One of the reasons I'm honest with you all on this site is for accountability.
This blog has always been about sharing what I learn on the writer's journey, so here's my assessment of my own goals for the year. You can read the Jan 2, 2013 post here if you want to compare what I committed to vs. what I have done. Some of you also left your goals in the comments, so I'd love to hear what you've achieved.
(1) Main goal: Stick with Plan A and create more books
Here are the books I have completed and worked on this year.
- New crime thriller – Desecration is out now, and I am hugely proud of the book. I finally feel as if I am finding my own voice, and I am immensely proud of this book. It's a new direction for me, and one I will be continuing.
- Non-fiction – ‘How To Market A Book‘. A #1 Amazon category bestseller on release.
- ARKANE Novella set in Hungary – ‘One Day In Budapest‘ Bestseller in International Mystery & Crime
- PLUS/ A Thousand Fiendish Angels, a short story collection based on Dante's Inferno, originally written for Kobo and now available on Amazon as well.
- PLUS/ ARKANE Thriller Box Set – Pentecost, Prophecy and Exodus
- Non-fiction – Creative Business/ Solopreneur – switched to Public Speaking. Currently with my proofreader, so will be out in Jan.
- New crime thriller – Delirium. Plotted and first draft in progress
Total Word Count 2013 for books: 235,949 + ~50,000 for the blog and guest articles etc.
(2) Get back into print and audio … plus, foreign rights
- All my books are in print with the exception of ‘A Thousand Fiendish Angels,' which is a short story collection, so really too short for print. I'd like to thank Derek from Creativindie Book Covers for all the amazing covers, and Jane from JDSmithDesign for the stunning interior design.
- Pentecost, Prophecy and Exodus are all available on Audible and iTunes as audiobooks. I interviewed my narrator, Veronica Giguere, on the podcast here. You can read more about the audio deal on my fiction site at JFPenn.com.
I’m going to add foreign rights to the list, as I have signed joint venture deals with translators for German, Spanish and Italian.
This are all 50/50 royalty splits based on translators being marketing partners. I'll talk more about how this works in 2014.
(2) The Creative Penn Blog, Podcast, Videos and Online Courses
I reached my 5th anniversary on the site, and changed the direction with the intent of being a graduate program for indie authors and creative entrepreneurs.
(3) Professional Speaking
I've had a pretty busy speaking year. Highlights have been:
- London Book Fair, April 2013 – I think I was the first independent author to run a mainstream program session on marketing ever!
- Berlin ePubli conference – I loved being in Berlin, such an awesome city and a brilliant load of publishing startup enthusiastic people
- The Guardian Masterclasses – more to come in 2014
- FutureBook Publishing conference – I only had 10 mins but I was speaking to 500+ industry professionals, so it was a great opportunity to demonstrate the indie mindset and seemed to go down well
(4) Do an international research trip
I added an international research trip to the goals for the year, and spent 2 weeks cycling through southern India in September. Full report here, but it led into interviewing Minal Hajratwala about the potential for publishing in India, as well as some ideas for an ARKANE novel, which I might get to in 2014. I definitely intend to travel more next year, (so if you hear of any speaking opportunities, let me know!)
(5) Now an award-winner!
In November, I was announced as one of The Guardian's Top 100 Creative Professionals in the publishing sector, which was pretty awesome! It's at least a recognition that publishing is changing, and recognizing independent authors as playing a valid part in the future of the industry.
Right, that's me done!
What have you achieved in 2013? Please share your successes, even little ones, in the comments below, and let's celebrate together!