The end of the year always demands introspection and reflection, especially for me. As the year changes so does my age. I was blessed enough to be born on the last day of the year, so I am always looking back. 2016 was a bang up year for America– black men were killed at alarming rates, Trump was elected President, and many of the 80s and 70s’ pop icon that we grew up with passed away.
But we pressed on, at least I did. I didn’t do everything I set out to do, but 2016 was a break through year for me as an author. Check out the year in rewind and hopefully a literary jewel or two will trickle from this post into your lap.
- The very first reading I participated in was a paid reading and I sold books at the event. Could you imagine my shock, that I would be paid to read from my own book. Speeches I understand, but I never expected to be paid just to be just to read my work.
2. I started coaching authors. Some of my authors booked me to work on their writing and some of them booked me to teach them marketing strategies. Some of them listened and some of them didn’t. LOL. In the end we both were stretched and grew. Wanna work with me too? To book your Publishing Pow-Wow today click here or click the photo below.
3. I got a chance meet Kevin Powell. We were seated beside each other at the Black Book Fair. He bought a book and signed up for my mailing list. I don’t know if he read said book, but I was excited nonetheless for a potential new reader. As long as he has the book the possibility is there.
4. I became a staff writer for Memoirs of a Virtuous Woman. If you’re a Christian woman trying to live right and deal with real issues you need to pop over there. This position was a great win because someone that I worked with (Why did I type that past tense? Was that prophetic? I hope so.) someone that I work with was very adamant about me ditching Jesus and just writing for a secular platform. I said no and a month later I got this gig, which ultimately landed me in the Memoirs of a Virtuous Woman magazine as well. Whatever your convictions are hold onto them.
5. I met with a live bookclub here in New York City. Bookclubs are secret societies. The only way in is if you know somebody that knows somebody. Thankfully at my first reading of the year I met somebody who was a member of the Sugar and Spice bookclub. Many authors live off of bookclubs and as a new author while I recommend connecting with bookclubs invest your efforts in connecting with readers; they will always lead you to more readers whether they run in packs or not.
6. I went to Chicago. I didn’t do anything touristy, but I totally and completely loved attending, Book It. I had such a great time I’m going back again in 2017 by God’s grace. I also had the opportunity to meet some readers whom I know and love online in the flesh.
7. I finally learned how to properly promote my books and brand on Instagram. Yes, for real. I learned how to promote myself and my work and actually make sales. Want to learn as well? I wrote a book about it and taught a class on it make sure you grab each one Influence to Income Workbook and Influence to Income Video
8. I learned the power of going Live streaming. After teaching one class while Live streaming I booked a gig to teach a Smart Social Media Management class for authors.
9. I took the whole entire family to a book event. First of all the kids are already on the payroll, but we let the hubs tag along. We all made it out alive, so maybe just maybe I’ll let them join me on the road again.
10. I got invited to speak at a library in North Carolina. Now that was a sore spot for me because every time I tried to book a trip or talk at a local library as someone suggested to me a long time ago it just never went right and then BAM! I got an invite. Though it is often said you shouldn’t wait for an opportunity you should create your own recognize that sometimes it’s just not your time. While there I met the and ate dinner with the Victorious Ladies Reading and if you don’t know who they are you better ask somebody.
11. I wrote and published my first non-fiction book, Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion: Prayers for Creative Christians and Entrepreneurs.
12. I sold out of Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion on the day of its release at the Christian Book Lover’s Retreat (which if you haven’t registered for it, please do yourself a favor and register).
14. I finally made up in my mind that no matter what goes on around me I would write until God tells me to have a seat.
15. I returned to my first love several times this year. I wrote some poetry. One of my poems was retweeted by Errol Lewis of NY1. Of course, I had to tag him first.
16. Opportunities abound and possibility is everywhere you just have to seek it, speak it, and walk in it.
How was 2016 for you??? Share some of your highlights and lessons with me.