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Realm of Darkness is a USA Today Bestseller!

After months of hard work-- a year for others-- the Realm of Darkness boxset reached #110 on the USA Today's Bestseller list! This is a major thing for many indie authors, myself include, and you may not refer to me as "your highness" or "USA Today Bestselling Author Sophia-Rose Johnson." Nothing in between.

I only hopped on the boxset in spring 2022 because Susan Stradiotto-- my coauthor for Fight for Darkness-- asked me to join up to help her finish the book. And honestly, I had no idea what I was getting into or what I was doing. I knew I just needed to finish the book and do what I could. (That meant a lot of TikToks.)

Now, the Realm of Darkness boxset included 30+ books and was $0.99 in American markets, where our numbers were counted toward. This boxset brought together 35+ authors from all over the world to create 35 unique stories that deal with romance, fantasy, and darkness. (Hence the name.)

This was all very much a team effort as the authors from across the globe no only worked to write and edit books but, for the past month and then weeks, to market the shit out the boxset. Many TikToks, Facebook posts, Instagram, and more! I lost followers based on how much I was posting, but I also gained a few, lots of strangers. (That's something I'm having to get used to.)

Also, as much as a team effort, I made some really great connections with other indie authors.

As an indie author, we are facing a bit of an uphill battle. While many of us try traditionally publishing with the big five publishing companies, not all of us do and can do it. I've always wanted to be an author, and this is the next step. Whether we have been publishing for a while or "newbies" (as I've recently been called), we are indie authors working together to get their names out there, get the "letters," and network. Trust me, we really aren't making any money off of this. It's about sharing our stories with a broader audience. And broader audiences, they are....

While it was awesome-- and still AMAZING!-- to be a USA Today Bestselling author, what truly hit me was being sandwiched between some powerhouses, those of Sarah J. Maas and Raven Kennedy.

If you enjoy fantasy, romance books, then you know how big those names are. They are mainstays on the lists, same with Colleen Hoover and Scarlett St. Claire. Their books have been picked up or were originally published by big-house publishing companies. We are 35+ authors working together to get onto the list and in front of audiences who would normally only see and read big publishing works.

It's not a bad thing, but indie authors are your friends and colleagues. We are people working toward our dreams or maybe calling it our side-hustle. (You have to make money off a side-hustle, don't you?) I won't be quitting my day job any time soon because that's what actually pays me.

There are thousands of indie authors out there working toward their dreams, and I was fortunate-- lucky enough!-- to be a part of the Realm of Darkness boxset that thankfully accomplished that. I'm not saying give up on traditionally published authors-- not at all-- but it won't hurt you to pick up local, indie authors online or at your favorite big stores (if they happen to have indie authors). It's not bad to support your colleagues, family, or friends and sometimes to just support strangers. Sometimes, it's just supporting strangers and forking over a few dollars. We don't tend to ask for a lot. We aren't scary.

You can still pick up the Realm of Darkness boxset electronically until the middle of January 2023. At that point, the books will be handed fully back to the authors (it's a thing). You can preorder Fight for Darkness in paperback now. If you're looking for some indie authors to support, then you now know where to start!

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