attract interest and I consider the bookmarks a great advertising tool. This is a picture of the storefront from the wonderful Thurston Book Exchange in Springfield, Oregon. The owner has been a pleasure to work with – it has been a great experience to partner with gracious professionals in this industry. More to come!