#SATurday Author Goals

#SATurday Author Goals

About a week ago, my publisher—Clean Teen Publishing—went to Book Expo of America (#BEA15) to share our novels with the world. Awesome, right? I almost jumped out of my computer chair at the sight (and I rarely leave that chair, considering I’m a writer ::wink::) After that, I basically stalked their LIVE pictures all afternoon and wished I were there . . . which brings me to what I want to talk about.

Author goals.

Everyone discusses word count for the day or hopeful release dates. Sometimes, I even see a confession of wanting to hit the New York Times bestseller list, of dreaming up a day that their novel is a movie, but I haven’t seen a lot of variety in author goals. Main one? Get popular. It’s generally worded differently, of course, but that’s what I generally see, and I want to take a moment to clarify how much I don’t think that’s wrong. (I don’t.) I just wish I saw different types of goals discussed. I don’t know about you all, but I wonder about my author goals a lot. I know I want to be able to travel more. In fact, by next summer, I hope I am packing up and hitting the road with boxes of books in my truck (or on a plane or train or whatever I’m on). I have a set goal for UtopYA, but I also would like to make it to more events than one. That’s currently my biggest goal. (And that specific goal gets bigger for me.)

Here is Clean Teen Publishing at BEA15!
Here is Clean Teen Publishing at BEA15!

Why do I want to travel as an author more?

Well, I mainly want to have the opportunity to meet more readers face to face. I want to shake their hand, hug them, take an Instagram photo with them, sign their book, give them a cookie, etc. Anything really. This is about to get crazy, and it’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I think one of my biggest dreams is traveling as an author but always meeting a random reader (out of a lottery of readers in that city) for coffee. This means that if I meet my goal of traveling more by next summer, you should look out, because I am going to meet SOMEONE for coffee. That is a promise.

This is a goal of mine, and it might seem silly or outlandish or that I’m dreaming too wildly, but traveling is in my bones. I grew up on the road. I travel anyway. I just want to incorporate that part of my life into my writing life, and I want to take it as an opportunity to thank those who have supported me along the road of life. (See what I did there? God, I love cheesy metaphors.)

Sure, a lot of authors want to hit those bestseller lists or have movies made out of their books, but I don’t think those are on my goals. (Not that I’d complain if it happened.) But I think most of my goals revolve around giving out more gifts to readers and meeting more readers (and meeting more writers). I dream of flying to Australia to meet one of my super fans who’s begged me to come out there. I dream of flying my readers out to a major Comic Con they’ve been wanting to go to. I dream of involving readers in my writing process. (And in fact, I think a beta reading opportunity might be coming up soon, so look out for that.) I dream of meeting them, and I think it’s because I am a reader—just as much as I am a writer—and meeting my favorite authors are some of the highlights of my life. Traveling more might help that happen!

This isn’t a promise or manifesto by any means. I’m just a girl with a dream, trying to make it happen every day, and talking about it out of curiosity more than anything else (and a tad bit of embarrassment ::blush::).

My other author goals include sitting on a panel at a literary festival, attending a Comic Con as an author, collaborating on a novel (specifically like Holly Black did with Cassandra Clare, when your characters appear in one another’s novels but don’t’ necessarily affect the story, not the actual collaboration novel they did), teaching a writer seminar for young writers, and seeing a book translated into another language. (The other language dream stems from the fact that I love languages, and I have a deep appreciate for language, especially after studying Italian in college at a fluent level.) And . . . I probably have so many more but those are the ones that came to mind today.

What are your author goals? And if you’re not a writer, what are your reading goals? (For instance, I want to meet Meg Cabot and Ally Carter. I want to meet them SO bad.) Let’s talk about your goals!


We’re coming up on one year since Take Me Tomorrow released, but this YA dystopian novel was only available for a few months. Recently, I’ve received a lot of messages about how to get ahold of a copy, and now you can!

By donating to www.ShannonAThompson.com, you will receive an eBook as well as a permanent website slot on the donations page. All the proceeds will go toward book events later this year and next year, so we can finally meet in person. (Think UtopYA.) Once you donate, you can expect an email from shannonathompson@aol.com within 24 hours!

Thank you for your continuous support,

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22 thoughts on “#SATurday Author Goals

  1. I would LOVE to go to Comic Con as an author and sit on the panel for something! I taught fifth grade writing and science this past year and got a taste of teaching creative writing, though not nearly enough, and would love to do a mini-seminar or camp or something along those lines.

    One of my biggest goals is to just be able to go on a trip, probably related to a book signing. Take my daughter and go to Europe or even just to New York State or something that is currently so far out of my ability and price range. We little Southern girls tend to stick to our places. I want to see the world with my characters, and I want some little Irish girl (or boy, I’m not picky) to look at me with wide eyed wonder and ask me about my dragons.

    I want to get an agent or find a publisher and get the ball rolling on at least one of my multiple projects. Eventually I want to take The Stone Dragon Saga from Indie title through CreateSpace to traditionally published, just so students can read and take AR tests over them. I also have a children’s series I want to see used as leveled readers for k-2 science/social studies/reading (integrated lessons) and for that I need a traditional publisher.

    I’m going to re-review and revise the YA fantasy books (Dragons) this summer, hopefully culminating in hiring a professional editor and getting a couple of new beta readers before getting a book trailer made. Even if I can’t get them moved over to traditional pub, I can do right by them where they are.

    Finally, and this is my current biggest goal as a writer in general, I want to find a writing retreat/seminar etc and attend this summer. So far, the few I’ve found are either totally out of my range or over days I already have things scheduled. But hopefully that will change and I will find something to attend.

    Great post!

  2. Those are some awesome goals! Thanks for the hidden easter egg 😉

    I would love to go to conventions such as BookCon, BEA, YAll West, Geeky Con, VidCon, etc, and/or the London equivalents. I don’t think Australia has any equivalents but if so, I’ll I’d love to go to those.

    I would also love to meet some (all) of my favourite authors! (Including you – I would love to have a hot chocolate with you ^_^)

  3. Let me just say that, if I were to be a writer I’d be having those same exact goals, because let’s face it, being a NYT bestselling author comes from the readers, they have the power to make you become a bestselling author, no one else. What you said, is not in the least embarrassing. I totally love the way you see things !

    Now, my reader goals – cause I did right about enough dreaming earlier,- don’t differ that much – except the bestselling part. I would so love to meet some of my favorite authors – yourself included -, get to know them a little bit more ( why not, I mean, that is possible, right ?! ). As far for the events, we have some equivalents here in Romania as well – Bookfest is one of the biggest events here, but there are others as well of course. I’d give anything to have you in my country. 🙂

  4. I like that traveling goal. Very unique since I’ve heard several authors complain about having to do the traveling peddler shtick. I actually do weekly goals that fall into that first grouping of yours, but have become more vague over the months. ‘Write more of this book’ and ‘do not forget to eat lunch’ are pretty common.

    The ‘big’ goals don’t come up that often or people seem to not realize what I’m saying. One is to simply entertain people who read my book and give them a little escape into a fun adventure. Another is to craft characters that people remember and will send messages to say they enjoyed ‘so-and-so’. Those come up from time to time and people get that. It’s the third, long-term one that throws people off.

    As a fantasy author, one of my biggest (if not THE biggest) goal is to create a large, vivid world that will last longer than I do. I want my books to create such an immersive tapestry that I can open Windemere up to starting authors. Basically, have enough information out there for people to create their own hero and adventure in the world. This can help new authors get a foothold on their career and possibly even help them figure out some things for their own world. Kind of like the old Forgotten Realms books that took place in the same world, but every book had a different author with his/her characters. The only thing is that I’m not sure how to stop people from blowing things up. Again, it’s a strange goal that I have trouble explaining at times.

    1. You know, I’ve seen a few complaints about traveling here and there too, and it amazes me. How could you not want to meet your readers face to face and see the world at the same time? I’m with you on ‘do not forget to eat lunch.’ Oh! I like that idea of all the books being in the same world but by different authors. It’s like fan fiction (taking your world) but not like fan fiction (creating their own characters and story lines). It’d be the ultimate way of bringing readers into your work. Very neat!

      1. Probably depends on the person. They may like to meet readers face to face, but being in a car or on the road for a long time might not be seen as a good thing. I know I’d go stir crazy after a few hours.

        Fan fiction is definitely a way to look at it. Like I said, there are a few fictional worlds that utilize this to some extent. I haven’t seen anything recent though.

  5. As a writer my main goal is just to write something that people enjoy and something that I’m proud of!
    As a reader I would love to go to Comic Con and BEA one day (two things I have promised myself I will do).
    Oh and PS. If you’re ever in Louisiana, I’ll meet you for coffee! xD

  6. It just so happens that World Science Fiction is coming to my city this August. So I will be there, volunteer, appear on panels, host an open reading, and generally make myself known to all those higher-up authors and editors.

  7. I think you’ve shown a great deal of maturity in setting goals that relate to getting to know your audience. The publishing industry is so capricious that it’s best to think about things you can control.
    I currently have two writing goals: continue developing my writing so that my blog will have quality content, and finish the first draft of my first novel. The day I can write the last word of that first draft will be a special one.

    1. I know! It’s crazy. In regards to continuing Take Me Tomorrow, I am waiting until The Timely Death Trilogy releases to reevaluate where all of my other works stand. But I promise to return to The Tomo Trilogy soon. So far, my goal is to re-release November Snow first and then return to Take Me Tomorrow, Take Me Yesterday, and Take Me Now, but I will keep everyone updated as I learn more.

  8. I’m a new author, but the ultimate goal’s always been to engage with the people who read my books, having the classic intimate library scene and then sitting down for coffee and a chat 🙂 Having books translated is also a dream since English is not my first language. Great post! Had me thinking of penciling down those goals 🙂

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