With the new year comes new year resolutions. Personally, I don't do resolutions since mine rarely last past January. However, plotting out the plan for this year, specifically concerning my writing projects, is always a good idea.
Publish Book II, Element Manifest
I have finished the very rough draft of Book II (sequel to Element Unknown), currently entitled Element Manifest. By the end this year, I want to have Element Manifest published. While I have the major hurdle of writing the novel completed, making it available to the world requires a lot of little steps:
- Receive feedback from beta readers
- Send off to editor for developmental editing (There are a bunch of different types of editing, ranging from a super detailed, line-by-line review to a search for typos with no care for the story specifically)
- Update draft with feedback from readers and editors
- Work with artist on cover
- Format print and eBook versions
- Check over proof copy
- Make changes from proof copy review
- Set up book on Amazon and my website
Many of these steps can be done concurrently while some are dependent on the completion of others. And within these steps are even smaller steps such as creating metadata, writing the blurb (the text on the back of the book), and getting a ISBN. Despite all the work involved, I definitely believe that I can publish within the year. The dream would be to have the second book out this summer just like Element Unknown was nearly five years ago. It just depends on people’s availability. But getting it released in the fall would be great too, just in time for the new school year and the holiday season.
Learn More on Marketing
This project is already ongoing and doesn’t have an end date for completion. Marketing seems like a subject that you never really stop learning about.
When my first book came out, I did some in-person promoting, such as attending festivals and farmers' markets. My favorite was the art and music festival my mother and her friends put on called the LOVAM festival. I got a lot of support from family, friends, and random people that know my parents. They seem to know everybody. However, I did very little promoting online. Yeah sure, I have a pinned tweet discussing my book and I have a page dedicated to it on my website. But that’s the bare minimum.
As one might expect, there is a lot that goes into marketing a book and when you’re self-publishing, that’s all you boo-boo. You can absolutely hire someone else to do the marketing for you. That, though, requires more money from your own pocket. Editing, formatting, and cover design can really add up depending on how much work your draft needs and if you’re going to get a custom design for the cover. I would rather do most of the marketing myself just to save a little and put my money on the actual publication of a book.
So far, I have attended some free webinars, I just bought a marketing course, and I’ll be attending some web conferences on the industry. I’m excited to keep learning more and implementing techniques proven to increase visibility, and hopefully by extension, profit.
Finish Draft of Next Novel
The end date for this project is a bit more ambitious. By December 2022, I want to finish the first draft on my next novel, which is set in the same universe as the Element Unknown books but will follow completely different characters. The main character will be Princess Kitanoska of Sonnare, who makes a cameo in Element Manifest. This is the book that my brother has harassed me to write for years. He calls it the “ninja girl” story, so that might give you a hint to what sort of girl Kitanoska is.
I haven’t written a book in a year before and this will take a lot of discipline, especially in stopping myself from editing as I’m writing. But I am getting character profiles squared away and I got a sketch of the plot. So if I just write the thing, I should finish the thing before the end of the year.
These are my writer-based projects that I’m working on this year. Be sure to join the newsletter if you want to keep up with my process! Now it's your turn. What sort of projects are you planning this year? I'm curious to know.