Today is Leap Day. I'm not sure the significance of it, other than it has something to do with a glitch in our calender and it only happens once every four years so that someone born on this day technically experiences one-fourth of the birthdays the rest of us not born on this day enjoy. Assuming you enjoy your birthday, that is.
If nothing else, Leap Day (Leap Year?), because of it's Halley's Comet-like infrequency but reliability, is one of those stop and reflect things that I like to pontificate upon now and again. Which begs the question, where was I four years ago? How was my life different from the life I am leading now? If you have a couple of hours to spare, I might lay the answer out for you detail for detail. That said, I'll do up some bullets instead:
Leap Year 2008
-I'm 43, single, living in a small apartment with my two sons.
-I'm writing full-time, but barely making a living as a freelance writer and journalist.
-I have no new book contracts either big or small.
-I have no money for travel.
-Random House has not released the rights to my two novels, The Innocent or Godchild.
-I have an agent, but she's not about to hang in there much longer without the writer bringing in
-I possess only the vaguest conception of e-books, Kindles, Nooks, e-rights, indie publishing, etc.
-I dream about one day having another book signing, no matter how humble.
-I have no idea what a virtual tour is, nor social media and its vast marketing potential.
-Amazon is an online store where I occasionally buy a book if I can't make it out to the Borders or
-What's a blog?
-Whats a video book trailer?
-I do not have a Facebook or Twitter account.
-I have way more debt than cash.
Leap Year 2012
-I'm 47, living in a penthouse apartment while my sons, now out of school, have
taken over my old apartment.
-I'm writing full-time, but no longer have to rely on freelancing or journalism alone to pay the bills,
while royalties and advances from my books provided a much more steady and more lucrative
-I have at least ten books currently in print or on its way.
-Random House has released the rights to The Innocent and Godchild.
-I have a great new agent by the name of Chip MacGregor, one of the hottest lit agents in the
business right now.
-Not only have I been informed about the e-book, it is a primary source of income for me, my novel
The Innocent alone having sold hundreds of thousands of copies.
-I've signed a major "very nice" 7-book deal with Thomas & Mercer, Amazon's new publishing
powerhouse. They are the only big-boy publisher with the power and marketing capabilities to
catapult your books to the number one spot on the Amazon bestseller lists--the only lists that
count since they reflect real sales, not just projections.
-Borders is dead.
-B&N brick and mortar stores are dying.
-Amazon is opening brick and mortar stores.
-I no longer dream of book signings.
-I have a Facebook account, a Facebook fan page, a Facebook page for my blog The Vincent Zandri
-I have a Twitter Account
-I have a Myspace account, a Linked-In account, a Four-Square Account, a Google profile, a Yahoo
profile, a Goodreads account, and the list goes on...Suffice to say, if the platform exists in
Cyberspace, I'm standing on it.
-I travel all the time now and spend extended periods in Italy in order to write and re-write.
-I've participated in at least a half dozen virtual tours.
-I have several video book trailers and they rock.
-I have way more cash than debt.
...Who isn't a sucker for bullets?
Anyway, I could go on and on. What's important about these two lists is not how strikingly different they are, but that I only began making many of the improvements and changes reflected in the second list less than two years ago. 22 months ago to be precise. This leads me to believe that Leap Year 2016 will reflect even greater things, that is I pay strict attention to what works in this business above all else (more bullets):
-Writing the best novels you can (and lots of them).
-Offering the reader a great product description.
-A great cover.
-A fair and affordable price.
I'm going to leap back into my new Moonlight novel in a few minutes after I take in a a three mile run. Today is not just Leap Day. It's the first day of the rest of my life. Time to get started on the new life.
Catch THE INNOCENT, the No. 1 Suspense, Mystery, and Hard-Boiled Thriller.