Well, I’ll call them the dubbies until somebody comes up with a more clever name.
Why dubbies, you ask? The years had double zeroes, Dubya was there for most of them, and “eighties, nineties, and dubbies” sounds like it could work.
This post is about looking back and looking ahead.
Last year was great for my novels, thanks to the burgeoning ebook market. With a really aggressive ebook pricing strategy, SOUL IDENTITY has been read (or at least downloaded) by 20,000 of you wonderful readers. I’ve gotten a hundred Amazon reviews, and scads of others spread out over the ‘net. I also released SOUL INTENT in September, and 2,000 of you have already bought it. Thank you!
I’ve also had a great year reading. Here’s my top three: I want my next book’s characters to be as compelling and its plot to be as immersive as these books.
- The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
- The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
- City of Thieves, by David Benioff
Here’s what I learned last year:
- Since it’s all about attracting readers, indie authors can’t afford to miss the ebook wave. It’s the place we can compete with the large publishers, both on price and distribtion.
- I need to give my readers deeper and more balanced characters. When I think about the great books I’ve read, it’s the people and their personal struggles that stick with me. I owe my readers more than just clever ideas and fast-moving plots: I need to provide more characters they can laugh and cry with, yell at, and, most importantly, live through.
- Patience is really and truly a virtue. It takes two long years to get each novel written: almost a year to get the first draft out, and the rest of the time to make it readable. I’ve found that it’s much better to wait and tell the story right than to try to squeeze it out.
And here’s my resolutions for 2010:
- Write and edit every day. I’m pretty happy with my outline and characters for SOUL INTEGRITY: now’s the time to buckle down and get it written. I’d like it to be published by the end of 2011, which means I need to have the first draft, maybe two, nailed in 2010.
- Lose that last 15 pounds that’s clinging to my waist. I hope to do this mostly by keeping my mouth shut (it’s worked for 105 pounds so far), but I also want to spend at least twice a week sweating my way through a Bikram Yoga session (Irina finally got me to try it, and I’m loving it).
- Read more for enjoyment. Lately I’ve been cheating myself by spending too much time analyzing a book’s characters, plot, what works, and what doesn’t. I’m going to spend more time relaxing.
Happy New Year to all!