I have a problem. I've written too many books.
So far, I've been careful. In the five years I've been serious about writing, I've had the 3 Virginia Reed books and the 3 Tuskers books (as of October) released. BOTD released all 3 Vampire Evolution books on the same day, and I've released two other books on my own.
That's pretty freaking prolific right there. But I've got a BUNCH more books.
I'm not going to try to defend this. I know someone might say, "that's not writing, that's typing." But that is pretty dismissive of how diligent I've been. I mean, you guys have no idea how much time and effort I've put into this. I love doing it, don't get me wrong. But I'm not dabbling. (If you want to be prolific, just have no other life...)
I have books I've finished rapidly that are pretty damn good, and books I've worked on for 4 years and which still aren't up to snuff.
I've been steadily writing for 5 years, hardly ever skipping a day.
By splitting "Faerylander" into 2 books (or 3) I've freed up 4 books (or 5).
Add that to the 5 books that I've finished that are ready to go at any time. (4 out of 5 have been edited and have covers), that's a crazy number of books.
I also have the reissue of my 3 1980's published books (combined into 2) almost ready to go. I have 2 other books I finished in the 80's that are done (plus a new sequel.)
I have a number of books that I've written that need to be rewritten, if I ever have the time.
And in the meantime, I'm not really slowing down.
If I were to release the FINISHED books every 3 months, which would be a pretty rapid pace, it would still take 4 years to get all the current books out. Even if I slowed my pace by half, in four years I'd still have a bunch of NEW books finished.
Meanwhile, I have the books with publishers that I don't want to dilute the impact of--"The Darkness You Fear" just came out and needs 4 or 5 months for its own window. "Tuskers III" is coming out in October. A "Tuskers IV" (the concluding book) is in the works; and I have a 4th Virginia Reed book planned.
What the hell do I do?
It might be different if I was younger, but I'm at an age when a few years might matter.
What to do?
I want each individual book to be taken seriously. I don't want to dump them out there.
This is not a problem I expected to have. It's not a humblebrag, it really is a logistical problem.
It's not about the money. I've forgone so much money by not working my store that no realistic amount of payback from writing will ever cover it.
It's not about fame and fortune. But like I said, I want each book to stand on its own merits and drowning the market is no way to go about that.
Basically, I'm going to just keep writing to the end of the year and take the lay of the land. I figure one of two things will happen--either there will be more action on the publisher front (which, except for Tuskers IV, isn't looking that likely) or I'll be free to do as I will without regard to stepping on the publishers toes.
If there is more action on the publisher front (and other than what's out there right now, I'm not intending to pursue that) then I would seriously considered putting books out as D.M. McKinnon.
(McKinnon being my middle name).
If I'm trying to cooperate with publishers (which as far as sales results are concerned is a much better proposition) I'm thinking I'd have two tiers.
Tier One: The Duncan McGeary books. Paying for top line covers and editing. 2 or 3 books a year, through publishers if possible, by myself if not.
Tier Two: The D.M. McKinnon books. Doing it all myself. Plunking them out every 3 months like clockwork.
I'd rather have all my books as Duncan McGeary, obviously. But I'm thinking it may not be possible without completely ruining the "brand."
But if I just start plunking D.M. McKinnon books out there without any fanfare whatsoever, they will sink into the ocean of books without a trace. (Not that that is all that different from what is already happening...)
Such a weird problem to have.
3 hours ago