Today is the one year anniversary of the publication of Spookybrook Witch Academy Year One. I am so excited to be doing this and grateful for all of you who have taken a chance on this book and this whole series, which is currently my best-selling series. When I started out on this journey, I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew that I wanted to share a story… and I had a pretty good idea that would turn into another one and another one…
But I knew nothing about “making it” in this industry. I didn’t know any of the technical stuff, like how to format my books professionally, or how to choose the right Amazon keywords so the right readers find my books. Thankfully, I had a very close friend, like a sister to me, to give me some pointers, share advice and recommendations, and her sister to create some AMAZING cover designs for me. Without them, this series would not be possible and honestly… none of my career would be possible.
Launching this first book was the BIG step I needed to finally go all-in on writing fiction as a career. (I had 20 years experience as a technical writer/copywriter, but this is so different.) The truth is, the original launch wasn’t perfect. Some might say it wasn’t even very good. The story was there, but everything else was a bit rough around the edges.
And that’s okay.
At least, it is by me. We grow and we learn, and only then can we do better. Despite some hiccups and my own lack of knowledge, the original launch was a success – financially and otherwise. This positive start gave me the encouragement I needed to continue, and I immediately wrote Spookybrook Witch Academy Year Two and Year Three back to back.
After publishing Spookybrook Witch Academy Year One, I decided that I wanted to do this full time, so I set out to create the rest of the series as quickly as possible, with one book coming out each month for the entire first half of the year. This was while holding down a full time job and as a single parent to my children… and then the pandemic hit the United States. 2020 was a wild year for everyone! I’m sure you can relate and likely have your own stories…
Despite all of the challenges, I released all books, Year One through Year Five, and then also plotted out two bonus books: Spookybrook Witch Academy Summer Trip (released in 2020) and Spookybrook Witch Academy Demon Hunters (releasing in 2021). But, I did not stop there. I have more ideas than I do time and I quickly started combining notes for other books and series as well.
In May of 2020, I went 100% full-time as a fiction author. In the second half of 2020, I also released books in the follow series:
- Dream of the Vampire
- Witches of Spookybrook
- Paranormal Prison
- Angel Academy
- Magic Trials
- Mystic River Vampire Academy
- Teen Wolf Academy
- Call of the Wolf
If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is! And it was fun, exciting, sometimes stressful, and an incredible learning experience. There are so many things I have discovered through trial and error, through meeting other authors in my genres, and from feedback from my readers. I haven’t done everything exactly right, but I have done it. And that feels great!
Along the way, I’ve also learned a lot about my voice and the types of books I want to write and publish. As a result, I am in the process of major edits and updates to ALL my previously published books. Some books are getting more “adult” upgrades and while I have not changed Spookybrook Witch Academy much at this point, it is still my most YA-friendly series, although I do not consider myself a YA adult. The final updates before the print versions come out will likely be more upper-end YA or NA.
Many of my stories are RH or PNR and all future books will be the same. It has been a swift but exciting journey and although I know that it has just begun, I’m also very thankful for everyone who has supported me along the way. The sheer number of books I have completed is crazy and I have over 25 covers, concepts, blurbs and drafts waiting to be live to you this year as well.
I know that there are a lot of people who will say I did things backwards. That I should have studied and researched and honed my craft before putting any books out there, or that I should have published just this one book and then learned how to do it better (or the best) before publishing anymore.
But the thing is… that’s just not my personality. I’m more of a sink-or-swim kind of girl. I dive in head-first and then I figure out a way to not drown. It’s pretty much how I’ve lived my entire life and you know what? I’m still standing.
If I had waited for the “perfect” time to do this… it never would have gotten done. If I had waited until I was a “perfect” writer, I never would have written anything. I’m not ashamed of my progress or my results.
And if I have published a book with a typo here or a plot hole there, it’s not because I “don’t care about the reader” like some harsh critics will say. It’s because I am learning and growing. It’s because I am human and that means I make mistakes, too. And it’s because I have built this new business up by my bootstraps because I believed in myself and the stories I wanted to share. If you want professional editing, professional formatting, and full alpha and beta reader teams and all the other elements that make a book the best it can be… buy more books. Support indie authors financially so that they can continue to invest back into their craft and their books.
Some indie authors also have Patreon, donation buttons on their websites, or Buy Me a Coffee links. It’s quick and easy to support the readers you love and when you do, it means we can keep writing more great stories for you. And it also means we can invest back into the books we publish.
I hope to continue to do exactly that for you, my dear readers, for many more years to come.
Thank you again for your continued support,