Well, it turns out that there are only so many ways (see half a dozen of my previous posts) you can tell the people you already know that you wrote a book, and there’s only so long you can maintain an anxious level of hoping that they’ll have the time/inclination/finances to buy/read/tell you they’ve read it.
So what next?
I honestly thought that the moment I threw at Amazon, I’d be turning my back on the site with a wry first-timer smile of relief on my face, before immediately diving headlong into scrawling a slew of short stories, novellas and all sorts, riding high on the sense of accomplishment.
What’s actually happened is that, first of all, I’ve had several GAH THAT ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THERE moments result in frenetic and continuous re-reading of my own book, which is the kind of crisis that I really thought my hefty editing process would have avoided, followed by a nagging sense that, after all this time, maybe it is an okay book and maybe it’d be nice if I could actually ‘get it out there’ a bit more. When you see actual famous people working their arses off to flog more books to people, speaking everywhere at everything and appearing at any bookshop a level above one at a school fete…suddenly you think, well, maybe I could do more.
I don’t seem to be able to do more. I keep going back and looking at NetGalley and thinking, well, for $399 maybe I could get my book into the hands of people who might really like it who might tell others about it…
…and then I think, NO STOP THAT IS CRAZY, YOU HAVE NOT SO MUCH AS £3.99 FOR SUCH NONSENSE AT THIS TIME. So there’s that.
It bothers me slightly that I haven’t leapt into what’s next, though. I’ve wanted to, but keep stopping myself. I’ve a lot to work with.
– a mystery/romance/magical realism novel that’s at the 80k-of-a-first-draft stage but has a beginning, middle and end. Two things are preventing progress with this, a) I can’t decide if I want to use actual history for it (which will involve research and possible difficulties accurately/vaguely enough portraying the situation to bother using it at all) and b) in its current state, there is a vast time travel tangent that I can’t decide whether or not to keep and run with, or remove and replace with something more ‘standard adventure-y’. Is it flippant? Is it annoying? Is it a waste of something that might actually be a perfectly good ‘straightforward fiction’ novel? When I went back to the first draft, I was genuinely surprised by how much I liked it, and if I’ve a chance of writing any kind of historical romance novel, this is it. I’m not sure I want to twist it into something that might not quite come off.
– A sequel to The Pulse, which I’ve a good chunk of and a lot to do with, but somehow it feels a bit ‘eggs in one basket’ to focus on that right now. In case my early love of the book is actually mistaken, perhaps. Or because I want to do all the different things at once.
– My NaNoWriMo from last year, which sits at a miserable 50k. I love the central character, and had an interesting premise for it, but, damnit, I never got any further than that premise, and I just couldn’t square it into any kind of fully-functioning story. I have a feeling that one needs a long time to grow in the back of my head before I can do anything useful with it.
– An outline for a kids-in-space novella that may or may not be worth it.
– A collection of short stories I’m working on with my partner.
It’s almost like I’ve so much choice, I can’t commit to any one thing. The mystery-romance thing is probably the strongest, and of most interest to me at this moment, but there’s that a) and b) getting in my way, and I can’t find myself arriving at a decision. So what do I do? I make tea and start browsing other blogs, and think about organising my T-shirts and how I really ought to listen to the excessively long Stephen King books I keep accidentally spending my Audible credits on.
Which reminds me of another thing: I’ve been thinking about making an audiobook. Thinking about it in the very loosest, earliest sense. I like reading out loud, I like the sound of my voice, I’d be happy to read out The Pulse…at the same time I’m aware of the excellent-sounding Audible scheme for self-published authors to work with voice actors and wonder if that wouldn’t be better…more because I have no idea how I’d go about ‘properly’ recording the sound of my own voice for a quality higher than ‘podcast’, and because, as you have to charge more for an audiobook, you want to give people a really decent experience. I’d rather not get in the way of my own stuff. Any thoughts are welcome, even more so if you’ve any experience with recording/having had your work recorded…