6 Months – An Update.

Hello, July.  Wow – where does the year go?  I’ve always liked to mark things and this mid-point in the year seemed like a good time to check in.  There’s a few things to catch up – WIPs, building a brand, blog, Twitter, so let’s get started!

1.  The point of this blog was always intended a place to capture my thoughts as I moved through starting up a new personality, that of one Ms. Ann Benjamin.  At 89 posts, it’s been an interesting trip.  At the beginning, there was a large part of me that thought my writing deserved an agent (I know, I’m egotistical).  That I should query and be traditional.  That I should get an advance and a marketing team and everything fancy.  However, in the past few months, mostly due to an author’s friends awesome success, I’ve decided, what’s the point?  If an unestablished author can find an audience, sell a respectable amount of books all what most would consider a non-traditional genre, then I have to think there’s hope for me and my work.  While I’ve not 100% ruled out going after an agent, it’s becoming less and less of a possibility.

2.  My timelines are currently completely different than how I thought the year was going to go.  In January, I assumed I would finish Room 702 (I did) and then I would edit it in July (haven’t touched it) and it would be out by October.  Instead, I finally got an idea for a long overdue sequel to the Fates project (currently 46K into what I hope will be a 90K rough draft).  Additionally, I decided it makes a heap more sense to finish out and publish my final YA book.  Editing the YA book (working title, Major Pain) will force me to put the Fates sequel away for awhile, but in order to get Major Pain in shape, I’m willing to make the sacrifice.  As Courtney Brandt, I’ve already got a wonderful audience for my marching stuff, and it seems to make the most sense to reward those who have stuck with me for this long.

3. Building a brand when you don’t have actual content available is difficult.  I expect (hope?) this will change, but building something out of nothing might take awhile.  Given how little I’ve attracted interest to Ann Benjamin, it’s another reason I’m ready to delay releasing any of my books just yet.  As the publishing industry changes and readers become more sophisticated and want more from authors, I don’t feel comfortable publishing until at least three books are written and (nearly) ready to go.  As of now, I have one practically finished final draft, one rough draft, and one WIP.  You can never ‘unpublish’ a book, but you can be patient.  Rushing to publish was a mistake I made the first time around and one I don’t plan on making again.

Pic is related.

4.  Twitter is something I still don’t fully understand.  I have 830 tweets and 66 followers.  My hope is when I release a book about hotels, all the hotels I’m following will RT the hell out of me.  #wishfulthinking

5.  Unexpectedly, I’m getting into the world of travel writing.  While I’ve not been paid, getting to go to fantastic restaurants for free is a way to repay my husband for all the years he’s let me carry on and keep writing.

Where are you in your goals?  Are you on pace?  Or has something changed how you thought this year was going to go?

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