I can't believe I'm starting one of these

Even a year ago, I said I'd never self-publish, but here we are.

As Laura Jardine, I have a number of romances with a few different e-publishers, but for various reasons, I decided about 6 months ago that I wanted to self-publish under a new name (Jackie Lau) and focus on diverse romantic comedy. Here is my website.

I have four books I plan to release this year in May, July, September, and November. There are two two-book series, but the books are standalone. ie, each involves a different couple and has an HEA. Book 2 is with my editor. Book 3 is with beta readers. Book 4 is written and has been revised once. All are short ("category-length") novels in the 45-65k word range. I hired a cover artist to do the covers for Book 1 and 2. She also did a few promo things for me, and a logo and newsletter banner. Will get her to do the other covers soon-ish.

Book 1 is called Grumpy Fake Boyfriend and will be released on May 22. I put it up for pre-order this week. I formatted it myself in D2D, and used D2D to upload to Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Tolino. I uploaded to Amazon and Kobo directly. E-book only (for now), $2.99 USD. Here is my cover:

And here are the links: Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads

I've sent out a number of review copies, some to people who reviewed by Laura Jardine books in the past. I've had a bunch of pre-orders and have managed to generate a little buzz on Twitter in the romance community. I am focusing on the tropes (this book is very trope-y) and the fact that it's an #ownvoices romantic comedy with an Asian heroine. People seem to like the title.

I hope to make my money back this year, but that might be a bit ambitious. Majority of money I've spent is on editing, some on cover and other graphics, and I also paid for the premium package at wordpress.com. I hope to be able to put out 3-5 books a year and build an extensive backlist. Not running any ads yet, but hope to run some Facebook ads in a few months.

I refused to consider self-publishing for the longest time because I thought it might be disastrous for my mental health, and it has been a little...difficult. Hopefully subsequent books will be easier, once I know (sort of) what I'm doing. The money I've invested in it is also a little scary, especially since none of my books with e-publishers have sold well at all. And now that my book is up for pre-order and I've sent out copies...I'm starting to freak out and worry that nobody will like it. Plus I have time to write now, but I'm lacking ideas...

In 2019 I hope to start off with releasing my affectionate romance parody that I wrote a couple years back. I got to acquisitions at one significant independent publisher, and I had a number of editors and agents tell me it was hilarious, but they had no idea how to market it. Not sure what else I'll put out in 2019 yet.

So...we'll see how this goes