Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stop Dancing and Write the Next Book

What I'm reading: Spying in High Heels, by Gemma Halliday

Don't forget, you can still enter the drawing for Donnell Bell's book. Scroll down to Tuesday's post and leave a comment.

First, some odds and ends. I'm going to be sending out my newsletter in the very near future. In addition to updates and other writing news, I hold contests that can only be accessed through the newsletter. If you're not already a subscriber, why don't you take a moment to sign up at my website.

Speaking of my website, it's moving forward … slowly, because I've got a lot of travel this month. But it's getting there.

Sometimes, everything seems to hit at once. And even when it's good, it can be overwhelming. Where do you focus? How do you prioritize? If you add coming back from being virtually off the grid for five days, it can make your head spin.

What I came back to:

1. The debut of SAVING SCOTT. On the plus side, much of the initial marketing is handled by Barnes & Noble. The response has been wonderful. My challenge is to keep from checking sales and rankings every hour (or five minutes!). But if you're used to seeing your books hovering around the 25-50,000 rankings, seeing one hit the low 100s can be exhilarating, and you want to keep looking at that number.

2. An e-mail saying a reader recommended WHAT'S IN A NAME? and it would be featured on Daily Cheap Reads, and would I provide some buzz. Sure—as soon as I got back home to my PC, which was about 10 minutes before the feature went live. And then there was another challenge, because the book hit the top 100 in Romantic Suspense at the Kindle store, and there's something thrilling about seeing your book cover ABOVE one of JD Robb's. (click to enlarge the image)

3. An invitation to do a program later this summer at our local library was another surprise. I've been asking about doing programs for some time, but usually get the, "Oh, we don't do many of them, and we only schedule Big Name authors." Did I say yes? Do you have to ask?

4. A couple more emails asking me to guest on blogs, and asking about my books.

Needless to say, it was gratifying exciting to feel like a 'real' author for a day.

I've got new releases coming up, and it's tempting to sit around and work on two books that I'll be able to release as indie titles over the next couple of months. And then there's my upcoming hard cover Blackthorne, Inc. book, ROOTED IN DANGER, which comes out in April/May. (Did I mention it's already available for pre-order?)

What first? (And you'll notice I'm not including laundry or paying bills here.) Because trying to promote three or four books at once isn't going to work—at least I don't think so. Where's my focus? Stick with Scott for his 30 day showcase? Work on formatting it for Amazon and Smashwords so it's ready when day 31 comes around? Get WHERE DANGER HIDES ready to go as soon as digital rights are mine? Try to tie it in with the release date of ROOTED IN DANGER? Rework NOWHERE TO HIDE? So many choices, so many decisions.

And despite all the excitement, if I'm to be a 'real' author, I need to write books. New books, not back list titles or new formats of other books. It's just a matter of deciding what to write. Another Pine Hills book? Another Blackthorne, Inc. book? Or, another Mapleton Mystery, because a series with one book isn't really a series, is it?

So, despite all the marketing, promotion, and other tasks that go along with writing, it boils down to the product, and there's only one rule for that. Write The Next Book.

Tomorrow, I'll take you back to Los Angeles with me, for a few shots recapping my trip.

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Alison said...

Write the Next Book - so true. I liken this to "The Silence of the Lambs" when, after writing a manuscript, the lambs are silent for a bit. Then they start up again and you are compelled to start another book.

Terry Odell said...

Alison - so true. Sometimes you need a breather. But you can't let it last too long.

Kathy said...

I hope to finish mine and polish it so it can fly out to an agent or editor and out in the big wide world try its wings for flying. I realized today I have a chance to set mine up for another book. I created a conflict and a tiny bit of backstory for my two detectives. Possible fodder for the next book. Terry love your blog posts you have tons of information for newbies. I jumped into the blog pool this week.

Terry Odell said...

Kathy - having the next book in mind already is wonderful. Best of luck to you, and thanks for being a faithful reader. Glad I've been helpful along the way.

Karen C said...

As a fan and reader - I'm all for Write the Next Book! Congratulations on all the good things that were waiting for you when you got home - exciting stuff.

Terry Odell said...

Karen, thanks so much.

Patricia Stoltey said...

So much great news! Congratulations, Terry.