Mirror, Mirror

Maddie and I...tired and checking ourselves out in the mirror.

Maddie and I…tired and checking ourselves out in the mirror.

If I asked, “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall…who is the fairest of them all?” I would receive a very blank stare. Instead I might notice that reflection staring back at me is of a woman with wild, frizzy hair and very tired eyes. In fact, you could pack for a European vacation in those bags under her eyes, but if I look a little closer, I see it. A smile. This woman may be exhausted from the demands of raising a toddler, the long hours required as a work-from-home teacher, and the pressures of newly minted second career as a writer, but she is happy.

It’s true. I am tired, but I am happy. I have this little person in my life that I always dreamed of having. She lights up my world and cracks me up. I work very hard at my teaching job and I have survived eleven years in this grueling profession thus far. I have a fabulous husband that I met fifteen years ago yesterday. We met on his twenty-third birthday and we just celebrated his thirty-eighth with our daughter, his dad, and some delicious food. Who knew when I walked up to his table as a waitress all of those years ago that I would meet my future husband, best friend, and father to my children? I am a lucky woman.

My hubby, backing me up

My hubby, backing me up

I added writing to all of the wonderful things I have in my life. I began by using writing in my journal as a catharsis for all that I have been through. I was encouraged by my best child friend to put these musings into a book. I self published my first book a little over a month ago and low and behold, people actually read it! The knowledge of this still gives me a stomach ache, but the outpouring of support from those who have read my innermost thoughts and feelings has been truly amazing.

Here’s the thing about writing a book. It is definitely hard to write a book, but it is even harder to market yourself after you are done writing. I am not a salesperson. I know nothing about marketing. I am brand new to the world of indie authors. I am much better at making fun of myself than giving myself kudos. Most importantly, I have no time. I have this tiny taskmaster called a toddler and she is a very demanding dictator, who still does not sleep through the night. So, here I am. I have a book out that I am extremely proud of and my goal is not to make millions (I am actually laughing out loud at that thought). My goal is reach those readers that would be particularly helped by my unique story. But how do I reach those readers without a lick of marketing savvy?

As an author enrolled in the Kindle Direct Publishing program, you can choose to give your book away for free as a promotion. You even get to pick the exact day! I picked my husband’s birthday. My friend, Bridget, helped me by listing my book on her company’s website, Ereader News Today. I also submitted my book to a list of other companies that advertise your book on your free day for free. It turns out that you can pay people to market your book for you, but I am on a teacher’s salary and need to spend my hard earned cash on diapers. I had no idea what to expect from this one day of promotion, but I was blown away.

I do not have a mirror on the wall to list my accolades, so I am going to go ahead and brag about myself. If you are an indie author like me, maybe these statistics will solidify your decision to take part in one of Amazon’s promotions.

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  • The number of units “sold” for free was in the thousands in just twenty-four hours.
  • I was the #1 best seller in the categories of “Motherhood” and “Memoirs”
  • I was the #2 best seller in the category of “Biographies and Memoirs” (out of 169,000 + books)
  • I was the #10 best seller in the category of Nonfiction (out of nearly 1.9 million books)
  • I made it to #97 on the best seller list for ALL Kindle ebooks (almost 4 million books)
  • I made the best seller lists in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Denmark in the categories of Biographies/Memoirs, Nonfiction, and Parenting

I admit. I woke up with a big head this morning and it was not all hair. Please excuse the narcissism and I promise to resume poking fun at myself. Before I do, I just want to thank all of my friends, family, and loved ones who showered me with support yesterday and made the day a great success. I want to give a special thank you to my dear husband, who allowed me to steal his birthday thunder and acted as my personal cheerleader. If you are one of my dear readers who downloaded my book for free, know that it is my honor to have you read my book. If I were to ask, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall…who is the most grateful of them all?” the answer is me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.