I had a strange realization over the weekend. I was going through J.A. Konrath’s blog entries, which are almost always inspiring–even though my results haven’t been anywhere close to what he’s experienced. (Okay, not even in the same universe.) Anyway, I was tracking my sales (which have been SLOWLY improving) and thinking about what I was going to do once I released Atlantean’s Quest Book 2: Exodus–which should now be titled ‘Red Pen Central’. I was trying to figure out what book should come next, would it improve my sales and why, when it hit me: What am I trying to build?
It seems like such a simple question until you think about it and really examine it. As many of you know, I started out writing regular romance, then moved into erotic romance. I stayed writing ER for a few years before branching into other genres as I evolved as a writer. With the exception of a few novellas here and there, it is NOT my intention to venture back into erotic romance as a career choice. Not because I have a problem with the genre, I don’t. It’s just that my writing interests now are going in new directions. Directions that I’m quite interested in exploring. It occurs to me that what started out as an opportunity to explore other publishing options (ie re-release my old backlist) has turned into me trying to
rebuild build name recognition. Given the work I’m releasing, that name recognition will be as an erotic romance author. Is that really what I want? Uh, no, not really.
I know a lot of authors are simply putting their books up online as written. Bless their hearts. I SO wish I could do that, but frankly, I’m much too anal to even consider the possibility. AQ2 has scared me straight and scarred me for life. I have to go through every book now, which means taking time away from creating. This is not something I take lightly, especially since I promised myself last year that I wouldn’t spend more time editing than I do writing. So far, I’m blowing it BIG TIME. That’s why once I finish AQ2 and put up the HEAT OF THE NIGHT novella from Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romances, I’m going to work on original stuff for a while. Call it mental self-preservation.
I do think with the rush to get our backlists up, authors need to think about what shape the big picture is taking. I didn’t and it suddenly has me worried that I may disappoint my readers…again. As I said before, not something I take lightly, since readers can only forgive so many times before they call it quits on an author.