Yes, I confess every January I make resolutions regarding my writing career. I've long given up on losing weight and going to the gym more often. Last year worked out pretty much the same as dieting and exercise. I did not get an agent or make more money on my writing and so have consigned them to resolutions I will never keep. I did get three books out as I promised myself: Courir de Mardi Gras, Son of a Sinner, and She's a Sinner. Not looking so good for this year, but I will try to do the same number. I know I've got a start on publishing three since A Will of her Own comes out in April, I think. But, my other two projects for this year, A Place Apart and The Courville Rose, have failed to find a publisher--yet. It could still happen, so that is my number one resolution.
Number two is to find new publishers offering a greater range of books. I'm not at all unhappy with my current publisher, but they only do romance. I'm a little tired of being told I can only have two POVs, his and hers. I'm not talking about on the same page, but in a 100,000 word book. Some of my books are more mainstream fiction or women's fiction and don't always fit the romance template. I need more elbow room.
Number Three: enter the Rita Contest. In fact, I've done this already. I don't expect to win or even final, but I figure if five judges read my book, they might like it enough to read others or maybe drop me a review. I did this with one of the entries I read--because you have to be a judge to enter. None of the five books in my box were bad. I'd say they were all well-written, but when the contest was over, I did write a review for my favorite. Also, I suspect those books are passed on to friends or library book sales, or in my case for raffle baskets for my RWA chapter and so reach more readers. Wish I could chip them like lost pets and see where they go. By the way if you are a PAN member of RWA, I highly recommend being a judge even if you don't enter. Lots of good free reads, and you might discover a new favorite author.
Number Four: Find a home for my Regency series of a projected ten books, eight of which are written and languishing in a closet. I never wrote the last two because the Sinners books and other projects took off and I simply haven't had the time do shop the series or do the research for the last two though I have plot ideas. I'll have to get used to rejection again, and this slows me down. This is when an agent would come in handy, but that's not on my list anymore. Might as well get rejected directly by the publisher and save some time.
Five: Get more reviews. Not so easy anymore with floods of indie and e-published authors entering the fray. Prestigious review sources cleave to big New York publishers and don't have the time or inclination to sort through the piles of other authors. My two attempts to attract their attention resulted in, well, nothing. Sent two books out into the void, and they never showed up in reviews. I understand ten solid reviews is the magic number to get on Amazon's radar or attract publishers. Many of my earlier books have exceeded this number, but lately I'm lucky to get one even on a new Sinners title, my most popular books. I'd love to see Queen of the Mardi Gras Ball reach ten. She's at nine now. This is one of my best books. If you've read and enjoyed it, please give her the boost of that tenth review. Thanks in advance.
Meanwhile, my publisher has invested in NetGalley, a very expensive proposition that exposes books to multiple review sources. Each author chipped in $40 for one title. I think the overall price is $500, pretty steep for most of us. I can verify that I've gotten one review for She's a Sinner from this effort, and it was a good one, five stars. There might have been another, but they didn't cite NetGalley so I'm not sure. I'd say if you have $500, might be worth a try.
Five resolutions is enough for anyone. I'd better get back to finishing An Ashy Affair, or there won't be three books out this year. When that is done, I might take a vacation some place my 2015 writing income will pay for--but my husband will have to pay his own way.