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A little about life:
2022 has been a huge year for me, personally. It’s been a year of trying to be healthier (both mentally and physically) and find more balance amidst a lot of busyness and stress. It hasn’t always been perfect, but it was a whole lot better than the previous couple of years. My second son, Parker, was born this spring, and both my sons have been enormous blessings. The time already is flying by, but I’ve loved seeing them grow through their early stages of life.

But between my day job as a high school English teacher, and a hectic life with two kids 2 and under at home, my writing time has gone from something I could fit pretty easily into my schedule, to something I have to be really intentional about. Which is not all bad. Because it’s forced me to be more intentional about my work process.

A little about writing
Despite less time to work with, I managed to publish two books in 2022 for the first time. I had always wanted to release two in a year, and finally made it happen.

It was a lot of work. I don’t have a ton of time, but if I optimize that time, I can still get a lot done. The key, I’ve found, is consistency. Both books were written in short spans of time each and every day. A little in the morning before work. A little during nap times. A little before I go to bed. Most days I wrote about 500 words (about 2 pages) in about an hour of actual writing. This year, I learned a lot about the power of regular work, even if it’s a small amount.

A little about business

I’ve had a lot of people ask over the years how the business is going, and whether I’m making any money, so I thought I’d offer a peek behind the curtain (but feel free to skip if you’re not interested).

Writing/Publishing is a business. For the first three years of publishing, I was very much in the Founding stage of the business. I was investing time and money, and learning how to make it back. Each book costs around $1k to produce, and marketing is difficult to learn at first. But in January, my business officially went in the black, and has only grown from there. This year took me to a new stage of business–Profitability and Growth–which has been incredible.

I made a little over $10k in Net Profits (my pre-tax take home after marketing expenses come out) from my writing this year. In other words, 2022 has taken me from trying to break even to something that helps provide for my family.

Considering this remains a side hustle that I spend around 2 hours a day working on (either writing, editing, or marketing), I’m pretty damn proud of that growth this year! And I definitely wonder how much more I could do with more time in the years to come.

Thanks for an incredible 2022!
I’m especially grateful to all of you readers who have enjoyed my books, shared them with others, and supported my career. The growth and success this year would not be possible without all of you! So thank you, thank you!

2022 has made my dream of becoming a full-time writer something that definitely feels attainable. And that is an incredible feeling.

I’m beyond excited for what 2023 may hold.

Here’s a quick glimpse of what I’ll be working on…

2023 Writing Goals

  • Focus on new words (aiming to get more productive with the same amount of time, and get 700 words a day). Basically be more focused and on-task with the writing time I have. Having a release right at the end of 2022 will make it difficult to publish two books in 2023, but I am aiming to write two books, which is more than I wrote last year.
    • Guild War (Pantheon Online #3) – This will complete the trilogy, and the first arc of a large multi-series story I’ve got planned. This is currently slated for an Oct. 2023 release, though may be earlier if all goes well.
    • Swordslinger (Legend of Saber #1) – This will be the next arc of the Realms of Pantheon, and will have a Logan/Witcher vibe set in a post-apocalyptic LitRPG world. I can’t say too much yet because it could involve some spoilers for Pantheon Online, but I can’t wait to start writing this series.
    • Shadow Watch (Special Illustrated Hardcover Edition) – This will most likely come together as a Kickstarter. I hope to include a bunch of illustrations (probably one for each of the thirteen parts of the book), a brand new cover, and some other bonus material as well (possibly a Tori and Darien origin short story and some commentary). I’ve been mulling this over for awhile, and really want it to happen this year, but I’ve got a lot of details to get ironed out first. Stay tuned, and if you know you’d be interested, or have some ideas for bonus material you want, I’d love to hear about it.
    • Other things in the works
      • The Watcher Chronicles – I’ve teased before that there might be more stories to come in the world of the Shadow Watch. I’ve been simmering on some ideas for a while now, and I think I’ve finally zeroed in on some key details. This is probably at least a year out from actual writing, but I’ll hopefully do some outlining this year.
      • Blade of Fire – This is an epic progression fantasy I’m slowly working on. It’s set in a world where day and night are fixed halves of a world, and I’m pretty excited about it. I wrote the opening fifty pages of this awhile back, but needed to figure a lot more things out about the larger scope of the series (I had a similar pause with the Shadow Watch series in its early days). It’s something I may play with, but probably won’t start actively working on till next year.

2023 Business Goals

  • Start an LLC – There’s a certain level where it makes sense to publish books as an SP (sole proprietor). But I’ve reached a level where I’m told this makes sense. So basically, I’ll be forming my own official publisher.
  • Scale Advertising – As they say, it takes money to make money. I’ve figured out some things that have worked really well, but I’ve struggled to scale them beyond a certain point, and have settled for that certain level of success. My goal is to find ways to scale my ad spending to get my books to even more new readers.
  • TikTok / BookTok – I’ve been hearing a lot of success stories about using BookTok as a means to build readership, and I’m giving it a go this year. Feel free to follow me.

I hope 2022 has treated you and yours well!

Wishing you all the best in 2023!

S.A. Klopfenstein