Well, here we are. At the end of another year, poised on the precipice of 2016. And I can finally – FINALLY! – wrap up my year as a published author.
Some Rise by Sin was published in March, to little fanfare other than that created by my critique group, family, friends, and of course, myself. Let’s get real – I’m no J.K. Rowling. But it’s done better than I expected given that I have no knowledge whatsoever of marketing. However, they say that the best marketing tool an author can have is a backlist – and trust me, I’m working on that. In the meantime, I’ve put together a little list of things I accomplished this year and things I hope to accomplish next year.
What I Did This Year
- I published a book! ‘Nuff said.
- I began to think about a sequel to said book.
- I realized that the idea I have for said sequel would require a LOT more research than my brain was ready to do. Having spent the last 7.5 years immersed in Tudor England, I needed to come back to reality for a bit. So I put off plans for a sequel, and…
- Started writing a contemporary holiday romance. At the moment this post is published, I’m about 2/3 of the way through a rough draft, and the seeds of not one more, not two more, but FOUR more books are starting to sprout. So we’re looking at a 5-book Christmas series here, to be completed at some point as yet undetermined. 2020? Egads. Something tells me I’ll be begging for France under Charles X by the time that’s done. And of course, other seeds are always being planted.
- The authors’ cooperative to which I belong, Five Directions Press, has been picking up steam – which is an accomplishment in itself, and I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful group of writers (and friends). We did a few public appearances through the year and have continued adding to both our author list and our bookshelf. By spring, we’ll have added at least two more books to our list, with more to come throughout the year.
- I spoke – publicly! – twice, and did not die. First was the library panel in September, where all of the prep work I’d done immediately failed me and I completely forgot the thread I’d meant to follow when giving my part of the discussion. However, my cohorts Ariadne and C.P., in addition to giving me little prompts to keep me talking for longer than 30 seconds, kindly assured me I made more sense than I thought. I chose to believe them. Second was the interview for New Books in Historical Fiction which, considering it was only me and C.P. (and her cat) in her house, was much easier, but I still knew that I was essentially talking to the public, so the nerves were there. But after listening to the interview (and mentally thanking the editor, who cut out all of the awkward pauses that happened while I attempted to form a coherent thought), I must admit, I sounded pretty all right. Of course, it’s hard to be a decent interviewee without a fantastic interviewer!
- I changed my website design another half-dozen times. Seriously, the work of a frustrated graphic designer is never done.
Goals for 2016
- Publish another book. Peek around the site and you’ll find bits about my current WIP, A Holiday Wish. I expect to have this out in time for the 2016 holiday season – specifically, I am shooting for October, which gives me a nice month-long cushion of November on which to fall back in case I lose momentum. (I hope I don’t. It looks good so far.)
- Start plotting a third book. As of right now, I’m planning for the second Silver Bells book to run concurrently with the first and feature mostly different characters. But the main character I have in mind has (so far) two walk-on spots in A Holiday Wish, so I need to start weaving her in sooner than later.
- Complete my “writer’s room”. My husband and I purchased our first (and last, hopefully – I am not eager to have any more dealings with mortgage companies) house over the summer and it needs a lot of cosmetic TLC. So far my writing room has taken a backseat to the areas that see the most traffic. And while my desk at my day job has served as an adequate place to get my writing done, part of the reason for buying a house was to have my own space unencumbered by necessary storage of unrelated items and the relentless dive-bombing of upstairs neighbors’ undisciplined children. I finally have that room, and over the few days I’ll be home for a Christmas mini-break, I plan to start making it mine.
- Learn more about marketing. I’d like to say I’m the kind of author who writes just because I like it, and that’s about 97% true, but that 3% of me would be a big, fat liar if I said I didn’t want to sell more.
- Give serious thought to becoming a book cover designer. Sometimes I think I prefer designing covers even to writing. (That’s another reason why my Silver Bells series might have 5 books – I came up with 5 covers that I got seriously attached to.) I make covers for books I haven’t yet written and redesign books other people have written. And I like to think I’m even a little good at it. I only have to figure out what I can offer indie authors that they can’t already get somewhere else. It shouldn’t be that hard. Right?
- Lose 30 pounds. (Oops – how did THAT slip in there? Oh, well. Now I have accountability.)
I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful holiday season and a safe, happy, and successful 2016!
Creative Commons Happy Holidays Custom Sugar Cookie by Sweet Flour Bake Shop is licensed under CC BY 2.0