In the last few weeks I have been holding a discussion with my readers via the newsletter, about what they want to read.
The discussion was sparked by Street Team members telling me I was wrong to stop writing Science Fiction Romance.
That gave me pause, because my Street Team are a microcosm of my larger readership so anything they say with fervor I tend to take notice of.
This isn’t the first time I’ve reconsidered my position on one series or another. If you follow my blog, you will already know that I have put my vampire MMF time travel series, Kiss Across Time, back on the production schedule, as I also talked about here.
Now I’m reconsidering science fiction romance, too.
I love writing SFR, but I stopped writing and publishing it late last year because sales were not supporting the time I spent writing the books.
That may still be a factor. However, one of the things about indie publishing is that the conditions are constantly changing. Imagine indie authors standing upon wobbling plates atop swaying sticks, and having to cross a wide canyon by jumping from plate to plate…that’s the indie business in one image. Conditions change, there’s no clear path to the other side, and plates can fall and break at any moment, including the one you’re standing upon.
But that also means indie authors can jump to a different plate at a moment’s notice. Or jump across two or three of them, or change direction and head off over that way, just to see if that works better.
So, the conditions that forced me to give up writing SFR last year may not hold any more–or won’t be in play by the time I publish the book I’m currently writing, as I write a long way ahead of publication.
I had a blast with that series and was sad to bring it to an end, because I loved the characters so much (particularly Bedivere). However, I had built the series story arc to cover only three books. Writing more than that would have broken up the structure and made it a less satisfying read.
Around the time I came to the reluctant decision to take SFR off the production schedule, I had just started outlining series notes for a spin off series, entitled, simply, Interspace.
Bedivere, Cat, Lilly and Brant, and all the other characters would return, with new adventures and threats.
I was curious to know if my readers would like to read that spin-off series, or any other SFR, so I asked them with a simple one-question and one-optional-comment survey.
The results were overwhelming.
75% of all survey respondents said yes, they wanted more science fiction romance.
I confess I’m surprised by the numbers. 75% overwhelmingly in favour of more SFR is a highly significant figure in statistical terms (especially when you consider that “landslide” victories in politics are only 57-63% of the vote!!)
Some of the comments were very interesting. Here’s a few of them:
Loved the Intersapce series. First of your books I have recommended to my husband as well as a male friend to read also.
You have no idea how thrilled I was with this one! Romance is such a gender-oriented genre. It’s pleasing to know I’m reaching across that divide! -t.
Can’t get into them don’t hold my interest, I can’t hideaway in them thank you.
I’m very pleased to find several of these types of comments peppered through the “yes!” comments. I really, really appreciate everyone who was not in the least bit interested in SFR spending their time to let me know. It means the results are more realistic. — t.
I prefer SF with some actual science set in a believable universe. (Think Heinlein, Norton, McCaffrey, and my latest find M.C.A Hogarth.) The “mail order alien bride” -type stuff is formulaic, less enjoyable, and certainly less credible. Hope this is helpful…
It absolutely is! BTW, if anyone is hesitating about trying my SFR because you think all SFR is green alien interbreeding stories, I can assure you, mine is not! McCaffery, Heinlein, Asimov are all my role models, too! — t.
I loved Interspace Origins-Tracy, I just love everything you write. I’m not sure how you do it but I haven’t read anything of yours that I didn’t love. You’ve been my first for many things; MMF with the Kiss Across Times Books combining time travel with Vampires (oh, MY)! And Interspace was my 1st SCI-FI; even though I didn’t understand a lot of things (I didn’t even know what an A1 was!) I found it all very interesting and believable.
I can’t tell you how much this one thrilled me. I’m always so very pleased whenever a reader takes a chance on me, even if the genre isn’t their usual! And I’m even more pleased when they like it! That tells me I told a good story well. — t.
I LOVE ALL YOUR BOOKS!!!
In response to the feedback and reader poll, I spent a day reworking my production schedule for a couple of years down the track.
Truthfully, I have enough “I want to write_____” books piled up, that I could probably build a ten year schedule, but I’ve learned that the schedule is really only accurate up to about eight months from now.
Then, things get a bit flaky, because the indie publishing scene is so volatile. Indie authors change gears, spin on a penny and start producing new sub-genres within weeks.
So while I say what I’d like to get written in the next two years, I really only look as far as the next book in the current genre, because I can’t say for sure what the market will look like, much beyond that.
For example, readers might collectively decide that they’d like more dinosaur erotica romances.
[and if you do, maybe don’t tell me about that one. Please.]
But, I do generally pay attention to what readers seem to be saying about what they’d like to read.
I can’t publish the production schedule because it isn’t guaranteed.
I can say that in the next year, the following series will have at least one new title:
INTERSPACE (i.e. Interspace Origins spin off)
I got everyone’s favourites into the schedule.
The price for juggling so many series at the same time is that new books in each series get pushed back much further than they used to be.
Although I think I can say I’m hitting every major romance sub-genre out there.
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