The one where The Secret to Happiness is 3 years old – my first Boldwood release

With so many books out there now (will be seventeen on Tuesday with the release of Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow), book birthdays are becoming a regular thing. So regular that I actually missed two of my August ones – oops! I’d celebrated one year since Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop came out through Boldwood Books but missed two years since Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes was re-released by Boldwood on 13th August and one year since the release of brand new book Snowflakes Over The Starfish Café on 31st August. Happy belated book birthday to both of them!

However, today is a super special birthday which there’s no way I could miss because it’s three years since The Secret to Happiness came out (3rd September 2019) and this was the book which secured my publishing deal with Boldwood Books and was my debut release with them.

I’ve just been reading back over the blog post I wrote the day before it came out which you can find here. I was absolutely terrified of failure back then. After so many years of struggling to make an impact with a publisher who went bust and then as an indie author, I’d placed all my hopes on Boldwood Books. This had to be my break at last. If a publisher of their calibre couldn’t find me readers who loved my books, then I may need to walk away and accept that I wasn’t good enough and would never make a living from writing. The thought of doing that was both terrifying and heartbreaking. I have no idea what I’d do with myself if I didn’t write because it is so completely who I am.

It was a slow start and I’ll admit I did have a bit of a panic in those first few months, worried I’d let Boldwood down as sales on my book weren’t anywhere near as high as the others that were released either side of mine, but momentum built as my backlist started to be re-released in 2020 and sales for The Secret to Happiness started to creep up.

Although it has never made it into the Kindle UK Top 100 (#122 being the highest), this book has had some pretty major achievements including Top 10 in Canada and Australia and #32 in the overall Audible UK chart. It’s my second best selling book with nearly 72,000 copies sold as at end of June (Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow is my bestseller) and continues to sell steadily each month. It also has a canny few reviews on Amazon, 92% positive.

It has even more reviews than that over on Audible where it’s FREE as part of the Audible Plus programme. Again, they’re hugely positive. Yay!

So much has changed for me in the three years since The Secret to Happiness was released. Boldwood have been the dream publisher and the past three years have been such a gift. I’ve signed two twelve-book publishing deals and had sixteen books out so far, have had four books secured for foreign translation, have had eight titles go into The Works, and have sold more than 770,000 of my books across all formats. I’ve been able to write full-time for the past two years and I’ve met either virtually or face to face so many authors and amazing readers who have been such great support on this journey. Yet this time three years ago, I was in the last chance saloon.

So if you’re a struggling writer, hang on in there. Dreams come true … just not always overnight.

An enormous thank you to my amazing editor Nia Beynon and the team at Boldwood Books for taking a chance on the manuscript of Wish I Could Tell You Goodbye and turning it into the top 10 international bestseller The Secret to Happiness. I count my blessings every day. I found my secret to happiness the day I joined the Boldwood family.

Big hugs
Jessica xx

Everyone deserves a chance at happiness…

Danniella is running from her past, so when she arrives at the beautiful seaside resort of Whitsborough Bay, the last thing on her mind is making friends. After all, they might find out her secrets…

Alison is fun, caring and doesn’t take herself too seriously. But beneath the front, she is a lost soul, stuck in a terrible relationship, with body confidence issues and no family to support her. All she really needs is a friend.

Karen’s romance has taken a back seat to her fitness business. But she doesn’t want to give up on love quite yet. If only those mysterious texts would stop coming through…

When the women meet at their local bootcamp, a deep friendship blossoms. And soon they realise that the secret to happiness is where they least expected to find it…

An uplifting story of friendship and finding the strength to come to terms with the past: perfect for fans of Tilly Tennant and Cathy Bramley.

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