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Reflections, Accomplishments, and Regrets

Baby
Newborn baby and stork ushering in the New Year. Saturday Evening Post Illustration (1907) by J. C. Leyendecker. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

So here we are—a New Year—a time when everyone looks back to the prior year but more importantly, everyone looks forward. I’m no different. It’s good to sit back and reflect on what you have accomplished but it’s even more important to stop and think about the strategy and goals for the next year. In other words, build onto your prior accomplishments.

Yooper Publications was able to publish 3 books in 2014: Where Did They Put the Guillotine? —Volumes One and Two and Slippery Slope: The Erosion of Truth and Personal Liberty in America. These were the tangible results. However, there were so many more results that I can’t cover them all in this blog post. The most important result in 2014 was our ability to create a team of professionals who could produce very high quality books. When I hand a copy of any of these books to someone or I know a book has been sold, I’m very proud to have my name on the cover.

Sigh…

I’m sitting back right now and producing a huge sigh of relief at our various 2014 accomplishments. It was like being on a very fast revolving merry-go-round. Each week during the year, I developed an agenda to discuss with the team. There are always at least 10 to 15 separate items to discuss: where we’re at, resources needed, deadlines, conceptual issues, marketing, fulfillment, distribution, digital marketing strategies, and so forth.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about the direction we’ll take in 2015. I looked at the agenda for our first meeting in 2015 and I came to the conclusion that I need to refocus. I was getting so caught up in having the 2 walking tour books in my hand that I forgot about our original strategy. I was about to embark on the distribution and marketing components of selling books when I realized I needed to focus on 2 things in 2015: writing and publishing 3 books and increasing our efforts at building our tribe through digital marketing.

Vision…

My first goal is to have 3 books published in 2015. The first one will be a Kindle version (i.e., e-pub book) entitled, I See Paris, I See France. I See You in Paris, France. It is a book for first time visitors to Paris and will be available by the end of February. The third walking tour book will be published at the end of the first quarter (Where Did They Burn the Last Grandmaster of the Knights Templar? —A Walking Tour of Medieval Paris) and the fourth book, Where Did They Put the Gestapo Headquarters? —A Walking Tour of Nazi Occupied Paris, will be published in December 2015. Getting these 3 projects finished is an achievable goal.

Matematico
Matematico. Photo (2008) by Julia Cordova. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

The second goal is to continue to focus heavily on building our tribe. When I started this project, everyone told me it would take at least 2 years to build our audience through digital marketing. Well, here we sit one year into our game plan and we can’t lose our focus. The original strategy was to publish 4 walking tour books while building our audience in the first 2 years. That strategy remains in place. I started doing other things in 2014 that kind of took my eyes off this. I’m not disappointed as those “other things” were necessary to build our publishing foundation. Now it’s time to refocus.

Oh, and absolutely no regrets whatsoever on anything.

Do we have a lot of stories? Of course we do. I’m looking forward to sharing these with you. Please continue to visit our newsletter and blog. Perhaps you’d like to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on the most recent newsletter and blog posts.

Thanks so much for following my newsletter and blogs as well as my little journey through this incredibly interesting process of writing a series of niche walking tour books based on European historical periods or events.

– Stew

Please note that I do not and will not take compensation from individuals or companies I mention or promote in my blog.

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Copyright © 2015 Stew Ross

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