No Back List? Big Problem …

In the publishing “real world” … the land of Penguin and Little, Brown, Random House, Harper Collins … authors generally publish one book a year.  Some, like James Patterson (with his writing partners who probably do most of the work) can publish more frequently.    But, it’s fairly normal for a new release to burst onto the scene everything 12-18 months.  I know I’ve been waiting for Gillian Flynn to follow-up Dark Places for almost two years now — which will be her third release.

But, with an Independent Author, the back list seems to be a crucial component in the true, measurable success.  It’s fairly basic … fans find an author, read a book and want more.  Obviously, if an author has several completed works available, the visibility of that person can grow … and there is no lag.

But, for me, my first book is literally my first book.  I have no back list, no completed series, nothing really to offer outside of my initial release.    The Milestone Tapes isn’t a story that lends itself to a series … I have to start back at jump street.

My second book … as of today … is the sum of about 3,000 words.  Because I’m pretty certain my genre requires a minimum of 75,000 words, I’m obviously nowhere near done.  And with no back list, I’m starting to worry about a big problem looming.

My plan has always been this … sink a lot of my money into PR.  Get my name and voice out there.  I always assumed that while the first book was away … being polished and taken care of … I could commit to writing my second.  It was a good plan … but totally unrealistic.  I still had to really work towards getting the book ready with a million little fine details that only I could take hold of.

Now, I’m faced with no back list … and nothing concrete to follow.

My choice is this

1. Hold The Milestone Tapes until I’m done with the second book.

2. Go forward and then write like a lunatic and hope that within six months I can publish book two.

So, if you’re an author … tell me …how did you plan for release number one?  What did you think about following the first release?  What was your game plan?

 

 

 

 

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