In case you don’t know, 2018 is the Year of the Dog according to the Chinese calendar.
The Japanese also use Chinese calendar as well. So, that explains why many articles in Japan are talking about what to expect for this year.
Even Japan Times also has a dedicated article talking about the Year of the Dog.
That’s the reason why you’ll see Shiro from Hozuki no Reitetsu as a blog cover for this post.
I usually have this kind of post scheduled for the first of January. But for some reason, I’ve decided to write this blog post a little later.
I still am going to talk about what I accomplish in 2017 and what I plan to do in 2018.
But I’m also going to talk about the future direction of this blog and what you expect as a result of the change.
First off, let’s take a look at 2017 in a review.
What I accomplish in 2017
I’m sad that I wasn’t able to achieve most of the goals I had in mind. But then again, I’m still glad that I managed to hit some goals even though they weren’t that much.
Here are some of the goals that I did manage to achieve in 2017.
Publishing the new version of The Diary of Modern Cinderella
I’ve wanted to release the brand new edition of The Diary of Modern Cinderella. With this in mind, I’ve decided to begin with the rewriting process during NaNoWriMo 2016.
After spending a few months to edit, copyedit and proofread the book, the brand new edition of The Diary of Modern Cinderella was finally released around April 2017.
If you have read the original version, you may realize that some part of the story seems a little bit different. But the premise of the story remains the same.
If you have yet to read the brand new version of The Diary of Modern Cinderella, I highly encourage you to give it a try right here:
Starting my Patreon campaign
I was contemplating to start one initially. But after a long thought, I’ve decided to start the campaign somewhere in February 2017.
The campaign seemed to fall flat on my face since the only backer I have was my dad.
But hey, it’s better than nothing.
I did write a blog post on other ways you can do to support me besides Patreon. But if you feel that you can support me through Patreon, then that will be much better.
The pledge starts from as low as $2 a month, in which in many countries it costs less than coffee.
I don’t know if that’s true since I live in Malaysia. And the same amount is equivalent to having lunch at a decent restaurant with a drink included.
If $2 a month doesn’t seem a lot to you, you can visit my Patreon page to begin right here:
Regardless of how much money you spend on supporting me on Patreon, you’ll get to have your name mentioned in my book.
How cool is that to see your name mentioned in my book?
Don’t worry, I’m mentioning you in the Special Thanks section of the book. I’m not adding your name as a support character in the story.
Publishing a prequel to the Trigger Locked series
I already wrote the book way before the first book from the series, The Mind Control Assassins was released.
Of course, I did plan to release it after that. But I’ve decided to put the release on hold until I published the second book of the series.
Since I only began to write the second book during NaNoWriMo 2017, I’ve decided to push the release date forward.
So, the prequel was released before NaNoWriMo 2017 began. In fact, I didn’t plan to take part in NaNoWriMo 2017 at first.
The prequel was given for free as a token of gratitude for those who joined my mailing list.
If you’re reading this and you’re not yet on my mailing list, you can sign up right here:
What I didn’t accomplish in 2017
When I take a look at the similar post I did in early 2017, I realize that some of them are things that I didn’t manage to do in 2016!
Well, here are the goals that I failed to achieve in 2017.
Writing the second book for the Trigger Locked series
Okay, I did write the first draft during NaNoWriMo 2017. But I didn’t consider it as a full accomplishment.
So yes, I didn’t achieve this goal for 2017.
Publishing the remaining audiobooks
After seeing how I could publish an audiobook with a minimal setup, I’ve decided to release audiobooks for the rest of my books.
I didn’t manage to do it in 2016. So, I thought I could do that in 2017.
Unfortunately, the software that I used to record the audiobook was no longer available. So, I was forced to find another way to record an audiobook.
After doing a lot of research, I couldn’t find any software that allowed me to do the same for the audiobook recording.
So, I’ve decided to put the audiobook recording on hold.
I’m not sure if I will proceed with creating an audiobook version of my books. After all, creating an audiobook is costly.
I may do it in the near future. But it’s definitely not in 2018.
Getting started with merchandising my works
I always fantasize about having my body of works turn into merchandise. It can be things like posters, keychains, and anything equivalent.
I guess that seeing tons of anime merchandises got me thinking about doing the same for my books.
It’s too bad that the merchandising ideas never seem to cross my mind throughout the year. So, I didn’t think about it at all until saw the post that I did in early 2017.
Okay, that was my bad for not remembering this goal.
Just like the audiobook production, I will get back to this in the near future. But it won’t be in 2018.
My plan for the Year of the Dog
My plan for the Year of the Dog won’t be much different than my plan for the previous year.
For one, I will continue to publish another new book this year. So, you can expect that the second book for the Trigger Locked series will be coming out this year.
I can’t say when the book will be released. All I can say is the possible date for the book will be somewhere either in June or July this year.
I also plan to release the third book for the Trigger Locked series as well. I admit that all the books I’ve written can be pretty intense on my schedule.
But we’ll see how it will turn out. I’ll do what I can to have the third book released not long after the second book is published.
For now, that’s the only thing I have in mind for the Year of the Dog.
The direction for this blog from now onwards
Back in the early days of my blog, I used to update it on a weekly basis. But I had difficulty in maintaining the blog schedule whenever I was in the middle of the book project.
Because of that, I’ve decided to scale down my blog update frequency to once a month where you’ll get the blog update usually around the first week each month.
From the marketing perspective, updating a blog once a month won’t help me with generating traffic to my blog. After all, my blog is essential for bringing exposure to my books.
But then again, writing a blog post is time-consuming on my part. Not only that, but I also need to promote the blog post. People will only discover my blog if I ever do any marketing for my blog post.
It won’t bring the traction I hope for if I write a blog post and hope for the people to discover on their own.
Since my focus is to release more books for this year, I’ve decided to stick with updating this blog once a month, so then I can spend my time with writing more books.
The focus of the blog will remain the same. I will still write about the anime, manga, and video game industry from the creator’s perspective. And I will still write about behind the scene of my book whenever I have a new book coming out.
I admit that I have a lot of things to say on my blog. But I believe that reducing my blog update will allow me to focus more on publishing more books this year.
I’m shifting my focus to Weekend Edition
With my blog update being reduced to once a month, it will also mean that I will only connect with my email subscribers once a month.
That may not be good from the marketing perspective since the email subscribers may not even remember who I am if I only connect with them once a month.
Since it’s recommended to connect with the email subscribers as frequent as possible, I’ve decided to release Weekend Edition.
In case you’re wondering, Weekend Edition is an email newsletter where I’ll be sharing with you my favorite anime.
The first few newsletters were written just like an anime review. But I realize that I’m not even a fan of reading an anime review. And I doubt that I’m good at writing a review.
So, I’ve decided to write the email newsletter based on why I love the anime.
After writing it for a couple of weeks, I feel that I can commit to writing Weekend Edition on a weekly basis. Besides, the email isn’t that long which is okay to me.
If you’re already on my mailing list, you can expect to get Weekend Edition on every Friday.
But if you haven’t and would like to hear about my anime recommendation, then you can sign up to receive Weekend Edition right here:
Keep in mind that I will still update this blog like I always do. But if you want to hear from me on a weekly basis, the only way for you to do is to join my mailing list.
Hope to see you there~