In the past few weeks, I’ve neglected the blog as I worked 15 hour days to keep up with a busy time in the day job, plus publishing work for Farewell to Kindness, plus the launch of Bluestocking Belles (which included writing screeds of dialogue in what may be the world’s first Facebook event-based collaborative novel).
Normal business is about to resume. I have a post planned on working women in the 19th century, and another on coroners’ juries. And Penetrating Analysis has written several articles I’d like to link to and comment on.
First, though, a comment about where I’m going from here.
It has been six months since my first post on this blog. If you’ve been reading along with me, you know that I have since finished, and am about to publish, the book I was halfway through then. I’ve also published a free novella, and at some point today I expect downloads for that to pass the 43,000 mark. (I know! I can’t believe it either!)
I’m partway through writing the second novel, have begun the third, and have written odd scenes out of some of the ones to follow.
See, here’s the thing.
I want to write fiction full time. I have so many ideas- so many half-outlined drafts and characters in search of their happy ever after. But I need to pay the bills. I’m lucky enough to have a day job I love, so I’m not complaining. But my income from fiction so far has been under $2 (for print copies of Candle’s Christmas Chair), and the 57 pre-orders on Farewell to Kindness will net me around $10.
(I’m so excited to have preorders at all! Thank you, everyone who has put one in.)
I have a plan. According to my research, around 95% of published books sell under 50 copies a year, and under 100 copies in total. But the more books a person writes, the more likely they are to be noticed and to be read.
By the end of this year, I’ll have published two novellas (one in a boxed set with the Bluestocking Belles) and three novels, and (if we can work out the logistics) will be named as a co-author in the published version of our mystical magical inn party conversations.
By the end of next year, I’ll have doubled that output. So I’ll have nine or 10 published works out there. Six (the novels) will be earning me income, the collaborative projects will be making a contribution to the Malala Fund, and Candle’s Christmas Chair will continue to be free.
Will that be enough? I don’t know.I hope so. I have some great stories just bursting to get out of my head and on to paper.
Thank you to all the people who have downloaded Candle’s Christmas Chair. A special thank you to those who have written reviews or ratings. Thank you to those who have emailed me, direct messaged me, or commented on FaceBook. All of these things give me confidence to continue.
Whatever happens, I’m going to keep on writing. I love what I’m doing. But a writer without a reader is a sad creature indeed. Please know that you are hugely appreciated.
(Incidentally, for those who have fallen a little in love with the Marquess of Aldridge over the past few weeks at the inn, his cameo appearances start in Encouraging Prudence and will continue from time to time in future books. But his actual story is the third book in the planned series “In the Halls of the Mountain King” coded I and coloured light blue in the chart of story ideas. So it may be a while.
I’ve written the first 600 words though, and might be tempted to publish that here in due course.)