Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2018: Looking Ahead And Upwards #amwriting #amediting

2017 was not a good year, not one that prompted me to be optimistic either in real life or in fiction. However, much to my surprise and despite a hefty laptop repair bill right at the start, I finished the year almost $50 in PROFIT for publishing: my first in five and a half years as an author. Mostly down to not paying out for any promotion (which never pays me back in sales at the time and rarely leads to follow up purchases, so a waste of money for me). I currently have funds enough from the past two years to edit and cover another short story, or possibly a novella: a healthy starting point.
However, I still have two unpublished novellas with edits and covers already paid for, plus a short story from even further back. Financially, my publishing plans should be obvious - get those three pieces done, out, and earning back their costs before I move on, but I've really struggled with them. I'm not sure if that's down to burn out, actually getting worse at writing, or my editor expecting more of me than I think I'm capable of. I guess she believes in me more than I do. :P
Coming 2018...
The other nice surprise for me was, despite minimal promotion, my only release last year sold well enough in the first couple of months to have almost make its costs back (I'm about $8 down still). Not bad going considering (although probably down to my buying a premade cover for just $15 rather than my usual cost). Still, it proved to me I actually have a small band of dedicated readers who auto-buy my release, and that's a nice feeling.
Keir is still selling consistently, and there finally seems to be some follow on purchases for Keir's Fall. From what I've read on the success of series and a couple of review comments, it seems book three needs to be done...which means book 2.5 also needs to be done. >.<
So my writing/potential publishing plans need to be:
Finish up and publish the two outstanding novellas and possibly the short.
Finish book 2.5 in Keir's series. Publication of that and book three depends on finances. Right now I don't see me having the funds for a 2018 release (sorry!).
I would really like to finish up a couple of short stories and finally do an anthology collection, enabling me to release all the shorts in a print book.
I want to finish the sequel to When Dark Falls and turn that into a series (I even have a name for that!).
Even those aims are ambitious considering I have less time than last year, and I'm cautious about trying to do too much and end up with burn out again. It's taken me 18 months and a lot of readjustments to recover from that, so I really don't want to risk it again, not when I'm feeling just that little bit more optimistic. We shall see...

Status Update
Reunion is that little bit closer to done. I got the next round of edits back from Dani just after Christmas, but between chickens, work, and getting the monsters back to school I've not had time to really dig back into them yet. It shouldn't take me long but...

Chook Update
The weather's been rather mild so far, though that does inevitably mean wet (my girls' least favourite because it means I don't let them out into the wider world of the garden so often). It also snowed, which they took exception to, even refusing to come out of the coop - I can't blame them! I tried putting down some hay to help keep their feet off the cold ground, but they took a rather dim view of this strange new flooring even when tempted by mealworms. Silly things.
Snuggled up - left to right is Pitch, Effie, and Firefly
with Scoop and Kyru in the foreground.
But this past weekend we added to our flock, this time with a couple of Orpington bantams instead of Pekins. They're bigger than the Pekins, though these two youngsters still have a few weeks growing to do, and are reputed to be the sweetest chickens on the planet. At the moment they're rather timid and are going through the process of finding - or rather being told - their place in the pecking order, my least favourite part of chicken keeping. Fortunately it's mostly by them running away, placing them squarely at the bottom to the point where even little Firefly - smallest and youngest of the entire group - is rather lording it over the newbies and taking a bit too much extra effort in going up to them and having a go. I can't really blame her - she's enjoyed some protection from her higher ranking surrogate mum Pitch but still had to run the gauntlet finding her position...at the bottom. So I guess it's only natural for her to now take a certain pleasure from no longer being the new girl.

But let me introduce our additions. This is Kala, a gold laced Orpington bantam. She's the braver of the two and likes to keep up a quiet but constant commentary on her explorations. She apparently also likes to sit on a shoulder to get a good look around rather than be held.
This is Phasma, a silver laced Orpington bantam. She's much more reserved and nervy, though she's now found her voice which is almost a purr. She will tolerate being held but would much rather run away and hide.
At the moment, the names seem a bit ironic being as they're both from kick-ass female villains of rank, but the names fitted their colouring. Hopefully in the next few weeks they'll settle in and their personalities will emerge a little more clearly.

You can see the size difference between Firefly on the left and Kala on the right, but it hasn't stopped Firefly asserting her position!


  1. Really pleased to hear about the publishing profit and the hope of more books from you. Looking forward to them as always.

  2. Love the new additions--and especially the name Phasma for the silvery one.

    Glad you're feeling more optimistic about your work. The industry has been tough on authors, there's no debating that. Fortunately, the will to write seems to outweigh the negative in the long run, though we sometimes have to make necessary adjustments to cope. You're still moving forward and that's what matters.

  3. It's nice to have made a profit. Congrats. Onward and upward! To Infinity and Beyond.

  4. Thanks all. Laurie, I'll take whatever progress I can make no matter how small. I'm just not beating myself up about it any more.


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