I had started a post for today, then read A.E.s wonderful post on the realities of after yesterday and scrapped it for this one. I, too, have something to add to the realities of after.
Basically being a published author is a heck of a lot different than I thought it would be.
I know I was lucky enough to have a 3-book deal and for that deal to be for my Elysium Chronicles, but it’s not as easy as everyone makes it out. Writing the first book of a series is easy, but with each book you write, you find it more and more difficult.
While I absolutely LOVE writing and I ADORE being a published author, being published was a LOT different that I expected it to be.
1) It’s a heck of a lot more hectic than I thought it would be.
I thought it would get easier knowing that I have 3 books under contract, but it’s actually not. I’m now in the spot where I’ve almost completely finished edits for book 1 and have entered the promotion and marketing phase. I’m editing book 2 and trying to write book 3. Plus I’m writing extra things that go with the series. I’m in a constant circle of write, edit, revise, promote. And every time I think I’ve found a minute to breathe, someone throws a curve ball at me.
However, don’t get me wrong, I’m a glutton for punishment and seem to thrive on being this busy and am actually throwing myself into another book as we speak. J
2) There’s so much pressure!
So much of a series depends on what books came previously and not just in the form of content, but with expectations. And not just in the form of what readers expect you to do. It’s you, the writer, too. You have to be forward (and backward) thinking for every book.
You have to be VERY detail orientated and make sure there’s clues for what’s going to happen and that what DOES happen matches things you’ve already written. Like I heard a story about an author who wrote and published book one of a series and then was trying to write something for book 2, but had completely written herself into a hole with it that she had to basically rethink the entirety of what she wanted with book 2.
I’ve done it to myself. I wanted to write one thing for book 2, but it wasn’t working. I’d written almost half the book and the full synopsis before I decided that where I wanted to go with the series wasn’t working and I had to rewrite the entire book. Is the 2nd book stronger for it? Absolutely. Was it frustrating? HELL YES! LOL. And I still have to wait for approval from my editor. Maybe what I’ve written for book 2 isn’t the direction SHE wants the series to go.
I’ve heard of another author who had to rewrite his 2nd book 4 or 5 times for many reasons. Another author had to rewrite hers twice because her agent didn’t think the story was working the way it should.
(I think Rachel Gardner did a post on this a while back on how this can be a common situation. I’ll post the link if I find it. )
Not to mention, I have an obligation to my readers to make each book better than the one before it. But I’m constantly worried that I’m going to fall short. That even if Book 1 is a success, book 2 won’t live up to the promises of book 1. You know what I mean?
There’s so much MORE to consider when you’re writing for a series. Or even writing a 2nd book period. No wonder writers back in the day were all alcoholics. :P
Here’s a post from agent Rachelle Gardner on what being a published author is like. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Being an author is hard (published or unpublished). And it’s probably only going to get harder, but damned if it isn’t the most rewarding and fun job I’ve ever had. :)