Saturday, 7 December 2013

End of Year Round Up

My first novel was published in 2011. 2012 was mostly about publishing my backlog of novels and novellas, which, thankfully, I was able to do.

This year, by and large, has been about figuring out the business of being a writer. I've found this more difficult than the writing part, not as difficult as getting that first breakthrough in 2011.

In March, I attended Comic Con and signed for my first book this year - A Home by the Sea.

In October, I attended my second book signing, for my last novel of the year, The Estate. Both of these books were published by Crowded Quarantine Publications, and they've done a stirling job of getting me out there, with some great advice, and with The Estate, also published my first hardback book, with cover art by the brilliant Jethro Lentle.

In between times, I published the short novel The Noose and Gibbet (Anachron Press).

And also the novella The Dead Boy, the first in a series of zombie/apocalyptic novellas (Grand Mal Press).

I received an honourable mention for my short 'Mr. Wobble' in Ellen Datlow's honours list.

A short of mine 'Sleep and the End' was accepted for Bizzaro Bizzaro, from Bizzaro Pulp Press.

My horror hero, author of two of my favourite horror novels, the venerable Bill Hussey, gave my work a wonderful endorsement.

This year also saw the release of Great British Horror, vol. 1, including my novella 'Insulation'. All proceeds for the project go to Centrepoint, a charity for homeless children in the UK. To be among the writers including is both an honour and a pleasure, and it's a great project. I hope it continues.

And, finally, accepted into the ranks of DarkFuse, who I've been aiming for since starting out on the path of the horror writer, with my novella 'Bloodeye'.

I think that's by and large, it. More than enough! I consider this year, on the writing front, to be a resounding success. I think success depends, largely, on your goals. DarkFuse has been my goal for two years, and publishing The Estate, my first horror novel, my goal since I wrote it. This year has been wonderful. I have achieved my publishing.

As for my next dream? This is where I come to the 'business' part of writing. The next dream is to make a good living from writing. For this to be my main income. I don't have expensive tastes, nor do I have expensive needs. I'd settle for a bigger shed and maybe a Chinese takeaway once a week.

This is the business side. The vast majority of writers do not make a good living. There is a ton of competition, and the big five publishers, where the bulk of the money (and promotion) is, are notoriously hard to crack. But there are other ways.

For the beginner (and two years in, I still consider myself a beginner) my advice is write, write, write. Get more work out (preferably quality work) and increase your visibility. Go to conventions. Network there, and on FB. Meet people, talk to people, watch the industry. There are other ways to make money from your writing.

Next year, I hope to begin to earn a decent wage from my work, and I hope to do this yearly update (which, it seems, is becoming a kind of tradition) and let you know, finally, that I have a few pennies in my pocket. Also, next year, I'm going to FantasyCon - hopefully I'll meet some of you there.

Which reminds me - I also self-published the final volume of The Line of Kings Trilogy, as Craig R. Saunders, entitled 'The Queen of Thieves'. I'm sure I've forgotten some other stuff...but that's enough to be going on with...

Love you, and thanks for reading! xxx