Sunday, 5 October 2014

Happy Anniversary to me - happy free book to you!

Today marks my first full year as a published author. Teaching Maya was published Oct 5, 2013, and one-year later, I can't even begin to describe how happy I am that I dived into the pool.

I have a lot of rambling thoughts. But also, there's a freebie. Teaching Maya - the book that launched it all - is free today and tomorrow, in thanks and gratitude for the role every single reader has played in making my year so very fun.

Buy LinksAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon DE


Random ramblings about the first year: 

Most importantly, I had fun every day. If it isn't fun, it isn't worth it. Writing isn't necessarily a lot of work. But all the other things - writing this blog post, signing up for blog hops, doing release tours, begging for reviews, hoping for reviews, finding advertising that has some positive ROI, building a brand - all of these things take a lot of time. 

But here's the thing for me. It never felt like work. It was awesome interacting with readers. It was scary and nervous watching those reviews come in. I crossed my fingers and sent out my first request to people asking if they would host my release on their blogs, and they said Yes, and I was reminded that most people are really, really nice. I can't even tell you how rewarding it's all been. 

Everyone's motivated by different things. For me though, without all that, without that external feedback and interaction, I wouldn't have written the second book. Or the third. I personally can't work in a vacuum. The speed of self-publishing fit well with my personality. Had I had to send a query out and wait 6 weeks, I would not have written my second book in that time. 

(As a side-note, I sent out the first 5000 words of A Thief in Venice once to an anthology request. I'm not going to name names, but I never heard back from them. I couldn't do that on a regular basis - send off my work into the ether, and wonder if it's good enough for the favour of a reply. Fuck that shit; I'll take my chances in the open marketplace.)

My goals were simple for the first year. I wanted to make enough money to go on vacation. Maybe even two vacations. Although I do tend to move the goal posts further each month, it helps that right at the start, I knew what I wanted. On days when the sales are seriously shitty (and yeah, I have a ton of them), it helps to know that I am doing wildly better than I wanted to right at the start. 

I couldn't have done it without my editor, who read some of my work on Literotica almost at the very start, and reached out to me to offer his services. We've both learned things in this journey. But writing is an insecurity-promoting business. The process is lonely. Without people reading in-process work and assuring you that you are on the right track, it can get quite impossible. I'm lucky to have friends who will beta-read for me as well. Without my editor and my beta-readers and my friends, I wouldn't have been able to do this. I'd have driven myself crazy a long, long time ago. 

Ah, Literotica. Frustrating and maddening and yet so very valuable. There's a community of readers there that will tell you what they think of your story. The people that commented there on the first few chapters of Teaching Maya - thank you! Without your encouragement, I would have never written another word. 

There's a zillion other people I need to thank. I'm going to forget people, and I promise you, it isn't intentional. 

Every single reader who bought, borrowed and read my books. I don't always know who you are, but I'm so grateful you enjoy my work. I clearly, clearly couldn't have done it without you. 

The BDSM group on Goodreads. Shurrn at the Smutsonian. Every blogger that's every blogged about my book. Every single person who has taken the time to rate and/or review any of my books. Every person that's ever tweeted or commented on Facebook. Every single person on my mailing list. Every single person on my review-request list. Every single person who's left a comment on Lit, or sent me an email. Even the ones propositioning me. ;) I'm flattered, but not interested. Thank you. 

My fellow erotica-writing buddies on FB, who've made the writing process less solitary. My poor, very-long suffering boyfriend, who has to listen to plot details, over and over and over again. 

I'm forgetting people. I don't mean to. I'm just a bit overwhelmed. 

It's been an amazing year. I can't wait for more. 

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