In addition to being a celebration of the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on 5 May 1862—which has morphed into a popular celebration of Mexican culture and food–Cinco de Mayo was my first anniversary of being a published author.
For some reason, Amazon lists the publication date as April but THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF MEXICO CITY was officially released 5 May 2012. Here’s the press release.
Was it only a year ago
The week that it was published I texted myself a wishlist of what I would consider to be success as a published author after 1 year. Written on the trusty notepad feature of my antique Blackberry here is the complete text:
Success as a writer after a year:
- Sold 100 copies of HIDDEN LIGHT
- 2 books listed on amazon.com
- 100 visitors to my blog
- Got published on Huffpost
- Got mentioned in a blog or other online venue I don’t own
Reality Isn’t so bad
So how does reality stack up?
- Sold nearly 400 copies of HIDDEN LIGHT (and received real checks!)
- 2 books, HIDDEN LIGHT and CLIFF DIVER, are listed on Amazon. Thenext book, HAT DANCE, is scheduled for a late July release
- This blog has received some 6000 visitors
- I’ve done guest posts and interviews which are listed here
- Every reviewer on amazon has given my books a 4 or 5 star rating and 61 percent of CLIFF DIVER reviewers said they wanted to read more in the series.
Sadly, I have not been published on Huffpost but I also didn’t submit anything except a short story last week for Rita Wilson’s project to see what women over 50 are writing. I assume my effort is lost in the slush pile but it was good incentive to write an Emilia Cruz story which I’ll soon make available from this website as a free download.
What I Learned Along The Way
So have I been a huge commercial success in my first year of being a published author? Of course not. This is a marathon, not a sprint. But here is what I did do:
- Exceeded expectations that I thought a year ago were virtually unachievable
- Recognized that my goals should be those that I can control and reasonable for the resources available to me
- Embraced the fact that I am engaged in a massive learning process to master new skills (blog design, marketing, etc) because there is more to this author business than just writing
- Realized that I am providing readers with both a quality entertainment experience and a learning experience, just as I had always intended to do
So what will my second year as a published author bring? Here’s the next wishlist. We’ll check the progress on 5 May 1014. In the meantime, wish me luck!
- 5 books listed on amazon (yes, 5)
- Redesigned website with free download of Emilia Cruz mini-anthology
- Re-release of HIDDEN LIGHT with new cover, lower price, and at least 1 promotion
Are you a goal-setter too? Let me know what your goals are and how you stick to them.
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Mystery and thriller author. Retired Central Intelligence Agency intel officer. Dog mom to Hazel and Dutch. Recovering Italian handbag addict.