So…you’ve self-published a book…now what?

I’m not generally one of those “excitable” people, but being in my skin these last couple of weeks has been putting me in a pretty good mood.  My first novel is written.  All the formatting work has been done.  It’s been sent out to the people who will distribute it for me.  I’ve got a release date all good and sorted out (May 12th, remember?), and a couple of the distribution channels that, due to their place in the printing queue, are already resulting in purchase or two.  Aside from a bit of marketing work between now and zero-hour, I’m kind of done.

A big, big part of me wants to just sit and relax, just write my blog posts and see how things go from here.

The other part of me keeps reminding the big part of me that there’s another book to write.

It’s a little intimidating.

See, the slightly uncomfortable fact about the creation of “Knight of the Flame” is that the earliest work on it started almost twenty years ago.  That’s not to say that I had half a book written back then—it was probably a total of three first-draft chapters—but when people ask me, “How long did it take you to write this?” I’m forced to take that time into account.

And now, I’ve got the next book to write.  And based on decisions I made a long, long time ago, it’s going to end up about as long as KotF.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to it, but the difference between the me that made the decision to write a sequel and the me that’s staring straight into the eyes of book 2 is that the latter knows precisely what it takes to get a novel out the door.

There’s the basic outline of the plot, the detailed character and location profiles, and the research into the things you’ve decided to write about that you don’t fully understand.  Then, there’s the writing itself.  The first, awful draft, that’s so inelegant and half-formed, it makes you want to tear your eyes out; the second draft, which cleans it up a bit; the third draft; the fourth; the fifth…  Then there’s getting it edited, another draft after that, cover design, formatting for several kinds of distribution…it goes on and on and on.

But I’m enjoying the crap out of having a book that anyone with a Kindle can decide to buy, with real money.  And I’m loving that, for better or worse, these words that I’ve written are out in the world, the addition of a tiny sliver of one person’s imagination to the collective consciousness (that’s probably a bit over-the-top, isn’t it?).  So, I’m most definitely going to write book 2, and write it quickly.

“Quickly,” in this case, likely equates to, “in about a year.”  That is to say, it would be pretty great if I can get book 2 of this little series of mine to show up on digital shelves by May of next year.

Can I do it?  Aw, heck, I dunno.  Will I do it?  I guess the answer is simply, “watch this space.” 

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