With 2015 being only twenty-seven days away from being nothing more than a memory, it is time to begin looking back on all that happened to me in terms of my writing career.
I went from an unpublished author waiting for my first novel to be released to now being the author of not one, but two novels; The Haunting Love (WCP, February 17, 2015) and Finding Elizabeth (Self-Published, September 15, 2015), with the first two books in a new trilogy on deck for release in 2016.
It's been a great year for me creatively and I continue learning more and more about the publishing world every day. It feels like I've grown so much in the past year, the seven months in between The Haunting Love's release and Finding Elizabeth's release in particular.
I've made mistakes and I've learned from them. I've been lucky enough to have experienced publishing through both a small publisher and self-publishing.
Marketing didn't come naturally to me. I had to learn the fine line between promoting my book and turning people off by over promoting. It was shocking to learn it took more than my early efforts of promoting my novel on Twitter and *hoping* my publisher would promote my book to bring in sales. I guess it's true what they say: if you want something done right it's best to do it yourself.
During the process of self-publishing Finding Elizabeth, I learned to make connections with fellow indie authors and bloggers. I can't emphasize that enough. Build a support group, make friends, and always help others whenever possible. It makes you feel so good when you can help other indie authors and it's good karma in your favor.
Another area of growth for me in 2015 was interacting with the public and my readers at book signings. I am quite possibly the shyest person I know. Talking in public terrifies me. I like to think of my book signing for The Haunting Love (May 9, 2015) as a trial run. It was held at a small coffee shop in a small town near where I live and 80% of my sales were to people I have known most of my life. I am grateful for their support and patronage, but I needed more exposure. My book signing for Finding Elizabeth was held at a bookstore chain I love in a medium sized city (See my blog post "A Great Place for Authors to Hold Book Events") and I thrived. It was such a positive experience. I connected with and sold to a broader group of people that I had no prior meetings with. I smiled so much I thought my mouth was going to be frozen like that forever, but I felt so empowered afterward.
One of my favorite accomplishments of 2015 was participating in and completing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month - November 1-30, 2015). 50,000 words in a thirty day period seemed daunting at first, but I am so proud that I reached and surpassed the goal and completed my novel.
Fellow writers/indie authors: how did your writing career change in 2015? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to head what you got up to this year!