Boldwood Books, my amazing publishers, are celebrating the one-year anniversary of their first published book and what a year it’s been for Boldwood as a publisher and for me personally as one of their authors.
They shared a graphic on their social media this morning which I’ve shamelessly stolen, summarising an amazing year:
I was the 5th author to be published with The Secret to Happiness released on 3rd September 2019. My re-edited ‘Welcome to Whitsborough Bay’ series came out in the first quarter of the year and Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow – the start of a new series – came out last month. Six of those 59 titles published are therefore mine. Greedy, aren’t I?
I’ve had such an amazing first year as a Boldwood author.
I’ve gone from languishing in the charts and failing to make an impact to being a Top 10 international bestseller… Woo hoo!!!! All of my books have been in the UK Kindle Top 200 with two of them entering the Top 100. Just yesterday, New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms (which has been in the Top 100 since the start of May, peaking at #14) and Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow were in the Top 100 at the same time which was lovely. Five titles have been in the Top 30 on the AppleBooks chart and the other – Making Wishes at Bay View – only didn’t make it quite that high because it was on a free offer and #1 in the free chart.
I’ve gone from days and days of zero sales to… well, watch this space as I should have an announcement about that next week when July’s sales figures are in. Eek! It’s something I could never, ever have dreamed I’d achieve until I joined Boldwood.
I’ve gone from having my titles in eBook only… to 9 formats. Wow! You’re going to ask me to name them all, aren’t you? Argh! I think it’s eBook on 3 platforms (Kindle, Kobo, AppleBooks), paperback, large print, audio MP3, audio CD, digital audio and one more format that I know about but there’s not been an official announcement yet so I’d better not say just yet). The Secret to Happiness has appeared in The Works stores around the UK and online and it is always a dream to hold (and sniff and stroke) your own paperback. It’s not just me. I promise. We all do it!
I’ve gone from having a demanding day job… to being a full-time author and I could not be happier to be able to spend my days chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up. And procrastinating a bit on social media. Okay, procrastinating a lot! Although I did write 80k words of my second Hedgehog Hollow book since leaving the day job so I’ve got my head down too.
I’ve gone from feeling like a failure… to feeling like a real author who isn’t just wasting their time slapping a few words on a computer and hoping somebody will read them. If anyone asked me what I do, I’d always say I work in HR (true) and only occasionally add in an embarrassed voice that I also write books. Why? Because I dreaded the next question: Would I have heard of you? Cringe! Er, no. Only my mum has! Or the classic: I’d love to write a book… if only I had the time! (As if to suggest that I clearly had loads of spare time on my hands!) Or the glazed-over eyes/disinterest/disbelief and swift change of subject.
Now, I proudly declare I’m an author – or I did before Covid turned me into more of a hermit than usual – while trying to push that pain in the backside, Imposter Syndrome, back in his box. Ooh, he’s a little tinker.
Now, readers get in touch with me to say they’ve loved my work. Now, other authors ask me to read and endorse their books. I have to pinch myself every time these things happen and wonder if they’ve got the right person!
So on Boldwood’s 1-year publication anniversary, my thanks go to so many people who have changed my life over the past year:
- Boldwood Books for inviting me into their fold and believing in me – Amanda, Nia, Caroline, Sarah, Megan and Ellie (and welcome Emily!)
- Our audio partners, Isis Audio, and Ulverscroft who run the uLibrary App and produce our large print books. Your work is fabulous and my audios, voiced by Lucy Brownhill and Emma Swan are brilliant
- My superb, passionate, talented and lovely editor, Nia Beynon, whose support and advice I value so highly
- My fellow Boldwood authors for being such a supportive community
- My husband, Mark, and our daughter, Ashleigh, for being amazing and never moaning about the crazy hours I had to work trying to balance a day job with writing
- My mum for being my number one fan!
- The amazing book blogger community, some of whom have been with me since my debut release. You are such amazing champions of my work and I appreciate all your kind words and promotion so much
- Any of my family and friends who’ve read/reviewed/promoted my books. You know who you are and I’m so very grateful
- My writing bestie and super-talented fellow author, Sharon Booth, for tea, cake, advice, encouragement and sympathy
- My other Write Romantic buddies for being there with virtual hugs during hard times and congratulations during the good
- The Beverley Chapter of the RNA who are so much fun to be around. So glad we’ve managed to keep our meetings going virtually
- A whole host of authors, some of whom I’ve met, some of whom I only ‘know’ virtually who’ve been so supportive and encouraging
- And last, but absolutely not least, all you lovely readers. Boldwood say they’d be nothing without their authors and I’d be nothing without my readers. You are absolute stars, every one of you
If I had some cake, I’d be tucking into it right now but, instead, I’ll take a sip of Diet Pepsi (I so know how to party!) and toast Boldwood Books and their team of amazing authors.
If you’re an author, Boldwood are currently closed for submissions but will be open again later in the year. I cannot recommend them enough as a home for your books so do follow them on social media and watch out for news.