Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 Accomplishments and 2019 Goals

I've taken a page from fellow blogger and writer Matt Stienberg and decided to post about what I accomplished in 2018 and what I intend to do during 2019.

So let's start with what I've done:

*I sold my bizarro comedy-horror novella Little People, Big Guns, which is slated for publication sometime in 2019. I owe the success for this one to my father Terry Quinn, who through a client learned that the 2015 World Horror Convention in Atlanta needed volunteers, and Anya Martin, who actually arranged for me to become a volunteer. Volunteering gained me access to a pitch session, where I pitched the concept to Jeff Burk, who thought it was hilarious. Once I expanded and revised the novella, I sent it to Mr. Burk when Deadite Press re-opened to submissions and voila!

*I learned more deeply the importance of conventions and what the most profitable ones would be. I sold an entire print run of thirty copies of The Thing in the Woods at the Atlanta Sci-Fi and Fantasy Expo in March for a little over $155 profit, in July profited nearly $400 thanks to splitting a table at The Atlanta Comic-Con with C.S. Johnson, and made roughly $100 profit splitting a table at the quarterly Atlanta Comic Convention in December with Robert Jeffrey. In contrast, I straight-up lost money on a fall festival in Snellville, the emerging authors' tent at the Decatur Book Festival, and a twofer book signing and small-town comic-con in Augusta, GA and Bishopville, SC respectively over the summer and made only a nominal profit on a gun show in May.

(I would have probably made more money at the gun show if I had more cash to make change--many patrons of the gun show didn't want to use their credit cards, I'm assuming for privacy reasons, and so I had to underprice--and if I had a more explicitly gun-focused product. Given the success of Larry Correia selling books on the gun circuit, I'll probably give gun shows another spin once Little People, Big Guns is ready and especially once Thing sequel The Atlanta Incursion is available.)

*Speaking of The Atlanta Incursion, I finished that and submitted it at the end of September. Hopefully that'll be accepted and published sometime in 2019. I can't speak for the publisher, but he did seem interested and I'm one of his more aggressive sellers.

*I started writing Blood on the Border, the first work of fiction set in my Federated Worlds universe. This is a project I intend to go full independent on, and it'll hopefully open the door to making lots of money at more explicitly science-fiction conventions like Treklanta and SphinxCon.

Now, onto my goals for 2019:

*Make a killing (heh) at the Atlanta Days of the Dead, which I will be attending with T.S. Dann at the end of January. I still have between 60 and 100 copies of Thing and a few copies of The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly Vol. 2 and this is a horror-focused event, so this has the potential to be extremely lucrative.

*Finish Blood, run it through writing group, and get paperback editions available for Treklanta and SphinxCon. Assuming SphinxCon is the same time as it was last year (early November) that won't be a problem, but Treklanta is Memorial Day Weekend. That could be the tricky part. Treklanta might not be as lucrative as I'm hoping because FW is intended to be a critique of Star Trek in some ways--rather than "we don't have money in the 24th Century," it's an automated economy where most people don't need to work and one species' equivalent to Surak is more like Josef Stalin than Jesus Christ--but SphinxCon is a general military SF/fantasy convention.

*Continue with the comic conventions. The Atlanta Comic Convention is quarterly, while the big Atlanta Comic-Con is slated to return as well. I've done pretty well at these and once I have a greater variety of products to sell, I anticipate things will be even better. Having a table partner is particularly important, especially for the pricey conventions like Atlanta Comic-Con and Days of the Dead.

*The Decatur Book Festival has many other options besides the emerging-author tent, such as the Atlanta Writers' Club booth. I'll definitely sign up for a slot there with the AWC again.

*Assuming TAI is accepted and published sometime this year, I will begin working more intensely on the third book, The Walking Worm, which is more akin to the small-town Southern horror of Thing as opposed to the MIB/UFO stuff that TAI introduces. To make an X-Files analogy, TWW is more "monster of the week" while TAI introduces an overarching mythos. Not sure if I can get that manuscript done and submitted in 2019 given how I don't even have a full outline, but if I can keep my focus anything's possible.

*Battle for the Wastelands has been under consideration by a major publisher for some time, but they don't want it, it's time to self-publish. I have a prequel novella "Son of Grendel" centered on the villain's son already written and a prequel novella "Ruled in Rage" focused on the villain himself as a youth partially written. If I finish "Rage" I could put out Battle first and on the 90 and 180 day mark after that put out a novella. I don't have a lot of the second Wastelands book Escape written yet, which could be a problem.

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