Amidst the swirl of life-changing chaos that is the maelstrom of my life right now (we’re leaving Japan in 2 months with no solid job, house, or fool-proof plan at this point!), I also at work on the next phase of my writing career.
Kind of the next phase. It’s also partly the old phase.
“Okay, hold the phone. You don’t have a job, but you’re screwing around with writing?!”
“Well, we have a semi-plan and some good prospects, but we’ve managed to save enough that we can float for now and not drown. We’ll be fine in the short term and once we’re back in the States, we’ll be in a better position to figure out the long term. But thanks for your concern!”
Anyway, after having attended and learned so much and been inspired by the Oregon Coast Masters Class, I have some proto-plans forming. One aspect of those is what I call “sequencing” or “burst publishing.” (It’s not that I invented the idea, it’s just that I don’t know what other people call it.)
The gist is this: instead of publishing stuff here and there as they come ready, and then having months in between releases, you save up related books/stories and release them in sequence, one a month, in a nice, neat string.
This has two advantages:
- It gives readers a nice steady feed, so if they buy and read book 1, book 2 is coming right along behind, followed right away (a month later) by book 3. (I, for one, am so far terrible about releasing–or writing–series in any fashion that allows for steady following. Hopefully once I’m out of the Navy I’ll be in a better position to avoid that problem.)
- On the Amazon side of the house (which is just one side, by the way–they might be king shit in America, but they certainly aren’t king shit of the world), having a steady release, like once a month, activates something in their mechanism that says, “This person is a regular publisher, let’s push his books more.” The algorithm likes that.
So my first sequence in this new vision unto the future is “The Resurrection Sequence.” It has a few aspects to it, as well:
- The main “resurrection” thing is bringing back a couple of books I’d previously published but retired for different reasons. Namely, A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley (terrible title, but a nice, genre-specific cover) and the Thunderstrike Edition of Tarnish, which is basically a four-book omnibus. A Long Walk became Eating in the Underworld (perhaps not a severely improved title, either). The collection has now reverted back to Walk and Eating is it’s own standalone story from that collection. Tarn-TS is still in the works. I also made a new, much cooler cover for my story Puppet Theatre and relaunched that.
- Republishing several (and eventually all–probably) of my titles in a new format using Vellum and with improved front and back matter. (If you don’t know what the hell any of that is, don’t worry about it. That’s more writer-speak than reader concern. The stories are still the same.)
- Launching my first single-author bundle on Bundle Rabbit, which will basically be all my titles Fugitive Fiction published in 2017, gift-wrapped as kind of a readers’ introduction to my work. Buyers will be able to get $30+ worth of ebooks for less than 10 bucks.
But to get there, and in reformatting to Vellum, I am hitting an issue. I am being haunted by the Return Button.
What the hell is that supposed to mean?
You may have noticed that I sometimes tend to write in big blocky paragraphs. (Or have tended to write–past tense, as I’m trying to be more conscious of it.) As I’m re-upping older work, especially the 125,000 words of Tarnish, I’m finding that the asshole perfectionist in me wants to spend lots of time combing through and breaking up those huge half-page long blocks of text.
I think doing so will make for a smoother, easier read, but holy shit does it take time! Time I could be writing new stories, of which I have hundreds to go!
Dean Wesley Smith would probably say, “Those old books are snapshots of how you wrote then. Stuff you write now show you’re improvement. Don’t waste your time on the past. Move forward.”
And I would agree. Or at least I’m trying to.
But it’s hard for me, in good conscious, to republish those big ugly blocks when I could improve on them.
On the other hand, some of that stuff is 5 years old. And I am definitely feeling the withdrawal symptoms of not writing new, fun stuff. This old shit is getting to be like an anchor around my neck! I have to move on!
We’ll see how this inner struggle goes. Either way, I’m hoping to get it all out well before the New Year. But if I allow my insecurities and neurosis to drag me back through 400+ pages, I might not make it!