I know it's a bit late in the week (if we're being picky about when the new year actually started) but my holiday extended a bit longer than anticipated, so here I am. Like many of you, I'm taking the chance to fix some goals for the year 2016. Obviously I'd like to be writing 'full-time' by next year, but over the years I've learned the importance of focusing one's goals and efforts on the elements of success that are directly within your control.
Odd as it may seem, sales aren't on that list. Creating new titles, fresh cover designs and aggressive marketing tactics, are absolutely with in my sphere of influence, but sales are not.
So, I thought I'd share my goals for 2016 and the reasoning behind them, for my fellow writers who might have something to learn or add to the mix.
Write 6 new rough drafts in 2016. I estimate that if I stick to one thousand words a day, I can have this goal done by the end of the year. I'd like to add a couple more novels, if I can, but life happens and 6 new novels is still a decent haul for most independent authors I've met.
Follow the '6 month model' with all new novels. In the past, I've publishing new titles as soon as they were ready. This meant titles emerged rather erratically and maintaining a steady stream of content grew nigh on impossible. Especially when my class work increased suddenly during my days at college.
At the time, I didn't realize how powerful consistency could be, in both marketing each new title and managing some of the stress behind independent publishing. The essence behind it is to have new novels prepared well in advance, so as to take full advantage of the various marketing avenues available. I've learned more about this at Worldcon and Orycon earlier in 2015, so I'm excited to put these measures to work and see what happens.
Post something on by blog and/or social media at least once per week.
Oddly enough, this is the goal I feel the most challenged by. Personally, I'm a pretty private person and even my facebook page doesn't contain much personal stuff from my life. Learning to use social media regularly and well has been a challenge for me. But, like the '6 month model' I studied up on the subject at Worldcon and Orycon, so hopefully I can make solid strides in this area as well.
To help me accomplish this goal, I've been working with sixwordmemoirs.com, which allows writers to post memoirs of six words or less and the stories than inspired them. After another year or so, I may roll these into a short collection. An author can never have too many of those :)
Best of luck with your guys' goals for 2016. I'll be in touch. Take care!