2014 Goals

  • Release the first two books of my next series – It’s no surprise I’ve been developing one for a while now and I fully intend to get the first two books in this series delivered before the end of 2014. I’m scheduled for no more and no less than 2 books because I’ve thought for many months in 2013 about the way I schedule and I’m certain that releasing two books at the times I’m releasing them will result in the best products I could possibly release. The goal for these books is also to be longer than the 42,000 words of each Library Series book and to be largely character-driven. For the sake of continuity, I’ll state once again how immensely excited I am about this upcoming series.
  • More Friday updates – There’s no better reward for reaching the end of a week than providing/receiving new information about something you’re excited about and so I’ve been scheduling as many weekly updates as possible regarding new series content. Of course I’m also hugely anti-spoiler so it’s been a tough balancing act between ‘releasing as much as I can’ and ‘not giving away too much’. I think I’m on the right track to finding a good balance and I’ll continue to adjust my current plan to give the reader the best experience possible.
  • More marketing and networking – I’m not the biggest fan of having to sell myself and my works, but no one benefits from me not putting myself out there. In order to reach readers I have to build a platform and display my value to readers and other authors so that we can help one another. In an ideal world I would already have all the fans I need and just market the way I want to, but as of now such methods will get me zero new readers. Like I said, that’s neither fair to you or I so I will take more responsibility when it comes to this in 2014. This goal also includes spending more of my own money so trust me when I say I’ll be thinking very carefully about the different things I may or may not do for 2014 because money only works when you throw it at the right things.

The major thing I need to say following what I’ve written above is: don’t worry that The Orin Chronicles and The Academy: Second Volume don’t feature on this list of goals. I intend to do more with them in 2014, but right now those plans are in flux. These goals above are things I’ve been thinking about and planning for all of 2013 while The Orin Chronicles and The Academy Series were born in my more spontaneous days and so I’m trying to course correct and get those back on track. The problem with that is that I can’t promise anything because I don’t yet know what I’ll be doing with them. Then again, I also want to assure everyone that something will be done with both these series in 2014 so I officially present my bonus goals for 2014.

Bonus Goals

*Release 3 more volumes of The Orin Chronicles

*Release The Academy: Second Volume

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2013 Goals Review

*Finish The Library Series – done! This is obviously my greatest accomplishment as it involved me finishing my very first published series. Now the entirety of the Library Series is available for people to read and, best of all, it was done in a very timely manner. In January I released Book Three and then in May I released Book Four. The fourth book ended up being a little short, but I was hardly going to compromise the integrity of the story when it came to the final book. The best part of finishing my first series was getting to tell the story I had always planned while also discovering where all the characters ended up and seeing the evolution of the world of the story.

*Begin work on Series 3 – Accomplished (although technically it’s Series 4). I started thinking about what I would do for 2014 in January of this year, but changed my mind about the type of series I wanted in May. Since then it’s been non-stop character development, world development, and story development. I’ve known for a long time now what this series is and I’m very excited to reveal something about it on January 31st.

*Release an additional project – Even though two goals went unaccomplished, I still got this one in. I never explicitly said what it was, but it was always going to be The Library Series: Recreations. Writing fun extra stories in the world of The Library Series and providing some information about the development of the series is something that I always wanted to do and so what I did for that project coalesced into a strange and tiny supplement that’s definitely 100% extra material (which was my goal) that I’m pleased with.

*Continue and Conclude The Orin Chronicles – I did indeed continue for 5 more volumes, but I put the series on hold before the release of Volumes 8-13 due to personal issues. I fully intend to conclude the series, but if I had forced myself to do so this year it would have resulted in something completely sub-par and that’s something I refuse to do. I am proud that I did manage to get Volume 7 written though because it acts as a nice mid-arc finale in itself and sets up what might loosely be considered as the second half of the series.

*Release The Academy: Second Volume – I was able to write about 40% of the story this year, but I became a bit ambitious in what I was trying to do and unfortunately there was no way to scale that back. After coming back to the series it was clear there was only one direction to take it in and as a result I have to think a lot about the characters, their motivations, and the surrounding events of the book in order to provide satisfying stories for all the characters involved.

2013 was, without a doubt, an awesome year. I published a ton more content this year than in 2012 despite many personal setbacks and I’m not at all surprised I didn’t reach some of my goals. I’ll talk more about 2014 tomorrow in my 2014 goals post, but I think it’s safe to say I’m on track for my best year yet as a writer and, for the millionth time, I’m very excited about what comes next.

Writing Update: Approaching the End of the Year Edition

Only 10 days until the end of the year and I’ve still only written 25% of The Academy: Second Volume. I intend to have a release by the end of the year, but I think at this point I might do a staggered release with the first few stories debuting before the end of the year and the remaining ones being released each Friday during January until the entire thing is completed.

Naturally  this is hardly where I wanted to be, but I’m still writing so I’m happy with that. The last 1/3 of 2013 has been the start of a new journey for me and so I suppose a drop in productivity was unavoidable. How I miss the days of early 2013 when I was releasing volume after volume of The Orin Chronicles and writing the ending to The Library Series.

2014 is going to be an even better year though. I haven’t outright announced it, but for a while The Orin Chronicles page has had a note that the series will resume in 2014. Right now I think that it will be possible to release 3 volumes sometime next year while also debuting my new series which is still planned to be revealed on January 31st. Right now I think they’ll be released monthly in a row, but what those three months will be is something I haven’t decided on. And it probably doesn’t take much guessing from there to assume I’m also planning to release the final 3 volumes in 2015. Ideally I’d like to finish the series as soon as possible and not keep people waiting but then again I’m not sure anyone’s waiting at the moment.

In about a week I’ll post my full 2013 retrospective and then outline my goals for 2014 which will be structured a little differently than they were for 2013 and 2012. I’m very excited for these posts so please look forward to them.

My Kindle Countdown Experience

Recently, I used KDP Select’s new Kindle Countdown Deal for one of my books: The Orin Chronicles Volume 7. While I was optimistic about the program, I found the results to be less than satisfactory. Previously I have used KDP Select’s free promotions and those would always elicit some type of a response. Even with no outside promotion, your first free promo deal is sure to bring in ~100 new downloads of your book at a minimum. That minimum is something I find to be important because, as someone with a rather small platform and ability to spread the word about my books, it matters very much knowing I can get at least this much out of the program.

Now, for Kindle Countdown deals, there is no minimum response. I found 0 people purchased my book as it moved from 99 cents back to its original price. What this makes clear is that a lot more effort needs to be invested in a Kindle Countdown deal than a free promotion, likely because sale prices aren’t as attractive as getting something for free. So, if you aren’t prepared to support your Kindle Countdown deal, I highly recommend against using the program. I think it’s likely I’ll use this program in the future, but not until I’ve reached a wider audience and have a greater ability to self-promote my own books.