Where to Go from Here?

So now that The Bonds of Osteria has been unleashed upon the world and I had a wee bit of a success (relatively speaking) with the launch, I’m left wondering where to go from here. Plus, given that we’re now halfway through 2018, it seems like a perfect time to re-evaluate what in the world I’m doing (honestly, most days I have no idea).

And as ever when I have big decisions to make, I’m going to beg for a little help from my readers so be sure to scroll down to drop your vote in my surveys below.

So, what’s up for debate? Three things…sort of like the Spanish Inquisition, although with less fear and surprise and only a dab of ruthless efficiency. Okay, nothing like the Spanish Inquisition, I just like to work in a Monty Python reference whenever possible. Annnnyway, the three things are…

  1. Writing projects
  2. This blog
  3. Amazon exclusivity

Starting from the Bottom: Amazon Exclusivity

Let’s start with Amazon exclusivity since I’ve actually come to a decision about that on my own: I’m getting out. It’s not that I haven’t seen firsthand the benefits of the exclusivity (namely the free days), but if that’s my only “benefit” it makes more sense for me to simply make The Trials of Hercules perma-free and have it everywhere, not just Amazon.

I also find my marketing/writing style doesn’t match what is required to stay noticeable by Amazon’s algorithms. You have to be very aggressive with both and I don’t want to be frantically chasing the next promo date/book blast slot available. Believe me, the scheduling alone for that last promotion was a nightmare, not to mention the toll on my very slim budget.

As for writing to keep above the Amazonian-exclusivity tide, let’s face it, no matter how organized I get, I am not going to be able to publish a book every month or two to avoid dropping off the Amazon sales cliffs. My style in both writing and marketing is a slow and steady approach that better fits making my books wide.

So yay, one problem solved. I think I deserve a shrubbery!

Coming Up Next…I Don’t Know!!!

Okay, I take that back, I do know that the next book (well, books since it will be serialized) I publish will be the historical-novel-turned-fantasy-novel set in the world of Osteria I may have mentioned before. This project (working title: Domna) is moving along slowly but surely and I’m hoping to have the first installment out some time in November.

The whole book will be complete before I release that first bit, so I’ll be able to release one installment (I think there will be five or six) every few weeks. It should be an interesting experiment to see how the whole serialization thing pans out with readers.

The problem I’m facing is what to do next. I have two more books to get through in the Osteria Chronicles series, but I’m just the teensiest bit tired of writing in this world. However, I worry if I don’t keep plodding along with it, I run the risk of never going back.

The other option would be to work on the Cassie Black series I started drafting in March. This could be a fun break from Osteria and I’m looking forward to seeing where this world takes me, but if I released this first book and then went back to Osteria, it would be a looooong time before a second Cassie book came out.

I’m also realizing how much I really want to write historical fiction. The only issue with this is these wouldn’t be fast books to write due to the research needed. Well, and historical fiction isn’t a hugely popular genre (blasphemy!!), so I would need to figure out a way to sneak it into another genre like historical mystery or historical romance.

Ugh, do we need some more Monty Python? Yes, we do.

And Now the Big One: This Blog

Fear not! Finn McSpool will continue to make his regular appearances (I’ve come to accept he’s far more popular than I am). However, I am contemplating killing off the writing portion of my blog or at least changing it up. I just don’t think there’s much interest out there to read about writers’ journeys and writing/marketing tips can be found all over the internet from more knowledgable people than myself. Plus, every blog post ends up eating up WAY more time than I plan for…time I could be dedicating to writing books.

My first option is to kill my writing posts altogether (except for maybe the occasional book release, book sale announcement) and dedicate this time to sharing my writing news with my newsletter subscribers and delivering better content on social media. The newsletter bit is a key to this option because right now I feel I don’t share much of my writing world with my newsletter subscribers since a good number of you also follow this blog and I hate repeating myself.

My second option is to post chapters from my work in progress (one chapter a week while the book is still in the drafting stage). My third option is to maybe just do a monthly post to keep the blogosphere updated on my progress.

Does your brain hurt as much as mine? More Monty Python should help…

So, what do you think? If you’re shy about commenting, here’s a couple surveys for ya, but if you have any comments, I’d LOVE to read them! Have a great week!

And one final Python moment to see you through…

 

 

27 thoughts on “Where to Go from Here?

  1. Congrats on getting your book out! I’m currently at the hairy end (sorry for the visual) of my publication journey for my first book. As a fellow series writer, I completely understand the burnout that happens when you’re talking to the same characters in your head day-in, day-out. I find that working on another project (usually a short story or a novella) has a way of refreshing me without taking me away from my main project for too long. Added bonus: the voices of my characters reassert themselves and bring along new ideas for my main project, propelling me back into the fray.

    As for ending the blog, I also understand the relentless need to come up with a new topic every week (I refuse to write more often than that), but I think you’ve inadvertently hit upon the perfect topic (thus getting away from the usual writer who writes about writing–that should be a tongue-twister!). If you want to write historical fiction (one of my favorite genres), make the blog about the research and make yourself an “internet expert” on whatever your new books about.

    Lastly, sorry for the long comment, but thanks a bunch for all the Monty Python!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phew, that was a comment and a half! A few months ago I was clipping along doing a short story or writing exercise on a regular basis…the trouble was that they kept giving me fodder for more novels! I’ve already got enough stories in my head to last many many many years so now I’m afraid to do any short work! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’m hoping by working on this serialized book that ties into my main series that I’ll feel refreshed enough to get back to those final two books and get them out of my head.

      As for the blog, since I probably won’t get to my historical fiction-writing dreams until well into next year, I’m not quite sure I want to delve into sharing the history stuff just yet, but that is a smart idea that I plan on stealing! Thanks!

      And I’m glad the Monty Python helped pull you through this loooooong blog post ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹ thanks for commenting!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t offer much advice regarding the blog since I still flounder with what to do with my own. Mostly, I don’t post, but occasionally I’ll put up new content. I don’t visit other blogs as much either, at least not every post every time. Just not enough hours in the day. But I will say, since I stepped away from blogging regularly, I’ve gotten a lot more novel-writing done.

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    1. I have made some friends via blogging and I love “chatting” with folks in comments, but I have to admit I prefer reading about non-writing things (like history, other creative endeavors, and travel). I agree that even reading blogs is time consuming, so unless I am personally interested in what the blogger is up to, it feels like drudgery to slog through the weekly pileup. It’s fun to share sometimes, but finding pics and typing up posts is a huge time sink (especially when I start getting lost in all the Monty Python skits). And since I just saw you just finished draft three of ANOTHER book, maybe there’s something to this extra writing time!

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      1. I think youโ€™ve done very well branding yourself. Between your mythology-themed tweets and Finn, youโ€™ve got your niche, and from that, readers connect you to your books.

        I saw Jamesโ€™s wonderful review of your book on Goodreads, by the way. (Heโ€™s ES on Twitter.) Iโ€™ve been friends with him for some time on Twitter and Goodreads. Heโ€™s very nice and very supportive of indie authors.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. OH man, I have been so inconsistent with those mythology tweets! Finn, on the other hand (paw?), is hard to ignore ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Yes, James did mention he left a review on Goodreads and Amazon, which is amazing of him. I’ve just been too afraid to look at my reviews. I mean, busy, too busy, not afraid at all ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. I am reading “Bonds” and enjoying it. (I hope to put the review on Amazon soon.)
    As for what you should do….I find that when faced with these sorts of decisions I actually know where I want to go, I just haven’t let my conscious brain slow down enough to listen. Do you find that? Maybe you know the way you should be going, but these other details are cluttering up the answer. From the way you have written this blog it sounds to me that you want to start on the new fiction. If you continue on the the Osteria stories will they have the feel of just going through the motions, and not be the best that you can write?
    Cheering you on, whatever you decide.

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    1. Hi Anne,
      Yay! I’m glad you’re not hating Bonds :)) It was hard to cobble together, but hopefully it didn’t turn out too jumbled.

      This weekend I did have one of those brain-blast moments you mentioned. I was still debating the whole Amazon exclusivity. I really wanted out after my little experiment, but was seeing some benefit, so I kept dithering. Then BAM the realization hit that the only benefit I wanted from the program was one I could create myself. Now that I’ve sorted through some of these thoughts of the other two matters, maybe I’ll have that “a-ha” moment with them as well…probably about 2am. Right now I’m dedicating so much brain time to the serialized book that I haven’t given much thought to what’s next, but I do feel little bits of OC 5&6 creeping their way into my head, so we’ll see.

      Thanks so much for your comment!!

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  4. Thank you for the Monty Python giggles!!! Re what you should write next–I agree that if you take a break from Osteria, it might be really hard to come back to it. But on the other hand, you don’t want to burn out on it if you’re over it (and I am intrigued by Cassie Black!)! I voted that you just plow on through to the end, but I know that’s easier said than done. Re the blog…. I definitely think you should continue with weekly posts regardless of the content. I like the idea of a monthly writing update (maybe same as the newsletter) and the rest being a bit diverse. I enjoy reading about your process, but I also understand that it might not feel like a good use of your time if it’s taking up a big chunk with little result. But some sort of weekly treat from you would be much appreciated!!!

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    1. Always glad to provide a bit of Python! As for the writing, I am slowly leaning more toward the get-this-series-over-with approach, but you just never know what I might try to squeeze in. Regarding the blog, I do think a weekly post might be best…at least I would feel like I was wasting less time typing to the three people who read this blog (who am I kidding? the TWO people who read this blog!). It’s just a matter of sorting out a topic schedule. Thanks so much for voting and all your input. Ugh, hate decisions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha nooooo never a waste! But I know what you mean… I can barely muster up the strength to write anything lately because I’m like, ‘Meh, might as well just be putting this in an email to my mother.’ Ugh decisions decisions… just know that I’ll be here eagerly anticipating your new direction! ๐Ÿ™‚

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      2. Ah, I know that feeling (although I think don’t think I can even convince my mother to read my blog). Unfortunately, yours is one of the few blogs I really enjoy reading…no pressure, right! :))

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  5. Aaaaargh, decisions decisions! I’m similarly terrible at making them, but I did notice that while I was away recently and spending less time than usual on blogging and social media, I was able to think more clearly about my priorities and where I want to go over the next few months. Meanwhile, my visitor numbers didn’t seem to suffer that much! So, while I love your bloggings, if you need to take your foot off the accelerator and focus on other things (even for a month or two), it would be cruel and unusual for me to stand in your way! ๐Ÿ˜‚ And none of these decisions have to be permanent, either… One of the delights of being your own boss! Now, I’m off to cast my final votes… But whatever you decide, the Beasties and I will be there cheering you on! Good luck! ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. Oh, believe me, I am AMAZING at the non-permanent decisions (I just call them “experiments” and “testing” to not sound indecisive). It would be great to be able to go on vacation and not worry about stockpiling a gob of blog posts, especially since the ones I stockpiled for the Ireland trip were some of my least read posts of the year (sigh…eye roll…). Oh, and I will be eagerly awaiting the photo of the Team Tammie Cheerleading Squad, by the way.

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      1. Hmmm… Maybe you’d settle for a hastily-scrawled doodle on the back of a till receipt? My camera is in dire need of a holiday after my holiday! It’s interesting what you say about your own scheduled posts though… Maybe WP follows FB in that scheduled posts are automatically shown to fewer people than “live” ones. I WAS going to schedule stuff for my time away, but I didn’t manage to fit it in before I left. Reading this, I’m kinda glad I chose sleep instead! Perhaps laziness should be an option you consider in these big decisions you’re making just now… ๐Ÿค”

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      2. Yeah, I’m not doing the scheduling thing before a vacation again. I probably would have left it off this time since life was a complete mayhem, but I was hoping to keep interest going before Bonds launched. Now I know that napping is a much better use of the than post writing.

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  6. Ooops! I realised I need to explain my voting choices too… If you’re capable of holding 2 storylines in your head at once, why not divide up your writing week so you can keep Osteria going, but also make a start on Cassie Black? Say 2 days out of a 5-day week for each, then allocate the 5th day to whichever one is going best that week?
    As for the posting, I sat on the fence a bit, but… how about a monthly update, but with WIP chapters every now and again as well?

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    1. Oh man, TWO stories in my tiny brain? Actually that is something I’m toying with since I need to take breaks in between drafts of one book, I should make better use of that break time by doing some of the grunt work on another book. I’m not sure if I’d be mentally able to split my week between two books. I do dream of being able to do that, but once I get deep into a draft I really just want to push through to the end of it (does that make me work-in-progress monogamous?). Plus, with all the marketing tasks and whatnot, I might run the risk of my head exploding if I tried to carry another story in there. Although, an exploded head would eliminate me from any further decision making horrors. Thanks for voting!!! And commenting :))

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      1. Yeah, I suggested that knowing in the back of my mind that I can’t really do it either! ๐Ÿ˜‚ And of course, we want to avoid Exploding Head Syndrome. In that case, I’d say jump into the new stories, while they’re fresh and the enthusiasm is bubbling, and keep a notepad handy for any Osterian ideas and inspiration that pop into your head in the meantime. I feel that if you’re slogging through something, it always tells in the finished product… But if you’re having fun, that shows too! Good luck!

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      2. Oh no, I feel like I’m slogging through this current book! But I do have to say this super slow rewrite is convincing me that the next draft will feel much less sloggy (and yes, that is a word now).

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