New year, new resolutions: 2019

Hey, is 2018 already finished? This time the year passed quickly, perhaps because I was much more busy with projects that have engaged me for several months. And maybe also because I had more fun, especially in the second half.
And so, given that the year is coming to an end, the time has come for my traditional report of the past twelve months.

Let’s start as usual with listing which resolutions of the past year I managed to complete:
- I managed to write and publish (30 November) the Italian book “Sirius. In caduta libera” (Sirius. Free Falling), the fourth part in the Aurora Saga, which is also my thirteenth published book. The work on this novel took me more time than the previous ones, mainly because I had only a few notes put aside and I had to plot it almost completely just before starting the first draft (in mid-February). It was my hardest book to write so far, but it’s also one of those I’m most satisfied with. I managed to unite all the threads of the previous parts of the saga and add the missing link in its story. It is a hard science fiction novel that also represents my tribute to astronautics, a topic that has always fascinated me, as it narrates a story that takes place largely in the Earth orbit, although in a not very near future (in about a century);
- I finished my own English translation of “The Mentor” within the first months of the year, just like I had decided. This new translation, which is already revised, will stay in my computer for the moment. I wanted to start at least the translation of the second book in the Detective Eric Shaw Trilogy, but there was no time to do it. Anyway, I am happy with this result;
- I read longer books and above all I read almost exclusively books that I liked a lot. I have no idea how many, but the number does not matter. The important thing is to have read every day something that amused me, maybe taught me something, and in particular that made me feel good. Because the purpose of reading for me is just this: make me feel good. Therefore it makes no sense to make challenges about pages or books read. They are all nonsense.

A resolution is missing from this list. In fact, those listed at the end of last year were four. I have not finished writing the book on self-publishing that I started in 2017. I didn’t actually resumed writing it, because my time and commitment were redirected to more urgent matters.

What else did I do in 2018?
I translated into Italian another book by Richard J. Galloway, “Saranythia Part 2 - The Varton”, which will soon be released in Italy (I gave him the final translation a few days ago). This is the sequel to “Saranythia Part 1 - The Gates of Setergard”, released in autumn 2017 and in which the protagonists of his previous novel “Amantarra” (released in Italian in 2013) return. The Italian translations of these two books were also made by me.

In October I participated in the event “Segni e voci altri mondi” (Signs and voices of other worlds), which was held at the headquarters of ALTEC in Turin (where half of the ISS was built). I’ll soon publish a report of my participation on this blog (stay tuned).

At the beginning of December, moreover, I also conducted a lecture about Mars (together with two of the Italian scientists who recently discovered a liquid water underground lake on the Red Planet) and I taught my self-publishing class at the University of Insubria in Varese . I’ll also post a report of this experience very soon.
Without considering the duration of my stay away from home, this commitment has taken away much time in the previous months so that I could prepare for it.

I also attended eight MOOCs (mass online open courses), among which the most interesting ones were The Science of Nuclear Energy and The Science Behind Forensic Science. The latter is very well done, as it shows with videos the work of the forensic scientist from their point of view both in the field and laboratory.

Finally, from May on, I started to take more care of the advertising of my books on Facebook, in particular those of the Aurora Saga in Italian. With a view to the release of the fourth book in the series, I decided to concentrate my efforts so as to obtain the best possible result.
And I must say that I succeeded.
I learned to make better use of the paid tools provided by Facebook and at the same time I increased the effectiveness of the free ones in getting a better organic results for my posts. This resulted in a noticeable increase in engagement on my Facebook page and in an evident positive effect on my books’ sales.

I could not do anything else (not that all this is not enough), because the writing from scratch, the revision and publication of “Sirius. In caduta libera” absorbed me practically starting from mid-February (I finished the first draft including 114 thousand words at the end of June) until the release date of the book, leaving little time and especially little energy to use in other projects, also because at the same time I found myself translating a book and preparing a course and a lecture.
On the other hand, I had decided not to cause more stress to myself than what was necessary and I am happy I did less, but did it better.

But now 2019 is coming and it’s time to set some new objectives:
1) complete the first draft of “Self-publishing lab: il mestiere dell’autoeditore”, but this time for real! Most likely I will teach the class in Varese again next autumn and by then I would like to have the book available, although not necessarily in the final version. It will also provide me with the opportunity to partly update the course and offer some more tools to my students;
2) translate “Syndrome” into English and maybe even start the translation of “Beyond the Limit”. I have promised to myself that by 2020, one way or another, I will publish (or start publishing) the Detective Shaw Trilogy in English. Actually, once the Aurora Saga has finished (which will happen in 2020), I want to commit myself to translating and publishing in English all my books not yet available in this language, and in general to make the most of everything I’ve written so far to make it reach a larger audience;
3) start working on “Nave stellare Aurora” (Starship Aurora), the final book in the Aurora Saga. It is a long novel whose purpose is to worthily conclude the story of Anna, Hassan, Melissa, Alicia and Susy, and to do that, I need to work on it in a wider period, in order to make the most of its potential;
4) and then, as always, read many beautiful books. This is always the simplest resolution to accomplish!

Me at ALTEC (Turin).
I have only four resolutions again, but this time I want to complete them all. Will I manage to do it?

There are also other things I’d like to do.
At the moment I did not impose myself to publish any book in 2019. I need not to set this particularly demanding deadline for at least a while. I’ll decide on the way.

Of course I want to continue working on advertising and promotion to improve the economic return of my job and make it less dependent on external events on which I have no control.
Also I would like to experiment other ways to use what I have already written and my writing skills to develop new projects of which I still prefer not to say anything (at least until I really start working on it, if I ever do it).
What I feel with certainty is that my seventh year as a self-publisher will be crucial, since it represents the approach to the conclusion of the Aurora Saga, which, with the four books of “Red Desert” and the next four, is undoubtedly my most important series, the one with which my adventure in self-publishing began and which is the main motivation that pushed me to continue it, between highs and lows.
What will happen next is still a mystery, but one of those that don’t scare me, but stimulate me. A mystery which I’m facing with curiosity.

In closing, as always, I thank all those who follow and support me, all my loved ones, friends, collaborators and readers, both old and new.
Thank you for being there.

If you like, let me know your new year’s resolutions with a comment on this post or on the social networks where I share it.
I wish you all a happy 2019!