October marks my second anniversary as a published author!
Happy authorversary to me and happy book birthday to my debut novel titled This Time.
Last November, I imagined that I would have completed my first book series by now. I thought I’d have moved on to write and publish my second book series this year. I imagined that my connections in the writing, reading and book blogging communities would continue to grow. I thought my sales and income would increase, and allow me to spend more on book marketing. With my second child due in December 2019, knew that my life would become harder. Yet, I thought my know-how would make running my author business easier. That is not what happened.
What had happened was … 2020 knocked us all on our butts.
It’s October 2020, and I’m feeling about six months behind schedule with my 2020 author plan. I’m still editing These Moments—the third book in my debut book series titled Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter. I’m still writing One More Bite—the first draft of my second book series. With two small children to care for, it took nine long months for me to figure out a new writing schedule that works.
A few of my successes and failures from October 2019 to September 2020:
- I’ve sold over 250 copies of my first book when there is a discouraging statistic flowing around saying, “most self-published authors will likely sell around 250 books or less.”
- I have over 70 book reviews for This Time on Amazon USA.
- I get traffic on my author website each day and that triples when I publish an article on my blog.
- Readers respond to my newsletters.
- My motivation to succeed as an indie author has grown.
- I’ve given back to the writing community by buying, reviewing & promoting books by other up-and-coming authors.
- I have over 950 Facebook page likes—so close to reaching 1,000!
- I have over 1,600 Instagram followers, and over 2,500 Twitter followers.
- I have over 750 Bookbub followers, and over 100 Goodreads followers.
- And … I have 120 people following of my author blog.
I’ve accomplished all this as an independent author with two books published on a modest budget.
Lessons learned the hard way:
- I wish I exhausted every free book marketing technique out there before I started paying for advertisements. It is costly to learn how to make Amazon ads work for you, and may not give you a good return on your investment unless you have a few books published.
- Editing is necessary and there are several types of editing a manuscript can benefit from. I always hire a professional editor after I’ve self edited my manuscripts first and then used beta reader feedback to further improve my stories. Still, I wish I allowed more time for editing and that I would hire a second proof reader. I know that I need to grow my editing team.
- In the beginning, I wish I commissioned three book covers at once. It would have costed a lot up front, but it would have resulted in a more cohesive and impressive series of book covers for my trilogy. While I like my current book covers for Nadira Holden Demon Hunter, they don’t scream bestselling urban fantasy book series.
- Embracing the fact that I’m a night owl (#writeowl) and slow writer (#turtlewriter) has taken time. I’ve tried writing in the morning before my day as a stay-at-home mom starts and no, just no. I’ve also tried day writing which is great for the administrative side of my author business. While I appreciate being able to write and edit during the day, I am still most productive at night when I start writing around 9 p.m.
- Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I wish I didn’t allow myself to worry as much. Doubt will creep in and steal your joy each and every time you allow it. Writers and other artists are notorious for having crippling self-doubt. Infrequently, I have those moments too—usually when my little ones need me well past their bedtime or when I check my book sales page to find that I sold zero books that day—that make me question my skills as a writer and worthiness of success. Those thoughts are useless. Try your best to dismiss them. There’s no need to compare yourself to the perceived success of others either. Simply keep improving, preparing and taking calculated risks.
My third story will be published in the Soul’s Day Boxset releasing 10/20/2020! Jilted is an exciting paranormal romance novella with werewolves. This boxset is aiming for bestselling status and the promotional price is only $0.99 so buy a copy or five or ten! ^_^
Thank you for visiting my author website, and I sincerely hope you found this article helpful. I appreciate all of you joining me on my journey as a writer mom. ❤️
Check Out: Year One as a Published Author
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