I’M WORKING ON BOOK 2, I PROMISE.
Even I want to find out exactly how Kary and Bianca and Andrew…
Meanwhile, I leave you lovely reviews on Amazon, 6 so far, by those hardy souls who have finished reading, and taken fingers to keyboards. There are a few on Goodreads, too, if you look me up, and one on Amazon UK (Colm was kind enough to put it on the UK and US websites).
I need to reach something like 25 so that I can advertise on BookBub, should I choose to go that way. It’s expensive, but their ROI (return on investment) is good (according to their own advertising, so there’s that).
I am content for reaction to roll in slowly as long as it doesn’t come to a complete halt, but new books have that long uphill slog to become better known, and mine has the same hill to face as any other: Discoverability. The two ads I ran with the Kindle Countdown generated one or two sales – maybe one of those buyers will review.
The biggest problem I see with sales is not the low rate of return (all newbies get that unless they have a big publisher doing a lot of pushing, or are on Oprah), but that the buyer often doesn’t read what she or he has bought, precisely because it was a bargain. Catch-22 is the name for that phenomenon, because they wouldn’t purchase it at all at full price because they don’t know the author.
Technically, the buyer can read it later. Practically, new bargains often push the impulse buy lower on the stack. I’ve observed this behavior in myself, and I am not unique. I have all kinds of books I thought I’d try, and/or I thought I’d buy to give the author(s) a boost when they had a launch of special deal, sitting on my Kindle or in my Amazon queue.
There is no solution to a Catch-22 except to bypass the whole thing.
DO WHAT ‘THEY’ SAY – GET MOVING ON THE NEXT BOOK
As I said, I never expected huge movement at the beginning – I expect to be treated based on merit, and with the normal discovery speed – so I am putting my BIC* and continuing down the path of revising and polishing the (very) rough draft of Books 2 and 3.
QUESTION: Will I be writing in public again?
That I haven’t decided, but the inclination is not to try to post things as I work. It takes time away from writing.
My main reason for doing it the first time was to enter the conversation about writing and publishing early, and to get a feel for the market.
What resulted was 1) me making a lot of writer friends – in other genres – on places such as Wattpad, and 2) getting a tiny band of followers, some of whom had enough faith in me, an unknown, to follow along from week to week (hoping I would finish the thing they had committed their time to).
I’ve discovered about half the blog readers did NOT read along, for many different reasons, one of which had to be that fear I wouldn’t finish for some reason. The internet is littered with half-finished novels, and novels that were a good start but never got the polish, so I don’t blame anyone.
Now that I know I CAN finish, and that I have developed a reasonable set of publishing skills, I think a better use of my time will be to work straight through rather than taking time to post, especially every week.
If you have a strong opinion on that, please chime in on the comments.
WILL I BLOG? AND IF SO, WHAT ABOUT?
It turns out that I like rambling on about the writing journey, the chinchilla, life in general, and CFS, so I will blog about those as the spirit moves me. Those posts will be at my writing blog.
A FAVOR: if you have a question you would like me to answer ABOUT Book 1 – send me an email at [abehrhardt (at) gmail (dot) com], and I’ll be delighted to answer.
Happy reading – whatever your fancy takes you to. It’s all good.
*Butt in chair
I feel for you on the loss of readers. Of those who started with me, only one is still reading Suzie’s House now. Instead of growing, as I had hoped, my following has shrunk. Well, probably because now everyone knows I’m never going to have a clean closure to everything.
Unless I decide to end the series before I lose everyone. Then I’ll scramble to finish off all the dangling threads.
So: what do YOU want? It’s your baby – did you have a plan all along, or has it been something like writing every week about the neighbors?
You can go back and see what your plan was – were you building in story arcs with a purpose?
And then you decide how much further work you’d need to do to break it up into a couple of novels, or an episodic TV show, or…? Since you’re the creator, you get to decide.
Serials are different – can you see your model in something Dickens wrote? Way back when you started, what was your plan? Can you still do that? So many possibilities!
I intended Pride’s Children to be a single story from the very first word. That it grew to three volumes is mainly due to how long it takes, in words, to make certain plot events not only plausible, but inevitable. I intended three main characters from the time of the Great Reorganization, when I realized that three of my six pov characters were, well, too many for the story (and decided the readers wouldn’t miss them). I still find traces of the original six in some places in the rough draft – and incorporate what seems necessary via dialogue instead of their thoughts.
I’m curious to find out what you finally do with Suzie’s House – there are a lot of good characters in your bunch, and it has been intriguing getting to know them.
When I first started I was trying to hang on to an audience that I built up from a contest held by Avon/Harper Collins. I had planned on running it for a couple of years, and using it to draw attention to certain books I’d already written. I had a general idea of where the story line would go, but had never written in serial format before and was just learning the ropes.
I have already bunched the episodes into four files – each representing a book – and written four spin-off books. One of the spin-offs is published. The rest are in revision with Beautiful Spanish Hussy blocking all the rest.
I had intended to self publish Beautiful Spanish Hussy last year, but the book had been rough going. I’m still hoping to have it out soon. Once it is, I’ll pump out the other three spin offs and at least one of the compilations.
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I see you have it all planned out – wishing you the best in getting the Beautiful Spanish Hussy into the chute. How exciting to have all these our there soon!
You come up with interesting things every week.
I’ve done my serializing for life, probably – it was useful as an exercise, but I don’t miss it. I’m hoping that without that pressure, Book 2 will actually be easier. I’m taking my time up front – almost there – and expect it will make the writing part faster. If not, well, I still have it organized the way I want it – and MAY run into fewer stumpers. I say may because of Mr. Murphy still being with us.
I find I need the pressure of deadlines to keep me going. I’m pretty good at keeping up with Suzie’s House and always make my goal with National Novel Writing Month, but rarely get much else done. Not enough direct pressure.
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