With the release of The Castle of Spirit and Sorrow, the successful LitCrawl festival done and dusted, and an application for a cool opportunity submitted last week, I’m officially done with all pre-scheduled deadlines for the year. It’s kind of a cool feeling that anything I do between now and Dec 31st is kind of a bonus.
But that doesn’t mean I’m kicking back and watching Brooklyn Nine Nine episodes on repeat (okay, maybe there’s a little bit of that). I’m writing the first book in a new series (sort of as part of Nanowrimo, but also because it’s gotta be done), and getting started on a few projects and plans for 2019. As I was doing my planning, I thought it might be useful for other writers to have a look at some of the projects I’ve got planned for 2019.
There’s always something else you could be learning, experimenting with, and pushing towards. I’ve got big, hairy, audacious goals for 2019 and beyond, and I’ve been breaking down those goals into smaller steps and projects and working on an overarching vision of who I am as a writer.
Here are some of the things I’ll be working on in 2019, in no particular order.
- Business-as-usual. This means that I’ll be writing at least 6 Steffanie Holmes books in 2018. Usually, I hit 7-8 (I’ll be 7.5 by the end of this year, although, two won’t be published until 2019), but I’m aiming lower because I’ll be spending six weeks in Europe. Although I intend to write while there (aiming for 1000 words a day, it will definitely lower my output for the year. These books pay the bills, so it’s important I continue to put them out as a first priority.
- Getting all my books into print. Ingram Spark is doing a special right now as part of Nanowrimo, which offers free setup of all print books with the code NANO until March 2019. I’m taking this opportunity to do a thing I’ve been putting off for far too long – getting ALL my books in print. This is my first project for 2019 and I may even complete it this year. It’s in part for completedness sake, but also because the next item on my to-do list is…
- Talking to a distributor. Over the last year I’ve been actively working to improve my profile here in New Zealand, but the problem is that local readers can’t find my books because they don’t tend to read digitally. I think with a big catalog a local distributor might be interested in getting my books into libraries and bookstores. It’s definitely worth a try.
- Launching Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones. This should happen around Feb/March 2019. I’m so excited! If you don’t know, Only Freaks Turn Things Into Bones is a children’s picture book about a little grim reaper who gets bullied that I funded as a Kickstarter earlier this year with my illustrator friend Bree. The illustrations are all done and the book looks fantastic. You can pre-order a copy here. We’ll be launching with much online fanfare as well as media and maybe a bookstore launch.
- Another Kickstarter. Bree and I had so much fun doing Only Freaks, we’re thinking of other ideas for a Kickstarter campaign. Nothing is going to happen until we’ve posted out everything for the last campaign, but stay tuned.
- More speaking/podcasts. I had SO MUCH FUN this year meeting and talking with other writers at events and on different podcasts. Expect to see me stepping up this in 2019.
- An international writers conference (or two). There’s a conference in November in the US I really want to attend. There’s also another in Aussie I’ve applied for in March. Currently, both are a little bit of a stretch for the business budget, but if things pick up and/or I can secure local funding to attend (as a professional development opportunity, of which the US conference definitely is) I will be there and it will be AMAZING.
- Mastering CPC advertising. AMS ads, Facebook ads, Bookbub ads – I need to learn ’em. I’ve been coasting along without this for the last few years and honestly, it’s well past time I learned what I need to do to master these ads. This is what will keep my backlist ticking along and what I believe will propel me to the next level. I just need to focus on learning and set aside funds to experiment and make it happen.
- Online writing/publishing course. I am creating a thing! In secret. It’s online and you will love it if you’re a writer. More news on this shortly.
- Smash my income goal. Even though I’ve just come off a bad month (Self-published authors, October SUUUUUCKED, amirite?) it’ll looking optimistic that I’ll exceed my income goal for 2018, which was $120k (split between royalties from my books and freelance work). I know it can feel really crass to talk about money, but as an aspiring writer I always found it inspiring to know what a person can achieve as an author and a big part of that is knowing the numbers. That’s why I share the numbers. In 2019, I want to grow the percentage of income earned from royalties versus freelance work, and I’ve set an audacious income goal I want to hit – $200k. As November is looking up and I plan out December promo I’m feeling excited about making this goal a reality.
That’s my 2019. It sounds full and busy and scary and exciting already. But that’s the way I like things. How’s your 2019 shaping up?
Extra for experts
Around the same topic of scaling your business, growing, and planning for 2019, Joseph Alexander is on the Creative Penn podcast talking about these exact topics.
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