2012 was an exciting year for me in a bookish sense. I read many great books, had a novel published, and became an avid user of social media. I decided to set some bookish goals for 2013 in all of these areas:
Though I’ve been a member of Goodreads for a while, 2012 was the first year I faithfully recorded every book I read. Last year I started 65 books, of which I finished 52 (abandoning 13 due to lack of interest). This year I wanted to challenge myself to finish a few more books.
Bookish Goal #1 Read 64 books (1 each week plus one bonus book each month)
2012 is also the first year I’ve ever taken part in a reading challenge, which was the Australian Women Writers (AWW) Reading and Reviewing Challenge. This made me pay attention, for the first time, to the nationality and gender of the authors whose books I was reading. At the end of the year I made a super-nerdy spreadsheet which included, among other things, the country of origin for each book I read and the author’s gender. I discovered that 90% of my reading is fiction from the USA and that I read twice as many books by male authors as by female. Though I read a lot of great books last year I’d like to read more Australian books as well as reading more widely from the rest of the world, and I’d like to try to balance the sales in terms of gender:
Bookish Goal #2 Read 12 books by Australian women writers and share my reviews with the AWW Challenge community.
Bookish Goal #3 Read one translated book per month. In order to stay on track with this I’ve signed up for the Translation Challenge hosted by Curiosity Killed the Bookworm and I’ll be following reviews on Winston’s Dad which specialises in translated fiction.
2012 was a year of firsts for me, as it is also the first time I took part in a meme, (yes! I’m talking about Top Ten Tuesday) which I stumbled across via Hollie from Music, Books and Tea. Reading the lists each week, I kept seeing the same books appear over and over again, books which I’ve always meant to read and have for various reasons, avoided, or never made time for. Which leads me to my next goal:
Bookish Goal #4 Catch up on some neglected modern/contemporary classics, including:
· We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver
· Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner
· Underworld, by Don DeLillo
· Franny & Zooey by JD Salinger
· The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
· Leaving the Atocha Station, by Ben Lerner
· Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolf
My second novel was published in November 2012. The first print run was of 3000, of which approximately 1500 have sold so far.
Bookish Goal #5 Sell 3000 copies of Whisky Charlie Foxtrot. Yep, I’m shooting for a reprint…halfway there. You can help me reach my goal by buying my book, requesting it at your local library and/or adding it to your to-read list on Goodreads. If you need convincing you can read this review or those on Amazon or Goodreads.
Bookish Goal #6 Publish my third novel, a speculative fiction called The Ark, with an accompanying interactive multi-media website.
Bookish Goal #7 Complete a first draft of my new novel, Ciudad. I have literally just started this novel (only 10,000 words in) and will be busy trying to get The Ark out into the world, but I hope I can still make some steady progress on this one.
I started my blog in 2011 but I only wrote three posts in that entire year! Last year I blogged pretty regularly, but have been disappointed by the lack of response to many of my blog posts:
Bookish Goal #8 Attract more engaged readers to my blog i.e. people who leave comments. I’ve done a lot of reading around this, and followed many of the suggestions I’ve come across, but it doesn’t seem to have made much difference. I welcome more suggestions…in the comments!
Bookish Goal #9 Grow my audience. Last year I created a Facebook page and started Tweeting and I’d love to connect with more readers on those networks. If you haven’t already done so, I’d love to hear from you on Facebook or Twitter.
Bookish Goal #10 Discover and connect with more like-minded readers and bloggers. Through both Top Ten Tuesday and the AWW Challenge I discovered a whole new world of people who love books enough to spend their spare time blogging about them, and I look forward to discovering more in 2013.
Phew! Looking back at this list, it feels a bit overwhelming. But I’m sure I’ll have some fun in the process of working towards these things.
Your turn: What bookish goals have you set for 2013? Is there a book you’ve always wanted to read? A novel you want to start writing? I’d love to hear about it.
The First Ten Books I Plan to Read in 2013
2012: A Year in Writing