I would like to wish everyone a very happy new year. I hope 2020 is a fruitful and productive year for us all.
Before I lay out my quarterly plan, here’s a quick look back at 2019. The year was one of my quietest yet on the blogging front. But I did have the excuse of having written and published the final book in my Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and also publishing the box set. I also released the audiobook of Visions of Zarua and went to visit the Czech edition of the book in a few bookshops in Prague. I also had three blog tours over the space of five months and a number of author events.
In 2019 reading and blogging took a back seat and with the schedule I’ve set myself in 2020 it looks like it will be more of the same. I have some exciting stories on the go and I’m really looking forward to continuing my self publishing journey. I even plan to finally get my newsletter up and running soon. So here is my quarterly plan…
Plan the remaining chapters of my WIP.
Draft the dual timeline story for my WIP.
Read and develop novella linking to current WIP, which will be offered as a reader magnet for my newsletter.
Enter Visions of Zarua into audiobook competition.
Set up Newsletter
Complete the final draft of WIP including the dual timeline story.
Complete novella and give to newsletter subscribers.
Work on the next chapters of my portal novel.
Read an old completed novel and determine if it can be rewritten. Write out a full novel plan.
Prepare the WIP for beta readers.
Publish novella in ebook format.
Read my second novel written years ago to determine if it’s worth re-writing and complete a novel plan for it.
Continue work on portal novel and start drafting up a plan.
Misc. tasks to slot in when time allows
Work on short story ideas for the book I plan to publish in the future.
Consider whether to work on a how to guide for kindle publishing as I’ve had several requests to do so.
Work on the website look and create a landing page for the newsletter.
Research ways to earn money from home using the skills I’ve learnt writing, editing, publishing and helping with my husband’s business.
Reading for the year
My Goodreads challenge of 2019 was 35 books but I only managed to read about 22.
I am being very careful this year and only going for 15 books. Hopefully I can smash this target and I would love to start reviewing books on my blog again though I won’t add that to the to do list just yet!
I have been very quiet on the social media front these past few months, hoping to work hard on my draft of The Sentinel’s Alliance. That has not gone to plan but I have been doing lots of other exciting things and thought I would share them with you. Maybe you can pick up some tips for things you can be doing with your self published books.
Note – This whole situation came about because of Rebecca Howie’s post on The Backdoor to Bookstores. As you can guess it’s about getting your books into the bookshops, something I had thought impossible and didn’t bother researching. Her post has led me to;
Register all my books with Nielsen via a simple emailed form. This means my books can now be found on the website of most bookshops like Waterstones.
Ask my local Waterstones branch about stocking my books. I am waiting to hear from the relevant department.
Contact my local library. Again I am waiting to hear from the relevant department but the librarian was hopeful it would be accepted. If not I still have the option of donating copies for them to lend.
I already had a PLR account but my books weren’t on file. As I’ve now registered the books with Nielsen I can apply for my books to be added to my account. Again I am waiting for them to be processed.
Today I am posting a physical copy of each of my books to The British Library. Once deposited, there will always be a copy and a record of my work, though they did warn me the backlog was 3 or 4 months.
My next steps
Contact local indie books stores – I already have a list to work through.
Print some leaflets with LOCAL AUTHOR and hand them out around my local towns.
Look into book festivals for 2019 with a mind to having a book stall.
Look into having an audiobook produced for Visions of Zarua through ACX. I can go with the 50/50 split with a producer and pay nothing up front so there is nothing to lose. My main concern is the voice – I have 4 VP characters 3 of which are male. I think I will have to request a male narrator, though I’m not keen on men doing female voices and vs versa. Varnia is such a strong character, I would hate for her to lose that edge in an audio version.
I have just switched my paperback books from Createspace to KDP. It was a very simple process and took just a few minutes with the automated programme KDP have developed. Rather than try to explain it myself, I read a great post about it yesterday on Nicolas C Rossis’ blog.
Now onto my writing challenges for Autumn 2018
Finish my draft of book 3 asap, though I’m still coming to grips with the mess I made of it during Nanowrimo last year!
I want to try to plan the Prequel of Silent Sea Chronicles whilst writing book 3, ready to start work on it in 2019.
Write the draft of a new novella during Nanowrimo. I want to aim for a word count of 30-40k.
Enter at least 5 short story competitions. I have 5 stories edited, critiqued and ready to go and I think I have picked some good competitions to try.
Enter a few first chapter competitions.
Look for Self Pub novel competitions to enter that don’t cost loads of money
Work on new short story ideas for a possible anthology in 2019. I’ve already seen a couple of covers that I would love, but I can’t jump ahead that much, can I?
Other things I need to focus on in 2018
Promos for all books, including working on my AMS ads which I’ve heard is now changing anyway.
Contact reviewers – look for new opportunities and contact previous reviewers. It’s been a difficult summer for many reviewers so I’m hoping to reconnect with some of them during autumn/winter.
Write up my book reviews and post weekly. I like to do this on a Tuesday with the #tuesdaybookblog tag set up by Rosie Amber.
Study writing fiction for YA and decide if I want to head in that direct at some point. Some readers already class my Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy as YA so I’m interested to see why and if I should be targeting that market.
Finish my Goodreads reading challenge, which I am just about on target for.
A future goal I want to think about for 2019 is setting up an author newsletter. I know I should, but it’s one of those jobs I’ve been putting off.
It feels good to write down my achievements and my goals. I shall print off this list and pin it to the wall by my desk for inspiration and to keep me on track.
This list will easily take me to the end of the year. I just need to focus and stop getting distracted. I did find this post from Ari really helpful about her own September 2018 goals and working towards them each week. She shares lots of great advice and her site is well worth a visit.
Lastly, if you are looking for motivation you really should read this book – Overwhelmed Writer Rescue by Colleen Story. I reviewed it last year and it is packed with advice. I must revisit my copy.
I hope I have given you some ideas and if you have any tips to share or other routes I can follow as an indie author, please comment. I feel as though I’ve been out of the blogging loop for ages, so I’d love to reconnect with people.