Thursday, March 25, 2010

eBook Experiment - Redo Yesterday's Ponderings

More editing today and tomorrow. I hope to be copyrighting tomorrow night, but we'll see.

In the meantime, a lesson from yesterday: don't write long spontaneous blog posts when you are full of creative energy. They come out a fuzzy rambling blur.

Here is a small piece of what I meant to say yesterday.

As a mystery writer I am stymied by the fact that I like to write long multi-book series. I mean, yeah, that's what mystery writers do, but when you're trying to break in, the standard advice is to only write the first in the series and market that while working on a different series to follow up with.

Because, you know, you aren't going to sell the first book you try to market, or even the second or third. And there is no point to writing a follow up to a book you don't sell.

Which is frustrating as heck. Because when I develop characters for a series, I am committed to those characters for life. Further, when I write one book, I would really like to devote more time to the next book while it's still hot in my head. But time is at a premium, and your best marketing strategy is to keep writing things you can market, so you can follow up one good submission with another. And as I said, sequels don't count. (Usually.)

Furthermore, if you self-publish something, that kills it for traditional publishing. So if you are serious about a series, you have to save it for that long term traditional marketing process.

However, the very fact that electronic self-publishing has become a viable alternative means that you have a back up plan. If you go ahead and write that second book while it's hot, you aren't completely wasting your time if you never sell the first. If you still love this series later, then you can always self-publish.

If you always have a back up plan - if you know for sure you aren't wasting your time completely - then you have more motivation, and it's easier to keep going and write more and better. And just maybe you can write both sequels and new first books as well. Cover all your bases.

I'll take up the other half of what I was trying to say later. I really do think that the above psychology is a factor strong enough to drive some interesting changes in the industry. (Although the more things change, the more they stay the same.)

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