No, that was not a typo. I really do need to shake things up this year. 2013 was all about beginnings; getting married, buying my first car and publishing my debut novel. 2014 needs to be when I take the latter to a level more aligned with my ambitions.
I spent the best part of two years submitting to agents before deciding to self publish, and until I become successful there will always be times when I may regret that decision. I will always wonder if I should have waited and had one more shot at the big leagues. Except of course, the big leagues are not what they once were.
Sure, self publishing comes with a fair amount of stigma (there is a lot of crap out there), but whilst the standards continue to improve, traditional publishing is also on the decline and the two will eventually meet in some happy medium. I must point out that when I refer to decline of traditional publishing, it is from a quality standpoint rather than that of profitability. Agents are no longer looking for gifted writers, but for 'easily marketable ideas.' Many of these ideas will be ill conceived and poorly executed, but because they so closely resemble a Dan Brown or a Stephanie Meyer, they will sell.
So whilst the book trade is not going anywhere, it is changing rapidly. The challenge for me is to make sure that I am not swept into obscurity by this massive tidal wave of easily accessible and often under priced work available to readers. I currently have two books published and once the third hits Amazon, I will be starting with my free promotions via Kindle Select. Many authors talk of the rapidly decreasing benefits of the Select program, but I believe that if I can only get my books into the hands of enough readers, I may be able to generate some buzz. The books are good enough to sell themselves, but only if they have the visibility to make that happen.
Therefore, my resolution for 2014 is to get noticed. Social media will not do this for me. The only way to show people how good my books are is for them to read them. If that means that I have to give my books away, then so be it. I know that the best advert that a writer has for his or her new book is the one that he or she wrote before it.
Happy New Year.