Like so many others, my life completely changed when the pandemic hit and continues to be a whirlwind. I lost my job in March 2020, 7 months pregnant. Then add in all of the trauma of that third birth. Rewind through my blog if you’re new here :) What started as journaling through all of the emotional and physical pain of that time in my life has turned into a whole new life altogether. Last year, you couldn’t convince that I would be here now. Last December I had just started the process of deciding to self- publish and building my book team. One year later, I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR, I have my own publishing company, 2 published titles- my original Ari the Brave and My Feelings are a Hurricane (co-authored with my 7-year-old daughter), 2 low content books, and a Spanish version of Ari the Brave. Almost 1,000 books sold within the last 5 months- it’s unbelievable!
I feel so fortunate to have so much support in my life. My family and friends really believed in this journey and pushed me to keep going through the tough moments. I also built an incredible community of other author and illustrator friends. The publishing community is so uplifting and supportive. Everybody wants to see each other succeed. It’s incredible. Thank you to everybody reading this who has taken this ride with me.
Here’s a quick snapshot of my author life this past year!
January- signed contracts with an illustrator and a book designer, met with an author coach and a marketing specialist, secured beta readers
February- had the first Ari the Brave book professionally edited, began illustrations, took professional author photos, joined Instagram
March- collaborated with Child Life Specialists across the country, got on my first podcast, began planning Kickstarter as a preorder platform
April- completed the cover for Ari the Brave, launched Kickstarter, landed some media spots announcing my book, hustled my ass off like never before
May- CRUSHED my Kickstarter goal by over 200%, started working on the accompanying Ari the Brave Teaching Guide, launched www.rainbowwingspublishing.com, Anabelle pitched her book idea to me, Anabelle signed contract with Rainbow Wings Publishing
June- Ari the Brave illustrations completed, book designer placed the text, book formatted for ebook, hardcovers, and paperbacks, final proofreading, all files sent to the printer, My Feelings Are A Hurricane edited and signed an illustrator, the real Ari the Brave turned 1
July- Ari the Brave hardcover books received and began fulfilling preorders, planned launch party, uploaded all files to Amazon
August- My Feelings Are A Hurricane illustrations completed, cover completed, book designer placed text and formatted all files, final proofreading, BOTH BOOKS LAUNCHED, market, market, market
September- began illustrations for Ari the Brave book 2, sent book 2 to beta readers, started utilizing Amazon ads for both books, visited schools to read Ari the Brave, ordered custom plushie characters, donated 150 books to children’s hospitals and schools around south Florida
October- translated Ari the Brave to Spanish and launched the Spanish edition, received my first Amazon royalty check
November- launched hardcovers for My Feelings Are A Hurricane, landed my first author event and sold over 30 books in a few hours, Ari the Brave reaches 6 continents
December- about half way done with illustrations for Ari the Brave book 2, began working with Anabelle on a second book in her Feelings series, began prepping Kickstarter as a platform for preordering Ari the Brave book 2
Wow! What a year it has been!