Wow! It’s 2016! OMG!
But wait, before we get into the new year, if you haven’t checked out my round up and assessments for 2015, now’s the time to do it:
Creative Achievements for Q4 (October 1 – December 31)
Creative Achievements for 2015
That was our one final look into the past. NOW, onward and upward!!!
The Year of the Novel.
Year of the Badass.
If you’ve been on the blog for a while now, you know what it’s time for: GOALS! Every year that I have impossibly large goals, I notice that I achieve around 3-5 of them by the end of the year.
And so, after now two years of being an author-entrepreneur (YAY!), I’ve decided that I’m going to really narrow down and focus in on just a handful of goals for this year. I’m going to set 5 goals.
YEP. Just 5. I know, SO out of character. But new year, new things! 🙂
I’ve decided that I’m going to STICK to and follow through on these goals until completion (no matter how much it hurts, lol). So here they are, my 5 major creative and entrepreneurial goals for 2016!
My 5 Major Author Entrepreneur Goals for 2016
1. Fatten up my backlist… BIG TIME!
A lot of things have happened since I published my first novel in December 2013. A crazy 2014 came, along with my preggo news, lol. I published a fantasy multivolume novel set, blogged a lot, cried a lot, and had a baby. A LOT of baby.
In 2015, I sexy-ed up my author brand by reorganizing and rebranding my work. I’ve also hit a stride in managing motherhood, and have a solid draft of The Iron Maiden in my hands ready to be loved.
So now in 2016, it’s high time to write and publish WAY more books!
Finishing out the next arc of the BOE series and churning out at least ONE trilogy (+ a free-quel) in a separate series are THE major pushes for 2016. I’d like to get out yet another trilogy, but we’ll see what happens!
Here’s the list of book titles I plan to publish, in case you’re interested:
The Books of Ezekiel Series (urban fantasy / dystopian sci-fi)
- The Iron Maiden (BOE #3)
- Blood & Ink (BOE #4)
- The House of Death (BOE #5)
- Chase the Devil (BOE #6)
- The Last Descent (BOE #7)
- The Final Page (BOE #3 – #7)
The ASYLUM Trilogy (survival horror / sci-fi thriller)
- Peplum (novella prequel / free-quel)
The FORGOTTEN Trilogy (urban fantasy)
** As a part of the Transcendent Trilogies Project!
- The Forgotten
- The Foretoken
- The Forgiven
- The Forbidden (novella pre-quel / free-quel)
That’s 14 books ya’ll. Can I do it?! I can, if I get in my daily word count (3,000 words a day). Prayers up! LOL!
2. Completely rebrand myself and my author website!
This January, I’m moving a lot of the creative entrepreneurship & business elements of my site to The Bohemian Badass. In turn, this author website o’ mine will become solely an author-branded website. I’m also changing my website title (not the domain, though)!
I want to create a sexier user experience here, by diving more seriously into the world of my books. I want readers to recognize my brand easily, be able fall into the worlds of my novels (via each series’ own space on the site), and I want to create a rich, beautiful, distraction-free experience for anyone looking to find out more about my books, legends, folklore, or me!
So out with the old, in with the new website!
Here are the things I’m DELETING off the site:
- Any information around how to be an indie author, publisher, creative entrepreneur: I honestly just want my site to be a home for my readers, and for general readers of SFF-H as a whole. All business and craft-related stuff will be moved to The Bohemian Badass, where all the helpful writer-entrepreneur info can get the time, attention, and effort it deserves!
- Audio / Video, Rebel Ragdoll, Rebel Ragdoll Review: all in the name of leaning into the author / book brand and just being a writer, and leaning far away from being an “educating blogger & infopreneur”. (Nothing wrong with the latter. I just want to move all that over toThe Bohemian Badass.)
- Promoting Indie Authors: Don’t get me wrong: I’m STILL promoting indie authors and sharing their awesome works. It’s just that I’m going to remove all the “officiality” (is that even a word?) of it and just do some plain ole book blogging on the personal blog section of my website. Again, this is to remove the purported title of “official book reviewer” from over my head. I’m now just a plain ole SFF-H author who loves talking about books in her genre. I’m constantly picking up different works by authors anyways, so you’ll here about them on my blog AND at the end of my newsletters, when I send them!
- Colby’s Team: this is actually just getting moved (not deleted) to the ABOUT section on my site. My team is definitely worthy of mention and accolades!
These are the elements I’m considering ADDING in terms of the total rebrand:
- sexier series’ pages, serving as a dedicated hub for each novel series of mine,
- an awesome “research notes blog” for each series,
- a kick-ass homepage,
- a complete “author’s corner” with my entire media kit at the ready,
- a sleeker, more brand-oriented store,
- a FREE starter library of all the first novels in my series,
- a VIP room for readers of my works,
- a personal blog with books I’m reading, cool folkloric research I’m doing, and more,
- and a more coherent and consistent author brand overall overflowing with the genre, mood, and themes elements of my work as an artist
Everything will probably be ready by March 2016. Super amped and very excited to start the process!
3. Launch a solid social media, marketing, and review-snagging plan!
I really need to laser focus on effectively marketing my books and brand. I’ve been inconsistent and sort of dabbling in everything, instead of picking a few methods and homing in. Sooo, I’ve chosen either marketing areas to focus on for 2016. And the winners are:
- List-building (viral giveaways, lead magnet optimization, free books)
- Paid promos (ads, blog tours)
- Author cross promotion
- SFF/H-related Blogging + Hootsuite (for Facebook & Twitter)
- BookTube (reviewing books on YouTube)
- Bookiscope (reviewing SFF books / stuff on Periscope)
4. Continue with (and complete) author marketing trainings!
I have at LEAST four different trainings in author marketing to finish, and many more to take I’m sure! Each of the trainings I’ve invested in are sitting, waiting me to implement them and bring my brand to the next level.
Also, if you’re interested in amping up your OWN marketing skills, I highly suggest you take these kick ass trainings! Here’s a short list of them:
- Nick Stephenson’s “Your First 10,000 Readers” course
- Alinka Rutkowska’s “Goodreads Cracked” course
- Alinka Rutkowska’s “100 Review Launch” course
- Alinka Rutkowska’s “Facebook Ads for Authors” course
5. Keep my distribution international, FOREVER
I tried Amazon KDP Select. Hated it. It saw about 400 books off its shelves in the three months I was exclusive, but most of those copies were sold only in the first week. Then, even when I did Amazon promos, I didn’t see much of a return in terms of free books downloaded.
Don’t get me wrong. I never thought Amazon would sprinkle some magical selling dust over my work and make it fly off the digital shelves, lol! I never wanted to be exclusive, but being that I only had 2 books, I figured: “Let’s give it a shot! Let’s see what they can do!”
Peh! The answer was absolutely nothing. KDP select is set up specifically for the benefit of Amazon only, and that’s a one-sided relationship I’ll choose to stay out of, thank you very much!
As much as I appreciate Amazon, the fact that it made the indie e-revolution possible, and its book-buyer-friendly ecosystem, it just wasn’t worth it to take the books off, oh, the 200 other international markets that I can reach through Draft2Digital, Smashwords, and Kobo. So, yes, I will be returning to international distribution, for good, and with MUCH pleasure! 🙂
6. Develop & maintain my project slate
Oh ALL RIGHT! I said I’d only have five goals, I know, but one can argue that goal #5 is pretty quick and easy to do, and goal #6 is not only inevitable, but important! Lol.
I get new ideas for novel series, trilogies, standalone series, and serialized novels ALL the time, and I have a running transmedia project slate with nearly 60 different ideas and IPs that I’m pretty excited about.
As I continue on this awesome creative journey and continue to grow as a writer, producer, and entrepreneur, the project slate will undoubtedly grow and evolve. And I can’t miss out on chronicling that, not even for a second! 😉
So YEP! Those are my author goals! I have a lot more goals over at my other brand (The Bohemian Badass), but as for my author life, my main steez is going to be getting that backlist written, edited, and published!
So what about you? What are YOUR major goals for 2016? Leave comments below, good luck with all your creative endeavors, and, obvs…
Keep it indie,