Today is the five year anniversary of the day I published my first book, Mountains Wanted. I chose the date 12/12/12 because I thought I would never self-publish — well, maybe on the 12th of Never 😉
Here’s 5 years of publishing by the numbers:
- Words published: approximately 1,075,000
- Books published: 10 novels and 1 novella
- Pen names used: 2
- Social media accounts: 0 when I started, now I have at least 8
- Author/reader groups founded: 5, one of which has nearly 3000 members
- Book signings attended: 10
- Income earned: 3 figures my first year to 5 figures this year (and that’s as specific as I’ll get LOL)
- Amazon reviews received: 727 (not counting the ones Amazon has deleted)
But as we know, numbers rarely tell the whole story. Words are kind of my thing. I can’t measure the excitement I feel when I get to meet a long-time reader. I can’t quantify my anxiety every time my book goes into the hands of beta readers (but it’s high, trust me!) And I have no idea how to express in numbers the way it feels to know people all over the world have read my words. It’s exhilarating, to say the least. And humbling.
On this day five years ago when I hit the publish button, I didn’t know I was voluntarily stepping aboard a crazy roller coaster of emotions that are unavoidable in indie publishing. I was unaware how much grueling work, patience and tenacity it would take just to sell a few books. I had no idea I would make so many friends in the indie community and feel a bond with them like no other. I was clueless that a reader’s message could bring me to tears in a heartbeat. I had no idea that I would someday be able to do this full time as my career, but that dream will come true in 2018.
I’ve learned so much more than I could ever express in numbers or words. All I can convey to you now is my sincere gratitude for every bit of support and encouragement I’ve received along the way, whether it was a kind word, a book purchase, or even that scathing 1-star review that made me want to prove it wrong.
I still have a long way to go to achieve all my goals, but after 5 years, I can honestly say I know I will get there. And it won’t be on my own. To all the characters who have spoken to me, all the fellow indies who have had my back, and especially to all the readers who have taken a chance on me, thank you, and I hope you’ll stick around for the next 5 years!