Since I’m hoping to take a bit of a break from the blog during December, I want to do a bit of ‘looking back’ over 2016 with this post, before I get so busy relaxing or finishing Never#5 that I overlook doing so :D
So, on to the reflection!
There have been negative things in 2016 of course, but they’re things that I won’t dwell on here as it would be a bit boring. Instead, I’ll focus on some of the writing goals I set back in Jan or March and see if I met them (spoiler, I met most of them :D).
And now, in a touch more detail:
Goal 1 – Achieved...just
• Increase my average monthly royalties by %50 - %100
Here I wanted to increase my monthly income by enough to enable me to pay a small bill or two with my writing and it’s only been in the last three months that this has been achieved. Of course, I don’t earn a supplementary income by any stretch but it has certainly increased compared to where I was at the end of 2015 or even mid 2016.
I attribute this success, aside from marketing, to three things a) releasing a fair few titles this year, b) rights reversion for my Bone Mask Books and c) Kindle Unlimited.
Goal 2 – Exceeded!
• Release 5 titles over the course of the year
This goal is linked to the first, since more books tends to naturally relate to increased sales. So my plan was to release a few extra titles, above and beyond what I’d achieved in 2015.
Looking back, by the end of 2014, between myself and my publishers, I’d released three titles – one poetry collection and two novels (The Fairy Wren and City of Masks.) Hop forward to 2015 and my total climbed a tiny bit to four. One poetry collection and two novels (Crossings and The Lost Mask) along with a novella (A Whisper of Leaves).
For this year, I wanted to increase my releases so that I’d put out five titles. It was a modest leap up from last year and I was confident of reaching it, since I’d planned a few novellas and some shorter releases too. In addition, I had hoped to finish two series this year, meaning I felt like I’d guaranteed myself at least two releases.
My total ended up being twelve!
Now that I look back on that number, it’s quite insane, even with the shorter projects. No wonder I’m deeply, deeply weary lol. I pushed myself harder than I ever have and in 2017 I want to take it easy by comparison :)
So, here’s what I managed to get out into the world this year:
Somnus & the March Hare
The Yellow Butterfly (appears within ‘Steampunk Fairy Tales Anthology I’)
Esmeralda (appears within ‘Steampunk Fairy Tales Anthology II’)
The Amber Isle (Book of Never #1)
A Forest of Eyes (Book of Never #2)
River God (Book of Never #3)
The Peaks of Autumn (Book of Never #4)
Greatmask (Book #3 of the Bone Mask Trilogy)
Book of Never (Boxed Set, Vol 1-3)
Poetry & Place Anthology
A pen-name Title
So I definitely exceeded this goal and aside from being tired, I’m very happy with it and I hope readers enjoy(ed) the flurry of releases :)
Goal 3 – Not Quite :D
• Finish off 2 series by December 31st
At the beginning of the year I had two series I wanted to complete in 2016.
One was a new series called The Book of Never and the other was my first series, The Bone Mask Trilogy. 'Never' would feature novellas and novels, while the Bone Mask books were each much longer. Luckily, I was able to complete the Bone Mask Trilogy this year, as Greatmask was released just last week. However, the conclusion to the Never books will have to wait until 2017 but to be honest, I don’t mind that this one is taking longer. It’ll definitely make the book better :)
And there it is, an incredibly long post on goals! Thrilling, huh?
Looking forward to 2017 I’m keen to finish a few projects that I’ve been working on, planning or thinking about for a few years.
First will be the conclusion to The Book of Never, with Imperial Towers (#5) slated for a March release. Then a sequel to A Whisper of Leaves and a new suspense novel and in the latter half of the year, I want to start work on the first book in the Bone War Trilogy – where, among other things, we get to see Notch’s visit the land of the Ecsoli :)
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Ashley Capes is an Australian writer of fiction, poetry and very occasional non-fiction.
Imperial Towers (Never Book 5) - draft 1
Moss Dragon - draft 1
Reed Lavender (working title) - draft 1
Unnamed Spec Fic - draft 1
Whisper of Leaves (sequel) - Outline