Look out! 2018 is coming!!

Happy New Year!!!

Hey everyone! It’s that time – everyone is planning their 2018 resolutions. For the record, I don’t make ‘resolutions’ – I set goals. They’re specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound – in other words, they’re SMART. Yes, that’s the corporate world carrying over to my private life, but I am serious about this business called writing, and I believe I need to treat it as such. Before I get too far into that, I wanted to look back at 2017 and see how I did against my goals from last year.

I went back (thanks, Facebook!) and found my 2016 post reflecting my 2017 goals. They were:

1)    Publish Zed’s World 3

2)    Publish my unnamed sci-fi book

3)    Get booths at Denver Comic Con and Atlanta Walker Stalker Con (that one is already booked!)

4)    Sell more books!!

So how did I do? Let’s take them one by one.

Publish Zed’s World 3

Check this one off. I published No Way Out at the end of May. This one was epic in size at 463 pages. Feedback has been great – it’s my highest rated book yet, still holding at FIVE STARS on Amazon and 4.6 on Goodreads. If you haven’t read it, you should. Of course, I might be a little biased.

Publish my unnamed sci-fi book

Put the red X on this one. I changed direction mid-year and decided to work on Zed’s World 4 instead. Sadly, I didn’t get that one done either. However, I am about 12,000 words into it and working on it every day. Watch for it in 2018.

I did, however, get something done that WASN’T on my list of goals for the year. I got Zed’s World One and Two into Audible. I think that makes up for this one. My rules, I’m claiming a half point for it!

Get booths at Denver Comic Con and Walker Stalker Atlanta

Check, and check! I got a booth at DCC in June, repping Phalanx Press. It was a three-day event and was a great learning experience. I was disappointed in the sales, though. I sold more books at Walker Stalker Denver in 2016, and they had about a tenth of the people attending.

Walker Stalker Atlanta was a lot of fun. They were WAY easier to work with on load in and load out than Denver was, and I did as well there as I did at WSC Denver ’16. Most importantly, I got to meet fellow Phalanx authors WJ Lundy, JL Bourne, and though I met Joe Hansen at WSC Denver ’16, I got to meet his better half in Atlanta. It was a fun weekend, and I think we would all be down for doing another one in the future.

Sell more books

This one, with the second book under my belt, should have been a slam dunk – and it was. Unofficially, because I don’t have December’s official numbers yet, ebook sales were up 15%, page reads via Kindle Unlimited were up 84%, and revenue was up 72%. Regarding writing and running it like a business, I still have a long way to go to get where I want to be, but it’s exciting to see some objective numbers that prove that this ship is moving in the right direction.

For those keeping score, that’s 3.5 out of 4 goals met! That’s like winning 14 games in an NFL season – something the Broncos certainly failed to do this year. That gets you into the playoffs, maybe even a first-round bye! It also tells me I need to step it up in 2018.

So, what are the objectives for 2018?

1)    Get ZW3 into Audio

2)    Publish ZW4

3)    Publish unnamed sci-fi novel

4)    Turn a profit on writing

Of these goals, #4 will be the hardest. The cost of software (Office 365, Grammarly), editing, cover art, and advertising for multiple books have more than eaten up my revenues each of the last two years. However, each book I’ve published so far has earned out, so this could be the year – especially if I get off my butt and get ZW4 done sooner rather than later – that writing starts to at least pay for itself. While I don’t do this with expectations of getting wealthy, as with any business, it would be nice not to LOSE money in the process!

So, what about you? Do you set goals for the new year? What is on your docket for 2018? Leave a comment here or on Facebook and let me know what your year has in store for you!

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