Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Another Year in Review

What a Year It’s Been

This is going to be our second installment of us looking back on our year. If you want to read the first, you can find it here. We want to keep this tradition going for every year we’re a company, because we believe it's important to look back on what we’ve accomplished and what we could do better in the following year. 

This year has been hard

First and foremost, we can’t talk about the year without addressing one important thing: it’s been extra hard with a world-wide pandemic going on. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to still have a healthy business while people have been cutting back on their spending habits; we know others have not been as lucky. This pandemic has impacted everyone from the top to the bottom—even one of our founders and her family suffered from a case of COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic. We do genuinely hope that, for those that are still buying our books, we’ve brought a little joy in their lives during an incredibly stressful and scary time.

Some hard decisions

As we talked about last year, publishing is hard. It’s still hard, and with the turmoil and stress of the year, we've decided that we want to funnel our time and attention into fewer books, allowing us as a company to take the time needed to fully develop each book. To that end, we only published eight books this year, and plan on publishing six books per year going forward.

Our Authors

One of the reasons that we’ve managed to stay successful this year is our wonderful authors. Without them, we’d be nothing. That might sound dramatic, but it’s the truth. We have some of the most understanding and caring authors working with us. We couldn’t be more thankful for the ones that have who keep wanting to come back to us year after year. 

Last year, we talked about our very first author who took a chance on us. This year we want to talk about the author that has the most books planned with us: Lisa Borne Graves. She currently has two series running with us, and a third one planned after another finishes.

Lisa Borne Graves is a YA author, English Lecturer, wife, and supermom of one wild child. Originally from the Philadelphia area, she relocated to the Deep South and found her true place of inspiration. Her love for all literature, led her to branch out from the academic arena to spin her own tales. Lisa has a voracious appetite for books, British television, and pizza. Her inability to sit still makes her enjoy life to its fullest, and she can be found at the beach, pool, on some crazy adventure.

We would highly recommend following her on Facebook or Twitter (or both).

Our Books

Our publishing schedule has booked up far quicker than we ever expected, to the point that we don’t know when we can open back up our submissions to new authors again. We can’t wait for everyone to read the books we have out from the previous year, but this year as well. We’ve really had a great bunch of books come out in the romance and fantasy genres. 

As with our author section, we want to feature Lisa Borne Graves with one of her books that came out this year: Quiver, the first book in Lisa’s Immortal Transcripts series.

What would you do if you could live forever? Could you hide it from the one you truly loved, especially if her life depended on it?

Thanks to his dysfunctional Olympian family, Archer Ambrose finds out firsthand how difficult this can be. He never falls in love but bestows it on others—until he meets Callie.

When Callie Syches moves to the Upper East Side to prepare for her father’s impending death, she doesn’t expect to meet the boy of her dreams. She also never believed her father’s harebrained theory about myths, but her uncanny ability to “see” uncovers godly secrets Callie can hardly fathom.

With an immortal family demanding absolute obedience, how far will Archer go to protect his love from the storm the gods will unleash upon them?

In this reinvention of Cupid and Psyche, experience an electrifying series where familial and romantic bonds are at war, and knowledge could mean the end of everything…or a new beginning.

Our Blog

Last year our blog didn’t get any attention in our review post—there was a reason for that. We were still developing our blog and figuring out whether it was worth keeping up the effort. 

Well, I’ll tell you, it has been. It’s the perfect opportunity to show that yes, we do know what we’re about. We’ve been able to pass on a lot of our knowledge since we started writing our blogs, and we’ve learned even more while researching for some of them. As much as we’re enjoying writing our blogs, we’ve also decided to decrease the number we’re putting out each year to make sure that the quality is as good as possible.

Series from the last year

We like to try to do a couple of series per year where we cover a lot of subjects to help the Writing Community no matter what stage they are in in their publishing journey. 

Misused Advice—in this series we explore advice that’s great at its core, but has evolved over the year to be absolute and seemingly inviolable advice that’s followed by writers and instructors alike. We wanted to rock the boat and say some of these rules you don’t have to follow simply because most people think you have to.

New Authors—in this series, we started back at the basics for authors new to writing and the writing community. We cover the seven biggest things you need to know and develop in your work to really make it successful: plot, characters, dialogue, setting, world building, themes, and conflict.

Plot Archetypes—in this series, we talked about the seven basic plot archetypes in any story. We wanted to have another series this year that really focused on the building blocks of writing for our newer writers. We often quote the wise words of Richard Bach, “A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit,” because we want to encourage every amature not to quit. And we think sharing the building blocks of the craft will help. 

Favorite from this year

There are a couple of blog posts that I’ve really enjoyed writing, but my absolute favorite from this year was one I wrote with cofounder B. C. Marine: I’m Feeling Conflicted from our New Authors series. In this blog, we wanted not only to talk about conflict, but bring it off the page by having conflict between the two of us. 

We might be arguing in the blog post, but I can assure you, it’s the most fun I think either of us has had writing a blog. We sat in a Google meet giggling like children the entire time. 

Final Thoughts

This year, like last, was hard. It’s hard to be in a job that has endless hours, sometimes little thanks, and a lot of the time more frustrating than one might expect. 

But would we choose another profession? No. 

No matter how hard it gets, there’s no better feeling than helping an author achieve their dreams of going from unpublished to published. There’s a unique joy in being the one to do that, and it’s the joy we hold on to tightly when the going gets tough. 

Join us next year when we start a new series on editing.

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