When Does XXX Come Out?

from the mailbagFrom the Mailbag.  January 18, 2016

From time to time, I get email (usually) asking me a question that deserves to be answered in public, where a lot of readers who have probably been wondering the same thing can see the answer, too.

I got this email the other day:

Hi Tracy;

I really liked the blood stone books I’ve read so far.  is there going to be another one in the series?  When does it come out?

— xjmomma

_______

Actually this isn’t the only email I’ve had asking me something similar.  “When does xxx come out?” is one of the constant questions I get.

I’m going to take a stab at answering everyone.

Books to be released in 2016 from currently existing series.

  • Blood Stone 4 – Blood Revealed
  • Interspace Origins 2 – Varkan Rise
  • Kiss Across Time 5
  • Interspace Origins 3 – Cat and Company
  • The Stonebrood Saga 3 – Sabrina’s Clan
  • Destiny’s Trinities 5
  • Beloved Bloody Time 5
  • The Kine Saga 2
  • The Vistaria Affair 5 – Silver Noon
  • Short Paranormals story & print anthology for the series.
  • Blood Stone 5
  • Kiss Across Time 3.5 – Time Kissed Moments II
  • Destiny’s Trinities 6
  • The Kine Saga 3

New series for 2016

SFR series based on the short story 5,001 (by popular reader demand) and a second SFR series based on a currently unpublished short story, tentatively called the Primary series.

You may have noticed there’s no dates anywhere.

There’s a couple of issues that make it next to impossible to say “xxx will be out on _____”

I don’t know how fast I can write yet.

I used to know.  But that was back in the dinosaur era (December last year) when I was working a full time job.  Now I’m not (you mean you missed all the hubbub about me quitting?).

Now I get to write full time sitting at a comfortable desk with a really fast computer and my favourite keyboard in the whole world, with my favourite music blasting at me.

I used to write on a laptop on my knees on a city bus, going to and from work.  Sometimes, I got to write during my lunch, on my laptop, in a boardroom with the door closed, but that didn’t stop the interruptions.

Also, when you write for several hours at a time, your writing speed per hour increases, because you’re not starting and stopping constantly, and having to pick up the story threads each time.

On top of all of that, I am a one-woman sweat shop.  If I get sick, or hit by a bus, book-writing is going to slow down.

Why I can’t Publish my Production Schedule

I have a production schedule.  An anal geek like me has everything scheduled.

I even know the exact day I’ll be releasing books, if I:

  • Write as fast as I hope to.
  • None of the things I mentioned above happen.
  • The indie publishing scene doesn’t implode in the meantime.
  • Other miscellaneous acts of Karma and Fate combined.

And it would be very easy to publish that full release schedule, along with the dates, and call it done.

Except.

Two possibilities.

Possibility one:  Karma and Fate catch up with me, and I end up not being able to reach the advertised dates.  How shitty would that be?  You’re all set to read xxx and it gets delayed by a month or more.  Sucky, right?

Possibility two:  I end up writing much faster than I thought I could.  That would result in me finishing books well ahead of the advertised release date, and eventually, I would have books piling up, unpublished, because I’ve already said when all the books are going to be published this year.

Possibility two isn’t out of the question, either.  The current release schedule has wriggle room in it, and I only have to increase my writing speed by a small fraction to gain a lot of extra days per book, which would accumulate into weeks and months as time went on.

Which brings me back to the original problem.  Until I know how fast I can write and publish books on a full time schedule, putting any sort of committed release dates out there could be a problem.  The last thing I want to do is disappoint you over the release of the latest book in your favourite series.

Then there’s other bugger factor.

I could publish my production schedule and release dates for books for the year, and six months in, have a suddenly hot, brilliant idea for a book that I just have to writeNow.  I know you’ll love it, and I’m waking up in hot sweats each night, dreaming about the story.

Would you want me to sit on such a story for a year or more, because the advertised production schedule says I can’t release it yet?

And I can’t really just squeeze such a book in between two other release dates, because many, many of you have indicated that more than one book release a month becomes an issue for you.

Then there’s you.

I have started to get a lot more email and messages from readers, asking about possible future series and books.  There’s also the discussions that are generated by the newsletter, and held on Facebook, that pop up a lot more ideas and possibilities.

I love getting feedback from you, that tells me what you like, hate, and what you very definitely want more of.  And yes, I include your most popular “wants” in my production schedule.

So I can’t ignore the possibility of a sudden and overwhelming demand from the majority of you for a book about xxx, that I simply must write as soon as possible (especially if the idea thrills me as much as it does you).

That’s going to screw up the release dates, too.

__

Can you see how committing myself to release dates could cause issues for all of us?

And can you see how leaving things a bit loose and flexible will benefit everyone?

This is one of the best things about indie publishing.  I don’t have to commit to release dates more than a year down the road.  I can react to reader demands, drop in unplanned books and stories, and write as fast as I possibly can, and not upset anyone because I’ve over-written my one-book-a-year contract.

This is the big experiment year.

I’ll be writing my ass off, and even at the estimated writing rate, I should be easily able to get a full sized book out every month.

By the end of this year I’ll have a much better idea of how writing full time goes, and will be able to possibly advertise a production schedule for next year that includes projected months for book releases (just not dates).

 

2016-11-10T11:21:48+00:00