Now this isn’t something a new Indie Writer wants to hear. I know for me, getting my first book written and published was a huge undertaking. It wasn’t just the whole producing a book and getting it published, it was knowing whether or not I sucked as a writer. People love to tell new writers to use Writer Groups as a means to get feedback and get access to Beta readers, and while this sounds like a great idea, in practice the experience is another story. Unfortunately, the writing groups I found when I was a new author always had a main bully and a group of his cronies that pounced on anyone new to the group. They enjoy beating ‘fresh meat’ down and ridiculing their ideas and have no problems telling you how much you suck.
Those are the direct assholes. The indirect ones use kinder words but are just as destructive. Usually these bullies fall into the category that if you haven’t completed a PhD in Literature and did your time in a paper or publishing house, then you shouldn’t be allowed to even publish an Indie Book on your own. Their complaint is that you’re just filling up the market with your crap worthless crap and stopping readers from finding hidden gems like their own novels. Usually the dribble starts out with saying if you don’t have perfect grammar or spelling then no matter how good you write, your book is crap. The funny part is that good grammar or perfect spelling does not sell a book nor is it required to make huge sells. Just ask J. K. Rowling if you don’t believe me. She’s making millions by being able to tell a wickedly-good story.
Anyway, back on track to the subject of post. My idea after seeing the difficulty I was having getting people interested in book two was to release my next series altogether with three books at once. While this was a great idea, in practice it is quite difficult. The difficulty comes from life throwing wrenches in your way and the fact that most of us do not have a pool of Beta writers that we can trust to give us good feedback. That combination makes it tough to produce three novels in one go.
By the third novel you’re questioning if all this work is really worth it or if anyone is going to bother reading your books. Even worse, you go back to your very first novel and see all of your previous mistakes because you’ve gotten so much better as a writer. Instead of having that encourage you, it makes question yourself that much more. You go through your current set of three novels that you’re writing, but it all looks good to your eyes. Still, even with all of these doubts, you complete the three books in your new series and are ready to go.
I would think most new writers would have this fear. If not, your either very ignorant to the whole writing process or you’re just that good. If you’re just that good, then my hat is off to you, Sir or Madam. For the rest of us humans, I’d wager to bet that my tribulations was nearer to the general mean.
When I released the three books to my series, I have to say that the response from fans were better than I’d hoped. Even readers who only rated my work as average, for whatever reason … for me probably spelling and grammar, read through the complete series. People even picked up my old series to read it through because they liked my writing style so much. It was a great response and proof of concept.
The only caveat is that you have to have a good story. Otherwise you will have partially wasted your time writing out so many books all at once. Trust me, that is a hard caveat to accept. Most writers have a problem hearing any negative comments about their works. I try to be humble and open to criticism. My first try at writing a story was a disaster and a colleague of mine, Shannon R. gave me the greatest gift he could ever give me. He told me the truth of where and how my story sucked. My second try is what produced Flight.
Anyway, my recommendation to you is write three or four books of your series out before releasing them. The reader will appreciate having more material to read and you as a writer will appreciate the sales. It makes everyone happy.
The final warning I will give if you’re waiting to release your books altogether in one go is to document the timeline of your stories. Run a blog were you talk about your up and coming book, documents the backups in email, do whatever you can in case some jealous author or one of their angry fans decides to come after you for producing a story that is generally similar to another writer’s work. Thankfully I had a little bit of that for the issue I ran into, but no matter how right you are, you’ll be fighting from behind the eight ball if someone attacks you online.