It’s a quiet time, and I’m feeling contemplative. After five months of frenetic activity and far too much writing, the first novel of Vampire Miami is live and available for free on Amazon. Books 2 through 4 are mostly finished and slated for imminent publishing. It’s been an incredible, bewildering, surreal and exhausting experience. I wrote about 350,000 words in four months. I ran and succeeded in getting my Kickstarter funded – at 135% of my goal. I worked with a professional editor and cover designer, and managed to publish my first book in time for Christmas. All good things.
And yet. I’ve made mistakes. I should never have tried to write and publish three books in as many months. I shouldn’t have expected them to be anything other than what they were – first drafts. I should have realized that it’s not enough to just launch a novel – you have to market it properly so that the launch is a success. I should have slowed down the process so that it never felt like grueling work.
There’s plenty of work yet to be done. Plenty of editing. I’m going to watch how my books sell over the next three or four months, and then make some decisions about my writing career. At that point I’ll have 8 books out and will have been publishing my novels for two years. I’m going to take stock and reevaluate my approach. I’ll ask:
- What’s wrong with my marketing? How can I better utilize social media and blogging to build a following?
- What’s wrong with my novels? Do I need to work harder on editing? Revising? Take more time with character development, in giving beta readers time to get back to me?
- Should I try to get traditionally published? I could argue all day long against this move, but at the end of the day it’s still an excellent way to become ‘legitimate’ and get name recognition.