|The researcher in Guatemala|
2017 was actually a good year for me professionally, not in that I hit any particular home runs with any one or two books like year's past, but damn, did I put out the word count or what?
I published both traditionally and indie starting with The Corruptions in hardcover back in February (Polis Books), and then onto Chase Baker and the Spear of Destiny, a new Marconi, Arbor Hill. There was The Handyman Series, the pilot novel in the new Steve Jobz series, The Embalmer, my first collected non-fiction Pieces of Mind, the first Young Chase Baker YA novel, Young Chase Baker and the Cross of the Last Crusade (coming in March '18), a new stand-alone which is currently with my agent, plus the first draft of another stand-alone that will soon be with my agent, and I'm finishing up the year with 20K words on a new Keeper Marconi, Sins of the Sons. And did I mention the short stories that I published in Pulp Metal Magazine that are now available on my own site and of course, Amazon, Nook, and Kobo?
I could offer links to all these products but you know where to go to buy them.
New for 2018 will be a brand new short story, HEAD. HEAD will also be included in a new short story collection called Pathological: Collected short reads about sex, lies, and murder. In February The Detonator will be released in hardcover (Polis Books), and I'm very excited about it since it's getting great reviews in PW and Booklist. After that will come the aforementioned Young Chase Baker, then in April, the new Steve Jobz, The Flower Man. In May I'll release the new Marconi, Sins of the Sons. By then I'll know who's taken my new stand-alone, The Doctor Will Kill You Now. I will also have finished up the second stand-alone, No Good to Her Dead. In between these publications look for more short stories and new Handyman episodes.
Okay, that's production side of things. But like I said, this was the first year in which I didn't hit any particular home runs like I have in the past with books like The Remains which went to number 1 overall, or The Innocent which did pretty much the same or Everything Burns which killed it. I attribute this to one, Book Bubs are nearly impossible to get nowadays and two, Amazon KDP seems to have changed up their algorithms again. It means that any books that suddenly spike in sales look suspect and they sometimes will strip you of your rank, dooming the momentum of the book. It's good that Amazon is cracking down on the schemers, but bad for us nice, hardworking folks just trying to make a living.
But if I've learned anything about this year, it's this: slow steady growth is the only tried and trusted path to be on. Anything else is just smoke and mirrors. Those writers who consistently put out good to great content will be rewarded with an ever expanding audience and sales. On the marketing side of things, building your subscriber list has never been more important. I've also hired a marketing crew to handle my AMS, FB, and Book Bub ads and so far they have been doing a fine job. I'm also setting up my own store on my website. What's the address again? WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM
2017 was the year I started going from writer, to writer running a business, and I've learned a lot. I pour just about all my money back into the business, but said business is growing, and I can see myself making a passive income in short order that would rival at least a mid-management position at some downtown firm. Imagine that.
On the personal side of things, it's been a bit of a shit show. There were more deaths of friends and family than I care to count, not to mention Sam Shepard. There were more reports of illness, the sudden and unexpected discovery of my own potentially fatal ailments (don't worry, they're under control, but it did get me to thinking about my own mortality), a totally unexpected breakup, a move back to an apartment and other things too banal to mention here. But it was also an exciting year for traveling and adventure, from caving in Guatemala, to fly fishing in Belize, and of course eating my favorite rabbit dish in Italy. The food poisoning in Guatemala was no fun, however.
Sure, life comes at you hard sometimes, but hey, I could be six feet under and that's no fun. The point is to live a great life while you have breath in your lungs and happiness in your heart and soul.
Back to the books...