2013 is coming to an end and I’m absolutely excited for 2014 to begin. I’m ready to plow forward and explore the world of Indie publishing. My goal is simple. Write and publish the best work I can at the stage I’m at.

First, I have housekeeping tasks to take care of starting with my website. I’ve gone back and forth regarding to blog or not to blog. Some authors do while others’ websites are more of a landing page for current books, upcoming releases, future events, etc.

I decided to keep on blogging. I’d like to continue to share my ups and downs. Writing is a solitary endeavor while support and encouragement can connect us globally. I’ve learned so much from others’ attempts and successes and maybe my journey will resonate for another optimistic soul.

Ah, optimism. The past year netted me fewer than 150 copies sold of my traditionally published books combined, over 9,000 copies sold (price matched to free on Amazon) of my self-published novella with a #6 spot on Amazon’s top free 100 short stories, and more income out than in. Did I also mention my crash and burn from doing too much?

However, I’ve learned a lot about writing and the publishing side of the business. I can only hope that in the future my books will make it inside supermarkets and brick and mortar bookstores. But I won’t be holding my breath for that day to arrive or wait six months to a year to hear from a publisher. Or not hear at all in some cases. I have choices and options.

Why fill out a cover questionnaire for someone who’s never read my book to design a cover for me? I wrote the book. I know what I want on my cover. Why pitch a series to a publisher then hope and pray the branding of the cover is consistent from one book to the next? I wrote the series. I can brand my books to look similar so when readers see the cover, they’ll know it’s my book, in my series.

It truly takes a village to nurture our babies into mature adults. We all work hard to write our books, have it edited, copy edited, uploaded, and promoted. We get upset if someone criticizes our work. Or smile big when someone gives us praise for a story well written. Criticism and praise comes hand in hand when we’re brave enough to make ourselves vulnerable by putting our work out there.

However, it’s still someone’s opinion. For 2014, I won’t be relying on one person to tell me what works and doesn’t work for my book. I plan on leaving the praise and criticism to the masses. The important ones. The readers.