Eva’s Byte #188 –So, It’s Almost Christmas

And, “literally”—what have I done before this year is over to benefit the surplus population of the Indie community?

In my capacity as a reader, I completed the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge: 4 books ahead of schedule, and surpassed my goal to read 25 books:

https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/11482188

I’ve reviewed every one of these books, and posted my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Authors Den, Google+, Facebook, and BookBub.

In my capacity as an Indie author, I’m participating in two holiday events on social media. In the spirit of the holiday season, I’ve pledged to donate copies of my books:

Indie Advent Calendar Event:

December 23rd – Eva Pasco, featuring An Enlightening Quiche (Contemporary):

*For a chance to win a selection of eBooks every day from December 1st – 25th, you can enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Contest by answering questions posted on the event page—starting on the 1st, and not before!

https://www.facebook.com/IndieAdventCalendar/

Or: https://www.facebook.com/IndieAdventCalendar/

FYI: Nearly 400 books, and over 35 paperbacks, along with bookmarks, prints, pins, and postcards will be given away. I’ve pledged eBook copies of An Enlightening Quiche.

12 Days of Christmas Book Buying Event (December 13th – 24th):

Readers will buy one Indie book per day for 12 days.

Readers only will post. Authors can list their books in the comments. Each reader will list what type of book(s) they are interested in buying, as well as a preferred price range. One can participate as a reader, author, or both.

https://www.facebook.com/events/278153022841901/

 For prize giveaways, I’ve pledged to donate eBook copies of An Enlightening Quiche and 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s, along with a print copy of An EQ within the USA.

*Books are ideal holiday gifts for everyone on your shopping list—they’re inexpensive and their stories last a lifetime.

*Books have potential to add light and make the holiday season bright.

 Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Eva’s Byte #185: Power of Persuasion

An indie author, I expend a minimal amount of energy on marketing and promoting my books, refusing to analyze and strategize Facebook or Amazon ads. It’s a costly exercise by trial and error. Even after reading the scant stories of successful authors who’ve discovered their successful algorithm to earn a lucrative living from writing, I’m not impressed or enticed in the least.

Of sound mind—a dubious claim, I didn’t sign up for becoming an expert in marketing analysis. I’m a writer who firmly believes “word of mouth” is a published author’s best marketing tool for persuading readers to take a leap of faith in purchasing a book.

And, so—whenever possible, I incorporate a snippet from a reader’s review in the ads I create:

Add text to photos – https://picfont.com/

This indispensable marketing tool enables me to compose ads for each of my books, like the one you see in the featured image. Prepped the evening before, I post such an ad in various promo groups on Facebook.

As to their power of persuasion, my burden of proof reverts to the number of Booklinker URL clicks which automatically take potential readers to the Amazon storefront. Hence, it’s catch as catch can.

I’m not faring any better, or any worse, had I heeded a snippet of the marketing advice floating around. As I’ve learned the hard way, failure comes at a price, with little to nothing gained from my own expense. Namely, the revenue from book sales.

*Yet, a picture with testimony has potential for motivating the beholder to take action.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Blog – Eva’s Byte # 159: Outrageous!

A title wave of entitlement sweeps social media!

What a difference a week makes! In last week’s blog, I mentioned how I downsized my involvement with Facebook due to time constraints and lackluster book sales from posting ads. Although the parameters haven’t changed, I’m b-a-c-k to keep abreast of what is trending in the Indie industry, and maintaining ties within the Indie community.

Lo and behold—the latest example of outrageous behavior perpetrated by an Indie author under the nomenclature of “egomania” has surfaced as “Cockygate”: an author registered a trademark for the word “cocky” in book titles.

Without getting into the domino effect the controversy has created—maybe I’m being cocky, but I can’t imagine using that word or any derivative in a book title, let alone claiming it for my brand and impinging on other authors’ freedom to use the word “cocky” if they so choose in their book title.

https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/cancel-faleena-hopkins

As with most egomaniacal acts perpetrated against the Indie community at large, there’s a huge backlash against the outrageous originator who ducks under fire and flees the social media scene.

Not the first or last outrageous act wielded by a fellow Indie, most of us are courageous. We’re in it for the long haul, day in and day out, through the thick and thin of book sales. For most, becoming a successful author is based on pride rather than predation. I’m cocksure of it!

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Blog – Eva’s Byte #158: Downsizing

Process of elimination:

This ramble has nothing to do with the sci-fi, comedy-drama of the same title, about people shrinking their bodies to start a new life in an experimental community. It does have to do with downsizing my involvement on Facebook in order to avert short-circuiting my brain which has taken on sensory overload as of late.

I admit to missing the daily interaction with my Indie author friends. However, for all of the mutual ad post shares, and posting in author-promotion groups, I can’t say my time and effort were well-spent for procuring book sales.

Hard-pressed to retreat off the grid entirely, I maintain a daily/weekly on-line presence at the following:

Authors Den

Goodreads

Google +

LinkedIn

WordPress

Right now, it’s all I can do to write the occasional memoir about life’s noteworthy moments, and a weekly blog pertaining to my truth as an Indie author in real time. A writer at heart, I do intend to resume where I left off writing chapter 6 (996 words) in my Contemporary work in progress, Aida’s Fishing Ground.  The characters continue to channel their dialog through me and demand I finish what was started.

We Indies may have an uphill battle, but unless we’re earning a living from “this thing of ours,” we have all the time in the world to tell our story. Selling it is another matter altogether.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1270775.Eva_Pasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Blog – Eva’s Byte #157: A Jiffy-Fix!

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”

This popular proverb applies to Indie authors by virtue of our trade in a saturated book market. A statistic I’d come across suggests that “at least” one new book is added on Amazon every five minutes, and it’s probably written by an Indie.

The going is tough!

So, the tough Indie gets going, trying to land a book sale. Speaking for myself only—negligible results vis-à-vis author events, book blog tours, paid promo ads, and magazine/blog features. Yet, I never look the gracious gift horse of exposure in the mouth, ever grateful for golden opportunities.

However, I found a jiffy-fix for procuring sales: a book-buying marathon.

Having participated in two marathons at JoL’s Book Buying Club on Facebook, I purchased one book and sold one of my own at the first marathon.  During the second one, I purchased a book, but didn’t sell any.

https://www.facebook.com/jolsclub/

I also joined author/poet Joanne Van Leerdam’s Pay It Forward marathon hosted on her timeline, where I made two book purchases, and sold one of my own.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=393558611120245&set=a.159943597815082.1073741832.100013983286162&type=3&theater

An outlay of under $5.00 to buy a fellow Indie’s eBook is a small investment with potential for yielding rippling dividends—namely improving rank for a brief interlude, and reaping reviews.

A book-buying marathon is interactive, immediate, and provides instant gratification for the fleeting moment of a jiffy-fix.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Blog – Eva’s Byte #156: The Reprieve

What are you priorities?

Leading up to the publication of my Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche (Sept. 2016), and thereafter, my blogs have pertained to my life as an Indie. Life with all of its ups and downs impacts a writer’s best intention to set aside a chunk of time each day to extract ideas from thin air and compose a story, sentence after sentence.  Hence, it took me nearly 9 years to complete and publish the aforementioned second novel.  If you’ve followed my two previous blogs, you’d know I’d been derailed yet again.

That was then, and this is now—a reprieve, however brief, for my role as caregiver during a lull in transitioning to the next phase. A firm believer in blessings in disguise, the recent setback prompted me to rethink, reassess, readjust, and refuel.

As a result, I’ve redefined my priorities:

I’m engaging in social media again on a limited basis—posting a minimal amount of ads to keep my books visible, sharing, and schmoozing. I’ve curtailed proverbially standing on my head to gain more recognition. My merit badges can speak for themselves! Consequently, I’ll be scarce at upcoming author events, preferring the solitude to write or read.

During my reprieve, I’ve thanked my lucky stars I never started up a newsletter or haven’t tried to figure out Facebook or Amazon ads. Though I’d like to increase book sales, I refuse to become a marketeer, throwing time and money away during the trial-and-error period. Kudos to those diligent in cracking the code and raking in the dough.

Most importantly, I’ve taken advantage of my reprieve to write, advancing along chapter 6 in my WIP without imposing word sanctions or time constraints. Although I’m an Indie author and proud of it, my priority is living large by enjoying the simple pleasures of life and pursuing favorite pastimes away from a desk. The upcoming summer season is too precious to squander.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

Blog – Eva’s Byte #155: The Breakdown Lane

An Indie author who takes writing seriously, I devote time each day feeding the beasts of social media for the purpose of marketing my published works. It’s no secret, Indies must work hard to showcase their work in the hope of attracting potential readers, with no guarantee of a single sale for days or weeks at a time! Yet, the six award badges my Contemporary Women’s Fiction novel merited since its publication in September 2016, provide incentive for me to keep up the momentum…

…Until my role of caregiver took many hairpin turns, prompting me to pull over in the breakdown lane while I get my bearings for dealing with the new norm. As of April 8th, I’d taken a temporary leave of absence from social media except for maintaining my weekly blog, reading, reviewing, and editing.  So I say!

If I’m too spent by the end of the day from physical exertion, the psychological hit, and mental anguish—all bets are off the table. Opening my novel document hasn’t even been a consideration due to the focus required. The remains of the day are usually devoted to anticipating and plotting the following day’s agenda before venturing into uncharted territory. And, crashing!

Meanwhile, I’m mindful of eating healthy and exercising to maintain my strength, stamina, and mental acumen. It’s become increasingly important for me to keep up with housework as a means of dispelling bouts of manic energy, and maintaining order in-house while losing my grip otherwise.

I long for the day when I’ll have just enough peace of mind to open my document and resume writing my next Contemporary from where I left off drafting chapter 6 a couple of weeks ago. That mentioned, I’ve got my eye on easing out of the breakdown lane to merge with traffic and continue the journey I’ve embarked on.

Best wishes to every Indie in triumphing over adversity.

 

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

 

 

Blog – Eva’s Byte #150: Book Badge Bling

Got bling?

No one ever said Indie authors “don’t need no stinkin’ badges” in furthering our cause of recognition in a polysaturated book market. (Misquoted line from the film, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, whereby the bandit leader, Gold Hat, actually replies, “I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”)

I’m honored, proud, and thrilled to display every “stinkin’” merit badge on my book covers for my multi-award winning Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche, and my recently published nonfiction memoir collection, 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s.

The purpose of this blog is to share news about the latest badge both of my aforementioned books received this week when the prestigious badge made its debut—IHIBRP (Indies Helping Indies Book Review Project) Recommended Read Award.

*In the words of author, historian JB Richards, the award’s originator:

“Are you an Indie Author with less than 15 Amazon reviews? If so, you may be eligible for my IHI Book Review Project! You’ll receive an IHIBRP Book Review that will be featured on my blogs at The Writers Block, Goodreads, and Twitter. Amazon “verified purchase” review, and a promotion of your IHIBRP review on Facebook and Twitter. But wait… there’s more—Should your book qualify as an IHIBRP 5 Star Recommended Read, you’ll earn an Award Badge which can then be affixed to the cover of your work to tell the world this is an exceptional read! The best part is, there’s absolutely no catch and no hoops to jump through—All I ask is that you pay-it-forward to our Indie community! Interested? Check out my award-winning IHI Book Review Project here!

Should your book qualify as an IHIBRP 5-Star Recommended Read, you’ll earn an Award Badge which can then be affixed to the cover of your work to tell the world this is an exceptional read! The best part is, there’s absolutely no catch and no hoops to jump through—All I ask is that you pay-it-forward to our Indie community! Interested? Check out my award-winning IHI Book Review Project here!”

https://www.yeshuaandmirinovelseries.com/single-post/2017/08/29/IHI-Book-Review-Project-IHIBRP-Submissions-Guidelines

*The Badge is created by author R.M. Gauthier, courtesy of RM Designs, in affiliation with the IHI Book Project. It may not be reproduced or shared without the written consent of JB Richards for any purpose other than which it is intended in conjunction with her IHI Book Review Project.

https://www.facebook.com/RMCustomDesigns/

For Indies, book badge bling enables our books to stand out in a crowded market.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Blog – Eva’s Byte #148: Something’s Fishy!

Indie Authors require the patience and persistence of fly-fishing!

In Reel/Real Time—literally and metaphorically—I’ve been hauling bass since January along my WIP, Aida’s Fishing Ground, in the genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction, set in Foster, Rhode Island.  Consequently, my novel trademark for integrating the locale’s historic landmarks, geographic entities, and regional culture is front and center.

I recently completed drafting chapter 3 (1807 words) which is devoted to one of the characters angling for bass in the Ponaganset River. At least two rules of thumb can be applied to an Indie author’s approach to marketing:

  1. While fishing, an angler must cross that fine line between spending too much time in one unproductive spot and moving on to another.

Comparably, an Indie author must evaluate strategies for their effectiveness in procuring book sales, staying the course with what works, and/or moving on to another strategy.

2.  Prior to fishing in a designated area, it behooves the angler to check the “fatty factor”—the detailed seven-day fishing forecast based on a 1 to 5 rating calculated per hour for every stream, whereby a factor of 5 indicates the fattest prospects for hauling bass or any other stock fish.

No such luck for an Indie author who must work all the angles to find his/her elusive readership with no guarantees for lucrative prospects whatsoever.

Best wishes to all Indie authors as we wade through social media on a daily basis in the hope of catching a sale through patience and persistence.

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Blog – Eva’s Byte #145: More Guts than Glory!

“More Guts than Glory”—the Indie Author Story!

Will I become a best seller? Will I get rich?

Que será, sera

Whatever will be, will be The future’s not mine to see

(My spoof of “Que Sera Sera,” a song first published in 1956, written by the songwriting team of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans; sung by Doris Day)
 

With electronic self-publishing, it’s become easier to be an author. This has made it harder than ever to sell a book. While it takes guts to write and publish a novel, it takes even more guts to strategize a marketing plan in the hope of enticing potential readers to purchase an eBook generally retailing from $.99 – $4.99. For the time being, a sporadic sale here and there may feel glorious, but I aspire to more. So, I pound the cyber pavement on social media every single day in my quest for glory.

While there’s no substitute for determination and guts to gain a foothold in this vast arena, opposing forces place obstacles along an Indie’s untrodden path to glory:

Facebook changes in displaying content mean that fewer people are seeing organic posts. As pay-per-click ads become more expensive, most Indies won’t have the means to compete. Therefore, it behooves Indies to rethink 2018: author groups and genre co-ops.

Despite setbacks, I’ve got the guts to persevere. Besides my inner drive, I credit my close-knit, author support group—the Indie Fabs, for their unwavering support and encouragement (Aliya DalRae, R.M. Gauthier, JB Richards, Lyra Shanti, and Joanne VanLeerdam).

I also take to heart stories of former struggling authors whose guts helped them attain glory (“The Writer’s Odds of Success” by William Dietrich, published by The Huffington Post and updated May 4, 2013):

Stephen King’s first big novel, Carrie, was rejected 30 times. He tossed it in the wastebasket, but his wife fished it out.

John Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, was rejected 12 times, and he unsuccessfully tried to sell copies from the trunk of his car.

Judy Blume, who has sold 80 million books, got nothing but rejections for two straight years.

J.K. Rowling, the first author billionaire, had Harry Potter rejected by a dozen British publishing houses, and reportedly got into print, for a £1,500 advance, only after the eight-year-old daughter of a publisher pleaded for it.

“No guts, no glory!”

What would you title your life story?

 

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco