Mondays with Austen: A Five-Year Celebration

Disclaimer: This is one of the posts with links that cost you nothing but that may lead to me receiving a small payment. 🙂 

Today, August 12, 2019, marks the fifth anniversary of the publication of my very first book, I Promise To …. I never imagined, when I pushed the “publish” button way back then, that I’d be able to make a full-time living writing stories. I’m delighted that it’s so. 🙂

I’ve learned a lot in five years. My blurbs are better now than they were then. My processes, from writing to editing to covers, are better. I’ve learned to use grammar checkers and more than one graphic design/photo manipulation software/website. I can remove a background from a picture and combine images into one. I’ve learned the value of spending money on printer ink and paper so I can print my stories out and mark them up for edits. I’ve learned to trust myself more in the writing process.

I’ve met lots of people. Many readers, and a bunch of writers. I’ve had JAFF friends come and go. Only a few have persevered and loved me despite my frequent idiocies and embarrassing words and deeds. I’ve learned something from each and every person I have befriended, and no matter how long we remained friends or how deep the breach when we weren’t any more, I’m a better person for knowing them.

In the last five years, I’ve been “wide” with my books and I’ve been in KU, otherwise known as Kindle Unlimited. I still prefer wide, and for the same reasons.

I’ve spread my wings a bit, too. I joined writer’s groups, where I’ve met people who write stuff other than JAFF. These groups have shown me many, many things about the greater world of books. I have it far better than most writers, and far worse than a few. It was in a writer’s group that I learned the importance of genre-appropriate covers and the value of advertising.

I’ve also fallen more in love with Darcy and Elizabeth. They’ve taught me a lot about myself, too. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship we’ve got going on. 😉 LOL

Best of all, in the last five years, I have learned that I do matter, and my books matter. It always surprises me when people say stuff to me, like that they can see my faith in my books and my words and actions online, and that my books lift them up. People reply to my newsletters because they like my books, but they also like me. I love that!

Five years seems like a long time, but I promise you, it’s not the end. I intend to be around a whole lot longer. I might branch out away from Darcy and Elizabeth here and there. I might write in different time periods, like modern times with my race books and the Old West, and I might write books that don’t have ODC in them at all, like Leenie does. But I imagine I’ll always come back to JAFF. JAFF is my roots, in a way. <3

All good celebrations need gifts, so I have decided to give some books away.

Everyone who comments on this blog post will have their name put into a virtual hat (meaning, a randomizer on the internet). I will pull five names, and each of those people will receive a copy of my 8-story e-book called Darcy & Elizabeth: A Pride & Prejudice 8-Book Box Set.

This compilation contains all eight of my first single-story books. It is only available at Kobo ($24.99) and my Gumroad store ($22.99)

For this giveaway, I have created a mobi file of this book for Kindle, so if that’s your preferred way to read, you can still enter and win.

So, leave me your comments! You have until Friday, August 16th at 11:59 pm Eastern. I’ll do the drawing sometime on Saturday, August 17th.

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25 thoughts on “Mondays with Austen: A Five-Year Celebration

  1. I love getting to know you and your thoughts as you write about Elizabeth and Darcy. They have become my friends through you. Yes, I know they are fictional. Still, they seem real when I read your books. And I love connecting with you on fb.

    • Marguerite, you’re one of my winners! Send me your email address, either in a FB private message or using the CONTACT link at the top of the blog page. 🙂

  2. Congratulations, Zoe. What an accomplishment. 👏
    I never realized that I Promise To… was your first published book. I love that story and your others. While you make Darcy and Elizabeth face many tough challenges, you usually have them facing them together, which I love. They are a strong couple 💪 and I enjoy the twists and turns you take them through.
    Your stories are also clean, which I greatly appreciate, and they don’t anticipate their vows. So, I’m not skipping pages. Your faith keeps you from writing such things and mine stops me from reading them. So, your stories are a good match for me and I am always on the lookout for your next release. Here’s to another five years and many more after that 🤓

    • Thank you! I love getting Darcy and Elizabeth together fast and staying together. I write what I dream of having myself. <3

  3. Isn’t it wonderful to look back and see our growth, not only technical but also personal. And isn’t wonderful that ODC also contributed to our growth. Thank you for the giveaway.

  4. Happy Anniversary to one of my favorite writers. Promises Is one of my go to books on my kindle. Good luck on the next give. Good luck to all who enter.

  5. Thank you for a very generous giveaway. I have several of your books and have enjoyed them immensely. Keep reading the good writing!!

  6. I love this story of discovery, growth, reflection, and celebration! And I just love how open you are with who you are as a person and with your faith, not only on this post, but others as well. Congratulations on this important milestone!

  7. Happy anniversary! I don’t appear to have any of these titles among your many books on my kindle, fingers crossed! Do you plan to release them on Amazon at any point?

    • Thanks!

      All of my published titles are on Amazon except this big bundle, but most are not in Kindle Unlimited. I have been running a few titles through the program in the last year to get some fresh eyes on them, but most of my books are wide (available everywhere.)

  8. Congratulations on your five year anniversary! I absolutely love your books and can’t wait for each new publication to arrive on Amazon.

  9. Dear Zoe,

    Congratulations! You are doing great!!
    I already have all the titles, so I’m not competing. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed them and that I hope you will write many more.

    Kind regards,
    Heleen Elbert

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