I consistently sold books throughout the summer and through the month of September. A book a day, sometimes two or three. I couldn’t figure out why or how. I had moved to Vermont and was temporarily off the grid. We had a foundation to repair, my husband was looking for work, and we took the show on the road so we weren’t home a lot. We put wifi and cable TV on the back burner. One less bill to pay. I wrote a few blogs but not as many as I used to when I was an innkeeper and sharing my journal. So what was driving sales?
My WordPress blog provides some handy statistics that Amazon does not. I’m not sure why they don’t. Doesn’t it help both of us to know what’s working, where the readers come from, and how they find the books?
I began my own statistical investigation. WordPress provides info on where my blog readers come from each day. They can link from Facebook, Twitter, another writer’s blog where I wrote a comment, or just good old Google searches. Sometimes WordPress provides me the search words readers used that brought them to my website. Another piece of information I get is the blogs they read. Two of the most frequently read blogs are found by searching for the jumping teddy bear cactus and a recipe for steelhead trout.
This is where the recipe for stuffed zucchini blossoms comes in. I spend an awful lot of time writing thoughtful blogs about life in my fifties, innkeeping, my empty nest, my mother’s long battle with Alzheimer’s, and various other life stories. I do think some of these thoughtful pieces sell books. But on many of the days I sold books someone read the blog about my visit to the Joshua Tree National Park where I was attacked by the jumping teddy bear Cholla cactus or they found my recipe for steelhead trout.
This blog is an experiment. Saturday a hard frost was predicted for northern New England. I was at a friend’s house, they were away for the weekend, and their daughter told me to grab some veggies in the garden. I found four zucchini blossoms, no sign of zucchini yet, and this late in the season no time left to bear fruit. So I picked them along with some swiss chard and went home to find a recipe. Among my many cookbooks only the Silver Pallete ladies had a recipe. It called for ricotta cheese which I didn’t have, so I came up with this:
ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS WITH COUSCOUS
Chopped fresh mozzarella cheese
A handful of Italian cheese blend
Mix together and stuff the gently washed zucchini blossoms
Mix bread crumbs and panko. Lightly beat one egg. Sprinkle flowers with flour (I am a huge fan of Bob’s Red Mill-his flour has changed my baking for the better. As Emeril would say, it’s taken it up a notch). Dip floured flowers in egg, then bread crumb mix and fry in vegetable oil until golden, turning carefully.
Sprinkle with grated parmesan
Recipe quantities can be adjusted for the number of zucchini blossoms you can harvest.
The finished product was amazing. My husband described it as a delicate burst of zucchini flavor. We will now spend the rest of the winter craving this concoction and waiting to plant a garden full of squash blossoms.
In the meantime, I will hopefully continue to sell books. My fourth novel is almost complete and I am desperately seeking a literary agent. I won’t kid you, selling books independently is no easy road to travel but it can be done. If you found my blog because you were looking for a zucchini blossom recipe please let me know. And better yet, if you bought a book I’d love to hear from you and how you found me.
P.S. Don’t forget those Amazon reviews.