Sunday, July 14, 2019

Checking In

At the end of 2018 I wrote a letter to myself, outlining my goals for 2019.  It's just past the halfway point in the year, so let's check in and see how I'm doing with these goals.  Original text is in black, my comments on progress in purple....

Dear Me,

2018 was a crazy year and while I somehow managed to achieve most of what I set out to do, it feels like it was more by accident than by design. So my first goal for 2019 is to plan ahead more. Think about what might be coming up before committing to things and set aside time for the things I really want to do.

Well, sort of.  I'm still not great at planning ahead, but at least I'm conscious of that now.

I have a book releasing on 1 February and I really want it to sell better than the last one. So my first goal for the year is to figure out the best way to market this new book, and the other ones, to generate sales. The subject matter for this one is less controversial than in Stumped, so hopefully that will help with sales, but getting reviews and getting them in the right places is crucial.

I worked my little tail off on this book.  I sent out hundreds of emails to reviewers, listed the book on all the free advertising sites I could find (and a couple of paid ones too), but it's got less reviews than any of my previous books and I don't think sales are great (I haven't received my royalty statement yet).  I'm still pushing it out wherever I can find opportunities for it, but it certainly isn't going as well as I had hoped.

I would like to publish another book in 2019. I have three that are very close to being ready to go, so I will endeavor to get at least one of these polished and ready to go out into the world. And send it out. If I'm lucky, I may even have all three ready to go out at some point during the year.

I have one that's ready to go out, but it's not my favorite, and after working so hard to get better sales for The Sidewalk's Regrets and not getting anywhere, I'm feeling a little blah about submitting another book to my current publisher.  I'm thinking I'll wait until I finish the new one I'm working on and try to get a new agent with it.

I also have three or four manuscripts in various stages of completion that I would like to go back to and finish. I'm not sure any of them are actually much good, but going back and re-reading them will let me know if there is anything worth salvaging in any of them. And if there is, I will work to finish any of these I feel are worth the effort.

Well that's actually happened.  One of the manuscripts I had lurking in my hard drive was actually really good (actually, a couple of them are, but this one really grabbed me) so I'm working on that and will hopefully finish it soon.

At the moment I don't have any burning ideas for a new book, which is probably a good thing considering how many unfinished projects I have lying around. But should something come up during the year, I will jump on that idea before it squirrels away again. And I will write the hell out of that idea.

Still not 100% in love with any of my current ideas, but it usually takes something I see in a movie or read to make the various threads in my head coalesce into a story.  So you never know...  I've never written a sequel, but I feel like the book I'm working on now might need one, from the POV of one of the other characters.  So we'll see...

I was pretty good with my exercising in 2018, so I want to keep that up. And my weekday intermittent fasting too. I even plan to buy some scales in the new year so I can keep track of my weight, rather than relying on how my clothes fit to tell me if I've gained or lost weight. The goal is to lose at least 5kg by Easter.

Ha ha!  I've lost 2kg by July.  And that's spurious.  I don't have scales so I've been weighing myself when I go to dinner at my folks' every couple of weeks and I have shoes and clothes on every week that probably change the reading.  But I have been good about the exercising and the intermittent fasting...  So it's not terrible.

And my final goal is to read more. I'm not going to get my Goodreads reading goal in 2018, which tells me I'm not reading enough. So I need to get on top of that.

Well, according to Goodreads I'm four books ahead of my goal, so that's got to be good, right?  Kind of amazing too, considering the library in town shut down because it wasn't earthquake safe.  Boy do I miss that library...

What are your goals for 2019?


  1. Sorry to hear the book launch has been lackluster, despite all your efforts. You might consider more colorful book titles. That's been the trend recently, and it may be what readers are looking for.

  2. It's too bad to hear about the book. I hope things improve in the publishing category during the rest of 2019.

  3. Sounds like you have done a great job on your goals- and have met a lot of them. Book marketing is so tough and it isn't easy to get reviews. Hopefully sales will pick up!

    My number one goal is to get writing and finish up book 3 in my series. I also have been trying to book events and work on book marketing books 1 and 2.

    Good luck!

  4. You've managing 2019 pretty well.

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