I’m only slightly insane.

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Long ago, when I first started releasing books, I did it all wrong.  I didn’t know, and there was no one to teach me, so I made it up as I went along.  According to Google, I was advised to write the first book in a series, just in case the publisher didn’t want to contract the whole set, so I wouldn’t waste my time.  So that’s what I did.

Then, I found that traditional publishing isn’t for me.  I wanted to get paid for my work (yeah, I know, crazy stuff).  I wanted to have control over the representation of my characters.  No white cover models for my black or Hispanic characters.  I wanted to have boundaries be pushed and lines get crossed.  I wanted to write MY stories, not the diluted type expected with mass media.  I don’t do well sitting back and letting someone else make my decisions for me, and work doesn’t scare me.

So, I put out my stand-alone book, One More Day.  It was well received, even if hardly noticed.  Wonderful reviews, but very few of them.  I realized my problem was discoverability, so I wrote another book.  Then another.  The whole time, I was working on more in the background while I saved up enough to publish.  And still, I didn’t think I should finish a series.  I wanted more options.  It never dawned on me that indie publish and trade publishing have such different rules and needs.

Now, I have too many series on the go.  Rise of the Iliri is almost done (Will be finished in Mid 2019).  The Demons’ Muse should be done by the end of 2019.  Gamer girls will end early in 2020.  And, during one of those breaks, I decided to release a trilogy to fill the gap.  It’s done, so why not?

BUT!  And this is a big but.  I will not be making myself insane going forward.  Instead of following the pressure of reader demand, I’m going to write out the entire series and quick release.  I like how this is going with the Dark Orchid series – three books in three months, even though I spent a quiet year writing them in the background.  The readers enjoy the fast releases.  The visibility is good for my sales (and thus keeping my lights on) as well.  It’s like a win-win.

This means that 2019 will have a LOT of books coming out.  It means I will be pushing myself a bit.  It also means that 2020 will be simpler, easier, and cleaner.

To all authors just starting out, learn from my example.  DO NOT release the book when you finish.  Write the entire series.  Give yourself the room to make fixes before you’re on a deadline.  I know it’s thrilling and exciting, and you think this is going to be your big break, but that’s not how it works.  You end up spending most of your time trying to get noticed, and not putting words on the page.  You find that the deadlines you’ve made aren’t long enough.  You get frazzled, feel stressed, and have a greater chance of giving up because of it.

But if you do, push on.  Anything can be fixed.  All mistakes are chances to learn and improve.  If I can clean up the messes **I** have made, then you, too, will be fine.

And 2020 is going to be SO NICE.  I’m really looking forward to a bit less insanity.

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5 thoughts on “I’m only slightly insane.

  1. I am on book 4 of the of Rise of the Iliri and I just can’t seem to get enough! I certainly love the fact that I can read one after another because it is fresh in my mind. When authors take months or even years for the next book, I get lost on what happened before. I can certainly say that I prefer your way the best! In writing my own series, I will take your “mistakes” and do it the right way by finishing the first series in one go. Reading your epic stories, gives me strength to complete my own. Thank you for your excellent storytelling, world building and fabulously written characters! I have fallen in love with each Black Blade and their alliance partners! Keep up the excellence you started and you will have adoring fans for many years to come!

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    1. Well, don’t get too excited. There are still 2 books left in that series, and they DO take a few months to write. With all the twists, turns, and knots, it’s a ton of research to make sure everything lines up. I’m hoping to have it done soon, though! Before the end of the year.

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  2. As a reader and fan I LOVE the quick release idea. I’m waiting on the finish of every one of those series of books – was all excited about the orchid one then was like well shit I have to wait on that too..lol I absolutely love your world-building and character development. I have a voracious appetite when it comes to books and I hate being left hanging..yeah im all about the instant gratification.

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  3. Thank you! that’s actually great advice… Finished book 1 in my series and had the first round of edits done, I’ve planned about 7 other books (the 2nd and 3rd book are maybe a third way done and the other ones have the first chapter and general direction written out) and have been going back and forth on what to do. I really hope to publish this year, but maybe giving myself some extra time to finish at least the 2nd one too…. might be smarter after all reading this!
    Self publishing is absolutely terrifying to me, but hearing this.. might be worth really looking into going that way instead

    I absolutely ADORE your books, having them come out this shortly after each other is amazing!!! Thank you for that as well! ❤

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    1. The only real problem with Self Publishing is that we don’t have anyone to answer questions for us and hold our hand. Instead, we have Google and a community full of helpful authors. Conversely, any mistakes are also a lot more transient. I did a LOT of research between self and trade publishing and found that the only real difference is whether or not you want to have a cut taken from your royalties to pay editors/covers or if you prefer to pay for those yourself and have more say in what you get. Marketing? Unless you are that ONE super special author of the decade, you’re paying for your own marketing, chasing your tail, and trying to be seen in a sea of books.

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