Since the end of November, I’ve written very little. A lot was going on in my real life (like everyone’s) and it had to take priority over writing.
Now that relative calm has descended, at least for a while, I’m getting back to my other worlds to see what’s been occurring in my absence.
I still have six part-written sequels to complete, plus three new stories, so it’s not as if I have nothing to do. The main thing that’s slowing my writing down at the moment is the time spent on marketing. It’s a necessary evil, I hate doing it and would rather be writing, but if I don’t tell anyone, then nobody will know what I’ve written. When I talk about marketing, I include this blog, my newsletter and all my social media activities as well as paid advertising on Amazon and Facebook.
It’s not strictly true, that the more you write, the more you have to promote. In fact, you only really need to promote the first part of any series and allude to the fact that there is more. In theory, people will read the first book and (provided they enjoy it) move on to follow the series. Of course, if you have more than one series, as well as stand-alone novels, you have to do it for all of them. Not only that, for the plan to work, you have to find your target audience first. When you write in several genres, that becomes slightly more problematic. There’s a lot of juggling and multiple personae to remember, so that you don’t post about Sci-fi in a Cozy Mystery group, or tell people things that they’re not interested in.
By taking it slowly, breaking it down and working with one series or novel at a time, I’m trying to develop a long-term strategy that I can leave to run itself, while I concentrate on writing more stories.
When it comes to deciding which novel to work on next, the logical thing to do would be to take the work nearest to completion and finish that first. Before I can do that, I have to work out what nearest to completion actually means.
Based on word count, that would make my steampunk adventure The Safety of the Realm next, however, if I was to consider other factors, then Wake Me Up is the most complete. Or if I thought about the series aspect, then it would have to be the Balcom or Horis Strongman tales. The sequels that I never intended come way down the list, even though I’m looking forward to writing them.
That’s before The Syk’m (my NaNoWriMo story), or my other new idea, My Sister (deceased?).
As if that wasn’t enough, fans of Andorra Pett are already pestering me for her next adventure. Fortunately, I have a rough idea of what that will be about. I was told the basics of it, and the one after that, while I was finishing the last one.
Perhaps that helps to explain my dilemma.
Sitting here, unable to decide which one to do, is not getting ANY of them done. It looks like I’m going to have to make an executive decision, something which I used to get paid very little for doing a lot of before I retired.
In that sense, looking at my new career as an author, some things never change.
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