So, what did I do in 2015? In January, I released a romantic suspense titled The Wrong Kind of Man, my second book under the Lolli Powell name. In August, I released Bad Girls, my second book under the Laurel Heidtman name and the second in my Eden mystery series. I had intended to release at least three books, but I missed that goal because I started more than one book after releasing Bad Girls. If I’d spent my time working on just one, I’d probably have managed to publish a third, but that’s okay. I enjoy working on more than one book at a time and the one that would have been the third of 2015 should be published in the first quarter of 2016.
Writing has gone well this year. I currently have three books in various stages of completion. One that will be published under the Lolli Powell name is the first in a romance series that begins in the sixties. The others are Laurel Heidtman novels, one a standalone thriller and the other the first in a cozy series. The thriller, Whiteout, will be the first book of 2016.
I write nearly every day and I’m most proud of that accomplishment. This fall I was lucky enough to be one of several writers who spoke to English classes at the local high school. The students were interested in knowing what inspired me. My answer might not have been what they were hoping for, because I told them inspiration wasn’t what was needed. To write a book, you need to follow the Nike motto and “Just Do It.” Just as practice improves an athlete’s performance, writing every day improves an author’s performance. When I write regularly, I think of ideas for more books and how to improve scenes in the ones I’m writing. My experience parallels the advice I’ve read from more established writers—write every day and don’t worry whether it’s good or not. Just get it down and fix it later.
What else did I do? I improved my websites by adding a Featured Author of the Month. For this, I interview an author I’ve read and enjoyed. I publish information about their books and review the ones I’ve read. I restrict this to self-published authors like myself, because being self-published, we need all the help we can get. I tweet the link to the interview and post it to nearly fifty Facebook groups and over ten Google+ communities focused on reading and books. People notice. I’ve seen my page views increase as much as eight-fold, and some of the authors have reported an uptick in their sales as well.
I started a newsletter last summer and managed to get out six issues—and I’ve even managed to do at least one blog post a month. Excuse me for a moment while I pat my own back. Okay, I’m done. I don’t want to spend too much time resting on my “laurels” (snicker, snicker).
What didn’t I do in 2015? Well, I didn’t make the New York Times bestseller list and I didn’t sell movie rights to any of my books. And I’m still thankful for my husband’s pension and my social security check, because if I had to support myself on my royalties, I’d be living under a bridge. But my sales have increased as have my pages read through Kindle Unlimited. Like they say, slow and steady wins the day. Fast and steady would be even better, but I’ll take what I can get.
Best of all? I’ve had FUN! And as my husband says, if you can’t have fun on the way through, when are you going to have it?
I’m looking forward to 2016! How about you?