Archive for January 6, 2021

writing life

The State of the Shanna 2021

Happy New Year!

I love the chance to reset and make a fresh start on a new year, starting with a blank calendar and all my usual forms and charts being clean and ready to be filled in as I make progress. I’ve made a business plan for the first half of the year. What happens after that will depend on how the first half of the year goes. In my business, it’s hard to plan too far in advance because I don’t know how long it will take me to do the things I planned.

I figure this is a good time for a general “how things work here” post. I’m going to stick with the Wednesday and Friday blogging schedule. That gives me time to write posts without interfering with my best writing time. Any news that falls between blogging slots will be in the “news” box on the front page of my web site and/or I’ll announce it on social media.

You can find me on social media on Twitter, where I talk about all kinds of things, not just my books, and on Facebook. There’s a page that focuses on my books and you can also discuss with fellow fans. My personal profile is fairly public. I only accept friend requests from people I actually know and have interacted with, but most of my posts are public, so you can follow me without being a “friend.” That’s where I talk about life and interact with friends and family. I haven’t been as active on Facebook lately because I loathe their new design and can’t bear to look at it. I cross-post my blog to Goodreads, but I don’t accept Goodreads friend requests (there have been some issues with people not being allowed to post Amazon reviews because Amazon thinks them being social media friends with authors means they’re friends, so their reviews don’t count). About all I do on Goodreads right now is cross-post the blog and occasionally respond to comments when that’s warranted. I have an Instagram account, but I don’t do much with it now because I only really use my phone when I leave the house, so I don’t think about Instagram when I’m at home, and I’m at home all the time now.

I have a newsletter that goes out once a month with book news and some behind the scenes info about my books, and if you’re signed up for that list, you also get alerts when there’s a new book. I’ve been trying to let newsletter subscribers know about stuff earlier than I put it out in other places. Today I’ll be sending out a newsletter with the cover of the next Lucky Lexie book and the release date. There are also short stories available exclusively to newsletter subscribers, with an Enchanted, Inc. aftermath story from Owen’s perspective and a backstory episode in the Lucky Lexie universe, with Jean on the case when the carnival gets stuck in town. You can sign up for the newsletter here.

The plan for the year is to do a few more mysteries, with one coming out in January, one sometime in the spring, one in the summer, and one in the fall, but that depends on how the writing goes. I also plan to do a print (e-book and paperback) edition of the book that was an Audible exclusive last year. I still haven’t heard whether they want me to write more books in that series, so I guess that would depend on whether the e-book and paperback sell well enough to make it worthwhile for me to keep doing (and I’ll have to check my contract to see if I’m allowed without sending Audible a proposal to reject first). I’m developing a new fantasy series, but I haven’t yet decided how I’m going to approach it, whether I’ll release as I write, write several and release them around the same time (a month or so apart), or possibly even submit to publishers. I won’t have a good sense of that until I get something written.

So, that’s the State of the Shanna for 2021. A couple of years ago, I went through a bit of a career crisis in which I seriously considered quitting and decided I liked writing too much and hated the idea of a regular job too much. Now the odds of even being able to get a regular job are pretty slim and I don’t really want to have to work outside my home, but unless I can make the writing pay off a bit better, I’m going to have to figure something out. This is my year to see if I can build a little more momentum and try some new promo methods to see if I can build an audience.