Beautiful Day Traveler is the new name for Debra Parmley’s revised blog as she enters into not just a new chapter in her life, but a whole new book of life as the adventure begins.
In the past she has been a writer, a dancer, a writing teacher and mentor, a traveler and a travel agent. All these threads converge for a new journey, one of living full time with her husband, in a motorhome. A 2010 Tiffin Allegro bus. (Pictures coming soon!)
Hang around Debra long enough and you may hear her say, “Every day we are alive is a beautiful day.” Debra is a “beautiful day traveler” and here on her revised blog you will find:
Debra sharing about learning to live in a motorhome full time (it’s their first RV)
travel stories of short journeys as Debra and her hubby Mike travel the U.S.
Debra’s fictional stories
writing tips and advice
dance, music, and anything else which adds to Debra’s beautiful day
In the archives here you will find posts on writing and dance from her blog formerly titled Threading the Web, which she started for her writing students to encourage them. Debra currently has 24 books of fiction and one book of poetry up on Amazon, most are available in print and four are available in audiobook. She is currently at work on a new novel and on her new online writing classes as they prepare to move into their new motorhome. For more about Debra Parmley and her books visit debraparmley.com
Meet Mike Parmley, Debra’s husband of 39 years. High school sweethearts, she asked him out on a $5 bet! They’ve been having adventures ever since. Soon they’ll be sharing their adventures with you.
Indie marketing tip #1 – “Keep your profile pics/head shot out there. If they don’t know who you are, they won’t read your work.” – tip from Mike Pettit Your face should be recognizable. Imagine being at a signing event of 350 authors. I bet if you read romance you could pick out the big names, like Nora Roberts. Friends and fans love this pic which was taken of me with my first book by Monica Parks. I love it too, it’s fun and is a good memory for me. But, guess what it doesn’t do? Boost my brand. You need a full head shot to do that. Branding – it’s important. I’ve listened to a lot of people give talks on branding and have read about it. I’m going to sum up branding as simply as I can, to cut through some of that for new Indie authors. Your brand. How do you brand yourself? New authors often ask me that question. Here is the answer I always give. Branding: “To brand yourself first you must know who you are and then act like it.” – Debra Parmley So there are two steps. Do you know who you are? Ego comes up in this topic. And what is ego? It’s our personality, the things that make us who we are. We came down here to earth to be somebody. Remember that. Living small does not serve you well. There is nothing wrong with having an ego. Not enough and you’d never put yourself out there. You’d hide in your author cave. Too much and you’d be insufferable to be around. But you are in control of that. So know who you are. The more you figure that out, the better your branding will be. And guess what the experts who will charge you money to brand you are going to ask? The same questions you have to ask yourself to figure this one out. So you figure that out and then, step #2, you act like it. Be true to yourself. There is only one you. And readers want to get to know you. Every social media site out there is going to want a profile picture. Because that is step one of people getting to know you. So… profile pic = head shot. And as Mike Pettit says, you need to post new ones to keep your brand, your face out there. I’m going to take my own advice here and will be changing my profile pic once a week. Will call it Brand Boost. Cause I have to boost my brand. There are thousands of authors out there and we have to keep boosting our brand if we want to be remembered.
Goodreads. Authors often either love it or hate it. Some won’t be on it at all. Others are on often and enjoy it. Today I’m going to talk about why I love it.
First, I came to Goodreads as a reader, before I ever had an author page. So I learned to love the site as a reader and that has not changed.
I like being able to keep track of books I have read, so I don’t order the same book twice. In this way it saves me from wasting money. I like being able to “shelve” the books by category and have started doing more of that recently. I can even keep track of which books my grandson has on his shelf so I don’t buy duplicates. So as a reader, shopper and gift giver it is useful to me. I also like the way Goodreads will suggest books to me and the fact I can adjust that by simply saying not interested. Just because I gave one book a 4 or a 5 does not mean I want to read a bunch more books like it.
So now we come to the ratings system. one star to five star with three being I liked the book. Anything above a three and the system is likely to suggest another book just like it. When I am rating a book I tend to rate high. I’d give everyone five’s if I could. But then if I do that, the system will keep suggesting more and more of the same. So I need to fight that inclination to make it easier to find the books I most want to read.
So that’s me as a reader on Goodreads. Just another reader who likes Goodreads.
Then there’s me as an author. Of course I have a Goodreads author page and I think every author should have one. I hear authors say they won’t be on there because things can get ugly. You know, with trolls and all. Well, that’s kind of like saying I won’t go play on the playground because there might be a bully. Or there has been a bully. I think it’s too bad when that happens. I’m not going to let any bully keep me away from enjoying books and talking about them. As a reader or as an author. So I have a Goodreads author page.
I like Goodreads so much I had it on my iphone long before I had Facebook which is not on my phone. It’s only in the last year that I added Facebook and only because I felt I had to in order to keep up with people who have events and messages and such and won’t use texts or emails. I was missing out on things by not being on there. Kind of like authors who are missing out on Goodreads by not being on there. Each author makes their own decisions about these things.
The thing is, readers are on Goodreads. So if you are an author and you want to meet readers or for readers to see your books, if makes sense to be there.
I love Goodreads and will be doing more on the site in the future. In fact, we just opened a branch new group for my readers on Goodreads and you are welcome to join! Look for Debra Parmley Lamplighters. Here is the link. See you there!
Why are Amazon reviews and ratings so important to authors?
These little gold stars and reviews are like gold for authors. Amazon reviews are vitally important to authors. Here’s why:
*25 reviews and Amazon starts in including the book in “also bought” and “you might like” lists to readers who might like to read it
*50 -70 reviews and Amazon will consider the book for spotlight positions and the newsletter.
Number of reviews may affect sales ranking and some websites won’t consider or promote your book unless you have a number of reviews on the page. Reviews help readers decide whether or not to buy you book so even a few reviews help, but if the book stays hidden in the mass of books on Amazon, readers may not see it to even be able to look and decide. With over 200,000 books on Amazon a good book can remain invisible for readers who would enjoy reading it, unless it garners enough reviews that Amazon will suggest the book to the reader.
Amazon’s system called A9 uses algorithms to place product rankings. An algorithm is a process of calculations by a computer. According to Amazon, more sales equals higher rankings. If the book is selling it is higher on the list. Verified purchase reviews count more toward the rankings of Amazon sales. You can still leave a review for a book you didn’t buy through Amazon. You can review anything on Amazon whether you purchased it there or not, if you have an account there.
Reviews with ‘likes’ count more toward rankings and algorithms. So while you are reading the reviews hit that ‘like” button. This will also help the good reviews rise to the top and the bad ones float to the bottom if there are no likes for the bad ones. It’s one way to counter the mean spirited reviewers who are out there. The ‘likes’ help the reviewers Amazon review stats and also helps the author with a higher-ranking review.
Amazon reviews are important! A review can be short. Anyone can write one in just five minutes. Writing a review is one of the biggest things you can do to help the author of the book you just enjoyed. So please, write a review!
Perhaps you have noted it’s been a while since I posted to this blog. To say I have been busy would be an understatement. 2015 saw me with five publishers and multiple deadlines to meet. Much has changed since then. I am now a hybrid author with my own small boutique press and I am still with two other publishers.
The name of my new press is Belo Dia Publishing. Belo Dia is Beautiful Day in Portuguese.
If you hang out with me long enough eventually you will hear me say this, “Every day we are alive is a beautiful day.” This belief permeates every cell of my being.
At Belo Dia, we aim to publish books which uplift and celebrate each beautiful day we are here on this earth together. Currently we are publishing romance and poetry.
I love the new logo. It expresses everything I wanted in a logo. The sun rising up above the green hills, rising out of the pages of the books we publish, with the solid core of the publishing house beneath.
The first part of 2016 I spent re-publishing all the back list books I had reversion of rights for. They are out now in both print and in ebook with new covers. Moving on to publish new works, I have two new works out and am working on a third. One goal I have for 2016 is to publish my back list books in audio, an option I did not have before when they were with other publishers. The future is bright here at Belo Dia where every day is a beautiful day.