I’m going to be trying a new workflow in 2016, starting with the Shadow Decade novels.
One of the uncertainties we face as authors is whether or not a series is going to sell. Believe it or not, we are just as beholden to the tyrannies of capitalism as anyone else… this is a job. This is my our livelihood, especially for those of us who, like myself, don’t have a day job. Writing a novel is a task measured in hundreds of hours over months and months of time, and we can’t afford to spend time writing novels that don’t give a good return on that investment.
Does that sound mercenary? It should. I have bills to pay. Rent’s coming due. Art for art’s sake is a luxury sitting at the top of Maslov’s hierarchy of needs, and Self Actualization is a distant concern when you’re still trying to nail down Survival or Security.
The problem is that you don’t really know whether or not a book is going to strike that certain chord with a readership until you have a few out in that series. Readers like series, at least when they’re certain the series isn’t going to evaporate on them.
The New Workflow
So my idea for 2016 is to work on an entire series of books at once… or at least, a trilogy. Once the third book’s out, I’ll know whether or not the series is selling enough to spend the time writing new books. If so, good. I’ll write a few more. If not, I cut my losses, ending book 3 at a point where most of the loose ends are wrapped up.
More immediately, though, the first three books in the series will be tightly written, together, and released soon after one another.
I wrote Cold Reboot during NaNoWriMo in November last year. In December I wrote the draft for Book 2, Network Protocol. January I revised Cold Reboot, and in February I’ve been drafting Book 3. I’ll be releasing Cold Reboot as soon as the cover is done, revise Network Protocol in March, release it in April while I revise Book 3.
So that’s the plan. Three books, written and revised in five months, released one after another every other month. By staggering production in this manner, I can put out a steady stream of releases in 2016, see what works, what doesn’t and adjust accordingly.
As I said above, Cold Reboot will be released soon. Sign up for my mailing list, and I’ll send an email out when it’s done.