I’ve been taking more time than usual to mull over what I want to accomplish in 2017, and just over the past day or two have finally settled on the big goals, some little ones, as well as a shift in focus. In summary, I am refining my focus toward writing and production.
So here’s what to expect in the next little while…
The Starry Rise
While writing the second book, The Other Castle, I was taking notes and jotting down ideas for the beginning of the third volume, so before I’d even finished writing the first draft, I already knew how The Starry Rise would begin and end… roughly, vaguely. I just don’t know the details… yet.
With 3,740 words already invested into the first draft, I’m simultaneously re-reading the first two books in the trilogy to take notes so I don’t forget about the big questions that come up in the overall story, as well as refresh myself with setting and character details so I don’t break continuity between the books.
Later this year, after the first draft of The Starry Rise has been written and put into the hands of betareaders, I’ll be returning to the project I began working on during NaNoWriMo last year. The project is a stand alone dark fantasy/quiet horror novel titled Red Wednesday.
The first draft still needs some fleshing out and development, and my intention is to make it solid and readable by the end of the year. I’m not sure yet if I will publish this under Eager Eye Books or if I will shop it around to other publishers first. At the moment, my inclination is to shop it around first.
In between the big projects, or when I need a break, I’ll be working on short fiction. The last short fiction I wrote was about two yeas ago. I’m hoping to publish a couple short stories through Eager Eye Books, and start shopping the others around to pro magazines and anthologies.
The big shift in focus for me this year has to do with moving away from business and more toward reconnecting with the writing craft and with literature in general. I’m feeling disconnected and out of touch with the art of writing. Most of my reading for the past 5-6 years has been predominantly non-fiction, so it’s time to get back to reading more fiction.
After reevaluating the effectiveness of being a dealer/vendor at conventions, I realized that attending conventions on a continual basis isn’t sustainable on two key levels.
On an energy level, attending conventions and events is disruptive to my creative output and tends to knock me on my ass, so to speak. Yes, as a result of being on panels and doing readings, I’m more comfortable talking to strangers and in front of small to medium sized groups, but I’m still shy and introverted, it still saps my energy. I need a break from the stop and go and the interruptions.
On a financial level, I simple do not sell enough books and other paraphernalia to recover the cost of attending them. I know, I know, it’s about the networking, and I agree 100% with networking. However, if I’m going to invest money into going to an event to network, I might as well go to enjoy the panels (many of which I miss out on because I’m in the Dealer’s Room). I can still promote, I can still carry a few books on me to sell, so this year I have decided to attend one (maybe two) conventions as an attendee only.
Definitely expect me at Ad Astra this year, as I’ve already reserved a hotel room and bought a membership for the event. And should I decide to attend other events later in the year, look for updates here.
Marketing & Promotion
So if I’m not going to be promoting myself at a whole bunch of conventions, than how will I promote myself and my books?
Instead of spending money on attending conventions and on certain print materials, such as postcards, I’ve decided to spend it on Advertising, one area that I’ve recently started to experiment with. I’ll be looking into economic forms of advertising both online and in the real world. No expectations. I’m just curious to see if I can expend more reasonable amounts of energy and funds and still see results.
In addition to advertising, I’m hoping to launch The Eager Eye Podcast sometime in the new year and some book trailers as well.
Yes, I’m pulling back a bit, but it’s only half a month into the New Year and the shift in focus is already showing results. 2017 promises to be a productive year.