The last two years have been transformational in my author career. For the first time I actually made decent money from my books – after learning some important lessons about writing to market and giving the audience more of what they want.
Both years I comfortably earned ‘replacement’ money – enough to trade out my job and go full time as an author. I held back, since my job’s pretty good about allowing me time to write anyway, and because I expected it was better to save and get some runway.
Boy, am I glad I did. In this last year we moved house, and ended up not only maxing our mortgage capacity, but also spent a substantial amount more on refurbishing everything. We really hadn’t intended to spend all our savings on DIY, nor did we mean to do so much all in one mad rush:
- opening up the kitchen-diner with installation of 3 beams
- new French doors and new bifold doors
- plastering and painting every room
- rewire, replumb and whole new kitchen
- whole new conservatory, new tiled floor
- new appliances, new furniture
- new bathroom
It’s been wild – and was expedited hugely by the unexpected but joyful news that Su was expecting! Our little baby boy has now been born, and we managed to get everything done just in time for his arrival.
So, what of writing?
My goal is to make substantially more than replacement money this year. It’s the only way to ‘escape’ the black hole of wanting to keep my job while also writing on the side. That full-time salary is to tempting. But if the writing jumps tot he next tier, it’s possible – and there are signs that can happen.
Girl Zero, the new spin-off series from Chris Wren, has had a phenomenal launch. Pre-orders for book 2, Zero Day, are at the highest I’ve ever had. I have the audiobook in production now with the highly talented and well-known narrator Brittany Pressley (she also narrates David Baldacci books!). I was approached by Podium audio production because they wanted the rights, but I figured I’m better off continuing to produce and market it myself.
There are other irons in the fire this year too – including potential movie/TV talks. Super exciting, also super preliminary. Cross your fingers for me 🙂
In terms of writing, I think (we’ll see) I can write:
- Wren book 10 – Hammer of God
- Girl Zero book 2 – Zero Day
- and start a second spin-off series, featuring a beloved character from the Wren-verse.
It’s very exciting. All at the same time as raising my little son.
Oh, I also started a new bodyweight exercise regimen, which has in a couple of weeks of daily 10-20 min exercise sculpted my frame like no 2-3 times a week gym habit ever has before. Here’s the routine:
- 50 fast clap pushups
- 50 fast jump squats
- 10 one-arm pushups on each side
- 20 one-leg squats on each side
The burn from this workout is incredible. One set is plenty. I like it fast and every day. I have now ordered a weighted vest which goes up to 30kg, so I can up the difficulty without spending more time. I’d love to get a pull-up bar and some dip bars as well, but we’ll see – they’re pretty bulky, and much of the house is spoken for now :D.
That’s my news. Here’s to a breakthrough 2023!!