So reviewing this year, I’ve completed the first draft of a novel. Right now its languishing on a online critique site, Scribophile, waiting for me to do something with in. I guess that’s all I’ve done writing wise.
I have also critiqued and beta-read about three or four novels, and a few short stories. Then of course, kept on target with giving NaNoWri tips on my blog. I also have a few other writing projects on the side.
So it’s been a busy and productive year, and hopefully next year I hope to complete my outstanding writing projects. I have two, then start looking towards publication – either self-publishing or traditional.
I’ve also wasted a lot of time on writing forums, I can’t resist giving an opinion so I hope to cut that down next year since it eats up time I don’t have.
I also got serious about self-publishing so I went to a conference where Joanna Penn was speaking, plus some other famous authors who I didn’t know self-published. That was enlightening and useful. What I learnt was when a writer self-publishes they wear all caps and the most important is marketing – getting your books and name out there. Oh and a good cover. But marketing was important, and watching the market place within our genre. However the most important thing is to WRITE! Series are good in hooking in readers. Also write what people wasn’t to read.
Also don’t expect much to develop much of a brand until your 3rd – to 5th book, namely because then you have established yourself and have back catalogue with readers could read. Not a one hit wonder. Also writing as a career is a long term plan, so hang in there. Also maintain an email list of your readers. So important.
So I got fired up after this conference and did some Amazon Bestseller’s watching. I did it for the first few days until I got bored. However I also put a small budget aside for reading the top sellers in my genre. Well the self-pubbers.
- What I found is they all have a pricing strategy to stay at the top.
- They are all very good and talented writers – forget about the odd typo, grammar error or continuity mistakes (sour grapes topics for those not selling) – these writers know how to hold attention a reader’s attention and have nicely developed writing styles. Let’s face it with trad pubs it would have been through a few editors etc.
- yes there are some damning reviews but overall these books are top twenty in their main stream Amazon
- Some have horrible covers but are still selling. However importantly they have back catalogue so readers are looking beyond the covers. And one a book gets into the charts others get curious and follow.
- Some writers are very private, no publicity but they have lots and lots of books out. Namely series, some aren’t even well written but they TELL A GOOD STORY.
- Even if you think these guys are writing 20-30k words per book, their back catalogue is about three or four full lengths novels.
- Write stories people want to read.
- Series are very lucrative.
So my writing goals for 2016.
- Polishing up my editing skills
- Complete an outstanding writing project – it’s story I started a year ago about a silly new adult male. It’s a series about a bunch of brothers and he is the last born. Very spoilt – brattish – to say the least. I finished the first brother about two years ago – that was using Save The Cat template and prompts from headings. The older brother I have a brief synopsis somewhere an I’m working on baby boy now.
- Editing my complete novel working title Wanae and Owen – it’s being suggested to cut it into two or three so I need to arc the story lines within each section.
- And maybe a few short stories. I’ll review it later on to see how I’m getting on.
So those are my goals.