Looking Ahead To 2020

This is the first time I’ve written words like these in my life.

I’ve never planned for the future because I’d always hoped that for me, there wouldn’t be one. Despite all my best efforts, I’m still here so decided to give it a go.

My overarching goal this year is to complete two books, The Final Victim and When Gods Die. I think it’s possible because The Final Victim will likely end up as a novelette, maybe 25-30,000 words. The basic story is already written and all I have to do is flesh it out. It’s a companion piece to The Underground, told from the elves’ point of view. It won’t be a rehash of The Underground’s action–more like parallel. Like “this is what was happening over here while Parker, Melera, Garrett and Kurt were doing their thing over there.” One scene in The Final Victim will intersect with a scene in The Underground, but that’s it. If all goes well, it’ll be out by the end of February. I’m pretty sure that’s doable but I’m also sending it to betas. I used betas once before and it was a really bad experience but after talking to and reading other authors’ advice, I’ll give it another try. I’ve got two who’ve said they’re willing, so here’s hoping they can do a fast turnaround. I want to release When Gods Die in late summer or in the fall. I’ve got like the first three chapters written. It’s a start.

The other thing is to devise a real, workable marketing plan. I’m the first to admit–I suck at marketing. I took a class last January on marketing and learned a great deal, not just what but how. So I know what to do and how to do it but the problem is time. Marketing is time-consuming. I have spent hours researching and chasing reviewers. I have spent real money on ads. I’ve attended conventions as a dealer, selling my paperbacks, which involves overnight stays of 2-3 days. Sometimes 4 or even 5. True, I’ve made some cash but not nearly enough to break even. Part of the reason is with a day job, I just don’t have the time to work, write, and market. It’s 3 full-time jobs. I’d hire a publicist in a heartbeat but I know damn well I can’t afford it. I’ve heard authors say they spend only 2 hours a day on marketing, or something like that. I need to find out what they do and see if I can replicate it.

I do have some 2019 work left over, like my current editing job. I’d given myself a December 31 deadline but I ‘d no idea how much editing this manuscript needed. I mean, I’ve cut over 17,000 words so far. Let me repeat that–so far. Once I finish this round of editing, I’ll let it simmer for a week while I work on The Final Victim, then return for the final edits. I’m thinking I can have it out the 2nd or 3rd week of January.

That’s where I am and what I’m doing. The future might not be so bad after all.


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