2016 had been a good year for my editing business and personal writing, on top of which I’ve joined a wad of new groups and made even more writing and editing friends, some of whom I’ve helped launch editing businesses, or given short writing critiques.

So, my year in review…

2016 was just crazy. All in all, I have edited or beta read, thirty-five stories/novels, of which, twenty-two have been (self) published, two are awaiting a publisher or agent, three are scheduled for (self) publishing in the first quarter of the year, and a handful are in the process of going through author edits. So yes, crazy busy year, and I’ve loved every moment of it. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a right stat obsession. I time each job I do, and for this year alone, I have done one thousand, three hundred and four hours of editing, which works out to 2.91 books per month.

I’ve not had much time for personal writing, though I did participate in the April and November Nanowrimos’. In April, I wrote 15k, which I then edited down to 10k and submitted to the Ink and Insights (first 10k) writing contest in June. I received four lots of fabulous feedback from four judges, a serious confidence boost, and placed seventh in the apprentice category (I’m a really nervous writer for all the advice I dole out).

In August, I incorporated the business into ‘Michelle Dunbar (Author Services) Limited’, although there are no changes in the structure of the business, it’s still ‘all’ just me – at the moment.

In November, in addition to completing my first draft during Nanowrimo (excluding the first 10k), I took an EFA (Editorial Freelancers Association) course on ‘Book Mapping’, which I sort of do anyway when doing a developmental edit, but I’ve since learned how to be much more detailed while dissecting a book’s story, plot and themes.


And so, as 2016 draws to a close in just a few hours, I’m going a few plans for 2017…

I intend to continue to grow my editing business, which has been made far easier thanks to my returning clients, and to those who shout out my name out to those seeking editors.

My plan is to publish my first book in 2017. I made an agreement with a fellow author to do this, plus I’ve mentioned writing this novel to all my clients and author friends, so I am now getting nagged encouraged from all sides. I think this time next year will be good for me – 31st December, 2017 at 23.59 PST – that gives me a whole year to get stuck into it.

In addition to this, I intend to master the art of time management. I’m started January with one December job Christmas got in the way of, and seven other fresh bookings (I have empty slots from mid-March onwards though).

I fully intend to continue my professional development and am in receipt of some books on developmental editing, story structure, character arcs etc etc, which I shall read and digest in the hope it will allow me to improve the standard of service I offer authors. I also intend to sign up for the EFA’s courses in Developmental editing (just in case there is anything I’m missing and should know about).

Also, and not very many people know about this, with those who do being sworn to absolute secrecy, but I think now is the right time to announce this (plus I can see who reads ALL my waffle). I have decided to dip my toe into the world of publishing. Through 2017, I am planning on publishing two books under the name of ‘ISF Publishing Group’. I have been doing a lot of research on this, mostly complaints about small publishers (to avoid making these mistakes), especially in light of recent publishers who have folded and/or left authors and editors in the lurch. ISF will not be a small press as such, more of a microscopic one.  I know the editing side of things inside out, the publishing side not so much (although I will have the assistance of a couple of published authors and I am a very quick learner). The first two books will be published as a trial – and I thank both these authors unreservedly for trusting me with their literary babies. If all goes to plan, I will consider the possibility of taking on and publishing more indie authors in 2018/19.

Finally… I have been nominated as a ‘Favourite Editor’ in the Rockin’ Friends & PA Indie Book Awards. I’ve gone through two rounds of voting and am in the final round (top three win). If you are on Facebook, and would like to vote for me, you have to follow this link, then like the post/comment: https://www.facebook.com/events/147532342374657/permalink/206957883098769/

And I think that’s enough planning for now.

I would like to thank each of you for a wonderful 2016, and wish you all a very Happy New Year. I hope 2017 brings you all you dream of achieving.



 Photo courtesy of PublicDomainPictures