S4, E81: 2015 In Review, 2016 Goals

Opening the 4th season by doing my annual look back at the good, the bad, and the in-between of last year, how I did on my goals, and what I’m aiming for in 2016!

News & Notes

  • Aisuru’s print editions are on clearance sale on my website only! Paperbacks reduced from $13.99 to $9.99 and hardbacks from $19.99 to $16.99
  • Deviations revision is done and it’s off to Lauren’s capable hands for editing!
    • Soon as I write a decent blurb it, I’ll be in touch with Kerry to finalize the print cover 🙂
    • I’ll be setting up preorders as soon as I have a firm release date
  • Starting in 2016, I’ll be making another go at having episodes of this show available on YouTube 🙂

2015 Overall

The Bad

  • Slow start sales wise
  • Expensive lessons learned re advertising and publishing
  • Too many personal issues cluttering up life

The In-Between

  • Deviations – revision, again, took longer than planned, but it’s off to my editor now and less than one year to get to the final major version is WAY better than the six Aisuru too
  • Blogging is up (roughly 39 posts in 2015, not counting the podcast episodes), though I’m still inconsistent with my regular features like Manga Monday

The Good

  • Finally released Aisuru!! Officially became a published author!  Woo hoo!!
  • Wrote my first short story!
  • Wrote Girl in the Forest and I think it turned out pretty darn good
  • Overhauled website is significantly better and so awesome!

2015 Goal Results

When I set my 2015 goals, I changed things up from 2014 and grouped them into seemingly logical areas to better help organize them.   I also made a bigger effort and keeping them SMART and progressive, such that many goals naturally flowed to the one that followed.

At the start of the year, I had 25 goals in 4 groups.   I added one goal in April, then in July I redid the list to break Deviations stuff into its own list and adding 11 new goals to the list.  I post monthly updates to the blog on how I did, but now let’s look at the year as a whole…

  • Overall accomplished some really big goals!
    • Aisuru released (yes!)
    • Deviations finished, revised, has an awesome cover, and is off to my editor
    • Wrote Girl in the Forest for my NaNo 2015 novel and already leaning towards it being release #3
    • Gave my website a much needed overhaul, added the store, more content, and all in all love how it turned out!
    • Awesome new logos for Zenbi Press
  • I also had a few notable failures…
    • I didn’t do nearly as much blogging as I’d planned, though I also debating whether I should consider this a failure because again, I prioritized my writing and getting my novels out over some of the topics I planned and realizing that planning topics is great unless you don’t have to tools to actually do those videos and posts 😛
    • The YouTube version of the show went away after getting hit with the account restriction for fair use of snippets in an episode and not being able to have it removed even after the issue was addressed by removing the episode all together
    • I didn’t do either Camp NaNo this year, which is really a failure of the larger goal of wanting to get to the point of writing at least two novels a year instead of one
  • Some smaller failures
    • Didn’t quite read 200 books in 2015, ended up at only 195 due to a few gaps, but I did read quite a few good non-fiction books related to indie publishing which was one focus area I had for the year
  • And some that got changed or canceled as I reprioritized things
    • I didn’t do 40 episodes of this show, only 28 because I stopped stressing myself over a need to do weekly episodes when I didn’t have a ton to talk about; making it a “when I have something” schedule was much more freeing; ditto on my newsletter being scheduled monthly. While I am still sending out roughly one a month, it’s on a when I feel I have things to say and not by a stress-inducing schedule
    • I didn’t completely redo/expand my media kit as I realized doing the full-blown stuff often detailed in posts on how to do them was pointless – I have yet to actually need anything other than the few versions of my bio and good-sized images of my logos and book covers. Many far more successful indies than myself don’t have anything of the sort on their sites, so refocused my efforts elsewhere
  • They weren’t goals but…
    • I significantly improved my book formatting skills in the last year as I learned more on both print and eBook formatting; I’ll be using those new skills to give Aisuru’s print version an update in 2016
    • I learned some painful lessons on spending my money wisely – so many hundreds of dollars that could go towards covers and editing wasted, but I did learn

Goals for 2016

With this year’s goals, I’m keeping in mind my primary desire/need to focus on my writing first, the rest second.  So most of this year’s goals deal with writing, releasing, and promotion my works.

Once again, I’m shaking up my formatting a bit by setting broader, large goals with a list of sub goals that build up to it underneath.  Where a goal really doesn’t have sub goals, then it’s just by itself 🙂

I also added a few Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) that are things I’d love to do but that I’m not going to pressure myself about at this point.


  1. Deviations – publish no later than March 31, 2016
    1. Have blurb for Deviations written by January 15th
    2. Send blurb and final print cover specs by January 16th
    3. Contact potential ARC and new release reviewers about reviews
    4. Process Deviation edits by February 5th (expected to receive by January 31st)
    5. Final proofing by February 10th, if needed
    6. Finalize print and eBook formatting by February 14th
    7. Set launch date and set up preorders for eBook on Amazon and print on personal site
    8. Proof print with 24 hours of receiving and update as needed
    9. Plan launch day promotion
    10. Submit for Bookbub as often as possible until accepted or year runs out
    11. BHAG: 200 copies sold in the first month
  2. Aisuru – sell another 100 copies, minimum
    1. Redo cover, eBook and print, one more time
    2. Update interior formatting of print edition to match formatting of eBook
    3. Plan promotion event for anniversary of release (March 27th) or for Deviations release
    4. Continue submitting for Bookbub as often as allowed until accepted or year runs out
  3. Girl in the Forest
    1. Initial read through by January 30th
    2. Make revision plan and have fully revised for beta reading by June 30th
    3. BHAG: have beta read, final revision, and editing done in time for release by November 1st
  4. Knives and the Girl – polish, finish cover, and give to newsletter subscribers by Deviations release date
  5. New Novels – write at least one
    1. Write new novel for NaNo 2016
    2. BHAG: Write a new novel while Girl in the Forest is being beta read and/or during editing process (which would mean two this year)
  6. Contact local library system about considering stocking my books 🙂

Site and Show and Everything Else

  1. Post at least 26 Manga Monday posts in 2016 (which would be a minimum of one every other week)
  2. Read at least 200 books
    1. Read at least 5 books from my current physical TBR shelf
    2. Read at least 5 books from my current digital TBR shelf
    3. Read at least 5 non-fiction books
  3. Create new logos for TLW and for my personal logo/image
  4. Add My Team page to my website with designer, editor, and services info