Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Amazon bestselling author Effrosyni Moschoudi. She is the author of The Lady of the Pier trilogy. Effrosyni is a Fantasy, Paranormal, and Romance writer.
Note: Her book: The Ebb will be FREE from March 1, 2018 to March 3, 2018.
Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
EFFROSYNI'S BLOG - Greek recipes
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Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she loved to sit alone in her garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants. Today, she writes books for people who love all things Greek. Her debut novel, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, has won a silver medal in the 2017 book awards of Readers’ Favorite. In their glowing 5-star review they declared it, ‘a stunning masterpiece’. Her historical romance, The Ebb, is an ABNA Q-Finalist. Effrosyni's novels are Amazon bestsellers, having hit #1 several times. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a naughty cat called Felix, but her mind forever drifts to her beloved Greek island of Corfu.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?
Yes, I have 72,000 Twitter followers at the moment and it’s steadily growing because I have been working to grow my follower count every week for the past four years when I started. This has been a conscious effort as I am aware of the power of the specific medium to spread a message far and wide. Twitter doesn’t sell books, but it provides visibility like no other social media platform. I use Twitter and Facebook heavily; both are integral parts to my day-to-day promotion efforts and have helped me gain a plethora of new readers, many of which have become dear online friends. I use my private Facebook page to keep my readers close. In my opinion, Facebook pages don’t work – private ones do, and really help to put books in front of people’s eyes.
Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?
I don’t do that sort of thing at all as it’s not practical. I live in Greece and I cannot buy books en masse from Createspace in the States to do a book signing here – and to what audience? I don’t write in Greek, not yet, anyway. So, I do all my promotion online, but make myself easy to reach and chat to – mostly via email or on Facebook. Many of my readers chat with me on Facebook on a daily basis. I make time for this – to chat with them in the Greek-fun nook of cyberspace that is my Facebook timeline.
We talk about all things Greek, we laugh, and the camaraderie keeps on building, attracting more people in. I make a point to never discuss controversial subjects, such as politics or religion, and I do not allow negativity in any form in the discussions. It’s a place where people can forget their troubles for a while, relax, and have fun.
You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?
Thank you, I am truly pleased with my covers. The process of creation starts with a general idea or image I will have in my head – sometimes I also know in advance what special elements I want in the design - like the bougainvillea branch on the top left corner of The Amulet, for example. I discuss my requirements with my graphic designer and then he works his magic. He lets me see just a couple of variations, then I consult with my loved ones and a couple of my savvy author friends. I don’t involve too many people for fear that many voices may muddle my thinking. So the whole process doesn’t take long at all. I trust my graphic designer’s instinct and my own too so we don’t lose time doubting or trying too many things before deciding. I like to think we got them all right the first time.
What is your primary genre? What has been your best marketing approach to this group?
I write paranormal romance mostly. I am inspired by stories that I would love to explore as a reader myself. I love books about ghosts, myths, angels, and so forth. My future book ideas don’t wander away much from these themes. As for a marketing approach, I believe there is only one: use your platform to put your books in front of readers while offering something relevant of value and make it fun. And if you can network with other authors while you do it, even better! The value/fun that I mentioned just now, I offer from my blogs in the form of travel stories, Greek recipes, old stories from Corfu etc. As for networking, I often like to do giveaways or joint promotion with other authors or bloggers. This is the only way I know to spread the word about my books.
What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?
I believe in the power of free. I am not one of those authors who whine about the hard work they put in. We all put blood and sweat into our books but there are millions of books out there. So what makes one think theirs will stand out? Pricing a kindle book at $5 or higher and hoping to get considerable sales is pure insanity to me. The best way to get a reader to try your work the first time, is to offer a book for free. Plus, this is the only way to rank really high on Amazon and to gain extra visibility for a while.
All my books are Amazon bestsellers because I have made them free or priced them 99c/99p at some point. These promotions have placed them in the hands of thousands around the world. How many books does a trad author sell a year on average? 200? 500? Tops. But books are made to be read. And the price tag ‘Free’ gets them out there. You asked about obstacles… there are none with ‘Free’. Only with pricing an ebook anywhere above $5… But that’s a hobbyist’s strategy. It’s not the strategy of a writer who has the burning desire to share his work with the world.
As for giveaways, I do them occasionally. Not just through joint promotion with other authors, but also on my private Facebook page – I do flash giveaways there from time to time. This always gets me new readers and sales on other books too. Nothing too crazy, but any number of new readers is always welcome
Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?
My reader’s list is a painful subject for me… *giggles*
This is the only aspect of my work that I feel I have failed in. I have tried everything – creating a street team, giving the readers exclusive benefits, creating a free book to lure them in, and even tried taking part in massive joint events so I can acquire the emails of the giveaway participants. The last one has proved to be the worst method. At least with the other ones I got some new readers that were happy to stay on the list. But with this last method, the emails were not organically collected by me, but by some site, so most of the entrants didn’t know me. These were just random kindle readers, more often than not without any connections with Greece. Once I sent out the first email, most of them either ignored me or marked my messages as spam. Not doing that one again!
So now, I lay low, and I no longer try any new strategies to build my list fast. For my specific brand, it just doesn’t work that way. So I build it slowly and organically nowadays, targeting people in my small niche of readers who love all things Greek. I use my platform to offer them a short story collection and they opt to sign up. I don’t get many new ones per week, but those I do get, they seem to enjoy my emails and tend to be loyal. I am happy with that, and I’ve made my peace with this arrangement.
You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and helping other writers gain exposure. What is your primary goal? I like your Greek recipes inserts. Can you tell if that helps you gain a bigger audience?
Yes! I have two blogs. The one on my website is mostly a book blog. I share my reviews and interviews with authors, as well as my news, personal stories, and memories from Corfu. Recently, I started posting about my travels too, sharing travel tips, information and my own photos. In my other blog, I mainly post Greek recipes. All my posts have one common purpose: to offer some kind of value to the reader. I am a firm believer of the motto that you can’t have something for nothing. I can’t offer nothing fun, nothing interesting, and expect a random stranger to suddenly decide to try my books. Why would they? That is why I blog as often as I can and in diverse subjects too. The posts help to build trust, mainly, between my readers and me.
And anyway, all the posts I do help to attract people in my niche – i.e.
English-language readers who love Greece and its culture. Most of my loyal readers love Corfu with passion like I do and I met them on Facebook. I use this social medium a lot to spread the word about my posts. That and Twitter are absolute gems to my daily efforts to bring traffic to my blogs. Twitter, especially, brings people to my website by the thousands on a monthly basis.
And yes, recipes elicit a lot of interest. People, no matter where in the world, love food and some even get all fanatic about it! They are very curious about new tastes too. My recipe tweets tell me so… They get the most attention among all the different themes that I tweet about.
What is the objective for your newsletter? Do you try to build a list of readers? Do you see a carryover to the sales of your novels.
As I stated in the previous question about my reader’s list, I no longer put too much effort in building it. I send out 1-2 newsletters per month to share my own news/offers and kindle deals by other authors that I support. I also share other stuff, like Greek recipes, travel posts, pictures of my cat, images from the seafront in my little town, or pics from Corfu. So I mix and match in my newsletters and try to make them fun and appealing to people who love all things Greek.
As for a carryover, yes, I have seen the odd spike in my sales, be it free or paid ones, on the day that a newsletter goes out. But I don’t see the newsletter, at least for this specific brand, as a means to get sales. I mainly see it as a way to build a relationship with my readers. To increase sales, I focus on paid/free online ads, my blogs, Twitter and Facebook.
Living in Greece creates a unique selling and marketing situation. Where is your biggest audience? Does marketing online help in this situation?
Yes, living in Greece and writing in English does limit the ways in which I can communicate with my readers. I do not have the luxury of book signings and other live events in Greece like other authors may have abroad.
I sell mostly in the Amazon UK store so I tend to use Facebook to find new readers in the UK by targeting specific Facebook groups relevant to my niche. It’s proven to be a wonderful strategy.
I tweet about my books daily, but it’s hard on Twitter to identify the readers who find me there and wind up buying my books… let alone their nationality. Facebook makes that so much easier.
Based on my Amazon reports, and the general idea Facebook gives me, I can say with certainty that most of my readers reside in the UK or Greece (the latter being British nationals). The USA comes second with Australia, Canada, and various other European countries following behind. When I do free promotions, I ‘sell’ everywhere though. Even in Japan and India ? That’s always lovely to see in my Amazon reports.
Is there a place where readers can sample your work?
Thank you, James, for this amazing opportunity to present my work to your readers! Those who wish to try my work are most welcome to go to this page and get two freebies:http://effrosyniwrites.com/free-stuff/
Author's Book List
- A Greek holiday story with a happily ever after ending
Katie has a guardian angel . . . she just doesn't know it
Katie hates her dreary office job in Athens. Just as she wishes for an island escape to start anew, her half-mad boss fires her, and then, a gypsy woman hands her an amulet for good luck.
Before she knows it, she lands a job as hotel receptionist on the island of Sifnos, and everything seems perfect, except for the overbearing hotel owner, Mrs. Matina. One of the guests, handsome and mysterious Aggelos, keeps saving the day whenever Katie needs help. As she falls in love, she grows all the more intrigued by him and his quirky friends, including a little girl who keeps turning up on her own. Add a psychic, batty old lady into the mix and you're in for a few laughs.
Things are not what they seem in this small, family hotel and get even more complicated when the gypsy woman shows up again. Will Katie ever work out that Aggelos is a guardian angel that came with the amulet? And if she does, will she be able to keep him? It may take a miracle. But on an island as magical as Sifnos, anything is possible!
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- The Lady of the Pier Book 3
Two worlds. One haunting. One love that won't let go.
When Sofia falls in love, a mourning spirit begins to haunt her... The Storm, a World War II romance, is the concluding part of the trilogy that merges the stories of Sofia and Laura into one. Now, redemption seems finally possible...
Sofia does her best to get over Danny, but The Lady won't leave her in peace. The spirit guides her to meet more people who knew Laura, and now begins to haunt Danny as well. What will happen when he wears Christian's scarf? And who is the third person being haunted, and why?
Laura is relieved to hear about Christian's narrow escape from Dunkirk, despite his serious injury. Things at home are as harrowing as ever, but she holds on to a glimmer of hope. When he discovers an old secret, Christian returns to Brighton. Will the old sweethearts find happiness at last or will Charles never allow it?
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- The Lady of the Pier Book 2
She won't find peace until she finds redemption. But it'll take more than love; it'll take two worlds, to merge into one.
Sofia arrives in Vassilaki brokenhearted over Danny. Just as a new boy comes into her life, the strange dreams start anew. Now in Brighton, she meets Danny again, but he blows hot and cold. When she sees a female apparition on the West Pier, she finds out the locals call her 'The Lady of the Pier'. Is this the woman in her dreams and why is Sofia the only one who can see her?
Laura and Christian enjoy a blissful summer, while Charles watches from a distance, waiting for the right time to intervene. This time, he's prepared to do something truly vile as to leave nothing to chance. WWII breaks out, and Laura does her best to settle in a new life, having paid a terrible price. Will she find happiness at last, or will the past continue to haunt her?
The Flow is a World War II British drama where the stories of Sofia and Laura begin to merge, leading to a powerful ending. In the next volume, The Storm, the two stories finally become one.
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- The Lady of the Pier trilogy book 1
When Sofia falls in love, a mourning spirit begins to haunt her...
CORFU, GREECE, 1987
On a long holiday with her grandparents, Sofia Aspioti meets Danny Markson, a charming flirt who makes her laugh. Although she tries to keep him at arm's length, worried that village gossip will get back to her strict family, she falls desperately in love. That's when strange dreams about Brighton's West Pier and a woman dressed in black begin to haunt her. Who is this grieving woman? And how is her lament related to Sofia's feelings for Danny?
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND, 1937
Dreaming of wealth and happiness, Laura Mayfield arrives in Brighton to pursue a new life. She falls for Christian Searle, a happy-go-lucky stagehand at the West Pier theatre, but when she's offered a chance to perform there, her love for him is put to the test. Charles Willard, a wealthy aristocrat, is fascinated by her and pursues her relentlessly. Will Laura choose love...or money?
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Poetry from The Lady of the Pier
Joanna boards a flight from JFK to visit the Greek island of Sifnos again after twenty years. All this time, despite the distance and her life’s circumstances, she’s been holding on to precious memories from an old summer love. Now, she’s determined to meet again the man she once left behind, hoping for a chance to prove she never forgot their old promise…
The book contains a Greek short story of second chance romance and ten love poems from the Lady of the Pier trilogy. Readers who are not familiar with the series may equally enjoy them.
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The Necklace of Goddess Athena
Phevos, an ancient Greek, remembers very little from his childhood. What's more, his mysterious father never explained how his mother disappeared years ago. When Phevos turns twenty, his father sends him on a time-traveling journey to modern-day Athens without telling him the reason. There, Phevos finds new friends, romantic love, and a trail of clues that lead to shocking revelations. Excited, he continues to unravel his family's mysteries and soon realizes his father has set up an ingenious plan so their family can be whole again. This plan involves two Olympian gods and a war that's been raging between them seemingly forever. One of the gods is out to help Phevos, the other, to destroy him. Will he escape the mortal danger and manage to fulfill his destiny?
The Necklace of Goddess Athena is a fascinating story about the importance of faith when all hope is lost. With its mystery, sweet romance, humor, and touches of drama, this family-friendly fantasy will take you on an unforgettable ride. Scroll up now to download it and get inspired!
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