Janice Elliott-Howard – 2016 Year in Review

Janice Elliott-Howard Author

It is the last day of the year, in reflection, I want to share my accomplishments.  This year had me settling into routines and growing from my experiences.  Nothing went smoothly, but everything came together, in the end, all events were as they should have been.  I hope that you can appreciate my journey as it humbles me to recognize how far that I have come. Hence, here is my year in review for 2016.

I took the time to look over my 2015 year in review; I am happy to say that I have surpassed the goals that I set up for myself.  This year had me publish five books instead of three.  As an introvert, it is hard to put myself in front of strangers, but I rose to the occasion.  I did a bit of travel to book vending events where I was hoping to bring awareness to my work.  Along the way, I made a few new friends and gained new readers.

I started the year with publishing my journey into grandparenthood with a book entitled “Being a Grandmother.”  The story is not typical by no stretch of the imagination.  Many readers sent direct messages about how this book made them feel.  It is a relatable tale that stems from my reality. The exposure of my life on paper gave me a different perspective on the situation.  I am glad that I documented it and am pleased to know that there are others who share my frustrations, concerns, and dutiful actions.  There was a pre-launch in April of 2016 that was well received.  The book was officially published in June of 2016 where I did a Facebook party launch.  It was very successful.  I had many sample downloads and quite a few people purchased digital copies of the book.

After attending an Indie Publishing online conference, I found other ways of author promotion that brought awareness to my work.  Writing short stories based on popular best-sellers became my next challenge, I chose the mystery/thriller genre.  The Wayward Pines series is where I flex my creative muscles in short story or Novella form.  It surprises me that it was well received with many copies being sold by what I would consider an emerging author. My first novella is entitled “Beverly’s Premonition” a character from Book One in the series.  It was published in May of 2016.  After the selling success, I found another character in Book Two of the Wayward Pines series to breathe new life into.  My second novella is entitled “Marcus’ Journey.”  It was published in July of 2016.  The two short stories continue to reap the rewards by selling in the double digits each month.  Now, I understand that is not great, but for someone who has only been declared an author for less than two years, it is a good thing.

My one thing that I had to do for myself is the finish a book about my journey with my mother.  It was a healing process that needed to happen.  The relationship is something that I know others have, but many do not speak about until the recent passing of leading actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher.  The mother/daughter bond can be unique.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have it fortified but for those of us who do, losing either is devastating, and I share my walk through my loss.  It seems to have cleansed my soul as I feel like I can share her spirit with others now. The book is entitled “How I Wish I Had My Mother – A Daughter’s Story.”  It was published in September of 2016.

Again, I chronicle another issue in my present day with a diary about my grandchildren’s lack of parental presence.  It pains me to see my grandbabies hurt.  The diary of how they communicate with their incarcerated parents is meant to be a learning lesson for young parents out there who forget that taking on the role of mother and father means that your focus should be about your children.  In this diary, I am hoping that someone who is about to make a terrible mistake reads this to discover that it does not have to be that way.  This year has been more about my reality than fiction.  The book is entitled “Communications through a Fence.”  It was published in October of 2016.

Another aspect of authorship came to me in the form of coaching other everyday people like myself.  We all have a great story to tell.  It is all a matter of putting it down on paper for all the world to see.  Everyone has an audience out there.  I encourage clients to express themselves and get published.  In some instances, I guide them through the process.  I hold free webinars and give authorship tips to help others.  We must pay forward what we learn to others who want to take the same journey.

In 2017, I plan on publishing four books. The goal of releasing at least three of my books in audio format is at the top of my list.  I hope to visit twice as many states in the year ahead as I did this year.  My goal is to have several students under my wing.  They will be independently publishing by the end of next year.  Sure, I know this is a tall order, but I firmly believe that you can accomplish anything in this life that you focus on.  I hope that you reach all of your endeavors in 2017 because I intend to grasp all of mine.

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