After four-weeks together exploring the greatness that is the Northwestern US for our Redneck Writer Road Trip Book Tour and being together 24/7 and my plan to remain in Dallas with Eric for a week at the end of it, returning as a a duo to Houston late, late Friday, things had changed. I had to go all the way back to Houston on MONDAY night.
Teenagers. Waddya gonna do?
Well, I did miss them, a little, and Layla too, and Petey most of all. So . . . we're motoring into the DFW-area as I type this, to pick up hundreds and hundreds of Preventing Workplace Harassment books for me to give away at some of the Human Resources conferences I am speaking at this fall. I'll drop Eric at his hotel, wait for traffic to die off, and drive away, without him.
NO! I'm not known for emotionality, but I suspect I'm going to shed a few tears.
Meanwhile, I have this tour to reflect on, and all that has happened since I went on the road last year. Here's what two summers looks like:
60-cities-in-60 days: In the summer of 2013, we drove 17,000-miles across 37-states in 68-days to 60-cities in which we had 60-book signings, 30-interviews, and a handful of speaking engagements as well. We focused on chain stores, and, over the summer, we sold 3000-books. Leaving Annalise and What Kind of Loser Indie Publishes, and How Can I Be One, Too? came out by summer's end. It was exhausting and very difficult to recover.
- In August I took over the Houston Writers Guild as President. Saving Grace went to #7 on Nook and #34 on Kindle in November of 2013. In February of 2014, Finding Harmony came out, Leaving Annalise hit #134 on Kindle, and the Houston Press named me to Houston's Top 100 Creatives of 2014. By April, Finding Harmony had been dubbed a Quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and the Houston Press honored me as one of Houston's Top 10 Authors of 2014.
Redneck Writer Road Trip: In the summer of 2014, we drove 7000-miles over 18-states to 14-cities/towns in 28-days for 14-events, focusing on on the Northwest and going where my readers are: libraries, indie book stores, coffee shops, bakeries, and even RV parks. While we were on the road, Saving Grace went "perma-free" and in one month 200,000 free copies were downloaded. Meanwhile, my respectable sales of my full-price books went from less than 50 a day to over 300 per day in the next four weeks, with some days nearer to 600; we sold 9000 books in four-weeks. Both Leaving Annalise and Finding Harmony moved into the top 1000 on Kindle, COMPLETELY UNPROMOTED, and stayed there. Saving Grace went from 200-reviews to 400+, and kept its 4.5-star rating; Leaving Annalise went to over 100, with a 4.7-star rating, and Finding Harmony went to over 80 with a crazy-high 4.9-star rating. My only regret during this heady time was that I didn't already have my next series of novels out, although Going for Kona was available for pre-order and even had its own fully-funded Kickstarter campaign. The Redneck Writer Road Trip was a blast, and I came back bouncing up and down on my tippy toes, ready to write.
- So what will the next nine months bring? The release of Going for Kona, and the writing of my next series, which I hope to launch before Thanksgiving holidays next year.
That's all I've got.