Thursday, 15 November 2012

Adapt or flounder?

Adapt or flounder. As a writer we have a choice: to keep going on with our plan no matter how unlikely it is that it will come to fruition, or to take a step back, accept where we are going wrong and adapt our ways.


This week I have adapted my plan, as it was just not going to work. Briefly, my long-term plan is to make money from my books, and as the money increases I'll work less at the day job, hopefully increasing my writing output and thereby getting to a day when I might finally be able to call myself a full-time writer. And why not? After all, I have about 15 more books to write, which should take me - roughly - a life-time!

Doverlord? One word or two?


I had been planning to write and publish 5 short stories based on my police experiences under the title The Rozzers. The first is out there (see here), the second is close to publication and the other 3 are planned out. The idea being that this would teach me all I needed to know about epublishing, marketing etc, leading me on to my first full-length stand-alone novel Filthy. Then, and only then, onto my baby - my big series The Dream Makers.


However, I was holding back from the finishing touches to my second short story. Why, when it is so close to being published? The truth is, I couldn't face having to go to the trouble of creating yet another ebook cover. I was also concerned that there would be no continuity with the second book cover as the original program I used for book one was bought up by Google and changed slightly. I realised that I needed a book designer.


I have had my eye on a book designer for a while, since I like her work and she is UK based. But then I couldn't really justify the cost of an ebook cover for a .99c short story which is not main-stream and is unlikely to sell much. And the amount of investment needed (5 professional covers) was not a financial gamble I was willing to take for such a series. And it was then that I realised my plan needed adapting.

I need to be selling books - at least enough to cover the cost of the covers, or to seriously reduce the impact of such a financial commitment. Sure, the new covers might help me to sell more copies but that is unlikely, as the book is all but invisible. Obviously I can't quit on this series now either; it needs to be published sooner or later. Also, the follow-up stand-alone novel is unlikely to be a big game changer.

New cover

So what I have decided to do is upgrade my first book with the new cover, have book 2 ready for publication and to publish it when its cover is ready, then put The Rozzers series on hold for a while. The third professional cover won't go to Filthy, but instead will be used for book one of a new series that's burning in my head. I have to write it out or I might go insane, and it has the potential to be a decent series. This is Doverlord.

As soon as I thought about it I knew it was my way forward.  Let's get Doverlord 1 and 2 out there, then go back to book 3 of The Rozzers, then another Doverlord. Then add a bit of Filthy, and then reassess...

Doverlord, you came along at just the right time for me.

How about you? Happy with your long-term plan, or do you need to adapt it slightly?


  1. It did burn my hair off - Dover Lord clocked up 10,000 words in just 7 days! Never happened before!!

  2. I was very unhappy with last year's output (and the year before), and so I implemented and executed a writing plan. January's plan (to write 50,000 words of short fiction across several short stories) was a rousing success. Now, I edit, in preparation for doing it all again in May/June. May is for outlining, and June is for writing. I out-produced my entire last year's output in a single month. If I can do it again, I'll triple that output.

    I'm happier, the Hubby is happier, and maybe I can actually start selling stories to major markets instead of minor ones, the more I practice and the better I get.

    A concrete plan is far better than a vague one. That being said, you have to be flexible enough to adapt that plan if it's not working. I do better, apparently, with more structure, but not everyone does.

    1. That sounds like it is working for you, so keep it up! Productivity is the key to our success as authors. Well done!


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