A very happy new year to you! A little belated, I know, but my thinking was you've probably caught up on life by now, after all the Christmas and holiday madness.
And what a mad holiday it was! Full of food and drink galore. It's odd, getting back into the swing of it though, isn't it? Takes far longer than you'd expect, and when reality finally hits, it seems busier than it ever was! It was a great holiday though. I spent most of my Christmas flat on my back, with an iPad in one hand and a drink in the other, writing out plans and ideas and dastardly plots for this year. And I fancy sharing a few of them with you today.
Simply put, I want 2014 to be a big, big year for me. 2013 was great, but was very experimental. I tried a few new directions with Shelf Help and my marketing, spent a lot of time working on the business aspects of my book empire. Some ideas worked, and some didn't, but all that work taught me an important lesson. Now I've come out the back of 2013 with two clear goals in mind.
Write. And write hard.
2013 was a prosperous year for me. I finally saw my graphic novel become a reality. I launched a whole eBook store. I also finished off the Emaneska Series with Dead Stars Parts 1 & 2. I even expanded Shelf Help into a service provider, and started work on a full Shelf Help guide. But despite all this expansion and growth, there was something lacking in 2013. Very little fiction was scribbled.
Alas. I think I went too deep into the business of self-publishing, rather than keeping the passion, the very raison d'publish, at the very forefront of my mind. Despite my progress with my multiple businesses and projects, I found myself pining after writing, getting distracted by too much admin and too many commitments. By December, I was bursting with book ideas, but I was seriously lacking a release valve. I realised I was simply too busy.
So on New Year's Day, I made myself a promise. This year, I will be focusing on a smaller spectrum. I'll be shutting a few things down, scaling back a few others, and generally going to back to the author I was at the start of 2013. I'll be taking my lessons and growth with me, though, mark my words.
What does this all mean? Will I trash everything I built in 2013? Will I become a silent hermit? A writing recluse? Hell no. I met so many great fans in 2013, made so many new contacts, and have opened up a whole world of opportunity. Trust me, I will be moving forward, but leading with my writing, rather than my self-publishing this time. I will be becoming an authorpreneur, rather than an entrepreneur who writes books.
Self-publishing will of course remain a large part of what I do - I'm a self-publishing consultant after all! But instead of a blog or advice site, Shelf Help will begin to centre around my consultancy and the brand new Shelf Help guide that will be launching in mid-February. I will be providing advice, but via a book and a series of vlogs as well. I'll still be advising and helping people, but in a neater, tidier way that helps me allocate more time to writing.
Libiro will still continue its seemingly unstoppable march forward, as I'd be a fool to scale that back in any way. The graphic novel will also carry on as is - hopefully hitting the shelves by early March.
In the meantime, you'll be seeing plenty more videos, plenty more updates, and plenty more snippets of what I'm writing. Overall, I'm going back to being an author, first and foremost, rather than a man with many fingers in many pies. I love pies. But too much pie can slow you down, or burn those fingers. I won't have that. Not now that I've come so far!
I'm excited by this new, focused direction, and I hope you are too. If you're worried about losing Shelf Help, or that I'm taking a backward step, just trust me - I won't be changing that much. Besides, now you'll have plenty more fiction to get your teeth into. Now that can't be bad, can it?!
So in summary, I'm naming 2014 the official year of the author. And may the gods have mercy upon my writing fingers.
Peace, and hopefully see you all on Twitter or Facebook!