Ten days of giveaways and traveling down publishing memory lane and … new book news! Scroll to the bottom for the schedule.
2014 was the year I made some, uh, not so fantastic marketing decisions ??
Despite the growing success of the Creepy Hollow series, I decided not to capitalize on that by continuing the series immediately (even though I already secretly had plans for how the storyline would continue). I was a little bit creatively burned out on fantasy. I had been reading and enjoying quite a bit of YA contemporary romance, and I really wanted to write some of my own.
Enter: the Trouble series.
My readers, I thought, would OBVIOUSLY follow me into romance land! Why wouldn’t they? (I had not discovered yet that some readers stick firmly to one genre ?) Some of my fans obviously DID read (and enjoy) my romance books, but not many of them.
Another “mistake” I made was putting New Adult (college-aged) characters into books that read a lot more like Young Adult books. New Adult was finally being recognized as its own category at this time, and gaining popularity with readers, and many NA books were quite sexuaIIy explicit—and my books were not! This made marketing a little more challenging because, in the end, my books didn’t quite fit into what was generally expected of either YA or NA.
But despite these “mistakes” and the fact that these books never gained nearly as large a readership as Creepy Hollow, I LOVED (and still LOVE) them!! I had SO much fun writing them. They’re set in South Africa, and I drew on some of my own experiences, used some of the settings I was familiar with, made up some other settings, and added in some of that South African “flavour” I love. These books were exactly the palate cleanser I needed (creatively) after spending several years writing fantasy.
While writing and publishing the Trouble series, the Creepy Hollow books were still selling in the background. I don’t think I was doing much marketing (paid advertising? What’s that? ?). But in August of 2014, I discovered BookBub.
Let me say that again: WOW.
I’m pretty sure I still owe a large amount of my career to that original BookBub Featured Deal ?
I had no idea that it was supposedly so difficult to get a book featured in their daily email that went out to millions of subscribers, so I submitted The Faerie Guardian. And it was accepted.
Cool, I thought ? The book was priced at $2.99, and it made me a tad nervous to think about pricing it FREE (that was the deal price BookBub would feature it at), but I figured it would only be for a short period, so how much could I really lose? My husband was less excited about this idea. I still clearly remember his thoughts on the matter: “You want to give away this book for FREE? A book you spent so many months writing? And then you want to PAY A WHOLE $70 to tell other people that it’s FREE?” (Yeah, BB used to cost a whole lot less than it does now ?)
Hahahahahaaaa ? Authors who have been around a while are all laughing along with me right now ? (Or they’re crying remembering the power of the BookBub Featured Deal from Ye Good Old Days. Because those deals, while still great, are sadly not NEARLY as effective now as they were back then!)
Anyway, Aug, Sep and Oct of 2014 were the best sales months I had had up until that point, and my husband and I both realized that FREE worked really well! (It still works to some extent, but not as well as it used to.)
So. Thank you, BookBub, for giving my early author career a major boost! If you’re a reader who discovered me from that first BookBub email, I’m so happy you’re still here!
P.S. One other mistake I made in 2014 was not actually FINISHING the Trouble series ?? By the time we reached December, I had written and published the first three books. I had the fourth one roughly planned, but I was itching to get back to writing fantasy again, so I decided to put off the fourth Trouble book until a later, unspecified date (which ended up being several years away ?).
**GIVEAWAY**a Rafflecopter giveaway
10TH ANNIVERSARY MERCHANDISE
Reminder: I’ve created a special 10th anniversary design for the merchandise in my Society6 store. If you zoom in on the design, you’ll see that all the main characters (main character + love interest) from all the books I’ve written over the past ten years are featured in tiny text inside the 1 and 0!
i.e. Vi, Ryn, Calla, Chase, Em, Dash, Ridley, Archer, Elle, Dex, Sarah, Aiden, Livi, Adam, Andi, Noah, Sophie and Caleb.
There are some other secondary characters I really wanted to include, but once I started adding them … the list began to grow too long. ?
**SIGNED PRINT GIVEAWAY**
Another reminder: I’m giving away 20 signed, personalized prints with the 10th anniversary design (see the picture below) to 20 random people who leave a comment on this blog over the next ten days. All you have to do to enter is comment on this blog post or one of the others between now and March 10th. ?
SCHEDULE: 10 Days Celebrating 10 Years of Publishing
DAY 2 (2013): Full-Time Author!
DAY 3 (2014): Stepping into my Contemporary Romance Shoes | Giveaway: Trouble series paperbacks
DAY 4 (2015): A Return to Creepy Hollow
DAY 5 (2016): Exploring Side Characters’ Stories
DAY 6 (2017): Three Books in One Year: The Completion of Creepy Hollow!
DAY 7 (2018): Creating a New Fantasy World | Giveaway: Ridley Kayne Chronicles
DAY 8 (2019): Fairytale Fun | Giveaway: City of Wishes paperback/hardback
DAY 9 (2020): The Year That Shall Not Be Named!
DAY 10 (2021): BOOK NEWS! Introducing World Of …