Well, here we are. We all know what this year was about. Political strife, a global pandemic, and seeing humanity at its worst, with glimpses of us at our best.
With the Christmas holiday, I kind of checked out. We went to our son’s and spent time with the grandkids. Our daughter was here for Christmas dinner, and we’ve been watching movies. I enjoyed myself, despite the restrictions we all face.
This is supposed to be about my annual assessment, so I’d better get on with it. Some of you are probably expecting some doom and gloom, and nobody will blame you, but that’s not how I see my year.
It all started out with such promise. 2020 was the Year of the Rat. I was born on the Year of the Rat. My first publication came out on Chinese New Year, and it features a couple of rats and the parade in San Francisco. It seemed like the table was all set.
Grinders did okay. It has some great reviews, but could use some more. Reviews seem to be harder to come by these days. I think it’s some of my best work and would like to get it to a few more readers.
Performance and reviews are kind of going to be the subject for a few paragraphs. I had an ambitious schedule and succeeded in publishing three books. The next two were continuations of series, which is something new to me.
HMS Lanternfish is book two of a trilogy. It sets up some things that will happen in the final volume, which I’m writing currently. I don’t know what it means, but HMS Lanternfish has less than half the number of reviews than Voyage of the Lanternfish.
I know Voyage has been available for a year longer, so that makes some sense. I also know that it’s a small dataset. Hard to draw conclusions with those kind of numbers.
Rumor has it that with trilogies sometimes the sales pick up after the whole trilogy is available. Some readers have been burned by authors who never finished the job. I understand that, but am working on the concluding tale.
Then there is the Ballad of Mrs. Molony. This is the third entry into the world of Lizzie and the hat. These have all been well received, but nowhere near as popular as the original volume. This is my open ended series, and I intend to keep it going for a few more years. I’m also currently working on volume four of this series.
It’s important to remember that reviews aren’t the same thing as sales. Most books sell more than what they garner in reviews and mine are no exception.
I also took most of the summer off. Three publications per year, for two consecutive years, got kind of draining.
I wanted to post at Entertaining Stories somewhere between two and three times per week. The year started off that way, but in the last month or so I’m lucky to get one weekend post put up.
I will blame some of this on Covid. My blog includes a slice of life along with the antics of Lisa Burton, or my word metrics updates. With Covid, there hasn’t been much of a life at all, let alone a slice worth sharing with the world.
Another excuse is also blog tour fatigue. When promoting three publications, there are a lot of blog tour posts. They fatigue me, and my readers. I keep every post unique, so they’re worth reading, and that is a bit draining.
The Story Empire blog is another pet project. I kept my end of the bargain and covered all my assigned days. I write this every year, but I’m wondering how much more I have to offer over there. I love helping others, and will keep chipping away at it. There comes a point where I have to rewrite and repackage some of my content. New writers are always showing up, so it kind of works. I already have my first January post written and scheduled.
To wrap all this up, I think 2020 was successful. There was a lot to overcome, and we’re all still dealing with it. However, I published three books, interacted with many of you, and met all my goals. In a different year, I might whine a little about low success, but in 2020 I’ll take it.
Once 2021 arrives, I’ll trot out a business plan and we can all converse about that.
Talk to me. How did your business year play out?