You may have seen a recent video talking about publishing changes for this year and I spoke there about some changes to my overall goals, and thus, the journal. I’ve only been doing the journal for two months, but I can really see how this will be such a cool (yes, I said cool) thing to look back on and – hopefully – see progress.
Let’s go through each of the ten goals and how they’re going, plus any changes. And yes, there are pictures!
GOAL 1: Newsletter.
The aim of this goal was to have 100 subscribers by the end of the year and send out a monthly newsletter with something different in each time. I’m looking for that consistency of a monthly newsletter. Adding value is something I’d love to achieve for my readers too. As you can see in the image, I am now up to 27 subscribers which I know is not many to some, but to me, 27 people have signed up to hear from me every month! I’m stoked!
In January, I shared some book art for the Bloodline Alliance series as well as promoted two indie authors. One is someone who seems to have very similar interests as me and I agreed to take part in the cover reveal for her second book in series. I’ve now read book 1 in Lead Copeland’s shifter series and loved it! Just started book 2. I also shared G H Brookhorn’s debut release which was a collection of four short stories about the four horsewomen (yes, women) of the apocalypse. It’s an adult paranormal romance read, very sexy, funny and different to what you might think. I beta read these and loved the fact it was women as the leads.
In February, I changed up the style of my newsletter to match the new website style (go check out the rest of this site if you haven’t done so already!). It was also the first month that I released some flash fiction. If you’re not aware, a group of us have decided to challenge ourselves with a new flash fiction (under 1000 words) each month, on a new supernatural creature. It’s a self-edited piece and was entirely fun to think of a story and characters to bring to life in ONLY 1000 words. Seriously, go check it out! I’ll be including the link to access the exclusive webpage only for newsletter subscribers, in the welcome emails so if you haven’t yet joined the party and want to read the Grim Reaper flash fiction, it’s not too late.
Goal 2: Free book
This is the prequel short story I am hoping to release to newsletter subscribers in May! It has been drafted, read by an alpha reader, self-edited, and I’m now just asking for a closer critique from some author buddies. It’s about 10k in total and shows the story of the original alliance. It’s quite emotional and there’s one scene in particular that gets me every time! Next month I’m hoping to have edits done and a cover and start figuring out if I should deliver this via BookFunnel or add to my subscriber exclusive web page.
Goal 3: Book release
Ah, well done me for titling this as a general ‘book release’. It was originally intended that this would be book 4 in the Bloodline Alliance series but, I slowly came to the realisation that I wasn’t ready for it. I had a great discussion with an author friend about my career and where I want my focus to be. Luckily, book 4 was expanding the world with Wyatt and Imogen’s story (characters in the original series), so there aren’t really any major plot points that need tying up. However, I have about 30k written for book 4 and really love Wyatt and Imogen.
This lead me to do the following:
I’m so excited for this! I was like a sweet filled kid when I was discussing this with my author friend! I’ll even be getting my very own ISBN (or that’s the plan because they cost A LOT) so that I can do fancy dust jackets via ingram spark or something. I know amazon now do hardbacks so I will be looking into all options.
I think all the extras and the novella will make the special edition super special and be a huge incentive for people to pick up the Bloodline world! What do you think?
Goal 4 & 5: edits on Queen’s Guard fantasy books 1 & 2
These will become a focus in the summer, after all the work on the special edition is completed. It is my hope that these will be done and at least alpha read by the time nano rolls around in November as I fully intend to draft book 3 then.
Goal 6: draft book 3 in the Queen’s Guard fantasy series
Linking to previous, during Nano, I hope to draft book 3.
Goal 7: draft book 4 in the Queen’s Guard fantasy series
This is one goal I just don’t think will get done. I’d love for it to be drafted but I need to be realistic and with the slight change in publishing plans, I can’t guarantee it.
Goal 8: 1000 YouTube Subscribers
Gosh! I have 308 subscribers right now! Growth in terms of subscribers slowed down in February, not sure why, but I am getting views over 100 consistently on the videos and more likes/comments so engagement is definitely becoming more consistent. I love the content I’m creating and have so many ideas. Thank you to all who have subscribed and engage with the videos – it means a lot! Also, if you have any ideas or requests, let me know below and I’ll add them to the list.
Goal 9: 1000 Instagram followers.
Man, it is hard work on Instagram right now! I feel like I’m getting somewhere and I’m getting a feel for what people like and then it slows right down. I’m no longer concerned about unfollowers as many are bots, or weren’t my ideal reader as just looking for a follow back. However, it can get frustrating. I need to find a posting time too. Sometimes I post after 7pm and it really doesn’t work but trying to post around 5pm is hard when I have the kids and dinner/bed to sort. May have to experiment this month posting during the day, maybe? I’m really trying to focus on my books and writing and keeping to that sphere which I think will help attract my ideal readers in due course.
Goal 10: Read and review 12 books
I’m boshing this one guys. Nine books. Nine books! And some of those are by Jennifer L Armentrout, the from the Blood and Ash series and boy are they long books! The last one I read by her was 700 pages long…crikey. I’m especially hoping to review all the indie ones – that’s something I need to catch up on!
I’ll have a full list and my thoughts on those books for the quarter coming up soon! Some pretty amazing recommendations on there!
We reach the end! As you can see, not all the goals have changed. Some have only changed slightly since my goals video so the video – if you haven’t seen that yet – still very much stands. I shall check in with my goals journal next quarter to share the progress!