GIVEAWAY AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST!
As far as year’s go, 2016 was pretty damn good for me. Five years ago, almost to the day, I started writing my first book, Clutch. It’s an epic SF/fantasy book about a really crazy girl doing really crazy shit. She is so me. And never in a million years did I imagine that Junco would lead me here. To this amazing #WritersLife I’m living.
In 2016 I wrote seven full-length novels.
And Taking Turns, which will publish in about three weeks.
That’s about 600,000 words. Divide that by 365 days in a year, and I wrote, on average, 1650 words every day. I can write 1650 words in about an hour. 🙂 So yeah, my writing work-day averages out to about an hour a day.
Which is bullshit. lol. I work 16-hour days pretty regularly. But looking at that average, I probably should write small amounts daily instead of large 5,000-10,000 word chunks like I usually do.
Most of my day is spent doing things other than writing. I make my own covers, and teasers, and all the graphics for swag. I have this blog and sometimes I have marketing tips for other authors. (One of those is coming next week, so keep an eye out). I do a lot of marketing. Or I should say, I plan a lot of marketing. It’s the planning that takes time. I check emails and all that other bullshit that small business owners have to do.
It’s definitely a full-time job. I won’t be writing a book called the one-hour work day. 😉
In addition to those seven new novels, I also self-published five audiobooks:
And my awesome audio publisher, Podium Publishing, also published five audiobooks of mine:
Wasted Lust is the newest release from Podium Publishing. Just came out December 20th. It’s Whispersynced to the Kindle edition on Amazon, so if you already have the eBook you can download the audio for only $2.99! Take a listen to a sample and then then go grab it. Also, did you know that your first book with Audible is always free? If you’re new to audiobooks and would like to try Wasted Lust out, just click on over using the links below and grab it for free.
LISTEN TO A WASTED LUST AUDIO SAMPLE BELOW
Wasted Lust is a 321 spin-off, full-length, romantic suspense filled with lies, secrets, and the power of redemption by the New York Times bestselling author, JA Huss.A GIRL WITH REGRETS...Sasha Cherlin died the night she let Nick Tate walk out on her for a life of crime. Her very essence was destro... More info →
If you’re an audio junkie (like me) then you have a lot of books to look forward to in the first half of 2017. All these books are in production with Podium or myself right now. And that’s just the first half of the year. I fully expect to release between ten and fourteen audiobooks in 2017.
I didn’t make New York Times this year but I did make USA Today six times. Mr. Perfect made it three weeks (one was from a Bookbub in November), and Romantic, Corporate, and Mysterious all made it when they released. Match didn’t make it. And if you’ve been following my marketing advice, I have said over and over that December is a tough sell for a new release. So, I knew that one would have problems making a list even though it sold about the same as all the other books.
I don’t know how many books total I sold this year and I don’t have an exact number for what I made – but I have a pretty good idea and I’m doing great. There is really no difference in the amount I made this year verses last year, but I did manage to cut my Facebook advertising budget almost in HALF this year (from $110,000 in 2015 to $62,000 in 2016.) If that number makes you sick, it does me too. But hey. You can’t keep it all people. The tax man takes it if you don’t reinvest in your business. So I like to reinvest in things that help me get more new readers. Never in a million years did I see this kind of success coming when I set out to tell a story about a crazy girl called Junco in January 2012.
So I think the take home is that there’s still a way to make a living as a full-time writer in 2017. You just have to do one thing: Make your readers happy. Here are a few ways I make my readers happy.
I went to a lot of book signings and author conventions.
Seattle (Emerald City Author Event)
Smarter Artist in Austin
Chicago (Windy in the City)
Book Expo America
Romance Times Convention
Cleveland Author Event
Los Angeles (Night of Corruption)
Denver (Mile High Author Event)
I gave away OVER 1000 SIGNED PAPERBACKS at signings and online 2016. I did this in Seattle, Chicago, Cleveland, and Denver. I don’t go to book signings to make money, I actually do make money – but I have expensive taste in hotels… so. 😉 I don’t make a profit. But I don’t expect to make a profit because to me it’s promotional. It’s advertising, basically. So, I figured I was going to give away as many books as I could at each event. I think I gave away about 300 in Seattle, about 200 in Cleveland and Chicago, and about 300 in Denver. Not to mention all the signed book giveaways I did online (mostly on Facebook, but also here on the blog) I like giving shit away. And I’ll do it again next year. So, if you come see me in Denver in August 2017, I will have a free book for you! 🙂
Here is a cool visual of the events I’ve been to over the past three years.
The NUMBER ONE WAY I MAKE READERS HAPPY though – is by writing more books! I hope you all enjoyed my 2016 stories and I hope you stick around for all the books I have coming up in 2017.
Taking Turns (Turing Series #1) – January
Anarchy Missing (Anarchy #2) – February/March
Turning Series #2 – April
Anarchy Chained (Anarchy #3) – May
Turning Series #3 – June
Ex-Society – (Anarchy #4) July/August
Five – September
And probably one more (Turning Series #4), although I’m not sure if I want to release in 2017 or 2018. I’ll talk more about all this stuff in the Beginning of Year Shit post that will come out the second or third week of January.
And if that wasn’t enough, I also helped my son, Odin, start his new book cover design business (Cool Guy Covers – his name, not mine! lol). We’re getting the website up now with a ton of pre-mades that will go on sale in about three weeks. If you’re interested in a pre-made, sign up for his newsletter list here so you can get notices when new covers go on sale. He’ll also be doing custom work. Here’s a small sample of his covers so far. He’s liking the romance genre a lot! But he does have some SF/F ones that will be on sale too.
He’s a great cover designer! And I’m jealous. I always tell him if I quit writing I’m gonna take over his business and just make covers for the rest of my life.
My daughter, Allie, joined my business last month as my new assistant. She’s the one in charge of sending books from the order forms and giveaways. She’ll probably help me out with the ARC list stuff too.
So yeah – 2016 rocked for me. I can’t complain about anything right now, so I’m just gonna be thankful you guys enjoy my books and keep writing for as long as I have stories to tell.
Thanks for reading, thanks for reviewing, and I’ll see you very soon in the next book, TAKING TURNS, on January 18, 2017!
Get a little peek at the Taking Turns video teaser below and don’t forget to enter the EPIC 2016 Mega Prize Giveaway!
DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE ME A COMMENT AND LET ME KNOW HOW YOUR YEAR WENT!