Year of the Book II

It’s January 2nd, and I’m ready to get things moving. Then again, I’ve been ready since November. In any case, it’s time to get myself started with the Year of the Book II. I know, it may sound a bit corny. But I find labeling my years to be helpful when trying to accomplish goals.

And yes, I made it a sequel. That’s because last year resulted in a slew of issues that prevented me from putting as much effort into my books as I wanted. A lot of it was me getting into my own way. However, I did have a lot of personal and professional issues I had to address.

Unlike many sequels out there, though, I plan on this one being better than the original. Not that it’s going to be overly challenging to accomplish this, mind you.

After all, I didn’t spend nearly as much time writing books and stories as I did helping clients.

Why the “Year of the Book?”

I’ve been labeling each year for myself since about 2018. It’s a way that helps me focus on the things I want to accomplish. For example, a couple of years ago, I had the “Year of the Blog” in which I cranked out a ton of content for various websites.

It’s nothing fancy, overall. It’s just a means to keep me on task throughout the year. Kind of like a reminder that I want to accomplish certain things, especially since I have a habit of forgetting a lot.

That’s what happens when you have far too many projects on your plate. It’s easy to get sidetracked or move projects to the back burner to complete something else.

Last year, I wanted to do far more in terms of creative writing. I did manage to get a few things accomplished, but not nearly as much as I had planned. For instance, I did manage to finish writing my next book in October. However, I wanted it done and published by June.

So, this year is the sequel, and I already had a strong start.

What Does the Year of the Book Entail for 2023?

I have a lot of high hopes and aspirations for this year. As long as I can maintain my routine Monday through Friday, I should be able to accomplish a lot more this year than I have ever before.

That’s because I spent the last two months hammering out a good workflow while dropping a lot of the side projects that were taking up too much time with very little payout.

Sometimes, things just don’t work out as well as you hoped. And the time you invest would be better spent on something that already has a better track record of working.

300%+ Increase in Word Count

I keep track of every word I write, whether it’s for a client or a YouTube video. This helps me create strategies for everything from workflow to how much I charge clients for certain projects.

In this case, though, it’s all about monitoring the words I write for my books.

Last year, I had a very lackluster performance. We’re talking fewer than 70,000 throughout the 12 months. For 2023, I have prioritized writing and am aiming for more than a 300% increase in productivity.

This means my books are the first thing I work on after my client’s work is completed.

The reason I add my books to my workday is that I’ll forget or will be too burned out by the end of the day. Keep in mind, I am staring at a computer screen for 10 to 12 hours every day for both clients and myself.

I’ve taken the total number of words written in 2022 for books and stories and multiplied it by 300% for 2023. In the grand scheme of things, that’s really not a lot compared to what I could produce.

However, I’m also managing several blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts, and more for clients and myself. This means my time is quite limited for a variety of side projects. So, 300% is a good base to start from and I’m sure I’ll write far more than 200,000 words for all the stories I want to tell in 2023.

Publishing on Platforms Like Amazon and Barnes & Noble

In 2023, I want to expand my library on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. At the time of this post, my author page has A Freelancer’s Tale.

It’s a bit north of bland. Especially since Amazon took away the blog feed and photos and videos for the author page in December of 2022.

So, I would love to get a few more books under my belt. Even if they don’t sell hundreds of copies, it’s an incredibly valuable experience that will only work to improve my skillset overall.

Not to mention the fact that it will give me a chance to have a few more printed copies of my books sitting on the bookshelf in my room. It’s quite the boost of self-confidence to see your name on the spine of something you’ve written.

The hardest part, though, is making sure the books going up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble are the best I can create. I’m not just going to toss whatever I finish writing up on the wall. This means putting in a lot of effort for edits, rewrites, and polishing.

Those elements will take time, but it’s worth every moment to put out something people are going to enjoy reading.

Never rush a book.

Adding Novels to Wattpad, Inkitt, and Similar Platforms

Making sales isn’t the only thing I’m interested in for 2023. I love using free platforms such as Wattpad and Inkitt. Mostly because it gives me a chance to play around with fan fiction without getting sued.

Besides, you can use these kinds of platforms to build a fan base for your other work. Those who love your free stories on Wattpad may be inclined to purchase your next book on Amazon.

Consider this; I sold six copies of my first book almost instantly once my YouTube viewers heard that it was live on Amazon. I know, it was only six copies. But it was more than I thought it would sell on the first day.

Never underestimate the value of marketing on YouTube and other social media platforms.

Now, I’m not going to be nearly as meticulous with editing and cover art design for Wattpad and Inkitt books. Yes, I’ll put my best foot forward, but I’m not going to stress out as much as I do for the books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

This means those free books will be much easier to write and publish, overall.

Going Beyond Just Writing

My Year of the Book sequel isn’t merely about writing the books. I plan to go far beyond that aspect, which includes various marketing methods.

The primary purpose of A Freelancer’s Tale was to help me learn and understand the process of self-publishing. In that regard, the book was a success. I’m using my next books for a similar purpose.

Would I like for Kingmaker to fly off the shelves? Absolutely. But the primary purpose is to help me learn additional elements that will make the next books even more successful.

For example, is it worth paying for a premium artist to create a book cover? How well does editing services from Reedsy work? How difficult is it to get your book in a local library or set up a book signing?

There are a lot of cogs turning when you start publishing books that go beyond writing the first draft. And it’s my goal to put as much effort into the process as I did as a freelancer learning how to use Textbroker.

If I have even a sliver of the same success I had with content mills, it’ll be a wild ride for the next couple of years, to be sure.

Exploring Other Publishing Methods

Currently, my writing efforts center mostly around Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Wattpad, and Inkitt. Well, plus the audiobook I create once per week on YouTube. However, I want to include other publishing methods as well.

For instance, I would love to try out Kindle Vella. Or, looking for other platforms similar to Wattpad that can help increase the size of my audience.

I would also like to try a few low-content books just so that I have an idea of how well they work for income and practical application.

The best part about exploring other publishing methods is the slew of content it’ll provide for WriterSanctuary’s blog and YouTube channel. So, even if the platform is an utter failure, I still win by providing that information to my audience.

The Internet is full of publishing possibilities, and I would love to explore as many of them as I can.

What Are You Calling Your Year of Writing?

I feel great about the Year of the Book II. Actually, I feel great about this year, in general. Ever since I set up my new daily schedule, things have just worked out impressively well.

This includes everything from the books I write to the YouTube videos. Everything is just working out awesomely…thus far…knock on wood.

Now, you don’t have to be as big of a dork as I am. You don’t need to label your year to have a successful 2023. For me, it’s just a constant reminder that I want to accomplish specific things while prioritizing those projects.

Still, if you had to call 2023 something, what would you label it as?

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Chris Desatoff
8 months ago

Year of the Book II sounds just fine to me. That’ll be so great to see Kingmaker sitting on your bookshelf during the livestreams in 2023…with the second book right around the corner.

For me, I suppose I would have to call 2023 my Year of the Blog or something like that. But you took that already lol.

So maybe The Year I Go Pro?

Or…The Year I Don’t Quit Blogging and Delete Everything Again?

Yeah, that has a nice ring to it.