Thursday, July 25, 2013

Priority

For those that have clicked on one of the new buttons at the top and looked through my novel list, you've undoubtedly seen the current schedule of release.  Some have asked how I came up with the schedule I did seeing as how I'll have a stable of eight or nine ready to go by the time I start publishing them.

I wish I could say I have some secret formula that I labored over, but the truth is that although I am trying to have some semblance of a system, it's a lot more random than I might like.  Some of it is obvious - like making sure not to go too long between books in a series so that you don't lose the reader - but most of it is feel and timing.
(Timing is the key)
Timing is easy - finish a book, and if there are no more to release, that one seems the best candidate.  Most of us don't have the cache to hold back what we've just finished, or at least not if we like to do wacky things like eat.  In fact, I'd wager that most writers that have no stash of ready to go works simply write a book and make it their next release.  Easy, with no muss and no fuss.
(A season for everything)
Feel is the hard part, and it's highly subjective.  My enthusiasm for a particular piece can affect it, but that enthusiasm is also affected by what I'm working on at the moment.  When I'm writing or editing a novel, I get caught up in it.  I've never understood writers who write stuff they don't love, so, like most, I think the piece I'm doing at that time is "the best ever."  I can overcome this in hindsight, but in the moment, I always think, "This is going to be the next release - I just have to get it in front of people."

I think this is a function of getting so emotionally invested in the work.  It has also affected release schedules, particularly for Wrongful Death and Schism, since when I'm working on one of those, I want to get it out right then.

I originally wanted Salvation Day to be my first release, but I came to reconsider that decision after I finished Akeldama.  I still consider Salvation Day to be my best work, but I wondered about whether it would be a good idea to shoot my entire wad with that as my first release.  My other stuff is good, but I found the stars with that one, so I'm concerned about whether other stuff would measure up in the eyes of the reader.  And please spare me about "all books should be equally good" - that's complete bullshit, and any writer worth his or her salt knows that there are some books they write that are better than others.

I decided instead to release Akeldama to gather the beginning of an audience, and then make Salvation Day my second release.  Since I love Akeldama as well, I think it's quality enough to garner a buzz while not creating completely unrealistic expectations for readers.  I'll now submit myself to the hordes of critics that will blast me for not releasing my best work.

As to the others, I keep flip flopping back and forth between making Wrongful Death or Schism my third release.  I do this because it's entirely possible that whichever one isn't chosen might have to be my fifth release instead of my fourth.  Canidae, as a sequel to Akeldama, might have to be published fourth if I'm going to maintain interest in the series.  At the same time, I really believe in both Wrongful Death and Schism, so I want them out, but I don't think it's good business sense to release two novels at the same time(it distracts your audience).

I know, I know...I'm whining about something that many writers would kill to be able to whine about - how quickly to release novels already completed.  I'm honest in this blog, and I feel I owe it to readers to let them know (kind of) how my mind works.  No matter what, it'll be an adventure.

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