Quinning! | January 2018

I was scrolling back through old blog posts and smiling at how far I’ve come. When I started blogging it was as an unpublished writer. Now I am a full-blown published author. It’s an amazing feeling.

Anyway, I thought I’d wrap up December’s goals and share January’s now that the month is half over (whoops). I got caught up in release day excitement that I forgot all about it!

December Goals

  • Work towards completing my NaNoWriMo novel. This one is a bit of a departure for me (just like 2016, actually, though I never finished that one). It’s a sweet romance set in a little town in Colorado. I’m almost halfway in and still don’t completely hate it, so I thought I’d finish and see if the thing has legs. In the writing, I’ve found some side characters that would be easy to use as expansions into a series. Early stages yet, but…

I worked on this off and on in December. Made some good forward progress, but it just wasn’t clicking. I knew I wanted it to be a romance, but it was draggy and bloated and had all kind of problems. I made it to about the 50% point before I was ready to throw in the towel. Then, randomly scrolling Facebook, I saw a post in one of my writer’s groups about Romancing the Beat* by Gwyn Hayes and I bought it right away. Changed the whole direction of the story. Plotted the thing back out the week before Christmas and then took my seasonal break (Christmas to New Year). This book is in the January goals. 

  • Tie up loose ends for the launch of Star of Time. These are book-related details. Think licenses for cover elements, working on front-matter, working on back-matter. I’d like to have that settled before the book comes back to me.

Finished this one! Obviously. Since the book is totally available on Amazon now. You know, if you’re interested. 

  • Tie up loose ends on the business side of things. I bought my domain, and I set up a domain email address. I also started a newsletter (link in the sidebar if you’d like to sign up). I want to get a simple auto-responder ready to go.

Did this one too! Got y little newsletter set up. Made a simple autoresponder. Baby steps to finding those 1,000 true fans.

  • Complete my edit of Star of Fire. This is book 2. I’d love to be able to send it to the editor in January/February for a first-quarter 2018 release. Still, a lot depends on what happens with the edit of SoT.

Yeah, no. Didn’t even touch it. Reworked my goals for 2018 and created a release schedule. Now that I know how long editing takes and what to expect and what I can reasonably get done in a day, I think I have a pretty good plan.

  • Plan the launch. Look, I have no illusions about how this is likely to go. I am a literal unknown, I’ll be tossing a book into the roiling waters of Amazon and crossing my fingers for the most part. But, I’ve watched a couple of other first-timers make some headway and I plan to evaluate and adapt their strategies for my book.

Did this! Set up a pretty simple AMS ad just to learn the ropes. Low daily spend. Lower expectations. I’ll mess with advertising and planning promotions and stuff for book tow on. You know, when sell-through becomes a thing.

  • Finish the plot plan for book three. That’s the next writing project. Looking to start that one probably mid-January.

Again, nope. Got that worked into 2018 goals too!

January Goals

  • Finish the sweet romance. I am giving myself to the end of the month to knock out this little book. It won’t get published until late in the year since it is a Christmas-themed book, but I wrote out the beats in December and wanted to finish while it was fresh.
  • Write 1,200 words a day. I joined a writing challenge group to hold me accountable and so far, so good. I haven’t hit goal every day, especially at the beginning of the week when I was rewriting the first quarter of the romance. Once I got into fresh territory the words came faster and the goal was reached more consistently. Public shame is a strong motivator, I guess.

*Affiliate link. I might earn a few pennies if you click through and by Gwyn’s amazing book!

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