Monday, November 17, 2014

On this day four years ago...

On this day four years ago... I self-published for the first time.
To mark this amazing anniversary, I thought I'd share the story behind how I came to try self-publishing for the first time... I wrote seven books before I sold one in 2007 and ended up doing three books with my first publisher, who wasn't interested in the other books I had written. They rejected most of my earlier books, including Treading Water, True North, Fatal Affair and Maid for Love. Fatal Affair later sold to Carina Press, and the Fatal Series has had a happy home with Carina and Harlequin since 2010. But I had all these other books already written and no one was interested in publishing them. I had readers asking for more of my books, and we were trying to sell them, but the rejections kept on coming. In the summer of 2010, I came close to selling True North to a big NY publisher. My agent and I really thought it was going to happen until we received the rejection that contained the nine words that changed my life: "No one wants to read about a super model." Um, okay then. By then I had received tons and tons and TONS of rejections, and I'd learned to roll with them. They didn't bother me anymore, but that one did. First I cried, then I got MAD--really, really MAD. My unlucky-in-love super model was someone regular women could relate to because she wanted what so many people want: love and family and a place to call home. I believed in her, and I believed in True North.
The True North rejection led me to investigate the new trend of self-publishing through Amazon's new Kindle Direct Publishing program. At that time, it was a risky proposition for an author who had books coming from two different publishers a few months later (the second Fatal book and my third and final book with my first publisher). Self-publishing was so new to the ebook space, that no one knew for sure if I could be sued for publishing on my own ahead of publisher releases. I told my husband I was going to do something that could get us sued. To his credit, he said, "Let me know how it works out."  However, I was under no contractual obligation that would stop me from venturing into the realm of self-publishing. So on Nov. 17, 2010, I self-published True North quietly and without any fanfare. A month later, I self-published The Fall. I sold about 50 copies of True North in the first month and maybe 150 of both books the next month. A free offering of an earlier book the following February, gave a boost to all my books, and my self-pub numbers really took off. I sold nearly 7,000 copies of both self-published books in February 2011. I self-published The Wreck in March, the first month in which I sold more than 10,000 books in a single month. Maid for Love was released in April, Fool for Love in May, Ready for Love in June, Georgia on My Mind in September, Treading Water in October, Marking Time in November and Starting Over in December. I ended 2011 with 650,000 self-published ebook sales and on the last day of 2011, I left the job I'd had for 16 years to write full time.
Fast forward to the end of 2014... Every book I've written is now on sale--all 37 of them (22 are self-published). I've sold more than 3 million copies of my books, mostly in the last three years. I have six of my good friends and my husband working with me. I've been on the New York Times bestseller list 11 times as of last week and I've been blessed with loyal dedicated readers who have made this amazing career possible.
Oh and about True North.... It has sold close to 75,000 copies in the four years it's been on sale, and the dedication now reads: "To the editor who famously said, 'No one wants to read about a super model,' thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. A MILLION times over, thank you."
Now you know the rest of my story. Thanks to my amazing, awesome readers for making all my dreams come true. xoxo