Hiya reader friends!
It’s post-book postmortem time!! Grab your favorite bevvie, pull up your trusty floor cushion (I’m not the only one who somehow has too many of these, am I?), and settle in. I’m about to lay down the truths about what worked and didn’t work with my most recent book release.
This is major release number four, y’all. Four books. How many? Four full-freaking-length novels! Do you remember that time when I was like, “I’ma make it my goal to self-publish one book. Yay!” Um…yeah. That was totally FOUR books ago!
I seriously can’t say it enough. After so many years of feeling like my creativity had been blown to the wind by the crap life had thrown my way, I’m just gonna keep right on patting myself on the back for my accomplishments.
Real talk, though: *Release Day* for Broken Wolf has come and gone!
This one was huge. I’d made it my super sneaky secret goal to get it out before July 14, which was a v. v. important date for me. July 14 marked 10 years to the day since I fled the abusive relationship that wrecked my world. And if you’ve been following along, like, at all, you’ve read about how my experiences with intimate partner violence influenced my writing process for Broken Wolf.
It was so important to me to get the book out before that date so I could truly celebrate all my badassery. But right up until about two weeks beforehand, I didn’t think I was actually going to pull it off.
A Bumpy Road
Most of my work on Broken Wolf was all over the place. Outlining took me far longer than normal because I wasn’t comfortable leaving this one up to any kind of chance. I knew that if I hit a stumbling block, it would set me back both creatively and emotionally, so I really made sure I had a solid grasp on my story thoughts.
I originally thought I’d have my outline completed by the end of December 2017. That turned into the end of March 2018. I don’t think I would want to outline for any longer than I did on this one – at least not for a book in this current series (unless I needed to do a whole lot of research). I know my own universe so well. It’s completely alive to me. I may not always nail everything, but my universe is solid.
I’m glad I took my time with the prework on this one, though. My previous record for number of days to write a first draft was 22. Looking back at my writing log, the first draft of Broken Wolf only took 17 days to write. I couldn’t believe that when I checked my log. It didn’t feel that fast at all. It felt more relaxed than any first draft I’d done so far. (Total word count was 114,299, so average WPD was 6,723 or so.) I already knew that better planning and excitement about scenes enabled faster writing, but I had no clue it would make that much difference, especially with a book I expected to be so tough on me! *Note: remember, I’m a word churner by nature. It’s not for everyone!*
A lesson I’d previously learned that I managed to stick with this time came from Born Wolf and Blood Wolf: I didn’t go on vacation the week before launch! Nope, we waited until the week after the book came out to hit the road this time!
That actually worked out perfectly. Not that we can necessarily take a week off after every single book – though I guess we’d taken a week off before the last two, so maybe… 🙂 But really, by the time we hit vacation, I was in fun mode. And even before we left town, I’d actually had time to breathe and enjoy Release Day, such as it was.
A Lesson Learned
When I published Black Wolf, I thought I would throw a wild party every single time I released a book. You know, one of those parties where you wake up in different pants than you started off in and later come to learn that you became obsessed with a very particular loaf of bread at some point during the night. I’m not speaking from experience – let’s just say I know a guy…
What I’ve learned about book releases is that they are indeed times of celebration. But that celebration has minimized in a natural way with each release. It’s a part of life now, and I like that more than a huge party. The way I enjoy book releases now says, “I’m doing this. This is my thing,” instead of, “Party hard now because this only happens once, kids!”
This time, I took a few contented moments to appreciate the fact that another book baby is out in the world. I sipped a bottle of one of my favorite beers (Victory Golden Monkey). And, most importantly, I looked ahead with excitement towards the next project.
So it’s not that book releases are less celebratory, but the focus has shifted to enjoying other aspects of the process (and life in general).
I’ll still say that my favorite part about all of this is that according to the KDP dashboard: people are buying and reading all of my books. My books. Shut the freaking front door – that’s too cool!
So, What’s Next?
Book Five, of course! As I’m writing this post, I’m already about 10 pages into my two outlining notebooks.
I’m getting so pumped about this book, too, and I can guarantee you one thing: it starts with a bang! We’ve been building up to the peak of the series, and this is where the action is. Whew – I’m so stoked I’m literally sweating just typing this!
And duh, it will have a real title instead of the usual working “BWS – B5” title. If you want first dibs on the info when it’s revealed, subscribe to my mailing list!
Getting My Goals On
Here we go – time to list the next big, bold goals. Drumroll, please!
I’m hoping to rough outline the remaining books in The Black Wolf Series this year. How many books? Dare I answer? Okay, okay. I’ll say it: three more books. That’s it. We’re over halfway done with this series, reader friends.
And after I’ve got them outlined? Well…I’d like to see if I can wrap this series in 2019 because the next one is clogging up the back of my brain!
Holy crow. Those are some big, BIG goals I just put out there, y’all!
All serious daring starts from within ~ Eudora Welty
I’m approaching the close of my third year as a serious writer and my second year as a published author. I don’t think I’ll ever stop gushing about the way writing is helping me pick the pieces back up and put them all together again. Creativity really does something for the soul, you know?
I believe in myself again. I’m doing big things and they’re reminding me that I’m powerful and fabulous. Everyone needs a little reminder about that now and then, don’t they?
Think I’ll manage to meet my new goals? Stick around to see how I do with them and to find out what comes next. I can’t promise greatness, but I can promise goofiness (at least some of the time) – and that’s really just as good, right?
Until we meet again, reader friend.