I know this will disappoint many of you, but I have decided to cut back on my fast-paced release schedule. Where before I would release 4-5 books per year, I will now only plan on releasing 1-2 books per year.
The reason behind this decision is due to the problems with editing and proofing. Over 17,500 books have now sold, which means readers are clearly enjoying the stories. (All this without marketing! I have a marketing budget of $0 – this is strictly word of mouth). However, less than 20 comments have been left online about my books, and half of those comments complain about the number of errors and typos. That is very damaging to my reputation as an author and I cannot afford more negative feedback. Most people buy books based upon feedback.
It’s also very discouraging, For if you have read any of my books, you know I pour my heart and soul into these stories and characters. But when half the feedback I get is negative, in regards to the editing and proofing, well … it kinda makes an author want to stop writing.
I am not going to stop writing. I have way too many stories swirling around in my head to tell, and I will not give up (if I did, I would probably burst). But it seems that in order to continue getting my stories out there, I am going to have to spend less time writing, and more time editing. And I am a terrible editor, if you haven’t noticed by now ;). I am a writer, not a detail-oriented proofreader. Nevertheless, it seems I am going to have to learn to become one. (big groan)
Many have suggested I simply get professional editing done. The problem, it’s not quite that simple. Typical professional editing costs $3,000 – $5,000 per average sized book. I now have 17 books. To make matters worse, my novels are long compared to most authors. Most novels are half the size of mine. That, in effect, doubles the editing costs. I’m sorry, but I am not a wealthy man and I cannot afford that kind of money. I am not J.K. Rowling or Stephen King and I do not have a million dollar budget.
When I first started out, I had a small army of volunteer helpers and proofreaders. And they were awesome! Unfortunately, life happens. Most of them can no longer afford the time to invest in helping. I certainly appreciate all the help they have given, though! Without them, this never could have even gotten off the ground. Nevertheless, I am now reduced to just a small handful, and they cannot always drop everything they are doing and dedicate themselves to several weeks of proofing and editing every time I come out with a new book.
I am certainly not in short supply of stories. They tease me that I can write faster than they can read. That hasn’t changed; my mind is still churning along as fast as it ever has. However, I guess I need to slow down and allow more time to pass, and allow the time for the books to be properly edited and proofed. That translates to less books and less stories. Sad, but true.
So … there it is. I will be adjusting all of the book release schedules for all of the book series accordingly. I have suspended work on four books I have been writing: CURSED from the Camelot series, SHOGUN from Second Chance series, ATLANTIS from the Prophet Chronicles series, and Book 2 for the Professor Diaries. Instead I have switched my focus to … sigh … proofreading. I am currently working my way through the Camelot series, and hope to have new revisions out by summer. Then, I will take my time and work my way through the Second Chance series. I’m sorry, but it will probably be a while before the next book is released.
Thanks for being a fan and reading my stories. Hopefully by this time next year, after re-editing all of the books, the negative reviews will decrease and the positive reviews will start to increase. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.