Wow. It’s sad to say that this time round, I’m thinking thank God. On my “Looking Back at 2013” post I was so full of goals and hope. In 2013 I had destroyed all of my goals I’d set. I’d done something I never thought I would be able to do. I had made it onto the Best Seller list on Amazon. My novel had sold hundreds, nearly a thousand over night. The sales had continued into the thousands. I got a promotion. I got a house. I saw my future in publishing. This year was not a repeat. I pride myself in my honestly, and I think I have been honest to you through out this year–through out the countless disappointments; through out my struggles. This year I felt so lost. I’ve always been thankful, but I found I was being pulled in a million directions, and I wasn’t feeling successful in publishing anymore. The balance I found in 2013 was skewed–gone. I concentrated on publishing the first half of 2014, and to my disappointment, it did not pay off as expected. My college studies sat in a corner. The last half, I found more balance, but along with it more frustration. The lack luster publishing of Flawed Perfection could only be compounded by the far worse re-launch of In Between Seasons. As an author, we have social media pounded in to us as a requirement, and I gave in. I gave it my all. Flawed Perfection made it onto the top Tweeted Novels list–at number two, just below a major published novel. There was a one month tour. Hundreds of blogs talked about my book. I had almost fifty ratings and reviews within a week of launch between Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes and Noble–and all of them were stellar. I had ripped my readers hearts out with my writing, just like I had ripped my own out by writing the novel. Still, sales stayed low. In almost a year, I’ve sold only slightly more than what I sold on the launch day of Love Exactly. Social Media had failed me. Epically. I had failed myself. Epically.
Over the months, sales have stayed steady on Love Exactly and Flawed Perfection, between each I sell about 30-40 a month. When I started that was nothing to laugh at, and it really isn’t now. It’s just I expected so much more, and Love Exactly‘s success led to those thoughts of grandeur. I thought it could only get better.
People are asking–demanding, for the second novel toFlawed Perfection. Now, I’ve come to terms with it’s meager success, and I’m writing it’s sequel–preparing to try to publish the remaining three novels in 2015. The numbers for the novel may be low, but I know, and I have the personal emails and reviews to prove it, that this novel has impacted people’s lives. I realized in November that was where I had truly failed myself and my readers. I kept telling myself the reason I wasn’t writing the rest of the series was because it was going to be so emotionally draining, and there was a fear of how readers would react to where the series was going. I had the fear readers would pummel me with the dreaded words ‘dragged out for effect’. I still have that fear, but I can say with utter truth that is not the case. This series was planned out before my fingers hit the keyboard. It’s all about grief, growing and retracting; about losing yourself and finding yourself again. As I write these words I realize that is what I’m doing as I go through this process. Regression is as natural part of life as progression is; sometimes we need to fall back to move forward. So the truth of my reluctance is, I was back pedaling. I didn’t want to keep writing it if it wasn’t selling. That is the definition of regression for me. Writing has always been about discovery– never about the money. This year I forgot that.
Until you, my readers, pulled me out of that.
So what are my goals for 2015?
Touch people. Stay strong. Carry on. Believe in myself, and realize publishing success has more to do with heart than dollar symbols. The rest will come with your support.
What have you learned? What are your 2015 goals?