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Status Of My First Novel

It’s been quite some time since a I’ve written about the status of my novel here. I’ve mentioned it on my twitter account but haven’t yet posted an update here. I thought I’d take a moment to give an update as well as what my current thoughts are around publishing.

A few of you might remember my first blog post 4 years and a few month ago where I mentioned I was going to start writing a book. Yea, it’s been that long. I’ve been much more diligent on twitter documenting my progress. Here’s my tweet from over a year ago when it started writing again after a few years on hiatus. Even that was after a long multi year gap of not writing.

The drought between starting and restarting the first time was due to career interruptions, a cross country family move, and loss of focus. I repeated the career interruption this last time around but with only a four month gap in between. WOOT! I hadn’t lost focus this time, I just wanted to give 100% of my attention to my new job and onboarding.

Well I miss the creative expression of writing and want to use it as an inspirational outlet like I did last year. It positively impacted all aspects of my life and I want that back so I’m back to writing again.

116,854 of 125,000 words

So where am I with my book after all this time? I’m currently 116,854 words into my targeted 125,000 words. To the right is a look at my Ulysses.app goal tracker.

This first novel is book one of a planned trilogy. I know, high first publish goals right?

I refined how I was approaching the trilogy last year. Originally I was going to write the books as open ended continuations of each other but after attending a writing conference last year I changed my approach. Now I’m trying to give the first two books reasonable ends. I’m not closing out all of the major plot lines but the reader won’t be left not feeling some form of closure.

As far as releasing them I’m on the fence a bit. I’d like them to succeed but I also know I’m not a super fast writer and my beta reader pool isn’t huge. My options right now are:

  1. Write each book, edit it, and release it when it’s done. Optimize for release and then write the next book and repeat. It’d say this would put me at about a book a year (with my current rate of beta readers and editing). The first could be done by this summer.
  2. Write and edit the first two books and put them in the can. Once the third book is “close” to complete then release the books staggered by a month or two. This would all me to maximize their release and likely reader purchase. I can also optimize the covers, marketing, etc. it also allows me to write it all the way through and just parallelize some beta reading. So long as I don’t need any mass rewrites this could be ideal.
  3. A combination of 1 & 2 but only hold the first book until the second is close to ready. Then release them back to back and preorder the third. This is hoping I could knock out the final book in say 6 months. It’s risky but could get something to market sooner.
  4. Don’t do any of these self publishing routes and try to query publishers & agents and enter the 2-3 year queue of praying authors. This is the least attractive option to me. Even if I decide that self publishing isn’t for me, I’d now have a back catalog to sell from and I’d have learned something. Publishers rarely touch trilogies from new authors anyhow so I’d have to come up with something completely new to query with.

I’m leaning toward #2 or #3 right now. My goal is success without fizzling out which is what happens often with the first option. Readers can lose interest and getting them back is hard. This is especially hard without a back catalog of books and a glut of reading options on the market.

If you have any thoughts I’d love to hear them. In fact if you’re interested in my writing or blog for that matter you can signup for my newsletter. I’ll be sending out regular non-spammy updates about once a month going forward and you can be sure that my books will be mentioned.

I’ll be updating and posting here more regularly again on my progress and process going forward. Thanks for reading!

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