Just a quick post today. It’s my birthday after all!
I wanted to say a very big ‘Merry Christmas’ to you all, and thank you for all your support over the year. 2013 has been a truly fantastic year to be a writer, as independent publishing enters its second year of being the ‘new normal’. And all signs suggest that 2014 is only going to continue this positive trend. I repeat, it’s a great time to be a writer.
Now for a bit of self-reflection. I thought it would be cool to have a look back at my goals for 2013 last year and see where I succeeded/fell down. I never once revisited these goals, and can barely remember them, so this should be fun.
My minimum target was to write and publish Killing Freedom, Dying Eyes, and a ‘horror novella trilogy’, which turned out being The Watching. So, yep — all those crossed off, with more to add. Not only did I write and publish these, I also did a 120,000 word serial release called Dead Days as well as a bunch of shorter works. A great year all round.
“I will write, write, and keep on writing…”
Safe to say I achieved this. I set a preliminary target of 350,000 new words for 2013, and I can safely say I’ve written 400,000, so no complaints there. I won’t be setting word count goals for 2014, but I do have a production schedule that really does add up to a crazy number of words. More on that next year.
Oh, and I did have a few breaks here and there. I took two weeks off in June when I visited New York, practically the whole of August off when I was busy with other things, and have had the last week or so off. I do hate taking time off though. Writing is fun. I don’t need a break from fun.
“I will price my work at a respectable point and refrain from tinkering…”
I failed here initially.
I still tinkered with price up until around a month ago. Since then, I really have stuck with a pricing pattern that I believe is right and in line with the way things are these days.
Initially, I was afraid of the $4.99 price point. But I sold just as much there as at $3.99, so my fear was banished.
So I did something crazy and priced my new releases at $5.99.
And strangely, I sell as much there too. I’ve come to realise that price plays a large role in professional appearance. For a front list novel, $5.99 is a good price, at the lower end of the traditional spectrum. And sure — I price my backlist at $4.99, but I think that $5.99 is a very pro range for a new release. And I don’t have any reason to believe this will change significantly in 2014. We’ll see.
“I will not obsess and will chill out more…”
Hahaha. Well, the intentions were there, right? But no, I still think I achieved my goals here. While writing did very much take up the role of my day (and sometimes night) job, I obsessed about the right things. Not about Twitter, or any of that short-term marketing nonsense. I obsessed about getting the new words down. I obsessed about quality rewrites. I obsessed about getting my work out there, and I obsessed about writing the next book.
I didn’t find the time to chill out so much, but we can’t have it all, can we?
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the post and it gave you a few ideas of how looking back can sometimes be a good thing. I rarely look back, but when I’m looking back at smashing my goals and targets? Yeah. That’s fun.
PS: If you fancy escaping the relatives for an hour or two on Christmas Day, I have a new story available called She Remembers. It’s a novelette length work and a sort of paranormal detective mystery. You can read more about the book and purchase it below. I’ll do a full blog on it after Christmas.