Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One Year and One Month Later

I always meant to do a "one year later" post marking my first year as an indie. Alas, I didn't. Chalk it up to no motivation, laziness or whatever. I still don't feel like it today, but for some reason, there's a little something driving me to. So, here's that post, except it's one year and one month later! ;-)

Last August (end of August 2011) I released my first indie book, "Strange Bedfellows." Now it's the end of September 2012. How has the year been?

Overall, pretty good. I've seen highs and lows. The best high for me probably was seeing my book "Waiting" hit #1 on the Amazon lesbian fiction list. Other close highs were seeing "Strange Bedfellows" do the same in the UK and Germany and hit #3 in the U.S. Unfortunately, because I'm no longer willing to read reviews of my own works and to put myself in a position where I accidentally might see them, I probably won't know if any of my future works hit #1. Not unless someone tells me, anyway. The thrill of having at least two books hit #1 in at least three countries is enough to last me a lifetime, anyway. :-)

Other highs: meeting many incredible people and making some incredible friends. Enjoying the freedom and flexibility that comes with being an indie. Being able to support myself on my indie income.

Lows: The writer's block that plagued me from April until August. Not a complete waste, though. I started and abandoned many story ideas during this time, but they will turn up again sooner or later in some form or the other. I already have quite an unique idea for one (more on this below), thanks to one of my fans. More lows: having to deal with some bitter people and some reviews that were entirely just posted to attack me.

But oh well. That's life.

I look back and can't believe I did all this in ONE year. Most of my works were already written in some form or the other, and several had been previously published. Still, I've put out a lot in this time span. I'm kind of exhausted. ;-)  I told my wife earlier today that I think the work in progress I have now will be another novella (I'm aiming for at least 30,000 words). It may be a while, at least a few months, before I release a full-sized novel. Who knows, though, if this work calls for it, it'll certainly be a novel.

Where I am going from here: I'm eager to fire my brain up in a few different ways. I want to work on putting more novellas out. They're not as time-draining, not as brain-draining, and I can price them lower. My novella "The Girl Prince and Her Princess" is selling really well, so I know there is definitely a market for novellas that doesn't exist for short stories (my short-story collections didn't sell nearly as well as my novella right away. I had to spend a few months' promo/freebie time before getting them to sell decently). I'm also going to experiment with scripts (see the unique idea part above). I may put a script or two into another short-story collection or make it a full-fledged novel or novella script. People read Shakespeare's plays, so people DO read scripts. In my "Cupid Pulls a Prank" collection, one of the stories takes the form of a business letter, so a script will be a nice idea, too. I took a screenwriting class in college, so I'm coming to this with a knowledge base. I'm also hoping to collaborate on stories with some people. (If you're interested, hit me up!)

I'm also looking to expand on the success of my one general fiction work, "Miss Lucy Parker and Other Short Stories" (all my other works have been lesbian fiction). One of my goals is to put out another general fiction work this year. What it will be, I don't know yet. Maybe another short-story collection. Maybe a novella. Maybe a script. No idea.

I hope a year from now, I still have good news to share! ;-)

** Edited to add another high: I was also thrilled when my works won several awards, especially since I am an indie.


Bev Killaire said...

So happy for you. Success what does it feel like? I want that feeling. Good for you. B.M.Killaire

Q. Kelly said...

To be honest, right now success feels like exhaustion! ;-) I think I worked too hard that first year. I would advise newbies to maybe not overdo it.

Amber said...