I got Interviewed for a Podcast!

I got Interviewed for a Podcast!

Hey everybody!

I recently was interviewed on the Introverted Indie Author Podcast with host Michael Sanford, it was tons of fun.

I found out he was a fellow comrade in arms in nerd-dom and in indie authorship, he’s an awesome guy and a great host. Definitely most fun I’ve had on an interview.

On the site:

HERE BE THE PODCAST

Direct link:

//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4507573/height/90/width/640/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/no-cache/true/render-playlist/no/custom-color/ffa000/

Check it out, let me know what you think!

I go into depth on my experiences with writing and editing and publishing and advertising, along with various nerdy topics.

Enjoy you bloodthirsty monsters!

Evan

 

Advertisements

Expectation and Reality

Expectation and Reality

There’s thing in our heads called a brain. It’s crazy and it does a million things and once and somehow is at the core of who we perceive ourselves to be.

One of the things this brain does all the time is process potential future events.

This of course is a purely survivalist practice, as we once were animals living in the food chain. Now this process has become a part of things like when should I get onions and not wanting to go to some social obligation later and how hard it’s going to be to write that next scene I want to get right.

We all have expectations. For everything. Even if we try not to.

Expectations often do not match reality. Because expectations are just some scenarios we have made up in our heads-ones that often aren’t even strongly based on our past experiences but rather our hopes and fears.

For Example,

Expectation: Man, writing this next scene is going to be hard. There’s a lot of detail and content I want to impart in a compact amount of writing. What choices am I going to make for this character, for this reaction? I have to make sure the details line up with my greater goal for the story and the preceding and following plot.

Reality:  Sit down in my chair, open Scrivener. Catch up on where I am in the flow of the scene. Double check my outline to see major points. Start typing. Keep typing. It goes and goes. Hey, I already know all of these things that I wanted to do. I’ve had this in my head for days. This is pretty smooth.

Despite the fact that that is my experience sitting down to right 19 times out of 20, STILL sometimes I procrastinate sitting down to write, daunted by fear or laziness.

That’s because my brain is lying to me.

Expectations are crap. Get rid of them. And by that I mean, don’t let them control your actions, unless it’s controlling them for the better, of course. 😀

-Evan

 

Five Hundred Words

Five Hundred Words

There’s something I read recently that really stuck with me.

And I’m going to paraphrase here… But finding your dream career isn’t about finding one where you love the good parts– it’s about finding a career where you enjoy the hard work.

Because basically all careers, no matter how greenish the grass looks on the other side of the hill, have hard work. No matter how dreamy they seem.

I’m glad I love the writing, the editing, all the stuff that goes into it. There’s something so satisfying about creating a story.

But it’s hard work. It really is. And the procrastination can be REAL.

I’m in a pretty beautiful place that I find myself writing BOOK 2 this summer as my full-time. THAT doesn’t totally feel real.

But the work is. So there’s something of a transition I’m undergoing, It’s a totally different feel writing with the pressure of a Book 1 behind you and readers clamoring for a sequel!

So I’ve come up with a plan. It’s very much in the spirit of sustainability. It’s pretty simple– 500 words a day. It’s not a lot, I know. but that’s the point. Because on a daily basis, I need to feel the satisfaction of getting writing done. I have to keep it from feeling like a ticking clock–and the best way to sustainable success, is small, rewarding increments.

So let’s say I write 500 words and it’s only 2pm one day. I’m rolling, the writing is flowing. I just keep writing. And I get to feel awesome, like an overachiever xD Maybe i’ll get 3,000 words… maybe 8,000. I’ll be sky high.

And if I have a tough day, and only write 500, then I feel like I did what I need to do. And if I take a day off, I don’t feel like I’m SO far behind.

So basically, set your daily goals as very achievable–so you can feel good, so you can blow them away, and you can average more than your goal. You’ll feel great, you’ll write more, and you’ll shake free of the stress of I need to be writing. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. And give yourself the leeway to write it the right way.

At the end of the day, it’s about quality, not quantity. I can’t wait to give the readers of HOOD an ever better work to read.

Evan P.

 

Writing a Sequel: To the Readers of HOOD

Writing a Sequel: To the Readers of HOOD

Writing a sequel is very, VERY different than writing the first novel.

Especially when that first novel has had no small amount of debut success.

I’m the first to admit I read all the reviews when they come up. I’m always looking for feedback, for one–and also I just enjoy the positive reinforcement so much when it happens. It’s so interesting seeing what people liked or didn’t like about the book, how they felt about the ending… etc.

It’s easily something you can get lost in. Everyone loves and hates different things, and you can’t please them all. My goal is the same as it always was: to write a story that excites me. To write something I love, and to trust that others will love it too.

One of the things I’m most excited about in writing BOOK 2 are some major events that get me fired up, parts of the story that I just can’t wait to see become real.

I think the readers of HOOD are going to love them too. Regardless of how you felt about the events of the first book.

Just to play teaser here, I think the details are there in the first book that the reader might be able to piece together some of the things that will happen in book 2 and moving forward in the series.

That is, of course, coming from an author’s perspective where I know everything that’s going to happen, lols.

More than anything, I just want to write a continuation of the story that will be even better than the first. I know the stigma sequels can have sometimes as always being second best to intro novels, but I’m pretty sure this one is going slam the pedal down from where HOOD took you.

Really, I can’t wait. This summer shall be the summer of writing. My blood is boiling already, baby.

-Evan

STOP…Promo time! (dances)

STOP…Promo time! (dances)

There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to run a promotion for his book.

And my man I mean man or woman. And by man or woman I mean an author.

WE’RE OFF TO A GOOD START.

So anywho, I was pretty excited to run my first stack promo for HOOD. Here’s the lowdown:

I’m selling around 20-22 books a day before all this stuffs. I’m getting around 13,000 pagereads a day.


Day 1  4/21/16, KCD sale, HOOD is $0.99, no promos. This is my control in the scientifical sense. Extra scientifical.

SALES: 53

KU PAGEREADS: 15,190


Day 2, HOOD is still $0.99 with the KCD, Promo sites: ROBINREADS and EbooksForFree

SALES: 118

KU PAGEREADS: 9,231


Day 3, HOOD is still $0.99 with the KCD, Promo sites: BOOKBARBARIAN and EreaderNewsToday

SALES: 242

KU PAGEREADS: 11,473


Total money spent on Promos: $70.00  breakdown: (30 ENT, 20 BookBarbarian, 20 Robinreads)

Total books sold during promos: 360

Took a lil bit of a hit on KU pagreads, but no idea if that was due to the promotions or not.

But I more than doubled my control on day 2, and more than quadrupled it day 3. If I subtract my control from each day (assuming that many people would’ve bought my book on amazon anyway) I still sold 254 books (presumably) in total via the promotions. That means I came out quite a decent bit in the black, in the pure profit sense. My gross profit more than doubled the money I spent on the promos.

As for my ranking? Highest so far:

f739a5f0b526fc9060cb149f5dec6c37

 

Conclusion? BOOYA. In the words of the Firebat: Slammin’.

Now I’m excited to see what the ‘long tail’ of this is. Let alone the rest of the KCD!

-Evan Pickering

 

Stick With What Got You To the Dance

Stick With What Got You To the Dance

Distractions are so. . . Distracting.

 

giraffic_park2-copy.pngI’ve spent a very large amount of my writing time lately trying to learn as much as I can about effective marketing, trying to learn from other Indie Authors who have tread this path before, and, well. . . obsessively checking my reviews and sales and KU page reads and Amazon ranking. I admit it.

First step to recovery is admitting there’s a problem 😀

It’s hard work hacking out a hard outline for Book 2, developing character arcs and motivations, doing all the nitty gritty stuff you HAVE to do if you want to write a good story. Slowly, I’m getting there though.

And it’s reminding me something. Something important.

As I sweat and cheer with every dip and burst in sales each day, I’m losing sight of the big cheese, here. I’m forgetting who brought me to the dance.

It’s the writing. The Storybuilding. That shit gets me excited. I’m really happy with what I’ve got so far (after some scrapping) with the arc for Whiskey, BOOK 2 of the American Rebirth series. So happy, that I’m getting that amped-up feeling, the I-can’t-wait-to-make-this-real feeling. It’s the same joy and excitement I got from writing Hood.
It’s the goddamned reason I’m doing this in the first place.

So why the hell am I getting so excited/worked up over daily numbers? Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about how well the book is doing. To quote Saving Private Ryan, this is a gross mis-allocation of resources here.

Sure, marketing is important. I’m going to keep at it. But the delicious storybuilding, yes, my sweet dear, I’m coming back to you.

 

-Evan Pickering

 

Doing it the right way.

Doing it the right way.
the_last_of_us_by_tiger1313-d5v92fm
Credit: maciejkuciara

I’ve learned a hell of a lot from writing and publishing my first book.

Chiefest of all of them: do the hard stuff, the legwork and the preparation first, so you don’t have to do twice the work later.

As my dad says, an ounce of prevention saves a pound of trouble. I don’t know if he ever thought it would apply to writing, but it does.

It took 4 years and a hell of a lot of re-writing for Hood.  Rewriting the final version only took 4 months. I’m hoping I can write BOOK 2 in a year.

Part of that is doing what many authors hate to do: Outline. Storyboard. Character pages. Most writers have much of the story already imagined, lodged up there in their head somewhere. They just want to write it as imagined, without being “hemmed in.” But there’s two problems with that:

1. You slow your writing down by about 5x by not outlining first. This doesn’t mean you have to follow your outline exactly. Hell, you can replace things with other ideas or change it on the fly. But writing each chapter is SOOO much easier when you already have conceptualized what is happening. All the stress of “pouring it out” floats away. You’re free. (I always thought outlines were restricting. Reality is, they give you such freedom.)

2. If you structure your story, your scene-sequel pairs from 10,000 ft. view, the quality of your story is exponentially greater. The reality of why we don’t want to outline is because we’re lazy. We want to just let the words fly. We don’t want to “suck the fun out” of writing by following a construct. Be honest with yourself. Yes, it’s hard to plan out the whole damn thing first, but that’s what great stories are made of.

So, here I am, trying to get my outline on. Trying to capture the spirit and mood and excitement of the story in my head in structure. It’s not impossible. Hell, it’s not even that hard. You just have to get your ass into gear and do it.

-Evan Pickering