Recent years have been all about learning, for me. I've spent a lot of time taking writing and marketing courses, working on my cover design skills, and participating in collaborative sets with other authors, becoming more familiar with the business side of self-publishing.
I also embarked on a co-authorship for the first time ever—something I never thought I'd do. I always expected I was too high-maintenance, too difficult to work with, and wouldn't subject any other author to my whole "Doesn't Play Well With Others" vibe. Luckily, I was wrong about all that, and have built a very strong, very encouraging partnership with my long-time author bestie, Torie James. I happen to be very fond of the world we've created, to boot!
What I've been missing, though, is a closer relationship with readers. I haven't had as much opportunity to interact in my reader group, and I must admit my newsletter communications lapsed more than once, and for long periods. I didn't blog as much as I wanted, and I missed several opportunities to send out freebies, special giveaways, or ARCs. For all that, I have to apologize. I've always taken great joy in being a storyteller. A storyteller needs people to tell stories to.
Self-publishing is really very demanding, and by the time I've worked through the actual writing, the book production, the website management, the social media, the marketing, and the sales, I have very little time left to simply enjoy interacting with readers and telling my stories. Don't get me wrong! I love my work (my writerly work, anyway... Day Job is another matter entirely). As a self-published author I have a great deal of freedom over my work and where it goes. There's a lot for me still to learn in terms of business, if I'm every going to make this my primary career and lifestyle. Still, this year I want to get back to the best parts of the job: my readers.
This is why I wanted to offer not just a Patreon this year, but a return to the free story blog and more content people can enjoy, wherever they are. Hopefully I'll have more chances to do free giveaways and share extras with those who love my stories. Most of all, I hope to hear from my readers, and find out what excites you and what you want more of. Should I return to old series? Focus on my fae world romances, or bring back my darker demon series, The Books of Blood and Fire? Would you be interested in sequels to Shifter's Dawn or Beast and Beauty? I'm eager to know, and to be able to keep you by my campfire while I spin new tales and share new worlds with you all.
These are my hopes for the coming year, and for a good long while into the future. I'm ready to get back to you, my wonderful readers and strange wayfarers. I hope you'll join me, too.
Consider this my invitation to come in, sit down a spell, and say hi! If you're interested in my newsletter, my reader group, or any of my social media channels, you can find them right here. There's plenty of ways to connect with me, starting with the comment section on this very post. So please don't be a stranger... I have such wonderful stories to share!