I started 2013 with some specific goals in mind for my life, my family, my job, and, of course, my writing. I thought it might be fun to review some of the writing-related goals and look at how close (or how far) I got. When I dragged out the document that I wrote in January last year, I was happy to realize I’d achieved most, if not all, of my goals! Hooray!
First, a quick snapshot of where I was this time last year in terms of self-publishing so that you get an idea of why I set the goals I did… I had written and published 1 book by the end of 2012 – Blue Violet – which was released in August. I’d sold maybe about 700 copies by then as well as about 12,000 copies in free promos through Kindle Select. I had started to reach some readers who have now become some of my most awesome and supportive fans. And I had finished the first draft of Hyacinth and was in the editing phase.
With that starting point in mind, here’s what I had hopes for in 2013 and what I actually accomplished. (WARNING – I’m a lister. It’s part of my personality. So this is a long, detailed list. I hope it’s as interesting to you as it is to me. LOL.)
Writing/Publishing -Related Goals
- Goal: write, edit, & publish Hyacinth by end of February
- Goal: write, edit, & publish Svatura Book 3 (Crimson Dahlia) by end of August
- Goal: write Svatura Book 4 (Black Orchid) by end of December to edit/publish by February
- MISSED bumped this goal out (dang it)
- Goal: participate in NaNoWriMo and win
- ACCOMPLISHED (by the skin of my teeth)
- Goal: improve my writing
- ACCOMPLISHED? – this one is harder to measure, but I do feel like my writing has improved from book to book. Do I still have more to learn or work on? Absolutely. 🙂
- Other accomplishments that weren’t original goals:
- Write Hannah’s Fate (short story)
- Write Andromeda’s Fall (Shadowcat Nation Book 1)
- Collaborate with other authors (Here, Kitty Kitty anthology; brainstorming; critique group)
- Get published books up on other media (iTunes, B&N, Sony, etc.)
- Goal: double my Facebook fans from 78 to 158
- ACCOMPLISHED – I just topped 1000 recently, although I admit that Facebook Ads helped a lot in this endeavor. However, those ads were targeted specifically at folks who would potentially like my books, so I feel like my FB Fans are legit. 🙂
- Goal: increase my email disti list from 10 to 100
- ACCOMPLISHED – just hit 102 this week!
- Goal: 2 blog tours of 4 to 5 stops each
- ACCOMPLISHED? – did one giant 20-stop tour this fall. That counts right?
- Goal: Blog 2x/week
- MISSED – But only just barely. I’ll have done about 90 posts this year, and to do 2x/week I’d need to have done 104. Rats.
- Other accomplishments that weren’t original goals:
- Won Bronze for Best SciFi/Fantasy/Horror eBook IPPY (Independent Publisher Awards) for Blue Violet
- Created a logo and working on fun giveaway items with that
Sales -Related Goals
- Goal: break even on self-publishing costs
- MISSED – Although I’m not too far off from getting out of the red and into the black. If I account for the fact that Blue Violet has been permanently free since February, I’m doing better than expected. But still in the red.
- Goal: 2200 books sold by end of year (not including free promos)
- ACCOMPLISHED – I had absolutely no idea what to expect with this. There’s not a ton of good info on indie author sales stats. So I wasn’t sure what to expect with sales of sequels, with degrading sales once a book was out a year, etc. I am very happy to say that I passed up my goal slightly, I’ll have sold around 2500 copies or so by the end of the year. What’s really been astounding to me is that free promos (particularly with Blue Violet permanently free since February) are going to hit around 60,000 copies this year. HOLY SMOKES!!! That’s a lot of readers and I’m so, so thrilled. Fingers crossed that everyone reads enjoys the books and comes back for more. 🙂
I am very proud of what I was able to do this past year. Although it’s easy when you’re doing something you absolutely love! And I find that because I have such awesome and supportive readers, I’m even more motivated to write, and write well. And spending loads of time doing things to interact with my readers is also really fun and becoming one of my fav things to do. The time just flies!
I am crossing my fingers for another productive and satisfying year in 2014. In case you’re interested, here are some of my goals for the upcoming year.
- Edit, publish Andromeda’s Fall in February
- Write, edit, publish Black Orchid in May
- Write, edit, publish Shadowcat Nation Book #2 by October
- More author collaborations – loved that last year!!!
- Improve writing – attend at least one conference/seminar, continue to utilize my critique group
- Start attempts to find a literary agent with absolutely no expectations that I will
- Submit my books to a few more contests – no expectations here either
- Marketing/Reader Reach
- Continue to find fun things to do with readers via social media
- Increase email disti list to 200 (2x)
- 3 blog tours (one per book release)
- Blog 2x/week
- Break even on costs/incoming sales
- Sell 5000 books (not including free promos/giveaways) This is in line with the average 1500/book/year and anticipating a decline in sales for my older books; also assumes I do get 3 books published on schedule this year)
A HUGE thank you to my incredible, awesome, inspiring readers. You are the reason I had such an amazing year! I love hearing from y’all and hope you’ve had as much fun as I have this year!!! Here’s to another great year in 2014!