Business Thursday – What Comes Next?

into-the-silence-cover-full

I released my first book today.

INTO THE SILENCE is a novel I wrote almost four years ago now. Why I sat on it for so long before reviewing and releasing it, I don’t really know.

But it’s out now. And I’m really happy with how it turned out. The story is a fun romp. The cover turned out fantastic. And I’m more excited than ever to write more.

So with that attitude, hopefully it won’t be another four years before I release another book.

Which is why I want to talk about What Comes Next.

As I’ve been talking to friends and family about the approaching release of this first book, a lot of them have asked me about advertising. “How are you going to get the word out there?”

A legitimate question. At this point in e-commerce, the days of “build it and they will come” are largely in the past. Smart, hard-working people are vying for attention on the internet, and now I’m trying to add my voice to that mix.

There are lots of ways to boost my signal into that mix. I’d like to pursue the ones that are constructive, authentic, and sustainable (for my mental health), rather than the more sleazy or aggressive tactics that might alienate potential readers or burn me out personally.

Most importantly, however, all the advice I’ve read about promoting books emphasizes how much more effective it is when you have more books.

And, inversely, how ineffective it is to promote just one book with nothing else for your soon-to-be-avid readers to buy.

Which brings me back to the initial question. What Comes Next?

Based on what I’ve said above, What Comes Next needs to be more books.

Which is good, because that’s exactly what I want to focus on next.

It is convenient that I’m publishing my first book at the end of a year. New Years are always an easy time to examine life and set goals. And the momentum of entering a new calendar year with a clearly defined goal really helps on the old productivity department.

When I started writing INTO THE SILENCE, I intended it to be a standalone novel. But seeing as I am incapable of writing a story that doesn’t hint at a larger universe, it quickly became apparent to me that this book could be built into an ongoing series.

And when I finished writing INTO THE SILENCE, I could see that Hatchling’s story was not over. And that there were others in the book’s universe whose stories I wanted to tell.

So right away, I have more books to write and release next year in this larger universe.

The first, which I’m currently titling DARK AMONG THE STARS, is already in progress and follows immediately after the events of INTO THE SILENCE.

After that, I have two more books I want to write in the HOMEWORLD series in 2017.

Then, if my progress goes well in the first half of the year, I aim to start a new series for the second half of the year, based on the first book I ever finished.

So that’s the plan; that’s What Comes Next.

Five books overall. Three for HOMEWORLD. Two for the new series. Building momentum throughout the year and into 2018.

After that, I’ll assess and see about promoting my work more directly.

But for now, it’s all about writing the next book.

And the next.

And a few more.

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