Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 - My Year In Review

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!

This is the time of year when I always like to stop to take the time to reflect just before we turn the page on the "old" year. Time is a funny thing. In our day to day lives, we measure it with clocks, but I like to measure time with all the stuff that I've learned.

1) Even though I published my debut novel, Dragonfly Warrior, in mid-December of 2013, I still consider my publishing experience to have really launched in 2014. I really had no idea what was in store for me, and the not-knowing was both thrilling and scary.

2) Publishing is not only constantly changing, but it's seriously one of the hardest things to do. Not just the writing - but the marketing and promoting. All of it. Very tough. If I would have known it was this tough, I probably would not have thrown my hat in the ring.

3) I became an Amazon Best Selling author with my three releases this year. That's pretty cool to think, but the reality is, I didn't sell a ton of books. Apparently, it doesn't take much to crack the Top 10 in many categories on Amazon. I averaged a little more than ONE book sold per day for all of 2014. 380 books. From what I've heard from others, that's about average for an indie these days.

4) I love selling my books at shows. Love it. I love everything about it. The best part is getting to talk to all kinds of people. I plan to do more of this in 2015.

5) I turned 42 years old just six days before Christmas. Starting to feel a little old. I really thought I would know more by this age.

6) I made the same mistake twice...I once again devoted a lot of time and energy into mentoring a young writer who just wasn't ready. The ego is something that always gets in the way of us moving forward and improving. A person can only learn when they're ready to learn. Did Bruce Lee say that once? Or maybe Obi Wan Kenobi?

7) I changed jobs and industries this year. I completely underestimated the stress and emotional toll such a move would make. Still trying to get my feet under me, but I'm going to stay positive and keep on truckin'.

8) Just like I did last year...and the year before...I did not see many movies in 2014. I did, however, see the final Hobbit movie last week, and it was awesome. Honestly, I can count on one hand the number of films I saw in the movie theater this year.

9) Along those lines, I also neglected television. I did not watch Sons of Anarchy or Walking Dead. I just don't have time. And in my spare time, I'm usually surrounded by little kids. So those two shows are out. I did catch up on Green Arrow, however. And I have been following The Flash.

10) Finally. I have to say that 2014 was a tough year. In recent memory, I can't think of a year where I've experienced such highs and lows all wrapped up in one year. Pretty sure it all has to do with entering the publishing world. I want to thank you for all of your encouragement and support with this endeavor, and I hope to keep learning.

2015 will be my (gasp) tenth year blogging, and I hope to make it my very best year EVER.

Happy New Year, my friends, and I will see you in 2015.

Every new year is like a Phoenix being reborn


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Oh, #5! I feel the same way - I thought I'd be wiser at this point in my life. Sigh.

And #8 - we hardly saw any movies in the theater this year either. We did see UNBROKEN this past weekend and enjoyed it, although my husband liked the book better.

Happy 2015, Jay!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The publishing world will do that to you. If I'd known, I won't have entered it as well.
The last Hobbit movie was so awesome!!!! I won't scare you with how many movies I saw this year.
Forty-two? You're still young!
Here's to a better and less stressful 2015.

Pat Hatt said...

The publishing world is a pain in the arse, big time. But have to keep trucking along. I watched tons of tv and movies, maybe too much, this year lol

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Mentoring, coaching, consulting - they are all exhausting as you pour so much of yourself into another person.

I love shows and booksignings, too. There's nothing like meeting readers in person.

Lexa Cain said...

I'm with you on #2. So much work and I only sold about 20% of what you have. I'm considering Wattpad, as I'm waaay sick of the publishing biz.

I wish you and your family a wonderful 2015!

Robin said...

Sounds like you learned a lot in 2014. Unfortunately, learning experiences can be quite painful. I think that's why they call 'em learning experiences. Of course, any time you do something new, you're in for it. New job. 1st time publishing. Lots of NEW.

As we got older, I think (hope) we get more particular about our time. It's a precious commodity. We literally only have so much of it... so we need to be more selective about how we spend it.

Wishing you the best in 2015!

Sarah Foster said...

Hopefully 2015 will be the best year ever. Ten years of blogging is crazily impressive!

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

A lot happened in 2014 for ya. Hopefully, 2015 will calm down a bit. (PS I haven't been to a movie theater in a few years.)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Ten years of blogging! Wow! I wonder how many of us would have never tried writing if we'd known how difficult the marketing and promotion would be. Hope 2015 is good for you.

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

have a wonderful new year!! Great list--I've learned saying "no" is really hard but necessary. After I got agented, a few friends who like to write as a hobby asked me to look some work over, and when I asked one to beta a MS for me she just said she didn't have time. Ridiculously rude. I've gotten a bit hardened (maybe too hardened) but Im super careful not to mentor much these days. Hope your tenth year blogging is great!

Morgan said...

So hard with the highs and lows… oh Jay, that's been my year too! Oh man… hard, yes??? Sigh. But you're doing it. I'm so proud of everything you've accomplished and done.

Jay Noel said...

Madeline: That movie looks pretty good. I'm a sucker for WWII movies. Happy New Year!

Alex: Publishing is not for the faint of heart, but I'm not the kind of person to just give up. There's a kind of satisfaction and pride I get from writing and publishing I can't get anywhere else. I'm young, but I just thought I'd be wiser by now. Ha!

Patt: It sure is a pain. We're gluttons for punishment.

Diane: Yes. I gave too much of myself in 2014. I'm going to concentrate on me and helping those who truly appreciate it.

Lexa: I think a lot of us are trying to figure it out and find a new way. I know many writers who started with Wattpad to create their own audience. Might be worth a try!

Jay Noel said...

Robin: Yes, very painful. And same to you Robin!

Sarah: Here's to hoping!

Holly: I need an uneventful year to recharge the batteries. A few YEARS? Wow.

Susan: I think many of us would have continued writing, but not necessarily publishing it. It really can break you.

Beth: Yeah, you have to protect your time these days. So many are great takers, but not so good at giving back. Happy New Year!

Morgan: Yes. 2014 has been a rough road. Looking forward to turning a corner and trying a new street. And thanks so much.

Jenna Howard said...

Here's to a smoother, 2015, Jay.

And this writing biz is not for the faint of heart. I really gotta learn how to market. Or finish something. One of those will work for me.

Happy new year, buddy!

DEZMOND said...

I thought the number of sold copies in USA is much bigger than under 500 :( I think you need marketing, reviews in real papers, something that will attract readers. One of our blogging friends, RaShelle Workman sold more than 300,000 in a year, but she selfpublished about ten books in that time. We must ask her for recipe :)

David P. King said...

This year was full of highs and low for me as well, thankfully having the chance to meet you was among my high points. Wishing you a Happy New Year with many book sales! :)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I believe 2015 will be your best year Jay. As long as you make it through the ups and downs are worth it. All the best Jay and The Flash is a great show.

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Mark Noce said...

Good phoenix mentality:) Happy New Years!

Stephanie Faris said...

Someone told me a New York Times bestselling author only sells thousands of books a week. Not even tens of thousands. That was fairly eye opening to me!

Arlee Bird said...

You've been learning and moving forward. I'd consider that progress. Not a bad year in my estimation.

The Flash is one of the few TV shows I've been watching and I think it's pretty good.

Tossing It Out

cleemckenzie said...

I guess ups and downs, good decisions and bad are what make up each year. You did some good stuff in 2014. Here's to more in 2015.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

It sounds like you accomplished a ton in 2014 so congratulations. I think 2015 is going to be a much better year for me than 2014 was for a lot of reasons (call me superstitious)? I'll probably blog about that more as part of my IWSG post scheduled for Wednesday.

Cindy said...

I changed jobs too, so I know how hard that is to do and get any writing done at the same time. It seems you did great considering. I guess those side Amazon lists can make one feel like a best selling author, but I don't think one is really considered a best selling author on Amazon unless their book makes the top 100 overall on Amazon.

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