Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Time For Reflection And Looking Forward

As the year comes to an end I like to take the time to ponder the past twelve months and go over what worked and what didn't - for me personally as well as professionally. 

I'll tell ya honestly 2014 has been a helluva year and that's putting it mildly. 

Personally, there were many positives, some of them too personal to share so I won't go into them, but the two biggest:

We didn't move. Woohoo!  
My Kidlets all got straight A's (yes I'm taking partial credit for that accomplishment). lol

Professionally, my year was W.E.I.R.D. 

I wrote and published a bunch o' books, including:

Vampire Lies 
A Beauty So Beastly 
Vampire Secrets
Across the Ages 

Plus the first half of a series under my pen name. 

Aside from the writing and publishing aspect of my business, there was an issue. I wasn't sure what it was, but by April I knew it was something big. The problem had to do with reach. I wasn't reaching as many readers as I once was and that meant I wasn't selling even close to what I had been. Yet, I was doing everything I believed should be done to produce, market, and sell a quality book. At first I thought it was me, that maybe my books were just sucking. Even with my team of amazing people (cover designer, editors, formatter, marketing campaigns, personal assistants, etc), maybe my stories just weren't resonating. It hurt to admit, but as captain I needed to look at every aspect of what I believed was a sinking ship. 

(photo credit: www.michaelsponanimation.com)

Thankfully I've had many wonderful readers continue to give me honest reviews about my work and I feel confident that the story isn't the issue. 

But I still needed answers. What was the problem? I sought out other writers, curious about whether it was just me experiencing the decrease. Turns out I wasn't alone. Not by a long shot. 

See, the problem isn't necessarily a problem - at least not for the reader.

Here's what's going on. In the last 90 days 300,000 books have been published on Amazon. THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND! And in the past couple of years more than 2,000,000 books have been published. Whoa! That's a lot of books, a lot of choices, and a lot to wade through to be noticed by the excited reader. There's also the business and politics of business and a whole slew of other things that combined have made it more difficult to be discovered by a new reader, especially as an indie author. 

What does that mean for me, the writer chilling in the Rocky Mountains?

It means those issues/problems are out of my control. I can't to anything about them. And I learned several years ago to accept the things I cannot change. 

Most of all:  

It means I am so, very grateful for my readers. 

And I have to take the opportunity to say thank you to each and every one for buying my books and reading them. Like, if I could I would invade your personal space and hug you and then I'd give you a delicious cupcake as a small token of my appreciation. 

In fact, here's a cyber cupcake. Enjoy!

(photo credit: www.allwomenstalk.com via pinterest) 

For 2015 my goals are this:

Keep on writing. Keep doing what I love. 
I intend to release a series with my publisher ~ Curiosity Quills. The series is entitled Undercover Empath and is about a nineteen-year-old detective who goes undercover to help the FBI solve cases. She has a special gift. She can read a person's intentions by touching their hands. Not to mention she's a ninth degree black belt and carries her beretta, Buffy the bad-guy slayer with her at all times. 

I also intend to release:
Vampire Nights
A Beauty So Deadly 
Past the Ages

Oh, and if I can squeeze it in, I have this super super secret story idea about zombies. Shhh, te

In the non-writing part of my life, I also want to do more cooking with my Kidlets, specifically I want to make a creme brûlée. I also want to keep working out daily, and visit Mt. Rushmore with my family. Lastly, I want to read Susan Ee's next novel, End of Days. It comes out May 12th as well as many, many others.   

What are your 2015 goals? 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays! And A Cover Reveal!

Hope your holidays are merry and bright!!!

I also wanted to share the cover for a new series by Nichole Giles. It sounds fantastic!

Here's the summary: 

Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land. No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps. Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can't have. When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it's only a matter of time before she's forced to surrender forever. 

Nichole Giles, the author of the Descendant trilogy, has lived in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Texas. She loves to spend time with her husband and four children, travel to tropical and exotic destinations, drive in the rain with the convertible top down, and play music at full volume so she can sing along.