So, I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but I kept forgetting. Now that the year is ending, I figured it was a good time to take a look back at my year in writing and see what I did right, what I did wrong, and what I still need to do to get myself where I want to be.
First of all, let's see what it was I wanted to do for this year:
The goals I had for 2015
- Publish book five
- Market better
- Find an agent/publisher for Skylark.
- Begin charity efforts
- Start Daughters of Britain
- Finish Daughters of Britain
- Attend Ottawa ComicCon
- Attend Can-Con
- Learn how to pitch
- Expand my readership
- Paint more
- Do a chin up. Just one.
- That's really all I can think I wanted to achieve in 2015
Publish book five
To the cover designer, Lindsay Coderre, who stepped in and created that fantastic cover when my usual wonderful cover designer was unable, thank you! To the always wonderful Eric Desmarais, who formatted the book for me, making it the most professional, beautiful interior of a book I've ever had, thank you!
Many of you who have been following me know the story of this book. I resisted writing this book when the idea was first conceived by my dickhead of a brain. The interior conversation went something like this:
Me: Man, there are so many vampire books. I'm so sick of vampires!
Brain: You know what you want to write...?
Of course, my brain being my brain, I had no real choice in the matter. What followed was a year of writing under duress, with all the adult language and childish temper-tantrums of a teenager told to clean their room. It seems to have paid off, though. It's been getting really good reviews.
I attended a joint book launch with the wonderful folk at Renaissance Press in Ottawa.
I have also taken out a Facebook ad., but I'm not seeing any results from that as of yet.
I've been blogging pretty consistently (I count this as marketing, even though it's generally therapy), which is really more a habit now than anything.
There are book trailers for all of my books on my YouTube channel, something I hope to continue. They're kinda fun to design and put up.
I've run give-aways for Human on various platforms.
Has any of it paid off? Well, let's look at the numbers on Goodreads.
The same goes for the stats of the actual books.
Here, The Seraphimé Saga books have the highest rating, Ethan Cadfael: The Battle Prince has the highest number of ratings/reviews, but it is Human that has the highest number of "To-Read" markings; something that steadily rises with each book I publish. Again, I have no idea if this is due to my marketing efforts, or if it's merely due to the fact that each book appears more interesting than the last.
I couldn't tell you.
That said, the steady rise in numbers makes me think that I'm at least on the right track. So, am I marketing better?
Find an agent/publisher for Skylark
Begin charity efforts
The book will be next year's Hallowe'en publication, mostly to ease the pressure on me a bit (and my promise to myself to put out a book a year for as long as I can).
Then there is the Kiva.org team, Have a Heart Campaign. This thing was conceived and launched all on the same morning, so I didn't really give it the time and build up it needed for the launch to be more successful. If you're a Kiva.org lender already, or if you want to start making a difference in the world, feel free to join our team! I'll be doing drives periodically, I think, though with my history of marketing ability, I'm pretty sure they won't be that effective. Oh well! The thought was there.
I've always wanted to give back, and writing has given me the opportunity to do so. I'm pretty happy about my efforts this year, even though Sky Road Walker will not be available until late next year (and therefore won't be making an impact for a while).
Daughters of Britain
Finished - define "finished." Okay, the first draft is done, but it's in a bit of a state at the moment. I had hoped to have it ready to submit to publishers in January, but I guess it'll have to wait until later next year before being subjected to the round of disappointment and tears that is shopping a manuscript.
I was far more involved with Can-Con this year than I have been in previous years, stepping far out of my comfort zone to be a moderator on a panel, and it was a great experience for me. I adore the folks at this convention.
This was well outside of my safety zone. Before my final pitch at Can-Con this year, I was about ready to vomit. Afterwards, I cried.
Anxiety sucks balls.
Anyway, I'm a bit proud of myself for doing it. Now I just have to keep doing it so I can get better at it.
Do a chin up
It was only one, but
I DID IT!
Now to make sure I don't lose the ability to do it... that's the trick.
So, not a bad effort for 2015, all things considered.
2015 was actually a very difficult year for me, and I've had a fair number of panic attacks and breakdowns. I don't really talk about every single one, because... well... who wants to know? But it has been rough, though not as rough as some years.
I've done a lot of personal work since I recognised my self-destructive behaviours fairly late in my twenties. This will be an ongoing thing for the rest of my life, and I feel like I took some major steps backwards this year. It's frustrating and hard, but I have a lot to be proud of. This year might have been particularly rough, but that just means that I have somewhere to work from, and I can now identify the issues I didn't work on well enough in 2015.
2016 will be better personally, and, hopefully, professionally as well.
I have many goals to set, so, have a fantastic day.