2019 Business Plan

I skip the whole New Years resolutions thing. If you enjoy it, have at it. What I like to do is outline my plan for the upcoming year. I’ve been known to look back at it here and there to see how I’m doing.

Last year, I pledged not to take on yet another social media platform. I signed up for Book Bub anyway. I like it as a presence for my books. It doesn’t require a lot of my time, and it gives me a nice place to post reviews of the books I read. I’ve transferred over a bunch of old reviews I wrote for people who are also there. I see they’ve done the same thing for me. Technically, there isn’t really a social aspect to it, but I put it in the same category.

Google Plus announced they are going away, and they won’t really be missed. About all I did with it was autofeed my blog there. I monkeyed with it for a few months, but never enjoyed it, or found any value.

The point is that social media has only produced minimal sales for me. I never really noticed a difference in my bottom line. Some of my author friends are even quitting Facebook now. I like the occasional Far Side cartoon, or bulldog video, so I’ll keep mine. With their advertising changing so frequently, it’s become kind of worthless for book promo.

Pinterest I really enjoy. Not for promotional purposes, but for ideas. I have images to inspire characters, paranormal art, science fiction, all kinds of things. I’ll keep my presence there, but for different reasons. It’s nice to forward a few images to my artist when I want a book cover or a new Lisa Burton poster.

Last year, I decided that my best promotional tool was to write my next book. Voyage of the Lanternfish is available as of a few hours ago. This is a pirate fantasy, with all the black magic and monsters you might expect in one of my stories.

I lost my critique group in 2016, then started relying upon beta readers. I like this process, but you have to find people who are willing to kick your butt. (Behind the scenes, of course.) In 2018, I lost my beta readers. This was devastating, but the end result was good.

I’m now part of a new critique group. While there is a difference between critique and beta, they both serve somewhat the same purpose. As a bonus, I get to hang out with a very talented bunch of people who are willing to kick my butt when I need it. (Behind the scenes, of course.)

These people have all written series, and are encouraging me to do the same. My own reading preference is for stand alone books, but I admit to enjoying a series on occasion. I understand the drill, hook them with the first one, then sell them additional stories in the same environment.

I’m still up in the air about writing stories where a previous book is a prerequisite. If I can pull it off, I would like any subsequent stories to be enjoyable even if you haven’t read the previous book. Honestly, I haven’t written a book where someone didn’t mention interest in a sequel.

Having said this, 2019 is going to be my year of the sequel, and possibly the prequel. I intend to write at least one more book in the Lanternfish environment, plus a prequel for one of the supporting characters.

In addition to all that, Lizzie and The Hat are going to make a return. The Hat is my most popular title, and I have multiple ideas that would be fun to explore. One at a time though, and with some dependence on whether the next one is popular too. The next one promises to bring back a few other old friends, and I’ve already started writing it.

That’s a big list, but I may be able to release three titles in 2019. Things would have to fall into place, but it could happen.

In a perfect world, I’d be about to start that cyberpunk novel I’ve been talking about for a couple of years. This one is intended to be a stand alone title. It went on the back-burner again, because I really need to explore the advantage of sequels.

Finances are a big concern. Book covers and promotional art are one thing, but advertising is getting expensive too. I would like to hire a promo company at least during the time around the book’s release. This is a push on multiple fronts in addition to any blog tours I might set up.

My mentality is to bounce around a lot. When I read, I change genres with every title, and I like that. When I write, I do the same thing. I’m starting to realize that many people are not like me. An author sparks their imagination with either a character or world building, and they want more. I intend to deliver some of that in 2019.

I’ve bounced around with promotions in much the same way. It all becomes somewhat like Whack-A-Mole after a while. My blog will remain my main focus, it will auto feed to other sites, but if you really want me you can find me here.

It’s all kind of calming to make these decisions. My focus will be on production of good fiction. There will be blog tours to help promote, and even some new Lisa Burton posters. I’m not going to spend time making graphics for Twitter, or figuring out how often to make Facebook posts about my stories.

I hope your 2019 is productive, positive, and enjoyable. I think mine will be too.

54 Comments

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54 responses to “2019 Business Plan

  1. I concentrate on my blogs and Facebook mainly, Craig. I find Facebook a useful platform for interacting with readers and authors. I am going to get Lantern fish now. I have a few reviews I need to do before I get to it but it is high on my TBR.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Your post is an accurate description of the average writer’s life, what with all the changing levels and confusing elements. Getting harder than ever to be the best you can, for some idiot keeps moving the goalposts!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. harmonykent

    Best of luck for 2019, Craig! I’ve just bought my copy of Lanternfish and can’t wait to get reading it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Good luck with your plan/goals for 2019.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Lizzie and The Hat – yessss!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Sounds like a solid plan. Wishing you much success. Can’t wait to see how it goes!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think the idea of trying sequels is a solid one. And CONGRATULATIONS on publishing Lanternfish. I really enjoyed reading it! I’m going to Amazon to buy it now. It’s a keeper. And I think you should try posting little bits of it on #1linewed on twitter. I sure enjoyed the snippets you put in your blogs when you were writing it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I sorely miss you guys. I have turned my attention from writing to painting and have always had a love for art. I haven’t set up an art blog, or any other social media relative to my artwork coz mostly I’ve just been doing tutorials. I am now branching out to do more original work. I don’t draw well, so I have to find reference photos. Pixabay, Pinterest, and Paint My Photo are all good sites for that. Happy New Year!!! I would like to get my second book in the Naked Eye Series accomplished this year, but can’t make any promises. Depends on how the art thing goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think you’ll kick butt with prequels and sequels, and I look forward to them all. I’m 65% through my current read, have one other book slated, and then I’ll be reading Lanternfish. Since I read pretty fast, I’m sure I’ll be stepping into your pirate world next week.

    I need to do a 2019 plans post. I thought I’d have it done by now but writing distracted me. I think you’re smart to focus on production.

    Congrats again on Lanternfish!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. That’s quite a plan, Craig! Juggling Social Media is a huge time-suck for me and I have yet to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I like FB for personal things, but honestly doubt if I’ve ever sold more than a handful of books through it. I prefer Twitter for book promotion, but there’s no silver bullet. I won’t miss Google+. I’ve just started to dabble with Book Bub. I didn’t realize I could be posting reviews there until yesterday. So, I’ve got lots to do with that aspect of it. Congratulations on the release of Lanternfish!! I’m heading straight over to check it out.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Good luck in 2019. I’m sure you will have a great year.

    As for resolutions, I am not a fan. I never make one. I am in the minority, along with your and a couple other friends.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m of the same mindset. The best marketing will always be writing the next book. I really need to do the same and write down my 2019 plan. It’s in my head; I know where I’m going, but I bet it’s helpful to view your goals in black-and-white. The pluses outweigh the minuses for sequels and prequels, IMO, especially where readers are concerned. But yeah, I think it’s important for each book to be able to stand on its own.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love being able to bounce around, explore a new environment, even create new characters. Lanternfish allows me to do some of this, and still deliver a second story to any fans it gains. This ship can simply sail to a new place.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I have to agree on social media. I enjoy my blog as a respite from the novel. I don’t do it to sell books. Facebook is something I have yet to figure out. Twitter is not a book vehicle either. I have over 17K followers, and it is nice to stay in touch, but I don’t think it generates book sales. I have no answers so remain one of those who keeps publishing for publishing sake.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I think I like a lot of variety, until I consider what I see other people reading, and their tastes are even more broad than mine.Probably I’m in the middle. I will read some things simply because of voice, same authors over and over, for voice. I like history, art, food, flowers, animals, travel, magic, coming of age, dystopia — those are definitely subjects that will pique my interest. I like your voice and your novels usually hit at least one of my subjects, so that’s probably why I read you, here, there …

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I’m with you on single volumes. I find characters, a setting and a situation that interest me. I write that. It’s done. Although I do get told I should write sequels, usually I don’t. To me, that’s an opening for the reader to think and imagine their own “what’s next.”

    Besides which, as most of us know, it takes months to get a book in print. (Even for self-published authors.) Why let that time go to waste? I’m always looking for the next interesting characters, setting and situation.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. ddstoryteller

    Sounds like a busy year planned, Craig and perhaps pushing yourself outside your comfort zone which is always a good thing in my opinion. I desperately want to write the fantasy novel that’s been kicking around in my head, this year. That would be outside my comfort zone, I just need to carve out the time! I have commissions to work on until about May at the moment, so we’ll see. As always, looking forward to seeing what you come up with πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Thanks for this inspiring post. I just riffed on it for my own 2019 plans. Good luck, Craig.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Well written post!! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Great post, Craig. Thanks for sharing. I don’t do resolutions, either. I’ve seen a lot of goals floating around the blogosphere and I’ve written a few not-so-organized-goals-for-the-year posts but there’s something I like about your word choice as a “business plan”. I don’t know… Gives it more oomph or something. Also, laying it out there kind of feels scary like you have to do it (accountability or something). ? Good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. randycecola

    Great Post, Thanku for sharing it πŸ™‚ !

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Incredible Post! keep posting this kind of stuff often πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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