Happy New Year!
I hope you had an awesome 2019 for writing and selling books. I had some concrete goals:
- To publish five books.
- To sell 10,000 books, ten times more than in 2018.
Here’s how I did:
- I published four full length books and one shorter book. I also published two box sets.
- I sold 5,000 books.
So I just about met the first goal, but failed on the second. On the bright side, I did multiply my sales by a factor of five. And I moved house, not once, but twice, which seriously dented the time I had available for marketing. My sales in the months around those two moves tanked.
So, the takeaway for next year: don’t move house. I’m certainly not planning to.
My goals for 2020 are:
- To sell 15,000 books, which is three times as many books as in 2019. (This might seem lacking in ambition but the more books you sell, the less scope there is to multiply that by large amounts).
- For 50% of my book income to be profit (I broke even this year).
- To publish four full length books, one novella and one anthology (and a box set too). Plus more stories.
Let’s see how I get on – come back in 2021 to find out (that’s a scary thought).
In the meantime, I thought I’d review how this blog had been progressing in 2019. I only launched it in the spring and since then it’s seen a rapid rise in subscribers and lots of great feedback via social media and in person. I’ve had articles published on well-known sites such as The Creative Penn and the Alliance of Independent Authors’ Self Publishing Advice Center. And I’ve been interviewed for the Self Publishing Spotlight podcast and been a speaker at the Self Publishing Conference.
It’s been a big year for RachelMcWrites!
Next year I may launch a podcast (I’m still deciding if I have the time), and I hope to be published on more industry sites and speak in person at a conference. And growing the audience for this blog is a key goal – so if you enjoy it, please share it with other writers!
I also need to find a sustainable way to write in 2020 that doesn’t result in my RSI getting worse. It’s been better recently but that’s because I’ve been resting over Christmas. In January I’ll be straight into editing a novel, and I have to make sure I don’t expose myself to pain as a result.
As part of my review of this site, I’ve identified the most popular blog posts in 2020, so I thought I’d share them with you and make them even more popular!
In ascending order, here are the top six posts from RachelMcWrites from 2019.
6. Interview with Justin Lee Anderson, Fantasy Author
Justin is an incredibly talented author. He’s won prizes and regularly hits the bestseller lists. And all this despite taking months or even years to write each book. Read this interview to find out why you don’t have to go for rapid release if you want to be a successful author.
5. The Importance of Amazon Also-Boughts
This is something I get asked about a lot on various forums and Facebook groups, so I wrote this post in response to that. The biggest takeaway from the post is this: don’t encourage your friends and family to buy your books.
4. Interview with Charlie Benton, Fantasy and Sci-fi Author
Charlie was a fantastic interviewee. Not only did he give an entertaining and informative interview, he also shared it with his own networks. Which brought a new audience to the blog. Which made him my most popular interviewee in a year when I interviewed some big names in publishing. Thanks, Charlie!
3. Top 5 WordPress Plugins for Author Websites
This was one of the very first posts on this blog. I may update it in 2020 as I’m trying out a new SEO plugin. Watch this space…
2. Being a Productive Writer and Winning NaNoWriMo – Tools That Can Help
At number two is my post on the tools I use to be as productive as possible. Maybe one of these tools will help you get your novel finished or sell more books in 2020?
1. Going Wide With Print Books
Despite being the sixth part in an ongoing series on going wide, this was the most popular post this year. It details how you can go wide in print by distributing your books via Ingram Spark and KDP Print, and get the best of both worlds. It also gives you the lowdown on ISBNs.
So there you have it. A really varied set of posts. I’ll be looking at these and trying to work out what they tell me about what you want to read about (it won’t be easy!). And if you have a topic you’d like me to cover, let me know in the comments.
I hope you have an awesome year of writing, publishing and selling books!