We all know that 2020 was a rough year. And that's putting it mildly. But we thought we'd try to look back at it and focus on what went right, rather than on what went wrong. So here's our list of good things that happened last year:
January 1, 2020: Our second book, Hunter's Moon, was released.
April 1, 2020: Our third book, The Disposable, by our first UK author, was released.
May 5, 2020: Our fourth book, The Land of the Purple Ring, was released.
June 2, 2020: Our fifth book, Skate the Thief, was released.
August 4, 2020: Our sixth book and first sci-fi, The Cosmic Turkey, was released.
October 6, 2020: Our seventh book and first romance, Painter of the Dead, was released.
Aside from events that have a concrete date affixed to them . . .
We saw our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram platforms grow throughout the year.
We connected with lots of readers, including bloggers and established authors, and our books received many excellent reviews and endorsement quotes.
We made countless puns as part of our marketing. (What? I [Sarah] count that as a good thing! ;)
We were also able to put our books in many indie bookstores and libraries.
Although we did encounter a significant setback around the end of April and had to do some reorganizing, such as cutting The Writers' Collective, it helped us refocus on what truly matters to us: putting great books in the hands of readers. Giving quality authors with small platforms the chance they deserve, and helping them grow their platform.
That's a difficult endeavor; we know we're playing a long game. But we have each other for support and encouragement. We don't think of ourselves so much as a company, but as a team. We're honored to have so many loyal fans and supporters as part of our team as well!
When I was a kid, I used to love watching underdog sports movies such as The Sandlot, Little Giants, and The Mighty Ducks. I always saw myself in the "dorky" kids, especially the quiet, bullied ones. But I never dreamed I'd do anything that could be called great—those movies' plots always seemed like something I'd never experience in real life: a come-from-behind win.
But now, in my 30s, I'm beginning to dream again. I've realized that going it alone, striving just for my own gain, is not what I want and not enough to get me out of bed in the morning. I didn't come up with the idea to start Thinklings (that was Deborah), but now that we have made Thinklings a reality, I've discovered it was the passion I'd been looking for all along.
I also realized that "great" is not what I thought it was. It's not found in the number of books we sell, how many followers we have, how many fantastic reviews we get, or whether we have any bestsellers.
(Sure, we've got ambition to do better—we'd love to have bestsellers and tons of sales and reviews! We're always working toward that. Here's how you can help.*)
But I learned this past year that what we're already doing is something great: helping each other. Working together for a worthy cause. Not to mention that writing a quality book is certainly a great thing in and of itself!
So when I look back at 2020, I don't see an "underdog loser" of a year, or a series of unfortunate events. I see perseverance and found purpose. I see a great and promising beginning.
Read long and prosper in the new year!
*Please note that since COVID hit, some of the points in the linked blog post are no longer relevant or available, especially points 3, 9, and 10. (The Readers' Collective is now Thinklings' Thoughts.)