One year of being a published author and I'm feeling a bit nostalgic. What a whirlwind the past twelve months have been! June 23, 2013, Finding My Way went live in the US. I remember looking at my Amazon dashboard and thinking, 'Wouldn't it be nice to sell a hundred books?' I was also shit scared that, of those one hundred sales, no one would like it.
What I wasn't prepared for was selling almost 600 books in that very first month! I mean, I was no one, I didn't have many Facebook likes, connections, friends in the industry, nothing, I didn't even have a website. How could my book be sold that many times over? Were people reading it? Or just getting it because of its pretty cover? I mean, look at it - Kari at Cover to Cover Designs did a beautiful job...
I will be forever grateful that Kari responded to my email, because without her I don't know where I'd be. I was completely clueless on how anything worked and I had no idea what cover I wanted. What Kari gave me captured Emma's essence perfectly. It fit the story so well and blew me away! She has since designed SEVEN more book covers for me and I love EVERY SINGLE one of them! So where was I? That's right! My début novel was for sale and people were actually buying it! For those first sales I have to thank these blogs, the ones that did my FIRST EVER promo posts. It was them, mentioning my book, that got everything started for me, of that, I have no doubt.
How do I remember these particular bloggers over the many that have helped me since? Because I kept copies of those blog posts, of course! I was so excited to see MY book on THOSE pages! And then the most amazing thing happened, the reviews started to trickle in and more blogs got a hold of it. They were contacting me, responding to my emails, long after I thought I'd be forgotten. They were reading and reviewing my book and liking it! Asking for the release date of the next one. People overseas were asking to buy signed paperbacks and I couldn't believe my luck! I'm no 'best seller' and I don't need to be, because when a reader messages me and says, 'OMG I loved it!' that's all I need to keep on going. Who wouldn't appreciate that? So, I would really like to thank EVERY reader that has ever contacted me, even just one comment on a single Facebook post saying that they enjoyed ANY of my books. It really is the best feeling in the world, to have something that you have poured your heart and soul into actually matter to someone, even if only for one day.
I love what I do. I love the characters I write. I love making up stories. And I wouldn't want to do anything else. I write for me. I understand that not everyone is going to like everything that I write and that's okay. It took some time to realise that, after such a happy beginning, but I do get it, because I'm a reader too. Just because you enjoy one book by a particular author it doesn't necessarily mean you'll love all of their work. I've learnt a lot this past year. I am a lot more confident in my work and I know that I'm getting better with each book, I can feel it. For that I have to thank Kaye Kelly and Tash Mann who helped me tremendously with Finding My Way and Crossroads. I need to thank Renee Kubisch for being my everything, for How to Liv and the Eraser series. And to these lovely ladies who have helped at various times as beta readers - Tami Norman, Tiffany Tillman, Marie Obradovic and Carrie Klein. I don't want to turn this into an 'acknowledgements section' because this is meant to be a blog post and not a book (plus there are too many people to mention) but just know, I do not forget. Not when it comes to people that matter, people that have supported me throughout this journey so far. I remember and I thank you! As with everything in life, there are highs and there are lows to being an author and if it weren't for the friendships made this past year with fellow authors, bloggers and readers, I know I wouldn't be where I am now. Where am I now? Well, I'm still surprised that I have published SIX titles in the first year of being a writer! I'm now working on the fourth book in the Eraser series, with at least another two to follow. Then I'll be getting back to Seth, poor Seth needs his HEA in New Beginnings. After that, it's either Xander & Tilly or Being Adam, whichever grabs hold of me first. I also have a book called Blurred Lines hidden away for a rainy day. Whatever happens, I'm not going anywhere. I'm in this for the long haul. I have plenty more to write and this is my motto going forth:
(This lovely graphic can be found with many other words of wisdom on my Pinterest page - I'm a wee bit addicted!)