Thursday, December 20, 2018

My Authorial Aspirations For The New Year

As the year draws to a close, so many of us are looking toward 2019 and making promises. New year, new me, and you know the usual suspects on that list. I want to finally sign up for those classes, I want to get a better job, I want to get in shape and lose some weight, and so on, and so forth. By the by, if you haven't seen my How I Lost 40 Pounds By Eating More Taco Bell, I'd recommend checking it out if that's one of your goals.

I'm not typically one for resolutions, but I thought I'd take some time while the new year is just getting ready to hatch, and lay out some of my particular aspirations as an author. And if you're one of my readers, here's some stuff you should keep an eye out for.

I'm excited, how about you?

Aspiration #1: Writing The New Book

For folks who've been to My Amazon Author Page, you've likely noticed that the majority of the books on that page are anthologies that only feature a single short story by yours truly. Even my first book, New Avalon: Love And Loss in The City of Steam was a short story collection. However, in case you missed it, this year I released my first novel; a sword and sorcery tale titled Crier's Knife.

First couple of chapters are free!
I like writing novels, and so I've decided I'm going to keep at that a little longer. Rather than start on another Crier book right away, though, I'm instead going to start a new series. This book, tentatively titled Marked Territory, will showcase the Maine Coon enforcer Leo who made his debut in my short story "Stray Cat Strut" featured in the recently released From A Cat's View anthology. If you like gangland noir, and books where the entire cast is made up of animals, then this should be a lot of fun for you.

My outline is drying as we speak, and I'll be gearing up on that January 1st.

Aspiration #2: Reviews

As any author knows, reviews are the lifeblood of your work. Especially in today's Internet age, where a signal boost from the right person at the right time can make or break your year. The target number for any author is typically 50, because that's around the time Amazon starts helping to spread the word about your book by featuring you in searches and on other people's pages.

Seriously, if you like a book, tell people.
That's why, by the end of 2019, I would like to have 50 reviews on either Crier's Knife, or on New Avalon: Love and Loss in The City of Steam. At time of writing, the former has 4 reviews, and the latter has 12. That's not a bad start, but I think I can do better with a little bit of extra elbow grease. However, I know my limitations, and while 50 would be great, I'll consider it a success if I get either of them moved to between 30 and 35 reviews by this time next year.

Why am I focusing on reviews instead of on sales? Well, part of that is because reviews act as a kind of long-term investment. The other part is that sales come from a lot of different places, while reviews only come from one; you all, reading this right now.

So, if you can spare the time, help me out on this one, will you?

Aspiration #3: The Game

As anyone who's been to Improved Initiative knows, I write a lot of RPG-related material. Sometimes it's just world-building and fiction, sometimes it's supplements like what I featured in my Random Tables Courtesy of Azukail Games post, and sometimes it's complete adventures like False Valor, the first Critical Hit one-shot that came out earlier this year for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons.

However, while I like working on existing games, I'd like to make something new. Something different. Something that players haven't gotten to taste before.

And, because it's me, there will be buckets of blood.
At the moment this project is just a concept and a pitch. What I can tell you is the game straddles that line between dark fantasy and horror, mixing in elements of cosmic terror with more traditional urban legends. It is my hope that, this year, I will take some concrete steps toward making that game a reality. And, with a little luck, I might be able to drop more details the next time I write one of these entries.

That's all for my Craft of Writing piece this time around. While it's a bit off-topic, it's important to write down what you intend to do, and to make it real. So what about the rest of you... what are you planning on doing this coming year?

For more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and feel free to head over to My Amazon Author Page. To stay on top of all my latest releases, follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. And, lastly, if you'd like to give me a tip you can Buy Me A Ko-Fi, or become a patron by visiting The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page.

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