The Keeper of Tales came out over three months ago now. I’m pretty proud of it. But something interesting has happened… sales have dropped off. It’s not getting all that much attention, as far as I can tell.
Now that’s not uncommon in the least. Most books make their best sales within the first month of release, and then they sort of piddle out. There’s a reason “publish or perish” is a saying. Course, I usually hear that in relation to college professors, but it applies just as equally to authors.
With every publication, authors get eyes on their words again. And if someone likes what they read, well, they might just check out that author’s backlist. I know I’ve done it before. When I first discovered Neal Shusterman, I started looking for other books he wrote. Same thing with Robert B. Parker. And Peter David. And… well, you get the idea.
In professional writing, generally the more you publish, the more each book makes as readers start searching up that backlist.
What that means practically for me is that if I want to make more sales of The Keeper of Tales, I need to get another novel out there!
On December 1, 2021, my new novel Dragons of the Ashfall will be released from Dark Owl Publishing!
Orphans never have easy lives, but they’re especially brutal in the ashfall. Londinium grinds children down to nothing in its factories. Patty Rinkin, a rare grindery girl with a last name, just wants to survive. Then dragons arrive and make everything so much harder. Or will they give Patty the opportunity to fight back against the Gear that’s caused so much suffering?
This novel’s also book one in a series. How long is the series? Well, more than one book! We’ll have to see how sales go.
But this leads to my problem. Less than two months ago my debut novel, The Keeper of Tales, was released. It hasn’t been long at all! I’m very grateful that Dark Owl is once again trusting me. Two novels in less than a year? Not many authors can say that!
But… that first novel just came out. I should still be pushing that. And now I’ve got another one on the calendar. I’ve got a number of short stories I’m working on and submitting to various places (and yes a number being published in the next few months). I’m waiting for the edits from another novel to get back to me. I’ve got at least two more novels in the immediate future to work on. Plus I’ve got that novella on Vella to keep an eye on, and this week I’m meeting with another author to see about cowriting a project together.
And this is my problem. I’ve got so many writing projects going on! Oh, and writing isn’t the profession that pays the bills currently. I’m still very much a full-time pastor!
But this problem is such a blessing. I’m not writing just for me. I have places to put that writing. I’m creating worlds that other people get to visit. They can read the short stories in so many places. One novel is out, with another well on the way. Two years ago, I don’t think I could have imagined such opportunities that I have now.
With all these opportunities, I feel like I’ve walked into a massive grocery store with a billion choices for chips. I want to try them all, but I know I can’t do it all. Decision paralysis!
I’m complaining about good things, really. Just like anything else, I need to take it one day at a time. I do have a plan for moving forward. But even as I move forward, I need to look back.
Sometimes I feel this way when it comes to writing. I’ll sit down at the keyboard… and everything is just so derivative. Like, this is just Hamlet with lions. That’ll never sell.
Oh, wait. That’s Lion King.
See, so often writers can get hung up on originality. And it’s true; you don’t want to copy other people. At the same time, a smart guy once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” So let me give you a little writing tip, free from me:
And so began the saga that would become The Keeper of Tales. I mentioned a few weeks ago that what I first wrote evolved quite a bit through revisions. In fact, the first fifty pages are simply gone in what you’ll have the opportunity to read starting March 1, 2021.
How… how could you just chop off fifty pages?!
I mean, sure, if you watch deleted scenes from movies, you can usually see why they were cut. Maybe they didn’t move the story along. Maybe the acting was off. Maybe they just had to cut something for the sake of time. Cutting a single scene can make a lot of sense. Fifty pages, though? That’s a good chunk of a book to simply cease to exist!