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Challenge_Future_New_Year_ResolutionsLast week I looked at how I did with my 2015 writing resolutions. Now it’s time to set some goals for 2016. I tend to set my goals at the high end of scale so that I really have to work for it. That way, if I fail, I will probably be better off than if I had simply set a goal that I knew I could achieve. Also, if I fail, I usually leave that goal in place until I do hit it. I also like measurable goals so that I can gauge my progress.

Publish four books this year.

Having just one book ready to come out (It’s the first in a young adult series), this could really be a stretch. However, I have been working on a biography that I really want to get out this year and I have two other books that are possibilities. So I’ll go for the gold and see if I can get them all out. The biography will be one that messes up this goal if any of them do.

Attend 78 festivals, book signing, talks or other events.

Last year my goal was 50 events and I managed 56. This year, I decided on 78. It’s an unusual number, but it works out to be 1.5 events a week. I had 29 events set up coming into the new year and was contacted about 5 more yesterday, which gives me more than I had for 2014 (32 events). There are still festivals and book signings that I expect to do. Plus, one of the things I like about festivals besides meeting readers is that I tend to have people bring me ideas for articles and ask me to speak at their organizations. Another reason that I think I’ll be able to meet this goal is that with the introduction of the YA book, I will start marketing myself to schools, which should add to the number of events that I’ll do.

Increase the percentage of my income that comes from books to 50 percent.

Last year, although I sold more books than I ever had, the percentage of my income from book sales decreased to 38 percent while my income from articles jumped to 60. While I enjoy writing articles, my ultimate goal not have to write articles because I’m earning enough from my books sales to support my family. I would still write articles, but only the ones that I really want to. This means I’ll have to do a lot better at my book marketing, which I started trying to concentrate on during the last quarter of 2015.

Increase book sales by 33 percent.

This is a big goal and the one I’m least likely to hit. If I do miss it, I am sure I’ll still have sold more books than I did in 2015, which means it will be another personal best year. I want to give myself a goal that will make me work my butt off (but that’s a goal on my personal list as I work to lose weight).

Get all of my eligible physical books converted into e-books.

E-books are nowhere near a major part of my income and it is an area that I could really grow in order to help my previous goal. Most of my books are available as e-books, but there are still a few that I need to convert. I also have one e-book that I would like to turn into a physical book. Eventually, I would like to be able to release e-books and physical books at the same time.

Based on how things went in 2015, if I can come even halfway to achieving these goals, I will have a very  successful 2016.

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Happy New Year! A new year means another chance to make your dreams come true. It also means having to pull all of my paperwork together for taxes, but that’s a different story.

It’s a time for me to lay out a plan for the upcoming year and then see how close I can come to hitting those targets. This falls under that business side of the writing business that most writers don’t like doing. I don’t like doing it either because it takes away from my work, but it’s one of those necessary evils.

I look at goal setting for the year like creating an outline for my business. It gives me a way to focus on specifics rather than running off in dozens of different directions with ideas. The helps me be more efficient so I don’t have to work the business side of things as much.

  • In 2011, in addition to the regular magazines that I enjoy working with, I sold articles to nine new magazines that I hadn’t worked with before. I want to continue that momentum and sell to 12 new magazines this year.
  • I cracked the $1/word article market with a sale to History Channel Magazine in 2011. I’d like to do that at least three times this year.
  • Having experimented with e-publishing last year, I want to get at least six more electronic projects up this year. This is a big undertaking, but the beauty of e-books is that they don’t need to be novels. These projects can be short stories, articles and novella, too.
  • I also want to publish two books; one non-fiction and one collection.

That should keep me plenty busy. Now, if my focus starts to wander, I can always review my goals to set myself straight. I’ve got big hopes for 2012.

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