My annual year-in-review post is always enlightening for me. It allows me to keep a history of what I’ve done (I often refer to past year’s reviews) and to evaluate what occurred. When I lay it all out there, I gain useful insights that I apply to the next year. 2016 was my “try it” year. I had decided I was going to experiment to see what worked.
I’d written a pretty extensive business plan, and overall I’m satisfied with what I accomplished. While I didn’t do everything on “my list,” I achieved all my priorities, and I had the flexibility to take advantage of some pretty significant unforeseen opportunities that came my way. My biggest news of the year, I guess, is that I hit the USA Today Bestseller list.
Here are the other highlights of 2016:
11 book releases – 6 new titles and 5 re-releases. I had no idea I’d released this many books until I started writing this post. It averaged out to one per month, except for August and December!
- January – Mated with the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 2) – new
- February – Bound, Spanked & Loved (multiple author anthology) – new
- March – Captured by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 3) – new
- April – Educating His Bride, historical spanking romance – re-release
- May – Portals, vol. 2, sci-fi romance multiple author anthology -1st chapter excerpts of previously published work
- June – Trapped with Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance 4) – new
- July – Destiny’s Chance, reincarnation paranormal – re-release
- September – Married to the Cyborg – new FREE to newsletter subscribers (click here to subscribe & get the book).
- September – Domestic Discipline, two-story single author anthology, Rahm’s Way & Wife on the Lam, re-release
- October –Pets in Space, multiple author science fiction anthology – new
- November – Body Talk, single author anthology/sampler of sex scene excerpts – previously published material
- My co-authors and I hit the USA Today Bestseller List with Bound, Spanked & Loved
- Pets in Space was named the Best Book of 2016 in genre fiction by the Library Journal.
- Gravetells Book Awards nominated me for Most Engaging Author
- Trapped with the Cyborg took 2nd place in the Readers Choice Poll by Jo & Isa Love Books
- Irresistible Attractions was a finalist for a Golden Flogger Award, Best BDSM book of the year.
Words written in 2016 – 203,114
Marketing and Promotion
My plan for the year was to try many new things, which I did. Some campaigns/tactics were successful, some were not. Tactics included:
- Multi-author prize giveaway campaigns
- Extending book distribution to include iBooks & Kobo (previously had used only Amazon, BN & ARe).
- Many 99-cent sales on backlisted books
- Paid advertising on Facebook, book newsletters, book review/blog sites
- Offered contests, games & prize giveaways
- Virtual book tours for every book release
- Submitted books for review to bloggers
- Joined NetGalley
- Joined Instagram, ending the year with 386 followers and making 101 posts.
- Produced books graphics (learned to use Canva!)
- Participated in author take-over events on FB
- Wrote and distributed 24 author newsletters
- Increased newsletter subscriber base from 508 to 1,995. My goal was 2,000 subs. I didn’t quite hit the mark, but I think I can round up and call it good.
- Blogged, posted on FB, and Tweeted
- Blog posts – 267
- I posted my 1,500th blog on Dec. 19, 2016 (First blog posted on April 16, 2010)
- Blog visits/page views in 2016: 52,127/67,291
- Total blog visits/page views to date (2010-2016): 513,296/802,032
- Sometime during the year, carabristol.com had its 500,000th visit (half a million).
- My husband and I took a week’s vacation to Colonial Williamsburg
- We bought a new SUV
- I went to Florida with my mom.
- I spent the last six months of the year helping my mother who suffered a series of surgeries, injuries & illnesses (knee replacement, broken foot, foot surgery, spinal disc infection, pneumonia, bowel infection).
- I read 64 books
Goals for 2017
I plan to focus exclusively on science fiction romance and spend more time marketing fewer books. I will wrap up the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series with Carter’s story, and begin a new sooper sekrit sci-fi romance series. As I write this, I’m working on a brand new alien sci-fi romance. I’ve accepted an invitation to participate in two SFR anthologies. I have some backlisted books I need to re-release and/or update. I plan to trim my newsletter subscriber list, deleting inactive subscribers and then growing the list organically. And, I will pursue new advertising opportunities.
What are you most proud of that occurred in 2016?
What are your goals for 2017?