2015 Year in Review: what a ride, baby!

Best of 2015 - Product ReviewWhat an amazing year. Not a dull (or idle) moment. In 2015 I celebrated my sixth year as a published author, my one-year Indieversary, and published my 22nd book (Stranded with the Cyborg). I set some new personal records,writing more than ever, producing my first print book, first audio book, and venturing into some new genres, notably romantic comedy and nonfiction. I also started a new series, Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance.

I started a new SFR series. Book 2 will be published Jan. 5, 2016, Book 3 in March 2016.

I started a new SFR series. Book 2 will be published Jan. 5, 2016, Book 3 in March 2016.

The year by the numbers:

Brand new releases – 7 (previous record 5 in 2013)

Backlist Re-releases  – 1

  • Longing (previously titled A Scent of Longing), paranormal – July
IAaward for blog

Irresistible Attractions was nominated for Best BDSM Book of the Year. Winners to be announced at the BDSM Writers Con in 2016.

Print books – 2 – my first ones

  • Goddess’s Curse
  • Naughty Words for Nice Writers

Audio books – 1 – another first

  • Stranded with the Cyborg

Words written – 264,918 (1,060 manuscript pages). A new writing record!

Previous record 217, 936 in 2013

Blogging

  • Blogs posted -239 (4.5 per week)
  • Page hits/views – 87,357/117,711
  • Page hits/views since inception: 461,169/734,741

Newsletters sent – 17

  • Newsletter subscription increase from 75 on Jan. 1 to 504 by Dec. 31. (500 subscribers was my goal for 2015)

Awards & Recognition

  • Irresistible Attractions, Rod and Cane 6, was nominated for a Golden Flogger Award for Best BDSM Book of the Year in the advanced category by the BDSM Writers Con.
  • Irresistible Attractions was also a finalist in Scorching Romance Reviews 2015 Sex Scene Championship.
  • Goddess’s Curse was a Grave Tell’s Reader’s Choice nominee in the fantasy category.

Marketing overview

I stepped up my promotional activities and tried a lot of new things and took out more paid

I produced my first nonfiction work, a sexy thesaurus for romance authors, available in ebook and print.

I produced my first nonfiction work, a sexy thesaurus for romance authors, available in ebook and print.

advertising and promotional activities than ever before. I found a few things that worked, and many that didn’t. My goal this year, was to decrease blogging, but I kind of shot myself in the foot by participating in SpankA2Z Blog Challenge in which I wrote one blog a day every day for 28 days. Not a good way to slow down. Lol. More highlights:

  • Secured a Book Bub deal for Irresistible Attractions (Jan. 2, 2016 – tomorrow!)
  • Cold Nights Hot Reads blog hop
  • SpankA2Z
  • Saturday Spankings
  • Weekend Writing Warriors
  • Facebook advertising
  • Goodreads advertising
  • BTS Magazine Advertising
  • RWR Report advertising
  • Subscribing to Reading Alley
  • StrandedwtCyborgAudio

    After being released in ebook, Stranded with the Cyborg was released as an audio book.

    Paid email promos through WTRAFSOG (What to read after Fifty Shades)

  • Night Owl Reviews Scavenger Hunt
  • Many virtual book tours, my own and others coordinated by Goddess Fish and Enchantress of Books
  • 17 author newsletters
  • Attended Lori Fosters Reader and Author Get-Together
  • Attended OraCon 2015.

The most effective activities in terms of generating sales and visibility were: my author newsletter, book tours arranged through Goddess Fish, and Facebook advertising (boosting posts on my FB Author page). Book Bub may prove to the be most successful of all, but I won’t know until after tomorrow, when the deal takes effect. The least effective activity was advertising on Goodreads. That was a total bomb.I will never do it again.

Personal highlights (in case you’re interested)

  • My husband and I took three one-week out-of-town trips (Mar., Aug. and Oct.) and one three-week vacation ( a European River cruise in Nov,), so I operated on a 10 1/2 month work year.
  • I challenged myself to read 100 books in 2015, which I accomplished, finishing 105.
  • I walked for exercise, getting 10,000 steps (about 4.25 miles for me) nearly every day.
  • I was in physical therapy on two separate occasions for torn rotator cuffs in both  shoulders (another time suck as PT took 2  1/2 hours including drive time).
  • I started a yoga class twice week (kind of dropped out after the 3-week European trip. I need to get back to it).

And that was the year that was!

Get notified of new books in 2016. Subscribe to my author newsletter.

 

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10 Responses to 2015 Year in Review: what a ride, baby!

  1. Lisa Medley says:

    That is a damn good year, my friend. Now, what are your 2016 resolutins, ha!

  2. Whew! This is awesome!!! So many amazing things accomplished. Congrats and I hope 2016 is even more productive for you. ^_^

  3. Congratulations on a fabulous 2015!

  4. Wow–amazing year in review, Cara. Happy 2016!

  5. Stacey Thomas says:

    Wow You’ve been busy!
    Any more Rod and Cane books coming ? I have really enjoyed them.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Yes, as a matter of fact, there is another Rod and Cane coming. Just in time for Valentines Day. I have a secret Rod and Cane coming out in an anthology that will be available for preorder Jan. 12. (official pub date in Feb.).

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