2014 in review: a year of change and growth

cara at book fair

Me at the Romantic Times Convention book fair.

I’ll remember 2014 as the year of change, growth, and new ventures. After celebrating my five-year “authorversary,” commemorating my first publishing contract—I went rogue and plunged into self-publishing. I tried many new things, both with my writing, but also my promotional efforts.

Just the highlights, ma’am:

  • I had four new titles published, Milestones, an anthology with other authors; Terran (Breeder 2), Long Shot (Corbin’s Bend series), and Warrior (Breeder 3). That brought my total published title count to 16.
  • The rights to eight titles from three publishers reverted Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00014]back to me. I rereleased four, self-publishing them along with Warrior, bringing my Indie book count to five.
  • I wrote four new books, a total of 198,000 words (792 manuscript pages): Long Shot, Warrior, Reasonable Doubts (A Rod and Cane Society romance), and The Goddess’s Curse, the latter two with 2015 release dates.
  • I posted (writing most of) 269 blogs during the year, and on December 11, 2014, posted my 1000th blog. On July 28th,  my blog received its 10,000th  comment. During 2014, this blog received 127,117 visits and 204,612 page views, bringing its lifetime total to  373,812 visits and 617, 030 page views (since April 16, 2010). Mid-year I added a plugin allowing visitors to sign up to receive email notification of new posts and ended the year with 189 on my subscriber list.
  • Vector flying Star with light pink christmas backgroundMy Twitter following increased from 4,758 to 5,860. I don’t know how many Facebook friends I started with, but I ended the year with 1,476.
  • In November I started a New Release Newsletter subscriber list and ended 2014 with 75 subscribers.
  • In mid-December, I joined Tsu.com, a new social media site similar to Facebook, and ended the year with 71 friends and 34 followers (and 12 children).
  • A high point of the year was attending RT in New Orleans, my second RT conference, in which I met authors Celeste Jones, Sue Lyndon and Alta Hensley.  I also attended ORAcon in Springfield, Mo.
  • I held many promotions throughout the year, including $100 prize giveaways
    CaraBristol_RandCSociety_ReasonableDoubts_400x600

    Coming January 13, 2015!

    for the release of Terran and Warrior and for my weeklong Authorversary Prize-a-Palooza. I bought a couple of cases of Spanking Bottom Red Wine, which I used as promotional giveaways, handed out wooden spoons at RT, did spanking gift baskets at RT (with Sue and Celeste) and ORAcon. Throughout the year, I did many blog hops and donated books and smaller gift certificates.

  • For use in 2015, I developed the Rod and Cane Society membership card, created Rod and Cane coffee mugs and had hats printed for my Street Team, which stands at 18 members. I contributed several recipes to the Corbin’s Bend cookbook.
  • I took out some paid advertising on The Romance Reviews, Facebook, and BTS magazine, the latter which will appear in January 2015.

I did this in what probably amounted to a 9-month year due to assisting my mother before, during and after two separate surgeries and a month spent traveling in four one-week  out-of-town trips.

As for what 2015 holds…wow. I hesitate to go on record with everything I’m considering, but you can expect a least three to four brand new romances, the re-release of more backlisted titles, and possibly a nonfiction book or two. I may also venture beyond ebooks into other media. I want to grow my newsletter list and do more frequent, but less costly promotions. I hope to attend another writer’s conference, but it won’t be RT this year.

♥ ♥ ♥

rc mugWant to be notified of new romances, but don’t want to receive  lot of email? Sign up for my New Release Newsletter. You’ll only get an email when I have a new book out (approximately 4 to 6 times per year). Subscribe now and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a Rod and Cane Society coffee mug. Winners will be announced in the inaugural issue in mid-January.

 

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14 Responses to 2014 in review: a year of change and growth

  1. Sounds like it was a good year. Cheers to 2015 being even better for us all! 🙂

  2. S.J. Maylee says:

    Definitely a good year. I’ve learned a lot from you and loved everything you released. I’m very anxious to read what you give us this year. 🙂
    I have made writing goals before, but nothing like what I have for this year. It will be interesting to see what actually happens.
    Here’s to our best year yet!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thanks, SJ. This time for the first time, I am going to put my goals down on paper. I usually have a plan, but keep it in my head. But this year, I have so much going on, I feel the need to write it down.

  3. Congrats, Cara! That’s a hefty list of accomplishments.

  4. Laurel Lasky says:

    You’ve had an awesome year with much more for 2015. Yay and congrats to you.

  5. Best wishes to you in making 2015 your most productive year yet!

  6. Really enjoyed meeting you in person in 2015 and I LOVED your books, so best wishes for a highly productive 2015!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you, Veronica. I so appreciate all your help–all the mentions you gave in me in your USA Today HEA column.

  7. Wow, I’m tired just reading what you’ve accomplished, Cara! You are a true role model for other writers and authors-to-be. All the best to you in 2015.

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