If you bought, reviewed or shared Shattered Worlds, the boxed set containing A REAPER MADE, I owe you a huge thank you. Why? Because the boxed set officially made the USA TODAY BESTSELLER LIST!!!
I’m over the moon. To be honest, when I joined this set, I had no idea what I was in for when it came to the work. It was more than I expected, in a good way, and it was a hell of a learning experience. I worked with 22 incredible authors, many of whom have their own amazing fanbase.
Inside Shattered Worlds, you’ll find amazing stories by seriously talented writers. My book, A REAPER MADE, is part of the set. I chose this book because it’s a solid story within the YA/NA fantasy genre, it receives great reviews, and it’s a standalone that wouldn’t leave any new readers hanging. But it’s a low seller, so it made total sense to take it off my platforms and include it in the set.
When I signed up to be part of it, I had no idea if we’d make our goal of hitting “The List.” For me, it was all about the learning experience, the exposure, and working with great authors who are hard-working and persistent in their goals. I know there are some people who rag on boxed sets, but trust me, there is no “gifting hundreds of copies” or cheating ranking systems, at least with our group. It was a great experience. I learned a lot from our marketing campaigns, which included everything from Facebook group posts and parties to online advertising, newsletters, giveaways of other books and swag, and more. It’s unbelievable, truly, how much work goes into this kind of thing, and I can absolutely attest that it’s not simply giving our free books or sending up prayers for things to come together. All of us worked our asses off to hit our goal.
Release week was crazy with promo and a lot of finger-crossing. We sold over 7,000 copies across multiple platforms. We sat on pins and needles. But then, on Wednesday afternoon, I got word that after months of preparation, after the insane release week of pushing sales and Facebook parties and Twitter chats, that we earned that treasured reward: we hit #107 (out of 150) on the USA Today Bestsellers list.
For someone who kept low expectations in case we didn’t hit the goal, I nearly fell out of my chair. I even got emotional at seeing the screenshots, of my name on that list. I honestly didn’t expect for it to hit me that hard, but knowing we’d accomplished this goal we set out for nearly a year ago was so satisfying, so rewarding that I couldn’t help but get a little choked up. We’re indies in a traditional publishing world when it comes to this kind of list, and the fact that we made it speaks volumes about the authors as well as the readers and their incredible support. I owe many thank you’s and virtual hugs, and I’m forever grateful to those who helped out in some way.
So, what happens now? Well, I keep writing. Oh, did you think I was off to buy my private island? Not so much. “USA Today Bestselling Author Liz Long” is a mighty fine title to add to covers or marketing materials, but I don’t expect to suddenly get an influx of sales or agents knocking down my door. This doesn’t skyrocket me to the “Next Level” but it’s a great addition to my bio and resume, including query letters. I take this experience and continue to grow, and jump at other opportunities that may cross my path. The work doesn’t stop because you hit your goal. It’s time for another, bigger goal!
Thanks to all who read the blog post promos, shared our things, preordered/bought copies and in general, helped us with this accomplishment. I’m so proud of the hard work we put into it and appreciate the outpouring of help that comes with the process!