2022: The Writing Year That Was

With 2023 underway, it’s time to look back at 2022 and review what happened to my Self Publishing Adventure. It’s January 18th 2023 as I write this, and I’m a lot later with this post than I ought to be. My excuse is I was busy writing Book Five!

So, did I achieve any of the 2022 goals I set myself? Before we look forward to 2023, let’s find out!

1] BOOKS

New 2022 Books?

2022 saw me self publish Book Four in The Paradox Club series, The Serpent Strategy. That book marked the end of my literary equivalent of the MCU Phase One and set up Phase Two, where we meet Valentine & Milo properly and follow their story.

Although I started Book Five soon after putting out Book Four, and fully intended to put it out in 2022, I failed to finish it in time for various reasons that I’ll cover in another post.

The good news is that, at the time of writing this, I’m on Page 202 of Book Five and it shouldn’t be long before it’s completed.

Existing Books?

Once Book Four came out, I went back over the previous three books and updated them. Nothing drastic, just a few tweaks and minor additions to tie everything together a bit more and take account of things I came up with later on. No scenes were cut, there was no major rewriting of the plot and no scenes were added, although things were added to and minor errors I’d missed were corrected.

Despite my best efforts, I managed to screw up the page layout of Book Four, which meant I had to go back and do that one again. I don’t how I managed to do that, but I did. Which I suppose is what happens when you don’t have an extra pair of eyes looking over what you’re doing. Apart from that minor self-inflicted disaster, the rewrites/edits went well and I’m much happier with the tweaked versions of the books as they are now.

Pirated!

One of the things I inadvertantly came across when I was  working on tidying up the first four books was something I never expected. I discovered that my first book, The Valentine Trap, was available for free as a PDF on a pirated books site!

On the one hand I’m rather flattered that anyone would think my book is worth stealing, though the truth is probably that they have software that automatically nicks anything new. On the other it’s slightly disturbing to discover the seeming ease with which things that you’ve put time and effort into creating can be stolen and put up online.

I hardly think someone downloading the PDF of Book One instead of buying it will have a negative financial impact as the books, at this stage, only really help pay the phone bill. Yes, every author dreams of selling shedloads of books, but these things take time to find their audience and self publishing is a long game.

Even so, nicking my book from the pirate site does seem a bit mean when it’s only 99p on Amazon!

2] AUDIOBOOKS?

2022 was going to be the year I finally did this. And, once again, I didn’t. Work on Book Four was slower than I expected it to be, with the result that it’s almost finished only now, in mid-january ’23.

The plan now, as far as audiobooks is concerned, is to finish Books Five and Six and then start recording. Come back in a year and let’s see if it actually happened!

3] YOUTUBE?

With my original intention to record four audiobooks in 2022, putting Bryan Mack Books up on YouTube in any significant way was something I felt would have to wait until 2023. We’re now over halfway through January and I need to finish Book Five and Book Six before I can even think about YouTubing. And YouTube is part of the reason why I didn’t manage to knock out Book Five along with Book Four in 2022…

I started a Non-Writing YouTube channel as an experiment, to understand just how much work is involved in the process. The channel was a voice only channel and I didn’t appear on camera. What I learned was that making videos is a lot of hard work, even without the added complication of having to light and record yourself speaking to a camera.

What many people don’t realise is that the bigger YouTube channels have someone to do the editing for them. All they do is record the footage, then they hand it over to someone else that they pay to edit it for them. Smaller channels, where you have to do everything yourself, take up a lot of time, more time than I can realistically commit at this early stage of my author career, such as it is.

4] PODCAST?

Again, this was something I was really keen on doing, certainly as an alternative to the intense workload of a YouTube channel, but it’s not going to happen in 2023 any more than it didn’t happen in 2022. Still on the To Do List.

5] EMAILS!

I had a bit of a cull in 2022 but I still get Writing Advice Emails that end up getting filed instead of read. And I still have a huge backlog to work through, especially on the subject of Book Marketing, which I still need to get to grips with. Note to Self: must do better! one out of ten…

6] READING

This is another one I’ve completely flunked. This time last year I had thirty unread writing advice books that I either hadn’t even started or started but never finished. This year I have thirty-one, with the addition to the pile of Genres by John Truby!

 

So. That’s the what happened to my Grand Masterplan for Bryan Mack Books in 2022. I learned that YouTube isn’t as much fun as I thought it might be, I got Pirated, didn’t record a single audiobook and only managed to finish one book instead of two.

Next, it’s time to look forward and set some realistic goals for 2023.

The Self Publishing Adventure continues – feel free to join me!

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