Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Next Year's Plans

My office in the bedroom plan worked out pretty well yesterday. I got a solid afternoon of work done, though there was the minor problem of not doing much of anything else because I was so comfortable where I was. My reading and working in bed has had the added benefit of breaking in the new mattress. They told me when I bought it that it would take a little while before it felt like the one in the store. In fact, although they have a very liberal return policy if you get a mattress and realize it doesn't work for you, they won't take it back until you've had it for 60 days because it takes that long to break it in and get used to it enough to know you really don't like it. When I first got mine, it was stiff enough that when the head was raised, the mattress just tilted instead of bending unless I was sitting on it. Just sleeping on it with it relatively flat wasn't doing a lot to break it in, but spending more time with the base in more extreme positions has really helped, and now it's more comfortable to sleep on, as well.

I may have finished the proposal part of this book, but it's still writing itself in my head as I wake up in the morning. I at least know what happens next. My view of what's really going on has changed since I started. I found where I'd written out a short blurb of the sort that would go in a query letter or cover, and it didn't fit anymore. Today I plan to write a synopsis, and that will likely lead to revisions on the shorter blurb. The real trick will be to force myself to switch gears and get back to writing another Rebels book while I wait for feedback on this idea from my agent.

I've been doing some business planning for next year, looking at everything I want to write. I'm definitely planning at least one more Rebels book for the year, likely another Enchanted, Inc. I want to do more Fairy Tale books, but what I think I may do is try writing shorter books -- in the 50,000-60,000 word range, about the length of a short mystery -- and do more of them more frequently.

I'm also looking at probably doing fewer conventions. They really don't pay off, and it's hard to make a business case for them. I'm planning to travel to two events that are more about professional development and networking than about publicity, but I won't be going out of town to any other events where I have to foot the travel expenses. Instead, I want to invest that time in writing and some of that money in promotion, maybe do some advertising. A BookBub listing could be paid for with the travel costs for a weekend convention, and it will more than pay for itself, while there's no way that a weekend convention that I've been to several times before will pay for itself, even in indirect word-of-mouth sales. Last year, I tried going to every event that invited me, and I saw no benefit at all. If anything, my sales numbers went down. Not that the conventions caused that to happen, but they certainly didn't raise my sales. I don't really find them that fun, not enough to warrant that kind of investment. I'd rather travel to see my friends away from an event like that so that we have time to spend together and a change to explore and tour. The only downside is not being able to write a trip like that off my taxes.

So, while last year was the year of conventions, next year will be the year of putting my head down and writing like crazy, to test the theory that the key to maintaining steady sales in self publishing is to get work out more frequently. I'm not sure I've yet hit critical mass in the number of books that are available or in the frequency of releases to keep everything visible.

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