2014 was a crap year and I do mean a shit storm of bad and worser luck via vehicles imploding (or exploding as the case may be), accidents, bursting pipes leading to flooding, leading to more pipes going wonky, leading to expensive repairs. A new roof that leaks and an ongoing battle to get the company to honor their warranty (I’ll be naming names soon).
If the government could stick it to folks on fixed incomes, aka retirees dependent on Medicare and the supplemental insurance programs, it did – to the tune of a 62% increase in monthly premiums for this gal. Not better coverage, not better copays… Just more out of pocket for less and forcing me to think twice before calling the doctor for an appointment. Yay, American health care with the co-joining of “health” and “care” the ultimate oxymorons.
Then the publishing news, which as of this morning went from bad to worse, with some savvy big name folks informing us that if we thought 2014 was worse than 2013, then watch out baby, cause 2015 is going to be “a challenge”.
There’s VAT and the interesting way the content provider is being shafted by taking the bulk of that hit via royalty income. If your sales come mostly from the US, breathe a sigh of relief. If not, prepare to weather a storm.
Coker’s 2015 Industry Predictions also bolsters what authors have been seeing for some time: slowing growth, apparent devaluation of content (subscription services, market glut), increasing competition for indies from trad publishing, and decreasing ROI from current marketing ploys (permafree, loss leaders for series) among other things.
Diversification will be key for 2015. What is also key is figuring out how to do that when simply being there isn’t enough. Who will notice a single drop in an ocean of choices? If we think the spam is bad now, just wait, because the volume will not only increase exponentially, it will shout at you in dozens of languages as authors chase the illusive reader.
Crap crap crap, I’m giving myself a headache just trying to deal with all of this. I am an army of one. I have no minions, no extra income to “invest” in distribution channels that charge for the privilege of getting my titles in places I never heard of but I’m told are the next big thing.
I don’t do resolutions. Never have, never will. What I do is listen to my heart and the voices in my head. What those two things tell me is to continue writing my stories, continue to experiment with literary forms and with narrative poetry, with breaking through the narrow confines of genres and the enforced expectations that a story should be told one, and only one, way.
If that were true, then it’d be far cheaper to just read and re-read a box of cereal and save myself a hell of a lot of money, because right now all I’m seeing is the same damn story over and over and over … alleviated by varying degrees of poor editing, deplorable grammar and only a flirting nod at punctuation and correct word usage. Indies, I’m looking at you, but trad publishing doesn’t get off scot free anymore either.
(Exceptions, woman, exceptions! Yeah, right, hang on, lemme count’em up. This won’t take long.)
But back to what I’d like to accomplish this year…
Finish Bennie’s story in the Crow Creek Series: Mending Fences. Ben Kincaid has been the heartbeat and the rock throughout three of the books in the series. It’s time for him to find closure and a measure of happiness, but (you know me) it won’t come easy. I’ll probably post the chapters as I go so check HERE in a couple weeks for a free read. I’ll give a shout when it’s ready to go.
Introduce a new series, Kinellar Nights, a love song to the people, the history, the stunning landscape of Scotland, and a thank you to those who welcomed this solitary traveler with open arms and open hearts.
And last, but not least… Anton (Saints and Sinners). Roman, the first in the series, is the book you don’t know. It’s my best reviewed, my most complex, my favoritest story of all I’ve written, yet it remains obscure, a well-hidden secret. That’s probably due to my having used a pen name, Kennedy Streath, that hasn’t gotten “branded” yet. I’m hoping to change that. If you’d like to know more, check HERE.
But, barring all of the above, I can always go for this…