I got an unexpected royalty check in the mail today. It’s not huge, but it’s not peanuts either, easily matching my best selfpub months.
I joke to my husband that my tradpub sales pay for my selfpub hobby. It’s funny, but it also stings. A little.
A large part of it is that I treated the selfpub hobby like, well, a hobby. Going over a year between releases is not a great thing. Nor is publishing a sequel two years after a first book. Oy.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the business aspect a lot. Especially about that overlap between what I want to write and what my audience wants to read. That’s the sweet spot I’m aiming for when deciding what stories to write.
The other thing is taking a cold, hard, and realistic look at my process, ie: the time elapsed between concept and bringing the product to market, and all the steps in between. My husband threw out an MBA term for it a couple nights ago. Pipeline flow, I think it was?
I haven’t done a lot of detailed tracking and analysis, but from my informal, back-of-the-envelope calculations, I’ve come to the conclusion that writing novellas or short novels in a series are my most profitable option.
This is not something I can shift to right away. I’m locked into The Sunless World series for the time being. It’s not a big commitment–I can wrap up the series with the book I’m currently writing. It may end up as a long book, but it’ll do the trick.
I have a couple of series concepts already. But if there are worlds or characters or stories of mine that you love and want to see more of, let me know in the comments. Feedback is super-helpful, because writing for publication often feels like shuffling about in the dark, stumbling over scattered toys and bumping into furniture as I lose all sense of direction.
And my sense of direction wasn’t all that great to begin with!