Goodbye 2018 – Hello, New Opportunities in 2019

Colleen’s 2019 Goal Planning

Each year I like to reflect on the highlights from the previous year as I move forward into the new year. 2019 is on the horizon. Are you ready?

On colleenchesebro.com, it was a fabulous year. Here are a few of my accomplishments:

Book Reviews

I read and reviewed 49 books in 2018. I don’t know about you, but that number blew me away! I added each review to Amazon, Goodreads, and many to Bookbub. I can’t tell you how many of the reviews were shared to social media but I know the numbers are staggering.

Check out: Colleen’s 2018 Book Reviews

Today, I would like everyone to gather their thoughts about book reviews. Do you buy a book based on a review from someone’s blog, or do you buy it from an author’s facebook page? Do you find a link on another social media platform which directs you back to their blog post where you end up buying the book?

Please participate in my poll. I want to examine if social media helps us sell books compared to the reviews we post on our blogs.

Book Review Goals for 2019

Starting January 1, 2019, my book reviews will be bi-monthly (only two a month). That is a change from the weekly reviews that I’ve done for the past four years.

As writers, we must also be readers who support other authors in our community. Without reviews, we are lost. The plethora of books for sale on amazon.com is staggering. However, I can’t extol the virtues of writing a review enough.

Be truthful and share what you liked about the book in your review. Remember, these reviews are based on your feelings and viewpoint.

I do not support reviews that tear down another author’s style of writing. We’re all different and our likes and dislikes are subjective. If you dislike a book that much, skip the review. There are nice ways to say you didn’t connect with the writing or the theme.

I once read a review that excoriated the author because they were not someone famous! The reader bought the book in good faith and then proceded to rip the book apart because the writer’s advice was no better than what this person perceived she would have received from a neighbor. They left a one-star review, among the other twenty reviews that rated the same book, four or five stars. I must ask… what good did this review serve?

I’ve spoken to numerous authors who have confirmed that their books sales dropped in 2018. There are multiple reasons for this. Personally, I believe there is a glut of books on the market. I know I’m overwhelmed at the selection.

“I’ll leave you with this question… If you are an author, and if book reviews help to sell books, why aren’t you writing more reviews?”

~Colleen M. Chesebro~

Conversations with Colleen

I started a new author interview feature in the middle of September which has offered a weekly discussion with an author about everything under the sun. This has been a fun way to get to know more about the other authors in our community.

Browse: Conversations with Colleen

Through January and February of 2019, I will continue to host an author each week. Starting in March 2019, Conversations with Colleen will become a monthly feature.

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge

2018 saw the expansion of my weekly poetry challenge (using synonyms only for the two words I suggest), both in the number of participants and in the number of syllabic forms. The acceptable syllabic forms are:

  • Haiku
  • Senryu
  • Tanka
  • Haibun
  • Cinquain
  • Nonet
  • Etheree
  • Shadorma

This challenge is one of my passions. I love the energy from the participating poets and have loved watching us all blossom and grow.

This year, I will compile a PDF of the poems and the poets I selected for recognition as my Poet of the Week. I will make this available to the participants of the challenge for free at the beginning of 2020 as a download from my site.

Check out the Weekly Poetry Challenge Recaps from 2018

I would like to host a Syllabic Poetry Contest this year around June to celebrate our love of poetry with the theme of the Summer Solstice. I will be looking for judges and for poetry book prize donations. Fill out the contact form on the top menu if you are interested. I will update you with more details at a later date.

Last Thoughts

colleenchesebro.com is my author blog. I’ve cut back on some of the features to free up more time for my own writing. I have three books that I’m currently working on, two of which I will publish this year.

This also means that I will be cutting back on my social media time. My greatest desire is to totally delete Facebook because of security issues and time constraints. And, yes… I’m serious. I spend three hours a day, sharing, reading, and commenting on Facebook. That’s time I could use for writing.

Can I survive without Facebook? Would you miss me or my posts? Probably not. There is no way I can read all of the posts that show up in the groups and on the hundreds of author pages I follow. People only read the headlines. How many times have you shared an article without reading it? It makes you think doesn’t it?

Besides the security issues, it might be too late to leave Facebook. They’ve already sold my information. The ads that hover on my wall are scary. They know what I’m writing, buying, and sharing. At least on Twitter, I’m not inundated with ads every other post. Since the November election, I feel like it has gotten worse. I want to leave Facebook. Can I do it? I’ll keep you posted…

Besides being chased by Facebook ads, I do hope to write more articles on my Sisters of the Fey blog, which is co-written with seven other lovely authors. I hope you’ll stop by there more often to say hello.

Thanks for all of your love and support this year. 2019 will become our best year yet!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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