2022 has been interesting and overall, a very good year.
- This was the first year I really made use of the company and we had a company / co-author retreat with the key individuals (assistants, authors, editors) who helped make us who we were in Barcelona. It was a great trip and something I’d love to make a regular thing.
- I also had my first real writer’s retreat too which was all kinds of cool! Even got some words down (unlike the one in Edinburgh which really, I know was supposedly a writer’s retreat but was mostly networking and chatting).
- 2022 was a year that I had planned to slow down on publishing, and we did. I haven’t (personally) released a book since around July this year, and the last half of the year has been a little leaner because of that.
- On the other hand, my co-authors did a bunch of releasing, so that has helped with the topline numbers (bottom-line is obviously smaller especially as we continue heavy advertising for the co-author series).
- The first half of 2022 was rough on advertising. It’s still choppy, though we’re learning to navigate the advertising waters better. We still don’t have a handle on TikTok and we might not ever until we hire for a role in there but… we’re still debating on that.
- Closing off the System Apocalypse with book 12 and having to deal with trademark issues was fascinating. The biggest on-going effect has been a net positive on two fronts – I no longer browse Reddit and I’ve stopped actively contributing to public author groups. Again, a net time savings and rededication to things that actually were more positive.
- I signed with two different audiobook publishers, which I had no intention of doing at all; but who just made sense for these two upcoming works.
- Because of the advances, Kickstarters, more Patreon supporters and better wide sales including sales on Starlit Publishing, we’re actually deriving a higher % of our income from non-Amazon sources than ever and saw a (topline) net increase. A rather nice surprise, considering I actually expected and planned for a lower financial year this year with fewer releases.
- Those two Kickstarters were fascinating to run too. The second Kickstarter for the System Apocalypse anthology has done MUCH better than expected, having already earned more than the 1st anthology did in terms of ebook revenue (and barely under ebook & audio revenue). Kind of amazing that.
- I went to a bunch of conferences this year, skipped more when I realised I was stretching myself too thin, and learnt a lot. I did my first year as a pro in Dragoncon and that was a ton of fun, even if I was exhausted and ill the entire time.
- Biggest failure? I keep trying to work on this epic fantasy and it keeps getting away from me. The need to write and publish other works and other random ideas AND my books getting longer means that I just couldn’t fit in time to work on this novel. It’s too dense, too difficult to do so as a side project. So that book is now back on the backburner again, even though I have an AMAZING cover. sighs
As for 2023…
- The slowdown in publishing was entirely to give myself a 6+ month gap between finishing a work and needing to publish it. So, I have the January release of A Thousand Li (ATL) book 8 written, I have a novella for May release and a free serial that is releasing on my Starlit Publishing website all completed.
I’m about 1/3 of the way written for ATL9 that is scheduled to release in around August, so I should have more than enough time to get it written. I’ve also got a novella nearly finished in another world, and that’ll come out sometime next year too. Along with some shorts that I’m working on, using long-hand
- I still have 2 more books that have to be written on top of all this that I have to finish up the year (basically the continuation of the serial and the new LitRPG that will be a ‘main’ series work), though I should also be finishing up ATL 10 too in 2023.
- I’m also planning for an entire month in the schedule where I’m NOT writing…. which might not happen. But it’s in the plan!
- With the anthology done, I’ve got some new co-authors who might be joining the System Apocalypse universe. I won’t mention more than that, since sometimes, these things fall apart. Let’s just say that my above writing schedule might get blown apart, because of the amount of work involved dealing with more co-authors.
- I’ll be back at Dragoncon as a guest, doing even more panels. I’ve got a few author conferences I’ve signed up for too, so that’ll be busy as usual. I’m still debating others, especially with the busy schedule again.
And that’s it. A lot happened, and I’m sure I forgot a bunch of things. A lot of things that will happen in 2023 too. Overall, 2022 was a great year, both personally and professionally with a definite shift in some of the production plans to ensure that writing continues to be a very viable career well into the future.
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