When you aren't smart enough to know when enough is enough.
This Indie author gig can be demanding (if you allow it and/or position yourself as I have).
One reason why I only released two Zodiac books (The Pride of Leo and Virgo's Vigilantes) was due to the fact that I spent 2021 preparing myself for 2022.
See, there's a few things you might not know about being an Indie author.
If you don't write romance-heavy books, it can be a challenge to sell.
If you don't have a big back catalog, it can be a challenge to sell.
If you don't write popular tropes (think vampires or shifters), it can be a challenge to sell.
When you're an author with a splatter diagram of titles, like me (with some in horror, fantasy, suspense, non-fiction), it can be a challenge to sell.
But here's the thing about me. I don't want to have to write in those genres I don't enjoy. I'm not picking on them; they're just not something I'm interested in. Even fantasy with heavy romance plots... not my jam.
Which is a problem for someone who has six whole book out (all within the last eighteen months) in an uber-competitive urban fantasy marketplace.
I have to work that much harder at getting that much more content out to address those challenges I mentioned earlier.
What To Do?
So, if my goal is to make enough money from my books to pay the bills, I either have to 1) write THE fantasy that will sell, 2) write romance-heavy stories, or 3) release more books.
Because the last choice requires the most work, I naturally chose that.
That's why in 2022 I'll be releasing eleven works.
Yes, eleven. Times. Ugh.
Best yet? I don't start releasing until May.
Next Exactly A Master Plan, Is it?
But hear me out. I've spent 2021 writing seven full novels, plus a 30,000 plus-word novella. Not only that, but by year's end, I'll have edited nine novels, plus that novella.
Well, there's a method to my madness. I want to release six book month-after-month for six months. I want to see if doing so will allow me to capture that wonderful thing we call "Mo." Momentum does wonderful things to your books' visibility on the marketplaces. If I do the marketing bit correctly (assuming I did the "writing bit" correctly), the six-book series should sell well, giving me a good idea of whether I will structure future releases like that.
I also want to keep releasing Zodiac books. Those of you who follow the series will notice that four books were released in 2020, and only two in 2021. That's the plan going forward. Two books for 2022, and we'll reassess as we go. If sales change; schedule changes. (For aspiring Indies, this is a business and needs to be treated as such.)
Why The Crazy Plan?
I'm tired of spending my gorgeous Pacific Northwest summers inside at the keyboard or in the recording booth. I also kind of tired of working 365 days a year. So it's time to change.
That's what's happening now. By locking down in 2021 and focusing on content creation instead of sales, I'm able to shift my schedule, build a back catalog that will increase average daily/weekly/monthly sales, build a fan base, build momentum, test marketing approaches, and keep me away from the dread curse of having to write shit I don't want to write.
Yes, it required a year of suck. A year of sitting at a desk until I physically ached. Of writing 7,000 words each day of my one "vacation." Of working every day of the year, a few times, when I shouldn't have.
But if I pull this off, it it achieves or portion of what I hope it does, then I'll be able to slowly become the master of my schedule and not the other way around. And if you're interested in being an Indie author, that's an important gate to meet. Creativity is born of liberation, and if you feel like you're writing in constant "catch up" mode, it can get exhausting. Trust me.
After nearly 1.7 MILLION words and counting so far this year, you don't want to carry that workload unless you're loving every damned minute of it. Trust me.
Stay tuned to see how this upcoming 11-release year goes. Who knows? By this time next year I may have given up writing and taken up dog-sitting!
Keep being epic!