Peeps, I had a plan.
Yes, I have two books out there in the big wide world. (If you don't know, check out my debut novel The Prisoner and The Assassin and it's sequel The Arrows of Defiance today! Reviews are always welcome!) And while I love my first two books dearly, I've been wrestling with the nagging sensation that I'm not really doing right by them either. The first, Prisoner, was my "I want to see if I can actually do this" book and, lo and behold, it turns out I could. It's sequel, Arrows, concluded the story I began in the first, but it too felt like a "I want to see if I can actually do this" kind of book.
So, I hatched a plan. I stumbled across a indie publishing platform that not only publishes your books but pushes them out to multiple vendors to get them to as many people as possible. I got excited. This seemed like a good idea to me. I could get new covers and relaunch them next year and get them posted to multiple vendors and really get them out there the way they should be now.
Since I started writing as much as I have my goal has been a simple one: always keep improving. I want me writing to get better with each new book I write and yeah, I want to get better and marketing the work I have out there in the world. I had a plan and 2018 was going to be the year I get my books back out there looking better than ever... I had a plan. Emphasis on had, because on Monday I got an email saying that the shiny new platform that I had pinned a lot of my marketing strategy for next year on was shutting down.
So, now I'm sort of back to square one- but the nugget of the plan remains. I want to get the first two books out to more vendors on a platform that lets me really do right by these books. Don't get me wrong: I'm under no illusions here- I don't think they're Hemingway or anything but I did put a lot of time and energy into them and I want to make sure that time and energy gets the platform it deserves. (I'm also usually my own damning critic and whenever I find myself reading those books, I'm sort of surprised that they're actually not half-bad. Certainly worth a read!) These books mean a lot to me, oddly enough. I think one of my biggest failings in writing has been focusing on the plot and not the characters- my biggest fear has always been someone will read something that I've written and then look at me and say, 'I don't get it.' So I used to obsess about plot and that made the story I had in my head and the characters that I had in my head hard to translate to the page.
I don't know at what point in writing Prisoner that I realized that the characters had sort of come alive for me, but they did. And that's when I knew that whatever it was I had going (because both books sort of emerged from a pile and a half of writing that sort of poured out of me) that it was going to happen. I was going to write an actual, real life book.
I know it's sort of a writery cliche to say, but I really got to know all those characters- and at some point, I'll be going back to them to finish their story for good. But for now, all I know is that looking at the books I put out over the past couple of years, I know I can make them better. I know I can get them out to more places, more effectively than I have been up to this point. Like most indie authors, I know next to nothing about how to effectively market a book, but 2018 is going to be the year that I try and learn something about that I think.
So, I'm back to Square One. I'm going to spend the rest of the year coming up with a new marketing strategy and then 2018, I'm planning on finishing the next book and relaunching one, if not both of the other books- and hopefully doing a bit better about marketing the books that I have. I know I set a pretty ambitious goal for myself last year in terms of writing short stories and I want to keep getting after those and getting those out there in the world as well.
The TL;DR of all of this: I've got some thinking and planning to do, but fun stuff is coming 2018. I just have to figure out how much fun stuff and how to get it all done.