Plans and Goals 2018: Week 3 Review


I’m writing this post after playing several songs in a row on Just Dance with Adrianna, so I’m going to spare you guys the usual talk of how the week just flew by, and save my energy for actual information. ^_~

Plan #1: Focus more on Writing.
This wasn’t a particularly exciting week for writing, with not a huge amount to say, so I’ll just jump right into the individual details:

  • Goal #1: Write half a million words throughout the year. Worst week yet! Yay! Seriously though, I’m not getting down on myself because there were other good parts to the week, but getting my word count up wasn’t really one of them. I only hit the 1370 goal on one day, and had one day where I didn’t write at all. I’m disappointed in myself for that, but it was an extraordinarily busy day, so I’ll give myself a pass this one time. All together for the week I wrote 3456 words for blog posts and 1845 words toward TOW, for a total of 5301. That means that I’m up to 14480 words for the year so far, which is an average of 724 words per day. That makes me reaaaaaaally far behind, but my daily average did technically go up since last week, so at least that’s something!
  • Goal #2: Sell more books. As ever, this proves to be extraordinarily difficult, but I’m determined to persevere. I haven’t heard from the shop owner on whether he’s sold any of my physical copies, but I did have a few page reads pop up on Kindle. That’s encouraging, but not exactly financially exciting. For those of you not in the know, authors enrolling their novels in Kindle Unlimited make an average of about half a cent per page read. Since I got about 80 pages read the other day, that means I’ve made less than half a buck. Not exactly something to brag about, but hey…I guess something is better than nothing.
  • Goal #3: Complete and publish The Other World: Book Two. This one has been hurting my brain a little lately. I’m currently in that mode that a lot of writers get in, in which they’re just kinda…sick of their WIP. I want to press on because I want something that’s together enough to send to my beta readers, but I find myself staring at the pages and just zoning out. I think I need a little bit of a kick in the head to get back on track. Anyone have any ideas?

Plan #2: Focus more on YouTube.
This is the second week in a row that Jason and I kicked ASS on this goal, so if nothing else, I feel extremely accomplished here.

  • Goal #1: Film more often. Throughout this week, between one vid that Jason and Adrianna did, a few I did myself, and the rest that Jason and I did normally, we filmed 9 videos and uploaded 7 of them. I’m pretty sure that’s a new record! They weren’t spread out so that it was one posted per day, but I choose to look at it in that averaging respect. We put up 7 vids in 7 days! With two left over to spare! Woo!
  • Goal #2: Put more focus into, and have more fun with, the social media aspect. The social media this week has come naturally as a result of so much video posting, but I’ve also been hanging out a lot more often on Twitter, which I find to be the easiest platform to use without wasting too much time. I’d like to start focusing more on Instagram though, since that’s where we currently have the most followers.

Plan #3: Focus more on myself.
So did I take care of myself this week? Ha ha ha ha ha ha…hahahaha…ha…ha…

  • Goal #1: Take time daily to read/watch/play. I didn’t have a lot of stimulating “me time” this week because I was just too busy to find it. I did have random little bouts of playing phone games while, like…waiting for Adrianna to get out of school, and I did get a bath one night and read a bit more of A Clockwork Orange, but that was basically it. With that said, I’m going to HAVE to find some time for myself sometime this week, because I’m pretty much running on fumes at this point.
  • Goal #2: Stay active, but don’t obsess. To look at my day planner (where I record everything) you wouldn’t think I was particularly active this week because all I really wrote in that column was “cleaning” over and over again. But you’d be wrong because that cleaning was active as sin. I did some major deconstructing of the basement, bagging up toy boxes and hauling them up two flights of stairs and a ladder to toss them in the attic, not to mention rearranging shelves, sorting collectibles, and actually cleaning in the form of vacuuming, dusting, etc. All that put together and I may not have gotten a lot of steps, but I’m damn well exhausted, I can tell you that!

So that was week three! It was tiring, and I didn’t get as much writing done as I would have liked, but everything  else went pretty well, and the channel is doing very well because of it, so I guess it was a success in general. ^_^ Here’s to week four!

How was your week? Were you able to accomplish anything? Do anything fun? Make any progress toward your own goals? Feel free to share!


‘Nowhere to Hide’ Only $0.99 Until Halloween!

Some people roll their eyes when Halloween addicts begin talking about the holiday in September, but in the Tobin household we bounce on our heels and giggle like fools waiting for the witching hour to come upon us. It’s for this reason that I found myself completely unable to wait until October to roll out this deal, so from now until midnight on Halloween, Nowhere to Hide is only $0.99 on e-book! There’s no better time to check it out! I mean, what can you buy for a dollar, really? You can’t even get a coffee for that! So please check it out, and of course don’t forget to leave a rating/review on Amazon once you have! It does a great deal toward bumping the book up in search results, as well as convincing prospective readers to give the book a chance. Plus it makes you one of my favorite people ever! 😀

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Enjoy the early treat, everyone! (Tricks to come. ^_~)

You’ve Got to Spend to Make…and I’ve Got Nothing to Spend – An IWSG Post

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First off, this is my first Insecure Writer’s Support Group post since changing over to the new blog, so for anyone dropping in here for the first time: Welcome!

Okay, now that that’s over with…

The past month-and-a-bit have been very up and down for me concerning writing. On the one hand, I set myself a mini-goal to write 300 words per day and I KILLED it, turning out the month of August with nearly 16.5k words. The majority of those words were also toward my WIP, “The Other World: Book Two”, which was a big deal for me because I’ve been stagnating with that for quite a while now and it’s nice to see that I’ve crossed a point wherein I can force myself to write something – anything – in order to move forward.


There’s another goal that I’ve been working on all year through, and I’ve experienced little to no success with it at all. That goal, in short, is to find new ways of promoting my books.

Why is this so difficult?

In short, the problem that I’ve found is that any kind of promotion past your basic pimping on social media (which, honestly, only works for so long before people’s eyes start glazing over and they start ignoring  you) costs money. Money that I don’t have. Ads? Costs money. Sending out free books in return for reviews? Costs money. Submitting your book to competitions? Nearly always costs money. Sure there are lots of websites that will temporarily promote your book for free, but most of them have requirements such as a certain number of reviews on Amazon, or your book has to be free at the time of the promotion, or it has to fit a particular genre/length/language/what-the-hell ever. Overwhelmingly, the methods that allow you to simply promote your book as it is, for the price you want people to pay for it, require you to fork out cash in advance with no guarantee that you’ll ever see a return.

I’ve been struggling with this particular issue for ages now, feeling that, if I just kept looking, EVENTUALLY I would find a couple of options that would allow me to promote my book for free, but none have ever come. I even tried contacting book-based sub boxes, only to be (eventually, after months of throwing myself out there to multiple companies) patiently schooled on the fact that, due to the logistics of such a thing, I would be required to front the printing and shipping costs. Theoretically I would be paid back later, but the initial cost would be multiple thousands of dollars more than I even have, making the whole thing a moot point.

And so I sit here, and I grumble, and I look at my 4-5 sales per month and I wonder if there will ever be a day when I’ll actually be able to feel like it was worth it putting all those countless hours into writing/revising/editing/formatting/and so on.

It’s definitely quite depressing.

I press on, because the fact of the matter is that I love writing and I do it as much for the sheer enjoyment as I do for the chance of ever actually making a living from it, but it definitely chips a little more away from my soul every time a possible promotion method turns out to be either useless or too costly.

Thanks for reading my little rant! If, by chance, you’d like to check out the books that I’ve been so desperately trying to promote, you can find them right here! Cheers!

An Author Honor – Being Read in a Book Club

I’ll admit that, most days, I still find it hard to consider myself a “real” author. It’s a combination of being self-published (which, despite attempts at the contrary, still makes me consider myself to be an amateur) and the fact that my sales are mind-blowingly abysmal. I shouldn’t harbor such thoughts – I wrote TWO GODDAMN BOOKS, DAMMIT, and that makes me an author! – but it’s very difficult, and I hardly think that I’m the only self-published author to feel that way, so I give myself a break.

That said, every so often something happens that really does make me feel like a “real” author, and one of those things happened throughout the month of July. You see, over at the Basement Geeks Facebook Group, two of our most active members decided to start up a “Basement Geeks Book Club”. I thought it was a great idea, and joined up right away, myself, but I wasn’t expecting what happened next, because there was a poll set up to decide which book the group would read first, and the book they chose…was Nowhere to Hide.

It wasn’t a huge book club or anything – less than ten people were actually reading – but, to be honest, it was kind of a huge deal to me. It felt wonderful, not only because they chose my book, but because I got to be a part of the process. The members discussed the chapters they’d read weekly, and I got to be there, joining in the conversation, fielding questions, and seeing what people really, truly thought. There were a few constructive criticisms, some awesome reactions, and a surprising amount of praise that all just made me feel warm and fuzzy and happy inside. My favorite part? The way everyone agreed on how I was able to really hammer them emotionally. No individual comment or review has ever made me truly feel like I’m doing something right, like I’m accomplishing what I set out to do when I imagine and reimagine my scenes over and over again.

It made me feel like I’m not only a “real” author, but also a good one. And I can’t describe how that makes me feel.

So thank you, Basement Geeks Book Club. You have no idea how great you made me feel just by sitting down to discuss a book.