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The Juggling Act of Writing A Series

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In the world of publishing I'm a newbie. My first book, Secrets of the Heart, releases May 3rd. However, it is already in stock on Amazon. Hint. Hint. :) I love what I'm doing and besides writing I'm working full time as a counselor. I've had a lot of experience juggling different life events and different types of schedules, but this one is interesting and challenging in a different sort of way.

You may have heard about the demands of writing a series, and marketing, and revisions. But when it's YOU carrying the responsibility of getting everything done and done well and you've never done it before it's a bit intimidating.

I'm currently working on revisions for Book Two called Chameleon. I've got a great editor. You know you have a great editor when she takes the time to teach you along the way. 

Secrets of the Heart just arrived in my home mailbox on Saturday. It's an awesome experience to hold your first book and kind of humbling and thrilling all at once when you think about all the folks who help pull it together. Just The Write Charisma 

But with each step things get a little more complicated. For instance, I'm trying to set up my first official book signing at a bookstore in town I just love. Not sure yet when that will happen. I'm researching and writing Book 3 which is due to my editor on October 1st. I am not a fast writer, but I'm becoming smarter at writing. I'm really brainstorming different ways to get my book into the hands of readers that will enjoy it. All of this takes time.

If you are writing a series and you are not yet published here are some tips I think may help you.

  1. Write the first three books in the series before you try to sell it. 
           Why? When you sell it your publisher may want the last book to be your first book. During the time I was trying to sell this series another acquisitions editor at a different publishing house asked me that question. I didn't have all three books written. Only the first one.

     2.   Use of time.

          Life will be much easier when you get that contract. You won't have to be writing and researching all the time when you could be spending time marketing, speaking, selling your product, and GASP, spending time with your family. :) 

     3.  Marketing.
          You can't afford to just sit back and think your book will sell its self just because it's out there on cyberspace bookshelves and the brick and mortar stores. You need to become a businessman or woman. Sure we all have different gifts and skills but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try all aspects of this gig.

Believe it or not this is just the tip of the iceberg. Do I say this to scare you? No. I share this to help you be prepared for your dream come true time. Dare to dream about a writing career. No one can guarantee publication but to have a shot at it you have to be ready when opportunity knocks. And it will knock. Are you ready to answer the door?

Tell me about your experiences writing a series or what you are doing to prepare for that all important opportunity. If you happen to find yourself on the same road as I am at the moment let me know how it's going.


  1. I'm working on a series, and this post is very helpful! Thank you so much. I love when you show up on the blog! yay!

  2. I bet you are so excited! I didn't know you were working fulltime as well, and as a counselor--I did that for years-- and trying to write three books! WOW!! I do enjoy reading about this process! I hope you get to do the booksigning--that would make me nervous.

  3. Good Morning Bonnie!
    It is a wet, dreary, thunderbooming kind of day here in Cincy. I'm glad this post helped and I just wish I had more time to visit with all my cyberspace pals more often.

    Hi Terri!
    Not enough hours in the day as is frequently said, but we have to make the time to do what we love, don't we? I think the book signing will come at the right time. I'd love to have one right before Mother's Day but that may not work. It would be a great Mother's Day present though.:)I didn't know you did counseling either. Have a good one kiddo.

  4. Hi Jill - My next one is due October 1st too! I love having a deadline buddy. :-)

  5. I'm with you, Rosslyn! We can cheer each other on. :)

  6. I have a series on the go (two books done and the third almost there), but am not represented or published yet, so have the luxury of lots of time. However, I'm not positive an agent, editor or publisher will like the different direction each story takes. I respect your opinion, but it's also been suggested one shouldn't waste time on subsequent books until there's been some input and/or guidance from publishing professionals. I continue to write for the love of doing so, and assume that if and when one book gets picked up, I could end up writing something entirely different for future books (although it would be useful to have a publishable series in the wings).

    Congratulations on the release of Secrets of the Heart. I'm off to check it out on Amazon. :)

  7. Hi Carol,
    It's so hard to know what to do in this business. I'm certainly no expert and I learn new things everyday. You have a good point, Carol. A publisher may like one book of your series and not the rest. Or maybe they'll love them all.:) I'm just in that hard place where the learning curve is really huge and thinking this would have been easier for me if I'd had all three books written. But then maybe book one wouldn't have received the attention it did at the time it did. I guess we all just have to do the best we can with what we know and hope and pray God leads us through those difficult times when the writing life isn't so smooth. So glad you are checking out the book on Amazon. Thank you, Carol.