On Planning

My original plan was to set up preorders for the Contract trilogy three months apart. Of course, I’m being guided by Beth, who is a planner. She makes me research everything. Or… nearly everything. 

When it first came to the preorder she was completely on board with the idea. Three months would give me a ton of time to market and build a readership. 

But the other day she stumbled on a discussion between authors. One of them was in a situation similar to mine. A trilogy was at the ready and this person was debating between doing preorders or launching all three books at the same time.

The author was advised to launch the first immediately, then do a preorder for three weeks for the next, and three weeks for the one after. The idea is to drive readership. And this will help you start off strong. 

Except I’m not certain three weeks is enough. What if something comes up, what if I need to make an alteration to the second or third books? How is three weeks going to help me, as a new author, to build readership? 

I, of course, went to Beth with these questions. So she sat me down and we had a discussion of our own.

See, Beth views writing as a type of business. It is still a hobby for her, she is not making enough to live off of it, but she hopes to one day. 

The way you would treat a customer in retail is how you should treat your fans. Or, if you can, treat readers better than you would customers. Now, she works in retail so that imagery works very well for her, and I can see where she’s coming from.

Businesses who treat their customers well, do well. If you were going to buy a suit and the salesperson was rude, would you still buy the suit? Most cities have multiple fine clothing stores, you don’t have to be limited.

Most people would go to another store. The same is true for indie authors. You aren’t the only one writing stories like that.

Of course, I adore my readers so for me that part isn’t really a problem. 

The part that deflated my ego was the next bit: it takes five years to build a business and about a minute to destroy it.

Beth, when she first published, wasn’t even close to popular. After two years she’s finally seeing some traction, but has to take a break because she can’t afford editing costs at the moment. That means her… cloud? Is slowly going to get smaller unless she gets the next book written  and finds the money for editing. 

Being a new author, she told me, I need all the help I can get. That means that if three weeks will help me build my foundation, I need to swallow my pride and just do it.

It also would mean that I’d have two months or so before I was back where I am now. Growling about editing. In two months I could probably finish writing the Daughters of the Alphas trilogy. 

Or I could finish the first and finish its edits, putting it up for a three months and basically buying myself time to write and edit the second, then do the same to get to the third. If I really focus I could work another writing project in the background. 

Because I’m keeping up a free story somewhere, so it’s not entirely impossible. If I could get the freaking tablet cord, I could write at work and edit at home. Which is what I was doing before. 

On the Contract Renewed front, I discovered why I only had four chapters left when I swore I had five chapters worth of stuff. That was because in the first draft, I somehow created two Chapter Fourteens. 

Go me. I can’t believe I missed that in the first two reads. Checking that the chapters read appropriately is one of the first things I do before I start editing.

So now I have twenty-one chapters with the possibility of rewriting the introduction to be more of an introduction instead of just a short chapter. I can take the old introduction and probably mire it into Chapter One, I think.

Before I left the house today, I went through Chapter Seventeen (I think) and started Eighteen before I got listless. Had to get ready for work. It’s still possible that I’ll finish Eighteen tonight.

Who knows, with tomorrow off and only three chapters left, I could finish with Contract Renewed tomorrow.

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