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Monday, November 19, 2012

Making Dreams Come True


Years ago, when I started writing, I had a dream.

A dream that someone other than my friends and family would actually read my stories. And hopefully like them.

I never cared (and still don't) about the money. About the lists. About the contracts.

I really just wanted someone to read my books.

This was before everyone was self-pubbing. And at the time, I figured...if I don't get my books published in the "traditional" way, I'll just post it for free on a website. So folks can read it.

My critique partners were pretty much horrified by that idea.

Lo and behold, I did get a publishing contract for my first book. With a small digital press. My sales were not high, although by the standards for this publisher, they were fine. But in the great scheme of things, not a lot of folks were reading my book.

It wasn't in print, it wasn't in bookstores, most folks didn't even know that it existed.

Jump forward to the year 2012. Two years after a scary-ass heart attack. Two years of soul-searching. I write a book...for me. With a hairy, bearded guy. I know plenty of women don't like hairy, bearded guys, but I wrote this book to heal my own personal wounds after a near-death experience, and to reignite my passion for writing.

I decide to try my hand at self-pubbing. Not only does the book do pretty well, but unexpectedly, most folks are digging it.

And so, years after I started my writing "career," I decided to give my book away for free after all. I offered it as a freebie at Amazon, thinking..."Maybe I'll give away 1000 books?"

17,000 downloads in five days put LUMBERJACK IN LOVE into the top 10 contemporary romance Kindle freebie list.

17,000.

I know there are plenty of authors who sell/download many more books. And for profit. But for me, this is a dream-come-true. 17,000 people have my book. And hopefully some of them will actually read it.

:^)

I have been getting emails and messages and tweets and Facebook posts from total strangers. Folks who are reading my book and like it. And they keep saying the same thing..."Your book made me happy." "Your book made me laugh out loud." "Your book brightened my day."

I am humbled this morning. How many times in your life can you say that your dream came true?

Well, one of mine came true this week.

I didn't make any money, but I did make people happy.

I have many, many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Season. Making some folks happy with my lumberjack story is one of them.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this crazy journey with me!

All my thanks,
Penelope


27 comments:

Dee Fisher said...

can't wait to read it! I bought it the first day it was free - maybe it will be a thanksgiving weekend read ;)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
I looved LIJ!

Julia Barrett said...

You already know how happy I am for you. I knew this was the right move. And better things yet to come!

KB/KT Grant said...

WOOT!

Chants "sequel sequel"

Penelope said...

Dee...I can totally see this as a Thanksgiving weekend read...turkey sammies + bearded lumberjack + hot apple cider (spiked) = super fun weekend!

Penelope said...

Juju....Thanks so much for your friendship and support. You are awesomesauce!

Penelope said...

Julia...thank you for the good advice. KDP Select rocks! Yeee hawwwww!

Penelope said...

Hi Kate! Have 2 more lumberjack books in the works...:^)

Beebs said...

I'm glad your dreams came true, you can add me to the list of people you made smile. I rarely read contemporary books and I wouldn't normally go for hairy men but I'm so glad I gave this book a try, I loooovvvvved Marcus. Thrilled you're writing more lumberjacks. :)

Amber Skyze said...

I'm so happy for you! I've had it and hope to read it soon. I'm sure this is only the beginning of good things for you.

Geek Amicus said...

Congrats Penny! 17,000 people who get introduced into your world of beardy goodness is awesome. The thing that I am taking away from this post is you have more lumberjacks?? Cool. I can't wait. You know I never manage to make it to "freebie weekend". So, you have purchased a short drip Starbucks on my royalties alone. With two more lumberjacks, I may be able to bump you up to tall chai.

Penelope said...

Beebs...I'm slowly bringing you over to the dark side of hairy heroes...:^)

Penelope said...

Thank you, Amber. I am pretty thrilled right now!

Penelope said...

Geek! Thank you! Yes, there are more lumberjacks in my future. The next one is named...Jack. :^)

Heather Massey said...

Inspiring story. Congratulations! Hairy, bearded heroes are vastly under appreciated. Go you!

Tasha B. said...

Aw, this post made me tear up. Congratulations, Penny! You rock!

Geek Amicus said...

Oooh, Jack. I think I like it. Love that name. Actually, it has been pointed out to me that I have a thing for men with one syllable names. Single syllable and fur -- can't go wrong with that.

JenM said...

Hooray! It definitely put a smile on my face when I read it, and I'm thrilled that there are more to come!

Tom Stronach said...

We don't celebrate thanksgiving over here but I am thankful that I have met you, Julia and Jaye, you three always brighten my day and your book made Ishbel smile even although she bought it before it was for free

Keep making us smile our Dear Delicious PENNY xxxxx

Penelope said...

Thanks, Heather. I totally agree! I wish there were more bearded heroes, too.

Penelope said...

Thanks, Tasha! *hands a tissue*

Penelope said...

Geek: Single Syllable Name + Fur = Win!

Penelope said...

JenM, Thank you so much!

Penelope said...

Tom, I'm so glad I "met" you and Ishbel, too. Tell her again I said THANK YOU for reading my book!

Lindsay said...

So awesome and a great way to think about it. When I did my first promotion, which my 11,000 downloads pales to your 17,000 I felt the same way. I just couldn't believe that people had my book and as reviews came in I was shocked to see that they liked it too! Money is great, and I hope to make more of it with my writing, but making something that someone else loves is a wonderful feeling!

Melissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penelope said...

Thanks, Lindsay! It is a great feeling!