Support for Indie Authors discussion

28 views
Archived Author Help > Talk about deadlines.

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Iffix (new)

Iffix Santaph | 324 comments (Silly name for a thread, so feel free to rename it, you wonderful mods.)

Here's the situation.
I have seen book deadlines crop up in the book advertisement at the end, particularly when a book is part of a series.
I set myself up a deadline for July for the next book in my series, and I realized the book will actually be ready by the end of this month. (It was undergoing final edits when I determined the deadline, and I wasn't sure how long that would take.) Others, I am told, have posted deadlines only to release the book later than intended. Is there a better way to let the audience know a follow-up is coming without specifying a date. (Coming soon... seems a little tacky to me, but then, I'm new at this.) Suggestions?


message 2: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Is the book part of a series? Just to be clear, did you publicly announce July as the expected publication date?


message 3: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) There's nothing tacky about coming soon, but your best bet is to be vague while not looking vague. My series has a silly teaser at the end of each book with the name of the next book. The last one published in March and the teaser says the next book is coming in summer 2015. This gives me a window of June to September to get the next one out. If I get it done early (doubtful), I'd simply put the book out and go back as I aleays do to change the teaser to 'available now.'

If you don't want to bring the book out bwfore your intended release, consider a preorder to generate buzz.


message 4: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) While writing my latest novel last year I promised that it would likely be ready by the end of October. It wasn't. One thing I did was to keep providing updates on my website, giving new deadlines whenever it seemed probable I could meet them. I finally published late January, and it started selling the first day, quickly outdistancing all of my other books combined. Even though I didn't do it purposely as a marketing device it did seem to help. In any case, it didn't hurt, and may have signaled to potential readers the fact that I was not rushing it to publication; that I was making certain that it was the best I could possibly make it before releasing it. On the other hand, it could have all been coincidence, and maybe it's selling only because of the cover, the title, and the opening chapters. Would I give another deadline like this for my next book? No. It's too nerve wracking. But it certainly didn't hurt.


message 5: by Quoleena (last edited Apr 26, 2015 08:26AM) (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) I set a release date because I need to work off deadlines. I based it on how long I spent on the first book. I gave myself a bit under the same amount of time, even though it's only a third of the length.

Famous authors can totally get away with postponing their release date, though only to an extent. (At this point, do I care if GRRM ever releases the next one?)

In my opinion as a reader, an earlier release date would be a nice surprise (famous author or not), as long as I had a way of knowing about it too. I think back to the only book I've ever pre-ordered. Had I been unaware of the final Harry Potter's earlier release due to the announcement not reaching everyone, I would have felt slighted.


message 6: by Iffix (new)

Iffix Santaph | 324 comments Owen wrote: "Is the book part of a series? Just to be clear, did you publicly announce July as the expected publication date?"

Yes in both accounts. I told the readers to look for the next book in July. (Probably a mistake. Like I said, NEW at this.) I can't see where releasing the book earlier is a bad thing, but I could be wrong. By the way, the Seasonal suggestion was a very good one. I will keep that in mind.


message 7: by Iffix (new)

Iffix Santaph | 324 comments And I don't do preorders. If I'm selling something, I want my audience to know, for example, that the book will be slightly longer than the previous book. (I can't guarantee that, naturally, since each book has a specific arc. But it is a nice precedent the deeper I can go into the series.) That has worked for other authors in my genre. (J.K. Rowling, Eoin Colfer, and Lemony Snicket all took this approach with their series.)


message 8: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Iffix wrote: "Yes in both accounts. I told the readers to look for the next book in July. (Probably a mistake. Like I said, NEW at this.) .."

OK. You have set an expectation for July. Very good. You release in July, and readers think you are a man of your word. Score one for you!

Now, as I understand this is part of a series, you have a few extra months to work on the next book in the series, so when this book goes live, you'll be better positioned to say when next book is likely to be ready. And if you hit that, score 2!

The one thing we've learned is that series readers love consistency, and they tend to want at least two books a year. Given that life happens, this is what I cry out loud: DON'T frontload a series -- BACKload it. Do your best to ensure that you can meet whatever demand you create. If you consistently put out books when you say you will -- not before and not after -- that is a huge plus.

If we had this to do over, we would not have published our first book until our second to finished except for final proofing. We didn't do that (we didn't know better), we got behind the 8-Ball, we've be trying to play catchup ever since. No fun and lost income.


message 9: by Iffix (new)

Iffix Santaph | 324 comments Sorry to hear about that one, Owen. Very good points. If I can finish it, I can always wait until July while I'm finishing up book 3 and 4, which are (in my mind) due for release next winter and spring. (These are actually mostly done, but I paused on them to make sure about the others before I finished, and I'm glad I did, because I know what to do with them now.)


message 10: by Iffix (new)

Iffix Santaph | 324 comments Actually, this way, I can get the pre-copies made and have an additional pair of eyes or two from people among my family and friends who are enjoying the series. (I played the first gutsy. I will admit I didn't have as much beta reading done as I would have liked. Which is to say, I had betas, but probably not enough.)


message 11: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Iffix wrote: "Actually, this way, I can get the pre-copies made and have an additional pair of eyes or two from people among my family and friends who are enjoying the series. (I played the first gutsy. I will a..."

For our first book, we didn't any beta readers -- the thought never occurred us. I first encountered the concept maybe 2 months after we published. So live and learn.


message 12: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments I learned the hard way to not promise a release date before the book was done. I had it planned, started, moving along well. Big theme - coping with the loss of a loved one. So I figured I was a few months out and I announced.

Then I had an unexpected death in the family. Could not write a word about anything, much less that novel, for months. Release date came and went. I got pissed off emails from readers. And in the state I was in, it just made the grieving process worse. But people had been waiting, thinking it was coming. And yeah, I had a tough situation going but I did let people down, not delivering what I had promised.

So it won't happen again. I won't announce a date until the book is done and in final edits.


message 13: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments Iffix, you could use some of the time to build momentum and interest for the book. Like, you could post a few sneak peeks on your blog or website. Unveil a cover one week. That sort of stuff. If you're writing a series, extra information about the characters, etc. online is a great way to keep readers engaged.


message 14: by Iffix (new)

Iffix Santaph | 324 comments I've been thinking about that. I'm not unveiling the website until book 2 for personal reasons tied to coding and other details, but I could keep my blog here going, perhaps.


message 15: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments Even something simple will help. I can't code to save my life so I just do a google blogger thing. But I get a lot of hits. And I've noticed that my sales seem to be more if I'm active on the blog. Like, I'm putting out teasers and character profiles and bits of info about the sequel and as I do more people are buying the previous book. Maybe it's just coincidence. But readers do seem to like an engaged author.


message 16: by Iffix (new)

Iffix Santaph | 324 comments Where do you set up for that? And can I see yours for an example?


message 17: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments Google blogger is blogspot.com I think. Or just google Google blogger. You need a gmail account. My blog is jenyckawolfe.blogspot.ca


message 18: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments Warning, the content is not family-friendly. I write erotica.


message 19: by Iffix (new)

Iffix Santaph | 324 comments Ah, well, that's not age appropriate for me. I'm only 28. :P


message 20: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments Well my mom is 58 and she finds the whole thing horrendously offensive.


message 21: by Iffix (new)

Iffix Santaph | 324 comments Well, IMHO, if you're writing Erotica and there isn't someone offended, you're probably failing. (Seriously, though, I don't read it. I respect anyone who writes anything, because it's a tough job this writing business, but Erotica really isn't for me.)


message 22: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments Understand completely. I'm well aware that I write for a very specific market. My best friend doesn't even read my stuff and that's fine. (He doesn't mind reading about sex but he's seriously uncomfortable when there is more than one dude involved or more than two people in total).


message 23: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Iffix wrote: "I've been thinking about that. I'm not unveiling the website until book 2 for personal reasons tied to coding and other details, but I could keep my blog here going, perhaps."

When we realized how we'd messed up with our release date (and it was just bad judgement on our part), we started posting free chapters on our blog roughly on a weekly basis by way of "damage mitigation". It did increase interest in our blog and I suspect it helped, so that can be a good tactic, I think.

The overall point is that as indie authors, we are subject to all the whims and unknowns without any of the institutional backup when thing go awry. Building up a backlog, not rushing ahead, and managing our release schedules are three things we can do keep things going in the fact of unforeseen circumstances.


back to top