It wouldn’t take a genius to work out that I’ve had some serious thinking to do over the past six to eight weeks. It didn’t help that for a lot of that time I was ill; perhaps that helped to tip me over the edge from ‘mildly disappointed’ to ‘seriously pissed-off’.
After three years of hard graft, I was getting nowhere. I struggled to get reviews, struggled to get sales and since January and the launch of The Phoenix Club, I struggled to get people to sign up to my email list.
It was time for some serious questions to be asked: –
1. Was I still enjoying writing?
2. Did I want to know what might happen next in The Phoenix series?
3. Could I do anything differently to what I had been doing, given the financial strictures that I face?
4. Was there any realistic chance of improvement?
The answer to questions one and two was an unequivocal YES.
I decided that MAYBE was the honest answer to question three.
As for question four, I still have to be brutally honest and say NO.
With the answer to the first two questions ringing in my ears, I shut myself away from March 7th onwards and completed Book 4 in The Phoenix series.
‘In The Lap Of The Gods’ will be published in around two weeks time.
You will recall my earlier post which listed ‘must-have things’ for new titles.
It needs a compelling synopsis; plus a decent cover – so here they are: –
This is the fourth book in the series so far, and it takes the stories featuring the Olympus Project in a new and exciting direction.
From Larcombe Manor, Phoenix and Athena have battles to win against vicious gangsters on home soil and urgently need to identify factions within the organization plotting to take it in a different, far more sinister direction.
The opening scenes at Glastonbury 2013 to the closing chapter cover little more than a month in time. Yet in that short month, the landscape surrounding the Project is altered forever.
The action is non-stop as it switches from the West Country to Windsor, then from England to the Mediterranean. Take a deep breath; once you start you’ll keep turning pages until the end.
Most of all a new title needs reviews, the writer’s lifeblood. So things have to change. The promotion and marketing avenues I’ve pursued so far haven’t worked; so it’s time to ditch them. I’m looking for new ways to get the word out there that my books are worth reading. I’m looking for new reviewers to take a look, to add to my loyal band of ‘first responders’.
The budget is still limited. The odds against success are still astronomical.
As the problem of question 4 is unlikely ever to be resolved, I’ve decided on an exit strategy. After I get home from holiday on Ibiza in early May I’ll continue with ‘The Price Of Treachery’ the next title in the series. (Chapter 1 is written and available as a ‘taster’ at the end of ‘In The Lap Of The Gods’)
If I still enjoy the writing and stories continue to flow into my head then maybe Book 5 won’t be the last; perhaps an even number would be best. If it takes two books to get the story to a satisfactory conclusion – so be it.
Either way, there will be no massive effort from me to promote my writing. I’m going to write, publish, inform and then walk away to find another hobby. It’s the only sane thing to do; beating myself up over every element that makes up the books, the website, and the marketing is driving me nuts.
Apologies for another negative post! Actually, committing it to paper, as it were, is quite liberating. I know what I’m doing now and writing the final books will be a lot easier than if I was undecided about the future. If my mind was still in turmoil I might start writing a few chapters and then stop for six months – thinking why rush? This way it will be done and dusted and as good as I can make it.
The fact that it’s not enough to be successful isn’t anything I appear to be able to do anything about. I just have to be happy with the knowledge that the characters I have created have excited me and held my interest for almost four years. That has to be enough. It’s far more than I imagined I could achieve when I wrote by book of memories just over eight years ago. When I wondered if I could write a novel in December 2012 I was entering totally uncharted waters. I’ve travelled a long way. All journeys have to end somewhere.