One of the great things about these online publishing tools is that you can see your sales immediately, and can see which channels are delivering. As a result of a review of my Smashwords sales stats, for example, I've decided to upload my first ebook, Death in the Forsythia, directly to Kobo, since I can count on my fingers and toes the number of books that have sold to Kobo through Smashwords. Should be interesting to see if this makes a difference. Also, I took the plunge and signed up with Xinxii, the German ebook distributor. They're still small (23k books currently available compared to Smashwords' 275k books) but reach different channels, including a bunch I haven't heard of: Casa del Libro, PagePlace, Flipkart and e-Sentral.
Now wouldn't it be great if I finished writing book 3? It's 70% written, but being a "pantser"*, I didn't work with an outline and have been stuck in one place because I haven't decided who the murderer is! (To be fair, I've now employed three book outline tools and none of them have led me to a finished outline. No glowing endorsement for book outlines coming from these quarters.) So regardless of the path you take, if you haven't thought the plot through to the end, you may reach a point at which you become stymied and need to resolve it (proactively, see below) before you can continue.
Although it's still technically 2013, I've already completed two 2014 resolutions (above) and would dearly like to finish book 3. I think it's just a matter of strapping myself to a chair and sitting there until I've resolve the "snag" so I can move ahead. (So far I've just assumed the solution will just hit me one day in an "aha" moment while I'm driving or washing dishes. As if.)
To all those writers out there, all the best in health, happiness and prosperity for 2014!!
*Pantser defined: An author that prefers to write without a book outline, preferring just to let it flow with the expectation that it will all come together in the end. There are plenty of authors in both camps. If you haven't guessed it already, the word comes from the expression "seat of your pants".