So, 2017 was a modestly successful year for me in self-publishing. Sure, I didn’t have any hits but I did publish four Hana Walker short story books through Amazon, which have been well-received by a sample of the target audience (Japanese teenagers learning English); I published two English-as-a-foreign-language textbooks for junior high school kids, and one for dental hygienists. And, by the time this post is on the blog, I should be well on the way to publishing an English language phrasebook for Japanese kids visiting the UK.
I really developed my newsletter in 2017 so that every month it features an interview by me with a Japan-based author, a question of the month useful to subscribers, and links galore for folk interested in reading crime fiction and stuff about Japan. It’s at the point where people actually look forward to receiving my newsletter on the first of every month. Really. Try it for free here.
And yet, my book sales have been anaemic, but that’s OK, no really it’s fine, the priority these last few years has been to build a complete body of school textbooks that have all the kinks worked out of them before I start trying to market them seriously to customers.
And that day is rapidly approaching.
I just have one more textbook to write (for Japanese third-year junior high school students) and then I’ll have a complete series of 12 school textbooks covering Japanese kids ages 3 to 15.
Forgive me if you’ve been waiting for the third Hana Walker novel for adults, that’s coming, it’s just that the textbooks have had to take priority this year. And here are my priorities for 2018:
- Publish the final junior high school textbook in my Tower Talk series.
- Publish the third Hana Walker novel for adults.
- Publish a series of textbooks for another language school.
- Publish eight more titles in the Hana Walker short story series for TEFL students.
- Publish three picture books for very young learners of English.
- Publish a guide for wannabe self-employed English teachers in Japan.
- Read 100 books in 2018.
- Do 50 paintings in 2018.
That looks like a tall order, but I figure everything is possible with a bit of focussed daily effort. If I can write for 45 minutes a day, all of the publishing goals are doable. Also, I’m going to read for an hour and a half a day, and that should enable me to get through 60 pages a day, about two books a week, double my target for 2017. Hey, if you wanna write a lot, you gotta read a lot too, there are no shortcuts. I may just have to cut out TV and social media for a a year.
And then the gloves can really come off.
Happy New Year to you!