Hurry Up & Write

Wednesday, February 6, 2013



So, I have a new book out and it certainly took me long enough to finish it. Most of it was written ages ago, and the final chapters written last year. And then came the mammoth task of editing. I’m neurotic about typos and such, so you can imagine how long that took. 

I’m thrilled every time someone contacts me through my Facebook page or on Twitter to ask when a book will be out. I had one such query last night, which pulled me out of my funk. And what funk is that you might ask?

The why-am-I-subjecting-myself-to-writing-editing-reediting-and-pimping-these-books-with-way-too-little-results-to-show-for-my-efforts funk.

Fact is, it takes time to build a writing career and it can’t be done with a single book or two or three. Sometimes, we get sidetracked with promoting one book, forgetting that life goes on after the blog tour ends.

Because I know how spasmodic my writing is, I followed up Retribution with an introduction to the third book in the series—which stemmed from an idea I had about a month or so ago. The story should have been complete with Distraction and Retribution. But anyway, the muse spoke and she usually gets her way.

Putting the first pages of the new story in the back of the book is not only a promise to readers, but a commitment to myself to get that book done in about six months.  Crazy, I know, but this madness working with pressing deadlines suits me.

The sales for Distraction (first in the series) have been a slow, but steady trickle. I hope that  readers will care enough to want to see how the characters fared after the last page of Distraction. The freebie I’ve put up on Amazon has helped people find Distraction, which is introduced in the back of that one.

So on I go, reminding myself that there are people actually waiting to see what I come up with next. That’s our job as writers, feeding the addiction our readers have for our stories.

Avoid getting preoccupied with pushing one book forever, and do build that body of work which will eventually provide a steady source of income.  I’ve done a little research which tells me that a number of books have been on Amazon for a while before they become bestsellers. This is easy to check by looking at the publication date. People discover new and not-so-new books every day in different ways and as time goes by, they gravitate toward other books by the same writer and so on…
 
So, are you plotting, pantsing and writing anything to feed your following or advance your writing career?

And if I still have your attention and you haven’t tried your hand at romance yet, check out my blogfest for Retribution. You just might win a $10.00 Amazon gift card for yourself and come up with a story you can actually use in one of those books I’m sure you’re busy writing—when you’re not surfing the net reading blog posts, that is.

49 comments:

  1. I have revamped my writing goals and direction this year and am probably being more methodical and intentional about its direction and getting my work out there. I love your expression "feeding the reader's addiction". Yes. Well said. All the best to you in your sales.

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    1. Thanks, Julie. I wish I realized all this stuff earlier. :)

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  2. You are so correct that we can get caught up in promoting the one book and forget the importance of forging ahead with the next one. It's great when readers are impatiently drumming their fingers.

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    1. I'm trying to remember to keep moving on the background things while minding the storefront.

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  3. Promotion is important but we must never forget about the ongoing journey.

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    1. True that. No writing. No forward motion.

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  4. I hear your words, Joy. I'm slowly working on the third book in my series while posting erotic chapters for a fantasy I wrote on a porn site. Those have been entertaining diversions.

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    1. As long as your working on the main event, it's all good.

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  5. If someone is asking when your next book is coming out, then you must be building a nice fan base! I'm working on a novella series so I can get my books out into the world quicker. I've heard you have to get books out there to build your brand. You have a definite brand, Joy, just keep writing and moving forward.

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    1. I was I was seeing that in sales. :) Sounds like you have a good plan, Gwen.

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  6. Ugh. It really does take time to write, doesn't it? especially when one has a dayjob that keeps getting in the way. :S

    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. Yeah, when I think about the amount of writing I could get done...

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  7. Ah, to have a following...
    Seeingthose kind of queries would be truly awesome and I can see how they'd get you out of your funk.

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    1. It's pretty cool to have people invested in my characters. :)

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  8. Unless you want to be a one-hit wonder, we always have to keep moving forward as writers. Creation is our art, not promotion. What a great reminder.

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    1. True that and nobody want's to be a one-hit wonder.

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  9. So true, good advice, and I think I really need to pay attention to it. My first book and second book have 4 years between. I'm determined to put book 3 out this year.

    Great post!

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    1. Thanks for dropping in, Yolanda. That's a long time between books, I agree. Hope you get the third book out on schedule.

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  10. Hi J.L., I can totally identify with this. We have to remind ourselves that even when books (books that may have taken a loooong time to finish!) are done, we have to repeat the cycle. Again. Good luck with your book promotion. I'm sure your efforts will pay off.

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    1. Quanie, so true. If you can believe it, I only realized recently that writing is like doing a load of laundry. Only thing is, you get to deal with different subjects. Working on a YA now that's been like cleansing my palate between courses.

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  11. It really is a body of work that creates lasting fans who want to read more of what you write. And not every book is going to please everyone, so it is better to have different books for readers to choose from.

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    1. L.G., that's right. People don't always get what we write or read in the category we write in. I started with YA and haven't published anything in that genre yet, but I'm changing that shortly.

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  12. Joy, I ask myself all the time why I am doing this...working and striving...when the return is so small. It always comes back to the fact that I simply want to share a story, regardless of the "income."

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  13. Wow, you do so well. I can't wait to read it.

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    1. That's if you can find it. :) Amazon sent me the link, but I'm trying to add it to my author page and it won't show up. Sent them an email.

      I think my drive has to do with the fact that I realized a while back that I should stop writing and concentrate on editing the backlog of books. Of course, that plan fizzles when I get the urge to create. :D

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  14. Third book coming this fall. Might be my last, so not sure where I will go from there.
    JL, just so you know, I called dibs on you as one of my A to Z Minions. I will definitely need help once the Challenge begins!

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    1. I'm sure you'll come up with more ideas.

      No worries. I'll wait for my call to action. :)

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  15. Awesome! This makes me excited about visiting some of the older stuff I've written, to see if anything is salvageable. You clearly found worth in Retribution (that's got a good ring to it) to bring it forth at this time. Congratulations! :)

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    1. Glad it's given you something to think about, David.

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  16. Great stuff! I'm hoping to put out a couple of books later this year - I want to get them out in close proximity so I've got 2 to revise/edit now. Fun stuff! :)

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    1. Hope you make good progress with those, Jemi.

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  17. Great points here Joy. It could be so easy to get hung up on one masterpiece and forget to have a long term plan in place. I've heard that the way to be successful as a self-publisher is to get a lot of books out - people who read one will want to read the rest. I'm amazed at some people who've done that and managed to maintain a high quality. Something to aspire to!

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    1. I think getting a lot of stuff out is the way to go, but it means having time to write and edit. I'm envious of those who have lots of time to write.

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  18. Send your book to Romance Book Haven for review J.L, and do lot of guest blogs around the blogosphere. You can't go wrong!

    Maria

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    1. Thanks so much for the offer, Maria. I will make contact.

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  19. I'll shout out for you next week. If you'd like to guest blog on a Monday, let me know. :) Anything I can do to help, give me a shout.

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    1. Thanks so much, Ciara. Really appreciate that. I'll contact you.

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  20. I flirt around the edges of that same kind of funk every once in a while. But I love writing so much I can't quit. So I may as well pimp the books for a bit and then set them free while I write more. Great post!

    Happy Weekend!

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  21. Keep up the writing, JL. I'm so glad you're staying the course. You're a dedicated, gifted writer!

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    1. Thanks, Emily. Sometimes it feels overwhelming, but in the end it's worth the effort.

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  22. The teaser at the end of the previous book is a good idea. I also work better under a deadline, and have a slightly easier time avoiding being sucked into something else. Given, I also procrastinate until right before the deadline. Good luck with your new book!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. Thanks, Shannon. Sometimes, I think new ideas are a curse, rather than a blessing.

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  24. Glad to hear your book is having steady sales! Ha, love the hyphenated name of your funk. I'm continuing to plug away, excited by my latest WIP...it keeps me going while other things are molasses-slow. :)

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