Allow me to begin with a celebration of what’s been accomplished in the last five years.
- Number of books published: 12
- Number of books sold: 105,737
- Number of pages read (KENP): 2,696,629
One of my books is no longer available and one is yet to be released, so the figures actually represent ten books. Looks impressive, right? Well it is, though I haven’t quit my day job! The vast majority of those sales were FREE promotions, so I’m still not making a lot of money. What I earn goes right back into marketing, and all the related expenses of publishing. I’m kind of stuck here until I have more time to write and promote, which won’t happen until retirement. Meanwhile, I keep plugging away.
This last year, like the one before it, challenged me in a number of ways. My goal was to publish three books, but only managed two. Part of that was physical problems (which are now in the process of being corrected), but I struggled with fatigue, a foggy brain, and lack of ambition. The ongoing effects of the pandemic haven’t helped either, but everyone is struggling with that. It’s very discouraging when the desire to write is there, but the words and ideas aren’t making sense. It took twice as long to produce my latest book and I’m beat!
My grand experiment to finally create paperbacks of my books failed miserably. I started with a single title to see how it would go, and now I’m glad I did. Production issues, delays, fighting with Amazon, and the incredibly high prices required to make any money, all compelled me to withdraw the book. On top of that, I read about another indie author who fell victim to paperback pirates, and that pretty much sealed the coffin on the project.
I lost a great friend and beta reader in May of this year. Doug provided unique insight that I found invaluable, and he LOVED my books! Unfortunately, he passed away suddenly of heart failure at the age of 57, and I miss him so much. I dedicated my new release to his memory.
Some of the greatest blessings this last year were letters from my fans. I love hearing from readers, and it seemed like every time I reached a new low, a lovely message arrived in my box to encourage me. Allow me to share some snippets with you.
“I just discovered your book and wanted to send a quick note to tell you I thoroughly enjoyed it! Keep up the good writing and storytelling!” Wendy
“Thank you so much for your great stories and I look forward to reading many more. Please be sure that I will give a great review and tell my family and friends all about your books. Thanks again.” Judy
“A wonderfully written book and I loved every minute if it. Thank you for an awesome job and a precious ending. You are awesome!” James
“I truly enjoyed the Draman book(s). Croft made me so happy just as he did everyone else in the story. I wrote a review for you and hope it brings more readers to you. Thanks for the beautiful characters.” Shirley
“I wanted to personally thank you for a great read. It is so refreshing to find a good sci fi novel that isn’t littered with sex, violence, and profanity. I’m truly impressed that you managed to maintain so much positivity throughout while retaining the reader’s interest. That is a gift my friend, keep it up!” Kallen
“Thank you, thank you, thank you for providing hours of joyful reading. Rarely do I take the time to actually write to an author, but I would be totally remiss should I not tell you that you have in me a fan for life. I can assure you that I will be sharing what fantastic reads you have provided. Do, please, oh please, oh please give us more! Again, thank you. You rock!” Michael
My goals for this next year include at least two more books, a total revamp of my website, and the start of a newsletter. The last two are going to kill me, since I am techno-challenged and doing computer stuff makes my head hurt. I will continue to remain laser focused on writing, rather than blogging, contests, or anything else that doesn’t result in a finished book. Here’s to another exciting year in the trenches!