2018 was the longest year that ever was a year. That was the repeated description from one of the handful of Youtube personalities I follow and I can’t help but agree.
I have to actually look at the spreadsheets to see what the first book we launched in 2018 was (ONSET: Stay of Execution, apparently. Wow.)
Seems like we wrapped up ONSET longer ago than that.
2018 was a year of missteps for us. We ended up shifting our mix more towards Urban Fantasy than we meant to, which hurt our overall sales, and we spent a lot of our own capacity on trying to break into more traditional print sales.
Most of that effort culminated in Book Expo America, where we received a rather thorough if painful education in just how even successful independent publishers are regarded by the mainstream publishing and distributing world. Distributors insisted on handling our electronic distribution as well as print distribution and, well, that wasn’t happening.
Then we came home from Book Expo America and I had a heart attack. Stress and pneumonia induced, primarily, but still a horrid wakeup call that I was burning myself out. Fortunately, our plan had been to use 2018 to build a lead time in our publishing schedule. That lead time ended up being used to allow me to take most of the summer of 2018 off without us falling behind on the release schedule.
I’m better now, I promise 😉 WorldCon 2018 was better than BEA, with a lot more positive moments and 100% less critical health issues! We’re going back to WorldCon in 2019—we are most definitely NOT going back to Book Expo America.
We learned a lot of lessons in 2018. My urban fantasy doesn’t sell as well as my space opera, so we’re moving away from that for the immediate future. Noble’s Honor will wrap up the Changeling’s Blood trilogy and that will be my last urban fantasy release for a while. Future new novellas will be launched along the Ashen Stars model, not the Spaceships and Spellcasters model.
And I’m going to try and breathe a bit more. We have six books definitely planned for this coming year. Scheduling is still tentative, but they are as follows:
Noble’s Honor (Changeling Blood Book 3)
Shield of Terra (Light of Terra Book 2)
Sword of Mars (Starship’s Mage Book 7)
Refuge (Exile Book 2)
Imperium Defiant (Light of Terra Book 3)
Raven’s Peace (Peacekeepers of Sol Book 1)
Terry and I will also finish up the third Bound / fifth Vigilante novel, Bound By Blood. That will launch sometime in 2019. I have a couple of side projects on the go that I don’t expect to be huge commercial gangbusters as well, so we will probably have eight launches this year.
We have set a primary goal for everyone at Faolan’s Pen Publishing of “don’t die.”
It seems like a low bar, but it’s also a good place to start!
Happy reading everyone,