Well, it has been officially over a year since I published my first novel, Night Bells. Since then, I’ve published its sequel, a full-length novel entitled Silent Shades and an unrelated novella called The Dark Ship. So, two novels and one novella in one year isn’t too shabby. I’m nowhere near as prolific as the likes of Lindsay Buroker and others like her, but I’m trying my best! So where am I a year into my publishing journey? Here are some specs:
1. My books still don’t “pay the bills”. // I work two from-home day jobs that keep me occupied and bring in income. Since upping my paying work, my time for writing has decreased a bit, but I’m still trying to find that balance, because I absolutely want to keep writing and publishing.
2. People are still finding Night Bells. // This is great news! Since Night Bells went free on Amazon (and elsewhere), people have been continually finding it, downloading it, and (I hope) reading it. I’ve been getting some more comments from readers on Wattpad and it is very exciting!
3. Not everyone goes on to read my other titles. // In fact, very few folks seem to go on to Silent Shades and hardly anyone has touched The Dark Ship. I’m honestly not surprised about that, though, since not everyone wants to pay for their books these days (LOL) and also, my Tales from Niflheim series isn’t based on cliffhanger type endings. Each book is its own entity, though it helps to have read the previous one for character development purposes.
4. I still can’t put a lot of effort into marketing. // As previously mentioned, I have two from-home day jobs that keep me very busy and then normal life that continues outside of work and writing. This hinders me in the marketing arena time-wise, and also, budgeting is tight, so I don’t have any extra $$ to throw at cool marketing techniques. Right now, I’m focusing on writing good books, having fun, and getting my income from my day jobs.
5. I still love writing and want to continue publishing books. // For a little while, I really did get a bit jaded about this whole process. Publishing is HARD WORK. Rising above obscurity is HARD WORK. Paying the bills is HARD WORK, lol. It’s easy to get frustrated and disappointed when things don’t work out and you don’t have a thousand readers after one year. But, it’s okay. I had to remember why I started publishing in the first place. Was it to make money or was it to have fun and write interesting stories and share them with the world?
So, all that being said, I’m working on two manuscripts at the moment, Tales from Niflheim #3 (title will be released closer to publication) and a new teen fantasy story that doesn’t take place in the Primoris System universe I’ve created. What are some things I’m going to do differently over the next year to help “up” my publishing game? (Remember, this “year” is from August 2013 to August 2014).
1. Get professionally designed covers. // This is a BIGGY. My covers aren’t the worst I’ve ever seen, but they certainly aren’t anything special. I’m working on getting covers redesigned for both Night Bells and Silent Shades and I will also be having any new book covers professionally designed. It is worth the time it takes and all the rest to have eye-catching book covers!
2. Continue with beta readers and real editing. // This is another thing I began with The Dark Ship. Beta reading and real, outside-yourself editing is so, so important and it is worth all that extra time to have your book polished and as error-free as possible.
3. Utilize Wattpad more. // I would really love to garner some readers this year and I think Wattpad is a great place to do it. I have plans to serialize (and sell elsewhere), the new non-Primoris System novel I’m working on once I’m finished with it. I’d also like to read more stories there and comment. Wattpad is a really fun community of writers and readers and I’m enjoying hanging out there.
4. Publish three more projects. // This will most likely be very challenging for me, as my writing process takes a lot longer than many indie authors’, but I’m really going to try and publish three more novels/projects by next August. We’ll see!
5. Have more fun writing. // When I was hyper focused on making my writing lucrative, I let a lot of the fun in my writing fly out the window. No more. Since I have my nice day jobs taking care of income for me, I’m going to focus more on enjoying my writing, trying fun things, and just connecting with readers. It’d be awesome if my book sales picked up and things were more financially viable (and I will continue to keep trying to make that happen), but I also want to continue honing, loving, and pouring into my craft as a writer.
Sorry if you wanted to come to this post and see numbers and all. I honestly haven’t been keeping track of my sales numbers (other than my royalty checks), due to the fact that I was checking them ALL THE TIME in the beginning and it was stressing me out. Now, I just check in every once in a while to see how things are going and to make sure my books are still available.
I hope the next year is just as educational as this one and that I’m able to accomplish my publishing goals before August 2014. I’ll do my best and see where life takes me! Thank you to all my readers and to everyone who has supported me over this past year. I’m looking forward to bringing you more stories. 🙂
Happy Thursday. 🙂