I can't believe it's November already. A year ago, I had just signed a contract for my first novel, Claiming the Evil Dead. The pub date was set for end of December. I was so excited, and stressed out. My mother had taken ill and I was running between hospitals, taking her to appointments, and looking for a nursing home. Then there was the matter of her house that needed attending to. Stressful times indeed.
Christmas drew near and so did the pub date. More stress. I was so busy, I didn't even put up the tree. I saw edits for the first time and thought, this isn't so bad, but very time consuming. I didn't have much to edit on my sex scene and I'd thought for sure I'd have to make major revisions. I was glad to see I was wrong. LOL.
New year. New opportunities. New hope.
I sign contracts for books 2 and 3 in the series, and they get published in Feb. and March. Edits were more difficult, more time consuming, and time was limited. My mom had major surgery and I moved her into a nursing home. I definitely added some gray hairs. The good news... mom gets better, much better. By April, I have her house cleaned and she moves back home. Hurray!!
With three books out, I spent a lot of time promoting in various yahoo groups and paying for advertising. By late spring, I realized the error of my ways. The advertising didn't pay off at all. I'm a newbie. An unknown author. What does one such as myself do?
I beef up my activity in Goodreads and blogs. No more advertising. I create a twitter account. (I love twitter now). I focus on writing too.
June comes and my family and I head to NYC for the RWA conference. That was a great vacation, and sadly, probably my last. Still, great time. On another note, my mother is doing well on her own, better than a year ago!
August, the 4th book, Love Conquers All Evil, comes out. Around that time, I got a contract for an urban fantasy novel, The Awakening, which comes out in Jan. 2012. Things are looking good.
As for promotion, I have more giveaways and contests. I started a blog for giveaways of print books. Am I making progress with my published books? The truth is, I'm still new and unknown. But I love writing, so I continue. And I'm making wonderful contacts.
Present day. Thanksgiving and Christmas coming soon. I'm almost done with a PNR book in a new series. I have a novella under a pen name needing revision, and the sequel to the Awakening needing major edits. As for the tree, I am putting it up! Christmas will be extremely different this year, but I am determined to make it a pleasant one.
I look back from my first publication in December and realize writing is the easy part. Revisions are time consuming and dreaded, but I will admit that when they are done, they are well worth it! Advertising is so not worth it. I focus on writing and blog a couple times a month. I've found Goodreads and twitter are good tools. Live chats are fun too. I always enjoy those! I have seen a lot of self-published works that do well and I am encouraged to pursue that route. Maybe with the new year...
Authors: what have you found that has worked for you and not worked? How was your first year of publication?
Mary Abshire is the author of the Soul Catcher series (Claiming the Evil Dead, Catching an Evil Tail, Fighting Evil, Love Conquers All Evil)
The Awakening, an urban fantasy novel, comes out January 2012 from Lyrical Press.
For more information about Mary's books, visit www.maryabshire.com