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 #154: The Righter!

I’m a citer

I’m a fighter

I’m a midday righter

Tryin’ to find balance before the day is done…

*A parody of “The Joker,” a song by the Steve Miller Band from their 1973 album, The Joker.

An Indie author, I know I’m not alone in navigating life’s choppy waters while trying to further my writing endeavors. Due to unforeseen hairpin turns and detours, it had taken me approximately 8 years to finish and publish my second novel in the genre of Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche (eBook – 370 pages).

In January 2018, I began my third Contemporary, Aida’s Fishing Ground, progressing at my own unhurried pace where I left off two weeks ago. That’s right! I haven’t advanced a single word in drafting chapter 6.  And, it’s not because I’ve gone fishing!

Indies who are primary caregivers or liaisons know the drill. You drop everything to meet up with your loved one at the ER.  You become a citer, fighter, and righter to assure that the patient’s best medical and psychological interests are met. Being an advocate is exhausting and stressful.  But, because our heart is in the right place, we prioritize, and everything else goes to hell in a hand basket—as it should.

Yet, during my driving spurts, Keith Lawrence and Obie Smith—two of my characters, made their presence known by channeling dialogue. As I’m a pantser, I store this information for subsequent retrieval when it’s time to summon. I’m not there by a long shot, but it will keep without my writing it down prior to that point.  It’s how I roll.  If you’ve read my multi-award winning An Enlightening Quiche, I think you’ll concur that I did a damn good job differentiating my fully-fleshed characters, and plotting its twists and turns.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Meanwhile, the week ends on a positive note for health care management. I’ll soon transition to “the midnight writer” and plod/plot my way along Aida’s journey in my office—my fishing ground for reeling in the words to tell my story.

 

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

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

Blog – Eva’s Byte #153: “Literally” Sucker Punched!

It’s like “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”!

 Take one down, throw it away. One less book review today.

The takeaway of Amazon reviews is disheartening for Indie authors who experience sluggish, sporadic, or stagnant book sales. The reward for our slow and tedious uphill climb along this precarious journey is a book review posted by a reader.  Therefore, it’s a shock to discover the removal of a review every now and then, especially when that review is based on a verified purchase. Mind you, nothing but the removal of a 5-Star review will do, while a mean-spirited 1-Star, vitriolic slander-fest holds its ground despite an appeal, and subsequent curt dismissal.

First and foremost, it’s an insult to the reader who takes a leap of faith in purchasing a book and graciously takes the time to write an honest review providing feedback.

Last week, my Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche, had its reviews whittled down to 28—again! So close to 30, yet so far! My Nonfiction Memoir collection, 100 Wild Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s, is down to 10.  Each day, I walk the gangplank, on edge, over what I’ll discover that may obstruct my path to the Promised Land of Visibility, purportedly attained after your book gets 50 reviews.

However, the hide of an Indie author is thick to begin with, having pioneered self-publishing on our own terms. Taking away one or more reviews over time can never undermine my integrity as a writer, erode myself self-respect, or devalue the merit badges my books have earned. I also take consolation that many bestselling authors have had few reviews prior to hitting it big.

Sales drive success, not reviews.

Although I’ve yet to strike the mother lode of book sales, like an errant weed poking through concrete, I’m determined to succeed in my own way—one book sale at a time.

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

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

Blog – Eva’s Byte #152: There’s More than One Way to Bake a Quiche!

Besides the myriad number of varied ingredients, there’s the option of crust or crustless. My quiche recipe, or rather, my protagonist Augusta Bergeron’s heirloom recipe she named “Quiche Simone,” is crustless. (Multi-award winning Contemporary, An Enlightening Quiche: An heirloom quiche recipe and baking rivalry turn up the heat in a mill town rife with secrets and scandals).

There’s obviously more than one piece of well-meaning advice pertaining to effective writing. I thought I’d include my own, along with “rules” I happen to follow based on my own preferences:

1 – First and foremost: Don’t become a “best-sellout” by playing it safe or following advice from so-called writing experts. Heed your own instincts.

2 – When sitting down to write, always reread previous material in the chapter. I find it revs one’s creative engine, while keeping focused on the plot. Plus, it’s “one” more invaluable opportunity to proofread, edit, check for inconsistencies, and enrich. Time consuming—sure, but it’s the closest thing to subjective perfection. Oh, and before I begin writing a new chapter, I read my WIP from the beginning.

3 – Avoid using the word “that”.

That’s all I got. I’m adding a few pieces of advice I happen to agree with wholeheartedly proffered by established writers.   You may not agree.  Hence, I’ll refer you back to no.1.

*Write a book you’d like to read. Don’t write for a perceived audience market.  It may well have vanished by the time your book is ready. (Hilary Mantel)

*Writing isn’t about making money…In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. (Stephen King)

*Work on one thing at a time until finished. (Henry Miller)

*Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition. (Jack Kerouac)

Courtesy: http://www.litrejections.com/10-rules-of-writing/

What works for you?

 

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

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

 

Blog – Eva’s Byte #151: It’s a Sedentary Life!

Wonderful as it may be, this thing of ours—writing, has potential to wreak havoc on our health from sitting for long periods of time. Whether hunched over to finger dance on a keyboard, or tell a story using Dragon voice recognition software—we writers put our health at risk by “de-composing.” I pity those Indie authors raking in the dough from book sales, enabling them to afford a personal assistant who further aids and abets a sedentary lifestyle.

Chances are, we tend to nosh on junk food so as not to divert our rapt attention from the computer screen. This tends to pack on the pounds, predisposing one to become overweight which increases the likelihood for developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, anxiety, depression, and dementia—worse than any writer’s block!

The buck doesn’t stop here, but this should be enough of a wakeup call for Indies to safeguard our health by making better snack choices and engaging in some form of regular exercise.

As the late, great Stephen Hawking is credited with saying, “Remember to look up at the stars.”

It behooves us to do so.

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