Thursday, 30 December 2021

Summing up my year

It’s time for the end of year post—the rather dismal seventh post of the year. When the year began, I pledged to write more blog posts, yet here I am, with no more posts than the previous three years, a far cry of 2013 when I wrote forty-four posts.

My year has been good, despite the ongoing plague situation. I’ve stayed healthy, as has my husband, and we’ve managed to work from home for two years without getting on each other’s nerves. Covid hasn’t touched any of my family or friends, and there hasn’t been other upsetting events either. The only thing that has suffered is our fitness, as we’ve stayed indoors too much for our general well-being. I’d pledge to work out more next year, but I know I won’t keep that promise, so it’s best not to make it.

I’ve had a productive year—apart form this blog. I’ve published five books, which is a personal record. Two of those were written the previous year, but then again, I’ve also written one complete and two partial books that’ll come out next year.

The year began with Wolf Moon, book 7 in Two-Natured London series. Then there were two P.I. Tracy Hayes books, P.I. on the Scent and Unstoppable P.I., books 8 and 9 in my contemporary mystery series. And finally, I launched a brand-new series, House of Magic, paranormal mysteries set in alternative London. The first two books, Hexing the Ex and Saved by the Spell are now out.

All this publishing activity helped to make 2021 the best year of my career so far. For the first time, I was able to pay for myself for writing. It’s not even close to a living wage, more a token, but it’s a huge milestone that I hope won’t be a one-time miracle. Becoming a career author is still my long-term plan and dream, and being able to live on my writing is an important part of it.

I also—finally—published all remaining P.I. Tracy Hayes books and House of Magic books on paperback through Amazon and IngramSpark. I’ve avoided the latter for its fees, but I joined Independent Book Publishers Association, which offers promotional codes to IngramSpark for its members. I like the quality of IS books better, especially the paper that is more book-like than the printer paper Amazon uses, and now the paperbacks are available on other vendors than Amazon as well.

Through IBPA’s special member program, I was able to offer early copies of my books on NetGalley too. Both House of Magic books were available there for three months, and I was happy with the results. The books were well received by the reviewers and the early reviews helped to give the series a great launch. I’ll definitely use that option next year too.

I changed my newsletter provider to MailerLite in November. I joined BookFunnel at the same time too to be able to distribute copies of my books more easily and grow my subscriber list with the help of BookFunnel’s promotions. If you want to join my mailing list, you’ll get Starters, a bundle of four of my books as a thank you. It’s a low-level commitment. You’ll basically get a newsletter when I publish a new book.

While I’ve neglected this blog, my reading blog has flourished. I wrote seventy-one posts, most of them about NetGalley books I’ve received for free in exchange for reviews. I enjoy writing reviews and find it highly educational as an author too. You can read about my reading year on this post.

I’ve made ambitious plans for the new year. I want to publish eight books, which is sort of doable, especially since one of them has already been written. Magic for the Highland Wolf, Two-Natured London 7.5 will come out on January 16. There will be two House of Magic books and two P.I. Tracy Hayes books. I’ll also launch two new series, both spin-offs of the latter. Jonny Moreira and Tracy’s brother Trevor will both have their own series. More about those later next year.

I’d like to thank you, my readers, for staying with me and reading my books. Next year will be the ten-year anniversary of my self-publishing career and I hope you’ll be with me through it too. Happy and hopefully better 2022 for you all!


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