In my previous blog I reflected on what I’d learnt in 2017. So now It’s time to look forward to a new year and make my writer’s plans for 2018, a.k.a. resolutions. I do this every year and yes, I do look back at them from time to time. Like most of us some I have fulfilled, others have been partially met and some discarded along the way. So are they worth it? I think so. It’s a good time to re-focus, to assess what I’m trying to do, what I want to achieve.
So for 2018:
Build on the good things I started in 2017
I did spend more time writing; I started a series of urban fantasy stories (Inspector Kirby and Harold Longcoat). I completed and launched the first and began the second and third; I updated my web site (my shop window); I invested time and effort into my mailing list. I’ve spent more time educating myself on marketing for the self-publishing author. All this is good, however, for it to pay off I need to build on it during 2018. So:
Those book series
What do the successful indie-authors have in common? Apart from writing decent books (hopefully). First they have a good number of books out there. However, importantly their books are part of a series. I’m now a firm believer that having a series (or more than one series) of books is key to selling more books. Yes, they have to be well written, well presented good stories etc. However, if you get that right with a series, then selling one book will lead to more sales. Or giving one of that series away will help sell more copies of the follow-ups. So for 2018, Objective No. 1 – complete that series. What’s more I have two follow-ups written to the first book I wrote sitting there awaiting final revision. Objective No. 2 Whip that series in to shape and get it out there. It’s not doing any good sitting on my hard drive
I know, I know, this appears every year as it must do for all indie-authors. And every year I feel I’ve not given it the time and focus needed. As mentioned in my look back at 2017 I have done better and I have sold a few more books. I haven’t dived into the world of Facebook ads etc. Mainly because until I feel that I have that body of work and those tempting offers I will be wasting both money and time. I’ve certainly read enough from those who have done just that and warn against it. One thing is for sure there is no magic bullet to selling more books, despite the promises you see all over the web. Whatever I do needs to be more coordinated and coherent. Yes, I need a plan.
Well I guess these are more reminders than resolutions:
1) Write for the shear enjoyment of writing. I’ve been doing it for a good number of years now and if you write and don’t enjoy it I think it must be torture. Let’s put it like this I don’t see it making my fortune anytime soon despite my resolutions above (we can but dream). However, it’s good to remind myself every now and then that yes, writing gives me great pleasure. I guess I just that I want others to enjoy my writing as well.
2) Read more and wider. Hmm, I had this down for last year. I tried, I just didn’t do enough of it, so good to remind myself again.
3) In 2016 I did read something called the slight edge and had it in my 2017 resolutions. Essentially it states that small changes / positive activities individually might not add up to much, however, performed consistently over a period of time they do make a difference. It makes sense to me. I think I need to go back and revisit this idea.
4) In 2017 I started but didn’t finish updating my free compendium of my science fiction blogs, ‘A companion to the future.’ I had good feedback when first launched but it needs that update and a face-lift.
5) Continue to add hard copies to my books. Previously I limited my self to e-books. However, thanks to CreatSpace I have two books available as paperbacks. It’s great to have them sitting on my book shelf and I think it makes me appear more committed as an author. I’ve even sold a few copies.
Well, I think that’s enough. I know at the end of the year I will have achieved some and only partly achieved others and that’s where one of a writers main required attributes comes in “patience”. I could have put that in the “What else” section, however I think it is something that applies to all of the above.
Have a successful 2018, however you define that.
As always comments are welcome