Reflecting on the Old Year and Welcoming the New
It has been exactly one year since I became a published author. On the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve 2021 going into 2022, I released the eBook version of The Sword and the Spark. Two weeks later, the paperback followed, and two months later, I had a hardcover for sale. Since then, I have not broken any sales records, but I have made huge creative gains.
I, CE Groom, the woman who was terrified of having other people read her work, sold the first 100 copies of The Sword and the Spark in the first three months of the year. Prior to hitting that benchmark, I had never had any work of prose fiction in so many people’s hands in my life, and you can bet that impostor syndrome was plaguing me in a way I couldn’t have imagined.
In July, however, the book received its first glowing review and digital book sticker from Readers' Favorite, an independent website, which was both my second major benchmark and a nice little balm to soothe that nagging impostor syndrome. To have had a total stranger read the book and decide that it was not just good but worthy of commendation was helpful in alleviating my constant self-doubt—at least to a minor degree.
In September, I sat at my first convention table. I got to talk about my book a lot, and I sold several print copies. I also met other writers and artists, and for an avid sci-fi convention-goer, the entire experience was a dream come true.
In November, I received another awesome digital book sticker in the form of an IAN (Independent Author Network) Book of the Year Finalist award. This time, an entire committee of strangers had collectively agreed that the book was good, and while it did not receive a winner’s sticker, it was truly an honor to have made the short list.
In December, twelve months after I had nervously (and very quietly) sent my novel into the world, it received a B.R.A.G. Medallion along with a fantastic critical evaluation. That same month, I also learned that while it did not make the BIBA (Best Indie Book Award) list, it had reached the final round of evaluations, meaning that once again, a committee had decided that the book was good enough to advance through all the other rounds of judging, even if it didn’t make it to the top of the list.
In addition to these big moments, there has been a steady flow of creative encouragement throughout the year in the form of incredible reader feedback on social media, website messages, and the published reviews on Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. And of course, what really tickles me is that the final sale of the year on the very last day of the year was a hardcover edition of the book.
In the end, 2022 was an exciting first year for me as a published author, but this journey is just beginning. In two weeks, I will be attending my second convention as an author, and I am nearly finished with the first draft of the second book of The Order of the Silver Sword series. I have no idea what else might be in store for me and my writing this coming year, but I can tell you for certain that I’m going to enjoy the ride, wherever it takes me.
Stars light your way.