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Monday, 31 December 2012

Facts and Figures for my 2012

English: A pie chart created in Excel 2007 sho...
English: A pie chart created in Excel 2007 showing the content of tweets on Twitter, based on the data gathered by Pear Analytics in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, I’d like to pass on a heartfelt THANK YOU to all those readers who have reviewed my writing. Almost without exception these reviews, the majority from people I don’t know, have been positive. That, of course, is very encouraging. It strikes me that the best action I can take to truly thank those who have taken the trouble to share their thoughts on my work, especially those who’ve enjoyed it, is to write more. And that’s what I intend for the coming year. So, my thanks, again, for all those who’ve read and reviewed my work, and my assurance that there’ll be more to come and that it will be the best I can produce.

Second, a brief, but fairly detailed, account of my year. Why? Well, in April 2013 I retire from my part-time day job and will be able to concentrate full time on writing. This means an entirely different attitude to what I do and how I do it. At the behest of the so-called experts in the matter of selling books, I’ve spent a major portion of 2012 building an ‘author platform’ online. This is something, we’re told, that’s essential for the serious writer. I have to tell you that my experience places a large question mark over that assertion.
At the foot of this post, not very far from here, I’ll insert my facts and figures as they stand at the point of writing this: i.e. 20:30 BST, New Year’s Eve.

The simple fact is, in spite of my efforts to build this apparently essential tool to marketing, my sales of books have been anything but startling. There’s huge competition out there, with thousands of new books published every month. Many of these are very poor. But a reasonable number are good and there are a few that are undeniably outstanding. However, quality appears to be only a small factor in producing sales. I’ve read extracts from best-selling books and found myself appalled by poor grammar, syntax and characterisation. Often, however, these best-sellers have, at core, a good story. What is depressing is that, with a little more care and professionalism, many of these sub-standard books could be really great works; but the book-buying public appear willing to settle for ‘that’ll do’ from these good story-tellers.

So, it looks as though, in order to increase my readership, I need to combine good story-telling (for my readers), with good quality writing (for my personal satisfaction). Oh, hang on, that’s what I thought I was doing! Perhaps, then, I simply need to actually write and publish more. And that’s what I intend for the coming year.

The following list of figures will be a source of motivation for the coming year and of comparison at the same time next year, to see whether I’ve managed to get more work out there. It should also enable me to judge whether such an increase in ‘exposure’ actually bears more fruit than the marketing activity I’ve performed this year.

2012
Published work:
Sensuous Touches, an anthology of erotic tales (8).
Heir to Death’s Folly, a short story in the gothic horror tradition.
Rebirth, my contribution to the science fiction anthology published by Fantastic Books Publishing, Fusion.

Writing Contests:
4 entries, one of which was short-listed.

Blog:
1062 posts in total since the blog began.
447 followers
85,511 page views
18,882 visitors who identified their location.

Facebook:
Author page – 379 ‘Likes’
Personal profile – 1599 friends

882 books listed as read (the real number is probably around 3,500 but I haven’t listed them all yet), 52 of them in 2012.
130 reviews written (52 in 2012)
2018 friends.
136 titles in my ‘to read’ list.
49 ratings and 21 reviews of my books on Goodreads.
Goodreads reading challenge - 52 books in the year - Read - 52 books in the year!

2274 connections

662 followers
4774 pins on 32 boards

336 in my circles
In 183 circles.

5,110 followers
Following 5,012
11,823 tweets

So, there it is. If you'd like to connect with me on any of these sites, the links are there for you. Lets' see what 2013 brings, eh?
And, for now, let me wish you all a New Year that brings you all the good things you wish for you and yours.

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