Well, it's the end of the year in which I became an author, so it's only fair I share with you how my book fared when it reached the virtual bookshelves of the web.
It's done rather well for itself! In the first place, when I was selling direct to the public without the help of Amazon, it covered its costs ... then went into (dare one even hope for such a thing with a first novel?) ... profit! Took two weeks to become profitable. Considering that most first novels don't even earn out their author's advances, I was rather chuffed with that.
Once it was in profit, I thought there was nothing to lose by uploading it to Amazon. Within a short while, it was on best seller lists for new releases in both the US and UK ... ahead of books published by big name publishers! The next step was to see whether or not I earned myself any reviews. A nervous wait.
Sure enough, reviews arrived. My book went on to become one of the top 20 best reviewed novels in its genre on Kindle in the UK.
If you've read it and would like to add to the reviews, please do! http://amzn.to/rebeccaw is the UK link and http://amzn.to/palaces-and-calluses is the US link.
Meanwhile, I've been tapping away at a keyboard all year, writing my column for Writing Magazine. Yep... they decided to turn a few articles into an ongoing arrangement. Guess what? The Word Nerd Army did that wonderful thing that the Word Nerd Army does and blooming well supported me. Not only that, but they got hooked on the magazine (because it's awesome) and ... long story short ... it was selling out, so they had to make an app version of it to keep up with demand. Woohoo!
Aside from that, I've been obsessive about learning marketing this year. Ob-sessss-ive. I've stayed up until 4am to listen to training calls from the US. Why? Because we all have to take responsibility for our own books and publicity now. Even if we're signed by major publishers, marketing is still our responsibility to a large extent. I've been through all the different methods, and sifted through endless sites and reports, so I could find the best solutions for authors. I'm going to put a course together to help other Word Nerds grab the reins and take control of their marketing and sales.
Another thing I've researched is ways that writers can earn money alongside their writing (the kinds of things that will fit around a novelist's need for time with the muse). Now, I'm pulling everything together, packaging it up, and I'm planning to help lots of aspiring authors in 2012. For more on that, see my official site (yep, I've finally gone all WordPress) join-rebecca.com