Three months and two weeks ago, I started on my first novella. The result was a mixture of relief, anxiety and angst while checking my Amazon sales stats daily. After publishing a second and uploading the pair to Barnes & Noble, I started checking the sales stats on both sites, truthfully, more often than is probably healthy for me. I’ve cut my Adsense / Analytics addiction down to once per day which makes sense, at least. When you’re only selling a handful of works per month, checking stats daily is OC/DC at best and at worst, counter-productive in the extreme. Distractions aside, I managed to finally finish off my third novella just yesterday and as I write, my amazing wife and business partner is finalizing the cover art. Did I mention she’s amazing?
What’s the optimal number of works to produce as an author?
To be honest, I’ve only started wondering this recently as I keep thinking, for my favorite authors, if they produce *anything* incremental, I’ll read it. Odds are, if it’s a guy like Jim Butcher or more recently, Patrick Rothfuss, I’d even buy chapters at a time of stories that are yet to be completed, happily overpaying on a per book basis, just to satiate my desire for more. I don’t read Stephen King but as I understand it, he’s written somewhere north of a hundred full length novels. Wow. For fans, I’m sure that no matter how large a number he’s written, they would like him to do more. Thus the title of this post and a bit of a segway into what I’m doing, as a writer.
As it happens, I blogged about Lulu here which left a sour taste in my mouth that months later, still hasn’t left me completely. The troll not only vandalized my works on Lulu but then followed me to FunAdvice and left snarky commentary there. The upshot of all that was I pulled my work from Lulu and don’t have time to push a lawsuit through to find their identity from the Yahoo email account they registered or ISP. So, I let it go but the instance pushed me to do something that I never thought I’d seriously consider. Part of being an author, becoming a writer for me meant my name in lights. Jeremy Goodrich, published author, novelist, New York Times bestseller. Something along those lines although as I understand it, you can make a great living even without cracking such a list.
In the end, I published my second work and now am publishing my third under an alias. It really sucks because I’d far rather that any such fame, fortune or prestige that follows those works attach to my name. However, professionally speaking, the freedom to write without judgement or issue has been something of a salve for me, as any artist, I think, suffers from massive insecurity over their works. The one out of three I’m most proud of is my first and the next thing I put together will be a full length novel, I hope, with the main character from The Vampire Hangover. It’s going to be awesome.
Maybe it’s better to publish anonymously, with no identity, no history attached. I don’t know, as I haven’t figured the whole writing thing out. From what I’ve read by people who are in the business, selling incredibly well and generally good people, the industry is still forming, in flux and nobody has it nailed. Oddly enough, my alter ego writer has more than twice as many sales as I do, at least on Amazon. On Barnes & Noble, we’re neck and neck though the numbers are smaller.