2011 was difficult at first, but became fruitful once I got back on the proverbial track.
- I queried about 30 agents, had some close calls and my first ever full requests – as well as glowing feedback and a request for future stories from a junior agent whose boss, unfortunately, wasn’t looking for fantasy – but alas, they did not bear fruit.
- I had a down period after Odyssey during which I couldn’t write anything (I finally recovered after about February).
- I independently e-published “Nocturne, Son of the Night” to interesting results.
- I finished Book 2 in the Reev series and started Book 3.
- I had taken a break from submitting when a chance opportunity simply fell from the sky like a silver idol of Artemis, and then developed into something more… I will elaborate on that, once I have signed the contract (I consider it unprofessional to announce something in specifics before it’s written in ink).
As for Nocturne, the initial results were disappointing. I sold 1 the first month in the UK (to a person I didn’t know) and one in the US from my sister. I had a really glowing review on a blog – which I’m still proud of – that led to an immediate sale. I sold one in Canada on Kobo (and in Ontario, no less). I was selling steadily 1-3 copies a month, give or take, throughout 2011. November was among my worst months. Then, in December, I sold more than three times March (my best month) in the US. I’m looking forward to where it leads, and I’m happy about the upward trend and the international appeal of my book. I’m interested that Nocturne has attracted paranormal romance readers (in the UK, the US, and Canada all.) Have they fallen in love with Nocturne? Who knows? I would advise readers, however, that “Nocturne” is not a supermarket vampire romance but instead a fantasy story/coming of age tale/vampire memoir that has a little bit of romance in it. Now, I can say I am happy about Nocturne and my e-book journey, and hoping that the modest but substantial explosion of sales continues into 2012. Also, the US kindle store finally has an also-bought page (thank you, God) so I know the sales are not exclusively to people I know. Sometimes it reverts into also viewed, which I don’t understand.
As for the Dark One’s Hand, you may have to wait a while to hear the new release date, but an announcement should be coming up soon. Watch the blog for details. Also, await a new fantasy short story either available on Kindle or in a magazine.
I’m looking forward to seeing where 2012 takes me. That said, here are my personal goals.
Goals for 2012
- I will write for, at minimum, 1 hour a day (with weekends as potential makeup time)
- I will write 1 SUBMITTABLE (sic) short story, minimum, per week, or finish a substantial portion of a novel.
- I will finish EVERY story I write, no matter how bad, and even if I have to trash it.
- I will rest on each story and come back to it in the morning to revise with fresh eyes.
- I will use the rest of my writing time to finish 1 novel or 2 novels, as the Muse allows, preferably 1 Reev series book and 1 non-Reev series, and preferably non-Varda, book.
- Short Stories
- I will submit one short story per week to every appropriate paying magazine—starting from professional rates and going downward. I will not stop submitting until every appropriate magazine is exhausted, and I will not obsess about any particular story or magazine; I will write and submit another story.
i. If I am accepted by a magazine: once it is within my rights, I will e-publish it, stating that it was published in “So-and-so Magazine on so-and-so date.”
ii. If I am rejected by all magazines, I will (a) e-publish it or (b) submit to token/nonpaying magazines.
- Once I get up to 10 short stories in circulation, I will not go below that number (see DWS’s short story race). I will strive to go beyond that.
- Once finished, I will query agents. Failing that, I will multiple submit to publishers. Failing that I will seriously consider e-publishing.
- I will attend the World Fantasy Convention 2012 in Toronto and meet up with my Odyssey friends, professional writers I know, and editors I know.
- I will join the Codex Writers Group, a “neo-pro” group for Odyssey, Clarion, and OSC graduates where I can get critiques and support.