Thursday, June 9, 2011

SUMMER SECRETS hits #1 ON THE NYT E-Books Bestseller List

Wow!  Lots of exciting news today.  SUMMER SECRETS hit USA Today at #13 and on June 19th will be #1 on the New York Times E-Books Bestseller List.  I saw a preview copy yesterday and couldn't believe my eyes.

To make it even sweeter, DON'T SAY A WORD hit USA Today at #84 and on June 19th will be #24 on the New York Times E-Books Bestseller List.

To say I'm stunned would be an understatement, especially because these books are self-published backlist titles.  I got the rights back to the books last year and went into publisher mode.  I designed the covers, got the books scanned, formatted and uploaded to all the E-book sites, which was quite a labor intensive undertaking.  This is one reason I haven't been blogging much the past few months.  I've been putting up my backlist (12 titles and counting ...)

When I started the self-publishing experience, there wasn't as much information as there is now, so there was a lot of trial and error involved.

I soon realized that I was wearing a lot of hats, not just writer, but art designer, proofreader, copy editor.  I was in charge of marketing and tweeting and posting on Facebook and generally shouting my books and name to the universe.  I became very familiar with html and codes and even accidentally signed up to be an App developer at Apple when I really meant to sign up to upload my books to the IBookstore!  LOL. But hey maybe one day I'll do an app.

Everything seemed daunting at first.  Every time I went to a new site, I had that sinking feeling that I hoped I wasn't about to screw everything up when I hit upload.  Those of you who have been through this know exactly what I'm talking about.  The one great thing about doing everything myself was that I really learned how to do it all.  And I felt empowered!

I love being able to see my numbers in real-time.  I love being able to tweak a cover that isn't working.  I love being able to change a price and give readers a one day special here and there.  I'm thrilled that some of my favorite books that went out of print after only a few weeks are now available again.  That's the absolute best part.

I'm very excited that Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders/Kobo, Smashwords, Apple and Sony have made themselves available to self-publishing and have embraced my books.  All the booksellers have been very responsive and supporting, and I've had great experiences with all of them.

A lot of my friends are asking me what's next.  I'm still publishing books with Pocket.  My 5th and last book in the Angel's Bay Series, GARDEN OF SECRETS, comes out on Sept. 20th, 2011, and I'm really excited to bring Joe and Charlotte's story to life. I will have another book for Pocket after that so I definitely have my feet in both traditional and self-publishing and certainly appreciate the support I've had from my publishers.

Who knows what the future will bring? The book world is changing so fast.  I think for readers having more books to choose from is a win!  And for writers having more opportunities to get books into a reader's hands is also a win. I've also become a big fan of the Nook and the Kindle -- yes, I have both, and they're amazing.  I never thought I'd enjoy reading electronically, but I do.

I can't end this blog without giving a shout out to my friend Bella Andre/Lucy Kevin who gave me a tremendous amount of advice when I was getting started in this new endeavor.

Thanks for sharing my wonderful news.  If anyone has any questions, I'm happy to answer ...


  1. Congratulations, Barbara. What an exciting, terrifying time this is for writers. It's lovely you're having such tremendous success. You've clearly worked hard for it. Well done.

  2. This is wonderful! I hear you on the labor intensive part. Wow. Is it ever. I can't help wondering if publishers are paying attention to what's happening with backlist titles. They must be.

    It's been my opinion for years that the MMP approach that churns genre books and lets them die has been a hidden financial disaster for publishers. They've let a lot of money slip through their fingers and I'm wondering if they're thinking of changing that policy.

    What do you you think, Barbara? Other than being grateful they returned the rights to you?

  3. P.S. I guess you need to update your blog header now to NY Times Bestselling Author!

  4. Hi Lisa and Carolyn - Thanks for stopping by and for the congrats.

    I'm sure publisher policy is changing about backlist as we speak. Being able to keep books on the shelves forever is going to be great for both self pubs and traditional publishers. Before the inventory had to be replaced monthly or at least every few months. A lot of books got lost in the quick shuffle.

  5. Huge congrats to you, Barbara! This is so well deserved!

    I'm so glad to see this happening!

  6. Big, big congratulations. The success you're enjoying is well deserved given both your wonderful writing and all the hard work you put into this endeavor. Thanks for blogging about the experience, and for giving readers the opportunity to discover books that might otherwise have disappeared!

  7. Big congrats, Barbara! You deserve it.

  8. Whoo-hoo! You know I'm your biggest fan. I even went out last night to celebrate on your behalf. :)

    Bella Andre / Lucy Kevin

  9. Nobody deserves it more! And that header should read NUMBER ONE NYT bestseller. This is just the most incredibly cool thing ev-ah!

  10. You have both a Nook and a Kindle? Why did you decide to get both? So you could check your uploaded work for accuracy on multiple platforms or for some other reason? I'm always interested in why people chooose the tech that they do. C.

  11. Congrats Barbara! So excited for your well-deserved success! And thanks for sharing your experiences in e-pubbing. I just received the covers for my first 3 backlist titles and will be uploading them soon. This is such an exciting time to be an author.

  12. Congrats, Barbara. Can't wait for Charlotte and Joe's book.

  13. Yay Barbara! You've worked so hard and written so many wonderful books over the years, you deserve every bit of success! I hope you treat yourself to something wonderful soon if you haven't already!

  14. Thanks everyone!

    Carolyn - I got a kindle early on and then when I saw the Nook color, I really wanted it :-) I did justify the expense by telling myself I really needed to see how my books looked on all the platforms :-) Now my son has taken over my Kindle, so it turned out to be a good investment.

  15. Thank you for realizing what a great thing it is to have ebooks. I have several of your books already and will look forward to some of your past books. It sure is wonderful when you are traveling to just take one object with you instead of several bags of books.
    Marilynn Layden
    Pueblo West, CO

  16. What an incredible accomplishment! You need to write more about how you did this because a lot of self-published authors will be inspired by your story. I've been hooked by the first few pages and even recommended it to my dad, who's a sailor. (Hey, guys like romances too -- we just don't talk about it so much).

  17. Wow, Barbara, I didn't know you had self-published. I'm almost finished Summer Secrets, it's the first book I read by you and purchased it because the blurb intrigued me, and now I will definitely be looking for more. I also enjoy writing the same genre, so I was intrigued. Kudos to you for persevering and it's great to see you are doing so well!

  18. Hi Dan - I do have some male fans and I always love to hear from them!

    Hey Catherine - So glad you're enjoying the book! I love finding new readers!