January 9th will be the one year anniversary of the full access release of Mountain Fire. It's been an interesting year!
I have a second manuscript being submitted to publishers, a third manuscript with beta readers/critique partners, and a fourth manuscript percolating. I attended the Surrey International Writers Conference and had a blast, took some online courses through Romance Writers of America, and am doing my best to blog consistently as well as build my online platform. There is so much still to learn and do.
While being published is fabulous, the work certainly isn't done on that book. Readers can be hard to find, especially when you are brand new writer with a small press. Want the honest truth? I've made slightly more than $300 in the past year on Mountain Fire. I compare it to one week of groceries for my family of five.
But making money wasn't the point (although it would be a nice side benefit). Finishing the damn book and getting it out there was the point. And now that it is out there, I can build on that. I recently read a blog post by Kristen Lamb that says many first time authors spend too much time promoting that one book, and not enough time writing. According to her, the magic minimum number (in either self or traditional publishing) is three. It's cumulative – when a reader likes your first book, that's great, but they don't have the option to buy others, because they just aren't out there. But when they like Book Three, there are two more they can pick up. So Book Three helps to sell Book One and Book Two.
Before Mountain Fire was released, one of the ladies at work asked how I would determine success for it. Just getting it published is a success all on it's own, but in monetary terms I told her $1000 would be a good benchmark. To be honest, I was sort of thinking $1000 in one year, but, hey, live and learn. Sure, I probably could have done more promotion, more blogging, more guesting. But just because I didn't, doesn't mean I still can't. Mountain Fire is out there, and even though it was published a year ago it is still brand new to those who haven't discovered it yet. All I have to do is keep writing, keep blogging, keep working, and maybe I'll hit the $1000 mark yet!