Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Progress report

Wow, so much snow! Lots more in other areas of the country, I realize, but plenty here. About a foot, I guess. Too much for Pippa; she gets off into the deep snow and flounders. I swept the front walkway; a neighbor plowed the driveway, the county people plowed the road; it’s fine to take her out on leash. Just 0° and thus a bit chilly.

I am very definitely staying home. I brought stuff home to do for work, which I will get to later today because hey, no need to keep a schedule. Also, the computer people hadn’t yet looked at my laptop, but I took it back for now until they actually have time to look at it. So that is much better and lets me get more done at home.

So:

A) I have been spending mornings working on Invictus, because why not. I must say, it is a lot easier to revise now that I know what everybody’s secret plans actually are.

B) I put Tarashana into into the KDP template and did the necessary formatting. WOW IS THAT TEDIOUS. That is now finished, thank heaven. I will just correct the hopefully few remaining typos in both the Kindle and the KDP versions. That is a little annoying, but not bad, compared to formatting everything in the first place.

C) Ditto for The Year’s Midnight. That was half the length, so half as tedious. I probably (certainly) will have a few typos to correct there too.

D) Started to do the small amount of revision for Of Absence, Darkness, but felt unenthusiastic and took an extended break to read the By-and-Rish fanfic Pete linked to in the previous post. Very enjoyable!

E) Started again this morning with (D), still unenthusiastic, took notes for TUYO books 4 and 5 instead.

However, I will ABSOLUTELY start that revision today. Or definitely tomorrow. Honestly, it isn’t that bad. The first step is to decide for sure where exactly to break book II from book III. Then a really quite trivial amount of revision, relatively speaking. Then typos. Then drop them into the KDP template and format. I would like to have most or all of that done by this time next week.

Is it crazy to bring the whole Death’s Lady trilogy AND Tarashana out in March? Because I think there is a good chance everything will be ready.

I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying the snow!

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8 Comments Progress report

  1. Jeanine

    It’s an interesting situation which brings up many questions. Are there any marketing studies showing whether releasing all these books at once would lead to more sales or fewer? Do these studies measure sales over the first month of release, or measure over a year or two, or both? Are self-pubbers faced with the same need to have as many sales as possible during the first week of publication as conventionally published authors are? Can people afford to buy that many books at the same time? Does it matter if they don’t buy all of your books at once since, as a self-pubber, with print on demand books, you’re in it for the long run, and you assume your readers will probably buy them all eventually? And so on.

  2. Hanneke

    Bringing out the Death’s Lady trilogy together does make sense for the fast readers who like the story – they will want to buy the next book immediately after they finish the previous one.
    Waiting a while can lead to them forgetting about it, if they get distracted by other things and other books. Then you’ld need to market the sequels more actively to remind people that they’re out now.
    Marketing the whole story together (in guest blogs and such) might be easier, and it also allows you to explain the shift between the prelude and book 2 right from the start.

    Since Tarashana belongs with the Tuyo series, creating a little space between Tarashana and Death’s Lady would be good. Maybe bring out and promote Tarashane first, then next month bring out and promote Death’s lady?

  3. Rachel

    Exactly, Jeanine, that’s the kind of study I’d like to see! I’m sure it’s not necessary to have sales right up front in the first week, but I wonder which would work better if you looked at sales each way over the first month and the first year? Maybe after a year, any difference would have faded to irrelevance? Who knows?

    ANYWAY, right now, I’m ahead of where I thought I’d be with TARASHANA and also doing a little more revision than I expected to (or wanted to) with the Death’s Lady trilogy, so right now I’m thinking I’ll reverse the expected order of publication, with TARASHANA coming out in March and Death’s Lady in April.

  4. Jeanine

    I agree with Hanneke about the fast readers; this is also true for the completist readers who won’t even start a series until the last book has been released. But I wonder about people’s budgets, especially when so many are dealing with unemployment or straitened circumstances due to Covid. Where’s Marketing Questions, Inc., when you need them? Does Amazon provide any stats or advice for self-pubbers? In the absence of such, it does seem as if the plan to release Tarashana in March and Lady in April makes the most sense. Good luck!

  5. Pete Mack

    Here is someone’s rough calculation, but for a long series (10 books). Plan F is “release whenever a book is done.” (S)he doesn’t include “publish everything at once”, but for an unknown author, I’d find that intimidating. (And people posting here will buy all the books either way.) The big takeaway is that a long hiatus is fatal.

    https://hollowlands.com/2016/07/releasing-series-all-at-once/

    No idea if it’s accurate, alas.

  6. Rachel

    Thanks, Pete! Interesting. I do seriously question one assumption: I think that if a reader sticks with a series through Book Three, they’re aren’t likely to quit buying books in that series at all, unless quality falls dramatically. I could be biased, though, as I personally stick with series all the way to the end — again, unless quality falls dramatically for several books in a row.

    I can still believe that a long hiatus would be very bad, though.

  7. Hanneke

    For traditionally published series, many readers have grown accustomed to the one book a year schedule set by a lot of publishers. Those who like the Foreigner series don’t expect more than one book a year, and know when to start looking for one (and then the writer’s life interferes, like CJ Cherryh getting colon cancer – though she’s recovering well, it’s thrown off that steady yearly schedule, and that might mean she loses some sales to people who don’t know when to expect the next book).
    Many independent writers publish on a much tighter schedule, and their readers get used to that, and start expecting the new book on that schedule.
    I think a predictable sort of schedule helps people to know when to start looking, for longer series – so if you intend to keep writing for a decade in the same world, you might want to start out by saving the first few to bring out closer together to create momentum, but then switch to a sustainable pattern.

    For a fixed set of three, bringing them out close together does seem like a good plan, if you can.

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