Tuesday, 5 January 2016

My creative roadmap for 2016: a year of building the dream

In my last post, I reflected on the surprises and successes of 2015 for me as an author.

Today, I'm excited to look forward into 2016 and see what the year will bring! I have some great plans for my author career.

First and foremost aim is to become a full time author and illustrator this year. I have another 361 days to achieve this! (Pretty glad it's a leap year so I have a whole extra day to work.)

Ideally that means earning £1000 a month from my books & any related activities, because that's the point at which it becomes financially viable. I've worked out roughly that I need to sell about 20 colouring books a day to achieve this. This isn't unrealistic, as in the Christmas period I was selling up to 100 copies a day, but it will require some work to make sure that income is sustainable.

I'm counting fiction sales as a bonus to this, because it doesn't make any money - about £1 a month if I'm lucky - and I am still making a loss on my fiction due to editing fees. I do hope that in 2016 I can see success with my fiction sales. In part, that's my own fault for being so terrible at marketing!

Publish at least 12 projects in 2016.

That's an average one one a month. Initially, I thought this would be quite steep, but I am including my main projects (colouring books, fiction) as well as my additional income streams (like companion books for my colouring books).

It already looks like I'll have published almost 20 projects by the summer, including 2 new colouring books (lots of companion books to go with them), some more children's fiction, and if I can squeeze it in, some more young adult fiction which I am dying to write!

Improve my marketing skills.

This goes hand in hand with publishing more and creating sustainable income. I need to get my books before the eyes of voracious readers and colourists! If I can crack marketing in 2016, I'm sure I can pave the way to a sustainable writing and illustrating career.

This means I need to become more confident at using paid marketing (facebook ads, twitter ads and the like), plus begin to approach local press for publicity (which is especially important for my charity colouring project because it's supporting such a good cause).

I also want to branch into videos this year, including vlogging, video marketing and video trailers. This may also include some audio work because I am quite camera shy and am probably going to be more confident in front of a microphone than a camera!

Focus on my health.

As you know, I spent a lot of 2015 ill. As a result, I am really out of shape (that's an understatement!), and writing is not complimentary to a healthy lifestyle. So, it's important for my long term health and also my productivity (short and long term) to have a sound body and mind.

I'm focusing on healthy eating at the moment, and when the weather picks up, I can get back into my favourite outdoor hobbies/exercise; walking and archery.

This year will be about facing my fears of new things and failure, and grasping the opportunities that appear. As usual, I'll continue to push my comfort zone - even further than before - and hopefully reap the rewards.

I hope in 12 months time, when I reflect on 2016 and plan for 2017, that I can write to you as a full time creative! :-)