Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Indie Life: The Pressure of Following up a Good Book

This is my first Indie Life post! Yay!
Indie Life is a monthly feature hosted by the fabulous Indelibles.

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So. I just finished the blog tour for my second novel, The Faerie Prince. It was great! I did a number of guest posts and interviews and bloggers were posting fantastic reviews. (Unfortunately I wasn't as active with replying to comments as I'd like to have been due to living with a tummy bug for the past 5 days. Yeah. Don't think about that!)

Almost every review of The Faerie Prince has a variation of the following in it:

"I can't wait to see what happens next. Rachel Morgan, please, please, write fast!" ~ Jessica Loves Books

"Anxiously awaiting the next book. Couldn't put this one down!" ~ Some Like it Paranormal

"... will have you dying for the next installment to be released as soon as possible!" ~ The Rest is Still Unwritten

"... I will be waiting desperately for the next installment." ~ The Book Hookup

Squeeeeee! I'm sure every single one of you authors can agree with me - how AWESOME is it to have people begging for your next book?! SO AWESOME! But - and this is a very small but because I am in no way complaining here - can anyone say PRESSURE?! I now have to deliver a third book that meets the high expectations of everyone who loved the second book. And while I have every intention of doing just that (says confident me), it kinda scares me!

So ... do any of you series-veterans out there have a word of advice for me? How do you keep up the fabulousness while also getting books out fast enough to please your desperate readers?

25 comments:

Cherie Reich said...

I really have no advice unfortunately besides taking a deep breath and plunging into writing book three (and I'm anxiously awaiting it too).

For me, I've decided to have all the books in the series written before I publish book one. At least I'll then have the edits to freak out over as opposed to writing the entire book. LOL!

Sandra Almazan said...

Welcome to Indie Life!

When I'm writing, I try to forget about previous projects and focus on what I'm working on at the moment. If there's something I learned from a prior project that will help me with the current one, then I'll keep that in mind. But praise or criticism are distractions. Just focus on making each story the best that you can. When you can do no more, release it into the world.

Michael Offutt, "Johnny on the Spot" said...

Cherie's advice sounds amazing. I unfortunately have nothing that sounds good other than just keep writing.

Rachel Morgan said...

Cherie - Yeah, I remember you talking about that in one of your blog posts - getting all your books written before you publish the first one. Definitely a good idea!

Thanks, Sandra. I'll try to keep all distractions away and just focus on the current project!

Michael - Yeah, Cherie's definitely got the right idea about writing the whole series first! If only I had been that patient before I began publishing ... ;)

Blakely Chorpenning said...

I am doing a little second guessing and hyperventilating over the sequel to my first novella, 'Frayed', so I can definitely relate. But other than keeping certain critiques in mind, I just try to write true to the characters. After all, those are who the readers fell in love with, and they will only really be disappointed if the characters are altered or otherwise fake. So just stay true to your characters and I'm sure your readers will love it! :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

So glad your blog tour went so well. I think for everyone whatever way you get published, there's pressure once you become published to continue to publish quality books, usually on a deadline. The deadlines as well as creating another good book make me nervous too.

shelly said...

Well, that's how it goes. I've got peeps begging me for my second book. If only I could write faster and plot it all out. Panster here!

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Glad that you're book's receiving all this positive attentions.

~Sia McKye~ said...

A good blog tour helps with confidence--indie or traditionally pubbed. Glad yours was a good one.

I have no advice except write a fun story each time. If it's fun for you writing it that will pass over to your reader.

Is this a 9 month project tummy bug?

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

J.L. Campbell said...

Hey, Rachel,

Congrats on a successful book tour. It does bring lots of pressure when people are waiting for the next book.

I'm extra careful with everything that comes after a first book simply because expectation in high. I take more time over editing, in particular.

Don't forget to have fun while you're getting that next book ready.

L. Blankenship said...

IMO, write a story that you're excited about writing. That rule applies just as much to #3 as to #1.

I finished a 6-part series recently, and I couldn't wait to write it so I knew how it ended!

Rachel Morgan said...

Blakeley - Good advice. I love my characters, so I'll do my best to stay true to them!

Natalie - I think if I was traditionally published I would be feeling WAY more pressure! At least this way all my deadlines are self-imposed!

Shelly - I wish I could write faster too!

Sheena - thanks!

Sia - Haha, NO! It's not that kind of tummy bug!

J.L. - Being extra careful is good advice. I've read some sequels that haven't been as carefully edited as first books, probably because the author was in more of a rush to get the next ones out.

L - Well, I'm excited for this next book, so that definitely helps!

Andrew Leon said...

There's a way to keep up?

RaShelle Workman said...

Sorry you've been sick. Yuck!

I think following up with another series book takes equal parts confidence and storyline. Obviously you got the storyline down. So just keep doing what you're doing. ((hugs))

Kittie Howard said...

Hmm, take a deep breath, zone out and zone in at the keyboard. There's no doubt in my mind that #3 will be just as fantastic!

Cathy Keaton said...

You're further ahead than I am in the publishing process, but I did read something Alex Cavanaugh wrote about this recently. He said he had trouble following up Book 1 in his series, but he just focused and he was somehow able to write Books 2 and 3. Not sure I could ever get so focused, but that's just me. I'm sure you'll be fine!

Rinelle Grey said...

I think that's one of the best things you can hear as an author, but it definitely increases the pressure.

No experience here (still writing my second book), but I'm not sure everyone can keep up the fabulousness while getting books out fast enough to please readers (who let's face it, want that book NOW), so I'm going with making sure I write the best book I can, even if does mean it takes a little longer.

Love your covers by the way!

Rinelle Grey

Nicole R. Taylor said...

My series is four books. I wrote the first two before publishing the first and have just finished writing the third. The second is out officially next Tuesday. I think I've got a good rhythm going!
In the planning stages, I had an idea of where I wanted to series to go. From there I was able to up the anti for each book. Normal < explosive by the end!
I also think that you shouldn't compromise quality for speed. If it has to take that little bit longer to make for a better reader experience, then so be it.

Good Luck!!!!!!

Ellie Garratt said...

Yay for joining Indie Life. I hope you're fully recovered from your bug.

I can't give any advice on writing a sequel to a specific book, but I am feeling the pressure with my short story collection. I'm worried that anyone who liked my first collection may not like this one. All I can do is make it the best it can be and keep my fingers crossed.

I'm sure your third book will be just as well received as the first and second!

M Pax said...

I'm working on #4 in my series. :) They sent me emails about it the day #3 released.

So I'm on #4. I already know what #5 and #6 will be about. That helps. I'll also add in a fresh POV so they can get to know one of the other characters better. I make sure the POVs I chose are doing different things.

Each book has thread that can be potentially yanked on. I yank and let them unravel.

Now all this being said... I'm also writing another novel and have no idea at all how to make it a series... Hope inspiration hits before i finish it.

It also helps to have word limit in mind. I go for 70-80K. I can crank 2 of those out a year.

Damyanti said...

I'm not a series veteran, so I'll pass on Stephen King's advice. When writing the first draft, keep all the pressure and the world outside, at the door. Let them in only when you edit.

erica and christy said...

I have no advice. I'm finally writing a book I love, but am nowhere near publishing. So..why am I commenting? Because. I'm one of the readers dying for book 3 and I can tell you that I have 120% confidence in you. You know your characters and you know your story and when you sit to write the novel, you'll do it just right. So, deep breath, write. (BTW, I love the idea you had to write it in novelettes, which turned into three parts...and I think that works for you...so don't lose that! If you write book three in parts, less pressure, I'd think...) Christy

Annalisa Crawford said...

What great comments and reviews to get! Well done.

I don't feel quite the same pressure because I'm not writing a series. BUT, I am feeling the pressure not to veer too far away from the previous style/theme/genre... and I'm not doing so well at that because my writing veers all over the place - I just hope I can scoop my readers along with me.

I'm sure your third book will be just as good :-)

Lynda R Young said...

You have nothing to worry about. Your writing is wonderful! (just don't think of the pressure. Think instead about how much you love your characters and the story).
Congrats on those brilliant reviews!

Cally Jackson said...

Ahh the perils of success. ;-)

I'm considering trying Cherie's approach - time will tell if I have the patience to follow through with it!