Sunday, March 03, 2013

What to do, what to do . . . .

I have an odd problem and one I don't think I've seen addressed in the past.

Most of this comes from the way in which I write. I start with very fast first drafts. Once completed, I put the first draft aside and work on something else before I come back to edit. This means I will often have a lot of first drafts lined up because I edit far slower and I work on multiple projects, a first draft and an edit at the same time. I might write two first drafts to each edit. Sometimes the balance is even worse!

There are also times I'll do an edit and feel as though the story is still missing something, so it goes aside again. Also, back before I turned to Indie Publishing, it wasn't wise to submit too quickly to publishers and agents after a rejection because they assumed you hadn't edited, etc. So things began to pile up even when I thought they were ready -- which they likely weren't anyway, but that's because I have grown as an author now that I'm writing for myself and not trying to fit into a pre-defined niche. Anyway, this whole submission process meant any one even moderately productive (never mind prolific) could find themselves with material piling up and shuffled off into files for 'later.'

For someone like me, this meant having a lot of work put aside for that non-existent later time. I have written close to 100 novels, but don't worry -- you won't see most of them. I have been culling the better ones out of the group for editing and rewrites along with writing new ones. I'm having a great time.

So what is my problem?

I have been releasing a novel for my birthday - generally a couple days before -- over the last two years. First was Kat Among the Pigeons in 2011 and The Servant Girl in 2012. I plan to do the same this year, but . . . .

I have three books ready to go out:

Paid in Gold and Blood -- (Fantasy) Katashan left everything behind when he joined a caravan heading south. However, at the end of the journey he's found the body of a woman sacrificed before the sacred statue of a goddess he once served, and that goddess wants him to solve this crime and break a dangerous spell. (This was the novel I posted on my blog and planned to put out now anyway.)

Mirrors -- (Urban Fantasy) Skye is half-fae, genderless, and mistrusted by his full-blooded magical relatives. However, when fae start disappearing before the choosing of the next ruler, Skye may be the only one who can find answers in a dangerous power-play.

Xenation: Draw the Line -- (Science Fiction) When humans found the abandoned -- and ancient -- space station, they moved in to study the place they called Xeno-Station, and then shortened to Xenation. Following them came three other races, all intent on learning secrets. Only now one of the humans has a dangerous link to the heart and controls of this alien place, and he's learning there are secrets and dangers no one imagined.

All that is left is to do the final formatting and finish the cover art for one of the novels. The question is whether or not I should release all three over the next week or so. Part of me wants to set them all free to find readers. However, is this going to create the same problem that came if you sent too many things too quickly to a publisher or agent -- the impression that I wrote and tossed them out without any effort to edit and make them the best they can be? There is not one of these novels that I haven't been working on for years. Xenation is the newest, written in 2009. Paid in Gold and Blood was written in 2006 and Mirrors is a decade old, written in 2003. As an urban fantasy, that last one needed the most editing and updating, too.

Normally, I wouldn't have three books lined up (and a 4th not far behind), but I've been working steadily at the editing and haven't had time to go on with formatting and cover art because of other, non-writing work.

Sure, I could hold on and just release one a month, but there are other novels in the queue that will soon add to the list as well. So what happens a month from now when I've added two more and I suddenly have four books to go out instead of three?

I think, really, I am going to give myself a birthday present of three book releases.

Or maybe not.


(You may have noticed I have far less trouble writing and editing the manuscripts!)

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