I’m a weird fish. I think we all know that by now. I’m even weird in my writing.
I don’t submit a story to a publisher that isn’t finished and has been edited at least 6 times. There’s no point. Sometimes it takes me a year to finish/start a story and sometimes I can crank one out in a few days of intense writing and lack of sleep. Either way, no story ever sees my publisher without this criteria of being completely finished and edited a half dozen times. I might, in the months that follow, tweak it some more, add scenes or change things about as the feeling moves me, but the story is always completed first.
For this reason, I have the entire year of 2017 planned out for publications:
April – Cacodemon #2
May – Evanders #2
June – Forged in Fire
Aug – Cacodemon #3
A Royal Miracle will be my first 2018 story.
My dilemma now is what to publish in 2018. Logically, the continuation of series is a must. So, that means putting out the following:
Decadent: The Reunion (the last novel of the series)
Never Let Me Go (the prequel to The One That Got Away)
and, potentially, the last two in the Belesone Pack trilogy.
I’d also like to fit in Shadow and Shade, my first fantasy novel, and book one of either the Creatures of the Night series or By Appointment Only. I’d love to get out A: The Series at some point in 2018, if possible, too. However, that’s all a matter of logistics and planning, making sure that each book is properly edited before being submitted, then hopefully being accepted and given a date.
Most books will be put up on Wattpad well before I even think of submitting it, to get readers opinions and ideas about whether the story works for them or not. This is vital research and if I’m not happy with the response I’m getting, then that book isn’t going to make it into anyone’s submission pile.
So, as you see, publishing takes careful planning. I don’t like leaving my readers waiting too long for the next book in the series, but sometimes writing it is harder than knowing when I want to publish it.
There’s a delicate balance between wanting to provide what your readers want and being able to provide it, which is why I stick to this complete-first-before-you-submit policy. My publisher has enough to do without worrying that I’m not going to finish a book in time to have it sent off to the editor for release date. Or, God forbid, have me contact her and ask to have the release date moved because I’m nowhere near ready to reach that mark.
For me, writing is an art that takes time. You never want to rush it and you never, ever want to force it. Art can’t be ‘created’. It has to be felt. So if I’m taking too long to release a book, know that it’s likely because I don’t ‘feel it’ anymore and I need to take a break before we can pick up and try again. Sometimes, it’s even a simply matter of planning ahead and having to prioritise a favourite series that’s in high demand over a series that isn’t selling well. There’s always something to consider, when plotting out when to release a book, and if we authors get it wrong it can be disastrous.