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The plan: 2015

This is a little later than I hoped but it took some more tweaking to get it straight than I thought. My plan for the year.

I’ve got quite a lot written that needs to be published and a lot of it is already with the editors so I expect there to be quite a flurry of releases this year. I’m hoping I might even manage one per month. The first expected release is a fantasy prequel of mine, The Hope of Winter, within an anthology called Flights of Fantasy. It’s to raise money for another good friend who has been diagnosed with cancer.

The next few releases will be collaborative works, also mostly sci-fi and fantasy. There will be more on those as they get closer. I also have plans for lots of Mycroft Novellas. The second and third are written but I also want to write at least two more this year.

On top of that I’ve got a significant chunk into the sequel to With Proud Humility. I fully intend to finish that this year and then get started on the next one of those, although the last one might not be done in time to publish this year.

With the collaborations and all the Fantasy stuff I have already that’s looking like 10-12 releases. I’m very excited, although I’m aware that’s going to be a lot of hard work. I’m sure it will all be worth it.

Here’s to a productive story filled 2015

A look back at 2014

I know there’s still a week or so of this year left but lets face it, that’s not much of the year and I’m unlikely to get much done in the way of work.

This year I had quite big hopes in terms of book releases both in print and ebook and I think it’s the first year that I’ve just not managed what I set out to. at the start of the year I intended to publish my Tales of Ethanar anthology, Sherdan’s Country, The Fire of Winter and write and publish at least one more novella in the same world as my novella in the Kiss anthology, The Slave Who’d Never Been Kissed.

The only one of those I achieved was finishing and publishing Sherdan’s Country. It doesn’t mean I didn’t write much this year. I wrote more this year than I did in 2013, it’s just not all ready to be published yet. I did write and publish the first novella in a new series under a pen name I invented this year. The Hundred Year Wait under Amelia Price is one of my best selling books this year so I’ve also now written two sequels. The Unexpected Coincidence and The Invisible Amateur.

The fantasy publications intended for this year haven’t been forgotten. Both of them require some maps to complete the information inside (as well as a few other bits and pieces). Those maps have proved incredibly difficult to handle with my limited skills when it comes to computer graphics and formatting an ebook. I’m getting closer with them but will definitely need help with the last part.

I’ve also started two other series works this year that I didn’t foresee at the beginning. Both are collaborations with other authors. I’ve mentioned the story in the works with author TR Harris and that it will appear under my Amelia Price pen name. The second I’ve not made mention of before and I’m hoping to have a blog post dedicated to that early in the new year.

Sales wise, the year hasn’t been my best, stopping my trend of at least doubling my sales every year but this has still been my second best year so far in terms of sales numbers and if it wasn’t for having no print release this year would be my biggest grossing year, so it comes in second for that as well. Considering the releases I’ve had and expenses it’s not been a bad year.

Across the board authors are talking about how it has been a harder year this year for indies. Several changes have lowered the visibility and I’ve noticed it has been harder to get ads and promote my novels than it was in 2013. I only expect that to get worse in 2015. There’s also Amazons Kindle Unlimited program which is not good for indies. A few have said it’s raised their exposure and royalties but most have found it has cannabalised their sales and made them less per borrow than they would get if they had a sale. On top of that the traditional publishers are finally working out that ebooks should sell for less. That means more and more competition at the lower prices Indies are used to dominating. Something great for the reader, so in a lot of ways I’m not complaining about that one, but it does mean more competition for visibility even if it doesn’t for spending budget.

Over all it’s been a tough year and reminded me that being an author is a fickle business and hard work. I’m definitely not giving up, however. Instead I’m already working out a plan I’ll have more hope of sticking to that should make more use of Amazon’s rankings and the different books that are selling well this year despite the tougher climate, but I’ll post about my plans for 2015 next week.

The Plan: May 2013

And another month bites the dust! April felt like it flew by for me and March too (I know it’s been two months since I did one of these)

I got up to all sorts in the last two months, most notably I finished the first draft of Sherdan’s Legacy so that has now entered the editing stage. I also wrote two short stories in that time. One is a fantasy short which will also be published sometime this year and the other is a very short short set in Sherdan’s world about 5-6 years into the future from the end of Sherdan’s Legacy. This will feature in an anthology with a whole bunch of other authors shortly.

I’ve also received a huge number of new reviews of several of my published works over the last two months. Most of them really good, especially of Chains of Freedom. I’ve also now got an email list for new releases, so if anyone wants to make sure they hear about my latest books then just head here and sign up.

In March I managed to write 21.5k and this month I’ve hit 14k, bringing me up to a total of over 80k words this year, which is way ahead of where I was last year.

This Month I’m hoping to get the edits for Sherdan’s Legacy all done so I can send it off to my proofers, as well as do the last fixes on For Such a Time as This to get it ready to publish in June. I’m also in a month long May thing with competitions and prizes etc. I should be able to post detail soon. It should be fun and a Kindle fire is up for grabs.

Hopefully on top of all that I will manage to get some writing done but I’m not expecting a lot. 10k would be nice 15k would be awesome. Either way I have a feeling I’m going to be aiming to finish the Fire of Winter in June using Camp NaNoWriMo as a motivation tool to write the 40-50k I’m going to need to do by then.

The Plan: March 13

Last Month

February actually went pretty much to plan! Yes, I am aware of how rare this is. The life of a creative is never dull but rarely is it planned too. I spent most of the month sitting down writing Sherdan’s Legacy, to the point of being very close to finishing. I think I’ve got about 2-3k words left to write and I can hopefully manage that today. That gives me a total of about 22k words in February, bringing me up to 45k for the year so far, and still over my target of 200k in any running 12 month period.

The ebook release was pushed back a little to make room for finishing Sherdan’s Legacy and working on the marketing side of things. I’ve now got a rough marketing plan set out for the next few months as well as tentative release dates for the ebooks throughout the year. Still working with my team on the upcoming audio book and print of Sherdan’s Prophecy. Hopefully I’ll have more news on both of those soon.

I’ve also had a few really good reviews the last little while, my favourite probably being this one of Chains of Freedom. This one has come from another historical fiction author, so hearing him praise my historical accuracy is a very nice thing.

This Month I’ve got the ebook launch of Wandering to Belong, which should be around middle of the month. I’m talking to the cover deisgner over the next few days so hopefully I’ll be able to do a cover reveal on that very soon and then I can throw myself into the marketing for that one, as well as the fun launch, but I’ll talk more on that in a separate blog soon.

I’ve also gone through the extra bits of recording with my narrator for the audio book of Innocent Hearts, where mistakes had been made in the original recording. So that should be going through editing and mastering shortly.

On top of that I’d also like to get the final reviewer in place to be quoted on the back cover of Sherdan’s Prophecy. I’ve had one quote that will be perfect from another author and a second one is on it’s way (the author is reading the book currently) so I just need my third confirmed and I can send all the details off to be added to the back of the book.

With all those done I should be able to get back to writing after that. I’ll definitely have Sherdan’s Legacy finished, but I haven’t decided after that if I want to continue work on The fire of Winter or write a short in what’s left of the month. I’ll probably mull over a few ideas and see where I’m leaning.

The Plan: February 13

So it seems my plans for this year were derailed slightly already.

Last month I didn’t get sat down to plan a marketing strategy or anything quite so sensible. Instead I found my self having three new ideas, one of which I started writing immediately and have already finished. Yup that’s right, I dropped everything for a brand new idea. So my releases this year have probably gone up by one, although they’ve all been shifted back a little.

I managed to write over 22k words last month which makes it my best month other than a November yet, so there was some merit in just writing the story I was most excited about.

This also meant I hit that 200k in 12 months benchmark I was hoping for (not including blogs or anything not intended for publication). I am really pleased with that so far but I still think I can up it even further, so over the rest of this year I want to try and beat each month’s word count last year by about 1k words and keep clawing up the numbers bit by bit.

So the plan for Feb is pretty much two things, marketing as I really haven’t done much in ages and write the end of Sherdan’s Legacy. I’ve got a 19k word count for Feb last year to beat so this month’s target is another 20k count. I’ll start with trying to chip away at that and see how it goes then allocate the rest of the month to some serious marketing, especially as there will now be an ebook release some time this month.

New Year and a New Plan

Happy New Year everyone! Yes I know it’s a little late now. I’ve been a little busy.

I know I haven’t done my usual start of the month blog since September. I didn’t see much point doing one for November and I plain forgot about December until it was a bit too late. This month I thought I’d talk about the whole of the last year and some of my goals for the year ahead.

I wrote a significant word count in 2012 – 184,717 words to be exact. This is over 60k more than 2011. This was just on stories too and doesn’t include the word count for all the blogs I’ve written this year.

Research has been another big thing in the last year. I’ve had to learn about all sorts of things for the current works in progress, ranging from, the best place to hijack the tran Siberian railway and smuggle people off (see Shattered when published) to research into end of the world prophecies (see Sherdan series) and many things in between. I think ¬†anyone looking through my internet history would be mildly concerned if they didn’t know why I just happened to be looking that kind of stuff up.

I’ve published two novels this year, both Chains of Freedom and Sherdan’s Prophecy and all the reviews I’ve had of those two so far have been very positive. There’s definitely a lot of evidence that I’m growing as a writer, which is always a healthy thing.

Future plans include the print version of Sherdan’s Prophecy as well as the eBook of both For Such a Time as This and Sherdan’s Legacy as this years releases. I also hope to finish the first crafts of both my other two works in progress, Shattered, and The Fire of Winter. On top of that I want to start the third book in the Sherdan series and another book which is still totally under wraps for now but involves another writer. I’d like to see how that goes before I do any big announcements.

In terms of word count I’m going to aim to do a little more every month than the matching month year on year to try and hit that illusive 200k word goal. We’ll see how that pans out with my goal to also step up on the marketing in the early parts of this year. I really want to promote the Sherdan series over my other works as I think its my best work by far but it will probably depend on how well I’m feeling. 2012 was a crap year for me health wise and I’ve still got hospital appointments and tests trailing well into this year.

So there’s my work related goals. Anyone else have anything similarly ambitious (or even more so)? Or anyone want to remind me of things I said I’d do that I might have forgotten? Sometimes I forget I wanted to do a project.

The Plan: October 12

Last Month

It’s hard to believe another month has flown by already but it has so here’s the bullet list for last month.

  • Typed 16k of the latest WIP The Fire of Winter (Was Lady Winter)
  • Finished off Chains of Freedom for print
  • Spent approx 10 hours working for red feather writing
  • Spent approx 20 hours marketing
  • Spent approx 40 hours reading
  • Edited approx a third of Sherdan’s Prophecy
  • Sent 39 emails

I had the first week of this month off so I could have got a bit more done but I didn’t do too badly all things considered. I’ve had a handful of new reviews of all three ebooks and all of them positive.

Chains of Freedom is now on the way to being available in print and the proof has arrived. It looks absolutely amazing.

This Month I’m hopefully having a launch party for Chains as well as planning out my novel for NaNoWriMo. I’m hoping to get started on the sequel to Sherdan’s Prophecy for NaNo.

I also plan to finish the editing for Sherdan’s Prophecy and send it off to my very amazing proof readers. I would also really like to get the cover design started for that.

Once all of that is done I’ll write some more of the fire of winter book, which will be my focus again after the Sherdan’s sequel.

All in all it’s going to be a very busy month.

The Plan: September 12

Last Month

I only worked about half this month with all the holidays and time I had to take off for one thing or another so I won’t bother with the standard bullet list of what I got up to last month.

Mostly I wrote another 16k ish of my latest novel Lady Winter, although I’m still not liking that even as a working title. I discussed some alternative titles with friends and so far I’m liking The Flame of Winter but I’ve not changed it yet as I don’t feel too sure. I want something with a similar feel to it as Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings.

I’ve also been working on getting Chains of Freedom into print. Just the cover to finish off for that now and it should be ready for the proof to be ordered. I’m still hoping for the launch event to be in the next 6-8 weeks.

Next Month I want to continue the good writing streak and get something closer to being finished. There’s also lots of editing to do both on Sherdan’s Prophecy and For Such a Time as This but hopefully they will be closer to release by the end of the month. Obviously my progress on all of those can be tracked with the very awesome bars up to the right. I’m getting there, even if it’s slower than I would like.

There will be a lot of research for me to do and planning this coming month as I’ve got a huge amount of research to do for the sequel to Sherdan’s Prophecy and I have to do some more construction of the world and inner workings of the world in Lady Winter’s story. There’s some complicated magical ability things to work out before I get much further into the plot.

Either way it should be a busy month.

The Plan: August 12

Last month

This was in interesting month so I’ll do some bullet points.

  • Hand wrote approx 8k of shattered
  • Typed approx 27k including 11k of new project, Lady Winter
  • Spent 15 hours working for Red Feather
  • Spent approx 30 hours doing marketing and promotion
  • Read for about 30 hours
  • Sent 42 emails

I had the book launch for Chains of Freedom this last month and it was really well received. Sales were good and I have already said that I managed to beat a few Bernard Cornwell books on the day which has made my month I think. I know it’s a little artificial in that I asked people to buy the book on the day to boost sales but it still feels good and is a boost for the push Amazon will give the book.

You will probably also notice above and in the progress bars to the right that there’s a new project which i’ve given the working title of Lazy Winter. That’s definitely not going to be the final title but I’m struggling with coming up with something I like for that so for now Lady Winter it is. This book is going to be the first in a fantasy series I’ll work on beside the Sherdan’s series.

On top of that I’m going to be typing it straight rather than writing by hand so I’ll keep working on Shattered by hadna t the same time, balancing the two projects so shattered doesn’t effect my emotions too much while I’m writing the difficult parts of it.

This month I’m helping out with Andrew’s next book launch, as I said before, of Reality Deconstructed. That should be good. I really can’t say enough how good an author he is.

I also want to write a good 30k words split between the two current writing projects and get Chains of Freedom ready for print. I just need one or two more reviews for the back blurb and then to sort out the files to upload to the printers. Hopefully that will mean sometime in September or very early October I’ll be doing another print book launch.

I’m also hoping to get For such a time as this, my fantasy novella edited and polished to release as an ebook. It probably won’t come out in print until I have some more shorter works to go with it but that should happen around a year or two from now.

The Plan: July 12

Last Month

I’ve only actually been at work for about 12 working days of this month thanks to the jubilee weekend health issues and my yearly summer holiday so I’m not going to bother with a bullet list for my recent activities.

I’ve managed to get Chains of Freedom completely finished and that should be published in less than a weeks time. I’ll blog with more info on that very very shortly.

Other then that I’ve focused on keeping Sherdan’s going on the blog here and writing the latest novel. I update my progress bars on the right roughly once per week so you can see where I’m at there.

On top of that I’ve read a heck of a lot while resting this month and there will be some more book reviews coming up to cover the best of those.

This Month I’m still on holiday for the first week even though there’s also the literary night I’m part of tomorrow evening in Bath. For more details on that check out tomorrow’s blog.

I want to make serious inroads into shattered and get it at least close to finished this month. My aim is somewhere around 25-30k words of that. If I have time I’ll also then do the second draft of For Such a Time as This and hopefully not much after that have my edits for the rest of Sherdan’s back to progress that to the next stage. By then I’m highly likely to be into August though.