Now that you’ve probably read every other blogger’s resolutions for 2018, it’s my turn to jump into the Pool of Goals and Ambitions (please shower before entering).
As I mentioned last week, this post is going to be chock full of my many aims in my writing career over the next year (and even beyond). Now that I’ve finally gotten the spark, the tools, and the mindset to turn my writing world around (with a good dose of reality about how much work this is going to take), I’m naively excited to see how this year plays out.
I recently spent a long afternoon brainstorming everything I wanted to achieve this year and it’s a HUGE list. I’m the type of person who, when I get excited about something I want to tackle everything at once. Unfortunately, this is what I’ve done too many years running: Had ambitious plans but left them super vague, had no real marketing goals beyond being more active on social media, and did too much at once which not only led to frustration but also a complete stagnation of my writing career somewhere in mid-2016.
So, this time around, not only did I come up with a HUGE list of dreams and goals, I plotted out a timeline for them, broke them down into their component needs-to-happen parts, and sorted out what I’d have to do each month over the next year to keep these goals trickling in. Oh, and of course, I did this with a good stock of colored pens.
But enough of this blather, let’s get on with the goals…
- Revamp my mailing list and double my number of subscribers. I’ll write an entire post about this next week, but let’s just say I’ve been very hit and miss with my mailing list. This is the year the mailing list mayhem will change! I’m also determined to make the content I send to my subscribers more unique (no more copying blog posts!) and more regular (every 3 to 4 weeks).
- Give my website a remodel. Actually, I’ve already completed this goal. YAY!!! If you poke around my site a bit you’ll notice a cleaner look, a new menu, some changes to my book pages (including a dedicated Osteria page), the removal of my art (no one was looking at it anyway), and a few new items in my blog’s sidebar.
- Earn a defined amount from book sales this year. Since for most people this amount would be a joke (and probably what they earn in less than a week of book sales), I’m too embarrassed to divulge it now. Even though it’s tiny, it’s a monumental increase over what I’ve earned in book sales over the past couple years. As such, quite a bit of my 2018 goals revolve around increasing book sales, including….
- Running at least one ad a month starting in February. The prevailing theory is that you should run several ads a month (“stacking”) to really get your book in front of people’s faces, but for now that’s simply not in the budget. As you might guess, there’s a blog post in the future regarding this.
- Stay knowledgeable. Because things are always changing in self-publishing these days, I’m going to continue to stay on top of book marketing trends and strategies (something I’ve NEVER done until late last year) by listening to at least three marketing related podcasts a week and reading a marketing book once a month.
- Keep improving. To keep my writing skills up to snuff, I’ll be reading a writing craft book once a month, doing a 10-20 minute writing exercise one day a week, and aiming to write a short story every couple months.
- Continue on with the Osteria Chronicles. As you read last week, I’m relaunching books one through three of my Osteria Chronicles series (official relaunch date is next month). I’ll also be publishing book four in May. By the end of the year I’ll have books five and six (the final two) outlined and maybe even drafted with an aim to publish both of them in 2019. I’m also creating a box set (ebook only) of books one through three which will be released just a few weeks before the release of book four.
- Publish an Osteria-based trilogy. Because I need a break from the core Osteria series, I’m taking a historical novel I wrote several years ago and turning it into a trilogy set in the world of Osteria. This trilogy will be independent of the main series and should be out in the fall. In 2019, I’ll do a boxset of this trilogy. And, yes, of course, there will be plenty of blog posts about this to come.
- Write (or at least draft) a stack of non-Osteria books for 2019. This will take a whole blog post to explain, but this goal may involve a pseudonym and getting very efficient with my writing time. My goal will be to have a book ready to publish at least every 60 days during 2019 (even I’m rolling my eyes in doubt at that, but we’ll see).
- Try out KDP Select. I’ve been very wary of going exclusive with Amazon especially since my sales on other retailers are always higher than those on Amazon, but supposedly there are some advantages to exclusivity so I might try it as an experiment with one of my releases this year. More on this in a few weeks.
- Make some passive income. By this I mean working on getting a few pennies from scattering affiliate links in my posts. I’ve already joined Amazon’s and Smashwords’ Affiliate Programs and am working on ways to drive a bit of traffic to those links (as you’ll see at the bottom of this post). I’m also toying with the idea of starting a Patreon, but that’s a project I’ll hold off on until summer.
- And finally, keep on blogging. As you can see from all the “more on this later” comments above, I’ve got plenty to blog about in 2018. I’m going to stick with my Writing Wednesday post each week, but until he starts having more adventures later in the year, I’m going to pare back Finn’s Saturday posts to every other week. I’m also going to try to interact with more bloggers (commenting really intimidates me) on a more regular basis.
It may seem like a daunting list, but unless some serious life issues crop up this year, I’m feeling pretty confident I can manage it (sleep? who needs sleep?!!).
So, what do you think? What are your big goals for the upcoming year? Or have you already given up on your New Year’s Resolutions? Share your thoughts in a comment below!!