I pride myself on how far I'm willing to reach for success. This month I celebrated completing my first year of full-time self-publishing. It's a been a fun, bumpy, uncertain and exhilarating ride that I'm so much MORE than grateful that I've had the opportunity to take! And I'm even more excited to say that the ride ISN'T OVER! As I plow headlong into YEAR TWO, I want to get things rolling strong and in order to do that, I've gotta take a solid look at what I've done (or haven't done) throughout this past year. So let's take a look...
I certainly aimed my ambition high this year when I decided that I was going to attempt to publish FIFTEEN different projects this year. Mind you, I gave myself the backdoor that they didn't have to all be finished, but at least, to some degree, released to the public. Of the 15 titles I had in mind, only about 7 got any work done on them and of that 7, only about 4 were put before the public eye. While I'm certainly not proud of not hitting my goal, quite a few of my peers have assured me that getting THAT MUCH work out in a calendar year (well, technically, I didn't give myself a full year...) is still rather impressive.
Being honest, I really have myself to blame for dropping the ball, artistically. I had a plan to draw a few of the projects and I TOTALLY punked out! That's DEFINITELY a hangup that I'm looking to get over in this new year. I've been timid in my art skills, but that's a foolhardy excuse -- I know there's no better way to get over that than to do more work, but I took EVERY convenient measure to not have to. I know...shame on me.
There were a few bouts of poor time management mixed in there -- I had NO IDEA how time consuming the summer reading club was going to be. Don't get me wrong, it was a LOAD of fun and the U Cre-8 line was VERY WELL RECIEVED, but it took about 3-4hrs each time with travel, prep and the actual presentation. If I operated with a general 8-9hr work day, that was a third to half of it each time. Way too much time away from the creating table.
I did manage to hit 12 conventions this year, which I can say is an ALL-TIME record for me. It's helped tremendously at building the brand of V:IP, gaining visibility in a lot of places outside of my usual haunts. What's shocked me the most is how conventions have responded to the U Cre-8 line, making it a feature of their kid's oriented events. I owe alot to my extended appearances to it and can't wait to develop that even further. Along with that is getting A LOT of mileage out of my 8 Bit designs. Those things have been my most popular feature and I'm proud of my ability to recognize and capitalize on them, with a bunch of products ranging from prints, trading cards, buttons, stickers and posters. Even the 8 Bit challenge is gaining some notoriety, a big crowd getter when its displayed!
What I've started to do is integrate more information about the comics side of V:IP. With the 8 Bits standing on their own rather well, I want to see how well I can pull in the other things and get more face time as a publisher. I think I've got some great ideas to get it done and most will be implemented throughout 2012.
So overall, I'd give V:IP a C+/B- grade for its first year. There were definitely some things that I could've done better and I'm adamantly looking for ways to accomplish that! Stick around and see how I do next year!
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