Review of Q1 Goals

Review of Q1 Goals

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The first quarter of the year is already gone. Seriously? How is that possible? I feel like we were just starting January, and now March has completely flown by.

I set some goals at the beginning of the first quarter of the year, mainly to keep myself on track and give me some direction as to where I should go and what I should do next. So I thought it would be good for me to go over them now to see what I accomplished.

Q1 Goals Review

Sign New Clients

This was my first goal for 2016. Guess what? I have signed no new clients at all. Not a single one. And that’s okay, but I’m having to look for some other types of work. That being said, this is the only goal I didn’t reach this quarter.

Speaking/Public Appearances

I will be making another “casual appearance” on April 20, somewhere in Wichita.

I didn’t see as much traction on this one as I’d hoped, but I did lay the groundwork for some upcoming events, which is pretty exciting. I haven’t done a great job of announcing where I’ll be and when for casual appearances, but the one time I did, people did come. So expect that to continue.

Speaking of which, I will be making another “casual appearance” on April 20, somewhere in Wichita in the late morning/afternoon.

Watch Facebook/Twitter for updates.

Follow me on Twitter!
Follow me on Facebook!

I also got the chance to speak to the local chapter of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). That was tons of fun. Such nice people! And they bought some books too, which was pretty awesome.

The most exciting appearances, however, are coming up in April. More on that tomorrow when I go over the goals for the second quarter of the year.

Monthly Newsletter

I started up my monthly newsletter and have been managing to keep it going. I started out with about 30 subscribers, and now I have around 50. So that’s pretty exciting. I’m planning some neat stuff for second quarter, so if you haven’t signed up yet, you really should.

Honest. There will be free stuff and coupons. And with all the restrictions social media is placing on small business people right now, a newsletter is really the best way to keep up with your favorite authors.

Teaching Workshops

This is the next option I have to bring in an income if I can’t sign anymore clients, but it’s getting off to a slow start. I planned a writing workshop in March, but it didn’t generate any interest outside of Facebook likes.

blogging_basicsSo I also set up a ticketed event on the basics of blogging. Originally I set it at three hours (there’s so much to cover), but I decided to drop it to two hours. Additionally, I’ve reduced the cost to $75. For any other self-employed people like me, I know that sounds like a lot, but you’ll get a lot of value out of it.

It’s scheduled for May 12. So if you’d like to know more about blogging and how to use WordPress and just have the opportunity to pick my brain on blogging in general, hop over to the event page and sign up.

It’ll be a ton of fun, I promise!

Audiobooks

fireflies-watermarkAnother huge goal for me in the first quarter of the year was to get my romantic comedy, Finding Fireflies, turned into an audiobook. Thanks to my parents being willing to fund the project, we were able to identify a narrator and start the process.

Our narrator is named Jae Huff, and she’s wonderful. A really nice gal and very talented, and I can’t wait to share the story with you.

On a more personal note, I also started recording my Always Peachy Devotionals as well. It’s going very slowly, though, because it’s not a huge priority. But I’m going to get there soon! I’ll keep you updated!

Nameless on KDP Select

Probably the biggest goal for me in the first quarter was to get Nameless set up on Amazon’s KDP Select program. KDP Select allows books to be made free for a limited amount of time, as well as providing them free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Sounds great, right?

nameless_780x1250Well, Nameless has been available through Kindle Unlimited for months, and not one copy has been downloaded. The trick with having your book on KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited is that while you don’t receive payment for book sales, you do receive payment for how much of the book is read. But since no one downloaded Nameless, no one read it. So that’s been an entire quarter of potential income lost.

A good lesson learned for me, though. Don’t hang your primary marketing strategies on a single peg.

And more frustrating than anything, I tried submitting my free deal to BookBub, which is the biggest, most reputable discount ebook promotion service out there, and they rejected it. Not once but twice! And I get that they receive a million submissions. I totally understand. And I’m not upset with them. They have to choose the books that best fit their audience, but it’s really discouraging.

A good lesson learned for me, though. Don’t hang your primary marketing strategies on a single peg.

So I’ve switched to a different ebook promotion service, Ereader News Today. I’m waiting for a response from them, so hopefully I can get word of Nameless out before its term on KDP Select runs out.

Birdcages Web Serial

In other happier news, my new web serial Birdcages, which I’m writing with Karis Waters (aka Katie Morford, aka The Other Half of My Brain), is going very well. We laughed it February 12, and it’s planned at 12 or 13 episodes with two episodes released per month.

Sign up the the Birdcages Web Serial

Sign up the the Birdcages Web Serial

It’s only available to subscribers of the Crosshair Press Newsletter, so if you aren’t getting it, you really ought to join the list. Crosshair doesn’t spam (unless their goofy webmaster clicks the wrong button and accidentally fills up everyone’s inbox with old blog posts… Ooops…), and there’s only one newsy newsletter per month. Then the Birdcages episodes come every other Friday.

It’s a fun adventure, and Katie did all the photography herself. Go sign up!

Lightkeepers Book 1 Released

And in the best news ever category, the very first story I ever wrote is officially a novel! When I was 11 years old I called it “The Mitchell Case.” It was a hand-written monstrosity, and all my little friends adored it. But I’ll share more about that on Crosshair Press’s blog tomorrow.

Look at this BEAUTIFUL cover! I can’t even tell you how excited I am!

Thanks to Kirk DouPonce at dogeareddesign.com for this fantastic cover!

Thanks to Kirk DouPonce at dogeareddesign.com for this fantastic cover!

In any case, Meg Mitchell & The Secret of the Journal released on Tuesday. It’s still not quite up on Barnes & Noble yet, but it’s available on Kindle and in softcover from Amazon. And my copies for direct sale will be arriving tonight. Expect lots of excited pictures!

If you’re interested in picking up a copy, send me an email or message me on Facebook!

Blogging

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a blog logo I am trying out

And finally, blogging. Yes, blogging. I’ve been trying some new strategies and concepts, which mainly involve creating content, updating the site’s look and feel, creating content, making my own graphics, and creating content.

Lots and lots of content. I’ve been running two blogs posts per day for the last two months or so, mainly just to see if I can do it. And I can. But I don’t think they’re the best writing I’ve done. So there are probably more changes coming down the road, which may or may not include reducing the number of devotionals I do per week.

If you’ve been on the site, you’ll also notice that I’ve had to put ads on it. Hopefully they’re not too distracting or bothersome, but since I haven’t been able to sign any new clients, I’m looking for any option to generate income.

Expect to see a reader survey soon, mostly because I’m curious as to what people want to read. If nobody cares about my writing stuff, I’ll stop. If nobody cares about my devotionals anymore, ditto. If people would prefer to have a good mix of all aspects of my crazy life, that’s what I’ll do. But regardless, I’m moving toward shorter posts in general (though you wouldn’t know it from this review post, which is already over 1300 words).

Wrap Up

The first quarter of the year has been highly productive and really encouraging. I’ve seen dreams come true, and I’ve experienced God’s provision in more ways than I can count. It’s been discouraging too, but welcome to life. We take the fun days with the not-so-fun days, and God is good regardless.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing about my goals for the second quarter of the year, so keep your eyes peeled.

If you’re interested in my blogging workshop, do take a look! Thanks, everyone!

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