Author’s Year in Review | Reflecting on 2023

Sara A. Noe


My “year in review” posts have become a tradition since I started this website back in 2016. If you’re feeling ambitious and want to relive the journey over the years, you can read my 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017 review posts.

With the third book in my award-winning fantasy series, The Chronicles of Avilésor, getting pushed back from an initial goal of publishing in 2022 to an early 2023 release date instead, I knew this was going to be a big year. Not only was this a book-release year, but it was also the second year of running my business as a full-time career. That meant a lot of events lined up on the calendar, plus new collaborations, products introduced to my inventory lineup, and more…

My 2023 Timeline of News & Events

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Blood of the Enemy, the third novel in the Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series, was submitted to IngramSpark for processing. This was a MAJOR step in the publication process as the book officially shifted from the manuscript to proof copy phase.

IngramSpark title submission

Thursday, January 19, 2023

I released the timelapse video of Saros Manor’s floorplan on Patreon so subscribers could watch me create it by hand for the first phase and then finish it on the computer. This video condensed about two weeks of hard work into nineteen minutes.

This artwork was a major accomplishment because it was the final piece I needed to publish Book III. It was also a little daunting for me to finalize it. Once it was published, there was no going back and changing my mind! (But now, looking back on this moment almost a year later, it’s a huge relief to have cleared this hurdle and finally settled on the details.)

Floorplan map of Saros Manor from the Chronicles of Avilesor: War of the Realms series by Sara A. Noe

Patrons have access to the posts in my Patreon map series, including timelapse videos, posts, and videos where I discuss the creative process.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

I added a new product to my inventory — posterboard prints of the three maps published in Blood of the Enemy. I also introduced new mouse pad prints to my existing lineup.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Event #1: Small Business Saturday in Michigan City, IN

Author Sara A. Noe at an event

Wednesday, February 08, 2023


Blood of the Enemy and buttons from the Chronicles of Avilesor: War of the Realms series

Blood of the Enemy was released as a hardcover on 02.08.23.

Why did I choose this date? Because the numbers seven and eight are important in the series. (Book I was published on 07/08/18, and Book II was published on 08/07/20.)


Blood of the Enemy book cover from the Chronicles of Avilesor: War of the Realms

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Saturday, February 18, 2023 – Sunday, February 19, 2023

Event #3: Shipshewana On The Road in Kalamazoo, MI

This event featured two brand-new debut products — bezel necklaces and wall-hanging canvas maps of the Ghost Realm, Phantom Heights, and Saros Manor.

Author Sara A. Noe at an event

Thursday, March 02, 2023

The Beacher featured my story as an up-and-coming local author in a seven-page spread that delved into my original career plans and landscape architecture college degree, the struggles I faced as an independently published author, the realization that Cato’s story explored my own feelings of depression, the candle collaboration with Old Soul Artisan, my artwork, mentors who guided me, and more.

The Beacher cover featuring author Sara A. Noe
The Beacher story about author Sara A. Noe

Friday, March 03, 2023

The first 50 copies of Blood of the Enemy arrived!

Most of these copies were sent to fans who had preordered on my website. Alpha-level patrons also received free copies as part of their membership perk (they had to option of choosing a hardcover or waiting for the paperback version).


Look what arrived on this nasty, snowy, rainy, slushy day! Luckily, I happened to see the mailman dropping the boxes over the fence so I could snag them right away. This is the FIRST print run of Book 3! These 50 books will be autographed and numbered as limited copies. Some of these books have already been claimed by Patreon subscribers and fans who pre-ordered on my website. If you want to secure one of these copies yourself, you can still place an order on my website at Or, if you’re local, you can join me for a special Book III signing at the Co-Op Shoppes on State Street in La Porte, IN on March 11th from 10 am to 2 pm. #fantasymaps #maps #map #art #artwork #arttok #artist #artistsoftiktok #artistatiktok #artistoftiktok #artistontiktok #artistsontiktok #fantasyauthor #fantasyauthortok #fantasybooks #fantasybookseries #chroniclesofavilesor #bloodoftheenemy #indieauthor #indieauthorsoftiktok #indieauthors #bookunboxing #indieauthoroftiktok

♬ Demons – Imagine Dragons

Also on this day… Blood of the Enemy took home a Literary Titan Award!!!

Chronicles of Avilesor: War of the Realms series by Sara A. Noe

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Event #4: Book III Signing at the Co-Op Shoppes in La Porte, IN

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with fans
Author Sara A. Noe signing a book

Saturday, March 18, 2023 – Sunday, March 19, 2023

Event #5: Shipshewana On The Road in Valparaiso, IN

This event was really special… not just because it was a great weekend for sales, but because the outpouring of support made me feel fantastic! I was overwhelmed by the love from fans who asked me questions about the books and expressed their excitement about Book III. I even had a fan give me a special gift — a tiny crystal cat that I’ve kept in my pouch at every single event ever since.

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with fans
Crystal cat sitting in a book

The event last weekend was, hands down, the best event I’ve ever done! I’m not even talking about sales… it was the people who made this such an amazing, memorable experience. The outpouring of love and support from existing fans who have already finished Book III and from new fans who were excited to support a local author and give the series a try. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this phase of my author journey when I’m spending less time pitching a brand-new series and more time talking to fans who have already devoured the books and want to talk about their favorite characters, memorable scenes, and theories about the next novel. Don’t get me wrong — I still enjoy connecting with new readers. But meeting fans who have already fallen in love with the series and want more is a truly incredible feeling! It also makes my setup at events more meaningful because a lot of my designs tie directly into the book series. When fans return with knowledge about the books, I don’t have to explain why the black-and-white kitten is relevant, or what the Amínyte symbol represents, or why there are black feathers everywhere. I’m finally hitting the stage where the fan base is growing and people are returning to continue the series… and it’s an incredible feeling! 🥰 #authorslife #authorslifestyle #fantasyauthor #fantasyauthortok #fantasybooks #fantasybookseries #fantasybook #fantasybooktok #chroniclesofavilesor #bloodoftheenemy #indieauthor #indieauthorsoftiktok #indieauthors #indieauthorsofinstagram #indieauthoroftiktok #scifibooks #scifibookseries #scifibooktok #scifibook @chronicles.of.avilesor Credit for the background music: The Long Dark by Scott Buckley | Music promoted by Creative Commons / Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

♬ original sound – sara.a.noe – sara.a.noe

Saturday, March 25, 2023 – Sunday, March 26, 2023

Event #6: Shipshewana On The Road in Fort Wayne, IN

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with fans

I met some amazing people, but the highlight of the event was when the sweetest little girl told me that my art was “so beautiful, it should be hung in a museum right next to the Mona Lisa.”

March 26th was also On The Cobblestone Road‘s seventh anniversary!

Author Sara A. Noe at an event

Friday, March 31, 2023

The paperback proof copy of Book III arrived in the mail.

While the first hardcover copies were missing the award medallion on the cover, the paperback version never had a sans-award print run.

This is the first photograph of all three paperbacks together:

Friday, April 07, 2023

Event #7: Lit AF First Friday in Michigan City, IN

Sara A. Noe and her mom at an art exhibit in Michigan City, Indiana

I was honored to have my artwork on display at the Artspace Uptown Artist Lofts. The display of local art was so popular that it was extended an extra month through the end of May!

Sara A. Noe posing with her artwork on display

Saturday, April 08, 2023

I launched the seasonal “Springtime Kit” emoji on Discord. This design also became a sticker and keychain that I sold at events… but only for a limited time.

(Springtime Kit will return again this spring before she goes back into the vault again in the summer.)

Springtime Kit emoji black and white cartoon cat in a basket of flowers

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with other artists

Event #8: Artist Pop-Up in Michigan City, IN

Thursday, April 20, 2023

I introduced new keychain designs:

  • The rainbow Amínyte symbol
  • “Kit-Kat”
  • “Looking Back”
  • “Dandy Bee”
  • Blood of the Enemy book cover
  • Calypso’s white paw print

I also restocked several popular designs that were out of stock (or pretty close). Some of the new acrylic keychains were converted to earrings.


New keychain designs + restocking popular ones that were sold out (or almost gone), just in time for Shipshewana On The Road in South Bend, IN this weekend! #keychain #keychains #artist #artists #artistsoftiktok #artististsontiktok #art #artwork #artistatiktok #arttok #artista #artistontiktok #artistoftiktok #vograce #vogracecharm #vogracecharms #jewelrymaking #earrings

♬ Thunder – Imagine Dragons
keychain designs

Saturday, April 22, 2023 – Sunday, April 23, 2023

Friday, May 04, 2023

Saturday, May 05, 2023 – Sunday, May 06, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe's event setup

Event #11: Shipshewana On The Road in Crown Point, IN

I introduced a new product!

C-Sully’s menu is a novelty item featuring appetizers, entrees, and desserts that were inspired by major characters (good and bad) from the books… so only real fans can fully appreciate it!

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Thursday, May 18, 2023

New mouse pads arrived! I added some new designs, including:

  • “Selenophile”
  • “Nymphalidae”
  • “Looking Back”
  • “Dahlia Dragonfly”

I had first introduced a few of my art prints as mouse pads at the end of 2022 as a test run to see how they would do. To my surprise, mouse pads were more popular than I’d expected! With trackpads and touch screens, I wasn’t sure if many people still used mouse pads… but apparently they do!

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Thursday, May 25, 2023

brown dog and an open book

The paperback version of Book III was enabled for distribution.

(I had lots of four-legged helpers when I was reviewing the proof copy!)

Also on this day… new prints arrived on ARTBOARDS!

I phased out my matted prints (although I do still have a few left) to be replaced by these gorgeous artboards. My artwork is printed on PVC, making them much more durable.

They come with an attachable hanger if you would like to mount it directly on the wall as is, or they can be matted and framed just like a regular print. This versatility made the upgrade a no-brainer for me!

Also in this order was a rolled canvas map of Avilésor, which I do have for sale at events.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with her assistant

Event #14: The Market on 12 Pop-Up in Michigan City, IN

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with her assistant and fans

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with an assistant

Event #16: HCA Dockside Market in Michigan City, IN

Friday, June 02, 2023

Event #17: First Friday Artist Pop-Up in Michigan City, IN

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with other local artists

Saturday, June 03, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with her assistant

Event #18: The European Market in Chesterton, IN

Sunday, June 04, 2023

Event #19: HCA Dockside Market in Michigan City, IN

open book at an outdoor market
Author Sara A. Noe at an event with her assistant and other artists

Friday, June 09, 2023 – Saturday, June 10, 2023

Event #20: The Strawberry Festival in North Liberty, IN

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with fans

I debuted several new products at this event, including:

  • Character book prints featuring sketches of Chronicles of Avilésor characters printed on pages torn directly out of A Fallen Hero
  • Custom 3D-printed Amínyte pendants made in collaboration with Hic Sunt Dracones (including a subtle rainbow design for Pride)
  • New keychain designs (Valdenar’s Bow, Dahlia Dragonfly, Solstice, and Springtime Kit)

We revisited North Liberty, IN to celebrate their annual Strawberry Fest 🍓! This was our second year in the charming Indiana town, and we were thrilled to be greeted by old friends and dedicated fans. North Liberty has some very wonderful people who make this festival a priority for us. See you next year! #bookcosplay #fantasycosplay #scificosplay #authorsoftiktok #booktok #fantasyauthor #scifi #scifiauthor #sciencefantasy #dystopianfantasy #dystopianscifi #paranormalfantasy #chroniclesofavilesor #phantomsmask #bloodoftheenemy #booktokfyp #strawberryfest #strawberryfestival #strawberryfestival2023 #northlibertyindiana

♬ Adrenaline Rush – Balang_3go
Sara A. Noe with book print sketches of her characters
3D printed Aminyte pendants

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Event #22: Pride Fest in Benton Harbor, MI

Author Sara A. Noe at a Pride festival with her assistant and fans

I introduced another new item — lumenite! These crystals are mentioned in Book III. (Technically, they’re rough chunks of labradorite since lumenite is fictional.)

Lumenite / labradorite

Saturday, July 01, 2023

Friday, July 07, 2023

Alpha-level Patreon subscribers had a month to vote, and they decided on the name of a new character in Book IV. The name they chose for Ero’s former student is… drum roll, please…


Saturday, July 08, 2023

Event #24: The European Market in Chesterton, IN

Also… Happy book birthday! Phantom’s Mask celebrated its third anniversary.

Author Sara A. Noe at an event
Phantomm's Mask in the Chronicles of Avilesor: War of the Realms series

Sunday, July 09, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe at an event

Event #25: HCA Dockside Artisan Market in Michigan City, IN

Thursday, July 13, 2023

A batch of stickers arrived with several new designs, including:

  • Springtime Kit
  • The Amínyte symbol (grayscale & rainbow)
  • Amínyte Kit
  • Skull Butterfly
  • Banned Books (black-and-white & rainbow)
  • Subjects of Project Alpha
  • All three book covers
stickers designed by Sara A. Noe

Friday, July 14, 2023

Event #26: Market on 12 Pop-Up in Michigan City, IN

Author Sara A. Noe at an event

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with her assistant

Event #27: The European Market in Chesterton, IN

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Event #28: Kogan Con in Grand Haven, MI

Author Sara A. Noe in cosplay at a convention with her assistant and fans

Also on this day… Alpha patrons got to read the VERY FIRST official sneak peek at a scene from Book IV!

Friday, July 28, 2023 – Sunday, July 30, 2023

Event #29: The Festival of Magic in Chesterton, IN.

Author Sara A. Noe at a Harry Potter event with fans
Author Sara A. Noe in cosplay in front of a Harry Potter wanted poster

Saturday, August 05, 2023

Event #30: The European Market in Chesterton, IN

Author Sara A. Noe at an event

Sunday, August, 06, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe at an event

Event #31: St. John Farmer’s Market in St. John, Indiana

Sunday, August 07, 2023

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe at an event

Event #32: The European Market in Chesterton, IN

(Check out the new display for the book prints!)

Saturday, August 26, 2023 – Sunday, August 27, 2023

Friday, September 01, 2023 – Monday, September 04, 2023

And I also introduced a new postcard design featuring all of the characters I drew from the Project Alpha lab-family.

Postcard with character sketches from the Chronicles of Avilesor: War of the Realms by Sara A. Noe

Saturday, September 08, 2023

Event #35: The European Market in Chesterton, IN

Author Sara A. Noe in cosplay at an event

Monday, September 10, 2023

New Kit emojis were added to the Discord server! “Sunshine Kit” stayed on as a full-time sticker while “Sunflower Kit” without the text became the summer seasonal design. And “Pizza Kit,” no surprise, became a fan favorite!

Kit emojis designed by Sara A. Noe, black and white cartoon cat with sunflowers and pizza

Saturday, September 16, 2023

I also teamed up with a local crystal retailer to upgrade my lumenite (labradorite) with STUNNING larger shards that have one polished face and are rough on the other edges.

The rough labradorite is more accurate to lumenite in the books, but after having good luck ordering the first batch online, I kept striking out and getting low quality pieces that didn’t have much “flash.” They looked like regular stones.

So, I decided to talk to someone local who was much more trustworthy… and she delivered with Grade A labradorite — the highest quality you can find! It’s all ethically sourced, and the polished face of each piece shows off that amazing flash while the rough parts still show fainter colors and flashes.

lumenite / labradorite

Friday, September 22, 2023 – Sunday, September 24, 2023

Event #37: The Scarecrow Festival in Wanatah, IN

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with her assistant and fans

New stickers debuted at this event! In addition to the seasonal Kit emojis, I also added my “Amínytes” and “The Raven” art prints.


Saturday, September 30, 2023

Event #38: The Pumpkin Festival in Westville, IN

Author Sara A. Noe in cosplay at an event

“Boo!” Kit made her first appearance at this event, joining the popular “Spooky Kit” design on Discord as a second autumn design. I also added new keychains:

Kit emoji black and white cartoon cat dressed up as a ghost

New keychains at the Pumpkin Festival! These are all my own custom designs, mostly themed around the @Chronicles of Avilésor series. 🎃 #art #artwork #arttok #artist #artistsoftiktok #artistatiktok #artistoftiktok #artistontiktok #artistsontiktok #bookcharacter #animecat #animestyle #animeart #bookmerch

♬ Friendships – Pascal Letoublon

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with her assistant and fans

This was one of my favorite events of the year! I wish I’d been able to get more photos and videos with fans, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that we were jam-packed and insanely busy for most of the event. I was lucky to get those videos right before the market started!

Friday, October 13, 2023 – Saturday, October 14, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe at an event

Event #40: Wickedly Whiting in Whiting, IN

(We braved some heavy rain and gale-force winds off Lake Michigan for this one!)

Friday, October 20, 2023 – Saturday, October 21, 2023

Event #41: Mystical Magical Market in Berrien Springs, MI

Author Sara A. Noe at an event

Not only did I change up my display by adding grids to hang some of the mouse pads across the back of the table, but I also added two new book prints AND I debuted the very first batch of handmade resin page holders. (I had NO idea how popular those would be moving forward!!)

book prints by Sara A. Noe

Thursday, October 26, 2023

New artboards arrived! I restocked several popular prints that had been sold out, but I also introduced some new ones, including two compilations of the Project Alpha lab-family character sketches.

I also added “The Magic of a Book,” “Amínytes,” and “Valdenar’s Bow” as the inverted version that I had introduced as a mouse pad earlier in the year.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe in cosplay at an event

Event #42: Hocus Pocus Market in Crown Point, IN

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Event #43: The European Market in Chesterton, IN

Author Sara A. Noe at an event

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

At midnight on Halloween, Alpha Patreon subscribers got access to the prologue of Lab Rat! Later, I posted a follow-up video where I discussed the prologue, how Book IV differs from the other three books, and why I’m really excited about this installment.

Saturday, November 04, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe in cosplay at an event

Event #44: The Festival of Owls in Munster, IN

Thursday, November 16, 2023

I got a new banner! Unfortunately, my sign for A Fallen Hero fell apart after several years of surviving some rough weather at outdoor events. I decided to do a redesign featuring my name and what I do instead of replacing the old one that had only the book cover. What do you think?

Sara A. Noe posing with her new banner

Saturday, November 18, 2023 – Sunday, November 19, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe in cosplay at an event

Event #45: Valpo Holidaze in Valparaiso, IN

I brought back my holiday gift boxes, but a little different this year. Customers had the opportunity to build their own box by choosing from various product options.

gift box options
Chronicles of Avilesor: War of the Realms gift box choices

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

I launched two new designs in my online apparel shop. “Read Banned Books” and “The Arena” are available on T-shirts, hoodies, drinkware, and other items.

Read banned books Scrabble tiles
Names of the Project Alpha lab-family from the Chronicles of Avilesor: War of the Realms

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Event #46: Hometown Market in Chesterton, IN

I introduced a new experimental product — resin bookmarks. Like their laminated counterparts, these are character sketches printed on book pages from A Fallen Hero. I then encase them in UV resin. Customers pick their own tassel!

resin bookmarks
Author Sara A. Noe at a holiday event

Friday, December 01, 2023

Christmas Kit arrived in the Discord server! (I think this is my favorite Kit emoji I’ve designed so far.)

Stickers and keychains were available in December before Christmas Kit went into the vault for next year’s holiday season.

Christmas Kit emoji black and white cartoon cat with a candy cane and Santa hat

Saturday, December 02, 2023

Sunday, December 03, 2023

Author Sara A. Noe at an event with her assistants at a holiday event

Event #48: Christmas at the Civic in La Porte, IN

Friday, December 08, 2023

I shared a new product that has been in development since the summer. Check it out… authentic Kit and Rayven pendants!!

I partnered with The Gaming Geeks to bring the pendant from the back cover of A Fallen Hero to life. These pendants were designed digitally, but then each one is individually cast in resin by hand, creating slight variations so no two are exactly the same. I then used an acrylic marker to darken the linework before sealing them with Mod Podge.

Kit and Rayven pendants from the Chronicles of Avilesor: War of the Realms series

These pendants are for sale at events… and VERY soon, they’ll be available for online orders as well!

Saturday, December 09, 2023 – Sunday, December 10, 2023

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Event #50: Hometown Santa Market in Crown Point, IN

Author Sara A. Noe at a holiday event with her assistant and fans

The LAST event of 2023! It’s been a wild ride… lots of memories with fans and vendor friends. I’m looking forward to 2024, but I’m also ready for a much-needed break for a few weeks until the next event season begins. Happy holidays! ✨️ #fantasymaps #art #artwork #arttok #artist #artistsoftiktok #artistatiktok #artistoftiktok #artistontiktok #artistsontiktok #fantasyauthor #fantasyauthortok #fantasybooks #fantasybookseries #chroniclesofavilesor #indieauthor #indieauthorsoftiktok #indieauthors #indieauthorsofinstagram #indieauthoroftiktok #entrepreneurs #entrepreneur #entrepreneuroftiktok #holidaymarket #happyholidays

♬ Shivers – Ed Sheeran

Reflecting on My Accomplishments of 2023 & Goals for 2024

And here I thought doing 35 events in 2022 was a lot!! I hadn’t realized I did 50 events in 2023 until I sat down and put together this post! (No wonder I’ve been so exhausted…)

Last year was a huge stride forward, not only because I published the third novel in my series, but also because my business grew by leaps and bounds. I met a lot of new people at all of those events. New fans, new vendor friends, new opportunities. I added new products and phased out some others. I set up my booth at new cons, markets, and festivals.

But that’s not to say 2023 was perfect. From the comments I’ve been hearing, it feels safe to say that the year was a struggle for just about everyone. This was a rocky recovery period after the pandemic turned our lives upside down, and although the economy’s stats look promising, regular working people aren’t feeling the relief yet.

With interest rates up and record-high inflation (thanks, corporate greed), money wasn’t exactly flowing this year, and that made it hard for vendors like me who rely on people having extra spending money for nonessential items like art and books.

It also doesn’t help that markets are oversaturated right now. There are so many events and markets happening on the same dates that people have to choose which ones they want to attend, thereby dividing the crowd and reducing the overall foot traffic for everyone.

There also seems to be an influx of MLMs and “flea market vendors” who peddle cheap products purchased in bulk from overseas. That hurts local artists who actually design and/or make their own products, not to mention it drastically lowers the overall quality of the market; people don’t want to come and shop for cheap crap they can buy anywhere. I’ve noticed a frustrating disconnect between consumers who want high-quality handmade items but want to pay Temu or Amazon prices rather than what those products are actually worth.

Unfortunately, some of the events on my list this year were duds; I barely made back my vendor fee to participate, let alone cover gas and the base costs of the products I sold. And in some cases, an event that had been a success for me the previous year was a disappointment this year. That makes it difficult to prioritize which events to do again this year. On a more positive note, some events were surprising successes!

My goals for 2024 are fairly simple:

  • Work on Book IV. Is an end-of-2024 publication date possible? Maybe… but that will depend on a lot of factors, including my event schedule. Speaking of…
  • Reduce my number of events by prioritizing quality over quantity. To be fair, that was also a goal last year, but I had a hard time regaining my momentum after the winter break. That put me in a tough position where I had to fill my calendar with whatever I could find to make ends meet. The good news is that my 2024 schedule is already looking MUCH better than my 2023 calendar at this time last year. I have a lot more events locked into place before event season even starts.
  • Launch my ecommerce website. This goal is VERY close to fruition (we’re talking about a matter of days)! It will be a soft rollout with more products and images being added over time. The website it technically already live, although I haven’t shared the link yet. It will enable me to manage online orders instead of relying solely on in-person events. It will also give customers the chance to buy my art products since I don’t sell them anywhere else, plus order autographed copies of the books from me rather than having to either catch me at an event or buy an unsigned copy from a third-party retailer such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble (which also benefits me since I lose profits after those retailers take their cut). Preorders for Book IV will also be much smooth on my ecommerce site than they were on my WordPress site.

Let’s circle back to Book IV and discuss just how realistic the publication timeline looks. The best case scenario would be an end-of-year release. The manuscript is coming along nicely, but the first draft still has a ways to go before it’s done and can start going through multiple rounds of editing. I also still have to create the cover for the book.

After launching Book III, I put most of my focus on growing my business and bringing in revenue, which meant less time for writing. Remember, I’ve been a full-time author and artist for less than two years. That’s a critical stage for any new business, especially in the wake of a pandemic! And it required a lot of my time and energy.

When I pack my calendar with too many events (on top of my usual to-do list of writing articles for my two blogs, creating Patreon content, managing my social media accounts, creating handmade products, tracking and placing inventory orders, drawing new art pieces, accepting freelance writing projects, etc.), I’m at risk of burning out. Even now, my six-week “break” is packed with so many projects I’m trying to finish in my down time that it doesn’t feel like a break at all.

I’m hoping to strike a better balance this year so I can spend time on Book IV while doing fewer yet larger events with online orders helping to fill in the gaps. I want to steer away from the little artist pop-ups and low-quality markets to prioritize conventions and events that value local artisans over MLMs and flea market vendors.

2024 has a lot of potential to be an even better year, and I’m looking forward to continuing to grow my business!


Every month, I draw a new piece of art and share a Patreon-exclusive timelapse video of my process from start to finish. Here are the sketches I drew this past year:

Axel from the Chronicles of Avilesor: War of the Realms character sketch pencil drawing art by Sara A. Noe
Finn and Reese from the Chronicles of Avilesor: War of the Realms character sketch pencil drawing art by Sara A. Noe
Project Alpha characters from the Chronicles of Avilesor: War of the Realms sketches pencil drawing art by Sara A. Noe
Rayven and Kit raven and cat in yin-yang design pencil sketch art by Sara A. Noe
Skeleton hand holding a black widow spider pencil sketch art by Sara A. Noe
Werewolf wolf howling at the full moon pencil sketch art by Sara A. Noe
Patreon membership tiers for Sara A. Noe

Blog Posts

  1. Tentative Release Date Set for Blood of the Enemy
  2. FAQs: Everything You Need to Know About Blood of the Enemy
  3. Award-Winning Author’s Top 3 Tips to Improve Your Writing
  4. Blood of the Enemy Receives Literary Titan Book Award
  5. Author’s Perspective: Why I Rarely Do Bookstore Signings
  6. Author’s 20 Tips for a Successful Book Signing
  7. GREAT News! IngramSpark Is Revising Their Fee Policy
  8. Author’s Review: Polgarus Studio Ebook Formatting Service
  9. What is Patreon? Free Trials Are Now Available!
  10. What Does “Write to Market” Mean (And Should You Do It)?
  11. Photo Canvas Land Review for Professional Art Prints
  12. 3 Tips I Learned in My First Year as an Entrepreneur
  13. Are Vanity Presses a Reliable Option for Authors?
  14. DIY: Best Way to Glue a Cabochon in a Bezel Setting
  15. 3 Recent Tech Investments That Benefitted My Art Business
  16. Author Confession: The Guilt of Writing (And Not Writing)
  17. The #1 Rookie Mindset That Serious Vendors Must Overcome
  18. 8 Tips to Stay on Your Freelance Writer’s Good Side
  19. The Witching Hour (Sandcastle 20.10)
  20. Artist’s Confession: I Rarely Appreciate My Work at First
  21. Entrepreneur’s Perspective: Are Square Loans Worth It For Your Small Business?
  22. 3 Ways Indie Authors Can Make Extra Money with Their Website
  23. Gifts for Readers & Writers: 2023 Holiday Shopping Guide
  24. 2024 Literary and Book-Themed Holidays for Your Calendar
  1. 2023 Literary and Book-Themed Holidays for Your Calendar
  2. Author’s 20 Tips for a Successful Book Signing
  3. The “Theory of Omission” in Writing | Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory
  4. What To Do If Someone Wants Your Art as a Tattoo
  5. Self-Publishing Review: Barnes & Noble Press vs. IngramSpark


Did you miss any of 2023’s newsletters? Catch up with all of the year’s newsletters below, and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter list if you aren’t already on it!

January On the Cobblestone Road newsletter
February On The Cobblestone Road newsletter
March On The Cobblestone Road newsletter
April On The Cobblestone Road newsletter
May On The Cobblestone Road newsletter
October 2023 On The Cobblestone Road newsletter
November On the Cobblestone Road newsletter
December On The Cobblestone Road newsletter

I wish everyone a happy, healthy, positive 2024!

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I'm an award-winning fantasy author, artist, and photographer from La Porte, Indiana. My poetry, short fiction, and memoir works have been featured in various anthologies and journals since 2005, and several of my poems are available in the Indiana Poetry Archives. The first three novels in my Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series have received awards from Literary Titan.

After some time working as a freelance writer, I was shocked by how many website articles are actually written by paid "ghost writers" but published under the byline of a different author. It was a jolt seeing my articles presented as if they were written by a high-profile CEO or an industry expert with decades of experience. I'll be honest; it felt slimy and dishonest. I had none of the credentials readers assumed the author of the article actually had. Ghost writing is a perfectly legal, astonishingly common practice, and now, AI has entered the playing field to further muddy the waters. It's hard to trust who (or what) actually wrote the content you'll read online these days.

That's not the case here at On The Cobblestone Road. I do not and never will pay a ghost writer, then slap my name on their work as if I'd written it. This website is 100% authentic. No outsourcing. No ghost writing. No AI-generated content. It's just me... as it should be.

If you would like to support my work, check out the Support The Creator page for more information. Thank you for finding my website! 🖤