When I first began the journey of becoming a writer, I had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t know how to properly edit my stories, I worked from ‘formulas’ that I’d read about (which ended up being wrong) and I didn’t have the first idea what promoting was about.
Fastforward to four years later and I can’t believe the things I’ve seen and done, as an author.
I have multiple 5 star reviews on most of my books. I’m one of the only people in my publishing house to rank well in the likes of Amazon India, Brazil, Italy and Japan. I have seen my books do amazing things in rankings, I’ve watched the reactions readers have had to them and I’ve had the messages to say what my stories mean to them.
For me, those are the important things in life. Stopping to take a moment and marvel over what I’ve achieved throughout my still relatively short career as an author. One huge thing is seeing my books alongside the names of giants in the genres I write within. I never thought a day would come when I had screenshots – AKA proof that will last forever! – of my books next to hugely amazing authors and books.
For example: Decadent and The Other Side (Decadent books 1 and 2) bookended Perks of Being a Wallflower on Amazon DE, taking the #1 and #3 spots consecutively. The Cellist once outranked Ella Frank; the A Royal Craving and Following Orders paperbacks outranked Max Vos and Amber Kell; A Royal Craving took the #3 spot in Psychic Romance in it’s second week of release, three spots ahead of Nora Roberts!
My books have sat beside, outranked or been on the same street as the likes of Kade Boehme, T.J. Klune, Jay Northcote, Max Vos, Kindle Alexander, Mary Calmes, J.A. Rock and Alexis Hall. All of whom are heavy hitters in the MM world. Most notably, they’ve also sat alongside the likes of Bill Konigsberg, David Levithan and Nora Roberts.
They say that a photo says more than a thousand words. That’s true for me. Seeing these screenshots of where my books have ranked and beside whom are like seeing all my hard work paying off. It reminds me why I do this – because people like the stories I want to tell and they appreciate the time and effort it takes to write them.
Reviews, for me, can be a double edged sword. Going to read a good review for a pick-me-up can often leave you feeling worse than when you started if you accidentally stumble across a bad review, whether you’ve read it before or not. Some word sting. For me, there’s no down side to seeing these screenshots. They’re a reminder of how close I came to outranking that author or how amazed I am that I made it anywhere near another author. They’re the push to get me feeling positive about my writing again, while inspiring me to work harder and do more to maybe get that one or two spots ahead.
Most of all, they remind me that it’s all worth it. Because even if one person enjoys a story I put out in the world then I’m doing my job. And that keeps me going.