Bi-Monthly Goals for April & May 2019 — Derek Barton – 2019

Goal pic Apr 19

 

Time for a goal check-in!

In January, I opted to break away from the Bi-Monthly goals and introduced a new goal system.  As you may recall, it was a goal system defined by Sarrah Cannon in her YouTube video How To Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet.

The essence of her system revolves around Main Goals, Projects, and Tasks.  You set two or three “main” general priority goals to focus on.  Then you break down those goals by deciding on Projects that will accomplish those general Main Goals.  With each Project Goal, you detail and define what Tasks you are taking to get the Project finished.

Here  are the goals I worked up for the first quarter:

My MAIN GOALS are as follows:

  • Increase my site visitors by 25% = 232 visitors — (2018 1st Quarter’s results were 186 visitors)  ACTUAL RESULT:  243 visitors (Success!)
  • Complete one of three books for the year 2019  ACTUAL RESULT:  Published Elude: Part Three the first week of April (Partial success).

PROJECT GOALS are as follows:

Goal to Increase Site Visits — 

  • Three Monthly Giveaways
  • Two Book-signings
  • Weekly Blog Posts

Goal to One of Three Books for 2019 —

TASK GOALS to Increase Site Visits as follows:

  • Develop three unique site giveaways (signed book copies, amazon cards, audiobooks)
  • One Book-signing set in January (Superhero Saturday); call and set up another for February or March
  • Update each week a blog post (web sagas, goal-setting blogs, etc) for a total of at least 12 blogs in the 90 days.

TASK GOALS to Complete Elude Part Three as follows:

  • Complete Bullet Outline
  • Write the rough draft (30,000-word count left)
  • Go through 3 waves of edits
  • Cover & Blurb (already completed)
  • Publish on Kindle & Amazon by 3/31/19

 

While I did accomplish my goals, I felt like the extra month gave me too much leeway — gave me an out and I was not as “driven or pushed” as I have been with the Bi-Monthly goal system.

A couple positives did come out of the trial run:  I was able to get a weekly blog done for the three months which was a nice plus and also I increased my site traffic by almost 31% versus the 25% I was shooting for.

So… I may not have felt like I was productive, I did accomplish some objectives. That being said, I’m going to try to do a combination of the two systems and see if that works for me.

First I am going to set myself five Main Goals that are a bit more specific than the general “Main Goals” as with Cannon’s approach. Also, I am going to give myself a bit of an established timeline completion date (not a deadline but more of an expectation).

 

MAIN FOR APRIL & MAY GOALS:

  • Complete the outline for the third book in the Wyvernshield Series (possibly titled Swimming in the Ashes). Due date by May 15th.
  • Complete the outline for the new horror web saga (no title yet).  Due date by April 30th.
  • Complete the outline for the new Evade Series (crime/horror series).  Due date by May 31st.
  • Rework the covers of my books. (I have been hit over the head several times by more successful authors that my books were not cohesive or didn’t express the right genres. “If you confuse the reader immediately, they will not bother figuring it out and move on.” I write in two genres so I’m going to have to do a better job at making it more obvious.) Due date by May 31st.
  • Begin a four-part guest blog swap with fellow writer Adam Mitchell and complete a Blog Interview with him! (This will be my first ever blog swap and should be a lot of fun!)  Started by April 15th – the interview and First Blog on May 1st.

 

My April & May months may only 5 goals for the Bi-Monthly system which usually had 10, but these are some tough objectives and come with imminent goal dates.  And along the way, I want to get a video done for my fantasy series as I watched several videos on book trailer production and think I’m up to it…but where can I get in that extra time?

WISH ME LUCK!  

 

A New Dynamic Approach to Achieving Goals — Derek Barton – 2019

goal #3

Back in July 2017, I started using a process centered around Bi-Monthly Goals. These were goals set up for a two-month time span.  This worked reasonably well, but the main issue I had was that I was often too open or the goals were too far-reaching.  Without breaking out the hows and steps to accomplish those goals, I had moderate success with them.  With that said, I am ready to see if there are better ways to realize my dreams and goals.

The Bi-Monthly Goal System was introduced to me by a YouTube video.  This new system is again a YouTube video.  I have to say that the site really is a modern-day Oracle.  Almost any question you might have, someone probably has done a video on it! I have been doing a lot of research on marketing and came across this new 90-Day Goal System.

Like the Bi-Monthly, you decide on your goals and work within the designated window of time.  This goal system is introduced by author Sarra Cannon, an author of several romance novel series in which she’s sold over 750,000 copies!  Her method of goal-setting is reviewed and discussed in a video marked How To Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet.

The essence of her system revolves around Main Goals, Projects, and Tasks.  You set two or three “main” general priority goals to focus on.  Then you breakdown those goals by deciding on Projects that will accomplish those general Main Goals.  With each Project Goal, you detail and define what Tasks you are taking to get the Project finished.

Another aspect of her system is to be realistic in your writing plans.  You will have days you are just not feeling up to working or you will have days where you are sick AND you will have days you will not write as they are on holidays.  Everyone has 365 days in the year and there are the holidays in every culture that will interrupt your schedule.  Plan for sick days, mental health days, and even relaxation or celebration days. Everyone has the same amount of time, but successes go to the people that make the best and most accurate plans for their time.

The other neat trick with the system is it gives you a chance to breathe.  You know you want three or four books done by the end of the year.  This method allows you to not worry about the other books and focus on the one — in the back of your mind every time you start to fuss about not getting to that book, you can relax as you know it’s already scheduled in the future and you already have a plan in mind.  A lot of writers try writing more than one book at a time and this can and often diminishes the quality of both works versus if the author took one at a time and made them the best he could.

Two YEAR goals I would like to focus on are increasing site visitation as well as completing three more novels for 2019.

My MAIN GOALS are as follows:

  • Increase my site visitors by 25% = 232 visitors — (2018 1st Quarter’s results were 186 visitors)
  • Complete one of three books for the year 2019

PROJECT GOALS are as follows:

Goal to Increase Site Visits — 

  • Three Monthly Giveaways
  • Two Book-signings
  • Weekly Blog Posts

Goal to One of Three Books for 2019 —

  • Write & Publish Elude Part Three

TASK GOALS to Increase Site Visits as follows:

  • Develop three unique site giveaways (signed book copies, amazon cards, audiobooks)
  • One Book-signing set in January (Superhero Saturday); call and set up another for February or March
  • Update each week a blog post (web sagas, goal-setting blogs, etc) for a total of at least 12 blogs in the 90 days.

TASK GOALS to Complete Elude Part Three as follows:

  • Complete Bullet Outline
  • Write the rough draft (30,000-word count left)
  • Go through 3 waves of edits
  • Cover & Blurb (already completed)
  • Publish on Kindle & Amazon by 3/31/19

Another aspect of Cannon’s 90-day Goal System is to construct a goal reminder whiteboard in her office.  Her follow-up video is How I Create My 90 Day Plan and Use a Kanban Board to Achieve My Goals.  Simply, she puts all her TASK GOALS on a single post-it note and organizes them into a “Get It Done” and an “Awesome Job” section.  She chooses at the beginning of the week the tasks she wants to work on, placing them in the “Get It Done” section.  Completed Tasks she moves them into the “Awesome Job” section — which, of course, is a great way to keep motivated, seeing all the tasks you completed through the 90 days.

I will be writing up a review blog and discussing the details and results of this 1st quarter.  If you have any questions or want to discuss how you develop your goals, feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

From Start to Finish: 2018 — Derek Barton – 2018

NYE

As everyone who happens to read these blogs know, I have been using Bi-Monthly goals to keep me focused, motivated and productive.  Now since November, I have been a little non-plussed, to be honest with you. With very little book sales and only a few friends coming to book shows, it has made me question what to do next or what changes I can make to reach a bigger audience.  I am not planning on giving up, just looking for new steps to take.

While I am still researching the internet and watching YouTube videos on marketing, I don’t have any new answers…yet, but in the meantime, I thought I would look back and see just what I have done this year and if I am happy or not with 2018.

Complete Works

Works In Progress — Status as of January 2017

CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS AUDIOBOOK – This was still in the works, finalizing edits and mastering the audio quality.  The final version was released and published on Audible.com on June 25.  This was a fantastic first experience with audiobook production and I couldn’t be happier with the talent and skill my voice actress, Laura Richcreek-Morrison.  She has been currently working on The Bleeding Crown!  Voice actors like Laura and Charles Pendleton for my horror stories have taken my work to a whole new level!

THE BLEEDING CROWN – Four of my bi-monthly goals for January & February were to complete the 2nd waves of edit for the main body of work, complete the subplots for the manuscript (about 25,000 words), set up a marketing campaign (ads, etc) and start working on the book cover.  All was finalized and the completed book was published on June 26th.  (Side note:  I didn’t realize June had been so full this year! ha).  While sales have not been as plentiful, it has gotten a decent amount of 5 Star Reviews on Amazon.  I personally cherish the book as my favorite child so far (Elude is close second though!).  I have written almost 30,000 so far on the follow-up, Swimming In The Ashes (working title).  That might be out by the end of 2019, but no guarantees.

IN FOUR DAYS AUDIOBOOK – In April, I connected with Charles Pendleton and we agreed to work together on my modern paranormal/horror story.  He did a great job on it and we have seen some success with the sales on Audible.  It was released in August. Charles is also already working with me on the Elude series so stay tuned for that!

ELUDE PT #1 & PT #2 – In January I was still working on the first wave of edits for Part One!  As of August 31, it has been completed and published on Amazon and Kindle.  Part Two was published on October 19th.  I am working through the final Part Three and hope to have it published by February 2019.

THE HIDDEN – Released Chapter 7 on January 2nd.  Just this month released Chapter 23. This series looks to be wrapping up in a couple months as a complete web saga.  We, my father and I, will be working to get this put together and finalized for print within the upcoming year.  I have been developing several book cover ideas to start with.

Now to see some stats on the site’s growth:

BLOG COUNTS:

  • 2016 — 14 Monthly blogs completed
  • 2017 — 37 Monthly blogs completed
  • 2018 — 43 Monthly blogs completed (including this one)

NEW WEB SUBSCRIBERS:

  • 2016 — 7
  • 2017 — 17
  • 2018 — 24

VISITORS & COUNTRIES VIEWED IN:

  • 2016 — 204  & Countries — 8
  • 2017 — 809  & Countries — 31
  • 2018 — 895  & Countries — 39

4,239 Views in the three years!

TOP FIVE MOST VIEWED POSTS:

  1. Elude #1 with 72 views
  2. Steps on a New Path (Chapter One Blog for The Hidden) with 67 views
  3. Elude #2 with 47 views
  4. Audiobook Review of Stephen King’s “The Outsider” with 45 views
  5. Elude #3 with 43 views

New Additions to the Site were my Audible book reviews posts and my book giveaways which has been very successful.

So, overall a lot of work still hadn’t been published until the fall of this year — three books and two audiobook versions.  I hope to have two more audiobook versions out and possibly two more novels.  I have also had ideas percolating in the back of my mind for a new horror web saga for this site and a whole new trio of novels starting in Aberissc this time!  What I am saying is that there is a lot more work to be done and coming. 🙂

I also had a chance to get out and meet a few of you that were local at the book-signings in October, November and December.  That was a lot of fun and I do hope to continue this in the coming year.  On January 19th, come see me at:

1-19-19 SS

While I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to and I am still trying to find the right balance to get writing, work and fitness goals accomplished, I do see that the platform is actually growing.  Also, I should be fully recovered from my back injuries from the accident in August by mid-2019, so that should also help with my fitness.

Thanks especially to all that do support me and have taken an interest in my work.  I hope to keep bringing a smile to your face as you do mine!

December & January 2018 Bi-monthly Goals — Derek Barton – 2018

Goal #1 2018

 

Here are my production goals for December & January and my writing production for September & October.  I know what you are saying, “What happened to November?” Sighhhh.  Yeah, well, I had hoped to “Win” at the National Novel Writing Month Challenge (NaNoWriMo) which was my only big goal, but my health derailed me for over a week.  I am doing better with a chiropractor and physical therapy for my back and knee. However, I did get 26,000+ words written on my new fantasy novel for the Wyvernshield Series.

The bi-monthly goals for September & October:

  • Complete the editing of Elude #2. — Finished
  • Publish Elude #2 by the end of October.  — Published on October 19th, 2018!!
  • Complete the writing for Elude #3 (about 30,000 to 40,000 words). — postponed this goal.
  • Start my outline for Book #3 for the Wyvernshield Fantasy series. — Accomplished but as I found out during NaNoWriMo, it is far too skimpy in details and needs fleshing out for me to get through. As I have said before, I am not a “pantser” or a writer who writes by the seat of his pants.  I need a clear picture of where I am heading and this outline had too many holes that I need to plug!
  • Write up and prepare for writing in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge in November — Book #3 will be my focus for NaNoWriMo! (50,000-word count goal!) –Partially successful.  26,000 words written…
  • Do a book-signing event in Arizona — Did 2 so far and prepping for my 3rd on December 8th @ the Half-Priced Bookstore in Paradise Valley.  COME SEE ME IF YOU ARE LOCAL!!
  • Craft a video book trailer for Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown — Yeah… this may not happen for quite some time.
  • Work up my booth design for comic-cons and book festivals. — Used my old setup for the book-signings which looks pretty amateurish. I definitely will have to invest to improve this if I am going to get back to the comic-cons/festivals.
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month. — Done
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks. — Done (roughly every two weeks! 🙂 )

Score = 6.5 out of 10  Hmmmm that’s pretty ugly.  Hopefully, the end of this year and the start of next year will be more successful.

 

Goal #2 2018

 

December & January Goals:

  • Complete Elude #3 book (30,000 to 40,000 words)
  • Have Elude #3 self-edited by the end of January 2019.
  • Professionally edited and published by the end of February 2019.
  • Set up another couple book-signing events for 2019.
  • Sign up for at least two comic-con/book festivals for 2019.
  • Complete the last chapters for The Hidden web saga — we have started on Chapter 23, but then by mid-February we are scheduled to have our last Chapter 27 – The Path Again published on the website!  That’s right! The entire novel is out on the site…but not forever!
  • Start another web saga?  May have to have a survey for which genre to pursue — fantasy or horror.
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month.
  • Look into the options for booth setups for my book showings.
  • Thinking about setting up a service to other authors for possible book cover design.  Maybe…

And while I have decided to keep my personal goals of weight loss and such out of this, I do hope that I make some headway there.  I am sure some of the issues with my back and knee is from the weight and not necessarily all due to the car accident from August.

One last thing — If any of you have had the chance to read any of my works, but have not had the opportunity to write a review, it would mean a great deal to me if you could.  Reviews really are critical to getting people’s notice online, especially on Amazon.  Thank you in advance if you already have!

Thank you all for your support and keeping my spirits up! Everyone have a safe and wondrous holiday season!

2018 Bio Blog — Derek Barton – 2018

Pics 8-31-18 224

Thought it was due time to give you a little more insight into me as a writer and me as the average Joe.

  1. Do you have any advice for beginning writers?  Be consistent and persistent.  You have to keep pushing and pushing.  I’m seeing slow progress (a steady incline!), but it is definitely not an overnight-success kind of thing.  It takes a lot of work and faith in yourself.  Right now is a fantastic time to be a writer as there are tons of advice columns, writer blogs and mentoring sites out there to get any of your questions answered.

  2. What is your writing routine? How do you discipline yourself to keep at it?  I work on my writing every night — usually between 10 through 2 AM.   It’s become my passion and my stress release, so when I don’t get to it or have no energy to do it, I feel even worse actually.  I have three kids and I do have a full-time day job as a sales supervisor for a medicare healthcare company which occupies the majority of my life.  So those few hours of the day that I can spend on my writing is crucial.  I don’t waste them or take them for granted.  My writing is a lengthy process so if I want to share more stories, then that is what it takes.

  3. How do you begin a novel?  My novels are first outlined and broken down into scenes.  Some people are plotters and some can do it by the “seat of their pants” (called pantsers).  I tried for many years to be a pantser, but it finally became apparent to me that I NEED AN OUTLINE in order to stay on track and not lose my place in the storyline.  Plus I tend to weave subplots within the main story and that can be a very delicate surgery sometimes!

  4. Do you go through a lot of drafts?  I tend to do a very involved outline now (what I call my Bullet Outline) and then I write the first draft.  Then I make another two rounds of personal editing if possible.  My editing skills are nowhere near what I thought they were — you will find real quick what your level of editing skills are when you send it to a professional!  YIKES!  I am trying to get better and now that I see the trends, I try to avoid those mistakes in my initial writing or I will go back through and weed them out.

  5. Where is your favorite place to write and why?  I am not a picky person when it comes to where.  Some writers have to have everything precise and always uniform (same place, same time, same paper or same coffee mug, etc).  I am flexible, but that’s also because I had to learn to be.  I don’t have an office — I write in the living room!  The only thing I really need is isolation — I immerse myself into the writing and focus on the picture forming inside my head to find all the needed details and imagery I can put upon the page.  Other than that, I am good to go.

  6. What is the first book you remember reading?  I read Watership Down by Richard Adams in sixth grade.  It sucked me in even though it was a novel all about the desperate lives of wild rabbits.  From there I read The Hobbit and became addicted to fantasy stories.  Later in my teens (go figure!), I couldn’t pass up any horror novels I found.  Thus, I have an attraction to writing in both genres.  And often times, there are elements of both in my stories.

  7. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?  I am definitely working to have a body of work that has some common connections.  My fantasy stories are all in the same world and same characters for now… But my horror novellas are also linked.  A minor character, a Detective Chad Ellis in the novella In Four Days becomes a key figure and character in my Elude series.  Finding those little threads which bind a story with another always entertained me as a reader so I wanted to give that back to my fans as well.

  8. What was your hardest scene to write?  In Consequences Within Chaos, I found the hardest scene to write for me was the first major battle my heroes faced with the Viestrahl (a beast race intent on destroying the humans colonizing their lands).  I had never had experience writing one and unless you know exactly all the details, you really can’t just write the scene out.  Even though I had an outline and I knew the generalities of what I wanted as an outcome, I didn’t have the specifics.  In other words, who goes where, who comes in later, who gets injured, how do they get injured, who dies, etc.  It is a lot to take in and it daunted me horribly.  I put the book aside for several months before I took the plunge and bulldozed through it.  Once I got into it and learned the process, I was able to take up other battle scenes quicker and with better organization.

Okay… now for a little less serious insight into me!

 

  1. DO YOU PLAY BOARD GAMES? WHICH ONES? Yes.  My wife’s and I’s favorite is a game called Lords of Waterdeep.  We also like games that have links to the Call of Cthulhu stories by H.P. Lovecraft.

  2. WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? When I am in the car, it’s heavy metal.  When working out, it’s techno or dubstep.  When I am writing I love epic classical going in the background.

  3. DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME YOU WERE BORN? Sometime after 6 AM (probably the only time in my life I chose to wake early!)

  4. WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING RIGHT NOW? Make enough book sales to write professionally, but I would also love to have a much bigger fan base.

  5. WHAT’S YOUR MIDDLE NAME? Don’t have one.  My parents hated theirs so they decided I didn’t need to be stuck with one.

  6. THE BEST TV SHOW EVER CREATED? Game of Thrones and close behind it Dexter (hmmm there is that fantasy and horror combo again!)

  7. DO YOU GET SCARED IN THE DARK? No.  But I do like to come up with ideas for horror stories while sitting or walking in the dark.

  8. WOULD YOU RATHER BE SMART OR FUNNY? Can I go for both and be a smartass?

  9. COFFEE OR ENERGY DRINKS? With my late hours, I  am a double Rockstar morning person.  I know it’s not the best for me, but I don’t drink or smoke so this isn’t such a horrible vice.

  10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPING? Hawaiian Pizza baby!!

  11. IF YOU CAN EAT ANYTHING RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Snow Crab Legs or Prime Rib.

  12. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? Red Chevy Nova

  13. WHAT IS YOUR FANTASY CAREER? Screenplay writer

  14. ARE YOU A LEFTY OR A RIGHTY? Righty.

  15. DO YOU LIKE SPICY FOOD? Nope.  I have been accused of saying vanilla ice cream is spicy!

  16. WHAT ANNOYS YOU MOST?  Tone of voice.  So easy for people to say stuff “jokingly” but their tone says what they are really feeling.

  17. HAVE YOU BEEN OUT OF YOUR COUNTRY? WHERE DID YOU GO? Yes. Canada and Mexico a couple times.  That’s it.  Someday I would love to see Austrailia and Scotland.

  18. FAVORITE FOOD? Chinese

  19. FIRST JOB? Busboy at a buffet.  HATED IT!  Only restaurant job I ever worked.

  20. HAVE YOU EVER RIDDEN A MOTORCYCLE? Yes, my father and I would go on rides when I was younger.

  21. WHAT TV SHOWS DO YOU WATCH CURRENTLY? Game of Thrones, Criminal Minds, Mr. Mercedes, Face-off

  22. CAN YOU PLAY AN INSTRUMENT? I used to play Alto & Baritone Saxophone in middle school but doubt I would do very well with it now.  I can’t read music anymore that’s for sure!

  23. FAVORITE VACATION SPOT? Sedona, AZ or there’s a cabin rental property in Strawberry, AZ.   

  24. HOW MANY (MORE) KIDS DO YOU WANT? No more thank you… We are a complete family.

  25. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Ugh… I don’t really want to answer this… Fine…  I was named after Derek & The Dominos.  *Shaking my head.

  26. DO YOU KNOW HOW TO SWIM? I can.  Grew up around lakes my whole life.  And now that I live in the desert, I swim in pools on occasion.

  27. DO YOU GET SEASICK? Horribly!  I cannot even play first-person shooter video games due to motion-sickness.  And don’t get me started about the night I went to see Blair Witch in the movies!

  28. ARE YOU MARRIED? Yes, for five years and counting!

  29. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?  Warsaw, Indiana — it’s near Fort Wayne, Indiana.

  30. WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE TOYS AS A CHILD? Stretch Armstrong, Army Men and Hot Wheels

  31. DO YOU HAVE ANY TATTOOS OR PIERCINGS? I have one large Tribal tattoo on my shoulder that has three dragon heads circling a Celtic knot.  It represents my Past, my Present and my Future.

I think that’s enough for this year.  🙂

Hope you got a smile at least out of this silliness.

September & October 2018 Bi-monthly Goals — Derek Barton – 2018

Goal Pic

It’s that time again to hold my production record up to the spotlight and see how I did…

  • Complete the Audiobook for In Four Days.   DONE!  Now available for sale on Amazon & Audible.com for $4.86 (membership pricing)!!
  • Create/organize this year’s 2018 Indie Fantasy Book Giveaway with several other independent authors.  DONE!  I will be sending out another blog on this shortly, but I will be hosting the 2018 Indie Giveaway for the month of September.
  • Add a new page to the site showcasing associates and people I have worked with and what they can do for other writers.  DONE — sort of.  I did a blog shout-out as my show of appreciation for their help and efforts.
  • Find at least two places to do a book-signing appearance.  PARTIAL FAIL.  Got a book-signing with Bookmans in Phoenix for Oct 6th.  Still looking for another location.
  • Schedule one or two more comic-cons or book festivals by the end of the year.  FAIL.  I just don’t have the finances yet for the extra costs to do the comic-cons yet, but this is a major goal of mine to accomplish for next year.  I hope to have at least two or three appearances booked for 2019.
  • Finish editing for Elude #1 & #2.  DONE — sort of… I have finished Elude #1 but Elude #2 is still being worked through.  Elude #1’s editing took a bit longer than I hoped but at least I was still able to get the book produced by the end of August.  🙂
  • Design the book cover for Elude #1 & #2.  DONE!  Very happy with the book cover — decided to just use one cover for all three parts.  Now if I could get a better handle on doing book blurbs.
  • Write the end of Elude #3.  FAIL.  Just too much to get fully written on top of all the editing.
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month.  DONE
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks.  DONE

 

70% GOAL COMPLETION!!!  Highest scoring yet.  I didn’t accomplish 80% to actually consider this a “WIN”, but I feel the two months were still very successful and productive.

  • Complete the editing of Elude #2.
  • Publish Elude #2 by the end of October.
  • Complete the writing for Elude #3 (about 30,000 to 40,000 words).
  • Start my outline for Book #3 for the Wyvernshield Fantasy series.
  • Write up and prepare for writing in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge in November — Book #3 will be my focus for NaNoWriMo! (50,000 word count goal!)
  • Do a book-signing event in Arizona.
  • Craft a video book trailer for Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown.  (Can you say strettcccchhhhh gooooaaalll???)
  • Work up my booth design for comic-cons and book festivals.
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month.
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks.

 

SECOND YEAR BLOG SITE ANNIVERSARY!!! — Derek Barton – 2018

Blog 70 Anniversary

This year has flown — I cannot believe how fast it flew by!

I started this blog in July of 2016 to help promote my new book and to do some writing research as well as experience sharing.  While the climb up the mountain is far from over, I can look back over my shoulder proudly.

Here is a list of writing goals that I have accomplished in the year since my last blog anniversary:

  • Written, edited and published The Bleeding Crown as well as designed the book cover myself!  I am super happy with the outcome of the story and hope to begin outlining the series finale soon.  Expect to see it in 2020!!
  • Written two more novellas like In Four Days.  My upcoming Horror-Suspense series, Elude: Part One and Elude: Part Two will be published by the end of the year.
  • Participated and wrote 50,241 words in the month of November for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge.  That was the first time I  took part in it and plan to this November as well.
  • Wrote and edited every couple of weeks (give or take) a horror web series with my father T.D. Barton called The Hidden.  It has been very fulfilling for the both of us I believe.  He finally gets to see his own writing come to fruition — it only took 30 years!   In the upcoming year, it will be released in full book format.
  • Partnered up with two voice actors for my works — Consequences Within Chaos (which is available now on Audible.com) and In Four Days (which will be released on Audible by the end of the year!)   Really happy with the productions and I have already gotten Laura Richcreek (the actress for CWC) to start on The Bleeding Crown.   Nothing is more thrilling than hearing your words performed.  Not a movie (yet!  heh heh heh) but very close to a play as far as performance.

Blog stats and growth since 2017 and from its start in 2016:

  • 1303 views / 862 visitors since July 2017
  • 1603 views / 659 in 2016 and all together that is 2,906 views / 1,521 people that have read and/or visited my writer’s blog since it was first started in July 2016.
  • This is the 70th Blog Post for the site!
  • 36 followers through WordPress and current email list @ 2,226!!
  • Readers have checked in from 42 different countries around the globe!!!
  • 310 Followers on Twitter, 90 Followers on my Facebook page, 25 Followers/166 Friends on Goodreads.com and now on Instagram 82 Followers! — It’s a small tribe but we are growing!

What’re my goals for the next year?

  1. Book a table at a book festival or comic-con in Arizona.
  2. Find a local bookstore to do a book-signing in Phoenix, Arizona.
  3. Maintain monthly book/audiobook giveaways.
  4. Write another novella, Elude: Part Three.
  5. Finalize and publish The Hidden.
  6. Write a fantasy novella — perhaps in the same world as the novels, but maybe something brand new?!
  7. Get The Bleeding Crown and Elude series on Audible as well!
  8. Do at least one out of state large comic-con like the Amazing Las Vegas Comic-con.
  9. Write at least another 50,000 words in NaNoWriMo Challenge.
  10. Keep on finding new ways to attract readers to this blog and find new stories to entertain you with!!

RECOGNITIONS:

  • Special shout out to Ted Barton — not only my mentor and my toughest critic (lol!), but my biggest inspiration.  Without your own endeavors to push the envelope, I would not have the confidence to reach for my own.  Thank you for all your guidance and love.
  • Thank you to Nesa Miller who has diligently helped me with my work and really shown me ways to improve upon my writing.  You don’t always beat around the bush with how you feel, but your assistance and targeted editing has been a huge boost to my work!  You may not yet have your own Editing Site going yet, but when you do, you’ll be a great success!!
  • My friend and great supporter, Jon Paul Rai, who has worked with me on both of my fantasy novels and has been a strong advocate on his own Youtube Channel, Entertainment Hacker.  Check him out if you are a Star Wars Fan as he has some great material and insight into the storylines and the direction they SHOULD go!
  • Nothing but praise and gratitude to my voice actor partners (Laura Richcreek and Charles Pendleton).  You have brought to life my characters and taken the writing to that next level.  I can never repay you for your time and efforts in that!  Thanks so much.
  • My number one fans and beta-readers, Susanna Willey and Renee York!  You guys have truly made this a blast and your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have absolutely put me on Cloud Nine.  I appreciate all your efforts to spread the word and to get my name out there!
  • Last I would like to thank Susanne Lambdin for her words of advice on marketing and continued support for my own growth as a writer.  Thank you for your partnership and I look forward to the day we can attend another comic-con together!

 

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SUPPORTED, READ AND GIVEN ME ASSISTANCE WITH MY WORK!  It truly honors me any time I hear that someone has enjoyed or been entertained by my work.  There are a million storytellers in all sorts of styles and manner.  I know that for you to pick my writing to spend your own precious time with cannot be taken for granted or wasted.  Each time I think maybe this isn’t what I should be doing with my life or sacrificing my energies on, someone reminds me how it touched their world and it made a difference to them.  As a writer, I cannot ask for anything more.

Here’s to our lives and paths continuing to cross in the future!

Regards, Derek

2018 July & August Bi-Monthly Goals — Derek Barton – 2018

July Goal

It’s time for more goal setting and goal results!

I do want to apologize that I skipped out of sending a post for May & June.  The only goals I had for those two months were to produce The Bleeding Crown and the audiobook for Consequences Within Chaos.  So for those two months, I was successful, but the effort was all-consuming.  I am frankly still worn out!

 

Now for the results of March & April Bi-Monthly goals:

  • Outline new chapters for subplots and additional material – Finish by 2nd week of March  (Success!)
  • Finish writing new subplots/additional material – Finish by 3rd week of March (Success!)
  • Complete 3rd Wave of edits & send out to Beta Readers – Finish by end of March  (Success!)
  • Complete 1st Wave of edits for Elude #1 – Finish by end of April (Not completed in April.)
  • Complete the Cover for The Bleeding Crown – Finish by end of March (Not completed until late May.  Went through over thirty variations!  But the result worked out and I am very happy with the cover.)
  • Get feedback from beta-readers – Finish by end of April (Not completed in April.)
  • Complete the 4th wave and final edit for The Bleeding Crown – Finish by end of April (Not completed in April.)
  • Write a separate blog entry outside of goals and The Hidden Saga — Finish by 2nd week for April (Not accomplished.)
  • Walk 1 mile a day (60 miles for the two months) – Complete for both months (Sadly this didn’t happen either as I donated every minute into getting The Bleeding Crown ready for release.)
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month – Complete for both months (Success!)
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks – Complete for both months (Success!)

So the overall results were not pretty — 50% of the goals my lowest scoring yet — but I am still very happy with my latest novel.  I have taken the time after the book release to recoup some and will be able to jump into the horror/action/thriller.  Already, the work for Elude is going very smoothly.

 

Now for the NEW goals for July & August Bi-Monthly goals:

  • Complete the Audiobook for In Four Days.
  • Create/organize this year’s 2018 Indie Fantasy Book Giveaway with several other independent authors.
  • Add a new page to the site showcasing associates and people I have worked with and what they can do for other writers.
  • Find at least two places to do a book-signing appearance.
  • Schedule one or two more comic-cons or book festivals by the end of the year.
  • Finish editing for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Design the book cover for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Write the end of Elude #3.
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month.
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks.

You may notice that I didn’t include any health or personal goals here.  I am working on finding a better balance with my free time with writing work and health/fitness time.  Plus I have a family that I want to see more of!

In 2016 and 2017, I walked up to 3 or 4 miles nearly every night.  In 2018, I have fallen into a bad pattern of not walking and spending a lot of time on my writing.  But my health has seriously suffered and I am my heaviest weight ever.  I am admitting this because I know that I can and will do better.  For now, I will be posting my writing goals.  Once I have decided what direction I want to take with my health, I will then maybe include those personal/health goals.

It has already been a successful and productive year and I hope to keep it growing.  I hope each of you has also had an amazing year.  Thanks to everyone who has supported me or been a cheerleader — IT IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!!

 

 

 

 

 

2018 March & April Bi-Monthly Goals — Derek Barton – 2018

Capture 15

It is that time again to recap my progress on the Bi-Monthly goals I had for January & February and reveal what I want to accomplish this March & April.

For January & February:

** Complete the 2nd wave of edits for The Bleeding Crown — Finish by 3rd Week of Jan  —  This has been completed, but now I have a ton of writing and adding of material to bolster the manuscript.  I have two people helping me do even more in-depth editing and that is nearing the midway point.

** Start 1st wave of edits for Elude #1 — Begin by the 4th week of Jan — Started and worked up to the third scene.  I will continue this project with more intensity once the editing and additional writing have been completed for Bleeding Crown.

** Work of Cover for The Bleeding Crown — Begin by 2nd week of Jan —  This project took up a lot more time than it should have and I used it as an easy excuse to avoid writing…  The additional chapter material I have left for The Bleeding Crown is complex and will take a lot of plotting and organizing (battles, chase scene, etc!).  So far I have 12 different covers worked up but I am not happy with any of them.  I will be putting up the “favs” so far for a vote on my newsletter for this month.  Please let me know what you think!

** Complete Marketing Campaign for The Bleeding Crown — Finish by the 4th week of Jan — Started but not in earnest as I still have more research on proper marketing techniques to accomplish.  I want to advertise but I need to be sure it is the best use of my marketing budget.  If anyone has suggestions — things that have worked well for them, please comment below!

** Complete story subplot and finalize The Bleeding Crown (25,000+ words) — Begin by 2nd Week of Jan — Wrote only 8,000 words of the 25,000 I need.  This goal will definitely be carried forward and will have to be done PRONTO!

** Finalize work on Marketing Campaign for Consequences Within Chaos Audiobook — Begin by 2nd week of Jan  — The audiobook is still being worked on but the project had a setback due to some unforeseen issues.  No worries, as it is coming along and sounds great, however, I pushed this goal to the backburner until the audiobook is closer to being completed.

** Write a separate blog entry outside of goals and The Hidden Saga — Finish by 2nd Week of Feb — Really happy with this accomplishment and the blog itself has been attracting a lot of attention.  If you missed it:  Essential Elements of Book Covers

** Lose 15 pounds by end of February — Lose 2 pounds a week  — UGH.  I seesawed back and forth with a few pounds both months, but overall not much success.  Damn Burger King and its 2 for $6 offer!!  LOL    I am going to change the goal focus next month.  I want to start with baby steps to ensure that I have some weight loss.  In other words, I am going to make a goal as walking a mile a night for the next 60 days which equals to 60 miles.  I know that sounds like a lot, but last year I was in the habit of walking 3 to 4 miles each night.  Then if that works, the next goal set will add some possible weightlifting or dietary goals.  This should kickstart my weight loss, but we shall see!

** Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month — Completed by Feb 15th — Done and will continue to carry this goal forward.

** Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks — Finished by 4th Week of Feb — Done and will continue to carry this goal forward.  If you are behind, CATCH UP!  Chapter 8, Chapter 9 & Chapter 10 are available…

So… excluding the Audiobook goal, I completed 6 out of 9 (67%) which isn’t horrible and getting closer to “success” (80%).

Now for the next Bi-Monthly goals:

  • Outline new chapters for subplots and additional material – Finish by 2nd week of March
  • Finish writing new subplots/additional material – Finish by 3rd week of March
  • Complete 3rd Wave of edits & send out to Beta Readers – Finish by end of March
  • Complete 1st Wave of edits for Elude #1 – Finish by end of April
  • Complete the Cover for The Bleeding Crown – Finish by end of March
  • Get feedback from beta-readers – Finish by end of April
  • Complete the 4th wave and final edit for The Bleeding Crown – Finish by end of April
  • Write a separate blog entry outside of goals and The Hidden Saga — Finish by 2nd week for April
  • Walk 1 mile a day (60 miles for the two months) – Complete for both months
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month – Complete for both months
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on website every 2 weeks – Complete for both months

Thanks again for everyone’s support and interest in my progress.  I am super thrilled with the storyline for The Bleeding Crown and anxious to hear everyone’s input on it.  And Elude is also an exciting project that I cannot wait to sink my teeth in.

Let me know if you had any suggestions for marketing!  What was your experience with Facebook ads?  Any success with Amazon Ads or did you have a different source for advertising?

 

Capture 14

 

2018 Jan & Feb Bi-Monthly Goals — Derek Barton – 2018

Goal #1

THIS IS MY YEAR!!  (My new mantra!)

 

It is a brand new year with a whole year of opportunity!  I am super excited by what I have planned in store for 2018.  With these bi-monthly goal blogs that I started using this last July, I have really put in a lot of work and accomplished a lot which I will now be able to share with you guys this year.

A quick recap of the year and what I finished up in December:

From July through November —

** Finalize my Chapter Outlines for Bleeding Crown
** Completed my first draft of Bleeding Crown
** Wrote 43,000 words in July
** Completed two large book giveaways (one being my Indie Book Giveaway)
** Obtained over 1500 email subscribers
** Completed a monthly newsletter every month
** Outlined the first three books of the Elude Series
** Created a NaNoWriMo Outline Prep folder
** Completed the first wave of editing for The Bleeding Crown
** Started a 2nd job for extra money for Book Project Saving and monthly income
** Posted 6 chapters of The Hidden, the collaboration I am working with my father

Completed For November & December:

**Complete NaNoWriMo Challenge: 50,000 words — HUGE WIN FOR ME!  This was a fantastic experience and I highly recommend the challenge for any writer out there.  It motivates you and their site provides a ton of information, networking and forums.  Here is their site:  National Novel Writing Month
** Start Round #2 of Editing for The Bleeding Crown
** Create marketing campaign for CWC Audio Book
** Research Arizona Book and Comic cons.
** Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of month
** Keep up The Hidden saga on website every 2 weeks

Now for 2018, I have also decided to not only break down my goals every 2 months, but I am also determining when those goals should be accomplished within the two month period.  This will help me be even more successful and organized, but it will also keep me on track.  I am using an Excel Chart Setup for this and have already broken down goals for the first half of the year on there.

For January & February:

** Complete the 2nd wave of edits for The Bleeding Crown — Finish by 3rd Week of Jan
** Start 1st wave of edits for Elude #1 — Begin by 4th week of Jan
** Work of Cover for The Bleeding Crown — Begin by 2nd week of Jan
** Complete Marketing Campaign for The Bleeding Crown — Finish by 4th week of Jan
** Complete story subplot and finalize The Bleeding Crown (25,000+ words) — Begin by 2nd Week of Jan
** Finalize work on Marketing Campaign for Consequences Within Chaos Audiobook — Begin by 2nd week of Jan
** Write a separate blog entry outside of goals and The Hidden Saga — Finish by 2nd Week of Feb
** Lose 15 pounds by end of February — Lose 2 pounds a week
** Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of month — Completed by Feb 15th
** Keep up The Hidden saga on website every 2 weeks — Finished by 4th Week of Feb

By the end of this year, my hope is to be able to produce for you The Bleeding Crown (sequel to Consequences Within Chaos) by mid-2018, Consequences Within Chaos Audiobook on Audible.com by mid-2018, the first two books of the Elude (horror/action story) by the end of 2018 and the complete work of The Hidden online (and subsequently published in 2019!).

As I said, it is going to be an intense and productive year ahead, but I am so excited to share my worlds and my writing with each of you!  My wish is that for all of you as well to have a great, productive and wonderful new year!

 

Goal #2