While working toward hitting a bestseller list—something that, until now, had eluded me in my ten years of being a published writer—the last few months have been a veritable endless marathon of finishing my post-apocalyptic paranormal romance novel THE VAMPIRE’S MASQUERADE and promoting the boxed set it would be featured in: EMPIRES OF SHADOW AND ASH.
Endless of hours spent plotting and planning, writing and re-writing, editing and revising, creating graphics, cover art, working with a new editor, marketing, posting, organizing my street team, review team, arc team, and everything else that goes into a successful book release.
I knew I was burning myself out, but I had to push on because no one else was going to do all these tasks for me and they had to get done. So for a handful of months I closed myself in my office and thought of nothing but promotion, sales, and entertaining ways to engage readers.
Although this sort of extreme workload accompanies every release, the Empires boxed set was a new kind of beast.
Thankfully I was working with a wonderful group of authors, most of who share my work ethic, and we were all striving for a single goal: make it onto the USA Today Bestseller list.
Even though I wasn’t alone, it was still an uphill battle. We fought for every sale in order to reach our goal.
By the end, I was exhausted, my brain was mush, and I was seriously worrying all my hard work was for nothing. Our sales numbers were on the low end of the spectrum.
I wasn’t the only one. I could tell several of my fellow authors were feeling discouraged too, but instead of giving up, we only worked harder.
Then release day came and went, and the numbers came in…
Empires of Shadow and Ash made the USA Today Bestseller List!
OMG! I am a USA Today Bestseller!
I was floored. I was stunned. I seriously ugly cried. My fiancé caught me sobbing and asked if someone had died. I could barely sputter the words, “We made the list!” It took me a couple tries to get it out. “WE MADE THE LIST!”
I still can’t believe it.
Little did I know this was only the beginning of the good news heading my way.
On the heels of becoming a USA Today Bestseller, I received the amazing news that my paranormal romance novel KEEPING HIS SIREN won the NERFA Award (National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award), a contest dedicated to bringing attention to the best romance fiction each year.
They say good things come in threes…
Well, this time it’s true.
A couple days after learning I’d won the NERFA Award, I got a phone call from a lovely Georgia Romance Writers representative who informed me KEEPING HIS SIREN also became a Maggie finalist, another prestigious contest that recognizes authors who have published outstanding books in the romance genre.
These delightful events could not have come at a better time. I am infused with much-needed validation that I’m on the right path and that my books are actually worthy of the voracious readers who gobble up my stories faster than I can write them.
Today I feel truly blessed.