As I’m blogging a lot less these days (thanks to expanding social media presence in 2019), I guess I should sign off for the year and wish you all a great 2020. With 13 days to, it would normally feel too early to do so, but I’m unlikely to post again in 2019.
Business has been a mix of stable and shaky from day one of 2019 but I’m currently in a stable phase, certainly worse than 2018 where I reflected on the problems of last year. Brexit is the main cause of this. I’ve lost clients because of it, some of whom have said explicitly that was the cause while others have merely hinted at economic difficulties because of “the situation”.
I am in a stable phase now and hope it lasts long enough to build on this into the new year, regardless of what happens elsewhere in the country.
Because of “the situation”, it’s been a year of changes and as I look back, I realise what accomplishments I have made in my professional life.
I took a course in January to learn to use the camera’s controls properly and finally got to grips with manual controls. I’m proud to say that I now take the overwhelming majority of my photos on manual mode, only slipping into shutter speed mode when I’m uncertain of the conditions.
Since then, I’ve been teaching myself how to “do” Photoshop. I’ve a long way to go, and that education will carry on through 2020. I may take a course in the spring, funds permitting.
This is also the year I opened my SmugMug photo archive. I’ve yet to sell my first photo product, but I’m confident that will come in 2020.
2019 was the year I finally unleashed Salmonweird on the world. After some two years of struggling to find an agent or publisher, I decided to bite the bullet and unleash it on Amazon Kindle. I planned the release better than I had with other books, using my new social media accounts to push it into more channels than before; that and the dedicated Salmonweird website. The hard work paid off by the middle of October, some 7 weeks after release, it outsold Dead Heat and Dead Lock combined.
News of the Salmonweird sequels will also make their way onto my channels throughout the course of the year. It’s likely that the first draft of A Salmonweird Sleighing will be nearing completion by Christmas 2020, scheduled for a 2021 release.
I surprised myself to make so much progress with my Romans vs Aliens novel this year. Now called Phobetor’s Children, I started writing this psychological scifi horror in 2013. I’m aiming for an autumn 2020 self-published release. Keep an eye on social media as some news is imminent.
Social Media Accounts
Just over a year ago, I had a Facebook page and a LinkedIn account I hadn’t logged into for months. That was it. This was the year I actually put some actual content on dormant Instagram, revamped my Pinterest, updated my LinkedIn and increased my connections, and finally got Tweeting. A quiet spell in the late spring meant I could dedicate some time to marketing and learning to market better. I know I still have a long way to go, but the work is paying off. It’s an ongoing learning process, but I think I’m getting there.
I credit this new social media focus with the great start that Salmonweird got off to in September. I’m going to market Phobetor’s Children earlier and better this time after following some amazing writing advice accounts, drive anticipation and make a few more pre-orders. Incidentally, Dead Heat, Dead Lock, and The Christmas Goblin all had 2 pre-orders each. Salmonweird had 5.
2020 is likely to be the year I learn to really market myself as a professional writer, photographer, and as an author. I have to use my time better and drive engagement. Perhaps I should have a daily social media hour. Give myself a cut off and that stop me feeling tempted to visit too often during the day.
Tell me about your 2019 and what 2020 has in store for you.