Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Year in Review - 2015


Seeking the Veil was completed. It look longer than expected, but I got Parts 2 & 3 done, Kip was mostly written, a short story called Essence was refined and I’ve worked hard on organization. Two cross-country moves and ideas that jumble around my computer like a rabid game of pinball leave their mark. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve gone through and transcribed over two hundred voice memos.

Started using Scrivener. Finally. Which also meant I had to adjust my story templates. To say I had a good one before would be foolhardy, but it had seemed good, until I tried to refigure it for Scrivener. So far, Scrivener has been great, except for recent tech problems. But absolution may remain for the ease of ebook formatting.

Quiet on the social front. Without much of a presence blogging, or on twitter, my interactivity has diminished. The stories demand attention, and I won’t apologize for sticking priorities where priorities need to be.

The Stumbles...

eBook formatting. After my first two books, I realized that formatting a good ebook is not as much fun as pulling my own teeth. This was the selling point for Scrivener, and also meant that I had to get up to speed and revise my format. I call this a stumble, only because I should have done it sooner. Oh, the hours lost...

I didn’t seek reviews, not like you need to, not if you plan to do this professionally. Social proof is important. Any web shopper will tell you the same. Bookshelves at Barnes and Noble may not have star ratings, but Amazon does. Without sufficient, quality reviews, the click-to-buy ain’t gonna happen. I’m seeking them now, getting some success, and need to increase my attention for the year ahead.

Advertising didn’t really happen in 2015, I did a near-the-end-of-the-year run on Freebooksy for Seeking the Veil, Part 1, which was fantastic to see the book downloaded over 1000 times in a matter of days.

But I need to continue, else the work will die in obscurity. And it has more value to me than that.

Burnout. Some people may work well under pressure. Either I don’t, or I pack so many things on my plate, it isn’t just pressure, it’s like the gravitational force of a blackhole trying to squish my eyeballs through my toes. I need to remember that if I can’t write every day: that’s ok. Being realistic at times is better than beating myself up.

Claim my victories. I am an author, I have exciting stories and a lot more to come. It is hard to own this, to proudly tell a stranger that I write epic fantasy. The other day I ran into a mystery author at an open house, she had no compunction against calling herself an author to the realtor that didn’t look like he read more than the stock report. But she owned it, and because of that I said hi.

How about you? What did you celebrate this year and what did you learn from?

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