Weekly Update: Dialing Back My Ambitions
Some days I feel like an idiot. The rest of the days just help confirm that fact.
So I’ve been doing my spreadsheet for some time. I went through and started scheduling the titles I’d like to release and gave them each a ‘window’. In this case a month window when I’d like to release them. This is an ambitious thing I want to do because I have a lot of books I’ve already written and a LOT more I’d like to write. Most of these are in a series so I wanted to put out one in each series each year. I write fast. I can do that, right? After all, I’m only shooting for 80,000-90,000 for the bigger titles and 20,000-25,000 for the middle grade books.
Then I started looking at all the series I have. I did this before, but it’s fun to do it again. Plus I’ve added a new series. I’ve shown the series and potential length of each book.
V&A Shipping (80,000)
Giant Robot Planetary Competition(80,00)
Golden West (60,000)
Of Gnomes and Dwarves (80,000)
Supernatural Learning (20,000)
Now in order to write just the ones on this list, I would need to write around 600,000 words a year. Not an insurmountable feat. I’m sure I probably could write that much. The trouble is I also need to edit, layout, get cover art, re-write certain pieces (like trashing 25,000 words and starting over with GRPC). There’s a lot going. Plus I still have a full-time job, a kid that goes to school, plays volleyball, a wife, other family. I would LOVE to write enough to put out one of each in these series each year, but sadly, it’s just not going to happen. Well, unless I start selling thousands of copies of my titles a day and I can support myself, my family, and my lifestyle solely on my writing.
So what’s needing to happen here? I’m going to schedule everything right now. In order to write the books I want to write in the next two years, I need to write (over 24 months) around 770,000 words (all the series titles plus a few stand alone titles). That’s just shy of 400,000 words a year. My current target is 365,000 words of new fiction a year. Now watch as I close my eyes and do math again. This is dangerous, please don’t try this at home. 730,000 words is my current target. Now if you REALLY look at my release schedule (not included here) I’ll be publishing over 1,000,000 words over the next 24 months (from Jan 1st of this year to Jan 1st 2015). I’ve already published a number of those books as well as completed a number of those books. Many others are currently either plotted, being written, or needing editing.
Actually, let me edit here. I need to write 1,500,000 words for all the titles I WANT to release. I’ve written 750,000 of those words. So I’m half way there. (Sorry, Jay keeps typing, looking at his spreadsheet, typing more, making mistakes. I’ll have him flogged later for his lack of cohesive though before writing a blog post).
So over the next two years, just to stay on schedule, I need to write around 750,000 words. Can I do it? Maybe. There’s so much I’d like to throw in there like short stories, blog posts, emails to friends, etc. I’d also like to get outside once in a while. Perhaps watch a TV Show.
Okay, all kidding aside. I’m going to try. If I can stick to my schedule I have a shot of getting 28 novels out in 24 months. THEN I can slow down. A little. The trouble is, I have 690,000 schedule to produce in 2015. Now that might be a little more difficult. That’s when I’ll need to step back and reassess my release schedule. Take a look at what titles are doing well, which are not. Perhaps one title will get pushed back in the release schedule. There are some close to my heart, but if they’re not performing and bringing in money, then they’ll have to take a back seat while I produce titles that are succeeding.
This is known as the shotgun approach. Fire out a bunch of titles, see what sticks, and run with one. I’m not sad that one will have to wait. I’ve scheduled out ten years of titles I’d like to write. There’s a LOT of room in those last five years, and not so much in the first five. I’m going to give myself ten years to be a success. I’ll figure out where I’m at after each year to determine if I’m heading in the right direction. Am I being ambitious? Hell yes! Have I stretched myself a little thin? Perhaps. But remember, I’ve got a lot written and so much more that I want to write. It’s just a matter of making the time.
One thing I’ll make note of here and now. I have done no advertising of my books. I’ve mailed out a couple review copies. I’ve had a couple of contests. I’ve done one free giveaway. You may ask what I plan on doing. Well, nothing. I plan on writing a lot at the moment. Once I have a number of titles out and in people’s hands, THEN I’ll get out there and I’m sure many will be surprised to see what I’ve produced. That’s kind of my plan at the moment. Sneakily release titles until people are shocked that I’ve been as busy as I’ve been. I want to do something that gets people talking about me rather than me having to talk about myself. By putting out 1,500,000 words of fiction across 28 titles in 24 months will get people talking (or so I hope).
So what can you do to help with all this? Well, tell a friend. Actually. Hold off for right now. I don’t have a lot available (only 5 titles) and if you’re excited about one title in particular, hop onto your favorite book review site and drop me a review. I should be everywhere and if you don’t see me somewhere, let me know and I’ll try to get there.
Well, like I said, there are a lot of words to write and I’ve got to go write them. Well, I need to do the day job first, but THEN I’ll do some writing!
Until Next Time!