By now, everyone has heard the number one piece of advice that every writer gets – writers write. So, bang out those words and have no fear, you’ll find your audience.
Very true. Writers write first and foremost. But, if you’re in the business of writing books, you might want to consider this. No one bothers to tell you that this very same audience you’ve now been fortunate to find is going to want more! In fact, some will demand it. If you’re like me, this weighs on you as you approach your next projects. To that end, if I had it to do over again, I’d wait to submit Awakening until Reflection was already written.
Think about it. They do it in film all the time. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in its entirety over two years and then the films were released sequentially, one each year. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I salivated for those films much the same way I am now over The Hobbit. Stieg Larson did this with his Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. He delivered the entire series to the publisher at the same time. Hell, even the entire Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy was complete before it was ever submitted for widespread publication and we see how that turned out.
It probably seems counter-intuitive, but I strongly recommend waiting to publish your first book until your second is written. I felt the demand of readers in the back of my mind the entire time I was writing Reflection. This wasn’t a bad thing, it was very gratifying actually, but it made me a bit impatient with my writing. I wanted to get to the end of the book in order to get it out there. I had to very consciously slow myself down and focus on writing the best story I could. I was aware that readers were looking for a catalog that didn’t exist and I felt compelled to give it to them. I know I love to read everything I can find by an author once I discover them.
Fortunately, Reflection is now published and the third book, Unsettled, is well underway. With two books completed, I feel comfortable and am hopeful my readers will invest in the series.
However, one thing never changes, regardless of how many books you deliver to the publisher, no one reads a bad book. So, never forget that the most important thing a writer can do is write.