I hope you all had lovely holidays!  We certainly did at the Dare residence.  This was the first year that both darelings were really old enough to get excited about Christmas and Santa (who did not disappoint!), and we all had a wonderful time with Grandma and Grandpa Dare, despite passing around a nasty cold.

Now 2009 is starting off with a bang!  Huge congratulations to Erica Ridley, who has just announced her first sale–a two-book deal with Kensington.  Hooray, Erica!  Congratulations are also in order for former Fanlitter Lori Brighton, who also recently inked a two-book deal, also with Kensington!

My own exciting news: As of today, all three of my books are available for pre-order on Amazon!  Here are links to Goddess of the Hunt, Surrender of a Siren, and A Lady of Persuasion.  (I just have to stop once again and marvel at the fact that I actually got to keep my books’ original titles!  How often does that happen?) Over the holidays, I completed my copy edits on SIREN, and now it’s back to working on Stud Club while I wait for book three edits.

Everyone’s talking and blogging about New Year’s resolutions this week, it seems.  Well, 2009 is going to be a busy year for me.  I have three novels and one e-book novella releasing.  I plan to complete at least 2-3 more new books.  I’m serving on the board of my local RWA chapter, and I’ll be sending my first dareling off to kindergarten.  So I think it’s appropriate to renew my first resolution from last year:  “Maintain tenuous hold on sanity.”  Coincidentally (or not), it was the only one of my three 2008 resolutions I managed to keep.  The other two were “Walk more to prevent brain atrophy” and “Go to England”.  I’m renewing those, as well.  Actually, I think a walking tour of England is in order!

Aside from resolutions, I do have professional goals for the year.  It’s very easy to get all fretted up about promotion, as a new author.  I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about it–not just the how’s of it, but the wherefore’s.  I do not have a “sales” personality–in my entire life, I’ve had exactly one job that involved selling goods for profit, and I detested it (even though I was selling books!).  I am the girl who would rather sit at home and miss the Girl Scout camping trip than go door-to-door hawking 48 boxes of perfectly delicious cookies to the neighbors.

My complete aversion to commercial enterprise (I’m reminded of that whole speech from Say Anything–“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything…” Here, read the t-shirt.) was largely responsible for my career choice.  In addition to being a writer, I’m also a public librarian.  And I had a little epiphany this week:  librarianship (at least, the kind I practice) is all about book promotion.  The best part of the job is discovering great books and putting them in the hands of people who will love them, too.  It’s connecting with fellow readers–people who adore books, live for compelling stories, and are forever in search of the next great read.  Aha, I said!  I don’t need to force myself into a “sales” role to market my books.  I can take a cue from my years of librarianship instead.  When I stopped thinking about it in terms of sales and dollars, and started focusing on ways of connecting my books with the readers who might enjoy them, promotion suddenly seemed like a whole new endeavor–one that almost sounded fun!

My promotional strategy for the year is this:  To continue writing the best stories I know how to write, and to get those stories into the hands of readers who’ll enjoy them. No buying, selling, or processing required.  (Unless you count word processing, which I don’t.)

So, which of last year’s resolutions did you keep?  Are you extending any for a second (or third or tenth) year?

11 comments to “A New Year, with much to celebrate!”

  1. Tiffany
    · January 6th, 2009 at 6:48 am · Link

    Happy New Year, Tessa!

    I love your goals. Hope you get all three accomplished this year!

    I think I wanted to write a certain amount of books last year. I don’t think I did that. But I’m happy with what I did accomplish. I made some very big changes with my life last year (the new day job–which isn’t sucking the life out of me) so it’s a start to better things from there! Went to my first conference too.

    And that is a good promo strategy you have. Your books will sell themselves, because they are brilliant.

    I do have sales experience. Minimal, but it exists. I was very good at ‘helping’ to sell 20G courses at my last job 🙂

  2. Keira Soleore
    · January 6th, 2009 at 8:43 am · Link

    Tessa, congratulations on the sale of your e-novella to Samhain. And write 2-3 new books. Wow! Can’t wait to read GotH.

  3. Tessa
    · January 6th, 2009 at 9:26 am · Link

    Tiff, I’d say you had an AWESOME 2008! What are 20G courses? Is that a Canadian thing?

    Keira, thanks for the congrats and for your excitement about GotH! I’m excited for you to read it too! Let me tell you, sometimes it feels like that release date is never going to get here!

  4. Tiffany
    · January 6th, 2009 at 10:52 am · Link

    20 grand school courses, for a private carreer college.

    They ran up to 8 months long for that amount–the two week course ranged around 4G 🙂

    But I no longer work there, thank the heaven’s above.

  5. terrio
    · January 6th, 2009 at 10:18 am · Link

    Happy New Year, Tessa! Sounds like you had a great holiday. It’s so much fun with the kiddies are old enough to really get into it.

    Admirable goals there. I too am shooting for the sanity retention. I have four classes left to the degree (whoot!) and one is writing that final paper. You’d think as a writer I’d be looking forward to it. Not so much. LOL! As to writing, I just want to finish this first WIP. It’s been two years and I haven’t even reached the middle. That’s just not good.

    Can’t wait until your books release. But before that, I want to see the covers!

  6. kelly krysten
    · January 6th, 2009 at 11:32 am · Link

    Oh! Sanity retention is a great resolution! I’ll be sure and add it to the list. I’d like to write more this year. I just know I can do it. It’s just the forcing myself to SIT and do it that’s the hard part.
    Good luck with all your resolutions. I can’t wait to read your books. They’re on my TBB list.:)

  7. Janga
    · January 6th, 2009 at 1:30 pm · Link

    This is going to be such a fantastic year for you, Tessa. I hope the fulfillment of your resolutions is among the great things that happen.

    I think I’m being given the opportunity to repeat my resolution so frequently in order to engrave it on my brain. I just have one–to live a more disciplined life. Of course, that one encompasses everything from the hours I sleep to the food on my plate to a morning walk to how much time I spend writing. It’s an all-of-the-above resolution. 🙂 Six days into the new year, I’m doing fair to middlin’ well.

  8. Christy Reece
    · January 6th, 2009 at 3:44 pm · Link

    Hey Tessa, congrats on all three books being up on Amazon! Heading over there right now. And I can’t wait to see your covers!

    My new year’s resolutions are similar to yours. Writing and maintaining sanity in my debut year.

    Happy New Year!

  9. DeAnna
    · January 6th, 2009 at 6:11 pm · Link

    Hi, Tessa!
    I usually lurk instead of post, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve given you a Premio Dardos award on my writing blog because you are in my top 15 must-read blogs. You can check out more at http://DeAnnaCameron.blogspot.com if you’re interested.
    See you Saturday!

  10. Erica Ridley
    · January 6th, 2009 at 8:58 pm · Link

    Yay, Tessa!!! You’re right, so much to celebrate! (And thank you!!!!!)

  11. Lori Brighton
    · January 7th, 2009 at 12:49 pm · Link

    Hi Tessa!
    How exciting about your books! They’ll be here before you know it!

    Thanks for the shout out! I dont usually make resolutions. But I guess I hope to sell my two other books I have finished.