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Another year turns! 2018 has been a big one for me as I reached 10 years of The Creative Penn.
Considering many new companies don't make it past 5 years, and many writers don't make it to full-time, I am pretty happy with overall progress – but as ever, there is always room for improvement.
In this article, I'll look at some of the bigger shifts for the indie publishing environment, and then review my 2018 goals (which I always post on 1 Jan), look at what I achieved, what I didn't quite hit, and lessons learned. You're welcome to leave your comments or thoughts on your own progress in the comments. Let's keep each other accountable!
In the introduction, I mention Amazon's Alexa crashing on Christmas Day [The Guardian], and how purchases through Alexa continue to grow [Venture Beat], even as the functionality available through Alexa continues to expand [Digital Trends]. Plus, for the first time in 20 years, copyrighted works will enter the public domain in the USA [The Smithsonian] and publishers are getting ready for re-releases, including The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran with an intro by Insta-poet sensation, Rupi Kaur. [New York Times]
Joanna Penn (yes, it's me on my own today!) is an award-nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers under J.F.Penn and also writes non-fiction for authors. She’s also a podcaster and an award-winning creative entrepreneur. Her site, TheCreativePenn.com has been voted in the Top 100 sites for writers by Writer's Digest. Joanna was named Publishing Commentator of the Year at Digital Book World 2018.
[For more pics from my Christmas down under, check out www.instagram.com/jfpennauthor]
You can listen above or on iTunes or your favorite podcast app, read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.
- Changes in the indie publishing environment 2018 – including disruption to the status quo, technology and pay-to-play marketing
- My books of the year – broaden your mind as you consider what's coming in the next 5 years
- My 2018 creative goals – what I achieved and what I missed – and why
Changes in the indie publishing environment 2018
Before I get into how I did with my goals, here are my thoughts on some of the changes that impacted indie authors in the last year.
Disruption to the status quo
At the end of 2017, I felt that the indie business model had stabilized and that we had all the tools we need to do our writing, publishing, and marketing, but as ever, nothing stays the same and everything changes.
This year saw the end of Createspace as Amazon started to move print book setup into KDP Print. I spent 13 years implementing IT systems so I jumped into the move early to take advantage of the helpdesk before they were swamped. There was some initial pain, and some authors are still finding difficulties, but overall, it seems like a good move, especially with the consolidation in Amazon Marketing Services.
I now use KDP print alongside Ingram Spark for my print books, and have expanded into Large Print and Hardback editions in 2018.
There has been an increasing split between the KU Amazon exclusivity business model, and the wide publishing approach of multiple streams of income. Although there have been some big winners in KU, many authors have felt that the increasing scams, tech headaches, and dependence on one platform are no longer worth it.
The choice to ‘go wide' has become more attractive in 2018 with Kobo Writing Life and Draft2Digital, in particular, expanding their offerings, as well as the emergence of PublishDrive as a new player focusing on Google Play and foreign markets that the others don't reach. Plus, audio options have expanded with Findaway Voices, and more exciting things on the horizon for 2019.
Marketing has always been necessary, but paid ads are now (almost) non-negotiable
It used to be the case that a new author could self-publish a book, put it up on Amazon and be assured of at least a few sales using free tools like KDP Select free days or countdown deals. Most authors used some form of paid marketing, but there were options for those with little to no budget.
But in mid-2018, things shifted as Amazon, the most egalitarian of publishing platforms, pretty much became a pay-to-play environment.
If you publish a book – whether it's self-published or traditionally published – it is unlikely to sell any copies because it literally can't be seen. You have to send traffic to it somehow – through your email list or someone else's (BookBub, Freebooksy, other services), paid ads, content marketing, podcasting, videos, social media or other means.
For more detail on the shift, check out The Economist on Amazon's advertising ambition, Russell Blake's article on the state of the indie nation, Mark Dawson's Amazon Ads Masterclass podcast, and my own podcast intro discussing the change (episode 403).
There's no point lamenting this shift. All businesses have marketing costs and although indie authors had free options that actually sold books for a while, it looks like that time is gone.
Personally, I am doubling down on Amazon ads in the short term, but also starting to build a new content site for my fiction. You can find out more in my mini-course, Content Marketing for Fiction, and I'll also mention it more on my 2019 goals article tomorrow.
This is part of a larger sense that what used to work doesn't work anymore – and that's just as true in traditional publishing, as Kristine Kathryn Rusch discusses in her article on disruption which covers the ‘inevitable plateau of sales' in a disrupted market.
Disruption on a global scale
I've been through a personal shift this year as I have read books and listened to podcasts that have opened my eyes to different possibilities and a new sense of what might be coming for creatives. I am a futurist and the macro trends that are coming will transform our lives. As ever, I want to ride those waves and knowledge helps to position ourselves.
While the US and UK have been caught up with Trump and Brexit, while our news has been dominated with doom and gloom, there have been huge advances in technology and economic shifts that will impact our lives in the next 5 – 10 years.
These include the rise of China in terms of technology like 5G and AI, as well as their Belt and Road Initiative which is transforming developing economies. I mentioned the possible impact of China Literature after the London Book Fair, and also reported on the 30-second translation of an English book into Mandarin with 95% accuracy. So much is happening, and we may start to see more of an impact in 2019.
There is too much to get into here, but read these books (or listen to the audiobooks as I did) and prepare to open your mind:
- AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order by Kai-fu Lee.
- The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World – Peter Frankopan
- Listen to the Exponential Wisdom Podcast with Peter Diamandis and Dan Sullivan
- Also, for global publishing news, subscribe to The New Publishing Standard. There is a LOT going on out there!
My response to these books is to double down on investing in China and Silk Road countries through index funds, (this is not financial advice and I am not a financial advisor!), and I am moving up plans to go to China, particularly Shenzhen as I want to see what's going on for myself. I learn so much by being in an environment, e.g. when I was in San Francisco in 2017, I saw the meat-free and vegan trend coming and it's just starting to take hold in the UK now, especially with the possible impact on climate change.
I will, of course, be sharing what I learn with you over time.
In terms of a question for you to think about: What do you need to let go of in terms of your beliefs about publishing or how the world is? Does your opinion serve you or is it time to gain a new perspective? What do you need to learn about?
My goals 2018 – what I achieved and what I missed
The Creative Penn website and podcast
Another year of the blog and the podcast, and I am thrilled to say that I get emails and tweets every day that demonstrate I am still useful to the indie author community, even though there are so many more voices these days.
I did a big podcast and blog post for my 10 year anniversary in Dec 2018, so check that out for lots of lessons learned and tips for your own writing journey.
A huge THANKS to you if you have bought my books or my courses, or if you support the podcast on Patreon, or if you have clicked on my affiliate links, or shared the site with anyone. I really appreciate your part in keeping my creative business sustainable.
So, what did I say I would do – and did I do it?
I did revamp the website around Pathways. On the main Resources page, there are now 6 different landing pages so you can choose your own adventure through the material. These pages are also integrated into the segmented email list as below.
I also segmented my Author Blueprint email list, so if you sign up for the Blueprint now, you will get the downloads but then you are asked for what you are interested in, and sent the most useful material. Before I did that, everyone received the same autoresponder in the same sequence, regardless of what they were most interested in.
This was a major piece of work, but worthwhile, as new subscribers get more useful information more quickly.
I also did the full GDPR compliance work for my main websites. It was a short-term amount of pain for a good reason. I have always respected my email list but this codified respect into data protection procedures. Click here for a free workshop on GDPR if you haven't yet tackled it.
I revamped my YouTube channel – www.YouTube.com/thecreativepenn – and created a series of short videos covering the most common questions. The subscribers grew from 17,000 subscribers and over 1.2 million views at the beginning of the year to 26,377 subscribers and over 1.8 million views. People have watched my videos for a watch time total of nearly 33 years, which is crazy!
However, I really don't love video as a format, so I stopped doing those extra videos in order to focus on my core activities – writing and podcasting. I will continue to post the weekly podcast interviews and other occasional videos. You can find The Creative Penn here on YouTube.
I said I would do mini-courses on Teachable. I actually did another significant course: How to Write Non-Fiction, and one mini-course: Content Marketing for Fiction. You can find all my courses at www.TheCreativePenn.com/learn.
I like having craft courses and evergreen material that is useful to authors on an ongoing basis. I don't do spike launches, so these courses are more a slow-drip form of extra income. You know I'm all about the multiple streams 🙂
Non-fiction as Joanna Penn
I said I would write How to Write Non-Fiction, and I did. It's available in ebook, print, Large Print, hardback and also audiobook formats, as well as a Workbook edition and a multi-media course version.
It turned out to be a lot more intensive than I expected, but I really found it useful to my own processes, and from the reviews, it's useful for other writers too. I'm definitely proud of that one!
I said I would write How to Write a Novel, but although I have 90,000+ words in a Scrivener folder, it is too big a project for me to wrangle right now. There is a multi-media course version, How to Write a Novel, on Teachable, if you need help!
I also said I would write The Shadow Book (working title), but I have not been in the right space for that. I don't know when I will be, to be honest. I think it might take years to bubble up, but it will be all the richer for waiting.
I said I would do more non-fiction audiobooks – both The Healthy Writer and How to Write Non-Fiction are available in audio, along with most of my other non-fiction. Click here for all my audiobooks.
Thrillers and Dark Fantasy as J.F.Penn
In the first few months of 2018, I focused on adapting Map of Shadows to a feature film screenplay. I did a fantastic course at NFTS in London, and they told me that it would cost over $100 million to make because it is such a ‘big' movie. All my books have a huge scope!
I loved writing the scripts but I also learned – as with writing books – that the script aspect is only one part of screenwriting, and I don't have the time to commit to learning a new industry and selling my scripts.
So I put that aside to concentrate on novels for now.
I wrote and published ARKANE thriller #10, Valley of Dry Bones, which ties together San Francisco, New Orleans and Spain in a race against time to find an ancient relic that can raise the dead.
I said I would write two other novels, but I haven't written any more this year, although I have started my research for the next Mapwalker dark fantasy novel. I definitely want to write more in 2019. More on that in tomorrow's post on 2019 goals!
I did say that I was putting fiction audio on hold for 2018, but in the second half of the year, I learned of upcoming changes to the market in 2019, that has rekindled my enthusiasm for fiction audio, as covered in my NINC round-up. Valley of Dry Bones will be out in early 2019, narrated by Veronica Giguere, who does all my ARKANE thrillers.
I've been having voice coaching in order to narrate my own fiction which has been incredible for my own personal development and my writing. I'll be starting with my short story collection, A Thousand Fiendish Angels in early 2019.
Sweet romance as Penny Appleton
Last year, my Mum and I co-wrote 3 books as Penny Appleton, and this year decided to part ways amicably and pursue writing separately, rather than continue co-writing.
I'm thrilled that I was able to help her start a new writing career in her 70s, but the genre is not my passion, so she will continue writing sweet romance and women's fiction, and I will go back to my dark side!
You can read/listen/watch a round-up of our experience co-writing together here.
The Healthy Writer
I did a lot of big walks in the first half of 2017, but doubled down on yoga in the second half of the year, rather than continuing with the ultra-marathons. I'm happy with how the year has gone health-wise, and I'm so glad that Dr Euan Lawson suggested that we do The Healthy Writer, as it has continued to help a lot of people this year!
OK, that's me done! How did you do with your 2018 goals?
Let's celebrate together, or share lessons learned. Please join the conversation and leave a comment below. Be honest now – we're all friends here!
Hannah Ross says
I understand what you are saying, about there being no point in lamenting changes that don’t depend on us, but I am still allowed to hate Amazon, right?
Because I do. With a passion.
Amazon takes a cut from our book profits. It should be enough. But no, they are also robbing us of the little organic reach we had left, making life even more difficult for struggling authors who have no means to pay for advertising.
This excessive greed also characterized Facebook’s move away from organic reach. It’s corruption and gluttony and I hate it. Basically they take away something we had and make us pay it to have it back. And you know what? It’s called blackmail.
As for AI, I confess I find it downright scary. What will it mean for those of us who have built our careers around writing? I am an editor and translator as well. Should we just apply for government assistance right now, because soon no one will need us?
Overall, all of this makes me want to go and hide somewhere. Not the most productive attitude, I know.
Joanna Penn says
You are, of course, welcome to your opinion – but it is Amazon that has primarily enabled us to make a living as indie authors. Without the Kindle, we may still be suck in downloadable PDF land. All the other platforms were already pay to play anyway, so Amazon is just joining the rest.
We all get to choose who we publish with, so one option is to sell from your own website and build your own platform – I do this myself on this website, and make more money from this site than I do from Amazon. They are only 11% of my income these days, so I am not dependent on them. Perhaps that is an option for you, too?
Wishing you all the best in 2019,
Hannah Ross says
Thank you for sharing this info, Joanna. It’s certainly something to chew on – I tried going wide with two books, but was lured back to KU by the immediate gratification of page reads and the extra money. I know you have said time and time again that going wide successfully takes time. I’m now switching gears and taking more freelance editing and translation so I can finally stop doing things like a pauper and invest in my books, rather than expect royalties to pay for everything from the ground up.
Joanna Penn says
That’s a great attitude, Hannah, and personally, I have never relied on royalties for all my income. I make a living from my *writing* which includes this blog and my podcast (with written transcript!), and courses (with written accompanying material!) – it takes multiple streams of income to make a happy living IMHO!
Linda Maye Adams says
I didn’t start the year with any specific goals–every time I’ve done that, I’ve not just missed the goal, but managed to not complete it. It’s like a part of me says, “Nope, that’s not going to happen.” It’s been very discouraging at times. My goal for the new year is to hit the deadlines I set for myself–but not be too aggressive on the deadlines (I generally will veer towards too aggressive rather than too conservative).
In 2018, I started it with taking a heavy hitter of four writing courses that I desperately needed. I had some skill gaps that became apparent when I was writing Lonely Planet, the second book in my series. I took Research for Fiction Writers, Novel Structure, Secondary Plots, and Teams. What I learned is showing up on the current project.
I finished Cursed Planet and stepped off the deep end and paid to have a cover designed. I can do graphics. I can do covers. What I couldn’t do was paper covers. It’s very difficult if you don’t have a Mac. Between my chaotic day job and the time I would need to spend learning how to do it, I just couldn’t do it. I’ve been saying since 2015 I needed to do paper…and this was the only way. I now have a relative who says he will pay for one of the covers as well because he wants to see them in paper. Huge win!
Crying Planet, the first book, was featured in StoryBundle. A big win for me and the most money I’ve made. That’s one of the books that will need to go into paper.
Lonely Planet, book 2, went in for a new cover and a title change to Ghost Ship. I love the original title, it fits the book, and there’s a travel series with the same name. So name’s gotta change. I’m thinking of doing a large type book in addition to the normal ones. Since I’m already re-designing the cover anyway …
Started working on Last Stand, the fourth book in the series, with a finish date of January 31. This one is where all the benefits of the four classes are coming into play. I’d like to be that writer where you pick up a book and like it, go to the next one, and it’s even better because my skills have gotten better.
Wrote a non-fiction book called Digital Minimalism, which had a finish date of December 31. I finished that 2 weeks early, and sent it off to a copy editor. It has a tight release date…must be out January 29, so I’m going to get a prepaid cover for it. The book is a result of your speech at the BookBay conference. Digital Minimalism is a search keyword on Amazon, and there’s a book on the same topic coming out from a NY house on February 4. I’m hoping to appear right below his book and get associated with it.
Joanna Penn says
Hi Linda, sounds like a very productive year! Glad to give you some inspiration for a book and that release plan sounds like great marketing hacking 🙂
Jo-Ann Terpstra says
I love your podcasts. I learn so much from them. You inspire me.
So … I’ m reluctant to criticize. I normally listen to your shows on my cell phone through a Stitcher app. I listen to the bonus shows on my lap top.
This Christmas I was given an Amazon Echo Dot, but dear Alexa can’t find you. She finds my podcast, Blood Sweat and Words through Tune in and I’m just a newbie. I asked her to try to find you in Apple, but she still couldn’t find you. I live in Canada, but that shouldn’t make a difference.
I thought I should let you know. You might want to use Tune in.
Happy New Years
Joanna Penn says
Hi Jo-Ann, I have added the show on Tune In, so hopefully, it will appear soon. It should be there through Stitcher apparently. They haven’t made it easy and I haven’t made an Alexa skill as yet – something I may sort out in 2019! Thanks for trying – maybe try again in a few weeks as it filters through.
Jo-Ann Carson says
Great news. Thanks Joanna.
Julie Cordiner says
A fab episode, Joanna – and wow, what a productive year you’ve had. Congratulations.
I achieved a shift in focus in 2018 and managed to meet all of my goals. I published two non-fiction books and climbed a learning vertical (rather than a slope) in relation to formatting and marketing. I kept a monthly blog and newsletter going while my co-author was on maternity leave, and my rather pathetic attempts at getting traction on social media had a boost in October when I was invited to give evidence to MPs at Westminster on special educational needs funding. I spoke at several conferences throughout the year and presented three webinars in November for Capita and Schools North East, which all helped with book sales.
But what I’m most pleased about is that over the summer I at last managed to finish drafting and self-edit of the historical novel that started life in NaNoWriMo 2013 (my main goal when I came to your London event with Orna Ross in 2017!). I submitted it for a MS assessment and had lovely positive feedback, plus a two-hour inspiring face to face discussion with the editor (herself a novelist). I’m now very excited about redeveloping it in 2019. I also got to the last 20 with an application for a year-long creative writing course, based on a synopsis for a new novel and a sample of my historical MS, which has boosted my confidence.
I’ve done all this while running my consultancy with a long-term 2 days per week assignment, involvement in a national research project and lots of other assignments.
What’s made the difference? Mainly planning how I needed to spend my time, blocking out periods for specific tasks and particularly booking in writing sessions, but also carefully choosing my mentors.
So a big shout out to you and others for all the help: I’ve listened to every one of your podcasts and read all your books, which have inspired and encouraged me on my journey. I’ve made time to attend creative writing workshops with the superb editor and creative writing tutor Andrew Wille in London. I was a guest on Paul Teague’s podcast where he challenged me publicly to finish the novel (thanks Paul!) and I set up my author website in preparation for it being aired. I also joined Orna Ross’ creative flow practice Facebook group, which has taught me to slow down and use free writing to resolve questions and dilemmas.
Thanks so much for all that you do Joanna – I doubt whether any of this would have happened if I hadn’t found you in 2012. I’m entering 2019 with a lot of optimism and a re-discovered passion to develop my creativity.
Joanna Penn says
Sounds like a wonderful year, Julie – you have achieved so much! Looking forward to seeing how much you can do in 2019!
Congratulations on a fantastic year Joanna. It’s always an education listening to your podcasts and reading your posts. I particularly enjoy your goals posts and business updates as it’s incredible what you are achieving and it’s all thanks to your own hard work. You’ve created an amazing business around something that you love. Well done.
My 2018 was turbulent so many of my goals did not get met. All my fault of course. Sometimes we can’t help these things but hopefully, we come out tougher and smarter at the other end.
I did write most days and finished drafting several books. I also came up with ideas for others which was great but I ignored the blogging and publishing side.
I hope this new year will be a bit more productive, successful and less crazy for us all.
And Happy New Year to you Joanna from the sunny Gold Coast!
Joanna Penn says
Hi Kasia, I didn’t achieve all my goals either – I think perhaps if you achieve everything, you didn’t aim high enough! Happy writing for 2019!
Pete Blyth says
I indie published my first novel in March this year – counting Novellas I have 5 out now with another one due to drop tomorrow. I also have another 5 at first draft or in various stages of the editing process, and am working on yet another.
I am also working on a non fiction book for first time authors – Bootstrap Author , and planning another one for other entrepreneurs (a by popular request thing from people I’ve helped test their business ideas ) That will be Bootstrap Entrepreneur. (Actually I am brimming with ideas – must keep it to one at a time).
Never mind Amazon – none of this would have been possible without you and your show.
Happy new year and the very best for 2019
Joanna Penn says
Always good to hear from you, Pete 🙂 Sounds like some fascinating books you have there – happy writing 2019!
Congrats on what sounds like a truly productive and awesome year, Joanna. You talked on the podcast about your own self-doubt and I wanted to say that yours is the only publishing podcast I never, ever miss. You consistently offer extremely helpful information with a great positive attitude. I very much appreciate your efforts and get something out of each and every show. So thank you.
Joanna Penn says
Thanks so much for your kind words. Moments of self-doubt are part of the creative process, I know 🙂 but it’s good to hear I’m still useful to the community. I hope to continue being so in 2019.
Suzanne Kelman says
Congratulation on another successful year. I too have felt the turmoil you talked about with Amazon issues this year. My biggest learning curve this was to do with the writing process itself. After spending over ten months preparing my next book for market and having the publisher my agent was pitching it to turn it down. I knew I had to not only get quicker at the writing process itself but I had to have more flexibility in how I published, (ie more of a mix of self-pub as well as traditionally pubbed books.) Then in July I perfected on a process that works perfectly for me, helping me write 2000-4000 words in 2 hours. (a combination of transcription, grammerly and organzing my writing time differently.) This has resulted in me writing four books in five months (a mixture of novellas and full-length novels) Now it doesn’t have to be all or nothing with a publisher, I am now stacking up the books I can publish myself in 2019. So, they were my greatest lessons this year.
Happy New Year!
Joanna Penn says
Sounds like you have hacked your own creative process – well done! Publishing those in 2019 will be an amazing year 🙂
John A. Hoda says
2018 was uber productive. I built my plan following Author Blueprint 2.0 and How to Market a Book.
I built my WordPress website and launched my All Things Investigative Author’s Platform with a podcast titled My Favorite Detective Stories. I created my Truth Be Told Blog and I curate zany or jaw-dropping police videos with my Crime(off)Beat page.
My Creative Non-Fiction collection of short stories and vignettes from my 42-year career is titled Mugshots: My Favorite Detective stories. It is a perma-free offering at http://www.johnhoda.com in exchange for an email subscription to my blogs, podcasts, and videos.
I wrote Odessa on the Delaware: introducing FBI Agent Marsha O’Sheas, a crime thriller with a mystery twist. It has passed all the edits and is with the book cover designer from Reedsy. I have started the Marsha O’Shea series outline and research.
From your How to Write Non-Fiction books and course, I learned how to write three how2 books for private investigators. They are edited, formatted, laid out and all have covers. I am waiting on ARC reader reviews for blurbs and testimonials.
And I still ran a successful Private Investigation business part-time.
Thanks again for all you do. Looking forward to 2019
Rebecca Koehn says
I discovered your podcast earlier this fall. I believe I found it on somebody’s list of best podcasts for writers. (Sorry, I really can’t remember who posted it.) What has fascinated me looking back is that I write for children. I’ve never really considered writing for adults. But I started to devour your podcast backlist, and for the first time in my life considered starting my own business. So thank you Joanna for opening up this amazing new world for me, and the timing is very interesting as well.
However, to your question about our 2018 goals. My goals at the beginning of 2018 were to begin submitting to agents and sign with one, have three picture books on submission, and begin looking for work-for-hire work. I met most of these goals, and exceeded them in some areas. I did all the submitting, but I have yet to find an agent. (Yeah, shocker, I know. It’s that whole lottery thing you talk about.) However, I did sell a picture book to a small, but reputable, traditional publisher, and found my way through the contract maze on my own, with a little legal help. I also landed a work-for-hire job and wrote a kids book about football (American;). I learned WFH probably isn’t for me. I want to write about what I want to write about.
So after my many successes and failures, and discovering your podcast, I’ve shifted some of my goals for 2019. One of those shifts involves doing a bit more research and possibly starting to work on my own content marketing for my website. My website is a little bitty baby website that I’m just starting in preparation for my book release. I’ve been a teacher by trade, but this year it became clear to me that I really don’t want to teach the rest of my life. I have a young family and really enjoy more flexibility in my schedule, and, of course, I want to write.
So here’s to 2019 and some amazing new possibilities that I would never have considered if not for finding your podcast! Cheers! And have a wonderful year! I can’t wait to hear how it goes.
Charity Tahmaseb says
Happy New Year! Listening to this episode on my way to work, with my new Alexa-enabled car charger. Of course, I didn’t change the wake word, so every time you said, “Alexa,” it went crazy. (At one point, it was trying to find a Christmas tree for me.)
I may need to pull the charger (or at least turn off the microphone) during my Monday morning commutes.
Best of luck and happy writing in 2019!
Wendy Raebeck says
Happy New Year, Joanna!
I so appreciate your long view, and love when you anticipate what’s coming down the pike re tech trends, global influences, and how changes from key players will effect us. You also stay positive while acknowledging the endless hurdles. I do also read Mark Williams, but I get a bit dotty when I find myself considering book fairs in Saudi Arabia…
This year I released my 4th book (I always do paper and e), had my 5th (poetry) edited and designed that cover, had my 6th edited, did several drafts of a short ebook I want to release ‘just because,’ finished a journal I’ve worked on 2 years and did an edit on that, took a booth at the LA Festival of Books (worked too hard preparing for that), did paid advertising for the first time (agreed, no choice). This last week, I set up a recording space at home to get my audio books underway—very exciting, and did my first book trailer for the poetry. I didn’t meet my numerical goals for the year (hello :-)), but am more realistic now and holding true to my vision and to keeping the quality bar high.
Balancing personal life and health with the writing side remain challenging. Yet I’m GRATEFUL for other stuff to do besides computer work! This year I paid off a house, kept another business thriving, took two 2000-mile road trips in the Wild West, got two houses painted and put a cool new porch on one of ’em. Still seems like I don’t get enough done…
Blessings for the New Year!
Morgan H. says
I’m exhausted for you! (And my 2018 round up wasn’t that light.)
I managed half my writing goals — a new MS draft, a couple revisions, reading more than 2 books a month, attended 2 writing conventions.
I missed a few — I didn’t revise any of my waiting rough drafts, I didn’t query my picture book and barely queried book A.
But I did stuff not on my list — I wrote poetry, a few short stories, was a panelist for the first time, read a poem at a poetry night, bought a house, moved, and handled a massive day-job deadline that ate my 4th quarter.
Thank you for continuing to share with us. And best of luck with your 2019 goals!