Every year at this time I pull out my list of Goals, Hopes, and Dreams from the previous year. I’ve been doing this now for the past three years and it’s always really interesting to see where I was at this time a year ago, what I was thinking and hoping for in the new year to come.

So, off we go into the past…

The Goals I make for the next year are always work-related so I’m happy to share them with you.

  1. I determined that I was going to strive to write 2-3 books in my new Ladies’ Wagering Whist Society: check!

I wrote the three books for the second season of that series and I’ve even begun giving some thought to the next (and final) three books of the series. The first book of the second season is already with my editor, the second book is in my own editing process, and the third book needs a bit more help, but I need to read it from the beginning in order to see where and how I can make it better. So the three books are mostly done… not entirely done.

  1. I wanted to do better at marketing my books.

I did work quite hard on this this past year. I tried a bunch of new marketing techniques both with the launch of the first trilogy of LWWS books and the promotion of my older books. I participated in an Amazon Ad challenge (I failed, and determined that Amazon ads just aren’t something I’m good at). I decided that Facebook ads were really off the table for me as well (I just don’t understand how they work or how to set them up correctly to get any sort of positive return). BookBub ads are still something I’m going to try (I tried one and it wasn’t a complete failure—or rather, it was, but I know why). And I’ve realized that I just need to be a lot more consistent with the promotions I run in smaller newsletters like RobinReads, BargainBooksy, Book Gorilla, and others of the same sort. I’m already working on scheduling those promotions now.

So, yay me for following through on that goal!

  1. I wanted to work on my craft this year.

I have done some of that (as evidenced from the book review I did on The Last Fifty Pages a few weeks ago, and others). There is always more to learn on the craft of writing. I’ve said it before, being an author is a practice, like being a lawyer or a doctor. You always need to keep up on what’s happening in the industry and there’s always more to learn.

For my Hopes, two of the three of them were personal ones dealing with my family, but the third one was the hope that I would get more formatting clients.

I do remember that I ran some ads at the beginning of this year in an attempt to do that. Sadly, they didn’t actually yield any new clients. There isn’t a whole lot I can do, otherwise, to get new clients except to rely on word-of-mouth as I’ve always done. The thing is, most authors are now formatting their own books with Vellum or letting Draft2Digital format their books for them. There’s nothing I can do about that. It’s a shrinking occupation.

But because of that, I expanded my author services to include coaching. I was able to learn a lot about how to coach and I even had a few clients. Again, the problem is getting the word out. I’m determined to work on that some more in 2020.

The Dreams I had at this time last year included, once again, two regarding my family, and one related to my work. That one was that my new series was loved and sold well.

I have to say, that certainly the first book of the series is doing very well and has gotten a lot of great reviews. Whew!! Which does lead people to buying and enjoying the second and third books. They don’t have any many reviews as yet, so I’m still waiting to see how well they do.

As always, my marketing has been more the problem than with the books themselves. If I can get the word out there that these are books people would enjoy, they read them and do, in fact, love them. I just have to get better at getting that word out.

So, those were my Goals, Hopes, and Dreams from this past year. Just after the New Year, I’ll tell you about my plans for 2020.

If you have Goals, Hopes, and Dreams that you wrote down last year, let me know how you did with yours in the comments!

As always, I’m going to take the last week of the year off to spend time with my family and just relax. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I’ll “see” you next year!!