The short of it: I’d like to sell 38 books today.
The long of it: I’m thirty-eight today.
I wrote stories when I was a sophomore in high school. By the time I was a senior, I’d abandoned fiction and delved into poetry and essays. I loved to write. I got derailed somewhere in college. I thought I’d be an ad copywriter, but my copywriter professor encouraged me to go into creative writing. I took a few journalism classes, but my head wasn’t really in the game my final year, and when I got a job in outdoor advertising, I took it and never looked back. My writing days were over.
Through the years, I’d thought about writing a novel, but I never could think of a plot. I don’t know if you’ve ever just decided one day that you were going to be an author, and then tried to force that to happen, but a novel is not something most people can sit down and write on a whim. I always got frustrated when I couldn’t think of a good story, and soon the desire to write was overshadowed by another creative pursuit that I’d put all of my energy into. While some of these hobbies placated me for awhile, I’d eventually grow tired of them after a few months (jewelry making) or years (photography).
On my thirty-fourth birthday, I had no idea that I would become an author over the next couple months. On that birthday, I was in the midst of reading a popular series, and thinking to myself that I could write better than the author whose books had captivated the world. In November of 2008, distinct and original characters started to develop in my daydreams. Nate was first, followed shortly by Emi and Jack and their families and friends. Once the characters became actual people with pasts and futures and hopes and disappointments, their stories started to reveal themselves to me. I learned Nate’s fate, and then Emi and Jack’s. When I started crafting the story, I worried that this would be another fleeting hobby, and I was scared to tell people that I was writing a book. I didn’t want to quit or fail like I’d done with all of my past interests. Deep down, though, I knew that this was my calling. I’d never felt more like myself than I did when I was writing the stories of other people’s lives. I’d never been happier.
Now, on my thirty-eighth birthday, I’ve published three full-length novels and one novella. I’ve written another two and a half books and I’ve started three others. I have full outlines for both of my incomplete series, and new ideas come to me all the time. None of those books are abandoned, and I have full confidence that they will all be completed. There are characters in my mind that have stories to tell. I’m their conduit. I tell their stories and I try to find people to read them.
Because I’ve held a full-time job as I’ve written every word of every page, I have very little time to promote my books. Every night, while I go to bed proud of my word count, I feel like an utter failure as a marketer. I don’t have the passion for promoting the book like I do for writing it. I’m lucky that I have a few fans that help me out and tell friends about the series, but it’s not enough to help me reach my ultimate goal. I want to write full time. Somedays I feel like I need to write full time. The sad truth is, I don’t sell many books.
I know some of you who haven’t read the books might assume that they’re bad… but the reviews say otherwise. Maybe not everyone will love the books, but enough readers have been touched so deeply by Nate’s and Emi’s and Jack’s stories that I know I’ve tapped into something. Strangers have contacted me out of the blue from all over the world, and it means so much to me to know that they love the characters as much as I do. It makes me realize that these books have the potential to sell well and touch many more lives– it’s just a matter of getting the word out there.
*** HERE’S MY WISH ***
I would like to sell 38 books on my birthday.
Today, consider buying one of the books in the Emi Lost & Found series on Amazon. If you’ve already bought them, consider giving Lost and Found as a gift. If you’re not sure that your friend, mother, sister, girlfriend, or wife will like them, suggest the first book to them and have them check out a free sample. Spread the word to ten people you think might be interested. Have them check out the reviews. The first book in the series is only 99¢. The other two are $3.99 each, or you can buy the entire series in one ebook (and get some bonus content) for $7.99.
The novella Not Today, But Someday, which is the prequel to the series, is available for the Kindle, Nook, or any other digital reader on Smashwords. While I’d prefer you purchase the book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble for a mere 99¢, I will be up front in telling you that the novella is free on Smashwords. If you have no money to invest at this time, a free download will still make me giddy.
I know some of you think this series is for women only, but it’s not. They’re stories about life and love, and two of the books are actually told from a man’s point of view. Even if you don’t want to read the book today, please think about purchasing it to support a girl who’s simply trying to live her dream by doing something she loves.