This is the kind of blog post I should have written at the beginning of January, but I was catching up on all the admin admin that I didn’t get done while I was finishing off Rebel Faerie at the end of last year, plus writing a short story for an anthology, plus brainstorming a new series, and then we went away for ten days … And now it feels like the beginning of the year all over again! And as they say … better late than never 😉
ADDRESSING 2017 GOALS
- Publish 3 Creepy Hollow novels – I DID THIS!
- Become a USA Today bestselling author – This didn’t happen, but I gave it my best shot and learned a lot! This is still a goal of mine for the future (probably 2019) but isn’t something I plan to focus on this year.
- Incorporate dictation into my work process – This didn’t happen (I barely even tried 🙁 ), but I’m determined to give it another go!
- Read more – This didn’t really happen either 🙁
- NOT work into the wee hours of the morning! I kinda managed this! I had a few late nights (i.e. 1 or 2 am) just before the release of each book, but not as many as in 2016 🙂
- Start working on a brand new series – sort of. I did this a little bit on paper and mainly in my head 😉
So here’s what happened in 2017 …
Published Creepy Hollow books 7, 8 and 9
Hit my 5-year publishing anniversary
If you want to read about my publishing journey up until that point, I posted about it in March last year.
Put together a collection of Creepy Hollow books 1-6 and did a MASSIVE promotion!
For a limited time in March last year, I set this collection at the super low price of 99¢ and did loads of promotion and advertising (not BookBub, unfortunately) in the hopes of making it onto the USA Today Bestseller list. In total during the week that I was trying to get onto the list, the collection sold 5541 copies. 4246 of those were US sales—clearly not enough to make it onto the list. If I had managed to get a BookBub feature for that week, I might have made it … but we’ll never know!
It was disappointing, but I also learned a few lessons, one of the most valuable being that an entire week of solid marketing, constantly checking numbers, and NOT writing is kinda depressing. It was a good reminder that creative work (the actual writing) is the most fulfilling and satisfying part of my job. (This might seem like it should have been obvious, but it wasn’t to me. I enjoy the marketing side of this business, so I thought I would really enjoy that period of being immersed in it. Adjusting ads, checking sales, checking ranks, making more promo graphics etc, but I discovered that too much of that stuff is draining, and I really missed the writing part of my days!)
Designed new covers for the Creepy Hollow collections Violet’s Story and Calla’s Story
- Finally get my writing/admin/life balance right – I’ve been trying to do this for more than five years, and I’ve never managed to maintain it. But I’ve learned enough about myself and the way that I work by now to know HOW to get it right—with enough discipline. Basically … DO THE WRITING FIRST AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAY! That, along with distraction-free, timed writing sprints, is what works for me. I just have to make myself do that instead of being sucked into emails/marketing/admin/social media etc at the beginning of the day! ?
- Write 5 novels in a new series and a Creepy Hollow novella – I’ve never written FIVE novels in a year before! But I plan for these to be shorter than most of the Creepy Hollow novels—more like the length of The Faerie Guardian and Glass Faerie, which are the two shortest Creepy Hollow books—so I think it could be possible (especially if I can get the goal in the first bullet point right!).
- Incorporate dictation into my work process – for the third year in a row, this is one of my goals!
- Read more – I’m serious about this in 2018. So serious that I’m including it in my daily schedule rather than running out of time and only opening a book/Kindle when I get into bed at night and then falling asleep after one chapter!