It’s finally over! If you’re reading this, it means either that you survived 2016 or that there’s an afterlife with internet access. Either way, drinks all round. Or just naps. To be honest, I think pretty much everyone I know would just like a really good sleep right now, me included.
I didn’t finish the weekly blogs thing. I made it to 49, which… I don’t know. Obviously it’s kind of a bummer that I very nearly achieved a goal and then failed right at the end, but I’m actually okay with it. To be honest, I just haven’t had anything to say for the last few weeks (which you may not feel is a new development) and forcing myself to just post for the sake of it wouldn’t have been any more satisfying than not posting at all. And I have a hunch that it’s not a great way to retain readers.
In better news, the reason I haven’t had anything to say is that I’ve been working on edits because my book is sososoSO nearly finished. I mean, I can actually now list the things that need to happen before it is DONE and READY. After years of “ugh” and “uuuuggggggghhhh” and “maybe just one more complete rewrite”, that’s pretty exciting. That’s not to say that I’m dancing around on clouds of pride and optimism (have you met me?), but I’m satisfied with myself, and a few weeks of missed blog posts is a small price to pay for that.
Okay, that’s enough excuses. Time to talk 2017 goals! Because of all the “ugh” and rewrites, my main writing goal for the last few years has been “FINISH. IT.” Now that that’s done, I can finally set some that are a bit less nebulous and indefinite – and maybe even a bit more fun!
In 2017, I want to…
- Finish these edits (within the next couple of weeks). Then get the MS back to my editor for a second pass, as well as sending it out to a couple of kind people who’ve offered to check for stray typos. I’m hoping to have it 100% ready to go by mid-February, so that I can…
- Attempt some pre-release marketing activities, such as approaching book review blogs to offer them advance copies. I’ll be feeling my way with this (and, indeed, pretty much everything I do with the book from now on) since I’m new to this stuff, but there are a few things, like this, that I think are at least worth a go. I’m planning a post on this, as well as other aspects of self-publishing. It’ll either be useful to other writers or entertaining in a “watch me fail” sort of way, so stay tuned for that!
- Release the
krakenbook! I’m still not setting a definite release date, but I’m looking at late February or early March. This is about 80% “just how things worked out” and 20% “okay but there is a huge Beauty and the Beast movie coming out in March that is not wholly irrelevant to someone hoping to sell a Beauty and the Beast retelling”. Honestly, it could just as easily distract my target audience as help me, but it’s given me something to aim for. (And, on a personal, fangirl level, wait anxiously for, but that’s beside the point.)
- Write the sequel! Yep, there’s no rest for the wicked – or, indeed, the fanatically-obsessed-and-driven-but-only-in-one-specific-and-quite-risky-area. I’ve always intended to write a Cinderella story in the same setting and, while a part of me is sick to death of imaginary 18th-century Venice, another part is very glad to have permission to stay there. I worked on some ideas for it while Venetian Masks was with my editor and I’m excited to get started. (It will also give me something to do while I desperately try to restrain myself from reading reviews of VM.) I want to aim to finish it by the end of 2017. That’s ambitious, given how long VM has taken me, but I’m optimistic that I can avoid at least some of the 2348986345 mistakes I made while writing that and get it done a bit faster.
- Write 52 blog posts. I mentioned this a post or two ago. It’s obviously very similar to “write one post a week”, but I think it should be a lot more manageable. This year, there were weeks when I wrote several (relatively!) good posts, and weeks when I struggled (or, latterly, failed) to write one at all. So, in 2017, I’m just going to try to average one a week, without forcing myself to post when I have nothing to say. Having said that, I think moving ahead with the self-publishing process will actually give me more to talk about – I’d like to at least give an overview of what’s involved so that you guys know what I’m up to, and maybe even do some more detailed posts about certain aspects that might help other newbies.
I’m not setting any goals to do with sales of VM. In fact, I’m trying my best not to have any expectations about that at all. By far the most likely outcome is that they’ll be dismal. I probably won’t make back what I’m spending on editing (which is not a comment on my editor! Editing is just expensive because of what it is – a skilled person’s time). I definitely won’t make a financial return on the investment of time I’ve put into it. I’m at peace with that, I think. I’ve learned a lot from doing the work, and from the editing. I have hope that one day I might make a profit from my writing. Even if I knew for sure I never would, I’d keep doing it. At this point, I don’t think anything (without getting into any awful disaster scenarios) could stop me.
Right, that’ll do for now. Goodbye and good riddance, 2016. 2017, I’m coming to get you!