One year ago today, I hit the publish button on the eBook version of my first novel. It represented one of the greatest accomplishments of my life, and I will never regret going down this path. I've had a great many misses along the way, and a few hits. But life is, if nothing else, a learning experience. I thought I'd share some of the most prominent moments with you today, to celebrate one year of active publishing.
First, The Reviews!
If I said the reception of my debut novel was tepid, I would be drastically understating it. In truth, the reviews I've received have been better than I ever could have imagined. Here's a short selection of my favorites!
"I was caught up in this book from the moment I started reading it. It was so full of action, adventure, magic, mystery, evil, and a twist of romance that I couldn't help but keep reading." - Angela, "Angels are Kids and Furkids"
"It is brilliantly written with plenty of sub-plots for even those who are hard core sci-fi fans." - Jeff Dawson, Amazon.com Reviewer
"It starts good. I enjoyed it a lot. And as you read on, it gets better. And better. There are times when I feared it would fall in clichés, but it doesn't." - Will Knight, "Bibliophilia, Please"
"With unforgettable characters, a unique and action packed plot, and descriptive writing, The Time Weaver is a wonderful fantasy novel." - Megan Monell, "Love, Literature, Art, and Reason"
Okay, okay, enough bragging. I'm awestruck, really. These reviews are awesome. Better than awesome. I can't thank these people (and many more) enough for their kind words. It's seriously inspired me to keep going, to keep writing.
I've learned a great many lessons about publishing. The first lesson was never release a book until it's perfect. The Time Weaver wasn't quite perfect when I first released it, and I subsequently released a second revision that fixed up all the issues that early reviewers and readers found.
The second lesson I learned is that publishing is a marathon, not a sprint. My sales have not been stellar, but they are steady, and slowly growing. With just shy of 320 lifetime sales of The Time Weaver, I'm beating the average by a significant amount. (Trustworthy sources tell me that the average self-published book will sell no more than 100 copies over its lifetime.)
Book bloggers are my greatest friends. Readers trust their opinions, and my biggest sales boosts directly corresponded to their review posts. I send my most sincere gratitude out to every book blogger who has accepted The Time Weaver for review. It's you guys and gals who I have to thank for much of my success. Without book bloggers, how else could an indie author like me get the word out about my books?
Gimmicks and paid advertisements just don't work. They really don't. I've tried a number of paid avenues, from giant sites to small focused sites. I have yet to see any kind of return on any of my investments in this regard. If you're thinking about paid advertisements, think again. All you'll do is put money into other people's pockets.
The reality is, there just isn't anything out there that will sell your book better than the book itself. Write the best book you possibly can. Take the time to find truly honest people who will tell you how truly good or bad it is, then keep working at it. If your book isn't selling, the chances are good that no matter how good people around you say it is, they are probably lying. I'm not saying it's bad, but it may still need some work. Your best mode of advertisement is word of mouth, and you won't spark a reader's interest with a mediocre book.
Where Do I Go From Here?
It's been a wild year. I've finished writing my second fantasy novel, Legacy, and sent it off to my editor. It's currently on-track to be released on January 31, 2013. I'm hoping to have advance reader copies ready for the beginning of January, but I'm not going to rush it. It needs to be perfect.
November marks my third annual NaNoWriMo. If you're participating in this great event, please let me know. I'd love to connect with you and watch your progress. I plan on winning again this year, and will be getting the jump on my third and possibly final installment of The Time Weaver Chronicles. I'm super-excited to get started on it, and am looking forward to working with some of my favorite characters again.
29 Days of Fantasy, 2013 is right around the corner. Things will be a little bit different this year, with open submissions, a short story contest, and more. Stay tuned for the coming announcements.
Thanks for Everything!
I'd like to offer my gratitude to everyone who has stood by me. Not just this past year, but during the course of this entire adventure. I'm looking forward to many years to come with all of you wonderful people. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's all of you that have brought me my success so far. I owe you all so much.
There's one person in particular who I owe more than anyone. I refer to her as my editor, my graphic artist. She's the woman behind the scenes who is always there to correct my spelling and grammar, and who really brings my books from OK to GREAT. She has a place in the credits of my books, but that's not nearly enough. Not even close. My loving wife Claire. You are a genius. Without you, I wouldn't have the confidence to publish my work. Without your patience and tolerance, I wouldn't be a writer. I love you.
Thanks for reading!
I'm always interested in hearing what you have to say. Contact Me, I'd love to hear from you.
Don't forget to join in on the conversation in the comments section below.
Back To Top