I’ve talked a lot lately about my plans to self publish and use my novellas Forsaken By Shadow and Revelation to build a following for this pen name. To acheive a little bit of name recognition among fans for the planned series I want to go along with it. I’m comfortable with the fact that I’ll get the two novellas out this year, then get the first full length book in the series written over the end of this year and next, hopefully to be ready for submission by the end of 2011. In the best case, pipe dream scenario, someone of the agent or editor pursuasion will find one or both of the novellas, think they are awesome and ask “Do you have something full length?” (notice as part of this pipe dream, they find ME rather than the other way around), to which I will hopefully be able to respond, “Why yes, I do. It’s a story about…”
But Nathan Bransford’s recent post about sequels got me thinking about what I’m going to do if things don’t go as I plan. If the series I want to do misses the hot trend of paranormal or just isn’t right for whatever reason. Now, certainly I can epub the novel in the same way I am the novellas. If, after a reasonable period of time of trying to find an agent, no one bites, I can certainly treat it in the same manner–something else to build a fan base and get my name out there (the assumption here being that if it is good enough for submission, it has already passed my own monumentally high standard test). And I will.
But then what?
I don’t want to be that author who continues with a series that isn’t wanted. Certainly if I decided to go entirely indie like my pal Zoe Winters, I could keep writing in this ‘verse as long as I like. I could finish the entire series and independently publish them all. I suspect that I could build a consistent fanbase for it that would bring in a decent chunk of change (and given that I would almost be willing to cut off my right arm if it would get me out of this awful EDJ so that I could write full time–if not for the not being able to type one handed thing–any form of passive income from my writing is a good thing).
But for now, I still harbor hopes of doing things the more traditional way. So if, when I finish the first full length book in this series (whatever it is going to be, since HiS/FB has been booted out of the running for that position), it doesn’t get picked up by somebody in New York, then I suspect I’ll take a step back to work on other projects for a while. If that series isn’t the one that will get me noticed, fine. I have so MANY ideas in my head, so that’s certainly not a problem. I may finally take the time to write the YA trilogy that’s been kicking around in my head for years. I might start my paranormal cozy mystery series. Or I might come up with something entirely different. Either way, after writing 4 manuscripts in the same ‘verse (even though HiS/FB got canned), I think I’ll probably be ready for a break and the opportunity to play with something else.
Plus, that’s about the time we’re planning to start a family, and I expect to be robbed of my brain (since babies in utero and out are their own form of zombies that suck your brains and your spare time), it might be good to focus my energies on something more simple. Or short at least. I had contemplating just planning on writing novellas through my pregnancy and the first few years of having kids. I’m not sure my attention span will be longer than that! And again, those are things I can self-publish to continue to build name recognition and a fan base.
I just have to keep reminding myself of my mantra: It’s a long haul game. It’s a long haul game. It’s a long haul game…