Where am I going in 2017?


Any realistic writing plans for 2017 are dependent on my health.

My multiple sclerosis has entered a vicious, downward spiral with side issues like pulled tendons and swollen legs aggravating the MS. The consequences are that first, I have to cope with constant pain, sometimes bearable but other times excruciating to the point that all I can do is scream. Second, a combination of medication and lack of sleep at night, from the pain, means that I doze for much of the day, or I struggle to stay awake when I need to do anything crucial.

Excuses over, here are my writing targets for 2017 in achievable order:

I fell asleep here at 17.45, I think [Day 1]

[Day 2] Finally, I’ve got a bit more energy to write.



My debut novel, Spiral of Hooves was published on December 9th, 2013 and was available for eighteen months. My publisher, Spectacle Publishing Media Group was changing hands, so I chose to terminate our agreement, receiving all my rights back.

As I don’t feel that the novel was promoted effectively, which is clear by the friends who ask if I ever finished writing the book, then a second release is needed. Furthermore, there has never been a paperback version, so that will be part of the publishing plan.

The first step, though, is to check the reviews, that I copied off Amazon and Goodreads, for anything that needs revising and reading the novel again myself. The resulting revision will also allow me to check the foreshadowing for the sequel Tortuous Terrain.

Next, I need to identify the publishing route. I had presumed that it would be impossible to find a publisher that handled previously published books. However, I discovered Fahrenheit Press that publishes ‘Crime Fiction’ and are “not too bothered if the books have been published before”. I need to check them out more, so if anyone knows about them, please let me know.

The other option is the self-publishing route, and the choice seems to be between Create Space and Book Baby, although there may be better options that I’m overlooking. All recommendations are gratefully accepted. This route means formatting the novel for both eBook and paperback, a major task and daunting – but worth getting right. There are also financial implications at a time when health care has to be the priority.

And then I need to promote Spiral of Hooves effectively and widely – having prepared a strategy in advance.


16:00 – can I rest now, please?

20:28 – rested and showered so sort of energized.



Photo of a cloud illuminated by sunlight. ~ by Ibrahim Iujaz from Rep. Of Maldives


Storms Compass is the first book in the post-apocalyptic series Gossamer Flames. Books 2 and 3 are partly written already, as I constructed all three around short stories.

One of my critique partners has done an extensive page by page assessment that will be the basis for my final draft. Even though one of my two line-editor friends edited an earlier draft of Storms Compass, I will have made enough substantial changes to run it past the other editor. There are cost implications at this stage as well.

When I have the polished novel, I will attempt to find a publisher – having ensured that I have an excellent synopsis and blurb, that my author profile reflects the ones on social media, and ensured all recommendations for submissions are checked off.

That process could take me into 2018, so I need to be making other plans.



A lot is dependent on (a) the response that I get to the re-release of Spiral of Hooves; (b) my financial situation. If sales are minimal and health care eats away at our savings, I can attempt to finish the re-draft of Fates Maelstrom and doing research for Eagle Crossing.

On the other hand, if both Spiral of Hooves and Storms Compass are well received, I will need to work on their sequels. Is that hopeful thinking?

Have you any advice on this crazy plan, please? Does my strategy make sense?



22 thoughts on “Where am I going in 2017?

  1. First of all, I wish you all the health you can get, Roland. that’s the main part. I really hope you’ll be better soon.

    Second, I think your plan is doable and realistic. Self-publishing is indeed a costly endeavour, which is what is holding me back too. I poured quite a few euro into my own book last March. Worth it, I’m happy I did it, becuase people recognise the professionality of the job, but it’s proving very very hard to gain that money back.
    I initially published my book through Smashwords, which distributes to a lot of main stores, like Kobo and Barnes&Nobles. I then shifted to directly publishing to a few of them for different reasons, but I’m quite happy with how Smashwords works, it’s easy and intuitive.

    Like you, I’m also trying to get my trilogy traditionally published. That’s a completely different trial and I don’t anticipate to start the querying process again. But it has to be done, right?

    Be well, Roland. I mean it.


    • Thanks, Sarah, for your wish for my improved health. Also, your thoughts and experiences of self-publishing are useful. I will look into Smashwords as another route. I realize that whatever route we choose, we still need to pay for at least a line-editor. I think choosing the traditional route for your trilogy makes sense – I wish you all the best with securing one.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with your health & I hope things get easier. Also, many small publishers will take previously published books, even if they don’t have a particularly impressive sales record, because those books have already been professionally edited, so they’re usually easier for a publisher to push forward.


    • Thanks, Dianna, for your wishes on my health. I will explore other small publishers – in fact, as soon as I got the right back, I submitted to one in the UK, but they didn’t take it.


  3. Your plan gives you the control, Roland. That is why I published my first novel back in 2008. It opened the doors for me in ways I’d never imagined. I’m sorry about your pain. I have arthritis in my knees so I have an idea what you’re going through. Working on your plans will help, I’m sure. You have a big year ahead of yourself. I wish you huge success. Never give up, Roland.


  4. Adventure time! Whew! Fun ahead for you. I haven’t heard awesome things about Book Baby, but I have heard some good things about Create Space. Their quality has dropped in the last couple years, but are we surprised? Nope. Best of luck with everything!


    • Adventure time indeed. Thanks for the heads-up on Book Baby, Crystal. I was veering towards Creat Space, although finding the right small publisher was beginning to make more sense, especially with finances committed to health.


  5. I wish you better health and clarity in 2017, Roland. I like to have several projects cooking, most on the back burner turned down to a low simmer. I find this keeps me writing more consistently than if I’m pouring all my creativity and persistence into one project at a time. I’m afraid I have no other advice about your plan, but I wish you the best of luck in your publishing quest.


  6. Self-publishing takes a lot of time, effort, money, and coordination. There’s print formatting which is different from ebook formatting, then there’s the cover design for ebook, which is different from the cover for print, which you can’t complete until you have the print formatting done because you need a page count for the spine. And you can’t do any of the formatting until you’ve gotten all the final edits in place, otherwise you have to redo the formatting because word spacing might change, plus the ebook file is separate from the rich text file you are probably using for writing/formatting. You can pay people to do this for you, and if you don’t have any design experience, you should definitely not do the cover yourself, but that takes money if you want something quality.

    I don’t want to sound like a negative person, but I’ve done it myself. I’ve helped people do it themselves. It is an exhausting process if you want it to look professional, and even then, I’ve redone both of my covers since their initial release.

    For your situation, I’d recommend going with a publisher. Let them take care of the formatting and cover.


  7. I’ve never gone through the process of publishing anything, but your plan sounds good. Perhaps overwhelming and stressful, but good. I hope you are able to accomplish everything you hope to in the new year! 🙂


  8. You sound like you know what you are doing, Roland. You have the experience and a great plan to work with. Good luck with your goals. They seem achievable to me, with your dedication and already achieved manuscripts. I wish you well with your health and I hope you live in a state where health care is affordable!


    • Many thanks, Liesbet. Unfortunately, we moved from a country with ‘free’ health care – the UK – to a state with expensive health care – Idaho. The only distraction is focusing, when I can, on the writing plans. Glad that you feel they are achievable.

      Having visited your website, it was good to see your adventurous spirits. I’m relieved that I traveled when I was healthy, including regularly to Brussels – favorite restaurant was the Spinnekopke [spiderweb?].


      • Close! “Little spider head”. 🙂 I’m glad you got to explore Brussels a bit. Thanks for swinging by my blog.

        My husband has had some major health issues as well and being from Massachusetts (and having a low income) saved us financially. I guess we lucked out. I hope it all works out for you in Idaho, especially in the future…


  9. Pingback: WHERE NOW WITH SPIRAL OF HOOVES? | Writing Wings

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