The first part of this post is kind of a brag, as I am pretty excited that I did all the work detailed below. But the second part is a question I’ve been having about publishing.
Finished the second novella in my fantasy epic last night. Felt great to have it done, and I’m ready to get onto part 3. There will be five novellas all told, for a total of between 130-160k words.
For a little insight on how I did, since starting up and getting serious about it, I’ve been keeping track of my words counts per week (and hour).
My first week I estimated about 750 words an hour. My actual output was 838 per hour and I put 8.8 hours into writing.
My second week I had an actual output to work off of (838 from the previous week) and actually managed to get up to 967 words per hour, but only put in 7.1 hours into writing.
This last week (week #3), I set my goal based on 967 words/hour, worked for 6.5 hours, and managed to crank it up to 1217 words per hour. My total number of words for the three weeks was 22,212 words, and the total number of words for the second novella is ~33,000.
I’m pretty proud of this achievement, obviously. I’m glad I’ve stuck with it, made it a priority and not let other things take me out of my zone.
Now, all that said, I have a question about publishing. When I started writing this (probably a year and a half ago), I had no idea how to publish it. I had never heard of the SPP (Self Publishing Podcast), but I had an idea to basically do what the guys at SPP were doing, which is serialized fiction. At the time, however, my velocity was much too slow to really make anything of it. I wasn’t invested, and there was no real light at the end of the tunnel. Getting through the first book felt like a slog, and I wasn’t really in my flow. To say that the advice given on the SPP helped is an understatement (not to mention listening and almost feeling like you’re having an ongoing conversation with other authors is pretty amazing, too), but now I have two novellas that are ready for some revision. I feel like I need to go back and possibly rewrite the first one (throw it away and start from scratch style, not play with the words until I lose the voice of it) because I feel the voice I’ve discovered in my fast writing is not the same as the voice in my slower, more prodding writing. I feel like rewriting it is the right thing to do for the story.
So, assuming I do that, and assuming the rewrite goes well and I am done with the rewrite in 3.5 weeks, I will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 60,000 words needing to be edited, revised, and beta read. What do you think my release schedule should look like? Should I release book one as soon as it’s ready, then follow it in two or three weeks with the second, then be on track to release the next three every month or so? Or should I finish the whole thing and release it as an omnibus or a single novel? Or should I finish it, then release every one every week for 5 weeks? I’m just at a loss with what to do here. This is probably a case of over analysis, but I’m keenly aware that making my writing a habit for people isn’t really going to happen with once a month publishing. At the same time, I really want to get my stuff out there, and start generating some buzz.
What say ye?