Instead of my usual craft post, I wanted to talk about my 2018 year in review and plans for 2019.
Looking back at 2018
I don’t have much to say about 2018 except that I didn’t accomplish nearly what I’d planned on accomplishing. I wanted to release at least 4 books this year, but only released 1. I was creative. I have 3 more stories written that just need to be self-edited and polished before going to the editor, but I gassed out mid year and wasn’t able to finish those last 3 books up.
- 2015 = 4 books (2 books were re-writes)
- 2016 = 3 books
- 2017 = 3 books
- 2018 = 1 book UGH!!!!!!
As a result, I’m leaving 2018 with some important takeaways:
- I can write a first draft quickly, but editing and polishing takes time. In 2019, instead of focusing on knocking out my first drafts within a few weeks, I’m going to take a little time while I write to edit. For instance, when I start my writing day, I’m going to first go over what I wrote the previous day and clean it up. I’m not going to stall out in daily edits, but I am going to do a day after clean up. That way, when my first draft is complete, it won’t take so much work to make the book publishable.
- It’s okay to take breaks. Actually, it’s beneficial. I’ve proven to myself that I can’t keep up the pace I set for myself in 2018. I need to take breaks where I don’t do anything book related. Not writing, not promo, not location scouting. Nothing. Just spend time with family and friends and not be an author.
As for successes, I spent a significant amount of time learning how to run a small business. Not just how to run one, but how to think like an authorpreneur. I selected 3 author mentors and learned everything I could from them. I’m still in the process of learning, but I know so much more now than I did last year at this time.
- I understand how important my newsletter is. My newsletter is a direct line to my
readers, and as such, I need to put more focus on it.
- What am I trying to do? Sell books, right. Okay, so all of my activities should be geared toward selling books. I had started to consider putting together vlogs with learning modules included, but when I analyzed my business model, I realized this would take a lot of time to put together, and wouldn’t sell many books. My time is better spent writing stories instead of creating videos.
- My social media activities need to align, with a focus on getting people to sign up for my newsletter.
- Paying for promo isn’t bad. Facebook Ads, Bargain Booksy, etc., are a great resource. Most of the top selling indie authors use these resources, and more.
- Content marketing is a useful resource, when done right. I have to do it with a specific goal in mind, otherwise, I tend to be all over the place with it.
- Identify who my audience is and target my marketing to them.
I learned a lot of other things that I can’t jot down in a simple list. In the learning regard, 2018 was fantastic. Previously, if I had a book that did well, it was by chance. Ask me to repeat whatever I’d done to make the book a success and I wouldn’t have been able to. Now, I’m performing very specific actions, tracking the results, and making note of what works and what doesn’t. Most important, the things that do work are repeatable.
Looking ahead to 2019
As I look ahead to 2019, I have some new goals. Here are the 3 biggest:
- Release 4 novel length books (between 40k and 85k)
- Bring my income up to match what my Genworth salary was
- Increase my newsletter membership to 5k
In order to hit those goals, I’ve worked out the small actions I need to take throughout the year to hit those targets. I’ve also spent a considerable amount of time this week setting things up behind the scenes to increase my newsletter membership.
Hopefully, 2019 will be a fantastic year for me as an authorpreneur!
Until next time…Happy Reading & Happy New Year!