I'd never heard of Facebook Ads, didn't have a newsletter, a website or a blog and no marketing plan.
And of course the was no Kindle Unlimited.
Looking back, when I think about it boy I was one lucky duckie. For a month, I traded the #1 spot in Gay romance with Kade Boehme, whom I didn't even know at the time. We joke about it now, because those days seem so long ago and we were so naive to think it would last forever.
Boy were we wrong.
Fast forward three short years, and the MM romance world exploded and imploded; new writers poured in and we've been treated to some wonderful storytelling. But some ugly stuff was also revealed and it became harder and harder to not only get to that number one spot in Gay Romance, but to get noticed at all. Kindle Unlimited swept through the romance genre like a brush fire (some may say a fungus but I digress), and publishers started folding.
It was worrisome, not because of ranking, which has no correlation to sales anymore—thank you Amazon—but because I've seen my friends lose their spark and joy of writing. I see stress and sadness and fear and it makes me incredibly sad. I feel as though our happiness has been stolen from us and I hate it.
I have made the most incredible friendships with people from this community these past few years; sometimes I find myself wishing I could live in this book community with the authors and readers I've met and chatted with, instead of the real world out there.
I want to get back to that place where we found our joy in writing about people falling in love. I wouldn't trade these past three years for anything. Maybe I am still THAT naive to think it will all turn out okay.
In case you didn't know, I have a book coming out next week! Under the Boardwalk is a 37k novella set in the Landmark series world that Kade and I created. the first book was Kade's Ferry-Tale and now I bring you Alexi and Cam. I hope you enjoy their story. The beautiful shot is by Eric McKinney of Cover'd by 6:12 and the cover art is of course by Reese Dante.