It’s the end of the month and time for another segment of my monthly Wrap Up. This is where I open up about running my business [yes, writing is a business] and let you have a sneak peak into the dirty details of a Romance author’s career. I’m covering which projects I’m working on, any set backs or opportunities that come my way, the truth about submissions, and more.
It’s also the end of the year! And man, has it gone by fast. This Wrap Up will also include a summary of my business’s entire year. Failures and accomplishments. Everything that’s happened this year.
I’m a firm believer in accountability, which is why starting in October, I’ve started detailing my goals for the next month and wrapping them up at the end. This post will also include my goals for 2016. Because why not? This helps me focus throughout the entire month, especially when I’m answering to my readership and not just myself. Shall we give it a try? For January, my goals include:
- Getting back on a set writing schedule
- Revise my newest romantic suspense, Resurrection
For the next year, my goals include:
- Contracting my first full-length romantic suspense, Desolation [didn’t happen this year]
- Contracting my the sequel to Her Fallen Protector, His Seductive Target [didn’t happen this year]
- Contracting my second full-length romantic suspense, Resurrection
- Drafting the third book in my romantic suspense series, Isolation
- Drafting the first book in a new romantic suspense, Disavowed
It’s a lot of work, but after what I saw myself accomplish this year and with the two year old going to preschool starting in January, I think it can be done.
Now that I have my goals set, let’s move onto this month’s wrap up.
MY PRIMARY PROJECT: WRITING CATEGORY ROMANCE
For the month: After sprinting to write a whole 70,000-word draft of my second full-length romantic suspense in November, I took December off from any kind of drafting. I had a couple reasons for this, despite wanting to jump into Nephele Tempest’s December writing challenge. First, at the end of every year, I go into shutdown. Maybe it has something to do with the weather. Maybe it’s because I’m pushing myself to wrap up my goals by the end of the year. Whatever the reason, I tend to take naps every day instead of working, I stop exercising, and I eat all the junk food I can find. I can’t even motivate myself to open my computer, even if there’s work I need to get done. At the drafting of this post, I’m currently stuck in that spiral of demotivation. Every day I set a goal to take better care of myself than yesterday, but the work is still sitting there.
Second reason for taking December off? The holidays. I’ve been working my butt off the entire year to reach my goals and during the holidays I really just want to spend time with my family, watch Christmas movies with my toddler for the first time, and relax.
So no drafting was done this month [unless I count blog posts, which I don’t] and I’m okay with that.
For the year: I was very happy with my production this last year in the department. I took two books which I thought were complete and re-drafted them from start to finish. One of them more than four times. Both books turned out exactly as I’d imagined and even better than I imagined. On top of that I wrote a first draft of a completely new book in under two months. All in all, super impressed with my production this year.
For the month: After waiting to hear six months on one book and four months on another, I heard from my publisher about two books I’d submitted this year. The first, my full-length romantic suspense was rejected because my editor felt the story was too “old school” and I completely understand. I’ve actually heard it from an agent before. The Russian vs. US Government plot has been done, but it’s also easily fixable. So I intend to revise the story once again to bring the book more up-to-date.
As for my second book, the next book in my Afterlife series, my editor was much more impressed with this book. There are a few revisions I’m currently working on at the moment for her–easy fixes–and I plan to have those turned in by the end of the year. Which means I failed in my goals this year to have this book contracted, but that’s okay. The publishing industry really does take time and I want to get it right to avoid problems down the line.
For the year: Quite proud of myself for completing and submitting two full-length works this year. Considering I had to rewrite both books from front to back–several times–I think I’ve accomplished my goal for the year in this category.
For the month: Both Let Me Out and Die For Me are getting new covers! I’ve already seen the final for Die For Me, but I can’t release the cover until the new Let Me Out cover has been designed. My publisher would like to release both covers at the same time and I have to tell you, they are 100x better than the originals! Stay tuned to my newsletter for a first look at these brand new covers to an awesome, heat-pounding series.
For the year: I honestly don’t regret any business decision I made this year, particularly concerning my backlist and terminating two contracts in the name of branding. The contracted books I terminated had little to do with quality romance or a quality brand and they weren’t doing my business a damn bit of good. I haven’t second-guessed myself since sending off those emails and I’m actually quite proud of myself for pushing as hard as ever before.
I honestly don’t regret any business decision I made this year
MY SECONDARY PROJECT: BRANDING
For the month: Blogging once a week is one of the best ideas I’ve had for my business. I still get to connect with my readers and future authors and I can steer my creative side to another topic if I get overwhelmed with writing Romance. Plus, I’m not overwhelmed with writing posts 3-4 times a week and can spend more time on my books. For this month I’d pre-scheduled all of my posts in November since I was taking December off, but still connected with readers and did some promotion through social media even though I was on vacation.
For the year: My main focus will still be on producing quality Romance, but in the next year you’ll still see posts once a week centered around building your career as an author. The schedule may change depending on my work load, but I’m still looking forward to covering topics such as branding, the craft, running a small business, and more.
For the month: No guest posts this month. As part of my “vacation” from work in December, I didn’t draft any posts this month other than for my own blog. It was a nice change to just sit back and relax for a few weeks, but now I need to plan out some topics and expand my reach to other bloggers.
For the year: One of the best and most exciting things I’ve done with blogging this year was sign on as a blogger for Heroes and Heartbreakers. Not only am I reaching a wider base of Romance readers but I absolutely adore the staff and can’t wait to grow with them as a blogger. My goal as of right now is to write up a post every other month, but that may change to more or less. The great thing about writing for them is I get to decide my schedule and editorial submissions so I can focus on different things in my business.
MY TBR PROJECT
One of the benefits of taking December off from work was so I could catch up on my to-be-read pile that’s been sitting on my Kindle app and in my nightstand for months on end. Didn’t happen. While I did start reading a book that I simply couldn’t put down, it was one book and I didn’t have the motivation to read every day.
Seduced by the Sniper by Elizabeth Heiter
Yep, that was the only book I read this month and, I haven’t even gotten through it yet. I absolutely love the book and I love the author, but naps and Netflix seem to have won most days.
That’s it for this month’s–and the year’s–Wrap Up! I thoroughly enjoy giving you a sneak peak into the life a Romance author. If there’s something you’d like to see in these wrap ups or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!