8:09 PM | Posted by Melissa Simmons | | Edit Page
In 2013, Allana and I started Girls *Heart* Books Tours because we wanted to help some of our favorite indie authors get the word out about their work. We saw several cases of new indies being overlooked or taken advantage of by some not quite reputable service providers and rather than get angry, we did something about it. We started out with a group of 25 or so of our blogger friends signed up to host for our clients. As time has passed we’ve grown, despite hitting our share of bumps in the road, and so has our fantastic group of bloggers. When we began GHBT, we felt we were making a difference in helping authors get their books in front of more readers and that was all we really wanted. This was a second job for both of us and we had no plans to make it anything more than that.
When I went out on medical leave from my nine to five office job two years ago, I was excited to be able to devote more of my time and attention to something I was passionate about. I decided to broaden our horizons a bit, offering Personal Assistant services to our most loyal clients and things blossomed further for us from there. We grew to the point of needing more help and I gladly took on KJ Partridge as my assistant. With her help, GHBT flourished and finally, I felt I was doing what I was meant to do. Helping people, spreading the word about amazing books, it was my dream job and I’m so grateful I got the chance to experience it.
The last few years have been tumultuous for the indie community and a lot has changed. It’s with a heavy heart that I’ve realized that our effectiveness in the current blogger/author climate has been affected by those changes.My personal goals have changed as well. I’m now an author myself and my primary focus has shifted. As sad as I am to say it, GHBT has, at least for the time being, run its course. We will be closing our doors effective June 1st, 2016. We will continue booking events and tours up to May 15th, 2016 but after that, we won’t be accepting any new clients. It hurts my heart to walk away from this endeavor but I feel it’s what’s best for me and I look forward to embracing the next phase in my professional life.
It has been a pleasure to work with so many amazing, smart, funny, helpful, bighearted people. My core bloggers are such a fantastic bunch of human beings, I love each and every one of you for all you’ve done and contributed over the years and I will miss working with all of you. To our clients, I thank you for putting your trust in me and for your patronage. It’s been a privilege to work with you. KJ, I never would have lasted this long without you, your help and guidance have been invaluable. And to Allana, thank you for lending me the courage to put our plans into action. It might be over for now, but it was fun while it lasted. Thank you.