Behold 2016 (and it shall be good!)
The rolling forward of the calendar has me planning my year. Yup. A whole year. Why?
I’ve touched on how and why I keep a writing schedule before. I’ve become a big fan even though I resisted the idea for years! After a November where my focus was on teaching a writing class (while doing little writing), I entered December wanting to take a short break, read a book for once, and then get back into writing. So I didn’t set a schedule. So I didn’t do a lot of writing.
Well the break is over and I’m back into weekly goals to keep all of my projects moving forward! And it has me looking at 2016 …. ALL of 2016.
Treating writing as a business, which is pretty much what you have to do if you want to make a living at it, means strategizing. Sure weekly writing goals are great to keep things flowing. But the big publishers plan books launches at least six months in advance.
It isn’t about putting the book out when it is done. It is about getting it done in time to be released at the right moment.”
This is the same argument as keeping a writing schedule – it keeps you moving forward. More than that, it helps you plan those other little things that are supposed to come BEFORE something like a book release. Like getting the cover done in time for the cover reveal. Or putting together a blog tour. Or releasing excerpts. Heck, it makes me realize when I need to have the edits done in time to send them to an editor to be ready for the release!
Looking at putting some firm dates on the calendar from this perspective makes me understand why publishing companies schedule release dates. I may be a solitary author, but I have big plans for 2016 and want to move forward with intent to make them happen. After all one of my favorite saying is “A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
I’ll admit amazing things happened in 2015. I started the year not even having control of my books. By the end of the year, I not only had all of my books back – I had released four more, taken a ebook marketing course and got used to the idea of actually having daily book sales, redesigned my website, signed up for another course on building courses, and ran my first writing course! If I can do that without a plan, what will I accomplish with one?
So time to set some deadlines! Are you joining me?
Here are my current goals for 2016 – I should probably include here the hope of adding a release schedule to the menu of the website! 😉
These are not just my next epic fantasy trilogy Games of Fire, but as they come off KDP Select the remaining three books of Friends of my Enemy will be released to Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo in 2016!
After the War, book 2 of Friends of my Enemy – wide distribution release of January 30
The Battle for Europe, book 3 of Friends of my Enemy – wide distribution release of February 15
The Fight for Peace, book 4 of Friends of my Enemy – wide distribution release of February 29
Spark of Defiance, book 1 of Games of Fire – Release date (wide distribution) of March 30
Gates of Fire and Earth, book 2 of Games of Fire – Release date (wide distribution) of July 30
A New Goddess, book 3 of Games of Fire – Release date (wide distribution) of November 30
(Yes, all dates are 2016!)
Do you remember me mentioning I was going to have Born of Water released as my first audiobook? I started the process in September and … well you know how new things sometimes go. But it is in the final stages. The narrator will be sending me the book for review any day now (11 hours of audio! I LOVE what I’ve heard so far!). I’ll zip through it as fast as I can (volunteers???) and hope for a release soon after. And I need to set up Rule of Fire – and then Spirit of Life. With any luck the entire Rise of the Fifth Order Trilogy could be out by December 30, 2016!
Born of Water, book 1 of the Rise of the Fifth Order – Audio Version tentative release of February 1
Rule of Fire, book 2 of the Rise of the Fifth Order – Audio Version tentative release of May 30
Spirit of Life, book 3 of the Rise of the Fifth Order – Audio Version tentative release of October 30
After teaching the first one, I’m so excited about offering writing classes in a self-paced video format. These aren’t the typical topics you can pick up at other writing schools! Instead they have a heavy focus on fantasy and scifi writing, which definitely require a unique set of principles! The core course is how to Write Great Novels Faster – trust me it isn’t about writing speed. And it will begin with a free intro series … (which you can sign up for here!)
Write Great Novels Faster free intro series – January 15
Write Great Novels Faster full course – June 15
Fantasy/Scifi In Depth World Building (short course) – July 15
Creating Fantasy Characters (short course) – August 15
In Deep – How to Write Deep POV (short course) – September 15
The Way We Talk – Writing Dialogue and Descriptions (short course) – October 15
* More courses and topics are planned – check the release schedule for updates as the year progresses
Seriously I’ve always wanted to have a few contests. But did I ever put in the time? Noooo… Well this year I’m doing it. And I want to have a couple – some specific to my mailing lists and others open to everyone. There will definitely be a few centered around books releases for Games of Fire – like maybe paperbacks of the novels? Hmmm…
And because I want to start out on the right (write??) foot, let’s do one soon!
Win a Free e-Reader! will run from Jan 15 to Feb 15 – more details will be coming soon.
Yes, I’m serious and nothing will dissuade me but lack of time (and someone claimed the name I want to use).
Actually this has a LOT to do with the writing courses combined with wanting to be able to create the excellent experience and tips I get from the podcasts I listen to. I’d love to spread that sort of useful information by bringing you interviews with bestselling authors and industry experts to help you improve your writing (and your sales!). I have so many ideas for this podcast, but the greatest thing about treating my writing as a business is I get to see how some ideas fit (or not) and where/when they will fit instead of running off on five different tangents and finishing nothing in a manner that will truly have an impact. So this is stewing on the backburner, just over a hot simmer, until the writing courses are up and offered. Look for it in the fall of 2016!
I admit this seems a bit daunting. Somewhere around the time I’m thinking “what maniac came up with the above wish list?!” and I’m reaching for my second glass of wine, I remember this is a list of things I want to do. Things I’m very passionate about doing. If I focus on the next step, it won’t be so bad. And it might actually get done!