1 – Write a schedule.
I’ve done this already! First goal ticked off! Now I just need to remember to look at it and take action. Simple, right? I managed to do it last year, but it tailed off after August. The reason? I needed a break. More balance is needed this year so I don’t conk out part-way through 2020. Work consistently, maintain my physical health, and get help where it’s needed. I also plan to reassess my schedule every quarter, as well as writing down wins and where I could improve. I’ll bring myself a strong coffee to sweeten the deal.
2 – Write four books.
This year, the goal is four novels. I’ve tried to do this for the past two years, but haven’t quite managed it. This year, if I stick to my schedule, I’m going to crack it. My first book is coming out in March. The second will be out in June. I’m also planning to release a Christmas book in late November. That means I have to slot the other release in around September. Challenge accepted!
3 – Invest in my backlist
New books are tickety-boo, but backlist is where a good chunk of my income is derived. Therefore, if I want to be a better publisher, I need to take care of my backlist. Makes sense, right? This year, I plan to release boxsets of my London Romance series, Books 4-6 and Books 1-6. I also want to re-cover my All I Want series in its entirety, which is no easy task. Six books and three boxsets all need a new cohesive brand. The new covers should be more reflective of the fun, romantic and hot stories contained inside. They should also not prompt people to ask if they’re Manga or children’s books. They’re not.
4 – Sink into story
In whatever form, I need to pay more attention to story. Luxuriate in it. Bathe in it. Eat it for breakfast. You get the idea. That means I’m going to keep going to the cinema, the theatre, watch Netflix, read books and go to exhibitions. Everywhere story is, I want to be. When I walk down the street, people are going to shout, “Hey, there goes the story lady!”
5 – Invest in audiobooks
This goal should be pretty easy to achieve. The audiobook of Made In London is already done, and should be out within a month. A Taste Of Love has been bought by Tantor and should be out in the first half of the year. I also plan to release my upcoming books in audio. So if that works out, I should bulk up my catalogue significantly.
6 – Re-learn advertising
There have been a lot of changes in the various advertising platforms over the past two years. They’re also very dull changes, which means I’ve generally stuck my fingers in my ears and tried to ignore them. Not a good look. If I want to get ads working for me again, I need to re-learn them. No matter how painful it is. Project ‘Advertise Reframe’ is going to happen. Mark my words.
7 – Plan time off
I already have four trips and three conferences planned in 2020, ranging from five to ten days each. I know they’re upcoming. I need to plan around them so that when I take time off, I enjoy it. Sip a pina colada. Take a walk in the rain. Make love at midnight. That sort of thing.
8 – Do some translations
Just as the UK wants to head out of Europe, I want to run in, waving my books in the air. I’ve always bucked trends. I’ve signed a contract for Nothing To Lose and A Taste Of Love to be translated into German, which makes sense because Germany is my fourth largest market for my English books, behind the US, UK and Australia. More books out in German is the goal, along with the possibility of getting them magicked into other languages, too. Translation magic is a thing.
9 – Look after my body better
Writing is a sedentary job. Working at home means you don’t move as much. All of this has meant I’ve put on weight over the past few years. I need to turn this around because I feel better when I’m lighter. I also need to turn it around because I’m getting older and my body is showing signs of wear and tear. My back, my shoulders, my legs – they all need strengthening. And my stomach needs to stop demanding pain au raisin. Bad stomach.
10 – Be kinder to myself
To achieve my goals, I need to be on it constantly throughout 2020. But I want to be able to manage my stress levels and not constantly berate myself for not doing enough. There’s only one of me, and I want to have a great life around my writing, too. This year, I plan to clear weekends as much as possible to spend time with my wife, friends & family. To celebrate my wins. To remember this is my dream job and to not take it all too seriously. If I miss a deadline, so be it. It happens. Writing is not a mater of life or death. Nobody’s going to die if I don’t get a book out when I said I would. At least, I hope not.
Here’s to a fabulous year ahead. My you achieve all the goals you set and more!