Balancing Act

It's not easy balancing publishing me with author me.  Essentially, balancing what makes money with experimental stuff.  Starting a new series in a new genre is fun for the author me but it's always a risky decision.  You're stuck with the series until the end and if turns out to have low sales numbers, it's time wasted that could have been spent writing something that was more certain to make money.

But money isn't everything.  Even if the new series never sells, it's still valuable writing experience.  The more action scenes you write, the better you become at writing them.  Every word that is put on a page teaches you more about the craft of writing which, in turn, will actually make your books sell better.  Genre isn't everything.  It can attract your audience but it can't make them buy the rest of your work.  Your work has to sell your work.

To keep me from neglecting pen names and to keep my inner author and publisher happy, I finally broke down earlier this year and made myself a writing project schedule.  I thought it would really stifle the fun but I have to say that my writing life is vastly improved because of it.

For one thing, I'm no longer wasting brain space trying to plan out when I'll be writing which installment in a series.  For another, I no longer run the risk of going a year between pen name publications (one name was neglected for almost a year and a half).

It also helps me to alternate between profitable and non-profitable projects.  For me, profitable means the series is already selling well and/or I'm starting another series that continues off of one that's already selling well.  Non-profitable means I have no idea how the series will do and/or it's a story with a very niche audience and, therefore, will be slow to move copies.

So at any one time I have two series going.  I write book 2 of one series and instead of going straight on to book 3, I'll start work on book 2 of my other series.  This only works because I write short stories so the lag time between series installments is really only a few months.  I find this system keeps me from getting disheartened due to lack of earning while at the same time avoiding frustration from not getting to write a storyline I'm excited about.


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