In my first update as a published novelist, I described some of the misconceptions I had and the reality of publishing a novel. In the second update, at the three month mark, I gave further updates. I stand by my three month update and not much has changed.
Oh. Other than:
BOOK TWO COMES OUT IN SEPTEMBER!
That’s right, only six months after the release of my debut novel, I’ve done well enough that my publisher, Force Poseidon, is putting my second book out. The current working title is “Ares and Athena” and it releases on September 9th, 2021. Even better, this is the first sequel they’ve published! For those of you counting along at home, that means I will have published two books in just under a year. Not too shabby for someone who considered the publishing of their first book a fluke.
But how is it going? Really?
Well, let’s address the elephant in the room: I’m still not on my own private island surrounded by enormous piles of money.
Alas, I’m not fabulously wealthy and still have to work for a living. However, as I have learned, money isn’t the only measure of success in publishing. Let’s look instead at the more tangible ways one can measure success as an author. I’ve almost doubled the number of reviews on Amazon and GoodReads over the last three months while still hovering near the 5-star level, which I consider a strong win! (One quick plug, if you’ve read the book, please review it on GoodReads and Amazon so more people can be introduced to Pantheon.)
Sales are slowing, but that’s to be expected six months later. The initial blast of marketing has faded and I’m down to word of mouth as my main marketing strategy. That said, I anticipate a small bump in sales as the second book releases from folks who see marketing for the sequel and want to start at the beginning. My social media presence continues to grow, aided and abetted by my “Confessions from the Trail” series, which is now being published on Medium as well.
And yes, the hard work continues! While I have a generous six months until publishing, there’s a lot of work left to do. My editor and I will iterate on the book as we nail down a perfect copy. I’ll send copies to my beta readers for one last sanity and grammar check. Then it’s a marketing hustle: build an advanced reader list and send them copies to review, promote my book on social media, look for local(ish) conventions I could attend to promote my work, keep releasing blog posts as I go through the process, and of course finalizing the cover art and title to release in advance of the publishing date. I’ll also be reading fellow author’s books and providing feedback and reviews in hopes they return the favor. (Hey, it’s great to be on a team!)
Oh, did I mention I have a full-time job while doing all of this? Because I’m about to level up in my day job as well. So, while I’m really excited to have a publishing date, I also know my weekends slept slacking off are over for the next few months.
It will be fun.
It will be stressful.
But I’m fueled by my passion for writing and my drive to achieve.
As I stated in “How I Got Published!” I was turned down many times when I first tried to get published a decade ago. “A good author with a compelling plot, but because you cannot publish on our schedule, you would not be considered commercially viable” is soul crushing to read. At the time I received that rejection, I couldn’t commit to writing a book every 18 months due to my work commitments. To be fair, I still can’t make that kind of commitment and expect my third book to take much longer, since “Ares and Athena” was 90% complete when I signed the contract for “Pantheon.” But the books will keep coming out and I’m so excited and grateful for the opportunity.
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