Erin Ritch

Author, Mom, Founder of No Wyverns Publishing

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Category: Independent publishing (page 2 of 3)

Updates and the NW Book Fair

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It’s been a great week…Myth has been released into the universe and I’m gearing up for tomorrow’s NW Book Festival. If you’re going to be in Portland, come see me at booth 50. Thankfully, the weather will only be in the low 80’s, so I shouldn’t melt into a puddle. (Please bring ice cream just in case.)

A few updates on Myth – both the e-book and the print book are live! Did you catch my interview over at Nya Reads? What a great site, I loved her interview and her readers!

And to celebrate the launch, I’m also running Myth on a promotion with Story Cartel! If you haven’t seen their site before, check it out! By downloading books (for FREE) and leaving reviews on the author’s Amazon/Goodreads account, you get entered in a drawing for awesome prizes. Basically, everyone wins – what’s better than that? It only runs a few weeks and Myth is already in the tops of the popular books!

That’s it from me, I’ll be back next week with an update on the festival. Stay cool out there!

“Myth” release date announcement…and e-book pre-orders open!

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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!

Get your e-book pre-orders here!

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!

The of Summer ’16

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!!

Here’s where I’ll be this summer!

 

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www.nwbookfestival.com
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.

 

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www.bobsbeachbooks.net
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!

New cover for The Mayan Ruins!

 

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Illustration by Matt Smith!

I’m super excited to reveal the new cover for

The Quinn Family Adventures: The Mayan Ruins

For the last few weeks I’ve been working with an amazing artist, Matt Smith, to create an illustration to replace the existing cover. We decided the old cover was halfway there…it had a bit of “textbook” feel to it due to the photograph.

Out with the old!

Out with the old!

It was a really fun (and easy!) experience to work with Matt on this project… and I think he created an illustration that really captures the adventure of the story! (If I had drawn it myself, you would have seen stick figures holding a map.)

Check out more of Matt’s work at Smith vs. Smith – I love the weekly comics he posts and he also does commission work, such as this book cover! I also follow his Instagram account, where you can see his comics and process videos!

Now I really feel like this book is wrapped up and complete…and the plans for the next book in the series are on the horizon!

Complete book jacket design!

Complete book jacket design!

I’m still here…

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Searching for seed starts. No, that’s not me.

It’s been a busy month between gardening, editing, editing, and more editing. Each day that passes by gets me closer to my (self-imposed) deadline of having the 3rd draft of “Myth” done by the 31st. (*breaks out in sweat*)

I’m getting there and churning out some great changes…but UGH I’M SO TIRED (*end whine*)

In other exciting news: I’m working with two amazing artists who are creating original artwork for the cover of two of my books. I am loving the collaborate process and amazed at how my stories are literally coming to life with their creative help. I can’t wait to reveal the finished covers to you all!

That’s all from me, it’s back to editing. Please send chocolate.

What does “No Wyverns” mean, anyway?

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:

“So…your business name. What does it mean, anyway?”

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?

Wyvern Definition

Does this help?

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.

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Things I Love….Canva.com

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Social media is a big part of being a writer now-a-days – especially if you’re an indie publisher.

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:

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Keep in mind the only media I supplied was the image of the book cover of “Memories Wait Alone.”

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!

 

Spring Cleaning – Weeding Out the Darlings

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Editing by computer monitor light…yay?

If I fall a bit radio silent over the next few weeks, it’s because I’m diving into Draft Three of “Myth.”

I’ll still be posting “Late Night Writing Prompts” and a few other pieces I have in mind, partly because this helps keep my sanity when I’m doing heavy editing. If you haven’t guessed, editing is not my favorite thing in the world. While some writers love it, I see it as a necessary evil – like going to the dentist. (No offense to any dentists out there.) You’ve got to go. You’ve got to get your cleanings. You’ve got to hear the bad news about what needs pulled or what needs taken apart and put back together.  (Yep, seeing a lot of similarities here.)

But this is all worth it, because I am so excited with the direction that “Myth” is going – I have some amazing things to share soon. Summer will be great.

Now just to survive the work that spring is requiring in order to make summer great.
(By the way, I also need to go to the dentist. For real.)

“Myth” Cover Art Concepts

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Recently I’ve been gathering together images that capture the style I’d like for the cover artwork for Myth. Here’s a few examples above! (Have I mentioned it’s a Fantasy novel?)

The Quinn Family Adventures: The Mayan Ruins – now in print!

Cover design by the Talented Mr. Nicholas Ritch

Cover design by the Talented Mr. Nicholas Ritch

 

It has been a long road of lengthy edits (I believe I was on proof 4 when I was finally able to approve it) but The Quinn Family Adventures: The Mayan Ruins is now available in print! This book has been available as an E-book for a few months but the print version proved a bit of a challenge. We had some formatting hiccups which led to very small errors in the copy, such as random extra spaces inserting between text and quotation marks. This was so unbelievably obnoxious to me, its very possible that no one would have ever seen it for all of time, but I would forever know they were there.

What some people see: “Hello, my name is Erin Ritch. “

What I see: “Hello, my name is Erin Ritch.                    “

I’m excited to have another completed book ready to go! Onto the next!