Sunday, June 15, 2014
What a difference a YEAR makes!
Yes, it has officially been a year since I started my blog. Technically, that was yesterday. Flag Day! How did I miss that before? I don't know. It was motivated by the premiere of Man of Steel, not celebrating flags of any sort, so there you have it. You can read my first blog post here, and that will tell you about the whole Superman thing.
One year and 80 posts later, and a lot has changed. Now, my blog isn't just about me. I've been writing reviews, participating in blog tours, doing cover reveals (for me and others), having contests and giveaways and still occasionally posting about random ramblings or about my work.
As of the start of the blog, I hadn't gone back to social media yet. Now, I have not one, but TWO Facebook pages. I'd reconnected with many old friends and found that my 'author' page was becoming too personal, so, I created an actual Author Patti Korbet page. There, I share the posts of this blog, talk about my work, and help promote other authors, blogs and pages I support. Did I mention that I launched it on October 29, 2013? On February 28, two weeks before I published my third novel, Right Here Waiting, I had 48 LIKES. Today, I have 1,312. You read that right. I gained over 1,250 people paying attention to my author page in 3.5 months. Not that I haven't worked hard for that - on the contrary, I've worked my tushy off promoting others and offering contests or giveaways - but I am humbled by the very idea.
I'm on Twitter, too - @PKorbetAuthor. I don't go there as often as I did in the beginning - when I have big news to share, I post over there. Or, if I've been away a while and want to post a quick update, I sometimes, do that. I read my whole feed all the time in the early days. Now, I don't have the time because I follow too many people! That hasn't grown as steadily as Facebook, but it's all good. I mostly do it for fun and cross-promotion. I'll share the blog there or post the occasional teaser images. Today, I changed my background to the cover for my next book, This Year's Love, and I updated my top segment with a banner that shows all of my Ward Sisters covers.
Ah, covers, another thing that has changed a lot in a year. I hadn't even found the right image for book 1, Back to December, when I started the blog. The one I eventually chose is still the cover image, but I've tweaked it several times - adding taglines, changing fonts, changing text embellishments. I did the same thing with book 2, Only One. Part of why the cover changed so much was that I've learned how to really take advantage of the freeware program GIMP, which is the image manipulating software on my computer. Between talking with my friend, the amazing Rene Folsom at Phycel Designs, and trial and error, my skills have improved dramatically. I've finished all the covers for Ward Sisters, and I can't wait to move on to my other series.
Speaking of other series, did I mention that? Yep, it's another big change. While completing Right Here Waiting, I realized that I wanted to write for a couple of the story's secondary characters, but I didn't want them to be in the main series. Thus, a spinoff was born called Vega Brothers. As of now, I have 4 stories already planned, plotted (to some degree) and in some cases, partially written. Likewise, I was inspired to write for more of the soldiers who appear in Ward Sisters. It wasn't a stretch to combine that idea with a spinoff involving Deacon Security, the company which protects Deac Roberts in Back to December and is owned by his brother, Rick. That series has 4 books currently planned, plotted and also partially written. I'm intending it to have the possibility of being ongoing and tapping into the suspense category. I'll post about that soon.
Also soon? My second Blog Takeover. I did one a couple weeks ago and it was fun (and pushed me over the 1k mark). This next time, I'll have two whole hours and it'll be all about promo for the next book. I'm also hoping to organize a blog tour, but we'll see if that can come to fruition this time or if I should just wait for the next round. In August, we'll be at the 1-year mark for Back to December - my 1-Year Pubiversary - and I might save the major blog tour until then.
Either way, the next big thing is the publication of This Year's Love, Ward Sisters Series Book #4. With any luck, after months of struggling to assemble and massage and tweak and smooth, it will be published next weekend. I'll keep you posted, but either way, the next blog entry will be the synopsis and maybe some new teasers from the book. Look for that much later in the day.
In fact, I'm all savvy now, so I'm going to set this baby to post in daylight hours, and I'll do my sharing later. It has been a wild ride, but I've loved it! Maybe not every minute - there have been moments when I wanted to scream - but in an overview, it has been fantastic.
Here's to another year!