Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Year End Recap

Year End Recap
            All in all I consider 2011 to be a successful year.  So many major things happened!  Not without hitches and setbacks here and there, but they happened nonetheless.  In March of 2011, I published my first book: The Dark Gifts: Birthright.  I was simultaneously deliriously happy and petrified. 

            Naive and deluded (because I can be very irrational at times), I believed that if it was any good at all, it would sell.  So I quickly got to work on Oceans of Red volume one and Inheritance.  Just before I’d completed Inheritance, I realized that A. Either Birthright wasn’t any good, OR, B. I didn’t quite ‘get’ the whole marketing thing.  (Consequently, I still don’t ‘get’ the whole marketing thing.) LOL

            Continuing to plug away, I kept busy writing Oceans 2.  In the fall of 2011 I had the extreme fortune of finding book club pages on facebook!  Who would have thought they’d have pages like that?  Not me!  I found Paranormal Reads, Paranormal Book Club, Paranormal Addicts, and Beneath the Cover.  Not only did I make some awesome friends through these pages, but many of them actually wanted to read my books!  Floored, humbled, ecstatic--were just a few of the wide range of emotions that flooded through me.

            When I started my fan page (which I didn’t want to do and was strong armed into doing), I had 38 fans.  All personal friends and family.  Chelsea from PA and Sabrina from PR put out a call for volunteer reviewers.  WOW!!!!  The number of volunteers shocked me.  I was dumbfounded that so many people were interested in reading something I wrote. 

            Within a month or so Inheritance was released.  We hosted a huge release party that went on for 2 days.  Many other authors I’d met over the past year joined in with numerous facebook pages and we had a blast! 

            As of December 31st, 2011, I’ve had 6 releases this year.  Birthright and Inheritance (full length novels), Oceans of Red 1&2 (mini novella series), Haunted (a compilation of short true ghost stories), and the short story A Christmas Miracle.  Birthright even managed to place #4 in Paranormal Reads 2011 Best Indie Author/Books poll!!!!  (Blew my mind and I’m still giddy about that one!!! LOL)

            I no longer run the page alone.  And that’s awesome because I don’t think I could handle it all by myself!  I’ve added Amanda Wimer, Amanda Sheffer, Brittany Carrigan, and Katie Seco as administrators.  However, these girls are more than just admins on the page.  They are my friends, my think-tank, my go-to girls when I need ideas for marketing, or just need to bounce my own ideas off of someone.  I consider myself very lucky to have found and enlisted them!!!

            And then of course, last but not least, are the people on the fan page.  I really don’t like the idea of calling them fans.  (Well, calling you fans.)  That word seems so distant and alien to how I feel about them.  Many of you I’ve grown to know fairly well and I enjoy each chance we get to interact with each other.  Not long ago someone made a comment to me pertaining to the number of ‘fans’ on the page. (At the time there were roughly 600 likes on the page.)  I don’t remember it word for word, but it was something to the effect of: “What number of fans on your page will make you feel successful?”  My answer was, “The number I have.  I would rather have a smaller group of people that are there because they like me enough to care about my work, than to have thousands who could care less if I take another breath or write another word.”  And I mean that!!!!  You guys amaze me and humble me every day with your generosity, kindness, and support!!!!!

            In November, thanks to an idea Amanda Wimer gave me, I contacted Arkansas Children’s Hospital to see if they had a Kindle or ebook program for the children staying there.  When they informed me they didn’t have one in place, the gears started spinning, and I put out a call for YA, Children’s, and Middle Grade authors who might be willing to donate their ebooks to the hospital.  Within a matter of weeks we had 90 participants and the ebook program had been set into motion.  These authors donated generously!!!!  Some of them with every book they had published!!!!  Now we’ve decided to do it again.  Many more times actually.  The end goal is to get an ebook program in every Children’s Hospital that doesn’t already have one.  Having a child and grandchild that have spent a large amount of time in ACH, the program is very near and dear to my heart.  Of all the things I hope to accomplish in the coming year, this particular item is very high on my to-do list.

            So as I said earlier, I feel this past year has been a terribly successful year.  I’m not famous, I most certainly am not rolling in the dough, but I don’t need to be.  I’m doing what I love, have made many new friends, and I’m moving forward.  Thank you for giving a year I will remember for the rest of my life!!!!

1 comment:

  1. You forget to mention the things that you give to us! You give a shoulder to lean on if needed! You cheer us up when we are feeling down! You also give us many hours of entertainment in the form of your books! I think in many ways you give a whole lot more than you receive!!! Thank you for a wonderful year as well, and I look forward to joining you through the journey this next year is sure to send us on!!