I’m pretty sure I was supposed to give you a monthly progress report since I accidentally became a full-time writer in February. Four months later…
These last few months haven’t been easy. In all honesty, there have been (many) times when I wondered what the hell I was doing. It often feels pretty stupid to choose such a hard road over going back into retail or going back to school. At least then I wouldn’t have to choose between gas or groceries. The truth is, though, that I would be miserable. I’d rather do something I love and figure out the whole money thing as I go—which is exactly what I have been doing.
In November 2013, I set a goal: publish one new title every month. No matter what has happened, for the last eight months, I have stuck to this—even if it meant rearranging my release schedule or staying up all night to get things done. The best marketing any author can do is write another book. Because I have so many ideas and am a novelist at heart, I needed a way to create passive income while I worked on my longer projects. This year has been the year of the novelette/novella. Next year, I’ll start writing and releasing more novels. I’m in it for the long haul: word slave for life!
Since February 2014:
- I completed the On the Edge series; I re-branded the series that was known as Sandpaper Fidelity and then released Ever After (the fourth and final novelette in the series).
- The ESX series has gained more and more traction. It is currently my best selling series. Because of its popularity, I will be releasing a spinoff series of novels, starting next year.
- Barnes & Noble in Waterbury, Connecticut has hosted me for another signing and is currently stocking paperback copies of Sade on the Wall and Crazy Comes in Threes on their shelves. Their staff, especially manager Robin, has been amazing! I love, love, love my BN.
- I increased my catalog to sixteen titles, and plan on having around twenty available by the fall. I’m incredibly proud of myself for sticking to this goal.
- I screwed up somewhere, causing June’s sales to totally tank. After doing some homework, I’m still not entirely sure what I did. It might be because I deleted my Wattpad account a couple of months ago. (That’ll teach me!) It may even be because of the pricing structure I was using. I’ve since started adding my books to Wattpad again and am slowly updating my pricing, doing a crap load of market research and tweaking things until my eyes cross.
- I started giving away one ebook every week for the summer! I saw the Win a Book Wednesday hashtag on Twitter and totally loved the idea. Since I have over a dozen titles now, I have a ton that I can give away. The goal is to increase my interaction with readers and build my email list.
- I started a new series, Becoming Natalie, that is doing pretty well. The books are set in my favorite place in the world: Laurel Lock Campground! (I’ll be posting a mini tour of the campground soon, so keep an eye out.) I’ve taken my dad’s stubborn side, increased it by about a thousand times, and wove it into Natalie’s dad. Then I made her move back in with him. Raising Dad is currently one of my best selling books.
- I started making the first books in each of my series permafree. As of right now, Amplified (ESX, Book #1) is free at all ebook retailers, and both Positive (On the Edge, Book #1) and Raising Dad (Becoming Natalie, Book #1) are free at most ebook retailers.
Oh, yeah. I’ve also been fending off a nearly crippling episode of depression that has been dragging me down since January, possibly even longer. In the last four months, I’ve learned that medication and I don’t mix, and that it’s okay to take a mental health day—even if it’s more often than not. I’m also learning how to use meditation to combat stress.
I’m still not making enough money to replace my old part-time job, but I’m also only four months into this gig. Forging my own path as an author and stubbornly refusing to give up has become one and the same to me. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, though. Slowly but surely, I am making a living, and I also get to write stories for people!
I’m building the life I want and love, one book at a time, no matter how hard things get. I feel like a character in one of my stories sometimes! Even though I am on a long road, I am excited to share my adventure with you.
What do you love? Are you on your own “crazy” journey? Tell me in the comments below!
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