Last week, on Tuesday, I posted a comment thanking everybody who has supported me with the Thinking Plainly venture as it marked six months since I formed the company. I thought I would use my blog this week to give you a brief summary of what has happened over those six months and what I am looking forward to in the next six.
I had the draft of my first short story ‘The Silent Spaces’ finished in January and making the decision to set the company up was the spur to make sure I got it finished. I deliberately told people about it and explained what I was doing so that I couldn’t back out and quit. While I was rewriting I was drafting notes for further stories and making a semi committed series of deadlines for the rest of the year. So, six months later and I can say that ‘The Silent Spaces’ went online on the 2ndFebruary, ‘Collection One’ went online the 3rd of March and my third short story, ‘My father Loves’ went online the 10th of April. Combined, they have had five hundred downloads.
My latest short story I was hoping to have finished in June but it looks like the end of July now and I’ll explain why. Before the first story went up I was spending all my time writing but once it was online all the practical issues of running a business hit me. My ‘product’ is of course writing but a world has opened up to me of promotion, marketing, sales, reviews, communication strategies, deadlines, accounts and so on, I won’t spend time here going on about all that stuff but to put it simply when you are doing everything yourself time takes on a new importance i.e. you don’t have any. So the amount of time spent writing reduced over the following months, but it was great, I am not complaining, it has been a lot of fun, exciting and I’ve learnt a lot.
Here I want to interrupt myself to give some specific thanks. Dan Li (http://www.danlidesign.co.uk) has been fantastic in designing and developing the Thinking Plainly website and giving me valuable advice and comment on the Thinking Plainly logo and branding. Philip Huxley (http://philipshuxley.blogspot.co.uk) has blown all of my expectations out of the water with his cover art works; he has understood the mood, emotion and feeling of the pieces and has produced images that simply ‘get it’ and mean a lot to me. Thank you both for reacting so quickly to all the changes that have happened and for your hard work. Thank you to the person who the first story was dedicated to for giving me the inspirational kick up the backside to actually get on with it. Thank you to Paul for his faultless checking of the Kindle layout before it went live and you can pay me for the free copies whenever you feel ready. Thank you to Gerard for the early readings, advice and encouragement. Thank you to Donald for the surprise glass of champagne when the first story went live. Thank you to Sally for supporting me at work and being fantastic through some difficult months. And thank you to all of my friends who took the time out to comment on drafts, give advice and critique and importantly, support Thinking Plainly as it progressed. Finally, thanks to my mum for giving me the classic returned manuscript with plenty of red ink splashed all over it, I appreciate you spotting those mistakes! And yes, I’m still not sure if ‘admittingly’ is a real word or not.
Right, enough of all that, what else has happened? Well, those early months has seen the rise of the Thinking Plainly website, Facebook page, Twitter account, Shelfari and Goodreads accounts, YouTube channel, Amazon author page, a handful of story reviews, a LinkedIn account, a Google+ account and a weekly Blog. I think it’s fair to say they keep me busy!
Some stats: The website has had 6500 hits, 330 followers on Twitter, 129 people likes on Facebook from 8 different countries and 5 company page likes, with its reach (from posts and viral comments) reaching 22 countries with a weekly average of around 400 people. The Blog has had 500 page views from 15 countries. Lastly, 32 people and companies have me in their Google+ circles.
I’m really happy with that so far but as more stories go up and six months leads into a year, I hope to spread the word and increase the number of regular visitors, likes and followers. It’s been great fun meeting so many people from different places, a conversation about blogging with a Mexican, a review of my story from a Russian and blatant jealousy on my part on a writers life in Miami has all meant a lot to me and opened my eyes to the possibilities.
So where now? I don’t want to go into too much detail but I can happily say that aside from the next story I am in early development of another nine and will try my best to get at least half of them out by the end of the year. I am looking into using a company that helps self-published authors get their eBooks out to all eReader platforms so I am hopeful that soon my stories will be available on the Nook, Kobo, Sony, GoogleBooks, Apple and others, not forgetting the amazing Kindle where it all started. I’m not sure how it will all work yet but I’ll keep you posted. Also, I am extremely excited to say that I am working with an author to publish their novel through Thinking Plainly but I’ll keep hush on the details for now…but I’ll be shouting about it soon.
As with any venture there is always more marketing to do, more promotion and more work, I’ll be looking to properly connect with reviewers and book bloggers, to increase my presence online, to distribute wider and…well, it goes on and on. Most importantly of all, I’m doing this because I really enjoy writing and I hope that I constantly improve and keep you all entertained.
P.S: Please join me on all my social media pages:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Robert.G.Rankine
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/thinkingplainly
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/+RGRankine
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rgrankine
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/rgrankine
- Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/people/thinkingplainly/
- YouTube 1: https://www.youtube.com/thinkingplainly (Personal Channel)
- YouTube 2: https://www.youtube.com/thinkingplainlyltd (Company Channel)
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thinkingplainly/
- Foursquare: https://foursquare.com/thinkingplainly
And Author Profile Pages to keep informed of the latest releases:
- Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/IqRZK (Click ‘Add to Favourites’ under profile photo)
- Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1CIEjaf (Click ‘Add to Favourites’ under profile photo)
- Nook: http://amzn.to/1CIEjaf
- Google: http://bit.ly/1yyMhQx
- Scribd: http://bit.ly/1xVQlLh
- Apple: Author page not available yet – search R.G Rankine
- Kobo: Author page not available yet – search R.G Rankine