This Author’s Six Month Checkup

January 1 was (roughly) six months ago. I hate making resolutions, but I had a lot of plans for this year. Isn’t it funny how things change? My plans have morphed (in some cases, considerably), and I thought I’d tell you how it’s all shaping up. Am I celebrating? Read on to find out.

If you’re interested in the original post, you can find it here. Otherwise, I’ll give you the briefest of overviews as I continue.

Writing

  • Write for Susan Stoker’s Kindle World: Not Happening
    Kindle Worlds were confusing to me. I’d written three stories and started a fourth (that’s right; FOURTH) before I figured out how to comply with all the rules. And then Amazon put an end to the program. So, despite being invited to participate, it didn’t happen. Nor will it. Susan is awesome, and she’s started her own version of KW to let authors continue to write in her world. At this time, I’m not finishing my story. But I’m still welcome to contribute whenever I’d like, so if I ever have time to get back to that story, I’ll submit it.
  • Release fourth Medici Protectorate novel: Soon
    In January, my publisher hadn’t given me my release date. Now they have. Tortured Soul will be released on August 28. I will be talking about it (a lot, probably) pretty soon.
  • Write for Sterling & Stone as Holly Chase: Not Happening
    Man, do I love Sterling & Stone. Talk about a company who lifts up authors! I used to say I’d never write with a pen name, but when I had the opportunity to write for their Eros (romance) imprint, I was thrilled. I was supposed to write under the name Holly Chase. And I completed a sci-fi romance novel. Even started on the second. But a series of meetings made something painfully clear—that wasn’t what I really wanted to be writing. So that series is on the back burner, and after many discussions and a lot of soul-searching, Sean Platt helped me figure out what I wanted to do. Now I’m writing for three of their imprints under different names (I’ll discuss Delilah Cross in a different post). Some of you might remember my Nightforce Security Series (an offshoot of the Medici Protectorate Series). I originally developed Nightforce for Kindle Worlds but decided to keep it for myself and started self-publishing. I’ve since pulled it down. That series is now being released through the Sterling & Stone Eros Imprint. Book one (formerly called Password and now called Hideaway) is coming out this month (more on that soon) and then once a month until the series ends. The pen name for that is Keira Beck. An introductory “cookie” called One Ugly Mug has also been completed and will release soon. It’s an introduction to the series… a little something to whet readers’ appetites for more.
  • Other Projects: TBD
    I’m still not ready to commit to anything, but it looks like at least one of my personal projects might come to fruition. If it does, you’ll hear about it here first!

Marketing
Sigh. I’m still trying to figure all that out. I’ve enrolled in a course that’s supposed to help, but it’s just making me second guess everything. I am currently studying Facebook Ads, though. If I manage to take a stab at them this year, you’ll hear about the results at my year-in-review post.

Editing
That’s going pretty much as planned. I’ve taken on a few new clients, and they’re keeping me busy. I’m still willing to take on a few more, though, should the circumstances be right. You can find more information about my editing services here.

Blogging
I said I wanted to be more consistent and blog at least once a week. For the most part, I have. But I kind of feel like I’m cheating, because it’s mostly been inspiration and link posts. Moving forward, I’m going to try to do that Friday post AND one other. (I’m also laughing as I say this because I can’t imagine where I’m going to find the time.) Fiction posts probably aren’t going to happen. Story Empire and Romance University posts are going well. I’ve kept up with my commitments at those sites and expect to continue to do so.

Reading
I increased my Goodreads goal from the met number of 30 in 2017 to a target of 35 for 2018. If I don’t start including the novels I edit for clients, I’m concerned I won’t make it. Because of the increase in commitments this year (writing, editing, and blogging), I have much less free time to read for pleasure. I’m a little behind right now; I guess we’ll see how it goes.


There it is, my six-month review. I like to think I’m not off-target so much, but rather, my targets have changed. I know, without a doubt, I’ve never written or edited more than I have in the last six months. And that’s something to celebrate!

How about you? How is your year shaping up? Hitting your targets? Changing them? Are you ahead or behind schedule? Let’s talk about it.

30 thoughts on “This Author’s Six Month Checkup

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  1. Whew! I agree with John, I think I have to take a nap! Yes, wine, caffeine, and prayers. Wow. My goal is to be able to write a book (draft to finished and edited) inside a year. This year, for some reason, has been horrid for me in trying to get stuff done. Hell, stuff written. And another (the last? Really?) Medici Protectorate book. I’m going to have to move those up my TBR list; I loved Bleeding Heart.

    Also, my Muse said he found another candidate. This one loves dogs, so your labs shouldn’t scare him off. My Muse sent him along; he should arrive in the next day or two. I think. I’m not sure how that works with muses. Oh, and my Muse said to be sure to tell you this candidate has dabbled in wine-making. Might make for some interesting sparks of imagination 😀

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  2. Staci, you seem to be very busy and successful with most of your targets. The marketing side is tricky and I’m not even on FB. One aspect I am pleased to have followed through on this year is marketing on the ground – with one big talk / interview about my book to a group of 40 only last week (& sold lots of books). A book signing in a major book store also being sorted for the autumn. You seem organised with all your work – be happy, it’s a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re a rockstar, Staci! I hadn’t heard of Sterling and Stone, I’ll have to look them up. Congrats on the upcoming releases, it sounds like you’re going to end the year with a bang!
    I’m working on getting all of my backlist into audio format, and recently signed up to Babelcube to get them translated into other languages.
    On the writing front, I’m working on my fifth novel this year and have another lined up for a Christmas set this fall.
    Goals are good, but also overwhelming! lol

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You’ve been really busy. Congratulations on the upcoming book releases and best wishes. I need to go back and look at my 2018 plans and update those. At this point, I’m not seeing a release this year though I hope I might yet squeeze one out this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The best thing about making our own goals is our ability to adjust them as time goes on. You’ve got a lot on your plate. I think it’s safe to call 2018 a win even if no books hit the shelves. And if you manage to get something released late, then that’s a happy bonus!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I took a week (actually, a little more) off in April to go home for my grandmother’s 100th birthday. I’m pretty sure I’m still not caught up from that! Downtime is definitely necessary, but I need to get ahead of things first. I’m hoping to take a few days here and there this summer, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved your reply to John 😀

    Seriously, my head is spinning! But you’ve got amazing stuff going on. I can’t wait to see the new Nightforce novels. And did I read correctly…there will be a new one every month?!?!? That’s astounding. I’m also looking forward to the release of Tortured Soul. It’s fabulous how much you’re accomplishing and how much you have in the works. You’re hitting it out of the ballpark!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I probably should have included coffee in my reply to John. Gotta have my morning caffeine.

      Yes, you read correctly. One a month. I have eight outlined and plan to end the series then, but you know how much I love these guys. I can always keep going if I’m so inclined. The books are all stand-alones, so it doesn’t matter if I stop or continue. (And I’m not sure I’ll ever want to say goodbye.)

      I’m excited about releasing Tortured Soul, too. But that IS the end of the series, so it’s bittersweet. (It also explains the crossovers!) I have trouble letting series go. I have some spinoffs in mind for Cathedral Lake, too. I just don’t know where I’d squeeze them into my schedule.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean about the ending of a series being bittersweet. I felt the same way with Point Pleasant. It’s good you have Nightforce as a spin-off.

        And I forgot to mention, you definitely need to count the books you edit in your read totals!!

        Like

    1. I think of goals much the same way I think about outlining. I can make due without, but who knows what I’d end up with? Much better for me to have a plan. If I veer off a little, it’s still going to be better than if I started without any idea of what to do.

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