A List of Goals for 2019!

A List of Goals for 2019!

2018 was a busy and exciting year. But it pales in comparison with what I have planned for 2019.

I usually use my first post of the year to look forward at my goals as well as backwards at my accomplishments. But I had so much to say about 2018, I decided to split the posts this year. I’ve got a lot of plans and I’m super excited to share them.

Writing Goals for 2019

~Finish Writing Soul of the Sun
~Polish Symphony of the Stars based on beta reader feedback
~Write Once Upon a Dream (the first trilogy in Domerin’s series – the name is not yet final)
~Edit Soul of the Sun
~Write and Edit Book 4 of the Eternity’s Empire Series
~Write and Edit Book 5 of the Eternity’s Empire Series*
~If there’s time; Polish Song of the Spheres*
~Do at least 730,000 Words of Work
~Make 550,000 of those words new creative material

Looking at this list, it feels a little ambitious. It’s certainly longer than the list of goals I set last year. But like a Kickstarter campaign, I’ve set some stretch goals.

Finishing Soul of the Sun is a leftover goal from 2018. I just didn’t have time to write the whole thing. Which is fine, because I didn’t know at the beginning of the year if I would even have time to start it. I’m hoping it won’t take more than two months to finish, since I don’t have to edit this time around. But I also don’t want to rush; I want to let the story grow naturally as it continues.

Likewise, polishing Symphony of the Stars should be fairly easy. Most of my beta feedback indicates that the plot is solid, the first installment just needs a little bit of chapter shuffling to make the action more consistent. After the hefty amount of work I put into this last year, I estimate it won’t take more than two months to finish.

I’m Excited to Progress Towards New Projects

Once Upon a Dream is the working title for the first book (quickly turning trilogy in my head) of Domerin’s series. I’ve been planning this story for eight years, and finally had the ah-ha moment that should bring it all together. It’s the start of something big, and I’m thrilled beyond measure that I’m finally going to give it concrete form. This one is going to take time. I plan to spend at least one month outlining, probably while I’m working on Symphony of the Stars, then at least four months writing the first draft. Depending on how busy our summer is, that might become five months. And depending on how much the story grows, it might take longer than that.

When I’ve finished Once Upon a Dream, I’ll swing back to Soul of the Sun and do the first round of edits (which is why I’ve listed these two goals separately). I like to take a break from my stories and let them sit for awhile so I can come back with fresh eyes. This will probably be my last big project of the year and I expect it to be a tough one. Writing is always easier for me than editing.

If I have some time left over at the end of everything else, I’ll start polishing Song of the Spheres; which I should have back from my beta readers by the time November or December rolls around.

What about Eternity’s Empire?

Believe it or not, Eternity’s Empire is a side project I use to keep myself fresh. Unlike the big projects I’ve mentioned, it doesn’t get much of an outline. I simply dive in and let the story take me where it wants to go. It’s by no means a lesser project, and I won’t allow it to get waylaid or forgotten.

But it doesn’t have a set a schedule, since I fit it in the spaces between my other projects. In 2018, I slowed production of Eternity’s Empire to one chapter every other month because I felt I wasn’t devoting enough time to each chapter’s development. In 2019, I’ve decided to no longer release individual chapters. The amount of time I spend marketing each one greatly detracts from my writing time. And since people seem to agree that the chapters work better in book-size chunks, I’m going to throw my energy into making each book the best it can be.

I don’t yet know if this will allow me to produce two Eternity’s Empire books next year. That’s why book five is marked as a stretch goal. But I will certainly release at least one book and probably make significant headway on the second one. If all goes well, I will write book four between January and April, which will hopefully allow me to write book five between June and September.

For my numerical goals this year, I chose 730,000 words of work because it will be equal to 2,000 words of work per day. I set the number 550,000 words of new material based on how much I wrote last year, and how much I plan to write this year. I’m not trying to outdo last year’s goals, but merely keep consistent.

Publishing Goals for 2019

~Publish Dreamers Do Lie
~Publish its sequel Life is But a Dream
~Publish the Dream Things True Duology Box Set
~Publish Book 3 of Eternity’s Empire
~Publish Book 4 of Eternity’s Empire*

Anyone who has followed my blog for awhile knows that Dreamers Do Lie and its sequel, Life is But a Dream, have been finished for some time. The main reason I haven’t floated them out into the wild was because I wanted to try my hand at traditional publishing. I spent a lot of time querying for the first book, but ultimately decided to stop. The more research I do and the more I learn about self-publishing, the more I’m convinced it’s the route for me. I like the creative control. I like the direct interaction with readers. I love the community.

So I’ve decided to release both books in 2019. Together they make up the Dream Things True duology – hence the box set. I don’t yet know the dates for release. I’d like to have Dreamers Do Lie available sometime in April. But as I’m still getting a handle on my marketing plan, I don’t want to list specific dates yet. If it seems more beneficial to wait until I’ve got a better handle on marketing, I might push the release date back and hold off on Life is But a Dream. But I have also learned that diving in head first forces you to learn whether you like it or not… So we’ll see what happens.

Obviously, the number of Eternity’s Empire books I publish will depend on the number I can write. I will definitely publish one. I will publish the second only if I’m confident I don’t have to rush to fit it in. Quality is the most important thing to me.

Marketing Goals

~Reach a regular monthly income (currently keeping the number a secret)
~Make X amount of profit for the year (again, I set a secret number)
~Get 1,000 Newsletter Subscribers
~Establish steady traffic to my book pages, newsletter and blog
~Achieve steady sales
~Grow my Facebook Group to at least 250 Members

I know I promised to be more specific when I made my goals this year, but I’m not sure how comfortable I am revealing numbers on my blog right now. Someday, I’d love to be brutally honest about my income and how long it took to get there, but I’m still so far on the modest end of the spectrum that I fear listing numbers in the open will only discourage me.

But I do have a document with specific numbers written down. Since I realized how much I flubbed my marketing goals last year, I’ve been spending a lot of time gathering and scanning resources, trying to screw my head on straight over how I want to proceed. I expect to do a spectacular amount of marketing research during the first few months of the year. I hope to put that research into action early on and use it to progress.

In the past, I have allowed myself to become discouraged and put off marketing for fear of losing money. But I can see that marketing is the last major blockade standing in my path. I’m determined to do whatever it takes to learn how to run this business. These will stay on my goal list for as long as it takes (this is my third consecutive year of trying to get 1,000 newsletter subscribers). If, at the end of the year, I can at least claim solid progress toward all of these goals, I’ll be happy.

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