If you had told me five years ago, that I would be a science fiction author with one book out, and another on the way, I would have laughed at you. Seriously. Even today, I have a hard time grasping what has happened since I dived in and did this thing.
I sit here today, on May 15th, a year after my first science fiction novel was released and I cannot quite believe how I got here. We Are Mars is a year old. And a lot happened in that year! I am an independently-published author. I had little idea of what that really meant until I was neck-deep in it! The hours of social media. The hours of marketing preparation, the searching for events and activities, ideas for promotion and advertising (all on a tiny budget). I’ve travelled to Vancouver and back, twice (both signing events), I’ve travelled for a comic con (doing it , again this year!). I’ve attended local events and groups, markets and fairs. I’ve even been on local tv to promote my launch. I’ve given books away, signed hundreds of them, mailed off dozens and spoken with countless, interested readers, interviewers and fans. I’ve had reviews on Goodreads, Amazon (incl. Canada and the UK), I have books in two mainstream bookstores. And I’m not done yet!
No, my journey as an indie author is only just beginning. My goals were modest for We Are Mars. My main focus was to learn, and boy! Have I LEARNED! I’ve learned that social media is a mine field – hot and cold, good and bad, interesting and scary. As I sit here, I’m a little over 8,500 followers on Twitter, nearing 600 on Instagram, a couple hundred on Facebook and Goodreads respectively. All of that growth was organic (apart from a few ads on Facebook to start with). The people I’ve met in these arenas have taught me so much about the business of publishing books and being a professional writer. Their feedback has been invaluable.
Have I made a lot of money? No. In fact, I don’t think there will be any return on the time and money I’ve spent this last year. But I’ve learned, it’s not about the money. It’s about following my heart, my passion and being brave. The courage it takes is vast – to put your name on the front of a book that someone else is going to pick up and decide if they want, or not. Rejection and criticism come with the territory, but so does the amazingly supportive writing community you can be a part of. What I am rich in, is memories and joy. To succeed at my goals has instilled a real sense of pride and accomplishment that I’ve not felt before.
The next chapter of this story is the next part of the Rubicon Saga. Storm at Dawn is on its way. I’m anticipating a late Summer/early Fall release for Part Two of the Rubicon Saga. The story that started it all, will continue to thrill readers and, as tough as it’s been to stay focused and write, while doing all the promotion and marketing for We Are Mars, Storm at Dawn is on schedule and looking like a worthy followup. To complete the series, a third book has already begun to take shape. I’m not going to put a time stamp on it, because one thing I did learn this year is to set realistic expectations!
Break the Dark will be done within the next two years, but not before this weary author has had a little rest. The pace of the past year has been blistering and it’s time to take my foot of the gas and coast, a little. I can only ask for patience from my fans. The conclusion to the Rubicon Saga will come and it will be better for the rest I need.