Just call me Hamlet

I’m dithering, I admit it.  I think I’m done with the next Bloody Murder mystery and I find myself as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs (if you’re reading this out loud, make sure you do that last part with a Southern accent).

I’ll be announcing the title and the publication date on 7/29. Stay tuned!

Where the dithering comes  in is a lot of internal pressure. This is my second published work and all kinds of questions fill my brain, but the biggest one is:

“What if it’s not as good as the first one?”

Bloody Murder has a five-star rating on Amazon, and I promise you I didn’t ask a single friend to write a review.  I am proud of my work and very grateful to anyone who took the time to write a review. Reviews are not easy to write. You want to say what’s good, but you don’t want to give away the really nifty stuff. If you hated it, was it simply not to your taste? Or perhaps the subject matter wasn’t your cuppa? Or was it so technically bad, as Dorothy Parker put it, “this is not a book to be set aside lightly,it should be thrown with great force.”

Anyway, since people have liked my work, I want to especially give  those readers something special. I want them to want to continue following Zofia’s adventures without getting bored or having me suspend their disbelief too much.For example, with Borders out of business, and Amazon being so prevalent I have had people ask me how I can rationalize an independent bookstore breaking even in the twenty-first century economy. I’ll save that for another entry, because there are a host of reasons, and I have a surprise coming in book 4 that will also help.

And now I’ve been dithering about dithering. The book is almost ready to go.  It’s been professionally edited (and if you need a book edited for an affordable price, ping me and I will introduce you to Kimberly), and tweaked to within an inch of its life. But I’ve been putting off the date because I’m afraid of disappointing my readers especially because the size of the novel. It’s considerably shorter than Bloody Murder  (and  will be priced accordingly).

I never realized the tremendous pressure involved here before. Is it good enough for the people who’ve taken the time to read the first one? I owe them. I earned some cash on that first novel (and promptly spent it on novel-writing software). It’s a little awe-inspiring, even if I’m not selling like James Patterson’s books do.

Taking this to my cohorts at the Indie Exchange, I got some excellent advice: When it’s done, it’s done. After letting that stew in my brain for a bit, last night, I finally decided to pick a date to announce the title at the publication date. I’m hoping to generate a little anticipation.

I also realized that while size matters in some cases (I liked the expanded version of Stephen King’s The Stand better than the original, for example), being an indie author and publisher I am not locked into a contract that says, “you must produce X novels at 100K words between now and 2020.” There’s a certain freedom in that. A dear friend of mine, and a fabulous writer, JD Rhoades, has put up shorter works and they’ve gotten some great response.

So I think I’m done with dithering, at least for right now. My current Project Management class wraps up in two weeks, which gives me time to find a cover design, do any last-minute edits and decide on the shotgun vs laser publishing approach.

Thank you for reading and staying with me. Knowing there are people out there waiting for the next novel makes me ready to take on the third one.

Cheers!

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