So 2017 has finally drawn to an end, and in contrary to popular opinion (that is, on social media), I think it was a good year. And what’s even better, is that I am increasingly looking forward to what exciting opportunities 2018 is going to bring. I’ve got a lot planned - and not just for 2018.
In this post, we’ll cover:
A round-up of 2017, my highlights, what I’ve learned and what I’ve achieved.
2018: What’s coming up, what I’ve got planned and what I’m looking forward to most.
2018 and beyond: What is in store way off in the future, and what may be brought forward depending on how the rest of my goals for 2018 pan out.
2017: A round up of one of the most exciting and enjoyable years of my life.
I’ve learned a lot in 2017. Right at the beginning of the year, I made the conscience decision to become an author, and to become a self-published one. This decision was made quite easily, after I had seen some of the successes of other indie authors. Not to mention, traditional publishing is becoming increasingly harder to get into, and sometimes it’s just not worth it.
One of the main reasons I chose to self-publish is because I want to be able to do it all myself. I want to be in control of my work - of my art - and be able to change it whenever I want. That means I am responsible for the book cover - something I think every author should be, because they will have the best vision for the novel they have written. That means I am in charge of the content of my book, and am able to decide whether or not I choose to include any extra advised content from editors or peers. However, it does also mean I am charge of everything else - which means marketing. But more on that later.
I began the year by taking an online book marketing course. In all honesty, I probably took the course a bit too early, seeing as I hadn’t actually published anything and I was nowhere near having a completed manuscript that was ready for publishing. Nevertheless, I learned a lot. I learned how Amazon and self-publishing works, the importance of an email list, and also how to best optimise sales. When it comes to self-publishing, there is a lot to learn. But that’s great, because it means that once you know what you are doing, you are able to find the best way to optimise your own career, and if for whatever reason, things such as Amazon’s ranking algorithms change, you’ll be in the best possible position to adapt.
Throughout the year I began building my platform. My website. My email list. My sign up offer. My author profile. All of the above.
2017 was also the year I published my first ever novella, An Unlikely Betrayal. I had originally planned to do it before my twenty-first birthday (no other reason than the fact I just wanted to be able to say I was a self-published author by the time I was twenty-one), but due to summer holidays and giving myself a well-earned break, it wasn’t until one month after, I published An Unlikely Betrayal.
What I’ve learned in 2017:
One of the biggest lessons of 2017, I realised, was that becoming a self-published author - or perhaps even being an author in general - is an expensive career. There’s website costs, editing costs, book cover design costs, software costs, publishing costs (even though publishing on Amazon and the like is free, there are other costs associated with it). But aside from this, another lesson learnt is patience is necessary, and that things take time. Nevertheless, despite this, I remain an incredibly impatient person. Slowly but surely I’m working towards becoming a more patient human being, but also managing my productivity and making sure things are done on time. In short, being prepared. And that’s what I’m going to be doing for 2018.
I’m feeling proud of myself for having published my debut novella by the age of twenty-one. I consider it to be quite an achievement - my best one yet. Especially considering it means I am able to kickstart my own career. So, here’s to the next year of my life, 2018.
2018, what I’ve got planned:
Well, what haven’t I got planned? There’s a lot. Most importantly, and one of the first things I’m going to be doing is publishing my debut Jake Tanner novel, STANDSTILL. I originally wrote the novel in November 2016, and it’s taken almost eighteen months to get this far. But there’s still a little while to go. So far, the manuscript for STANDSTILL has undergone one round of edits, with another round to come this beginning month. After that, the manuscript should be ready to go. I am, however, going to make the book available for pre-order. As to how long, I’m not sure - there’s a lot I still need to learn before I can perfect my launch plan for future releases. In addition, hopefully by the end of January, I will have the book cover ready for launch.
STANDSTILL will be made available in eBook version and also print. Believe me when I tell you I can’t wait to hold a physical copy of my work in my hands. I’m counting down the days.
After I have released STANDSTILL into the world, my other aim for 2018 is to release another Jake Tanner thriller novel, totaling two a year. The novels are going to be terror thrillers, set in London. There are going to be high stakes, and electric, pulse-raising scenes that I hope readers and fans will love. STANDSTILL is going to be a terrorist hostage situation on three separates trains, all bound for airports, whereas the second Jake Tanner novel, tentatively titled TERMINAL, is going to be a similar hostage situation, except in London Heathrow, Terminal 5. The first draft of the manuscript is nearly completed, so at the moment I am looking good for a 2018 release, later in the year.
Aside from publishing two full-length Jake Tanner novels, I am going to write, draft, edit and publish two Jake Tanner novellas that I will release individually, similar to Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novellas, and James Patterson’s Book Shots. The content/outline for these has been decided, I just need to sit down and write them. However, this won’t be until later in the year.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been researching the possibilities associated with setting up my own publishing company, and publishing my books under that name. The reasons for this are that it means greater flexibility with finances, and it could also open up opportunities in the future to publish other authors’ works under this name. So, with that in mind, by the end of January, I should have set up my own publishing company.
Rather ambitiously, my aim is to write 2,000 words of prose a day. Now, that’s 2,000 x 365 days, which equates to 700,000+ words. Which is roughly 6 books a year. Now, that’s a lot of words, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be manageable. All I need to do is sit down, focus, and become determined to do it and then I will. If I believe I can, manage my time better, and work hard at it, then there is no reason why it shouldn’t be a possibility.
I'm also going to be updating my blog more regularly - almost twice a week. Posts are going to include creative content, as well as updates on my progress throughout the year. In addition, I will be including some fun and personal insight into me and my likes. Just need to plan them and we'll be all good to go.
So, here’s to 2018, to the most productive year of my life, and hopefully one of the most successful and fulfilling.
May your year be as prosperous and enjoyable as I hope mine to be.