Sometimes the fits and starts I go through don’t amount to much. Sometimes they end up blossoming into a new idea for a book, and if I’m really blessed, they’ll become a new series of books.
That’s what happened with my book Scales of Justice. (Available on Amazon, if you’re interested.)
But when I finished Scales, I didn’t realize it was a series.
That part came later. What I really wanted was a juxtaposition of genres, and I found that. It worked well, and was a lot of fun. A lot of fun. But then, as time passed, I had a conversation about writing ideas with a young lady I know and, during that conversation, another vision emerged.
Now, it was her idea. I didn’t steal it or borrow it, or tweak it, or even consider doing any of the above. She came to me, actually, a few weeks after our brainstorming session, and said she didn’t like it as much as she thought. And she tossed that idea to me. So, I cobbled an opening together and sent it back to her, and she said she loved it.
The idea isn’t an original with me, but it’s a good story and I know I can write it. But…
…Scales has been incredibly unpopular. It might work better if I could pay for a really great cover, custom made for the book. And if I could retain the same artist to do this new book’s, and the subsequent books in the series. But that’s a bit down the line, and I’ve been realizing this might be part of a larger problem I’m having with writing and self-publishing over the last few months.
Back in April, I sat down and banged out a new book. The idea came from who-knows-where, but it’s been kicking around in one form or another back there for a while now. So I just…wrote it, inspired, in part, by Dean Wesley Smith’s series of blog posts – and now available as a book – called Writing into the Dark.
Once I finished that book, I set my sites on really finishing it. All the way. I actually got the notion to move forward and publish that bad boy, because it was something I really thought would help my career. I think this series is something people will enjoy, but I have to get it out there, and I didn’t see how that would happen if it sat collecting virtual dust on my hard drive or cloud storage.
But I had to admit, the process was daunting. I couldn’t find just the right image for the book’s cover. I can’t seem to capture what I want the book cover to be at all. I can’t even imagine what it should look like, and that’s a new thing for me.
The blurb for it? I think I know more about blurbs than I ever did before, and you know what? I can do them even less so than before. But I have to try.
And then, there’s the fact I don’t have the first book in the series ready yet. My wife suggests perhaps making this book the first, and doing the “first” as a prequel. Eh…I don’t know. Maybe, but I’m not ready to give up on that first original idea just yet.
But anyway, I realized I’ve not touched that second book in the Scales universe for a long series of months. (Might even be a year now.) And I wondered if I should revisit it, and give the series I’ve been so focused on a rest.
So I tried to do that, and quickly realized I was working on a prologue for one of them instead of the actual book. *Sigh* So, what’s next?
Well, I guess diving back into that book – the actual book, not the prologue – will be good. But I have to come up with some branding of some kind. I don’t even have the series title glued down, though I’m leaning in a particular direction on that.
Also, did I mention I’d like better covers? Yeah. That.
On the upside, I reworked my blurb to meet general guidelines I’ve learned over the last couple of months, and thought it turned out pretty well. So did my wife, but the rest of the world doesn’t seem too impressed.
And I did manage to break ground in the current series. Well…I think it’s in the current series. (You know, the one I just finished book two for but don’t have a book one for yet – c’mon, keep up, willya?) I mean, it might fit in that series, but…maybe not. *Sigh*
Anyway, I’ve got a lot of other one-off ideas sitting on my hard drive, just collecting dust. I should see what I can glean from those. Since the world of indie publishing is all about series, not stand-alones, I should probably try to dig and see which ones will expand into multiple books. It’s never been a strength of mine, though.
So that’s my latest update. I did a few words. Here’s hoping that will continue to snowball.