Perfect Storms

There were times when I was readying my novella for publication when I wondered whether it made sense to spend money on certain things–multiple rounds of proofing after a copy-edit, for instance–when everyone was telling me it wasn’t. I wondered whether it made sense to price the novella at 99 cents.

Every time I wondered what to do, I consulted my mantra: I needed to do what I thought would be best for my readers, because I believed if I took care of them, they would take care of me.

And my readers did. You read my book. You recommended it to friends. You wrote reviews and talked about it on Twitter. You broke my wildest expectations for the novella in pieces.

There were a handful of perfect storms that have taken place over the last few weeks–awesome reviews, incredible word of mouth, e-mails from Amazon. Every time I think my expectations can’t get any wilder, wild outdoes itself.

So here’s something I never imagined would happen, not even in my wildest most shameful author wet dreams of success: Unlocked is at #36 on the USA Today list, #6 on the New York Times ebook bestseller list, and #19 on the New York Times combined Print and E-book bestseller list (even though there is no print edition, and no, I don’t understand that either).

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you. I don’t know if the stars will ever align for me again in this manner, but if I have stars, it’s you–my readers. Your e-mails and your reviews and your buzz made this happen. Your support helped me gather the courage to take my career into my own hands. When writing gets hard, there are e-mails I have saved from readers that I pull up to remind myself why I’m doing this. When I wonder if I need to do one last revision pass, you’re the ones I think of.

You guys are the best. Thank you.

Courtney Milan writes historical romances, which might lead people to think that she could be cool. In reality, she's about four different kinds of geeky. At present, this blog is where Courtney applies semi-dormant geek skills to publishing.

30 thoughts on “Perfect Storms

  1. Hooray!!!! What a truly exciting and wonderful day this is. I am so excited for you and thrilled for your success. UNLOCKED is amazing. You deserve every good thing that comes your way. I don’t know about stars aligning, but I know YOU are a talent supernova, and it’s just so great to bask in your radiance.

    We love you!!!!

  2. I’m totally echoing Tessa Dare here. You are amazing! And I’m so happy and thrilled for you!!! Congrats on the success for UNLOCKED!!! And I so know that this will happen over and over and over again for you. 🙂

  3. UNLOCKED is wonderful, so of course readers love it. But you are smart, hard working and willing to try the road less traveled, and that has a lot to do with this richly deserved success.

  4. You totally deserve this! Congrats!!!

    You went above and beyond and created a great story that was well crafted and executed and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. It’s because of all of the extra work that you did that the book was such a success. Because I can guarantee you that if the story would not have been as good, or the ebook itself contained errors (like so many other self published works) fewer people would have recommended it. It’s all you Courtney!

    I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been disappointed by a self published novel, by an author that I love in print, only to find that the sp work is not up to the standard that I’ve come to expect from their traditionally published work. I didn’t have that experience with Unlocked. In fact, the whole thing was done so well that that is going to be my new standard for self published novels by authors who consider themselves professional writers.

    I know you thank your fans (of which I am one), and I am more than happy to share the love about a book that I loved, so supporting an author who writes such outstanding romances is a privilege I wish I could do more often! Can’t wait for the next one (no matter how long it takes).

  5. Congratulations Courtney. Thank you for writing amazing stories and for putting so much work into producing a quality ebook. Your success is richly deserved.

  6. Huge congratulations, Courtney. Your story was a delight to read. I urge you to celebrate this hard-won success. There is no feeling quite like making that New York Times List!

  7. CONGRATULATION Courtney! As soon as I read Jane L – Dear Author’s review of Unlocked, I wanted to read it so badly. Had to wait a bit until it’s sold through B&N Nook. I finished Unveiled yesterday and on Chapter 3 of Unlocked. Exited to finish it tonight! Thank you for sharing your stories with us, when you care it shows and congratulation again for achievements well deserved.

  8. It’s been a treat to watch Unlocked go nearly viral; you must be in constant giddy mode 😉

  9. You’re welcome. =P LOL.

    I’m so happy that you’re having such great success with Unlocked. It was an amazing read and you packed one wallop of a punch in such a short amount of pages and that deserves kudos. Congrats on making all of those lists but really, thank YOU for writing a wonderful story that I enjoyed so much!

  10. I am really enjoying Unlocked. I notice that you have her mother as a savant.. that is wonderful.. My son is autistic and the characteristics that you gave her are so much like autism…I love that someone is working special needs into their work, even though it’s not really acknowledged as such. I am so pleased with your work. I have read several of your books and I just love them. Keep up the good work.

  11. Hah! It’s wonderful to have so many astute readers agreeing with me: when I first read “Unlocked” I kept shaking my head, seeing the word “RITA” written all over the manuscript.

    Total congratulations for your successful venture. It couldn’t happen to a better writer, or, more accurately, you totally made this happen yourself.
    And yes to the final copy edit; I agree.

  12. Fine writing will always rise to the top!

    Congrats on hitting the bestseller lists! I’ve been keeping an eye on your Kindle Store rankings…and was delighted to see it at #30 a few days ago, and #21 today!!! Just an amazing feat! You rock!!!!

  13. I was a little behind on my google reader and was so excited to see it’s still rocking the bestseller lists. BIG (and deserved) congrats, it’s a wonderful story!

    And, thanks for taking us along on this new path and publishing adventure.

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