Been busy, exciting things are happening!

Been busy, exciting things are happening!

I’ve been super busy with revisions of my manuscript. I have been picked up by Booktrope (check them out HERE) and they are going to re-release Six Points of Light: Hook’s Origin sometime in January if everything goes to plan. New edits, new cover, my team is amazing and I’m so excited! I am also 95% done with my first draft of the follow up novel to Six Points of Light.

I appreciate all of the support I have received from my fellow authors, family and friends. The main thing I’m taking away from all of this is that so many things are possible when you put your head down, put in the work and chase your dreams like a zombie chasing brains. For real ya’ll. I wonder what would have happened if I had had this mindset a few years ago, but everything in it’s own time right? If there is something you want to do. Do it. And don’t let anyone tell you can’t. Period. Especially in the world of writing where it seems you’re never good enough or popular enough, or your themes are too different or not different enough. Cut out all of that chatter and do what your heart is telling you to do. It’s what you were made to do.

I love to support my network, so follow me over on Twitter @KalynnBayron, I will follow back. Need a beta reader? Message me and I’ll let you know if I can help out. Need anything else in support of your book/author page/WIP, let me know! I’m here for ya’!

Now, it’s time to go track down some pumpkin scones because Starbucks was slacking this morning!

Peace!

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Print vs eBooks: Is There A Happy Medium?

Print vs eBooks: Is There A Happy Medium?

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I love books. I have loved to read since I was a little girl. I grew up in the 80’s and while technology was making huge strides (floppy disks were on my school supply list which I thought was sooooo futuristic…lol) when it came to books, there was nothing that could compete with a real book. No iPads or Kindles. I grew up loving the look and feel of books. It’s a part of who I am just as much as my other love, music, is.

Recently there has been this huge discussion about whether or not real books are “dead”. It seems crazy to think about right? The popularity of various eReaders and eReader apps have made books accessible to anyone, everywhere, all the time. There is no downside to that particular fact in my opinion. What is hard for me to accept is that people seem to think that the eBook will completely overtake it’s ink on paper counterpart. That people will simply stop printing books. Silly rabbit….

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Change is hard. I get it. Do you know how frustrating it was for me to transfer all of my CD’s to MP3s? For a while I was the only one with a portable CD player when everybody else had that other amazing little device called an iPod. Those were dark days ya’ll. Eventually I warmed up to the idea and got on board. Did I ditch my CD and vinyl all together? Well…let me explain. I think this situation is analogous to the current tug of war between eBooks and print so bear with me. When I used to buy CD’s I loved opening the case pulling out the insert and reading lyrics, reading the artist’s dedications. I loved the album artwork. I liked that I had something to display in my CD rack. To this day, when I want the totally immersive experience of buying and listening to a new a new album I go buy the actual CD. This is what I think has not been addressed through digital publishing and it’s why I feel that book lovers like myself will never turn our backs on the printed book. There is something profoundly personal about a book. There are editions on my shelf that are tattered and worn and I remember exactly what I was going through or what I was doing when I read it.

When my favorite author, Anne Rice, released her novel Prince Lestat, I went and scooped up the hard cover copy. Its matte black background and blood red lettering made me feel connected to the story printed within. The pages themselves were thick and and as I looked down the book at an angle I could see how the pages dipped at regular intervals. (I’m really into books ya’ll…don’t judge me) I can never get that from a eBook. It doesn’t even come close. Nothing will, as far as I can see, take the place of those beautifully bound editions of classic novels like Jane Eyre, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Grapes of Wrath. And I feel like authors such as Toni Morrison and Langston Hughes deserve to have their titles bound carefully and displayed in a manner befitting of the gravity and influence of their work.

Is print dead? Is traditional publishing dead? No. Not by a long shot. It is, however, undergoing a drastic and somewhat jarring change. There was a massive shift towards eBooks and producing them and after several years my view is that it’s starting to level off a tad. People are beginning to realize that eReaders are convenient and maybe more practical than lugging your entire Anne Rice collection around, but there is still room, and a real demand, for printed works. There are a myriad of issues that need to be tackled in order to reach a happy medium but I am confident we will see it through. My suggestion would be for authors, especially indie authors like myself, to understand the value of your work and price it accordingly. Free promos are great but we are conditioning readers to expect that books should be free. That’s a whole other issue so I will leave that for another time(tomorrow?).

Printed books also serve to keep my favorite places on earth up and running. The book store. Oh the bookstore! That haven where I can browse the stacks for hours and sip coffee and watch my kids pick out their most favorite titles. Where I, with my writer’s cap on, can write and be inspired. I remember watching Boarders go out of business and feeling like the world was changing in a way I didn’t like. Barnes & Noble seems to be weathering the storm but the real winners are Indie bookstores. Indie stores are a safe haven for printed works and if there is an indie shop in your city, support it by all means necessary. Places locally, like Tattered Cover in Denver not only keep new and used books in stock, they also allow local indie authors to showcase their work and have the unbelievable experience of seeing their book on the shelf.

There was an article in the Huffington Post recently that showed that print was steadily regaining some ground. Hopefully the future of publishing will encompass a well rounded and diverse array of options for indie and traditionally published authors alike. As for me, I will continue to stock my shelves with the titles that I love.

Making Beta Readers a Part of Your Team

Making Beta Readers a Part of Your Team

Beta readers are an invaluable resource, especially for all of us indie writers. I have come across some comments from my fellow writers who have had some really terrible experiences with beta readers. I feel bad because over all, my experiences have been positive and I’ve gotten really good at not taking things too personally. I try to remember that in the end, it’s my vision of what my story is about that counts.

That being said, how do you handle a beta reader who thinks you have brought them aboard to be the end all, be all authority on your novel? How do you handle comments like “This book was terrible!” or “Your plot sucks!” (I have not seen this but I know at least three indie authors whose betas used these exact phrases.)

I dove into the internet and came up with this article which lays out a specific code of etiquette for beta readers. I think it’s extremely helpful. It also has guidelines for how you, the author, can respond to your beta readers in a way that promotes clarity and creativity.

A Quick Guide to Beta Reader Etiquette by K.M. Weiland

via HelpingWritersBecomeAuthors.com

The main thing I took away from this is that you have to be clear about what you expect from your beta readers. Understand that they are doing you a huge service by reading your book cover to cover. Show gratitude, but be prepared to grow a thick skin and roll with the punches.


I am currently building a small group of beta readers, preferably 5-10 individuals who love YA fiction and who would like to look over my next novel which I expect will be ready by the end of the year possibly a little later, January 2016. If you are interested, I’d love to chat with you! Head over to my website lala.bayron.wix.com/kalynnbayron and shoot me an email or sign up for my newsletter which goes out once a month and will have more info on beta readers as the time draws a little closer.

Taking Advantage of Fiverr

Taking Advantage of Fiverr

As an indie author I’m long on creativity and short on dolla dolla bills ya’ll. I’m a mom of four and I can’t justify spending exorbitant amounts of money on certain things at this point in my budding writing career. I hold a certification in Graphic Design which has helped tremendously when it comes to cover design but there are some things I just cannot do all by my lonesome. (Que sappy violin music)

For my novel Six Points of Light:Hook’s Origin, I designed the cover (eBook and print versions), but I wanted a coll 3D image to put on my website and on other promotional materials. My 3D rendering skills were lacking, so I hopped on Fiverr and got these wonderful covers for 5 bucks.

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I think sometimes in our attempt to remain truly independent as writers, we shun things that that could help us. A helping hand is welcome as long as that hand isn’t trying to assert some kind of creative control over our work. Fiverr has a mountain of services available from cover design to illustrations for books in every genre.

Shout out to all of the talented people of Fiverr!

My foray into short fiction continues…

My foray into short fiction continues…

My first attempt a serial fiction was The Zero Antigen Theorem. It’s about 10,000 words and I wrote it in an attempt to write short “weekend read” that one would enjoy like a TV series, with each short book in the series representing an “episode”. I was really happy with the response to The Zero Antigen Theorem. As experimental as it was, I enjoyed writing it and I’m working on book two in the series.

My latest title is another work that will run in a series. I wrote it a while ago but only recently dusted it off and cleaned it up a bit. I really enjoy this style of writing and I don’t understand why people are so against short fiction. Granted, at 10,000 to 11,000 words I don’t think it technically qualifies as “short fiction” it’s probably more “novelette” length.

Any-who, I’m loving this way of writing right now and I think I’ll finish up these two series before I dive back into the world of Captain James Hook for part two of my “real” novel, Six Points of Light.

Drasal Lands

Princess Erelia Starsinger is heir to the throne and her father, King Aasulf Starsinger, is fading fast. Erelia is a warrior, she is strong willed and confident, but her father’s advisors would see her married off and control of her kingdom handed over to someone with more experience.
While riding her midnight black mare, Zepher, in he woods surrounding Castle Drasal, she happens upon a withered and stooped old man who seems to have lost his way. She accompanies him home only to find out that he is the soothsayer, Ozemis, and he has a secret to share with her. Erelia’s life and kingdom are both in grave danger and she must decide who she can trust and who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
With the help of her childhood friend, Sharian Waterarrow, Princess Erelia must deal with the impending death of her beloved father while keeping watch for the mysterious sorceress from Ozemis’ vision.
Can Princess Erelia change the future that seems so bleak? Can she reconcile her feelings for Sharian while staying true to who she is? Will the mysterious Sorceress get to Erelia before she has a chance to stop her?
In the fantasy land of Drasal, there is magic, there are beasts, and there are secrets. Join Princess Erelia on her quest for the truth in Drasal Lands:The Ozemis Prophecy, Book 1.
(Approx 11,400 words)

Amazon Is Magic! They Can Make Your Reviews Disappear!

As an indie author, when you have your shiny new book ready to go, who are usually the first people you give it to and say “Tell me what you think?” It is without a doubt your family and friends. I know it was for me. They are going to be the people who encourage you to keep going. they will be the ones to shout “Yes! We love it!” However, you may want to think twice about asking them to post a review on Amazon.

Let me just say this. Amazon has rules. Confusing, weird, ass-backwards rules. But they are rules none the less, and this policy isn’t anything new. They allow people to leave a one star review that says things like “This book is shitty and should be set on fire.” (not one of my reviews but it’s almost word-for-word what I’ve read on someone else’s review page) but my dear old granny cant leave me a review saying how much she loves said pile of flaming shit because she “Knows the Author”. Really? Okay Amazon.The reason people are a bit worked up is because only recently has Amazon decided to regularly enforce said rule. I don’t know why it is that Amazon enforces some rules but not others.

Right now amazon is the biggest, most widely recognized platform for indie-authors and they seem hell bent on making us scrape and claw our way out of their bottomless pit. It’s already hard enough to be seen among the millions of titles on Amazon, now the one thing that seems to really matter, positive reviews, are going to be moderated in such a way that is detrimental to us. I’m not famous. Most indie authors aren’t. We just want our work to be seen.

Amazon’s censoring process isn’t limited to family members either. If you happen to have linked a Goodreads profile to your Amazon author page, you may see that reviews from people in your friends list may start disappearing. In the indie author community we often review each other’s work honestly and fairly because we would want someone to do the same for us. We’re not all conspiring to send a shitty book to the top of the charts although Amazon has no problem allowing such a thing to happen for a more prolific/popular/ author ***cough***EL James***cough.

Is it a war on self-published authors? I don’t know. Amazon has reaped the benefits of self publishing more heartily than any other. You’d think they would be trying to help. Maybe they are tired of seeing titles like “Bear-Shifters Screwing in the Moonlight” get 5  star reviews. I don’t know.

It might help if Amazon were a little more transparent in their decision making process, but of course in true Amazon fashion, details on their renewed interest in granny-reviews is sparse.

So what can we do about it? Not much. amazon dominates the market on eBooks and that doesn’t look like its going to change anytime soon.

Six Points of Light by Kalynn Bayron available now on Amazon

Six Points of Light by Kalynn Bayron available now on Amazon

St. Catherine’s is a place for misfits, for the forgotten, and it is also the only home James Cook has ever known. Abandoned on the front steps as an infant, James is raised by Sister Maddie who loves him like the mother he never knew. Growing up at St. Catherine’s, James battles one illness after another, and spends most of his time in the infirmary.
One night, a young boy is delivered to St. Catherine’s in the arms of his distraught mother. The boy, Peter, is mischievous and James tries his hardest to stay as far away from him, and his band of merry followers, as possible. The younger boys at St. Catherine’s are drawn to the charismatic Peter, but James, being older and in his humble opinion, wiser, is not recruited so easily.
As the two become more closely acquainted, Peter reveals to James that he has a secret. This secret will turn James’ life upside down and set he and Peter on a collision course with destiny in that far of place known to children and dreamers…Neverland.
Before he was Captain Hook, he was simply James Cook, and as it turns out, he was not such a dastardly villain after all.
Join some of the most beloved characters in literature as their roots are laid bare and the truth of their humble beginnings is revealed.

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Only $.99 (eBook edition) on Amazon for a limited time http://amzn.to/1TNsLM6

Copyright 2015 Kalynn Bayron All right reserved.