January 13th, 2012
Hello New Year!

I can’t say that I’m ready for 2012–not that the New Year gave me much choice in the matter, but you know what I mean. Time really does fly whether you’re having fun or not. *g

Not that I’m complaining. It’s just weird how it happens. 2011 turned out to be quite a learning experience. I started self-publishing my backlist at the very end of Jan/beginning of Feb. Like many other writers, I didn’t set the world on fire with my sales. I still haven’t, but my sales have gotten better month after month. Knock on wood that they continue to do so.

The marginal success has changed the way that I look at the book business. I haven’t counted N.Y. out at all, but it’ll take a lot more for me to sign my name on the dotted line these days and far better terms than I’ve ever been offered. It’s a simple matter of economics. If all goes well (or continues as it has been going), I will reach a point where it won’t be economically feasible for me to sign a book deal without some big money on the table. I’m not there yet, but I’m also not far off. If you don’t hit a book out of the park, which is extremely hard to do, then you have to write enough books to make up for a bestseller. Joe Konrath had that right. I’ve said before that I believe the magic number is twenty books. I still think that’s true, but they have to be the right kind of books. (The genre’s different for each writer.)

I had a great time in Europe and the UK over Christmas and New Year’s. I’d never been to Switzerland. It had been a dream of mine to see it since I was a little kid. It was more beautiful than I’d imagined. Truly breathtaking and the people were so nice. The German lessons from Berlitz helped tremendously–more so in Switzerland than they did in Germany. Weird, I know.

I saw Check Point Charlie and parts of the wall in Berlin. Very scary and beyond creepy. Never knew how close everything came to going kablooey. I’d never given Berlin much thought prior to going. Turns out it’s a pretty cool city. It’s vibrant and young. Lots of artists, new buildings and restaurants. I’d definitely like to spend more time there–even if I can’t understand a lot of the German being spoken. (They speak very fast German and have an odd accent.) I’m guessing it’s a bit like being from an eastern state versus being from the south. Whatever it is, it was the only place that tripped me up language wise. Fortunately, most everyone spoke English, too.

I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions this year. I’ve found they simply don’t work. What I have done is made myself promise to write more books. It’s a promise I intend to keep. 🙂

What promises have you made for the New Year? Have your plans changed since last year? If so, why?

6 comments to “Hello New Year!”

  1. Happy New Year!!

    I don’t have real ‘resolutions’ this year either, but I definitely want to try kicking the procrastination habit. Also, I’m working on shifting my sleep patterns from being up half the night then sleeping in late, to earlier-to-bed earlyish-to-rise. 🙂

    I hope you continue to see an upward trend with your ebook sales!


  2. Kaz, Thank you!

    I’m working on trying to shift my hours, too. I don’t tend to work late anymore, but I’m still having a hard time being creative in the morning. Afternoons are my golden time…and I’d really like it to be earlier. :-/

    Fingers crossed procrastination becomes a thing of the past for you. 🙂

  3. Your trip to Europe will I’m sure become a backdrop for future writing. The only question will be what genre or genres act as vehicles for what you’ve seen during your travels. I’m betting you have a lot of material. It doesn’t get any better than that. 🙂

    As to resolutions, I have a simple one I learned from my Dad long ago that never needs changing, upgrading, or listing – but takes a lifetime to achieve: become a man to be counted on.

  4. Yay Switzerland! I loved the pics you shared from your trip, so beautiful.

    Writing more books: YES. Starting with finishing all the work in progress.

    With you on the contract terms. Epubbing on my own is a valid option. Maybe not my first choice in some situations, but I’d rather go there than take a bad contract for sure.

  5. Bernard, I definitely found a few truly interesting locations. The imagination is stirring for sure. I will let you know. My guess is they will be darker works. (evil grin)

    Your father’s advice was definitely sound. No doubt about it. Can’t go wrong with that one. 🙂

  6. Charli, I have more. We’re organizing them now. I’ll put more up in the next week or so.

    Yeah, there’s no way in hell I’d sign a bad contract without there being a LOT in it for me. And even then, not going to do it.