Egad! Is it really the end of January already? Apparently time not only flies when you’re having fun, but also when you’re hard at work (which kind of makes that saying a bit pointless, if you ask me). It’s been a crazy busy month. At times has been a tad overwhelming and the old Doubt Monster has crept in more than once, but so far I’m making headway into my creative goals for 2018 even if I’m not meeting all of them just yet.
If you don’t want to slog through the detailed list below here’s a quick summary of the goals I’ve conquered in January…
- I’ve done a soft relaunch of Books One, Two and Three of the Osteria Chronicles (official relaunch is in February and you’ll hear all about it in a couple weeks).
- I’ve tested out Amazon Ads during a short experiment
- I reignited a new mailing list system (and have been begging for subscribers ever since).
- I completed Draft 3 of The Bonds of Osteria and the end of Draft 4 is in sight!
- I drafted a short story that was so scary a noise outside made me jump while I was writing it.
(if you missed my Original list of goals, you can catch up here)
And now, the detailed lowdown on all my creative ambitions for 2018…
- The mailing list revamp is complete and I even sent out my very first “real” newsletter yesterday that was chock full of the secrets of your local library and a recommendation for a fiction series that mixes humor, mythology, and mystery in a wild romp through the streets of London. I haven’t doubled my number of subscribers yet, but c’mon, it’s only been a couple weeks since the mailing list’s official launch. You can sign up for the newsletter here (hint hint) and get a couple free books for joining!
- The website remodel is complete for now and THANK YOU to those of you said you liked the tidier look and easier navigation. I’m considering adding a way for you to buy books directly through me, but that’s a project for much later in the year.
- Earn a defined amount from book sales. Um, yeah so even though I thought I was totally low-balling this one, I still fell short and that has fed into the Doubt Monster who keeps shouting, “You’ll never be anything, loser!” But I’m keeping a pair of ear plugs handy and trying to silence him as I push forward.
- Run at least one ad a month. I wasn’t going to start this until February, but I thought I’d give Amazon’s ads (AMS Ads for short) a try. The ad was just an experiment to try out the system and I plan to do a “real” ad next month. I’ll let you know the results from both and tell you a little bit about the ads in a post in the near future.
- Stay knowledgeable. This has been pretty easy. I’ve been keeping up with podcasts such as the Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing Podcast, The Creative Penn, the Sell More Books Show, and the Self-Publishing Formula (my treat on the weekend is taking a break from all the book podcasts and listening to StarTalk). I’ve also read two marketing books and one book on the craft of writing (you can see them at the end of this post).
- Keep improving. This has been more fun than I thought it would be. Each Friday I’ve been doing one 10-minute writing exercise from The Write-Brain Workbook. The prompts can be challenging, but it’s amazing how the brain can come up with almost two pages of story on the fly. I’ve also drafted a short story that’s sort of Downton Abbey meets Poltergeist. I’ll be tidying up that draft next week.
- Continue on with the Osteria Chronicles. Next week’s post is going to go into more details about this, but let’s just say I am thisclose to being done with the hard stuff on Book Four (The Bonds of Osteria)…and it has been hard at times! As mentioned above, the official relaunch of books 1-3 happens next month. Work on the box set is still scheduled to begin in February with an expected release date of late April or early May.
- Publish an Osteria-based trilogy. I’ll start work on this in March.
- Write a stack of non-Osteria books for 2019 publication. I may have time to start outlining some of these in February, but the real writing won’t start until late spring.
- Try out KDP Select. As you may have gathered from last week’s post, I’m really on the fence about this one. The Osteria-based trilogy mentioned above may be a good test subject for a KDPS release, then a wide release once the 90 days are up. Again, I’m still researching/debating this.
- Make some passive income. Thanks to my affiliate links (some of which are below, hint hint), I’ve raked in a whopping 12 cents so far!! I just don’t know what I’m going to do with it all! :))
- Keep on blogging. Despite the insane writing schedule lately, so far, I’m staying on track with my blog. However, something has to give so my social media interaction and posting has really fallen off. And I can’t say I’ve missed it!
How has 2018 been treating you? Did you have goals you’re now revising? Does the Doubt Monster ever try to devour your ambition? Let me know in a comment below!
Finn Mc Spool will be back Saturday to show off his latest photo shoot (he actually leaves the kitchen for this one) and i’ll be back next Wednesday to tell you all about my trials and travails with The Bonds of Osteria! See you then.
My Writing Reading For January…