Sunday, September 23, 2018

Last of the Memory Keepers Book Birthday!

I can hardly believe it. A year ago today, I meant to pre-schedule my print copy and somehow hit publish, and there it was, ready to take on the world! Or, you know, all its readers. It’s surreal to hold my own book, to tell people I’m a published author, to have conversations like this with small children:

“What do you want to be when you’re a grown up?” the girl asked. 
I never thought I’d find myself quoting Trumpkin the Dwarf: “I am a grown up.” And, I added, “I’m an author.”

Yes, I made my book a party hat. Isnt it cute? Here are just a few things that happened the past year because of Last of the Memory Keepers.

I learned the ins and outs of the post office.

Until it changed its hours. They’re so short staffed, it’s not even funny.

But I quickly got the hang of how much it would cost to send each book (with insurance—learned that the hard way) and how to package each book.

I learned a lot about indie publishing.

Giveaways tend to generate more blog traffic but not necessarily more reviews. Of the ten or so signed copies I shipped out, maybe one person wrote a review. (Thanks, S. M. Metzler!) Oh yeah, and giveaways received more attention when I posted them on my blog and when I added a free entry option. People like free stuff.

I sold several print books to my local independent bookstore, and a couple of months later, they sent me another e-mail asking for more. Just yesterday the owner told me that the book is going to be read for the shop's next book club and requested MORE. Now, were planning a book reading/book signing. WHAT. IS. THIS. EVEN!?

Support your local bookstores.

Bottom photo credit: Kendra, Sweet Things & Stories Shop Owner

While studying for my MBA, I took a class on marketing and learned a lot. Like how less is more and the quality of posts trump quantity every time. Wow, I wish I had learned more about marketing sooner! At the same time, I’m glad I could learn through trial and error. Now I know more of what I should do when it comes to my next book!

Granted, I’m not perfect. I still only have three reviews on Goodreads. *stares intently at people I know have read the book* But seriously though, if you’ve happened to read one or all of the novelettes, I would greatly appreciate an honest review on Goodreads and/or Amazon.

The e-books got a cover redesign!

I don’t even know what I was thinking with the first set. Thanks to my ever-so-patient cover artist and fellow blogger, Faith RenĂ© Boggus, they have a fresh look!

I’m partial to The Forgotten Sons. I mean, look at that lighting! And the brothers Jahan and Navid! That and this story is not-so-secretly my favorite of all my novelettes. What? Don’t look at me like that. I can have favorites too!

My sister knows more about my characters than I do.

Say what? While writing my stories I used to think that nobody could know my characters better than I could. Until my sister got copies of her own and reread them to death, and now she can point out characters I’d forgotten about after six months. How does she do that?

Maybe it’s because I’d moved on to my next story already. As a writer, I try to focus on one story at a time. When I finally hit publish and put one story down to work on the next, it’s like saying goodbye. In this sense, the reader has the advantage of reading and rereading the final product while my head is full of first, middle, middle-middle, last, and actual last drafts.

Oh yeah, and apparently, I killed off her favorite character. Whoops.

My dad started reading my book.

My parents may have encouraged my taste for books when I was a kid, my dad through radio talking books and my mom through award winners. But my dad has never been much of an avid reader. When he came back from a vacation telling me that he’d started my book, mentioning details I knew only a reader could know, I was stunned. In a good way, of course.

Hiccup (aka me): I knew it… I’m dead. 
Stoic (aka Dad): No, but you gave it your best shot. 
(How to Train Your Dragon)

I know I already mentioned this in my acknowledgements, but I’m going to say it again. Thank you to all my readers for all your support and for a great first year!

Let’s chat! Readers, have you read Last of the Memory Keepers yet? If so, who’s your favorite character? (Please keep the comments spoiler-free!) Indie authors, what things did you learn the first year your book was out?


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