Release Day Postmortem

Release Day for Black Wolf has now come and gone. I’m pleased with the one-on-one feedback I’ve received so far, and there are even a couple of reviews on Amazon. Well, at least there were until I checked in with the Amazon support team to get my paperback and ebook editions linked appropriately. Reviews are supposed to be back up in one to three business days–so if you posted one, thanks! It should reappear soon!

I’ve done an enormous amount of research throughout the publishing part of this process, trying to prepare myself for what to expect from my first indie book release. Many of the authors I follow and have been in contact with online say it’s pretty damn good if you cut under the top 1,000 in your genre during your first weeks of being listed. I managed to do that, but I really don’t have a solid gauge of what that means. The one thing I can tell for sure from the KDP dashboard is this: people are reading my book. That’s really all I ever wanted.

I’m excited for this week because the folks who purchased signed paperbacks should all be receiving their copies shortly. I’ve already heard directly from a couple–and even got tagged in a pretty fantastic picture from one of them! Many people have told me they’re planning to read it over Thanksgiving break. That’s awesome because that’s exactly why I launched when I did. I love to read over the holidays, and I knew I wasn’t the only one!

All in all, my first-ever book launch went about as smoothly as I could have hoped and is solidly in the bag.

That, of course, means I can move on to the next big task: Book Two.

Image via Unsplash

I had a goal for the weekend. Two sentences. That was it. I wanted to put down two sentences of the opening sequence for the second novel. By the way, it’s not actually going to be called “Book Two” (subscribers to my mailing list will learn the title and see the cover first, you know!).

Instead of two sentences, I ended up with 1,300 words. What can I say? Book Two has possessed an explosive start since the moment the plot began to form in my brain. Once I jumped back in, the UNITY universe swallowed me up and I totally lost track of time. That’s one of my favorite things about writing. There’s this zen mode that happens, where I’m just watching the story play out like a movie, and I’m experiencing it all for the very first time. That’s an addictive high, my friends.

Of course, who knows exactly how all of this will morph and mold over the coming months? I already know how Two ends, but when I get there and look back on the journey from start to finish, there will certainly be tweaks I’ll need to make. Revisiting the first chapter once the finale is solid is a great way to find balance. Black Wolf‘s original opening chapter wasn’t anything like it is now. Most of the first chapter didn’t fall into place until the last sentence of the book was keyed in.

I am so wildly lucky to be pursuing this passion of mine. It has been a crazy year. And it’s not over yet.

In my efforts to keep the momentum up and finish out the year on a strong note, I have a new goal in mind: 50,000 words by the end of December.

My schedule was such that I didn’t get to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. Bummer, as I’ve actually got something big to write about. But there’s no reason I can’t extend the challenge for myself and play it out in the month of December instead.

So that’s what I’m doing. The rest of November is devoted to working out the finer points of my plot. The book is pretty much done in my brain, but there are twists and turns and loops and hoops that aren’t quite there yet. That’s what November is for.

And once December hits? I’ll be looking at a goal of 1,000-2,000 words per day. That’s a very comfortable daily range for me. Some people do much more, some much less. At least I’ve got a 1,300-word head start (that takes care of the fact that I won’t get any writing done on Christmas Day. #successkid)

So, here we are. One book down, and a whole lot more to go.

I can’t freaking wait.

3 thoughts on “Release Day Postmortem

  1. These are invaluable insights. I mean I am your oldest friend and all, but still…how exciting to witness the unfolding from all perspectives that there are to watch!

  2. You know, J, if I never get another fan it will help to know I’ve got you! More than happy to finish the series out just writing it for you, me, and…my mom, LOL

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