Friday, January 4, 2013

Ghosts of Christmas Future

As promised in my previous post, “Ghosts of Christmas Past,” this week I’m looking forward, not back.

Now, there are two ways to handle these predictive posts (probably more, but humor me). One is to survey the entire publishing industry and make predictions about what’s likely to happen before December 31, 2013. For that kind of post, see Kristen Lamb’s blog. There are others out there, including a long and interesting post by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords. But Kristen, I think, has called it pretty much right—or at least, pretty much as I see it.

This is not that kind of post. Here I review where I expect to be a year from now, both personally as a writer and in terms of projects I’m involved with. Although some of my personal goals may not have huge relevance for others, they are in their own way evidence of the evolving picture of publishing in 2013. Other goals have interest beyond my personal concerns, so for their sake, do read on.

First off, I hope that by the end of 2013, I will have finished and published book 2 (East) of my Legends of the Five Directions series, The Winged Horse. I already have one-third of an initial draft plus a demo cover and a full outline, although I’ve already deviated so far from the outline that it acts more as a set of suggestions than an actual plan. If life treats me well (i.e., gives me enough free time), I will even start work on book 3 (North), The Swan Princess. I already have basic ideas for that one, although I haven’t begun to sketch it out yet. The plan is to bring it out in 2014.


I expect to issue Winged Horse through Five Directions Press, the small publisher that I started with my critique group partners. I also expect Five Directions Press itself to grow this year. We should have two new titles out in the first quarter of 2013: Seeking Sophia, by Ariadne Apostolou; and Saving Easton, by Courtney J. Hall. Ariadne has a series of novellas near completion in addition to Seeking Sophia, so she should have two books out by the end of 2013. Courtney has become a writing dynamo, so I would not be surprised if she finished another book. But even without a second from Courtney, t
hat would mean four new titles, if all goes well, and two new authors—for a total of seven books and four authors by the end of the year. Not exactly Big Six (or is it Four?) territory, but not totally shabby either. You can find out more at

That brings me to promotion, a job at which I admit to being, well, challenged. I can probably attend the Slavic studies conference this year, which will help with the Legends of the Five Directions books. I may run a Goodreads giveaway for The Golden Lynx; I’m waiting to see if the last one, for The Not Exactly Scarlet Pimpernel, had any effect on sales (for more on that, see “Potlatch and Publishing). I'm giving a talk at the local Rotary club in March; the rest is just a question of keeping up with Goodreads, trading author interviews where possible, letting people know about the books, etc., etc.

I definitely plan to continue, and probably expand, my interviews for New Books in Historical Fiction. I love the conversations; the books are great; and I may even master the blasted software by the time December rolls around. So far, six authors have agreed to talk. More or less in order, they are Jay Wachtel, B.A. Shapiro, Bill McCormick, Tasha Alexander, Laurie R. King, and Marie Macpherson. There are others I’d love to interview, but I have yet to contact them, since I don’t want to keep them waiting forever. By April I should have a new list.

And somehow, I’ll find topics for 51 more weekly blog posts. What will I say? The task seems quite daunting—until I remember that this is already post no. 34….

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