It was 5th May 2015 that I uploaded my first book Letalis Vindicta to Amazon as an eBook. A year on, I have just (21.00 last night) uploaded the third book in the series, The Letalis Trinity.
Reflecting on my first year as a writer, I think I can honestly say it has been a large learning curve, and one now, I plan to continue on into 2016.
I have done promotions, used social media to try to market my book and told my friends and family about my dreams.
The promotions worked; I got a few sales on those weekends, enjoying the buzz of seeing my sales graph show a little spike instead of the normal flat-line.
Social media works to a point. I joined a lot of 'Kindle promotion groups'; however I found my book was lost in the masses. I quickly learnt that these groups were just filled with other writers, and very few if any readers. So I only now post my twitter and my Facebook page links in them, with an aim to boost my following , which is slowly climbing.
However Facebook has secured me a small fan base. Through playing my vampire games I have made some fabulous friends, and some of them love my writing. Within only a couple of hours of The Letalis Trinity going live on Amazon, I had sold four books and had one kindle unlimited download. It was a lovely thing to wake up to, and I am still smiling now.
Of course members of my family have been an enormous support. My husband doesn't pressurise me to get a 'real' job, he is just happy that I am doing something that makes me smile. My mum, (editor) just corrects my spelling mistakes and grammar, and keeps telling me how proud she is of me. However I have also got the polite "Sorry Vampires are not really my genre." from other family members and friends. I just smile and change the subject, but deep down that does make me sad. I feel support, should not be prejudiced by genre, it should just be given to encourage you to take on a challenge and excel, like sponsoring a dear one to run a distance for charity.
I have written a book that symbolise me overcoming a lifetime challenge; dyslexia, the genre shouldn't matter, it's what the books symbolise that counts.
When I say dyslexia, I am not using it as an excuse for being a bad speller in my adult life; I spent most of my primary school life thinking I was dumb. Spending my teenage years reading kids books to improve my reading. Having the most amazing stories going around in my head, but when I put pen to paper, not being able to get my words onto the page. Dyslexia for me, was a cruel, two edge sword. One edge gave me the imagination, the ability to daydream, think outside the box, and create a fantasy world. The other edge prevented me from getting that story out of my head, and onto the page. But in this last year I have overcome that hurdle, and in my eyes I have exceeded the goal I set myself a year back.
When I hit that button a year ago, and put my first story out there, it was because I felt it was a shame, that the world I have created was just trapped on the hard-drive of my computer. I set myself the challenge to edit those stories and make them good enough for other people to read. A year on I have met that goal, those three book are out there, and I want to write more; I have written more.
I have four ideas for follow on books, and have already written the first few chapters to them all. The support I have been given this past year has given me the drive to keep on writing, keep on learning and improving. I believe the best marketing I can do is to keep writing and self publishing my books. I don't know; I might even pluck up the confidence again to approach some literary agents.
Not sure what this year has in store for me, but I am looking forward to finding out and setting myself new challenges to achieve.