May 29, 2020

Series: What I Wish I'd Known Then

I suspect every writer looks back and wishes things done and undone, and I'm no exception. I write what pleases me, not what I think will make tons of money.  Often I don't know as I'm working on a book if it's a stand-alone or if I'll want to revisit the characters at some point in the future and write them a new adventure.
The technology for book publishing has a steep learning curve and requires constant updating. I started my career with a traditional publisher, which meant I didn't have to worry about that end of things. Now that I'm independent, I decide at what point a book releases, how it's presented to the world, and how to make the internet assist. A while back I learned how to make a boxed set of some of my series, so binge readers can get all the books for one price. I think that's a nice bargain for them.

Recently I learned that Amazon will let readers know about all  the books in a series IF the information is presented to them correctly. As I mentioned above, I often don't know with the first book if it's even going to be a series. (The two main considerations are whether readers like Book #1 and whether I like it enough to pound out 70,000 more words about those people.) I often have to go back and add a series title to the Book 1 file later, so Amazon's algorithms will notice and offer readers the other books.
I've learned that a series title needs to be catchy, and it's best if it's unique." A Dead Detective Mystery" has been used as a series title by other authors, so my four dead detective novels are mixed in with books by different authors and labeled incorrectly (one is called "Book 7"). I have to figure out how to correct that, but I know from experience it will take lots of time and energy to get it done.
Publishing is always changing. That can be good, as the geniuses at Amazon or Draft2Digital make it easier to use their services. But it also means authors have to keep up with formatting, cover creation, promotion, end matter, and more.

I'm always picking up tricks to make things easier, but it seems that like as soon as I learn one, some other new thing comes along.

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