I just realized that I haven’t done any sort of “Let’s wrap up 2018 and plan for 2019!” post yet, so let’s take a look backward. In fact, let’s go back further to September of 2017.
You may remember my trip to San Antonio and the second-fanciest hotel room I’ve ever been in. Probably not, though. I was hiding from the world in one of my eel holes for like a year. Anyway, that was around the time I was in the Every Rogue’s Heart box set. It was an awesome experience getting to know the ladies who have become my little author fam and the set did really well! They gave me hope, advice, and a place in the Enduring Legacy series. Thanks to them, I decided to do the thing and take the plunge into self publishing.
In March of 2018, I took a flying leap out the window and published the first book from Frozen Flame Press, Drowned History. I had no idea what I was doing other than having a nice cover and an ad on Facebook. I was so excited and so proud of myself for selling a couple of books, but I also learned how to set up preorders, format for print, and a whole slew of other things.
Fast forward to September of 2018 (and an even nicer hotel room!) where I was still losing my mind over the fact that The Search for Sam broke the top 100 in 20th Century Historical Romance. I had learned a bit more about promo since my first book, and the series helped get me some exposure too. I also participated in Facebook parties and made new friends and fans. I was riding high.
Then, there was October. Sales were down a little but still steady and what on earth should happen? I got accepted to an author event where I did my first book signing! I met even more new people, signed books, and had the joy of seeing my books on a real shelf at a real bookstore, something I was told rarely – if ever – happens for an indie author. I thought nothing could possibly get better than this. Surely this was as high as you got your first year of writing independently, right?
Hold my butterscotch tea.
My very first Christmas novel came out in November and did better than I could ever hope. I not only debuted at #1 on the Tudor Historical Romance new release list, I also made it to #4 in the overall category! I was so close to being a bestseller but I’m still floored at just how far up the charts I made it. I love this book and I’m so glad that other people seemed to love it too, if we are going by the reviews. I was so excited after everything that had happened in 2018 I was sure that nothing could make it better.
I submitted The Search for Sam to the Read Freely 50 Best Indie Books of 2018 competition, not expecting to win or even place. Like I’d said four or five times this year, there was no way an indie author with only a year of self-publishing under her belt would get anything. I still asked people to vote for me and promoted the contest, because I figured at least I’d get my name out there for next year, when I’d be a little more seasoned. Imagine my surprise when I came in at number 47!
Everything that happened in 2018 writing-wise felt like a huge surprise, and like it was happening to someone else. There was no way it could be happening to little ol’ me! It’s still a lot to take in.
So what’s on my plate for 2019? I’ve already put out my first full-length contemporary, a romantic suspense that is already getting great reviews. In April, I’m writing a bit of a follow-up to The Search for Sam that I’ll tell you more about in a few weeks. I’m planning on another contemporary in June, a pirate historical in the fall, and a super-secret holiday project! Stay tuned to my blog and social media to find out what, where, and when, and let’s hope that 2019 is just as good as 2018 – or maybe better!