January: Giveaways, Workshops, & Goals
Planning your year, reading challenges, romance controversy, & FREE STUFF
|Allison Pottern Hoch||Jan 17|
Happy New Year readers & writers!
Here in New England, the start to the year often feels like a new blanket of snow, awaiting ambitious footprints. Everything is fresh and crisp and quiet. There’s a sense of waiting, anticipation. Inevitably, that white snow will be marred by boots and cars and melting soon enough. But in this moment, its expectant. It’s waiting for us, to venture outside into the cold and see the world in a different, crystalline light.
I spent the youngest part of this year not on the computer, for a variety of reasons. I turned back to paper, both for writing and reading, turned to rest and contemplation. Maybe that’s why it feels as if the year hasn’t quite started yet, even as January speeds along, like a snowball rolling down hill, getting larger and heavier as it gathers speed. But the break from screens has caused other parts of my brain to light up: ideas for novel edits, short story ideas, workshop syllabi, marketing plans, etc. A kind of reset that I didn’t know I needed.
Do you need a bit of a reset as you stare down the long, daunting length of the year ahead? Take a breath, take a walk, cook or order yourself a good meal and savor it. Fuss over making your favorite hot (or otherwise) beverage. Journal or read a good, inspiring book. Then set your sights on the next big thing.
Some people find it helpful to set goals at this time of year. If that’s you, take a look at my post Mapping Out Your Writing Life. I’m a firm believer in making plans that work for you, ones that are achievable and feasible. In the podcast, Writing Excuses, their first episode of the new year discusses career paths and how it’s important to have a flexible and branching vision of what you want that can be adapted to the capriciousness of publishing. Where do you see your writing, reading, and/or marketing ambitions taking you this year? Manifest those big dreams and beautiful mistakes and share your ideas in my discussion thread about 2020 plans.
Me? I want to help you. That’s why I’ll be offering more giveaways, starting this month, when I’ll be giving away a free marketing or query consult to two (2) lucky subscribers. Read on down to the bottom for more details. I’ll also continue to write about more topics that are important to you, teach workshops (check out my ones in February, they’re filling fast!), and connect with more creatives (like you!).
The light is changing as the world tilts away from one solstice and towards another. Your ideas may shift and change, as the light hits them differently. Embrace the new perspective! If there’s anything I’ve learned about this art and this industry, it’s that being open to change means being open to opportunity.
Upcoming Seminars: 2020!
*indicates registration required
February 1st: Part of Your World: Character-Based Worldbuilding in YA*
February 6th: Speculative Fiction Variety Hour (The Writer’s Loft)
Not available these dates? Connect with me for one-on-one coaching that fits your schedule!
Writing/Marketing Resources: 2020 Goals Edition!
Mapping Out Your Writing Life is my quick-guide to setting reasonable and reachable goals, as a writer, marketer, and person.
How to Create a Pre-Marketing Plan for Your Writing Life by Leigh Schulman identifies concrete steps you can take to begin authentically marketing yourself.
Bonus: Leigh’s book, The Writer’s Roadmap: Paving the Way to Your Ideal Writing Life is an excellent, accessible resource for getting your creative life on track. And it’s on sale for part of this month!
Book Riot’s 2020 Read Harder challenge will “help you break out of your reading bubble and expand your worldview through books.”
Daily Kos’s 2020 Reading Challenge: 52 book by Women of Color in 52 Weeks highlights upcoming titles by WOC so we can “read more broadly; let’s try inhabiting one another’s wildly varied, entirely human points of view.”
City Book Review’s round-up of Writers Conferences in 2020 and The Write Life’s round-up of 46 Incredible Writing Retreats to Attend in 2020 can help you start plotting out your networking (and travel) goals.
Calls for Submissions in 2020 (curated by author Erica Verillo) along with Poets & Writers, The Writer Mag, New Pages, and Almond Press are robust resources for tackling submission and contests/grant opportunities in the new year.
Romance Writers of America (RWA) has practically imploded over the last month, with accusations of discriminatory practices causing many members at all levels to cancel membership, publishers to pull out of sponsorships, the cancellation of the 2020 RITA awards, and the resignation of both RWA’s president and executive director. For a detailed timeline, check out author Claire Ryan’s blow-by-blow coverage.
Looking for an alternative to Amazon? Book and web publisher, Andy Hunter, (cofounder of Literary Hub and Catapult, among others), hopes his new website, Bookshop, will offer a way for indie bookstores to sell books more robustly online. The site will also give the book ecosystem an independent alternative for affiliate links and online revenue. Bookshop is slated to go live in early 2020.
Can’t wait for Bookshop to launch? Audiobook seller Libro.fm, which partners with indie bookstores in audiobook sales, just launched the site Bookstore Link, which connects readers seeking specific titles to their local indie’s website where they can purchase the book, presenting yet another affiliate link option.
In 2019, one of my greatest dreams was fulfilled — and no, it wasn’t writing related. My “dislikes all hot beverages” husband became an engaged tea drinker. His gateway beverage? Yogi’s Egyptian Licorice tea. While not for everyone, this sweet and spicy tisane can be a comforting dessert tea. Personally, I prefer it blended, as in MEM Tea’s Licorice Blend, where rooibos helps balance the sweet licorice and winter spices.
Like what you’ve read so far and want more, plus free stuff? Subscribe to Books, Marketing, and More by Friday, January 24th to enter a giveaway for one of two (2) FREE 30-minute marketing or query consult! We can talk events, marketing, query letters, agents, tea, whatever will help you envision your marketing and writing goals right now.
Let me know about upcoming events, marketing campaigns, and projects so I can help signal boost!
Allison has happily made books her life’s work. She spent four years marketing and publicizing academic titles at The MIT Press before she went to work for Wellesley Books as a children’s bookseller and event coordinator. She is now living her dream: putting her B.A. in Creative Writing to good use as a novelist and as a writing/marketing coach for authors. She enjoys science fiction, cupcakes, and a hot cup of tea.