In my opinion, there really isn’t a right or wrong way to write a book…but there are standards that you need to adhere to. First off, when I started writing I didn’t know a darn thing about writing a book. I just wrote The Darkslayer based off what I’d read myself. I wrote a story. Heck, I didn’t even hire an editor, I just flat out winged it and published. Was it the right way to do it? No! It was a stupid way to do it, but you know what, I wrote it, all by myself and without any help and believe it or not, people liked it.
With that said, I did go back and rewrite and republish the Darkslayer, based off a learning curve that I have mentioned before. It was a lot of extra work but it was worth it. Now, when I write, I use two editors and proofers. The key for success with readers is eliminating those mistakes. Don’t edit yourself or use your friend. I understand you want to save money, but get a professional to do it. Some services cost very much, but you can find excellent editor for a reasonable price, so look around and get one. The key source for me that helped changed my writing world was Kindleboards www.kboards.com and do the writers cafe. It’s a great resource.
Now, back to my style. Right now I have been having good success publishing a 10 book series. My first books were huge, 100K plus words, and I did 6 for the Darkslayer, but they really fried my brain. To keep it fresh, I decided to write shorter books and begin publish them more frequently. This way I get a new book out to a reader about once a month. All in all, my 10 book series ends up being a solid, full length trilogy at about 400,000 words. So, when I am writing, using the Chronicles of Dragon as an example, I don’t see it as a book-by-book series, or stand alone novels, but one larger work of art meant to be read all at once. That’s long. Current readers might be eager at some point, someone new comes along and they are all right there waiting for them to enjoy. But I’m super thankful for all those loyal fans that are with me book by book.
So, here is my formula. I write a book a month, just over 40k words. This makes it easy to get the editing done timely. It doesn’t burn me or my editor out. It gives the readers something to keep them happy between books and they can’t devour it all at once. My mind set is a little like comic books. I remember waiting for the new issues to show up on the stands on that distribution day of the month. I think Tuesday or Wednesday. It was awesome! I used to buy about 30 titles at a time, but that was literally 2 decades ago which is hard to believe. I’m a Marvel guy and have many long boxes full of them. Anyway, my goal, if you like all of my stuff, is to get you something new once a month. It’s a hair slower than that, but I’m dedicated to actually hitting 12 book in 2016 by pushing myself. All in all, I play the long game, I just have to be sure that I finish a series. It’s not that best way to market books, as my stories, ideally, should be a little longer, but again, it’s about the project as a whole. And, I don’t want to get burnt out.
Another item I like about the process is the artwork on the covers. Doing it this way gives me a chance to show more of the characters. I’ve been very fortunate to work with several excellent artists and you need to look at my gallery on this website in the About section. I don’t have all my pics posted but I have a good start. I also have more in photos on Facebook. Getting artwork done is very addictive. I love seeing my characters brought to life and I know that is helps readers get a better vision of my worlds. But, as a draw back, doing 10 covers for a series, is a lot of extra work and money. To me, it’s worth it. You, are worth it!
Now, if you wanted my advice on writing a new series, here is what I think is ideal, especially because of the way Amazon has things set up based off pages read. I’d write about 80k words. Get a pro editor and an excellent cover. Again, with editors, they aren’t hard to find, and there are plenty of services but he big services can cost a bungle. Do your homework and find good service for a reasonable price. That is what I would do it if I started all over again. Remember the rules in the publishing business, especially eBooks, are changing all of the time. Anticipate it.
I’ve got more to say on this segment, but I’ll stop here for now. I just finished COD, Series 2, book 4, Eyes of the Dragon, on friday and my mind needs the rest. I’ll begin Clash of Heroes 2, next.
Slay the day,