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2014, I Resolve…

NY ResolutionsNew Years–a time for rest, rejuvenation and repair. A time to assess life. Do we settle into our routine, enjoy where it’s headed, or is it time to grab our purse, our iPhone, our car keys, and get out of there?

Here are my resolutions this year. Lots of them! But that change I suspected last year arrived. All’s good. I’ve got this one:

Fiction

  • Rewrite and self-pub the prequel to Twenty-Four Days, To Hunt a Sub. This is a series of the thriller genre that uses science to drive the plot. I call it ‘scientific fiction’. The science is current, not futuristic, with extrapolations on what can be accomplished with it. The characters are damaged, flawed, and heroic. The plot is fast-paced, non-stop (which I have to work on). At one point several years ago, I called this book completed. Now, I better check before publishing.
  • Rewrite and self-pub the sequel to To Hunt a Sub–Twenty-Four Days. This is the second in the series. This, too, I called completed at one point. Then I edited and called it completed. Then my agent offered advice, I made changes and called it completed. Yikes! I’m getting sick of it! This time, I’ll go through it, fix problems, and self-pub! I need to move on.
  • I have a historic fiction novel call Lucy, Daughter of Man. It’s Part I of a series that deals with man’s ability to solve problems. The setting is paleo times, the birth of human critical thinking skills. It’s a niche market so not surprisingly, no one has expressed any interest, thus I’m thinking of jumping into the ebook market. I want to rewrite it in first person, so readers connect more closely with their prehistoric roots, when surviving was a gut-wrenching challenge. This will be after the rewrite of the first two. I may have time this year–it depends upon how much work those two require.

Non-fiction

  • Publish the last two books in my Common Core series–on Writing and Speaking and Listening. Writing is in draft form and I have it mentally mapped out. Speaking and Listening–far from finished.
  • Continue to create one ebook mini each month to share as a Subscriber Special on my blog. These are all timely bundles that address topics of particular interest to tech teachers.
  • Work on themed bundles that address specific topics, like Valentine Day, Veteran’s Day–those types of topics. Also, topics like Programming, STEM. I thought I could throw these together (I plan to use existing lesson plans) over a weekend, but it’s proven much more complicated. Now, I’m thinking a month–or more–for each.

Blogs

  • Continue publishing 3-4 articles a week on my core blogs Ask a Tech Teacher and WordDreams (this blog).
  • Expand the reach of my blogs. I’ve read most of the articles that start “How to Write Blogs That Everyone Reads…” and they don’t work the way the author promises. Time to get creative. I’m at about 400 readers a day on WordDreams and 2-3,000 a day on Ask a Tech Teacher.
  • Find guest bloggers for my blogs. I’ve reached out a bit, but not enough. My readers would benefit from other opinions.
  • Put Sizzle in Science on hiatus. I just don’t have time to put into it. I wish I did…
  • Clean up my blogs. Fix those little problems like broken links that I keep putting off. Maybe Spring Cleaning will hit the blogosphere. I started it over the holiday, but fell far short of finishing.

Business

  • get headers and banners designed for FB, G+, Twitter, for all books so I look more professional.
  • straighten out trademarks and copyrights for my writing, my business name, and my blog name. I recently learned that–yes–your writing is copyrighted as your creative work the moment you write it, but that benign level offers no legal recourse. Sure, I can tell someone to stop using my stuff, but I can’t sue them. I’ve decided I need more weight behind me than a slap on the hand
  • straighten out trademarks so no one can use the ‘name’ (i.e., Ask a Tech Teacher) that I’ve worked hard to develop as a reliable tech ed source.
  • redo old covers that look pretty darn awful and create professional-looking covers for new material. I’ve found a great cover designer I hope will be part of my ‘team’. Plus, I can create my own covers in a pinch. Since I’ve already published 12 new books this year (and it’s still January), this has become a big area. Overall, I have several hundred books, ebooks, booklets, pamphlets, etc.
  • become more active in tech ed and writer communities. I learn so much chatting with colleagues. I need to make this a bigger part of my weekly activities.
  • again–as every year–figure out how to sell books on Google ebooks. It should be a vast market, but my sales are abysmal–5% of overall sales. I’ll research how other authors are making that venue work.

What are your resolutions? What are you doing I should be? I want to learn from you.

More articles on the writing business:

38 Tips from Digital Publishing Conference

Sell Your Books Online

Writers Tip #48: Have a Web Presence

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. In her free time, she is  editor of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.

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11 thoughts on “2014, I Resolve…

  1. You’ve inspired me. I don’t usually act like my writing is my work–though it is. So why are you self-publishing your fiction? I’m always curious. Part of me loves the idea of getting published traditionally but I had so much fun being able to control the look of my independent book.

    • I worked with an agent–which was very slow. I self-pubbed all of my non-fic and it has been quick, professional, and I have the opportunity to make more money that way (oddly enough).

    • I am working at that–slowing down, taking my time, not setting arbitrary deadlines. Since I started, my blood pressure has gone sky high as has my cholesterol. Relationship? Probably not. Probably age!

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  3. Pingback: 5 Tips for Keeping New Year’s Resolutions | WordDreams...

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