I always love celebrating New Years. There is something so exciting about having a new year before me, full of possibilities. It reminds me of when I start writing a new novel. I love looking at the blank pages before me, knowing that I can take the story anywhere I want it to go.
For many years, January was a tough month for me. It was the time when I would have to face the fact that another year had passed without a book contract. Inevitably I would sit down the first week in January, pull out all my query letters and synopses, and think through my plan of submission to agents and publishers for that year. And every time a new January rolled around, my heart would sink with the knowledge that I would have to do it all over again.
Then in the fall of 2011, I made the decision to self publish. My first book (PROWL) released January 20, 2012. So last January was exciting. I was putting the final touches on my book, reading through the proof and gearing up for the release of my debut novel. I knew that the book could be a total flop, or could become the next bestseller. Either way, I was happy to finally have my career in my own hands instead of waiting around for validation from agents and publishers.
It has been almost a year since that first book released and nothing has gone like I thought, but the truth is that it’s exceeded my expectations.
In the last year:
I published 6 books (finished a Christian teen trilogy, published an adult suspense novel that mirrors my own path to redemption, put the trilogy together in a special edition one-volume set, and released the first book in my new young adult paranormal series)
I am working on two new books – set to release this spring (the second book in the Delaney’s Gift Series, and a “New Adult Romance”)
I have gotten amazing reviews, and heard from girls whose lives were changed from reading my books
I have met amazing people (authors, bloggers, reviewers, readers) and made some great new friends
My friends and family have rallied around me, encouraged and supported me in so many incredible ways
I have been able to use my creative gifting, and have had a blast doing it
I haven’t had to write one query letter and that’s been awesome. I also haven’t received any rejection letters and that’s been even better
I have sold more books than I ever thought possible when this journey began
Overall, this year has been my best one yet and I wouldn’t change a thing. I have been so incredibly blessed and I’m glad that I made the decision to self-publish. It may not be easy all the time, but it is very rewarding. I get to do the thing I love most in the world for a living. How crazy is that?
Here is to another great year! Cheers to 2013!