2018 Just Might be YOUR Year to Shine!
Goal setting for writers allows you to experience something positive and measurable. I understand how the weeks and months can be unbearable and discouraging. You might surprise yourself with what you can achieve over a year’s time. Even if the only time you can manage is thirty minutes a day three days a week, by the end of 2018 you’ll have a completed novel! That’s exciting. Be flexible in managing your time, and have goals in mind that are achievable and realistic. Make this process easy on yourself. 2018 is YOUR year! With a little budgeting and planning, the next step is publication, but you can’t publish if you don’t have a finished manuscript.
Write. Then Publish.
It is true that putting your book on Amazon involves minimal expense, however you need to decide how to allocate those funds. Do you want to go the traditional route or Indie?
Do you want a literary agent and a traditional publishing deal?
o Know your genre. Research editors and agents who might be interested in what you write. Do not send your serial killer horror to an agent who represents romance writers.
o Plan a trip to a conference. You must go where the agents and editors are. That means you need to attend writer’s conferences. Pay extra for break-out editor workshops where you can meet industry professionals, enter contests with editors and agents as judges, and make certain you have a polished manuscript that can rise above the slush pile.
o What is the unique hook for your book? What will make your work rise above hundreds of others to become a viable product in today’s market?
o Do you have an online presence?
o Identify your target market.
o Hire a professional editor, take a class on formatting or hire a service. The book must meet spec requirements so that it can be downloaded successfully.
o Invest in a graphic designer who can create an original book cover, and make certain you have a polished manuscript that is ready for readers.
o Do you have an online presence?
o Enter your book into several contests to boost visibility.
o Research and determine the best advertising options for your book and your target market.
Crazy Business, Crazy Life
In my own mind, I have everything under control and organized. I did take an online class about formatting only to realize that I will never be proficient at the task. I hate it and I’d rather be writing. The time and efforts of a professional is worth the money to me.
This past month, I laid out guidelines and entry forms for three contests along with my book copies and envelopes neatly addressed. All was in order, and then (thank goodness), I got an email from a reader who found a typo in the first chapter. A character’s name was wrong! What are the odds that a contest judge will find the error? Will it hurt my chances? Most likely. That little snafu, and the time it took to contact the formatter, upload the new version, and reorder corrected hard copies, wasn’t part of my plan. I just barely made the contest deadlines.
I don’t write fantasy, but sometimes I feel like I live in a fantasy world. This writing gig rarely works out according to my timetable. A demanding day job and family keeps me crazy busy, and yet I will keep moving forward because these stories are important to me. I really want to be a successful, published Author.
You’ll be thrown a lot of curve balls and obstacles whether you go traditional or Indie, but all your efforts are worth it when you host your first autographing event. Seeing your book cover on Amazon is exciting. Getting a pay summary and cash in your account is achievable. The ups and downs are normal with every business, because selling books is most definitely a business. Decide now. Is it going to be YOUR business in 2018?
MY 2018 GOALS
- Write 52 Monday blog posts for WordsmithSix (a blog for writers)
- Write 26 Friday blog posts for Prairie Purview (a Texas blog)
- Promote and market every day.
- Six books in the pipeline scheduled to be published in 2018.
- Write more, remain focused, and press onward.
Let us know what’s on your goals list for 2018.
Here’s wishing you a prosperous and productive 2018, and may you find an overabundance of readers in the New Year!