The gig economy means that work comes in fits and spurts. Freelancing, at least thus far in my experience, confers a feast or famine business: either I'm swamped with work or there's not much in the way of paid projects.
I try to look at the bright side during lulls in paid work. The lull gives me more time for prospecting new clients and new projects. The lull gives me more time to update my website and LinkedIn profile. The lull gives me more time to work on my own manuscripts.
Prospecting takes a surprising amount of time. From networking on LinkedIn to checking freelance boards to sending out proposals customized to each RFP, I spend a lot of time looking for paid work. It's too bad that the prospecting effort doesn't command pay.
The new availability of time also enables me to do other things, like go out to lunch with friends. Squirreled away in my office with naught but a dog and some cats for company, even this introvert sometimes craves human interaction. I look forward to those short excursions out of the house.
The problem with lulls in business is that I feel guilty spending the time working on my own manuscripts. If royalties from published books contributed, say, half my income, then I would feel much more comfortable about devoting those business hours to that "job." But, to be brutally honest, book sales this year have been dismal. I'm not sure whether that's because my stories suck, my writing sucks, or the market sucks.
Yeah, yeah, I know: marketing, marketing, marketing. The book fairs I attended did no good whatsoever; I'm hoping the next two will justify the expense and effort expended. If not, I doubt I'll attend any such events in the foreseeable future. Last year I hired a publicist to handle the marketing, because that is not my forte. Through her efforts, my social networking has greatly expanded. Whether that expansion has translated into any book sales, I can't say. To the best of my knowledge, there's no way to track conversions like that. We're going to delve once more into Facebook advertisements. The book of the month deal will be expanded for the full month rather than the first week of each month. (That's right, folks, the featured book will be discounted to $0.99 for the full month.)
Anyway, it's discouraging.
Also discouraging is the sheer prevalence of pirate sites. From July 1 to today, Blasty.co completed 276 "blasts" of sites guilty of infringing upon my copyrights. That's 18.6 percent of all blasts (1,477) completed in the last 12 months. If each of these sites illegally distributed just one copy of any of my books, that's a minimum financial loss of $517. That might not sound like much overall, but it means a lot to me. It's pretty likely that these sites illegally distributed more than one copy of my work before Blasty slapped them with DMCA notices.
Here's a hint to my fellow authors: Subscribe to Blasty. It's more efficient than any single human being and a lot less expensive than a copyright attorney.
With all the doom and gloom of dismal sales, copyright infringement, and a lull in paid gigs, one would think I'd do something else--like try out another genre. The problem is that I like what I write. I like the genre. I like what I do.
Despite the setbacks, I wont quit. I certainly won't stop writing my stories.
When she had finished the simple meal and swallowed another cup of that strange, fizzy water drawn from the Pool of Dreams, Thelan pressed a kiss to her forehead and bade her sleep. Before she could begin to ask the questions that clogged her throat and crowded her tongue, her eyes shut and darkness welcomed her again into its gentle embrace.
Gwenda was again ready with a tray of food when she woke.
“I need to get up,” Catriona insisted. “I need to figure out what happened.”
Gwenda, who had been nothing but caring thus far, assumed a stern expression and said, “My lord insisted you eat and eat you shall.”
Catriona struggled against the slippery silk sheets and found her strength quickly depleted. She sank defeated against the pillows and could not help the tears that trickled from her eyes.
“Go away. Please,” she begged.
Gwenda tilted her head as she pondered what to do. Should she obey her mistress’ request? Should she fetch the master and admit her inability to deal with his mate’s inexplicable distress?
“Do I not care well for you, my lady?” she asked, her voice beginning to tremble with the disturbing thought that maybe she would be punished for not alleviating her mistress’ distress. The captain had a reputation for being a demanding taskmaster.
“That’s not the problem.” A soggy sniff accompanied the denial.
Gwenda risked boldness: “I do not understand. You are the delight of the captain. You are given every luxury. Why are you not pleased?”
Catriona closed her eyes for several seconds, then struggled to sit up. The young woman aided her with gentle competence. She tried to explain: “I had a life. I was married to a good man. I had children and grandchildren. I had a job. My life was fulfilling and I looked forward to retirement if the cancer didn’t kill me first. Then one day after work, I was kidnapped, taken from all that was familiar. I remember pain, oh, God, the pain, but I was not conscious. I remember waking in unfamiliar surroundings beneath a man who used my body before I could even protest.”
“I can understand how the change must bewilder you,” Gwenda ventured with caution, “but why would you object to the captain’s touch? He is most handsome, as well as powerful. I have heard he generously rewards good service”
Catriona leaned her head back further against the soft pillows. “Because I did not choose this.” She lifted a hand, ran her gaze over the slender arm and noted the extra joint in each long finger, the ivory claws. She repeated, “I did not choose this.”
“You are exotic and rare,” Gwenda said and bravely offered a reassuring pat on her mistress’ shoulder. “Bards have already crafted ballads memorializing your transformation beneath the twin moons at the behest of the midnight and dawn swifts.”
Catriona sighed. “I don’t feel exotic and rare; I feel weird and … just weird.”
Book Promos From Authors Attending The Springfield OH Book Fair
Genre: Inspirational, Motivational
When Craig Smith addresses ministers, he is referring to every believer. Every member is a minister and all ministers get discouraged, disappointed, and some burnout. Craig offers 40 inspirational, motivational messages to help leaders lead people in ministry. I highly commend it for all ministers. Dr. John Ed Mathison Pastor Emeritus, Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church Montgomery, Alabama. Few people understand what Monday's are like for church leaders. Craig Smith, in his book "Every Monday," not only identifies the familiar Sunday to Monday rollercoaster scenario; he also offers practical helps and spiritual insights through real life stories for the "let down" from the ride. Craig's accounts from everyday life, along with his keen insights into the Monday experience, combine to offer realistic encouragement and much needed spiritual inspiration. His forty reflections invite church leaders to a new and powerful experience Every Monday.
J. Val Hastings, Professional Certified Coach
Blurb: Last Words
Jack Hale's commanding presence and sultry eyes catch Amber's attention the first time she sees him. She dreams of a future as an executive chef, but from the kitchen of stepfather's restaurant, she is mesmerized by the dashing man in a stylish business suit. The day he orders dessert and asks her to share it with him, dreams of their life together take hold of her heart. She imagines those few bites of dessert to be the beginning of a storybook romance . . . little does she know what twisted secrets Jack Hale holds. Ignoring the warning signs Amber embarks on a journey led by the sensual and dark Jack Hale that test the limits of who she is and who she will become . . .
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
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Looking for a place to swap blogs? Holly Bargo at Hen House Publishing is happy to reciprocate Blog Swaps in 2019.
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