I had just unveiled my website, was still unpublished (in the process of fact checking and final edits), contacted scores of reviewers (in hopes they’ll review my manuscript), began listening to the Self Publishing Podcast, published my first review in the San Francisco Book Review, and crafted a semi-effective marketing plan on a shoestring budget for my book’s launch.
The ultimate goal, though, wasn’t to become a New York Times best selling author (I’m a little bit more realistic). In short, I wanted to establish myself as a professional author–positiviely reviewed, sell copies of my book that reached beyond friends and family (thank you to them, nevertheless), continue to review books, discover new tricks of the trade (like creating a book cover on 99 Designs), connecting with other authors–which I was fortunate enough to do so, including D.G Kaye, Alysha Kaye, David Wright, and Daniel James Brown, who wrote the mega best-seller Boys in the Boat—and, of course, prepare for my next publication.
A year later, I have met and, in many cases, surpassed these objectives. Without going through a laundry list of accomplishments, here’s a few of the highlights by the numbers:
- 5,074 – highest overall ranking on Amazon to date (thanks BookSends)
- 500 books sold
- 33 published blog posts on my website
- 28 reviews of my book on Amazon with an average rating of 4.4
- 14 published book reviews on Amazon, BlogCritics, San Francisco Book Review, and Tulsa Book Review.
- 2 podcast interviews that included New Books Network.
- Alex Haley’s Roots was listed on “Kobo Next,” a collection of indie authored books selected by the staff at Kobo;
- Delivered first book talk and autograph signing at Under One Tent: Contra Costa Jewish Book and Arts Festival;
- Selected as one of nine books for Joseph’s Reviews’ end-of-the-year “Holiday Book List” and chosen by author D.G. Kaye’s “Discovering New Books.”
- Featured in my local hometown newspaper, the Castro Valley Forum and college alumni magazine, Chico Statements.
And finally, what to expect from me for 2015.
- The audiobook version of Alex Haley’s Roots
- A review of Alex Haley’s Roots in Publisher’s Weekly (not sure when; and no, I didn’t pay for it–remember shoestring budget).
- And, finally, completion of my next book, Under One Roof. It focuses on a courageous African American physician who led the struggle to overcome segregated housing and other facilities in Florida for Major League Baseball players during annual spring training–publication date: winter 2016 (cross your fingers).