Friday, December 30, 2011

Honest Goals for the New Year

Writing goals, writing goals, writing goals. That would be an easy one to duck. You know, just say whatever I figure people expect me to say. Skate right over the surface of it. Except for one thing. I was never very good at that. And I’m getting worse at it all the time.

So, here comes an honest post.

I don’t have much in the way of New Year’s goals for my writing. Because I really don’t have a writing problem. I have a selling problem.

I’m churning out well over a novel a year, plus some other miscellaneous projects. I’m far ahead of schedule with my UK publisher. Whether or not I still have a US publisher remains to be seen. For a while there I was writing one adult novel for the UK market and one YA novel for over here—every year. And I managed. I love to write, and my natural speed is pretty high. I don’t know why, but it is. It just always was. I don’t take credit for it, any more than I take credit for the fact that my eyes are…whatever the hell color they are. Gray or green depending on my shirt and the lighting. I know, I’m getting off track.

My problem is not how to get more words. My problem is how to get more readers.

It’s possible that I have this problem because people assume that I don’t. You know, I’ve been around this business a while. And once you get adapted for film, all your problems are over for the rest of your life, of course. Hey, I thought so, too, once upon a time. I’m not making fun of it. But I have all these people who are very aware of me as an author, and figure I’m having a great professional life, and enjoying great success. And I think for the most part they don’t tend to buy my books because they figure they don’t need to. That I don’t need them to. But I sort of…do. But you don’t say that to people, because…well, because you just don’t. (And because too many other people just do anyway. Even though you just don’t.)

So the truth is, I’m a bit perplexed as to how I’ll go about surmounting this goal, to earn more readers and sell more copies of the books. Sure, I know all about social networking and blog tours and keeping a website. I’m doing all the things they say you’re supposed to do. I’m not sure what the missing piece is, and how much of it is untrackable good fortune, or circumstances outside of our control.

I know one missing piece, but I’m not willing to change it. I could write novels that are more user-friendly. Less challenging. But that’s off the table.

So, being more than caught up on my writing, my job for next year seems to involve how to make more people aware of what I do. Only a fairly small portion of readers want what I’m offering (I think that’s true of most writers—not everything is for everybody) but if I can reach a new cross-section, maybe I can enjoy another small percentage. My goal as a writer has always been just to make enough money to keep writing. Nothing fancier than that. I’m on a real knife edge in that regard going into 2012, but I’m still going.

Now, how to tell people that I’m not fine just as it stands, and I really do need the help, the word of mouth, whatever they care to offer, if they care to.

Well…I guess I just did.

Told you this would be an honest post. It’s getting to the point where that’s the only kind of post I know how to write anymore. Which is okay. With me, anyway. Hope it’s okay with you, too.

6 comments:

  1. I know this is supposed to be an honest post, so this will come as a cliche, but I really like your honesty. Most of us think having a novel written and published is the be all and end all of it, but it really goes so much deeper than that.

    I hope you reach your goal, Catherine. Have a good selling year :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. 2012 will bring great things for you, I know it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You know what an enormous fan I am of your work, Catherine...You can always count me in on any new promo ideas you have this year!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks so much for the supportive thoughts, guys. Now if I can just figure out how this ended up on here twice...

    ReplyDelete
  5. you can delete the other one from your dashboard if you want.

    ReplyDelete