Jan 01 2013

2013 Resolutions and 2012 Summary

Published by at 12:02 am under Superhero Nation,Writing Articles

My 2012 resolutions were:

  • Increase SN site traffic from 600 hits per day to 900 (50% growth). We averaged 960 (60% growth). Thanks for your help! We had 350,000 hits this year.
  • Get in the top 2 results on Google searches for list of superpowers and superpower listThis is hard to measure, because Google personalizes search results, but on this computer I haven’t previously used for SN, SN ranks #3 on list of superpowers and #4 on superpower list. I was previously #6 and #7.
  • Get publishedLearning to Write Superhero Stories is out! It sold enough copies to clear its advance in its first month, which was definitely a pleasant surprise.

 

My 2013 resolutions:

  • Increase site traffic from 350,000 hits to 500,000 (47% growth). If you happen to know any writers or frequent any other writing websites, please feel free to recommend SN articles whenever helpful. SN fans on National Novel Writing Month forums and TV Tropes were our MVPs this year. Thanks, guys!
  • Generate $2500 in royalties on my first book this year.  That’d be about 850 sales.
  • Generate $5 $15 million in total sales with writing. Typical book sale: $5-10. Most recent nuclear reactor sale: north of $1 million. Clearly, I went into the wrong hobby. 😉
  • Get 25 Amazon ratings for my book this year. If you’ve read my book, I’d really appreciate if you would take 3-5 minutes to rate it on Amazon. Ratings and reviews play a huge role in Amazon sales.
  • Publish another book (of Pixar movie reviews) in 2013. I’ll probably self-publish this time.  In addition, I’m preparing for a superhero writing guidebook (rather than movie reviews) in 2014.
  • Get a dog! The first name that came to mind was “Chompy,” so I might need some help there.
  • Pray Aaron Rodgers gives up those Wisconsin hippies for Chicago. Or AT LEAST BEAT THE VIKINGS SO WE MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. I’m not looking forward to recapping this point next year.

26 responses so far

26 Responses to “2013 Resolutions and 2012 Summary”

  1. Jared O'Brienon 01 Jan 2013 at 3:24 am

    Congratulations on achieving the holy grail of getting a published book out there! It was a brilliant read.

  2. FVE-Manon 01 Jan 2013 at 5:16 am

    Congrats on your accomplishments! You’ve earned them.

    Right now, my main 2013 resolution is to complete a draft of another book I’ve been planning for years (probably 60,000-80,000 words). If I get even half the draft done, I’ll be happy. My other goal is to haul the draft I finished in 2012 out of limbo, which will mainly involve getting heavy feedback and coming to a decision on my plans for publication.

  3. acharaon 01 Jan 2013 at 5:44 am

    Congrats!!!
    For what it’s worth, we got a brand new computer recently and I googled ‘superpower list’ before the search engine became personalized. Guess who was number one? 😉
    I think this year, I shall:
    1) Get a new dog! I think Chompy’s a cool name, but dog names ending in Y can be difficult to adjust to.
    2) Finish at least ONE of my unfinished novels.
    3) Possibly get published with one of my finished novels.
    4) Boost my grades in languages, especially Gaeilge.

  4. Kirbyon 01 Jan 2013 at 8:18 am

    That seems like a reasonable set of goals. We’ll try and help as much as we can with spreading the word about this site! (Aaron, please, come here! Our pizza is so much better, anyway…)

  5. B. McKenzieon 01 Jan 2013 at 10:02 am

    “Congratulations on achieving the holy grail of getting a published book out there! It was a brilliant read.” Thanks, Jared! If you would rate the book on Amazon, I would really appreciate that. Speaking of which, Amazon ratings are so important to book sales that I’ll add a resolution on that. I’m hoping for 25 Amazon ratings this year.



    “Right now, my main 2013 resolution is to complete a draft of another book I’ve been planning for years (probably 60,000-80,000 words). If I get even half the draft done, I’ll be happy.” FVE-Man, one thing I REALLY like about National Novel Writing Month is that it helps writers temporarily put aside their perfectionist impulses, which makes it much easier to finish a (not very good) draft which can later be rewritten and polished to the point of publication.



    “For what it’s worth, we got a brand new computer recently and I googled ‘superpower list’ before the search engine became personalized. Guess who was number one?” That is awesome! I have no idea how my website beat Wikipedia’s list of superpowers–Wikipedia tends to dominate informational searches on Google.



    “Boost my grades in languages, especially Gaeilge.” I sympathize immensely. First, my grades in English courses were never very good (I had terrible issues with length and organization). Even if I had actually been Irish, Gaeilge would surely have kicked my ass. At Notre Dame, I had an Irish literature course conducted in English, and even the English translations of the texts were impossibly hard for me to understand. We had questions along the lines of “Discuss the thematic significance of any three of the following characters: Éogan mac Durthacht, Fedlimid mac Daill, Fergus mac Leti, Findchóem Folloman mac Conchobair, Furbaide Ferbend, Láeg Lóegaire Búadach…” Well, not those characters in particular, but those are all characters from the Ulster Cycle.



    “(Aaron, please, come here! Our pizza is so much better, anyway…)” Rodgers, winning in Green Bay only proves you can win with a good offensive line, great receiving corps, a great coaching staff, and one of the league’s best front offices. Chicago won’t burden your legacy with any of that! If you ever want an opportunity for setting the record for most sacks taken in Super Bowl victory and then have our general manager or coach insinuate that he dragged you kicking and screaming into the Promised Land, Chicago is your kind of town.

  6. Jaredon 01 Jan 2013 at 3:17 pm

    “If you would rate the book on Amazon, I would really appreciate that.”

    Will do! For what it’s worth here are some of my resolutions for 2013.

    1) Stop being a perfectionist and just get my first draft done.

    2) Have my writing critiqued, criticised and generally dissected so much that I want to cry. Then go and make it far better. Leading to the next point…

    3) Send a manuscript of publishable quality to publishers / agents. There aren’t a huge number in Australia so I may well look to UK/US publishers too.

    4) Read voraciously. Treat books as though they are brains and I am a very hungry Zombie.

    5) Watch the new Star Trek film at least four times.

  7. B. McKenzieon 01 Jan 2013 at 3:31 pm

    “2) Have my writing critiqued, criticised and generally dissected so much that I want to cry. Then go and make it far better…” If you need a reviewer, let me know. (Among other things, I can offer tips on U.S. localization).

  8. Jaredon 01 Jan 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks so much for the offer. What would be the best way to get a sample of my writing to you?

  9. Anonymouson 01 Jan 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Jared, you are officially awesome. Star Trek rules. Also, reading more is my resolution too.

  10. B. McKenzieon 01 Jan 2013 at 5:55 pm

    The easiest way to reach me is superheronation-at-gmail-dot-com. I also have a contact form here.

  11. FVE-Manon 02 Jan 2013 at 4:09 am

    “FVE-Man, one thing I REALLY like about National Novel Writing Month is that it helps writers temporarily put aside their perfectionist impulses, which makes it much easier to finish a (not very good) draft which can later be rewritten and polished to the point of publication.”

    I considered entering NaNoWriMo last year, but I had too much else going on at the time. And yes, the perfectionist in me was convinced that I would need to get the overall plot professionally-approved before I began writing. But I’ll throw that notion to the wind, and make every month November.

    Jared, I have the same concerns about the lack of Australian publishers, especially since the premises of my stories are likely more absurd than traditional publishers are used to. My best bet may be to either try building an audience online, or searching for foreign publishers that specialise in bizarre fiction.

  12. writingninjaon 02 Jan 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Congrats on a productive 2012! I think getting a dog is a wonderful resolution. It can become the website’s mascot. Captain Chompy to the rescue!

    I like doing yearly themes instead of resolutions. This year, it’s “Be Assertive”. I moved to a new college and now I am experiencing culture shock. T_T

    Aside from the normal do well in my classes and in life, I really want to finish my book so it can reviewed by others. I didn’t think I would pick it up again because I was really sick of it. But during Nanowrimo, I rewrote it.

  13. Dr. Vo Spaderon 02 Jan 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Congrats on the SN increase! Your book selling enough within the first month is encouraging – Writers. Writers everywhere.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see your 850 sales. And to the dog…nice. I’m a fan of the, uh *ahem* wittle bitty wuns. Chihuahuas in particular. 🙂

  14. B. McKenzieon 02 Jan 2013 at 10:54 pm

    “I moved to a new college and now I am experiencing culture shock.” I transferred from Illinois to Notre Dame and had similar issues. It was very hard to find people with similar interests at ND. (Many bros, few geeks).

  15. B. McKenzieon 02 Jan 2013 at 11:06 pm

    “I’m a fan of the, uh *ahem* wittle bitty wuns. Chihuahuas in particular.” According to Agent Orange, owning a chihuahua is a sign that you enjoy the company of small and useless mammals, and will scare off friends that now believe you think of them as small and useless. Fortunately, you can easily fix this issue by replacing your chihuahua with a cuddly killing machine smalligator.

  16. writingninjaon 03 Jan 2013 at 9:19 am

    “I transferred from Illinois to Notre Dame and had similar issues. It was very hard to find people with similar interests at ND.”

    I feel for you. I came from a community college in VA and transferred to BYU. I’m starting to think “geek” to them means Disney movies, Books, Twilight, Skyrim, and movies based on books.
    The internet has saved me.

  17. B. McKenzieon 03 Jan 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I’ve heard some interesting BYU/LDS stories. I would guess that BYU is a very, umm, different cultural environment than most colleges in Virginia. Pretty much anyone who ever complained about parietals* at Notre Dame would have burst into flames at BYU.

    *A policy prohibiting members of the opposite sex from being in your dormitory after a certain hour. (At Notre Dame, I think it inspired more griping than actual discontent).



    On the plus side, BYU probably has fewer bros than Notre Dame.

  18. writingninjaon 03 Jan 2013 at 8:06 pm

    LOL That’s the truth.

  19. Nayanon 05 Jan 2013 at 5:28 am

    ”Generate $2500 in royalties on my first book this year. That’d be about 850 sales.”

    That means you get 50% in royalties. Wow. You are quite good in negotiating deals.

  20. Maxon 05 Jan 2013 at 6:52 am

    remember to name your dog after it’s personality, not its powers

  21. B. McKenzieon 05 Jan 2013 at 11:22 am

    “That means you get 50% in royalties. Wow. You are quite good in negotiating deals.” Thanks, but it wasn’t me. This publisher generally offers an unusually high royalty rate and an okay advance in exchange for relatively little assistance (e.g. sales/promotions/marketing, editorial, etc) and no paper printing. At most professional publishers (which have to cover the cost of large editorial, marketing, sales and printing departments), royalties are closer to 10%.



    “Remember to name your dog after its personality, not its powers.” Great advice! I’m hoping it grows up to be chompy, which I think is as much a mindset as a capability. 🙂

  22. Matton 14 Jan 2013 at 6:44 am

    Question: What does it take to get published, specifically a comic book? Also, Is there a specific reason that there are different shapes and sizes to panels in a comic book and what is the purpose of each shape? i.e. there are square panels, vertical, rectangular strips, Horizontal, rectangular strips and full page illustrations. So what is the difference? Also, congrats on all the accomplishments! This is a great site and I’m glad I stumbled into it!

  23. B. McKenzieon 14 Jan 2013 at 7:54 am

    The particulars vary, but the general idea is that to get published, your script needs to be one of the top 1% or 2% of the submissions the publisher has received that year. To get there, I’d say it’s mainly an issue of great characters and an interesting premise/plot.

    “Is there a specific reason that there are different shapes and sizes to panels…” The overarching goal of paneling is to tell your story as effectively as possible with your VERY limited space. For example, you can probably do a dialogue shot in less space than you’d need for most action shots. In the very limited cases where you’d use a full-page panel (a splash page), it’s taking a considerable portion of your story, so the visual better be really interesting and advance the story in some significant way. As for horizontal strips vs. vertical strips… it depends on which one would be more helpful for showing the visual in question (e.g. you might use a tall-and-short column to show Godzilla or a skyscraper, whereas an army of zombies might call for a wide-and-short row).

  24. Matton 18 Jan 2013 at 3:25 am

    Thank you for the speedy answer! I see.

    Oh, so there isn’t a specific design or purpose in mind with the different panels, unless the artists decide on one? Thanks for clearing that up for me!

  25. B. McKenzieon 18 Jan 2013 at 6:24 am

    “So there isn’t a specific design or purpose in mind with the different panels, unless the artists decide on one?” Hmm. I’m not sure I understand. Normally, the script gives directions on how the page should be paneled (e.g. “wide panel”, how many panels there are, etc), so generally the design outline comes from the writer rather than the penciler*. However, if the penciler wanted to try something different to convey the information on the page, personally I’d almost always defer to him/her.

    As for the purpose in mind–what you’re trying to accomplish with a given panel–that almost always comes from the writer/script–e.g. if you need to show that X and Y subtly hate each other and Y’s gun because it’s plot-relevant next issue, that HAS to come from the writer because the artist(s) can’t guess that.

    *Main exception: The Marvel Method.

  26. Matton 19 Jan 2013 at 1:08 am

    Got it! Thanks!

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