Saturday, August 29, 2015

Liza ponders if publishing a series one per month a good idea?

When I first decided I would publish my Sci Fi series 1 book per month, I thought it a brilliant idea, since sci-fi readers like to read an entire series in one sweep.

I'm not going to discuss that 'truth' because I've only two books out so far. But my next book, Surviving Terranue will come out in a couple of days.

So what AM I going to discuss?
Feasibility, Insanity, and Chronic fatigue.

Here are the main items that need to incur around a book release: 

#1: Write the book
Okay I had already done this. All four books were already written during my write whatever you want and don't bother with publishing yet. You can do that later.

There are some drawbacks with writing early, such as forgetting all your character's names and accidentally respelling or  renaming a character mid-stream.

Fortunately #2 will normally catch that.

#2: Get your books edited.
Here I had a problem. Originally, I planned to publish the books in the order I wrote them. But my editor on the first two had serious issues concerning my Three Soul-bond, who truly does know what each other is thinking and feeling since they share one soul. 

My editor believed I would confuse the bloody hell out of my readers if I changed POV every other sentence.  And she's a very good editor, so I rewrote, and rewrote, and rewrote. 

Worried I was going to miss the first release date as we struggled over this issue, I engaged a second editor to edit the latter two books I wrote.

And before my deadline, I had all four books edited and ready to go.

But be warned: you will need many editors if you try to attempt 9 books a year.

Then I decided to make book 4 the first book. To do this I had to change the cover to say book 1. Fortunately, I made the covers, so I didn't give myself any grief over the matter.

But as I read my new book 1, I decided the Gods who I had imagined pulling miracles from behind the God curtain, might give me the funny bits I longed for. (For some reason sentients struggling to survive just aren't that funny. I tried to get them to lighten up, but they kept focusing on the high probability of dying.) 

So I  yanked open the Gods curtain and discovered a far less serious group of sentients behind the scenes. However, this required me to go back and write them in all the books. They had always been in the books, but now instead of way too easy unexplained miracles, we discover how hard it is to  get anything done. Seriously, most of the crew are complete deadbeats. Only four sentients are any help to Zousan at all.

That's right. The God who declares himself God of the Gods (aka Zeus) is the captain of our God ship. He's got a bet going with his soul devouring father, Cronus, that his multiverse will be far better than his horrid father's. 

Cronus excels at cheating and Zousan failed to read his tiny print contract. So Cronus is allowed to cheat while Zousan must comply with a trillion rules and and even greater amount of paperwork. 

Zousan must win the rigged contest because otherwise he'll be scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush for eternity.

So, after receiving back all my edits, I write all this humorous layer over my four stories.  I had great fun doing so. But then began self editing.

Self Editing: Don't even get me started...If your brain didn't do it right the first time, why would you think you'll see the error on the second read?

The human brain reads what it wants to read, not what is there. Self editing is an illusion.

But I had run out of editing funds, so I turned to fellow authors for help. 
I also had David, my robot,  read each book to me about 30 times.  David is great for finding missed words such as 'to', 'at', 'in', 'the'.  But he doesn't help at all with words that sound alike: 'hear' vs 'here'.

So I follow along on my manuscript. Over and over. Then when I think I've got all the errors out of my book, I send ARCs out with a request to make note of any errors.

And my ARC readers always find errors, which I fix at once. In fact, if you ever find an error in one of my books and let me know, I will fix it. I would love to write a perfectly clean book. I try extremely hard to do so, but my fingers don't appear to be precisely in sync with my brain.

And all the while I'm doing all this writing and proofing, I am also lining up and writing blog tour packages. 

On time, I publish book 1, The Gods of Probabilities and the tour goes well. But it's my debut sci-fi novel and not a lot of the sci-fi readers know who I am. So sales are low, but I'm focused on proofing book 2's new God Parts (which used to be book 1, so it had to have it's cover fixed too).  

Month 2: I was able to get promos for book 1, so nearly 100 peeps bought book 1 for 99 cents.

However, the overlap meant that book 2 got short shift during it's first week out, but my thought is that since most people start reading at book 1, that is where my promotional focus should be.

When I wrote my contemporary series: A Long Road to Love, over half the people that read book 1 went on to read the whole series. I was hoping for a similar pattern, but either the shortage of time between books OR perhaps 99 cent books aren't actually read as often as they were a few years ago, but read-through to Surviving Outbound is less than I'd hoped for. 

Those who read and wrote reviews for book 2 gave it five stars, so I think I need to be patient.

In a couple of days, book 3 will come out.

Here's my thoughts so far:
I think publishing a book a month is 
a) hard but doable for me as long as books are edited before I begin. But be warned, you will forget what book you are supposed to be writing blogs for, which you are editing and which you are promoting. All, your ability to retweet will become unreliable. 

b)This may be hard on readers who also wish to read other author's books. 

c) The fast publication may actually entice serial readers to wait for the last of the series to come out so they can zip through the series quickly.

I've noticed this behavior on my two other non-sci-fi series, especially with KU readers. I've seen them go through a series of five books in two days.

Unless I see an increase in sales once I publish the last book in October, I'll probably return to a slower publication format in the future. (Maybe just 6 books a year... for all genres instead of the 9 I had planned.)

My readers of contemporary romance and Late Victorian mysteries will expect books as well.
 Below is my contemporary series for 2016. It's sassy, humorous, and constant danger to lives.

But have no fear. I have a Sci-Fi Rom series in which an AI program (Adam) falls in love with his writer.

If the Multiverse Series picks up, I have a spinoff series, starring Sojourn and his crew called Search for Sentients Series. However, I'm going to require down time to actually write the novels that go with my inspiring covers. But I would love to know which stories you would love to read first (based solely on cover.)

And if there isn't an interest in these stories then I'll probably publish my SkyRyder's series, which are written, just not funny.

And this is precisely why I won't just publish six books next year. I've too many to share and all I want to do is write more.


  1. For what it's worth, I'm buying them as they come out, but I'll hold off and read them binge style after the last one. Hopefully that doesn't screw up your projections too much, LOL!

    1. LOL, not at all. Glad to hear you are buying them. Thanks!

  2. I like being a part of your thinking process. I don't have any books already written, so I'm wasting time right now when I should be writing...*sigh* but that's because I have so many books I want to write and I love reading your books! See, I even have some on my tablet! *sigh* Have you gotten anyone to agree to longer days??

    1. No, but I don't want to work more than 17 hours a day.

  3. I can see how you would run out of time and editors schedules are not so flexible! Have many happy sales!


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