Patience is hard.
Patience is something I’ve been faced with a lot since I first decided to go down the indie route. It takes time to set up your author platform, develop your publishing schedule, design your book cover, and—oh yeah—write the book! But in the end, it should all pay off.
When I first started researching self-publishing, my book was nowhere near ready. In fact, I was still in grad school in NYC and The Blood Moon (then titled The Lewis Brothers) was the closest I had to a cohesive novel. I had gone through a dry spell as far as writing fiction went, but I knew it was what I wanted to do.
Once I had finished grad school, I took some time to brush up The Blood Moon and do some deep edits to really make the story consistent and enjoyable. Throughout that process, I was still researching self-publishing and devising ways that I could make this method viable for me.
Well, here I am months away from the release of The Blood Moon and I’m completing the second book in the series.
This is what patience is worth.
The second book in the series has a tentative release date for February 2016. That means that I’m going to be sitting on a completed novel for months before I publish it, similar to the way I did (or am doing) with The Blood Moon.
Many indies would call me crazy. “That’s money you’re leaving on the table!” they say. “If it’s done, put it out!”
But by having patience, I’m giving myself leeway to spend more time on an upcoming project than I have in the past. Say a future manuscript takes me eight months to complete instead of six? By giving myself a buffer before the release date, I’ll still be able to publish on time. With a full-time job, that’s the way I need to operate right now.
Waiting will also give me time to work on subsidiary projects that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to work on. Audiobooks, translations, short stories, this blog, my website. These are things that take time away from writing, but something I certainly want to explore in the future.
By maintaining a consistent publishing schedule, even if it does mean sitting on a completed book for a while, means that I will establish a reputation as an author who can meet his deadlines. It will also give me time to separate myself from the book as a work in progress to a product I’m selling. This is the switch some authors fail to make because their books are still so personal to them.
That’s why I’m choosing to wait. Sure it has tested my patience a bit, but I’ll be grateful that I’ve done it when I can successfully maintain my publishing schedule despite the demands of a day job.