Breach – new cover reveal! πŸ˜

It’s done.

My books are now scrubbed clean of every remnant of my former publisher. While I liked their version of Breach’s cover better than their take on Incursion’s, I’m not sorry to see it gone. My time with Inkitt taught me a lot – about the publishing world and about myself – but ultimately, it’s for the best that we parted ways.

If you’ll excuse the bad pun, the new cover for Breach begins a new chapter in my writing career: one where I stand on my own, one where all potential rests squarely on my shoulders. This is terrifying notion. I can’t and won’t deny that truth. But I’ve got dreams and aspirations, and to achieve them, my internal drive must be fiercer than fear.

So, forward. Always. 😁

Anyway, here’s the new cover! Fiona Jayde did a FABULOUS job and I’m already brainstorming book 4’s. πŸ˜†

Until we meet again,

Lauren

Update – May 2019

Hi there!

First off, this is a gentle reminder that Catalyst Moon: Storm (Book 3) is now available on Amazon! Massive thanks to those who have purchased it so far! πŸ’œ If you are able, I humbly ask that you leave a review so that other readers know what they’re in for.

Second, in case you didn’t hear the news, Catalyst Moon: Incursion (Book 1) is the Spring Book of the Month over at F-BOM! I’m thrilled beyond measure to have my work featured among the likes of other awesome, feminist authors (and readers), so please do take a look at what Cecelia & Lindsey are doing, because it’s important and amazing. Even if you already own Incursion (and if you don’t, you should!), there’s going to be a ton of great member-only content on their site, including multiple interviews by yours truly. (We had a blast recording them! I could quite literally talk for hours about writing, feminism, and Catalyst Moon.) Check out F-BOM today! 😍

In actual writing news, one of my betas has finished her read of Book 4. I’m pleased to report that, other than a LOT of continuity issues on my part, (plus my tendency to ramble), the book seems to be in fairly decent shape overall. I still need to do a lot of work to make it palatable, but let’s not worry about that right now. πŸ˜‰ Of course, my other beta is still working through, so she may have a different take. Time will tell.

As I’ve reported in a previous post, Book 5’s discovery draft is done, although the story is far from written. I’ve completed my first read-through and it’s…rough. There are a lot of unnecessary elements that clog the narrative and will need to be reworked, which means that probably 60% of the book, (if not more), will be rewritten. Honestly, though this task feels a bit daunting, I’m excited to tackle the rewrites because the story will be better: more satisfying and more cohesive.

Book 6 is still very much in the planning stages. I’ve decided to rein in my usual barrel-forward-at-all-costs approach and try to, you know, PLAN these next three books as sorta their own trilogy, even though they are the continuation of elements set up in books 1 – 3. This may seem like an obvious solution, but for the author who is up to her eyeballs in Catalyst Moon, this was a revelation. In any case, book 6 should be the final installment in the current story arc. I have MANY plans for the next story arc, so stick around; the best is yet to come. 😁

In self-publishing news, I’m working with the talented Fiona Jayde on redoing Book 1’s cover, and plan to redo Book 2’s as well. Marketing has unfortunately had to take a backseat due to 2019 being a battering ram; I have to be judicious with my time and energy, so most of both are saved for my family and the actual creation of content, (ie: my books.) In a perfect world, I could do it all, but alas…

Lastly, if you’re in the North Florida area on June 29th, stop by Infinity Con and say hi! 😘

Until we meet again, stay awesome,

Lauren

Update – seeking readers for ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of Book 3

Hiya!

Short post today. I’m working with a cover artist for Catalyst Moon: Storm (Book 3), and am busy prepping for this book’s launch. To that end, I’m seeking anyone who’d like an ARC (advanced reader copy) ahead of the launch. In return, I’m asking for

a) a quick note once your done to let me know of any typos/errors/inconsistencies, etc.

b) an honest, unbiased review once the book launches

What you get:

a) a PDF version of Catalyst Moon: Storm (Book 3) before it’s released!

b) any future Catalyst Moon books prior to their release, as I’m trying to start an exclusive ARC club for my lovely readers. πŸ’œ

c) my eternal gratitude

That’s it!😊  If you’ re interested, comment here or drop me a line at lalogareads@gmail.com

Thank you, and stay awesome!

Lauren

 

 

on heart v. brain (or, the everlasting struggle)

Nothing is simple.

So, Catalyst Moon #3 is basically ready to go, I just need cover art. I’m trying to get it out to y’all, I really am, but I’ve discovered a divide within myself, namely between what I know is the “smart,” “marketable” path, and what my heart wants.

Conventional wisdom tells me that my best bet to get folks to read my books is to pick a cover that fits genre conventions. The cover needs to convey not so much what the book is about, but what “categories” it falls into, (ie: fantasy, adventure, romance, etc) so the reader knows more or less what they’re getting. It’s why you see so many shirtless dudes on those romance novels, and why there are SO MANY grim-faced fellas with swords on fantasy novels. (Is no one happy in those books? Ever??)

My issue is that I CANNOT stand the standard cover fare for my genre. I’m sorry, but most of them look boring and ugly, and the idea of spending hundreds of dollars on something I find so distasteful… Well, it sucks.

But my brain – my rational side – tells me these ugly covers are the best way to get readers. These are what’s selling now, and if I want to Be Serious about this whole self-publishing gig, then I need to swallow my pride and ignore my desire and go with what objectively works.

But y’all.

I’ve been scouring the interwebs for a cover artist. I’ve talked to a few, but no one’s portfolio has captured my heart. I know how silly and pretentious this all sounds, believe me, (#firstworldproblems), but it’s a truth I can’t ignore. My heart wants a gorgeous “artistic” cover that attempts to convey the story I’m telling, not the categories that Amazon prompts me to select.

This hesitation on my part is for good reason. Waaaaay back when CM 1 came out, my publisher initially took all my crazy notes to heart and commissioned this incredible artwork from Natalya Pushokova:

Stunning. 😍😍😍 I love this so, so, SO much. It’s just…ugh, SO GOOD!!!

But when they tested the cover, no one knew what the book was about.Β 

So, back to the drawing board. The next version of CM1’s cover is the current one:

Which is fine and seems fairly popular. I’ve gotten a lot of nice comments about it. But it’s a far cry from what the arty gorgeousness my heart wanted. So yeah. Heart v. brain…brain won this round.

Now that I don’t have a publisher to answer to work with, I’m working on finding a way to merge these conflicting desires. The thing is, my “issues” aren’t just about money or art or book sales. They go deeper. Namely: Is what I’m doing worth all this frustration and effort? I consider my writing to be art, but the world is not kind to artists. There are approximately a bajillion other epic fantasy series out there. Is Catalyst Moon really worth all this inner conflict, or would it (and me, by extension) be better served by quietly going along with conventional wisdom in the hope of attracting more readers?

Sorry to be a downer. I’m not looking for a resolution from anyone – that will have to come from within – but if anyone has been in my shoes and can possibly relate, let me know. In the meantime, I’ll try to pull my head out of my own ass and figure this out.

Stay awesome,

Lauren

Many thanks to The Awkward Yeti for perfectly and adorably portraying my inner turmoil.

the only constant

Hello there!

Short but sweet post today. I have a lot to say and a dearth of time, but rest assured there will be much more on this subject later.

As of December 12, 2018, the Catalyst Moon series will no longer be published by Inkitt. I will be self-publishing book 3 and taking complete control (back) over books 1 & 2. Inkitt has elected to no longer publish ebooks, but rather focus all of their efforts on an immersive reading app they are developing. That was not the direction I wanted to take for my work, so we have parted ways. This is an amicable situation and I wish Inkitt the best of luck, but my own career is my priority.

This was an unexpected change. I’m both apprehensive and excited to set off on my own. I feel like this is a turning point in my professional career and am optimistic for the future of my series, my author brand, and my development as a writer/author. That being said, there’s a lot to think about – and do – so here’s a brief rundown of my action plan:

  • edit book 3
  • acquire a cover for book 3
  • figure out KDP/Amazon in order to…
  • publish book 3
  • revamp my author page/blog to one that humans can navigate
  • revamp the covers for books 1 & 2, and possibly #3, depending on how “economical” the initial cover is. In an ideal world, I’d get a gorgeous cover for #3 and use the same designer for the rest of the series, but I think that might take longer than I’m willing to wait before #3 comes out.

There’s more to do, of course, [coughmarketingcough], but this is where my focus is atm.

Other than share this development, my aim for this post is to let y’all know that if anyone wants an ARC copy (and eventually a free published copy) of Catalyst Moon #3, please let me know! (lalogareads@gmail.com) I don’t know how long it will take to get book 3 on Amazon, but I do know that many of you have been waiting for a year or more! So please drop me a line if you’re interested. πŸ™‚ Please also let me know your thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, or whatever else you feel like sharing on this subject!

And don’t worry. Storytelling is the reason I’m on this earth. There will always be obstacles, but there’s a fire in my heart that cannot be extinguished.

Take care and stay awesome,

Lauren

PS: I’m not really a visual artist, but I’ve been having fun with the whole glitch art trend as you can see here:

If you’re into this, check me out on Instagram! @lalogawrites

 

Cover art choices – vote now!

Hello, friends!

Writing a book is hard, but sometimes, I feel like the writing part pales in comparison to the task of getting people to read your book. Part of getting a potential reader’s attention is an eye-catching cover.

So! I have a task for you, should you choose to accept it. Here we have two amazing potential covers for Catalyst Moon: Incursion.

Option #1, createdΒ by the lovely and talented Natalya Posukova:

CM_cover_final_for real this time

And Option #2, createdΒ by Inkitt’s own (equally lovely and talented) Linda Gavin:

catalystface

Now, I won’t try to influence you by stating my preferences or thoughts, but I want to hear what YOU think about either of these! Which do you prefer and why? Which would make you go “OH HELL YES” and snatch it off of a bookstore shelf?

Leave a comment below and let me know! πŸ™‚

Thanks, and stay awesome!

~Lauren