Y’all were awesome yesterday. Thank you for sharing the new Men with Badges covers! It was a day of #winning. When my publicist and I worked out the re-releases of the first two MwB books, she gave me three dates to choose from for the cover reveal. One of them just so happened to land on my fourth publiversary. Yep, as of yesterday, I’ve been published for four years now. That means that Everything I Left Behind (Marital Bitch) is now four years old. 🙂 The last four years have been a pretty incredible ride.
- On my first publiversary, I felt like I had learned so much that I freely gave what little advice I had. Mostly, it was things like: hire an editor, invest in a good cover, and never discount the value of friendships in this industry. I was also riding a career high, having just turned down a major literary agency, and was making enough to quit my job.
- On my second publiversary, I was a little more wary about who I gave advice to as many ask questions, but few want the answer. I told people that writing the book is only part of the battle, that it’s OK to admit you need help, and not to ask questions if you don’t want an honest response. I seriously dislike when people do that. At this point, I was still riding a pretty good wave with my books. That tends to happen when you publish four titles in your first year and three in your second. Regular releases help income, that’s a no-brainer. Despite my continued (minor) success in publishing, I was experiencing major changes personally.
- On my third publiversary, I was in the middle of a lot of personal change and wasn’t up for giving anyone advice. I’d learned that you need to release fairly regularly in order to maintain your audience, that most people only listen to what they want to hear, and friendships in this industry can be fleeting. By this time, I had published ten titles, unpublished one, was struggling with my eleventh, and questioning my career choice. I was still able to support myself solely off my publishing, but it wasn’t easy. I’d made the decision to slow down publishing so I could re-evaluate my choices and figure out a game plan. Consequently, this lead to the re-branding bit I’m doing now. 🙂
- Now, on my fourth publiversary, you’re not so likely to catch me giving out advice. I’m more likely to be telling everybody to surf their own wave. I learned a lot about what keeps readers, what loses readers, what works in books, and how to make my strengths work in my favor. I pissed a whole ton of people off on Facebook (whatevs), but found my voice in things that matter to me. This past year really was about negotiating a proper balance between my professional and personal self. I published only two titles in 2016 and my income reflects that, but I’m still making it work. While 2013 was about dreams coming true, and 2014 and 2015 had me figuring out how to hold onto those dreams, 2016 saw me redefining those dreams. 2017 isn’t about dreaming, it’s about doing. My mantra this year might as well be, “Bitches get stuff done.” (Thanks, Tina Fey!)
To everybody who’s stood by me these last four years– thank you. It’s been wild getting to live this life and do this thing that only a few dream about. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get stuff done. ❤