October 2019 marks my first year as a published author! 🥳😊🙃😳🤯
In that time, I’ve published two novels as an independent author with a third in production.
💭 Self-care: It’s ok to not write every day. It’s ok to not want to write every day. It’s ok to get nervous. I still get butterflies when sharing my rough draft, revealing a new ebook cover and releasing a new book. It’s ok to ask other people for advice or encouragement. It’s ok to publish at your own speed whether that’s one book a year or six. It’s ok to spend $300 releasing a new book and it’s equally ok to spend $3,000. Try your best. Do your best. Let the worry go. Let the self-doubt go.
💭 Book reviews: One of the few things I do well is getting my books in the hands of book bloggers willing to read my books and post their honest reviews. I’ve heard enough talk from the writing community to be convinced that book reviews help sell books. The wonderful book blogs I now regularly follow, and the connections I’ve made have been a real joy. I’ll admit I read the reviews about my books, and I try my best to learn from them. While giving away free copies of my books isn’t always fun (or cheap), the feedback, exposure, and recommendations are priceless.
💭 Patrons: I currently have five patrons on Patreon. These generous people give each month to encourage and support my efforts to write and publish. I’ve had seven patrons over the year and one gave an incredible one-time donation of $40. This type of support is humbling. Monthly, I send them writing updates. They see my book covers first. They get to read my unpublished original short stories. I mail them signed paperback copies of my novels when ready. I tell them how I spend the money (on covers, editors and promotions). And I thank them every chance I get. My patrons are listed in my books and on my author website. I’d like to see my number of patrons grow and I know that it will happen organically if I’m consistent.
💭 Book sales: I haven’t cracked the code on how to become famous overnight, how to sell 1 million copies of my books worldwide, or how to earn over $1,000 each month from writing. Still, my books sell. I made a commitment to myself to write a full-length novel. I wrote it in roughly eighteen months, started an author website, self-published my debut novel, and participated in as many low-budget promotional opportunities as I could. The result was a modest success. My book was out there. My name was out there. My website got some traffic. The reviews were mixed but mostly positive. I learned as much as I could from that experience and I continued writing. My second book was published roughly six months later with even better sales and reviews. I call that growth.
💭 What’s next: I want to have book swag to giveaway! I’m talking bookmarks, keychains and maybe refrigerator magnets. I want to try my hand at publishing novellas and entering short stories into anthologies. I have ideas about a new book series. I want to really study book marketing and tackle online advertising. I want to participate in two or three book events annually. And, I want my writing to improve with each story I tell.
🌟 As a personal goal, I’d like to get much better as self editing. While I will always hire a professional editor before publishing a full length story, I’d like to present cleaner manuscripts to beta readers and editors to speed up the revising process.
💗 In 2020, I’ll be a content mother of two girls and the author of at least three published novels. Wish me luck and stay tuned as I enjoy maternity leave all winter long!
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