Wednesday, August 21, 2013

And the ride continues...

You know, when you have a dream or a goal, you build it up in your mind how it's going to be when you achieve it.  Part of what kept me working toward my goal of being an author is that I had envisioned how wonderful everything in my life would become.

Not really the case.

The reality?  It's been kind of anticlimactic.  Don't get me wrong, things have been exciting and honestly, it's like a roller coaster ride with amazing highs and terrifying drops and things speed up and happen faster than you thought possible and then it will slow down to a near stop.

I'm not a huge fan of the roller coaster.  

This has been my ride thus far:

November of 2011, I released/self-published my very first novel, "Jordan's Return".  It didn't do much sales-wise and I didn't do much marketing-wise but I was just happy to say that I had a book out there.  

November 2012, I released a little holiday novella called "The Christmas
Cottage".  It was a fluke.  I had planned on releasing it as a free read on Amazon to get my name out there until I released my next book.  A week after it was released, it was on the best-seller list on Amazon.  Now, here's the thing, I was so new to the game and so uneducated on the publishing industry as a whole, that I didn't pay attention to any lists other than Amazon because I honestly didn't think that anyone else paid attention to indie authors.  I can kick myself now because now I wonder if it had made it on to maybe the USA Today list or even the NY Times list because the sales were that high!

February 2013, I released the follow up to "The Christmas Cottage" with "Ever After".  I was still so uninformed with what the norm was for book sales that I just assumed that every book sold as well as the Cottage did and that was definitely NOT the case.  I was devastated by the numbers and although it did fine, it did not come close to the success that "The Christmas Cottage" had.
March 2013, I released "Catering to the CEO".  This book was a personal favorite of mine that I had written two years ago for NaNoWriMo and all I did was polish it up a bit and put it out there.  The sales on it were okay but again, certainly no competition for "the Christmas Cottage".  It's hard to say that I'm not disappointed because I am.  While I know not every book is going to be a bestseller, it's still a little disheartening when one book does so well and the next one doesn't.

May 2013, I released "Wait for Me" - book one in my first-ever trilogy, "The Montgomery Brothers."  I didn't do anything different with this book than I did with the others and yet it has been consistently on the Amazon bestseller list and hit #4 on Barnes and Noble!  Again, I could kick myself because I didn't think of the possibility of it hitting any other lists!

June 2013, I release "Trust in Me" - book two in the Montgomery Brothers set.  It didn't come close to the numbers that "Wait for Me" hit but it certainly held it's own out there on Amazon.  It wasn't a personal favorite of mine as a writer but overall the response to it was positive.

July 2013, I released "In the Eye of the Storm".  This book is KILLING me.  This was the book that was a top five finalist with an international contest through Harlequin (though they passed on publishing it), I had a New York literary agent sign me because of this book and then she couldn't sell it, I had a critique partner who just GUSHED over this book and yet commercially, no one wanted it!  So I got it back from the agent and released it myself.  It hasn't done exceptionally well; it didn't hit the levels of the first two books of the Montgomery Brothers series and barely eeked onto the bestseller list on Amazon.

July 2013, I also collaborated with four other authors on a contemporary romance box set called "Loving the CEO"; five books where our main characters are all CEO's.  This little set (which essentially is a collection of five books that have all been previously published as singe titles) has just taken off.  We have been on the USA Today bestseller list for three consecutive weeks and hit the New York Times bestseller list.  My book "Catering to the CEO" was my contribution and I cannot even begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to doing another set like this.  

August 2013, I released the final book in the Montgomery series, "Stay With Me" and in it's first week of release, I have hit the top 100 on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble .  I will be watching the USA Today and NY Times list more closely this time around because now I know that anything is possible!

I'm now in the middle of the book that I will release in September and working on the next box set that will be released in October.  I'm mentally and physically exhausted and much to my dismay, an Ed McMahon wannabe did NOT show up at my house the day that we found out about either the USA Today list or the NY Times list with a truckload of balloons or a slew of photographers.  The papparazzi are no where to be found.  I'm thinking that I'm all that and really, it's been like any other day.  

I've been nominated for THREE Indie Romance awards (but didn't win), I was interviewed by a local TV show (still don't know if it ever even aired!), had my book trailer for "Wait for Me" awarded an Oscar for best Indie Romance video book trailer,  and I've been able to essentially quit my day job and do what I love now as a career.
I'm sitting here now wondering if my appendix are about to burst, I have to go in to work tomorrow (I'm finishing up my office job - like the long goodbye) and life goes on.  In my fantasy version of my life when I hit these writing milestones, I whisk myself away on a vacation; I'm interviewed by the local paper and People magazine...and I'm about 25 pounds thinner.

The reality version is kind of boring...and not glamorous at all.

Bottom line is that it was silly to build it all up so much in my mind because while I'm not front page news, I am still proud that I have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time.  Why did I wait so long to start this???

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