As we close 2014, I have a lot to reflect on over the past year. I began the year as a published author with The Jealousy Game, which I released in Winter 2013. However, after much contemplation, I decided before releasing Pieces of it All, to take The Jealousy Game off the market. I discussed this in a previous post, but, the short story is I didn’t have it beta read, was excited to get it out there, and it wasn’t what it could be. Will it ever be available again? Possibly. If it is, it will be under a new name, completely rewritten, and under a pen name.
Pieces of it All – My First “Official” Novel
In May 2014, I published Pieces of it All. At the time, I marketed it as a New Adult Contemporary Romance. I worked hard on this book. I wrote two completely different drafts and went through hours and hours of revisions. After sending it to seven beta readers, I changed multiple story lines and made other changes. When I hit the publish button and the book went live, I expected great things. Hey, I wrote a book in a hot genre at the time, and it was different. It told the journey of a young girl finding herself and experiencing herself sexually for the first time, but it told so much more than that. It didn’t focus on changing someone to make that person who you want them to be. The book didn’t have the happily ever after people expect. I sold some copies, an amount I am happy with and find respectable for my first book. I didn’t hit any lists, and I didn’t become an overnight success. That’s fine. I loved the book, and I know others did as well. Granted, I had my share of bad reviews, but who doesn’t, really? A success in my mind.
A Little Body Buffing
Off the publication trail, I spent May through October participating in the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge. I completed the first challenge and then the 2.0 challenge. I didn’t lose any weight, really, but I certainly toned and kept on a great stride of working out. I worked out every single day, except Sundays, for that stretch of time. I felt great, and planned on continuing on. Well, we know how that goes, and come November, I stopped. I haven’t worked out since. More of that when I discuss my 2015 ahead.
In October, I decided to try something new – a short story. I never have been one to read short stories, but I had a few things I wanted to write about, and see an end result right away. Being October, I focused on Halloween and something I hate and love at the same time – class reunions. I wrote and published a short story, The Right Equation, on Kindle.
November was busy. If you don’t know, November is National Novel Writing Month. This time, instead of focusing on one book, I combined three projects – a Valentine’s short story for an anthology (which I have since pulled out of due to my inability to meet the deadline), a Christmas short story (more on that), and a book I hope to publish in 2016. I managed to cross the finish line I believe two days early, which I am so happy about considering I got way behind after a great head start. I also published a short story, Early Bird Special, about a romance that begins to blossom in a Black Friday line. So far, it’s been received fairly well. And I love the cover. My hope is to continue the story into a full length novel.
December. I loved December in the way of publication. Over the past year I worked on Caching In, a chick lit book centered around the romance of Seth and Ally, and the hobby of geocaching. I released it on December 11th with preorders – I set a preorder goal and reached it – and additional sales. Friends and family ordered paperbacks, and some ordered direct through Amazon. I set a goal of Kindle copies to sell by the end of the year, and I’ve met it! Although, again, I haven’t become an overnight success or even sold enough copies to reach a very respectable number in the Amazon rankings, this book has proven more successful than Pieces of it All, and, I believe I have found my niche. I love the chick lit genre and always have. I’m really not sure why I didn’t start with it in the first place. I also ran an ad on Facebook, which was new to me. I didn’t see the results I wanted, necessarily, but was still happy with it. I will do it again in the future.
Overall, December was my best publication month ever, and I am proud to say I sold books every single month since I published in May. I hope the trend continues into selling books every single week of the year, and then into every single day. The best way to do this is to keep on publishing.
As I look back on 2014, I’m happy, and now, onward to 2015.
2015 – my year of fitness and publication!
Fitness – 3rd Time’s a Charm
Bikini Body Mommy 3.0 starts in January and I’m hopping aboard. If I commit to a program, such as a 90 day program like BBM, I will do it. It’s when I plan on doing my own workouts I tend to stop doing it. I’ve gained a few pounds, and while that’s not horrible, I’m not just going to go out and buy new clothes. Nope. I’m going to fit back into the clothes I have! And, I feel better about myself when I work out. I want to tone up, gain some muscle, and be active every day.
As of right now, I don’t plan on participating in National Novel Writing Month in November. I’m a little sad about it, but, while I love to do it and it’s such a high, it puts unneeded pressure on me. I become irritable the entire month, which isn’t good for my family, or me. Maybe I will change my mind. It all depends on my schedule. I need to meet or be on track with other goals first.
Blogging is going to be priority for me in 2015. My goal is to try and blog every Monday, or at least twice a month. I’ll work my way up to more posts. I want to be active in the blogging community, and I want to share with other authors and readers, especially. I really hope to keep it up. I have a list of topics. If there is anything you want to hear about, let me know. Part of the issue is trying to figure out what you want to know!
A Novel in the Works
Remember the Christmas short story I wrote during National Novel Writing Month in 2014? I sent it to beta readers, and I couldn’t finish it in time to release a Christmas short story. After discussing with my friend and critique partner, I am going to flesh it out into a full-length novel. I have already started an outline and character sketches. I hope to publish it by the end of the year.
A “New” Take on Pieces of it All
Re-marketing Pieces of it All is a goal as well. Truth be told, it is a New Adult Contemporary Romance. That said, when people hear the words “New Adult” in front of a genre, they have come to expect a certain formula or result. I can’t blame them. I get it. I thought when I wrote the first draft it was supposed to be something specific as well, until I joined an online New Adult group that proved me wrong. “New Adult” means an age group and a certain type of lesson and/or journey. It doesn’t mold into a specific formulated book. Until that changes, Pieces of it All doesn’t fit the market. Sure, I could spend time trying to change that, and maybe one day I will, but right now that’s not my goal. I need to write. Pieces of it All can also be considered a Women’s Fiction or Coming of Age novel, so, that’s what it’s going to be. More on that in January.
A Finished Draft?
I would like to finish the first draft and first round of revisions on the book I am currently writing as well. Then, in early 2016 I can get it out to beta readers, or even at the end of 2015. My goal is to publish that by December 2016. All I will tell you is it is a standalone book, but focuses on a character from Caching In.
An Entire Series?
If I can, I want to publish a three part novella series as well. I have the idea, but no outline. I want to start that soon. I have a little bit of research to do and need to determine how to approach this. While I’ve read plenty of series, I’ve never written one. I feel I’m taking on a lot by doing this, even if it is only a novella.
So, as you can see, I have a lot to look forward to. I really hope that in 2015 I can connect with more readers, and hopefully that will happen more when I have my Review Book Tour in February for Caching In. I met a lot of awesome writers in 2014, and I hope to find my readers as well.
Happy New Year!